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All Rules in Heists

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What is Different?

Source Ultimate Intrigue pg. 118
Adventuring is about overcoming obstacles to achieve a goal. Normally, PCs react to whatever impediments are set before them—kick in a door, disarm the traps, or slay the monsters. Heists flip this familiar script: the PCs carefully research everything that might stand between them and their goal, and construct plans to disrupt the status quo, while the GM must determine how the monsters and NPCs react to the PCs’ machinations. In essence, when planning a heist, the PCs write an adventure and the GM reacts.

Parties will often split up for a heist. The GM should treat each member of the party (or subgroups of two or three) as if she were an individual adventuring group, and provide opportunities for all characters to showcase their respective skills. Working backward, consider each hero’s strengths and each player’s interests, and then present an obstacle against which that hero is most likely to excel. In a well-planned heist, every character (and by extension, player) needs an opportunity to take center stage—PCs will naturally gravitate toward activities at which they excel, and will want to build their heist schemes around those skills. Making sure the pieces of the heist interconnect—that many goals can be achieved only by characters working on different tasks in tandem—ensures that each player has a stake in what the others are doing. This sense of teamwork is the driving force behind making a heist rewarding for everyone involved.