Criminal and Guard RP - Hostage situations

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Criminal and Guard RP - Hostage situations

Post by Robin Drake on Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:15 am

So I decided to make this post after a hostage situation that took place last night. All was well - But it did get messy in the middle with a huge cluster of emotes and just.. unrealistic actions being taken on both sides. This post is not a personal attack on anyone or any guilds in particular but more of a guide/help to those who want to avoid OOC conflict in the future when it comes to hostage situations as well as know how they should be dealt with IC!

I find a lot being a hostage-taker that if the hostage does not accept IC death then the guards are a lot more likely to try the whole run in guns blazing "Apprehend the criminal with force" tactic. This is completely unrealistic and can be blown way out of proportion. Should somebody have a hostage in their hands - regardless of the person accepting IC death - Guards or negotiators should always take it that the life of that persons character is in -their- hands and if one wrong move is made tat person could may well die. The blood could even be on your hands! I think it is important to avoid this that OOC communication between the three parties is vital. The hostage, the hostage-taker, and the negotiators. It is important that any decisions made are firstly spoken about with these three parties as you could potentially be killing someones character without even wanting to.

Tips for hostage-takers:

Do not harm the hostage unless necessary

It is important that you keep your hostage in as good a shape as possible, you need them to be ready when it comes down to it and you need to make sure they know their place. Negotiators are a lot less likely to make a deal with you if you harm the hostage to a point where they are of no use to the negotiators. It is better to keep the situation as calm and peaceful as you can unless you really have to do something drastic.

Know your demands

Your demands as a hostage-taker are quite important and need to be realistic. Taking an everyday average joe Stormwind Citizen hostage is not going to be worth nearly half as much as taking a high ranking political member or Corporal of the guards. DO not expect thousands of gold coins payment or think of ridiculous demands - Simple things like the ability to escape without harm or freedom of associates is something that is often asked.

Plan your escape

You need to know where you're escaping to, because it's more than likely that should you drop he hostage people -Are- going to chase you and you will need to escape and think fast. As soon as you lose that bargaining chip you're practically powerless - so make sure you only give over the hostage once your demands have been fully met.

EDIT: Be observant:

It's important when taking hostages that you are aware of your surroundings and you take your hostages to a prime location where the likelihood of interlopers finding you is low. You need to make sure the place where you are keeping your hostages has multiple exits should things turn sour. It's also important that you have the facilities to keep a hostage in a room with locked doors can be very useful in preventing a possible escape.

EDIT: Know your equipment

One of the most important things when keeping a hostage is having the right equipment to deal with every situation, rope to bind the ankles and the wrists of your hostage as well as a gag and a large potato sack can help disorientate your hostage and also keep them from seeing things that could later help them in an escape. Although your hostage may be tied down and unable to see never forget that they sill have their ears. Any big plans should be spoken about quietly or out of earshot as well as the names of people - These should never be spoken aloud.

Tips for Guards/Negotiators:

Prolong the situation.

The longer a hostage situation lasts, the more likely that it will end peacefully. Tactics include stalling while an official with more authority is consulted, getting deadlines pushed back, focusing the hostage-takers' attention on details such as what type of escape route they want and asking them open-ended questions rather than yes/no questions.

Ensure the safety of the hostages.

This means convincing the hostage-taker to allow medical treatment or release for sick or injured hostages, negotiating the delivery of food and water and negotiating the release of as many hostages as possible (Should there me multiple hostages). Getting some of the hostages out of the situation not only ensures their safety, but it also simplifies the situation in the event that an armed assault becomes necessary. In addition, released hostages can provide invaluable information about the locations and habits of the captors.

Keep things calm.

From the initial assault through the first hours of negotiations, hostage-takers can be extremely volatile. They're usually angry about whatever perceived injustice has led them to take hostages, and they are filled with adrenaline following the excitement of their attack. Angry, excited people with machine guns are not good for hostages. The negotiator should never argue with a hostage-taker and never say no to a demand. Instead, the negotiator should use delaying tactics or make a counter-offer. Above all, the negotiator should keep a positive, upbeat attitude, reassuring the hostage-taker that everything will eventually work out peacefully.

Foster the growth of relationships between negotiator and hostage-taker and between hostage-taker and hostages.

The negotiator must seem credible to the captor. That is, the negotiator must act like he or she understands the reasons for the hostage-taker's actions but still come across as strong -- not just eager to please. The negotiator can also encourage activities that require cooperation and interaction between the captors and the hostages. When the hostage-taker gets to know the hostages and sees them as human beings, it becomes more difficult to execute them.

