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Black Trenchcoat vs Pink Mohawk

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witchdoctor

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« on: <11-14-13/1906:10> »
Where does your group fall in this scale?

I'll start, my group falls smack dab in the middle. We typically have the same number of people who are willing to play by the rules of the game and not take any stupid chances as we do people who are big into greandes and explosions. For the most part we try to start out as Black Trenchcoat and things just tend to degrade into a Pink Mohawk situation.

For example, last run we needed to capture a mage who had information about a terrorist group that had framed us for a number of gas attacks. I had hacked the building security and was staying in the van as over-watch and making sure KE didn't get called. Our heavy-hitters went in with tear gas to incpacitate the mage and his buddies. So far so good until the mage used levitate to toss the tear gas out the window. Things quickly spiraled out of control when a flashbang was tossed into the mix igniting the tear gas and turning all but two guys (neither of which was the mage) into crispy critters. I turn on the sprinklers, we grab the survivors, call the FD and torture them for the info we need and toss them out at the nearest hospital.

Our group did our homework and did the prepwork but one well used leviation spell ruined it all and turned it into a pink mohawk run.

Also, feel free to share your examples of especially strong black trench-coat or pink mohawk moments.
« Last Edit: <11-14-13/1907:48> by witchdoctor »

Mirikon

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« Reply #1 on: <11-14-13/1922:07> »
Black Trenchcoat doesn't mean things never spiral out of control. It means you start with a plan that focuses on being covert and subtle as possible, and not getting the whole sector called in. Sometimes, though, explosions happen. Pink Mohawk, on the other hand, starts with explosions and automatic weapons fire, crashing a van through a security checkpoint, and in general charging through obstacles. To use a comparison from television, MacGuyver would be Black Trenchcoat, while the A-Team would be Pink Mohawk.
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witchdoctor

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« Reply #2 on: <11-14-13/1941:12> »
And I do understand that but once things go pear shaped our group starts making Pink Mohawk decisions instead of trying to salvage the situation and getting away as quietly as we can. That's what I meant by our group turning a black trenchcoat into a pink mohawk run when things don't go to plan.

ZeConster

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« Reply #3 on: <11-14-13/2018:02> »
While Mirikon's examples are typically Pink Mohawk things, there's more to Pink Mohawk than "big explosions" like witchdoctor seems to think. I took part in a discussion about Pink Mohawk in an earlier topic, and I and some others agreed that Pink Mohawk is more about preferring a cinematic style and rule of cool over "realism". It doesn't have to be about grenades and guns: it could be something as simple as needing to act sneaky at a public rally, and making a character with high Public Awareness grab a megaphone and stand on someone's shoulders to distract the crowd.

Using TV shows as comparison, Mission: Impossible (the TV series) is Black Trenchcoat, and Burn Notice is (a Black Trenchcoat surrounded by) Pink Mohawk(s).

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #4 on: <11-14-13/2058:28> »
Yeah I'm with zeconster. Pink Mohawk can exist with 0 fights and explosions. It's the attitude and style of more cinematic less realistic that makes it PM. I suspect most PM groups have plans, stealth, cons, hacking etc to get in smooth with no fight. PM plans are generally more zany and over the top though and when things go wrong it's not quick efficient kills it's palming grenades down someone's pants and strapping people to the hood of your car while driving through the already alerted check point.

Crunch

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« Reply #5 on: <11-14-13/2117:13> »
Yep. Pink Mohawk is about cinema style and a focus on narrative elements over "realism." Pink Mohawk is also much more likely to have a moral/heroic element as opposed to Black Trenchcoat which tends towards the amoral. Both schools are equally likely to have explosions.

Critter

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« Reply #6 on: <11-14-13/2119:49> »
Currently we have four players. Three are more mature gamers (in their 30s) and one is a teenager. So, it pretty much breaks down by age. We have three players that are very black trenchcoat and one player that is pink mohawk.
There's always one PC who just can't go with the flow.  They have to have something that sets them apart.  Something blatantly obvious to everyone who plays with them.

firebug

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« Reply #7 on: <11-14-13/2206:53> »
If BT is 1, and PM is 10, I do things around 7/10.  My players don't generally use big weapons and throw grenades or use hijack military vehicles, but I want the PCs to be characters with a lot of personality, style, and flair.  So while they may do normal-ish runs, the characters themselves tend to be a bit over-the-top, especially if they are Awakened.

