Con man?

POSTED: Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:20 pm

How would conning work in the Luperci world? Like in White Collar? I could see cheating merchants, but would there be any other ways to con? I have a possible char, Trickster who is based off of Neal Caffrey and I would like him to be a con man, but I don't know if it would be realistic or how he would do it.
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POSTED: Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:59 pm

Generally speaking, basing characters off those seen on TV is always awkward and poses a great deal of realism problems: characters in TV shows are almost always guaranteed to eventually succeed, otherwise it wouldn’t be interesting if they never actually did – characters are often hence allowed strong talents, skills or super powers to achieve whatever it is they set out to do. Such instances make for great tv watching but when translated to RP, that’s a little more awkward.

Con men especially are hard to play, because you not only have to figure out how to realistically manage the con (which depending on the scale can get pretty complex – looking at white collar, most of what they do would not be plausible or relevant in souls). The other issue you’ll face with con men is people actually wanting their characters to be conned and it’s highly unlikely that a whole pack or larger group would fall for a con, so most of the time it will be character on character conning.

There is no currency in souls, just items for items, so if someone gets an item they want (even if it may be considered worthless) is that still considered a con? Or do you plan to go more into theft territory when it comes to conning others out of their goods, rather than simple trickery and illusions?

Another thing to look at is if the characters only point is ‘being a con man’ then that’s a pretty narrow thing to RP. I wouldn’t limit yourself by super specialising a character – more flexible characters usually find thread partners easier and have more fun, since there’s a lot more you can do with other characters!

Edit: To elaborate!
White collar often uses replication of items / creating fakes of real items. Items humans consider valuable wouldn't have value to luperci (old art, electronics, etc). And of course, to create fakes of things luperci actually consider valuable would take just as much time to make the real thing, which makes it not worth the effort.

At best they can create history or a background story to the item (say a legendary sword!) to charm others into paying a little more for a sword. But 9/10 someone looking for weapons wouldn't care about that - since weapons are used to fight, not collected by luperci!
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POSTED: Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:46 pm

As Kitty pointed out, many occupations or skills of television protagonists don’t translate well to ‘Souls, as there often isn’t a similar “role” in society for these characters. For example, I know in the past we found out that basing a character off an FBI profiler or coroner is a bit of a stretch, just because Luperci don’t have the same abilities or history to “structure” these skills. Additionally, as Kitty mentioned, many characters in television, movies, etc. are the “best” at what they do and are written for the sheer “cool” factor, which is tricky in roleplay where you need to compromise and shouldn’t have your character be the “best of the best.”

What you might want to consider instead is pinpointing what qualities about the character you find admirable, rather than their skillset or occupation, especially if that occupation isn’t feasible for Luperci. For example, maybe you want a “loveable rogue” character who doesn’t always do the moral thing but can charm their way in and out of situations, especially because they aren’t a fan of violence. That’s doable! Saying “I want a con artist” requires more of a workaround than broad personality traits. :>

That said -- honestly, “conning” is a super broad “area of expertise” (if you want to call it that). A con is just a ruse, a lie. Your character deceives someone to get them to do what they want. You can work with that.

Making fake items isn’t really feasible for the reasons Kitty mentioned. It’s possible if the character is a “snake oil salesman” type who trades “potions” and things that don’t work, but it takes a certain belief system for a Luperci to fall for this. Maybe they dye pelts and pass them off as exotic, but many “fakes” would be obvious at a glance (or a sniff). It’s doable in very specific scenarios, but you would want to think about this. Why would a Luperci find this thing valuable, and how would it be “faked?”

Maybe rather than focusing on deceiving with items, your character deceives with their words and actions. They play a role, pretend to be someone else. Maybe they claim to have done something amazing and swindle someone that way. “I’ve fought tons of bears before, I can kill this bear for you. I need payment up front, though.” Again, though, you will have to plot these sort of things out with players who don’t mind their characters being fooled!

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POSTED: Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:53 pm

I think a con-man would be do-able, although it would take a lot of cooperation from other players. However, it’s these types of characters that we need in-game to keep things interesting! The hardest part about playing any type of dishonest character or villain is finding others who will go along and not accidentally-on-purpose meta the game and have their character know what’s up. So, obviously, any threads involving a con would most likely have to be planned OOCly first, but it could still happen.