Making a Deal

At the beginning of a hostage crisis, the hostage-takers' demands are often unreasonable. They might ask for huge sums of money or a freedom to escape. Of course, the negotiator can't just give them anything they ask for, even if it would mean safety for the hostages. The policies of any nations involved, the ability to actually acquire the items being demanded and the need to consult with the situation commander and high-ranking political officials all limit what a negotiator can offer to the hostage-takers.

In real life most countries have official policies regarding negotiating with terrorists or criminals. However, these policies shift with time, and they tend to be flexible depending on the situation. If the hostages are children or important political officials, even the most hard-line non-negotiating government might make an exception.  Although refusing to negotiate with terrorists is often a politically popular idea (no one wants to "give in" to hostage takers), it can be disastrous. Even if the government has no intention of granting the demands, the process of negotiating itself is vital to achieving a peaceful resolution.

Tips for Hostages:

Attempt to stop the abduction.

If you can escape the initial abduction attempt, your ordeal ends right there. However, the first few minutes of a hostage-taking situation or an abduction are the most dangerous, and they become more dangerous if you resist. While in many cases, the potential for immediate escape outweighs the danger of resistance, there are times (if there are multiple armed attackers, for example) where escape is not realistic and therefore not worth the risk. Think rationally and be cooperative in this sort of situation. The first few minutes are often the best time to resist since there are probably people around you depending on where you are. If this is the case and there are others around you, this is the best time to fight back in a way that will gain others' attention and perhaps provide you with their help.

Be observant.

Right from the start, you should try to observe and remember as much as possible in order to help you plan an escape, predict your abductor's next moves, or give information to the police to aid in a rescue or to help apprehend and convict the kidnapper. You may not be able to use your eyes--you may be blindfolded, but you can still gather information with your senses of hearing, touch, and smell.

Observe your captor(s):
How many are there?
Are they armed? If so, with what?
Are they in good physical condition?
What do they look and/or sound like?
How old are they?
Do they seem well-prepared?
What are their emotional states?

Observe your surroundings:
Where are you being taken?
Where are you being held?
Take in as much detail as possible about your surroundings. Where are the exits? Are there locks on the doors, or other security precautions? Are there any obstacles, such as a large table? Try to figure out where you are, and gather information that may be helpful if you decide to escape.

Observe yourself:
Are you injured or wounded?
How are you bound or otherwise incapacitated? How much freedom of movement do you have?

Try to work out why you have been abducted.

There are a variety of motivations for abduction, from sexual assault to ransom demands to political leverage. How you interact with your captors, and whether you risk an escape, should depend at least partly on your captors' motivation. If they are holding you for ransom or to negotiate the release of prisoners, you are most likely worth far more to them alive than dead.

Keep your dignity.

It is generally psychologically harder for a person to kill, rape, or otherwise harm a captive if the captive remains "human" in the captor's eyes. Do not grovel, beg, or become hysterical. Try even not to cry. Do not challenge your abductor, but show him/her that you are worthy of respect. Put your captor at ease. Be calm. Cooperate (within reason) with your captor. Don't make threats or become violent, and don't attempt to escape unless the time is right. Attempt to establish a bond with your abductor. If you can build some sort of bond with your captor, he/she will generally be more hesitant to harm you. Avoid insulting your abductor or talking about potentially sensitive subjects. You may think your abductor is a pathetic, disgusting individual. While captives in movies sometimes get away with saying such things, you should keep these thoughts to yourself.

That about wraps it up, I hope people can read this post and therefore in the future any hostage situations that take place end more peacefully or are taken more realistically and seriously. I do know that DB players -Love- to be the hero but sometimes that just isn't possible and the situation can be resolved by conducting deals with us criminals. We don't bite. Promise.

This is what we want:


Last edited by Mantis Reid on Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Criminal and Guard RP - Hostage situations

Post by Rae Wulfgnar on Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:25 am

What about "hostage locations". It wouldn't be a smart idea to keep your hostage within the city so that the guards can't swarm you. =) I think the "be observant" section needs to apply to hostage takers too. You sure have a lot of tips for guards and hostages but not enough for the hostage takers, needs to be expanded on.

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Re: Criminal and Guard RP - Hostage situations

Post by Vaell on Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:32 am

Criminals who take others hostage should expect to be killed. If you want to compare it to irl, negotiators often try to get the criminal to a window so that they may have a clean shot.

