This won’t be a full post; it’s more of a musing.
“It’s my money, and how I spend it is my business”
To his credit, GM!Marty has never said this in defense of his own decisions. It is, however, the first defense of any of his characters, and the funny thing is he actually believes in it. Once he’s said that, any criticism of the actions of his (N)PCs is utter folly, and the NPC in question will usually set the hounds on anyone too persistent.
See, GM!Marty is like a lot of people up here, in that, in short, money is the center of their moral code, kind of like a religion. I’m not about to start flipping money-changers’ tables over, here; I don’t mean they’re profaning any sacred anything. I just mean they tend to operate on the idea that anything they can buy, they should be allowed to have, because blah blah free market; there’s a sort of sanctity of money at the core of their ethos, stretching from beyond "do not tell me how to spend my money" to "anything I spend money on is morally unimpeachable". They brazenly buy essays, pay people to take tests for them, bribe anyone who will take the money, and that’s just what they do in school. I hesitate to guess what they do in their home lives. GM!Marty, to his credit, has not bought any grades that I know of. He’s more of a fanboy, defending the plutocrats on the above logic largely because he’s convinced he will one day own at least as much.
This leaks into his gaming in a big, bad way. His rich people are invariably eccentric to the point of insanity, and the PCs are, as often as not, hired to see to it that they get what they want; the assumption is always that if they fail, there’s always more people willing to take the proferred reward or less, so they’d better not negotiate—and if they try anything, there’s always the funds to buy assassins pointed at them. They’re neither amoral nor immoral: they’re wealthy, which means they speak…slowly and make…the rules.
This reacts very poorly with his players. We’re fairly normal products of our generation; in general, our opinion of the upper classes of any given setting varies from wordless, choked-off cursing to punching a hole through the nearest wall. I’ve learned to use that to get money to the PCs; the more ludicrously childish and insane I make my wealthy, the more they believe them and the more energy they’ll put into taking them down. The worst risk I run is them forgetting the actual theft and going directly to horrifyingly imaginative violence, but that’s what their private police are for: mooks! I use the rich like WH40k uses orks: an endless source of violence, comic relief, and swag. By and large my players seem to like it.
But then there’s my own Mary Sue archetype. I generally employ technical people in the same light Marty employs the super-wealthy; they’re generally right within their areas of expertise, they tend to float rather than freeze, and my players frequently come to depend on them for missions – even if their boss is someone else entirely. I blame my own thought process for this. It’s just easier to explain what the PCs are doing, especially in an investigation-type game, as some sort of experiment. Here’s what we know, here’s what we need to find out (and what we think it might be), here’s the minimum definitive set of data to determine that, so please go find it. (A similar thought process works synthetically.) It flows more naturally from my coroners and my mad scientists than my chiefs of police and generals, I suppose; I try to structure things so that coming out of the investigative phase they’re largely self-motivating. Still, it's a typecasting, and I keep finding myself making all of my intelligent villians take after Ozymandias.
That’s all I really have for this one. I’m curious, though, if anyone else out there has NPC types they tend to associate with being fairly hoopy froods by default, and how well the association is received by their players.