Of course, Kitty is correct in that the scale of the cons in White Collar wouldn’t really be plausible in ‘Souls. However, I do see more small-scale cons being entirely possible. Trick an unsuspecting woman (or man) into sleeping with him under the guise of being someone else. Sets up a trade for X item as a faux proxy, then just makes off with the goods. Stuff like that. This also makes me think of Coyote from Native American mythology. If you transform some of Coyote’s stunts into the real world, you might have a little more to do with Trickster.

If you’re creative enough, you should be able to pull it off. Of course, if he is a con man and only a con man, that wouldn’t be very dynamic. But I doubt that’s your only plan with him. Collaborate with players who are intrigued by the character. Think on a small scale, keep canine motives in mind and figure out what Trickster’s motivations are. We know Neal Caffrey was motivated by money and by wanting to have a big life with his girlfriend Kate, and when he loses her, he loses all reason for even trying.

There’s a lot to consider for Trickster… When people find out he is a con, they won’t want him around for fear he will con them. How does he deal with this lack of friendship? Or, maybe he cons people into being friends with him. Does he just do this because it’s an easy way to make a living and not have to do your own dirty work for food or shelter, or is he addicted to it like Neal? Is anyone safe around him or would he con his own momma? I think you could drive some fun plots with this character, but be prepared to have moments of success be fleeting and moments of disappointment and chagrin (ICly) be many. If you want to take on a challenge, I say go for it. It could lead to a pretty dynamic character, as long as you develop him, his motives, his relationships, his inner feelings, etc.

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POSTED: Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:13 pm

Nivosus Moineau wrote:Another thing to look at is if the characters only point is ‘being a con man’ then that’s a pretty narrow thing to RP. I wouldn’t limit yourself by super specialising a character – more flexible characters usually find thread partners easier and have more fun, since there’s a lot more you can do with other characters!

I think conning is now going to be Trickster's side hobby and he''ll be into thieving as well. And maybe the occasional acts of heroism.

Vesper wrote:For example, maybe you want a “loveable rogue” character who doesn’t always do the moral thing but can charm their way in and out of situations, especially because they aren’t a fan of violence. That’s doable!

Ooo, that sounds like a good idea! I did plan for Trickster to have a few fighting abillities, but I might do that. Makes it more interesting!

Vesper wrote:Making fake items isn’t really feasible for the reasons Kitty mentioned. It’s possible if the character is a “snake oil salesman” type who trades “potions” and things that don’t work, but it takes a certain belief system for a Luperci to fall for this. Maybe they dye pelts and pass them off as exotic, but many “fakes” would be obvious at a glance (or a sniff). It’s doable in very specific scenarios, but you would want to think about this. Why would a Luperci find this thing valuable, and how would it be “faked?”

I was thinking that he does pass of items like that. He could try to pass off a tiger pelt by dying it and maybe using scents? He could use a mixture of feline scents and other scents to try and make it seem like a tiger pelt? I have an idea that he will try to fake everything but medicine because of his morals.

Vesper wrote:Maybe rather than focusing on deceiving with items, your character deceives with their words and actions. They play a role, pretend to be someone else. Maybe they claim to have done something amazing and swindle someone that way. “I’ve fought tons of bears before, I can kill this bear for you. I need payment up front, though.”

That sounds interesting! I can see Trickster doing that, such as saying he can do something and then swindle them somehow.

Moon Moon Damaichu wrote:However, I do see more small-scale cons being entirely possible. Trick an unsuspecting woman (or man) into sleeping with him under the guise of being someone else. Sets up a trade for X item as a faux proxy, then just makes off with the goods. Stuff like that. This also makes me think of Coyote from Native American mythology. If you transform some of Coyote’s stunts into the real world, you might have a little more to do with Trickster.

Ooo, the Coyote angle sounds intriguing! I might try looking into it to see what other shenanigans Trickster can pull!

Moon Moon Damaichu wrote:There’s a lot to consider for Trickster… When people find out he is a con, they won’t want him around for fear he will con them. How does he deal with this lack of friendship? Or, maybe he cons people into being friends with him. Does he just do this because it’s an easy way to make a living and not have to do your own dirty work for food or shelter, or is he addicted to it like Neal? Is anyone safe around him or would he con his own momma? I think you could drive some fun plots with this character, but be prepared to have moments of success be fleeting and moments of disappointment and chagrin (ICly) be many.

Trickster does have high-morals and he probably wouldn't con his own pack members, though pranking is a possibility, lol.



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