EDIt: not saying everytime, but don't go into a hostage scenario thinking you're doing something as naughty as stealing an apple. It's a big deal!
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Re: Criminal and Guard RP - Hostage situations

Post by Robin Drake on Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:52 am

Took your advice into account Rae and added a little few things.
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Re: Criminal and Guard RP - Hostage situations

Post by Beladon on Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:08 am

A nice post, I quite like it, it's a good thing to read through before taking this sort of rp on. If done correctly it can be fun for all. Though hostage takers do need to consider that being caught is a possibility and should be prepared for that occurrence
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Re: Criminal and Guard RP - Hostage situations

Post by Rae Wulfgnar on Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:11 am

Perfect! Perhaps add a few risk factors and motives for it? Say like, if you were going for kidnapping Falrock, you aren't going to be able to tackle him down yourself since he has armour, body guards and a larger chance of having all of Stormwind come looking for him. I've always loved the kidnapping rp in the past, always brought out some really interesting rp.

When my character was kidnapped, it was with the intention of breaking his faith. So location was very important, no light, dark room..far far away from Stormwind.

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Re: Criminal and Guard RP - Hostage situations

Post by Zaraj on Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:45 am

Problem with this kind of event is that people really don't care about the risks involved due to the knowledge that it's very unlikely a hostage will flat out die due to player attachment to their characters.

The one time I had a go at this, what happened was that the guard guild given the duty of rescuing said hostages didn't really care about the tension of the situation, and just bumrushed the "terrorists" if you will in question. You could perhaps call it metagaming, the fact that the guards knew that it'd be preferable if the hostages weren't necessarily in any danger. This sort of "subconscious" awareness of the OOC situation behind the event can actually be exploited for "victory." This happens quite often.

The only time an event of this kind would work would be that every character involved either dies or suffers a consequence. The former is rarely enforced on the guards, whereas it would normally apply to both hostage and hostage taker. So what ends up being the most important is that the "rescuers" or guards would have to bear some responsibility for what happens as well. This is hard to do as well because:

1: If the hostages are characters who have been prepared for the possibility of death i.e alts of some kind, chances are the hostages aren't "important characters" to begin with. They're often not actual active characters, just alts for this one time event, so why would their death really matter? It's cooler to just surprise the hostage takers and rush them regardless of consequence, right?

2: If the hostages were actual characters that were established roleplay characters that quite a few characters have made connections to, the player who plays said character wouldn't be likely to kill it off. Moreover, the hostage taker might feel bad for killing the character.

Due to the likelihood that it's just "event alts", there is a final point to be made.

3: The rescuers feel no responsibility towards the hostages. As said, hostage takers are probably outnumbered and outgunned, so the chances of the rescuers suffering losses aren't too likely. If the hostages are just scrap alts, then there's probably not going to be any long term effect for either failing or succeeding.

So ultimately, you're left with 2 choices:

All parties involved are played by established characters, and all of them are willing to die in this one event. (Not very likely)

Or

Terrorists (Or hostage takers or w/e) and Hostages are played by scrap alts, and the rescuers have something actual at stake, whether it's reputation or some knowledge possessed by one of the hostages. If all of the other parties are disposable, then bum-rushing it sort of negates the purpose of the event, so there is an OOC incentive to actually play along.
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Re: Criminal and Guard RP - Hostage situations

Post by Robin Drake on Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:29 am

^ All of this and more. Couldn't put it better myself.
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Re: Criminal and Guard RP - Hostage situations

Post by Skarain on Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:00 pm

A great read and very much true. I'd almost go and request this to be moved to the Guides section so it's not being lost in thousands of threads that are yet to come.

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Re: Criminal and Guard RP - Hostage situations

Post by Beladon on Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:05 pm

Yeah, I would agree it needs to be placed somewhere it wont be lost among other threads
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Re: Criminal and Guard RP - Hostage situations

Post by Robin Drake on Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:25 pm

Well I'm not too sure how to go about getting it moved! But still thanks for the positive feedback! If you feel it needs to be in the guides section then so be it! I will find a waaay!
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Re: Criminal and Guard RP - Hostage situations

Post by Feral / Blackfall on Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:46 pm

Yeah random hostages taken in fights = the guards generally will not take it seriously. Not all, and there's exceptions, but it's hard when you have the "right side" behind you, the pressure not to let the bad guys get away, and there's no real consequences for doing anything other than opening fire. I've seen it happen too many times.

Honestly, the advice I'd give any villain? Never try a hostage situation. It's just not gonna work.

