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No Mistakes, Only Deeper Plans • 2017rpgfinalist

Heather Robertson • heather.flowers

For any number of players, each of whom wants to walk away with the full contents of the Vault. Think to yourself what you'd do with all that money -- debts paid, loved ones saved, mistakes undone.

This game jumps back and forth between two scenes: the planning stage of a heist, and the heist itself.

Planning stage: Players discuss their plan for breaking into the Vault. How to distract guards, steal keys, deactivate cameras. You work together to get in, but remember that only one person can leave with the money. When you feel confident, move to the heist stage.

Heist stage: Players take turns executing the plan, rolling dice to perform anything difficult. Roll 2d6 and sum them -- anything above a 10 grants players a bonus, but anything under a 7 is a failed action. Once an action is failed, jump back to the planning phase -- failing here was all part of the plan. Explain how your failure was all part of the plan, and how you move forward now.

Once a player is in the vault, all bets are off. No more planning stage, just action in the moment. The person who walks out with the money wins.

Author Comments

Thanks to Max Kreminski for telling me about this jam!

Judge Comments

Of the many great heist games I read for this year’s competition, No Mistakes, Only Deeper Plans stood out with a really neat mechanic for dealing with player failure. The game jumps between the planning phase and the actual heist as you play. Players plan their heist together, and then begin the mission. Where it gets interesting, and what really makes it a stand-out game for me is how it handles failure. When a player character fails a roll during the heist, the scene jumps back to the planning phase where it is revealed that the failure was actually part of the group’s plan all along. The player explains how this failure was “intentional” and how it leads to the next phase of the plan just like in so many heist films. Once the characters enter the vault, the game ignores the planning phase, and players have to work against each other as only one of them will be getting out with the money. Using such a clever method for turning failures into successes is for me one of the best approaches to player failure in an RPG and something I’d love to see in more games. - Armand Kossayan


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