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Old 08-05-2017, 01:22 PM   #1
Mr_Sandman
 
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Default Fantasy Leverage

I'm thinking about the next campaign I'm going to run, and leaning towards the idea of a team of thieves, con artists, muscle, etc. running capers and heists in a fantasy world. Perhaps one of the team would have magic fairly specialized in detection and intrusion, to be the "hacker". Dungeons would be treasure vaults protected by guards, traps and magic, rather than underground lairs filled with monsters. Although, there might be an occassional abomination that guards a cult's inner sanctum, and maybe orcs frequently hire out as guards.

An obvious start would be Action, modifying the skills on the templates to fit the tech level.

Has any tried this? Any tips or suggestions? Resources that you would recommend?
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Old 08-05-2017, 01:30 PM   #2
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Default Re: Fantasy Leverage

There used to be an actual game based on this. Thieves Guild? Not really sure on the name but I would LOVE for GURPS to give it a solid treatment.
Meantime there was a Pyramid on Thieves Tools that may be of use to you.
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Old 08-05-2017, 01:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: Fantasy Leverage

I have been thinking about this for a while. An old game world of mine had a state that appeared on the surface to be a lot of little politically distinct but culturally connected micro-polities, but in actually was a secret empire. The idea is that the Agents of Secret Government would look a lot like Leverage Inc. running around using cleverness and the minimum possible resources to invisibly protect the citizens and national interests with capers.

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Old 08-05-2017, 09:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Fantasy Leverage

There is a series of novels by Patrick Weekes that are a fantasy Leverage. The Palace Job, The Prophecy Con, The Paladin Caper that are good and not expensive. Might have ideas you can use.
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Old 08-05-2017, 09:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: Fantasy Leverage

Gentlemen Bastards starting with The Lies of Locke Lamora is this sort of thing too.
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Old 08-05-2017, 10:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Fantasy Leverage

I haven't seen a game along these lines, or run one. I have run a straight 21st century campaign in this style, where the PCs were "consulting criminals." I ran into one big booby trap you might want to watch out for: One of the players really loved planning, so he played the planner, and a session would start with extensive research, brainstorming, and working out details. This went quite well: The PCs really were good, and their well planned capers came off with almost no hitches. And by the second caper the rest of the players thought this was about as exciting as the proverbial watching paint dry.

What salvaged the campaign was a different approach: The planner got to make an initial Leadership roll after they got the basic information. For each two successes, he got to say, "Ah, but my plan allowed for that!" once, for himself or another of the team. And then he could make up whatever sounded plausible. That was a lot more fun, as it gave the players both the criminals' sense of competence and the audience's sense of surprise.

It might not work for you, or you might have players who like watching their plans go off without a hitch. But it's possible it could be useful.
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Old 08-05-2017, 10:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: Fantasy Leverage

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
I have been thinking about this for a while. An old game world of mine had a state that appeared on the surface to be a lot of little politically distinct but culturally connected micro-polities, but in actually was a secret empire. The idea is that the Agents of Secret Government would look a lot like Leverage Inc. running around using cleverness and the minimum possible resources to invisibly protect the citizens and national interests.
Don't Alexei Panshin's Villiers novels sort of hint at something like that?
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Old 08-05-2017, 10:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: Fantasy Leverage

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Don't Alexei Panshin's Villiers novels sort of hint at something like that?
I've actually never read them. I probably should.
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Old 08-05-2017, 10:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: Fantasy Leverage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
There used to be an actual game based on this. Thieves Guild? Not really sure on the name but I would LOVE for GURPS to give it a solid treatment.
Meantime there was a Pyramid on Thieves Tools that may be of use to you.
Are you thinking of the Thief PC games?
For that matter, Assassin's Creed might give some inspiration.
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Old 08-05-2017, 10:18 PM   #10
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Fantasy Leverage

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I haven't seen a game along these lines, or run one. I have run a straight 21st century campaign in this style, where the PCs were "consulting criminals." I ran into one big booby trap you might want to watch out for: One of the players really loved planning, so he played the planner, and a session would start with extensive research, brainstorming, and working out details. This went quite well: The PCs really were good, and their well planned capers came off with almost no hitches. And by the second caper the rest of the players thought this was about as exciting as the proverbial watching paint dry.

What salvaged the campaign was a different approach: The planner got to make an initial Leadership roll after they got the basic information. For each two successes, he got to say, "Ah, but my plan allowed for that!" once, for himself or another of the team. And then he could make up whatever sounded plausible. That was a lot more fun, as it gave the players both the criminals' sense of competence and the audience's sense of surprise.

It might not work for you, or you might have players who like watching their plans go off without a hitch. But it's possible it could be useful.
There are actually two different Pyramid articles with systems for retroactive contingency planning, so clearly this is a thing that people are interested in. I will also note that points spent on Player Guidance or Serendipity can do this as well.
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