(Also as a sidenote, I'm not going to go into details here and do not want to start a flame war, but imo sexual assault and rape should never, ever, ever even enter into RP.)

Edit--I also meant to say, it is a GOOD GUIDE for if you do need to get into this situation; thanks for writing it up for the community Smile
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Re: Criminal and Guard RP - Hostage situations

Post by Allonia_Miral on Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:36 pm

Also even without death or rape, there is plenty of other things you can threaten and break a hostage with :3
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Re: Criminal and Guard RP - Hostage situations

Post by Bradley on Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:38 pm

Feral / Blackfall wrote:(Also as a sidenote, I'm not going to go into details here and do not want to start a flame war, but imo sexual assault and rape should never, ever, ever even enter into RP.)

Not the right thread, there is other threads. You and co' don't have mention this everywhere you go

It's a good thread though, and personally I disagree with Feral here, last time I was in on a hostage situation It turned out neatly, with lead regiment guards co-operating and ensuring that everything was fair and square. This wasn't planned mind you. Hostage situations are fun, as long as everyone agrees that RP comes before either side 'winning'
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Re: Criminal and Guard RP - Hostage situations

Post by Vardrek/Burgen on Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:51 pm

Feral / Blackfall wrote:

(Also as a sidenote, I'm not going to go into details here and do not want to start a flame war, but imo sexual assault and rape should never, ever, ever even enter into RP.)

I actually agree with Feral for a change. O.o
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Re: Criminal and Guard RP - Hostage situations

Post by Feral / Blackfall on Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:42 pm

Ha xD

Bradley I'm not sure who "and co" is--I'd only mentioned it because it's brought up in the OP, I don't mean to start a war about it here no. I've never mentioned it on the forums regardless!

I am glad you have had a good hostage result though; leaves hope for the future! I was basing mine off of some bad previous experience, and wisdom passed down afterward from old server villains about never entering hostage situations when one can help it. I DO get on well with the Regiment and like the members, well all the guards, so I hope nobody thinks I'm trying to point fingers!
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Re: Criminal and Guard RP - Hostage situations

Post by Amaryl on Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:42 pm

Here we go again.

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Re: Criminal and Guard RP - Hostage situations

Post by Officer High Morale on Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:08 pm

Feral / Blackfall wrote:(Also as a sidenote, I'm not going to go into details here and do not want to start a flame war, but imo sexual assault and rape should never, ever, ever even enter into RP.)

I just came to say I approve of this.

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Re: Criminal and Guard RP - Hostage situations

Post by Myriah on Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:01 am

Hostage situations are pretty fun to rp. Just having a good OOC agreement about it beforehand on what the boundaries are to the rp is a wise thing to do. Not everyone feels as comfortable with things as you do yourself.
Multiple chars of mine have been taken hostage (or had been hostagetakers) and so far none died during those moments and I mostly had a good time rping it.

I think any sort of rp is possible with the sidenote that it's all agreed upon between parties, and that the more delicate kind of rp isn't done in the mainchat, but through private chat only. There could always be people within range and read along that aren't really waiting for the stuff you want to rp. Whatever it is.

To me, the possibility of a char dying makes the rp more realistic and better. One of my chars died (non hostage situation btw) and I was pretty sad about it. But it was good rp and there was good ooc communication about it. The quality of the rp is my first priority on moments like that. Killing off chars would never be the ooc intent of a hostage situation, or any situation really. It is stupid to kill rp, because you should want to create rp, for yourself as well as for others. But without the threat of your char possibly getting killed it could take away some of the excitement.
This said I do have one sidenote in regard to much used characters, i.m.o. a person should only be accepting character death if all involved do. Equal rules and it would make everybody involved think twice about their actions.

TY for this guide Mantis! It's a good one and I see many positive feedback.  


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Re: Criminal and Guard RP - Hostage situations

Post by Thondalar Stormleaf on Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:48 am

Hostage situations can be done great! But sadly one get white knights who will attack just because they don't accept char death themselves, so they don't fear the hostage takers in any way. I've seen someone shieldbash a criminal when he has a dagger at the hostage's throat, which would have ended fatally had the hostage accepted char death. Because the white-knight wanted to 'save' the hostage.
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Re: Criminal and Guard RP - Hostage situations

Post by Kayle Ravelle on Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:46 am

Feral / Blackfall wrote:but imo sexual assault and rape should never, ever, ever even enter into RP

*Looks up from newspaper*

"Mmhm."

*Returns to reading Garfield comic. That cat -loves- lasagna.*
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