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Author Topic: [Cops & Robbers] The Grand Caper Story  (Read 384 times)
Sebastian K. Hickey
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Posts: 141


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« on: September 13, 2009, 03:12:35 PM »

I was on Story Games and there was chatter about Cop & Robbers: http://www.story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=10406.  It sparked an idea, which I posted about, but I didn't get any feedback.  Maybe the idea is rubbish, or maybe I should have posted it here first.  In any case, here's the bones of it...

In a nutshell, plan and execute a grand robbery with your ignoble Robber allies. At the same time, fight for justice as the Cops on their tail! Your role reverses during play as you stitch together the story of a grand and daring caper.

So... this is a bit freestyle-ish. Pretty loose.



You'll need: 1 hour, 3+ Players and a pack of playing cards, As-7s and Jokers removed so there's only 24 cards (8s, 9s, 10s, Js, Qs, Ks).



Setup
Everyone starts as a Robber. The first player chooses a Game Setting (industrial London, an Arabian oasis, etc.). The next player chooses the Loot (the target), and the next chooses the name and ethics of the Gang. Then the story begins.  It could be structured like this, more or less:

1) Intel - Where is the loot, what sort of security is there, what are the Robber's names and backgrounds? etc.
2) Prep - Do you need dynamite, guns, a translator? Should you bribe anyone? That sort of thing.
3) Caper - The actual theft itself.
4) Getaway - Flee! Or get into cool disguises.

Whenever someone brings in a new idea or suggestion, this is called a Caper Scene. It can happen in any part of the game.

For example, Eoin, Susan and Alex are the table.  Eoin has decided to situate the game in an Alien Warship.  Susan then decides that the Loot is a new kind of Planet Destroying Ray Gun.  Bearing that in mind, Alex figures that the Robbers are the Pax-Galactica, young, big hearted activists out to cause trouble.  The game begins.  Susan suggests that the ship has landed in port on a university planet.  The student branch of the Pax-Galactica have heard about the Loot, and send some of their best to steal the prototype weapon.  Eoin thinks they'll probably need to call in some favours to get past security... That's a Caper Scene...



Caper Scenes
It could be anything from, 'There's going to be this super narcissistic security guard on the gate', to, 'We'll need a plane for the Halo jump.' As a Robber, your job is to set up and complete the robbery. Once you make any kind of suggestion toward that goal, draw a card. If it's a face card, it's a success. Put the card aside for later (for points) and describe the successful results. Yay!

If it's not a face card (8, 9, or 10), discard it.  Now you've got to describe the failure instead. Boo.

Eoin draws a 10 of diamonds.. a fail.  'Okay,' he begins, 'we're all snooping over the edge of a rusted hover truck.  We can see the huge warship.  It's massive, bigger than the hotels around it.  We're buried under the shadow.  My guy, let's call him Rod, says, "are you sure this is the place? are you sure we're supposed to meet him here?"
'Yeah,' replies Alex, 'definitely here.  He'll give us the codes and in we go...'
'Cool,' says Eoin, 'So, just as we're waiting for the guy to turn up, the rusty hover truck pulls away and we're all crouching there suspicioulsy.  A guard spins on his heel and shouts out 'you there! clear off!' END SCENE




Cops
If ever you draw a spade, you are converted from a Robber to a Cop (If it was a face card, the card gets put aside for points in a new pile, the Cop pile). It is now your job to describe how the Cops are proceeding with their investigation. As above, you draw a card; a Face cards means success and a number card indicates failure.  Any face cards drawn by the Cops are put aside in a different pile.

Turncoat
After a Cop enters play by replacing a Robber, there are going to be 2 groups: Cops and Robbers.  Each group takes turns describing their actions, Cops first / then Robbers / then Cops / then Robbers / Etc. After the Cop's first turn, if he draws a spade, he is turned back into a Robber. In this fashion it is possible for a Cop to revert to a Robber.  Note, there can be more than one Cop at a time.  In fact, it's possible for everyone to be converted to a Cop at some stage.

Game Over
When the deck of cards runs out, the robbery is complete. Compare the number of face cards from Robber Caper Scenes with the number of face cards from Cop Caper Scenes. The highest wins (in a tie, count number values) and gets to describe the resolution.

Gambling Your Cards
When you are about to draw a card, you may opt to gamble two of your stored away face cards. Instead of drawing one card, you draw two and take the best one. If there are no successes (no face cards), you lose both gambled cards. Oops.



That's it... So, any ideas? Suggestions? Should I trash it or write it? Be cruel. It'd be a promo freebie...

My concerns:

* How can I pace the game?
* How to encourage interesting characters?
* How to reward good ideas and roleplaying?
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