[Heist] Game Chef review by Mael

Started by Mael, April 21, 2012, 05:08:02 PM

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Chef: Theresa Strike
Title: Heist
Link https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PjNWBzSX9S6Ad9g9Fqa2SKGo1aLrjokJHURpaMX1YnU/edit
Word Count: 1150
Elevator Pitch: Synchronize your watches, because the police are on their way and time is running out.
Eligibility: Yes, provided playing somewhat fast and loose with the elements is okay. (I tended to grab snippets and isolated ideas from the threads, rather than broader concepts).

"Four crooks have been brought together and have three hours to plan and pull off a bank vault robbery. The final heist of their career. If they succeed, they're headed to retirement. If they fail, they're headed to jail."
Sounds good for a "Last Chance" game!

- Mimic: yup, but that's not really a main feature, just one skill among others
- "time counting down": yup, with the 3 hours clock system
- "Using 2D6s as the dice": yup
- "Basic genre": I'm not sure what that ingredient means ... could be appropriate if we consider that "hold-up" theme in entertainments (movies, ...) is a common and well known subject, but I'm not sure it is in RPGs

... about the three last ingredients, out of curiosity I would have liked to have The Forge's threads links.

Things I liked
Using the real time as a game feature is a good idea - especially the fact that players can "use" their time by trying to get equipment or waiting for an opportunity.

Also, the premise used is well known, so many people could easily jump into that game. The system is simple and efficient, but maybe lacks a little diversity (the crooks are already pre-defined - but that also makes the game really easy to set up).

It seems that when a player botches, it's game over for him. Considering the system, that could happen (if very unlucky) as soon as the third roll! Then that player has to wait until the game ends ... maybe an interesting feature could be that a botch reduce the remaining time, so that way each character's failure can get everyone to be caught at the end.

It may depend on the size of the map, but I have the feeling that the three hours clock is a little long - should be playtested to be sure.

You decided that the arrival of police force is the end of the game, but I can see good developments triggered by that event, like hostage taking. Though that would obviously mess up the endgame mechanism.

Another thing, I'm not sure about the GM role. Is he supposed to be the players' opponent, or just the one who interprets the NPCs ?
I'm not sure either if this game is intended to be "roleplayed" (meaning, if players are supposed to give their characters a name, a personality and play that way during the game), or if it's more like a strategic tabletop game.

I really like the idea of a game dealing with crimes, but I kind of regret that the format of the game reduces the possibilities to hold-up - we could also have kidnapping for ransom, drug manufacturing, and many other things ...
I also regret that the players can't really plan their action (except for getting stuff and waiting for customers to leave). I love when the criminals come up with clever ideas, like in Die Hard, or Usual Suspects. Maybe the plan is supposed to be narrated retroactively after any successful roll (probably a difficult exercise, but could be cool), but if so that should be specified in the game text.

The chosen format made me thought of the old-school tabletop games (like the old Heroquest). It is a strange, nostalgic feeling, as I don't really see this kind of games anymore.

Thank you for this game !