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Old 10-08-2018, 07:55 AM   #1
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Hiding the Bodies

So, in your modern games, how difficult do you make it for characters to hide the bodies of the people that they unlawfully kill? I generally keep around a stock forensic anthropologist (Anthropology-14, Criminology/TL8-14, and Forensics/TL8-14) when characters are going against state law enforcement (+2 to the skills when they are going up against federal law enforcement, -2 to the skills when they are going up against local law enforcement). Of course, my players never encounter the forensic anthropologist, they just encounter the law enforcement officers.
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:22 AM   #2
ericthered
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Default Re: Hiding the Bodies

That depends on:


1) The genre: in some games we basically handwave it, or have abilities that make it less of a concern, while in others its a huge deal.
2) The area where the person was killed and their identity matters. Law enforcement agencies have varying budgets, and certain types of killings tend to stick in their craw and get worked on for years and years, while others get waved off and either explained simply or declared unsolvable and not worth their time.
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:37 AM   #3
Maz
 
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Default Re: Hiding the Bodies

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
[...]how difficult do you make it for characters to hide the bodies of the people that they unlawfully kill?
I, I just love how matter of factly this is. Like "you know this thing that always happens. Yea what do you do about that" xD


Anyway. I wouldn't let them get away with it easy.

Last edited by Maz; 10-08-2018 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:40 AM   #4
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Default Re: Hiding the Bodies

Is there some place where animals can get at it quickly?
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Hiding the Bodies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maz View Post
I, I just love how matter of factly this is. Like "you know this thing that always happens. Yea what do u
You do about that" xD


Anyway. I wouldn't let them get away with it easy.
Well, a guy's got to make a living you know.
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: Hiding the Bodies

It also depends on genre. In many urban fantasy or detective stories, the area where the story is set has a murder rate similar to parts of Mexico while otherwise looking like a rich country today. In Vampire: the Masquerade the vampires use their agents in the police departments and court system to brush things under the rug in the background, other settings may have other agents hiding things. It should be harder to hide manslaughter in a world like ours than the world of Murder: She Wrote or the world of Monster Hunters Incorporated.

If committing arbitrary violence is a core activity of the game, like in D&D, the players should not have to worry too much about the police, Kromm's last campaign was probably a middle ground (the agents procured weapons locally and wiped and dumped them after firefights, had a specialist in cleaning up after their operations and treated their own wounds but did not have too much to worry about as long as highly skilled characters kept taking all those precautions and did not critically fail the wrong roll).
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:15 AM   #7
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Default Re: Hiding the Bodies

Also, hiding the bodies is a harder problem than ensuring that the police don't finger the characters as people of interest. If three or four gangsters "known to police" turn up dead from gunshot wounds in a remote parking lot in Vancouver or abandoned cottage outside Brussels, it is likely to get less attention from police than if a professor of comparative symbology disappears on the night before a famous lecture.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:02 AM   #8
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Default Re: Hiding the Bodies

Also, what are your PCs mental disadvantages? Because casually putting people through a wood chipper or something is going to take some pretty serious ones.
It's not unknown for some otherwise serious criminals to be taken down because they were too squeamish (or, indeed human) to do a "professional" job of losing the body.

But yeah, genre and stringency play a massive part - not to mention the social status of the dead - in some times and places, there may not be that much interest in the occasional stray corpse. Similar considerations apply to any gunfire that generated the corpses in the first place.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:20 AM   #9
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Hiding the Bodies

As a criminal justice scholar with some familiarity with forensics, one of the problems with a lot of forensics evidence is that it is poor quality (the criminals must leave evidence behind, the technicians have to collect it properly, the technicians have to process it properly, etc). There are around a half dozen steps where smart defense attorneys/criminal suspects can cast reasonable doubt on the whole process, even if there is decent evidence, which is one of the reasons why prosecutors offer plea deals. It is better to offer a plea deal when you have nothing than to try to support nothing during a criminal trial.
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Old 10-08-2018, 12:00 PM   #10
Andreas
 
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Default Re: Hiding the Bodies

It of course depends greatly on the circumstance. More so than on the skill levels of the people on both sides.

For example, even an untrained person could, if possessing some common sense, reliably dispose of a body given an abundance of time and privacy. On the other hand, even an extremely skilled person might stand next to no chance if for example, the body is in a frequently used public bathroom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
Also, what are your PCs mental disadvantages? Because casually putting people through a wood chipper or something is going to take some pretty serious ones.
It's not unknown for some otherwise serious criminals to be taken down because they were too squeamish (or, indeed human) to do a "professional" job of losing the body.
While something like Callous might help, you don't really need disadvantages for that. To do it reliably, Unfazable, high will or enough prior experience should be enough. Even just having enough time to get used to the idea could help a lot.

As far as such things go, I'm not even sure that putting a corpse through a wood chipper would be that bad. You could after all do so without looking directly at the corpse. Something like butchering the corpse with a knife seems like it would be worse.

Last edited by Andreas; 10-08-2018 at 12:07 PM.
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