Non-MC1 Judge Campaigns


Hi folks,
i play in a couple of games set in the judge dredd universe using the judge dredd rpg core rulebook, and a few of the supplemental books.

One of the games is a pure Judges-on-patrol type game, but another is set mostly in Hondo city, and another follows the adventures of a Genetic Infantryman living in Brit Cit.

does anyone here play in or run any games using the Judge Dredd universe that use an unusual or non judge/citizen pattern?
The campaign I am currently running has my judges just transfered from Mega-City One (and one from Brit-Cit) to Atlantis as they are attempting to solve the current dilema that is facing the Big Meg in the Total War story arc. I have changed a few things and have involved an outside party in the form of Sino-Cit to make things a little more interesting as well as throwing into the mix Project Fathom soliders, drugged water supplies and a few other choice items.

From Atlantis they will be going out to scour the ocean as members of Ocean Patrol for a while, but I am thinking of sending them off to Luna-1 shortly so you never know.

For a long time now I've fancied running a campaign where the PC's are brit-citers and members of the secret service - a thought triggered by the first TV series of Spooks and rekindled by the new series. I was thinking about having the pc's hohum around britcit a little t break them in gently then send them off on a deep cover full deniability mission somewhere more exotic and dangerous (?) such as MC1 - or since having picked up atlantis there seems full of potential and axcitment. It would mean starting the players out fairly high level to make the prestige class for the service but that is no bad thing so long as its handled well.

Also very seriously considered including an 'Aliens' thread, as in Dredd vs. Aliens, aliens. But thats just to drokk my players up.

I run an Organised Crime Gangster game set in MC-1. Interestingly the Judges suddenly become very very feared by the PCs....
hassanisabbah said:
I run an Organised Crime Gangster game set in MC-1. Interestingly the Judges suddenly become very very feared by the PCs....

How often do you have judges sniffing around your players activities? I would imagine your players would need to make sure there is no connection to be found between their different crimes, and that way they might only get old timers or green judges... but every once in a while... a senior judge might happen to be nearby...

Yeah i'd say it's really fun playing it that the judges are the object of fear.

we had a private detective theme going in a game a while back, and it was really interesting how hamstrung the pi character types were by their lack of authority and even more by the risk that they would somehow inadvertently break the law. it was still really good fun though.

i love that idea of a game set in atlantis, it's such a foreboding and freaky setting. haven't seen the book out here yet, but we're picking it up for sure when it gets out.

ps hassanisabbah, what kind of organised crime characters are they?

are they any particular type of ethnicity, are they triads, irish mafia, russian mafia, or not part of any specific tradition?

and on that subject, how do you find the game goes morally speaking?
i'm always fascinated by morality in roleplaying games, and how closely or not people stick to the moral profile you associate with them in real life.

when people play criminals i'd say it's very interesting to see that aspect of it.
Arabin / Doc

I have a 'rival' judge for each pc, and a set of additional judges. Essentially I make notes about who did what, to whom, how well they covered it up, what the likely outcomes are, who knows about it and likely evidence left behind. In essence these rival judges have to make rolls in order to succeed at any point in which the players are involved (such as searching for clues) and if applicable its a contested roll (such as if a Judge is searching their car, and they have a hidden weapon, then its a contested roll).

To give them an out, they have a npc sleezy lawyer on side to give them a chance of beating the rap (in fact the lawyer has become one the Captain Pcs back up character - Prision is pretty inevitable). Other names judges have slowly evolved based on what happens in game, including the incompentent Judge Dixon (botched his spot roll, the H-Wagon missed the bust site) and the Judge Cassandra (Telepath Psi and Wally Squad), who ended up arresting two PCs, their hench man, and their target.

Also as a spot rule we use botches/criticals on skill rolls. Botch a criminal activity as its witnessed by a judge or spy-in-sky. Roll a 1 but don't botch its reported, fail by less than your rep (so the high the rep the worse it is) the judges associate the crime with you (though havent the evidence to be sure of conviciton).

So essentially, anything they are likely to find, the judges investigate. Bodies have to be carefully disposed of, weapons concealed, crime scenes cleaned, hits planned and people paid off (after all you gotta take care of business). The important thing is to have a slow pace, and a lot of in roleplaying, leading up to crimes (infact the PCs rarely commit that much crime, in many cases others do it for them).

Informants are essential, and most often NPCs are disposed of via a corrupt officer in the Resyc or going to 'Sleep wit da Zombies' (dumped in Romero Block). Combat tends to be short, one sided are often lethal. 2 Gang Members have been killed, and one critically wounded, and all bar one been hospitalised or badly hurt. So far only one has fought a Judges. 7th Level Citizen vs 3rd Level rookie. The rookie took them down in two rounds....

So far the there have been 3 convictions, that have stuck, all of them fairly petty, largely due to the lawyer getting them off (two six months, and a year). theres a monthly 'doing time' downtime sub-game, and I introduced an idea of parole and appeal cases (not strictly cannon, but with a pc possibly facing 10 years its useful).
Incidently the Judges, and NPCS gain experience, each time they appear in a session. If they get a bust, raid or arrest based in the game, they automatically gain a level. Get as many apperances as they have levels, and they gain xp. Most of the main judges are between 6-10th level (the players are 7-9th).

They are MC-1 Mafiaosa - Which is a kind of blend of American Cosa Nostra but without the exclusivity of genders. As its a satire everyone generally has a over the top kind of accent (hey ya mudda) etc... They are losely based on the Mafia of the Sopranos, Goodfellas and Godfather. But then theres some exceptions (Britty-Boy Bigham Boydd for example is a Mod).

I never concern my self with morality. Morality is for people who need to be told how to think and feel, and often is simply a crutch people use to make themselves feel better, usually by reducing someone else. I don't really condone organised crime, but I don't condemn it. Having not being in the situation I couldn't say whether those involved, given their typical background, opertunities and life expectances, did the right thing. I certainly don't see the idea of it being any more just or moral than big business is.

The cultural ethics of Organised Crime, and 'the Life' are what are being explored. Interestingly I find such games more ethical than traditional RPGs (which essentially include legitimised burglary, robbery, genocide and murder) in the name of being 'right'. One thing thats cropped up is that its all about 'business', and whats good for the family. The Gang is run by one PC. She is answers to a boss, and has to make sure that money goes up, and answers to him (or its likely time for a long drive - after all he has blitzers, so you either get in the car, or put in the boot). In many ways the game is very moral, until morals and ethics interfere with business or the gang.

Only one player ever went gun crazy and started killing (during an armed robbery). In the end the PCs dealt with him, because he put them in jepody, by turning a robbery into a massacre. The player involved still doesn't know that it was one of the other players who ordered the hit on him. Harsh, but thats the ethic of the game, though everyone generally gets one second chance (I know quite a lot about crime and organised crime, but my players don't - so often we pause and discuss implications etc...).