To quote Bull...


Quote from: Bull
The point was that when done properly in a BT game, no one knows who you are.  You got in, got out, no traces.  But that also means no rep.  The only one who knows what you did was your Johnson, and sure, he's gong to be more willing to hire you, but no one else is because no one knows what you did.

To me a properly run BT game quickly becomes a Company Man game.  You get in good with one or two Johnsons, and become their go to team for stuff.  But to everyone else, you're a nobody because you got no resume.  So high pay jobs from one or two folks, and crap jobs from everyone else.

Meanwhile, in a Pink Mohawk game, it's all about your attitude and your name.  Your character in a PM game is a Brand, and you're spreading your brand far and wide.  Sure, you're living much more dangerously, you're more likely to die, and you're racking up plenty of enemies.  But ideally you're also making a lot of friends to, and for every person who won't hire you, won;t work with you, there's someone else you've impressed.  You're less likely to work for the same one or two Mr. Johnsons all the time, but you're going to have a wider pool of job offers.

It's the difference between security and freedom.
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witchdoctor

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« Reply #8 on: <11-14-13/2246:52> »
Yeah I'm with zeconster. Pink Mohawk can exist with 0 fights and explosions. It's the attitude and style of more cinematic less realistic that makes it PM. I suspect most PM groups have plans, stealth, cons, hacking etc to get in smooth with no fight. PM plans are generally more zany and over the top though and when things go wrong it's not quick efficient kills it's palming grenades down someone's pants and strapping people to the hood of your car while driving through the already alerted check point.

We did have one situation with that sort of thinking. We needed some info on security for a megacorp facility and needed to way to get it without drawing attention. Our face just so happened to have bioware that allowed him to turn, effectively, into a woman. What made it PInk Mohawk was that we went with the plan to have him pretend to be a prostitute not because it was our best option but because it was funnier. So, Pink Mohawk isn't always flashy or explodey but it does tend to be a bit more zaney and less "serious" than Black Trenchcoat.

Ariketh

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« Reply #9 on: <11-15-13/0242:08> »
Maybe it's my D&D/murderhobo beginnings, but I am inordinately fond of Pink Mohawk. I know part of it is that I suck at thinking in Black Trenchcoat/assassin/criminal terms. I don't have any big hatred for BT, I'm just not good at being subtle. That goes for games too. ;)

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Caradoc

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« Reply #10 on: <11-15-13/0324:05> »
Another example of Pink Mohawk would be the film Now You See Me, released earlier this year.

Of course, the Pink Mohawk also acts as a distraction for some of the Black Trenchcoat stuff that happens in the film.

Ghoulfodder

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« Reply #11 on: <11-15-13/1249:24> »
I like planning Black Trenchcoat, but I'm also quite fond of executing Pink Mohawk. So I'll often just unload at the first point the plan starts to slide.

Of Black Trenchcoat to get into position and then begin the all out crazy assault.

I mean what's the point of being prepared for things to go wrong, if they don't?

The Wyrm Ouroboros

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« Reply #12 on: <11-15-13/1301:24> »
Quote from: Bull
The point was that when done properly in a BT game, no one knows who you are.  You got in, got out, no traces.  But that also means no rep.  The only one who knows what you did was your Johnson, and sure, he's gong to be more willing to hire you, but no one else is because no one knows what you did.

To me a properly run BT game quickly becomes a Company Man game.  You get in good with one or two Johnsons, and become their go to team for stuff.  But to everyone else, you're a nobody because you got no resume.  So high pay jobs from one or two folks, and crap jobs from everyone else.

Meanwhile, in a Pink Mohawk game, it's all about your attitude and your name.  Your character in a PM game is a Brand, and you're spreading your brand far and wide.  Sure, you're living much more dangerously, you're more likely to die, and you're racking up plenty of enemies.  But ideally you're also making a lot of friends to, and for every person who won't hire you, won;t work with you, there's someone else you've impressed.  You're less likely to work for the same one or two Mr. Johnsons all the time, but you're going to have a wider pool of job offers.

