Wellstone City Wednesday – The Balance of Power

The balance of power in Wellstone City is a delicate one. The sheer number of criminal organizations within the city is what helps keep them all in check. In effect, they’re so busy fighting each other, that they act as their own police force. Things seemed to be working pretty well on that front, until the Freelancers started swooping in for quick money.

The balance of power was thrown off because suddenly there was an influx of expendable professionals. Gang leaders, crime lords, and syndicate godfathers no longer had to worry about losing their own men, just a small investment of cash. If the Freelancer was any good, they made out like bandits, taking high-profile targets in an endless game of counting coup on the streets. If the Freelancer failed, it was almost impossible to pin their hiring on any one group, and the organization that hired them was out whatever money they put up front.

Even then, since every group has access to Freelancers, the balance remains the same. There are rules in Wellstone City, unwritten rules involving collateral damage and keeping the peace. Smart Freelancers keep those rules in mind when on the job. Those that are there to just make a splashy entrance and then get the job done and get out are the ones that threaten to upset that aspect of the balance, and doing so gives more power to the police due to public outcry.

A well run, non-aligned group of Freelancers is the single most dangerous threat to the balance of power in Wellstone City. A small group that is totally mercenary, or is at least more effective at their job than the local thugs, can off-set that balance and start to swing events one way or another, and sometimes that can have devastating effects, especially as the PCs gain power, fame, and influence. They eliminate competition, they make it easier for other groups to fill the temporary power vacuum, and they cause ripple effects through the whole city.

It is up the GM/Narrator to figure out what that means in their own Wellstone City Chronicle.