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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:21 am
  

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Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:09 pm
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Location: Plymouth, CT
Comment: The silent thief of Rozrehxeson.
I had an idea to run a one-shot game that would essentially be a "heist" style game. The intention was to get some information to the player characters about a vault that contains things they want and then let them gather the resources and develop the plan to get in, get their stuff, and get out.

My biggest creative roadblock right now is that I have a general idea of how the information can "get out there" regarding this ultra-secret vault containing incredibly valuable artifacts and riches, but I can't figure out how to put this information in my player's hands without arousing any weird suspicions by those players. Specifically, one player is ultra-paranoid, as is his character, and I want to get them into this plot without seeming to railroad them in. I want them to trust this information and I'm not sure how best to do that.

Right now that information consists of: The verified fact that this vault even exists, details on some of the valuables it contains, its location, and a number of its security measures. Details on some of the valuables it contains does of course list items which will be of specific interest to the players - that will be their "hook".

I was trying to shy away from the "mastermind", the one person as an NPC who has this information and brings the group together because of it, but I feel like there will be too many variables if I don't go that route.

Any advice on my specific issue, or on this style of game in general, would be greatly appreciated. If you've ran or played in a game like this I'd also love to hear your experiences from that game, especially in regards to what worked well and what did not.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:41 pm
  

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If you really don't want to railroad them into the heist, my honest recommendation is that you write up the scenario and put it in a folder. Toss out plot hooks in the form of rumors whenever the opportunity presents itself. The players may never bite, but if they do you're ready to go. And, if they never do, you've got a cool scenario to start the next campaign with or for a convention game.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:42 am
  

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Hero

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 1:01 am
Posts: 1583
Location: Terra Australis...
First, watch a few heist movies. If you haven't watch the Oceans 11 movies, or Ronin (love that movie). Or wind the clock back a couple decades, another old fave is The Great Train Robbery, along with The Brain (1969). And obviously the The Italian Job (original is best, but the newer one will obviously have more modern security).

You need to make up a couple of mcguffins by the sounds of things. The main one being what they're stealing. At the end of the day, what it is isn't important. Just look at Ronin. Make it known to the characters that it's something worth a a fair bit of coin. Ok, so they're going to steal something from an 'ultra-secret' vault. So this tells me that A), the characters are (or should be) experienced thieves/intrusion experts. B) that they'll be in a circle of profession people who live in that shady fringe community who, well, steal wealthy things from wealthy individuals. This is the second mcguffin. You have one of the members of this 'fringe' community contact one or all of the players/character that they're being considered for an important heist. If they want in, they're in, if not, then they're out (and no game).

If you don't want to use the 'one mastermind' route, have one of the players (even make it random at the beginning of the first session, if there are 4 PC's, then roll a d4 with each play a 'value', so Mr Paranoid can't point the finger at anyone (well, he still will....), find a deceased partner from a previous heist, (and lets go with a cliche), in a dark alley behind a bar. Maybe the character was in the bar, and saw someone he didn't want to talk to (maybe he owe a lot of money....now he needs to do a big heist.....), so he leaves through the kitchen. Finds his dead partner (as above), and he has a manila envelope (with all the heist details, your second mcguffin). The body is still warm (but certainly dead, a bullet hole through your cerebellum will do that), and some hastely retreating footsteps lead you to the conclusion that you just interrupted something. He needs a huge score, he now has the info. Going from the notes, and the fact they he got them off a guy who was becoming the same temperature as the concrete he is laying on, realizes he needs to cut more people into the deal. So the other players. Or just go the route that everyone was in that bar, the all owe a huge amount of cash to the same guy. They all leave out the back and find the dead body. And go from there.

You need to work out where the item(s) in question are kept. How they're kept. The security systems (and how to defeat/bypass them). Stats for the security guards, police, the owner (potentially), the people who killed the guy in the alley (this could be your twist. They successfully steal the merch, but....then it's stolen from them (don't TPK the players!!). Now they either have to face the person who they owe money too, or....hunt down the other crims. And they can't call the cops....or can they?), vehicle stats, building plans. Don't' forget stats for the 'random' bystanders. You know, the maid/butler, the janitor, who ever.

Keeping this in mind, you can make sure that the characters will have the appropriate skills needed (so, it's in a safe. So someone better be a safe cracker and/or a demolitions expert), and what equipment they need/can get. Don't make it easy. Maybe have the safe have a mega security lock on it. So give it like a chance of 130% of being defeated. So obviously, that's impossible. But when they're asking for various safe cracking equipment, give each one a modifier. So say, for xyz piece of equipment, they get a bonus +10% (or you could word it that it reduces the safes rating from 130% to 120%). Don't let it become an automatic success though. Keep an eye on those modifiers.

You give the players the info on the heist, let them bounce ideas around them, even freely including info you think the players would/should know. Then let them plan out the heist. Again, point out things you think that their characters should know, they are meant to be professionals. But also keep an eye out for places to foil their plan. Don't make it too hard, but don't make it a cake walk either.

I'm afraid your paranoid player will remain paranoid, as will his characters. Nothing you can do there. And frankly, in such an environment, being paranoid is part of the territory. No one should trust everyone (again, look at Ronin).

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:24 pm
  

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Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:09 pm
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Location: Plymouth, CT
Comment: The silent thief of Rozrehxeson.
I plan to devote my weekend to some heist movies. Thanks for the help and suggestions!

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:55 pm
  

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Palladin

Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:32 am
Posts: 6675
Location: 'Murica
Comment: Avid Cyborg and Braka Braka enthusiast.
I love these style games.

First the initial team selection, based on the exact skills you need and hopefully the best at those skills you can find.

Second, why not just slaughter the guards and do it sloppy?
Good question, their must be a superior opponent our group the players cannot defeat.

Layout.
I like high rise buildings. Classic for the genre.

For most games, it's the initial sneak in to the surveillance system. This is the skill check portion.
Prowl, hacking etc.

Of course Psychic infiltrators are helpful, a new employee perhaps... when signaled manages to leave a key access point unlocked it similar.

If you allow Psionic occs a Psi Ghost would rock for these types of adventures.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:44 pm
  

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Knight

Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:20 pm
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Comment: Don't waste your time gloating over a wounded enemy. Pull the damn trigger.
I agree that it should be the players who gather the information and go ahead with it on their own. That way they aren't worried about a mastermind that will double cross them, and they can focus on the job itself.

Though you might troll them with a truly amicable sponsor that your suspicious one will never accept. Even better if he goes to embarrassing lengths to unmask the plot, finding out that the guy just wanted to be friends. :p

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Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:25 pm
  

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Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2003 3:37 pm
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some basic advice:
create the scenario around the players. make sure that the different steps give each character something to do that is inside one of their primary roles/skillsets.

make sure that you have multiple ways a group can pull off the job. plan for several different approaches when writing it, and include whatever loopholes and details are needed to support these different methods.
odds are your players will still come up with a plan you didn't think of, but the more options they have to work with, the more likely it is they'll have not only a successful plan, but one using steps from the ones you did expect, just arranged differently.

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