It's the difference between security and freedom.
Believe it or not, I don't entirely disagree with Bull on this one - but I do disagree with the idea that a 'proper' Black Trenchcoat gets known ONLY by a very few people.

In SR, we have the wonderful, wonderful Public Awareness table.  So everyone knows what we're talking about, let me repeat it here:
RatingAwareness
0-3Unheard of outside the shadow community.
4-6Known to those who watch the shadows - conspiracy theorists, specialty law enforcement
7-9Known by those in the know, investigative journalists, law enforcement, some government officials
10+Household name, sim and trid stars portray the character in movies

This table, right here, is where the effects of Black Trenchcoat and Pink Mohawk are played out.

Bull's Mohawks are out to hit as high on the Awareness rack as they can without being smeared across the pavement.  The smart ones want to hit that Pink Mohawk sweet spot between 6 and 7 - when lots of 'people who matter' know their name, but not enough of them to bring doom and destruction down upon them.  Yeah, they're selling their brand, and want to make it a great brand, so that Hiring TomTom makes you the envy of everyone in your Mr. Johnson Club.  Pink Mohawk is vibrant, is cinematic, is loud and flashy and gets the job done that way. It works - for certain people - and to be honest, I've used my share of Pink Mohawk players and characters to quietly Make The Job Work - because let's face it, PMs are great distractions for BTs.

Black Trenchcoats want to get as low on that scale as possible.  They don't want to be known; being known is the death of them.  Do they get rep?  Sure they do - Johnson #1 talks quietly to his good friend Johnson #2 about someone who is reliable, and by you hit the sixth degree of separation (most people are only separated by 4-5 degrees - I can link myself to the Pope and the President in 4, for example) Johnson #1's worst rival knows that McLawson is a guy who Gets Shit Done.

However, I disagree that Pink Mohawk is the only cinematic.

Pink Mohawk is the cinematic of blockbuster action movies.  It's got the big explosions and the guy leaping off the building to catch the landing skid of the helicopter ... oh, wait.  No.  'Cause see, Black Trenchcoat has those too.  The difference between the two is whether or not there's an audience.  The Pink Mohawk will jump off the exploding roof to fight it out on the helicopter, crash the helicopter into the nearby bay, then climb out of the water onto the nearby pier where 500 people are watching.  The Black Trenchcoat will jump off the exploding roof to fight it out on the helicopter, crash the helicopter into the nearby bay, then swim underwater as long as they can in order to emerge a mile downstream on the far side of the river, witnessed only by a bum buzzed on BTLs.

I love the movie RoninRonin, to me, is just about the peak of Black Trenchcoat.  However, my favorite example of a Black Trenchcoat character is Michael Madsen's in the original Species.  Preston Lennox is hired by Xavier Fitch (Ben Kingsley's character) because Lennox is well known to people who need to know about people like him - in other words, Johnsons.  Every other person in the room essentially says, 'excuse me, who are you?' with 'the hell' being an understood adder after 'who'.  And yet Fitch is known, well known, to get the job done, quickly and well and as under the radar as humanly possible.  He's hired by people who have never hired that kind of person before, on the strength of recommendations by people who HAVE hired his kind before, because they say he's the best.

Black Trenchcoats want a reputation, a 'brand', as fiercely as any Pink Mohawk.  They simply do not want the audience.  The difference between the two really boils down to 'how many people know that I do what I do'.  BT aims for 'minimum', while PM aims for 'maximum'.  They are, in their individual ways, not wrong - it's just a matter of gaming style.
« Last Edit: <05-04-15/0626:34> by The Wyrm Ouroboros »
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Crunch

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« Reply #13 on: <11-15-13/1313:47> »
See to me the cinematics are the important part of the distinction.

Smiley's People is the epitome of Black Trenchcoat.
The Expendables is probably the purest Pink Mohawk.

If you're jumping off the roof to grab the helicopter skid then your game has Pink Mohawk elements. Most games do.

Mirikon

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« Reply #14 on: <11-15-13/1535:52> »
Agreed. Cinematics and over the top-ness is what makes something Pink Mohawk. Die Hard is Pink Mohawk. Ocean's Eleven is Black Trenchcoat. Rambo is Pink Mohawk. James Bond in Dr. No is Black Trenchcoat.
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