Tuesday, April 19, 2011

O is for Old Ideas Made New Again

Sorry it took so long to get back to this, Superhero Necromancer. :)

While I was working on the branch library, it seems that a veritable revolution in lockpicking and thieving skill has been going on around the old-school community. Sparked off by Arkheim at Rather Gamey, the thread was taken up by Telecanter, Zak S, Roger the GS and many more from the overarching blogging community. Reading about all of these cool thieving ideas (NEVER bump a Dwarven lock!) got me thinking about the D&D Heist ideas that I had come up with a month ago. Unfortunately, none of my current gaming crowd are super interested in playing Dungeons and Dragons any time soon, so these efforts are purely speculative on my part.

There was a great post that I read on the Dungeon Mastering blog while planning for a potential D&D heist on how to prep a heist adventure without having to plan the whole thing out like a Hollywood screenwriter. I'm not sure about the "Planting Information" stage, but the first two are rock solid. Every heist movie or novel has its section explaining why any attempted caper is either tough or impossible, so why not lay that out explicitly when constructing a heist?

The Place: The Temple of Manymon
The Score: A bottle from the temple's heavily guarded wine cellar said to contain the spirit of a famed poet, plus as many relics or ornaments as you can get your hands on.
Why It's Impossible: The temple is almost always occupied by the clerics of Manymon and their animate guardians. In order to get access to the wine cellar, an ordained cleric must speak the ancient oath and drain a drop of their blood into the intricate reliquary vault. No one knows what would happen to someone who screwed the pooch at the vault.
The Cracks:
  • The feast day of Hallowlaeg is approaching and the clerics of Manymon are preparing for the ceremonies and festival contests. Plenty of performers, cooks and brewers come in and out of the temple in the days leading up to the festival.
  • No one said that the blood had to be in the cleric's body.
  • The animate guardians sense the world around them seismically, in the vibrations of footfalls and impacts. Chances are they wouldn't notice someone just floating past them.
With these four steps, you can illustrate all of the important aspects of a potential heist and have a pretty sweet little adventure sketch, all in one. I could imagine these being great on 3x5 cards, maybe separated by what city the PCs are in or the kinds of efforts that would be needed.

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