The city is full of prying eyes and informants. Anything you do might be witnessed, and there’s always evidence left behind. To reflect this, your crew acquires heat as they commit crimes. After a score or conflict with an opponent, your crew takes heat according to the nature of the operation:
- 0 heat: Smooth & quiet; low exposure.
- 2 heat: Contained; standard exposure.
- 4 heat: Loud & chaotic; high exposure.
- 6 heat: Wild; devastating exposure.
Add +1 heat for a high-profile or well-connected target. Add +1 heat if the situation happened on hostile turf. Add +1 heat if you’re at war with another faction. Add +2 heat if killing was involved (whether the crew did the killing or not—bodies draw attention).
You mark heat levels on the heat tracker on the crew sheet.
When your heat level reaches 9, you gain a wanted level and clear your heat (any excess heat “rolls over,” so if your heat was 7 and you took 4 heat, you’d reset with 2 heat marked).
The higher your wanted level, the more serious the response when law enforcement takes action against you (they’ll send a force of higher quality and scale).
Also, your wanted level contributes to the severity of the entanglements that your crew faces after a score. See Entanglements for details.
The only way to reduce your crew’s wanted level is through incarceration. When one of your crew members, friends, contacts—or a framed enemy—is convicted and incarcerated for crimes associated with your crew, your wanted level is reduced by 1 and you clear your heat.
Incarceration may result from investigation and arrest by the officers, or because someone turns themselves in and takes the fall for the crew’s crimes.
The severity of the prison sentence depends on your wanted level:
- Wanted Level 4: Life or execution.
- Wanted Level 3: A year or two.
- Wanted Level 2: Several months.
- Wanted Level 1: A month or two.
- Wanted Level 0: A few weeks. Or, the constables give you a beating to teach you a lesson (suffer level 3 harm, no resistance roll allowed—they keep going until you’re injured).
Incarceration is dehumanizing and brutal. The renown of your crew is your only real defense inside. When you serve your time, make an incarceration roll using your crew’s Tier as the dice pool.
- Critical: You make a name for yourself inside. You gain +3 rep for your crew, 1 prison claim and +1 faction status with a faction that you assisted while you served your time.
- 6: You do your time well. Your crew gains 1 prison claim and +1 faction status with a faction that you assisted while you served your time.
- 4/5: You keep your head down and do your time without incident.
- 1-3: It’s horrific. You suffer a level of trauma from the experience.
One of your allies on the inside arranges for their faction to grant you a boon. Take a claim for your crew from a different crew type. You can’t take turf with this claim.
Cell block control
Your crew has a cell block under their total control—guards and all. You never take trauma from incarceration.
You claim several prison guards on your payroll. Take +1d to your Tier roll when a member of your crew is incarcerated.
Your reputation as a tough inmate bolsters your crew’s image. When your crew advances Tier, it costs 2 fewer coins than it normally would.
Political pressures of various sorts can be applied to the magistrates and warden who oversee sentences for crimes. With this claim, you’re always able to arrange for a shorter prison stay—as if your wanted level was 1 lower. So, if your wanted level was 3 when you went in, you’d spend only several months behind bars (equivalent to level 2) instead of a full year.
You arrange smuggling channels inside. You have +2 load while incarcerated, (starting from zero as a prisoner). If you take this claim twice, you’ll have 4 load while you’re serving time. Also, you may choose to carry coin in place of load for purposes of bribes or acquiring assets while in prison. You may reset the items in your prison loadout whenever your crew has downtime.