Thinking of a grand heist type of dungeon run. What can I add and not add?
By - sfwckat
So just be aware that while heists are cool, if you have overly cautious players you may find the session gets stuck in a planning spiral where they overanalyze their options and argue over plans and then one or more players gets bitter if their plan isn't chosen.
To minimise this and get the action going, tell them they need to decide on a prep time - hours, days, weeks or whatever (as the DM you will probably want to cap this to some plausible amount). Then you give them each two "flashback" tokens they can use during the heist. When they come up against an obstacle (a locked door, a trap, patrolling guards... whatever) they can choose to either overcome it directly **or** they can trade in a flashback token where they narrate how they arranged to overcome this obstacle during the preparation phase.
>**For example**: The players enter the bank and encounter a giant locked vault door with a combination lock *and* key lock. They could make a DC 25 check to pick the lock... or a player hands in a flashback token and talks about how they got dressed up and disguised themselves as a wealthy merchant in order to be escorted to the vault. They then have to make an easier Investigation check to remember the combination code (DC 15 maybe). They then explain how they used Sleight of Hand (again, easier DC) to sneak the key off the bank employee and handed it off to another player who quickly presses the key into a wax mold to make a copy (Forgery kit check) before returning it to the employee.
>Use the "fail forward" method as much as possible - did they fail the Sleight of Hand? Okay, now they need to use Deception to cover up the attempted pickpocket. Did they get the key but failed the Investigation roll (or vice versa)? Okay, at least they've got something so maybe now the DC to pick the lock is 20 or even lower. Did they do everything but failed the Forgery check? Okay, the key goes in and turns the lock but it's now stuck and can't be removed.
The tokens aren't meant to be an auto-win, they can play a token and still fail the challenges and be no better off just as if they'd played all of this out beforehand and failed.
This technique won't work for every group of players but having used it successfully it cuts through so much tedious stuff!
That's certainly an elegant way of dealing the problem! How do you think about giving the flashback tolkens per group rather per person? I think even 1 tolken per person would be a bit too much since the dungeon wont be that big.
Sure - the amount of tokens you give out is really going to depend on the size of the heist. If you think even one each is too many then look at other options. Group tokens is definitely one way to go.
I think perhaps the only catch might be that one or more in the group might miss out on getting to use a flashback. Depending on the group this may or may not be a problem (some people enjoy the improv storytelling involved in a flashback, others might not).
Do you use the Inspiration mechanic? If so, make it cost an inspiration point - that way the players have to weigh up the cost: do they want to spend it on a flashback or advantage on a roll?
Edit: one thing I forgot to point out - the reason for getting them to set a prep time is that their flashback has to be plausible within the prep timeframe - if they say they only need a day then they can’t have a flashback that involves digging miles of tunnels or training a bunch of rats to do circus tricks or whatever.
Ty for the tip and the insight!\~
Try to add binary choices to the planning.
Like tell them they can sneak in through the sewers/dungeon or get disguises and go through the front gate.
They need to rescue a safe cracker or kill a monster for its stomach acid.
They need to blackmail or seduce a guard for info.
The prep should take as much time as the heist.
Makes sense... narrowing down some options could help the group to get the prep done in a timely fashion
Consider a group of Rivals who are trying to steal the heist - they trail just behind the party and pop out like Team Rocket at inconvenient points to add drama and tension.
That is... a really good idea! I LUV IT!\~
[d100 Heist Clues](https://www.reddit.com/r/d100/comments/onxq66/d100_useful_clues_when_planning_a_heist/)
[Traps - Physical & Mechanical](https://www.reddit.com/r/DnD/comments/9s3ok2/traps_physical_mechanical/)
[Traps - Magical & Spells](https://www.reddit.com/r/DnD/comments/9s3rat/traps_magical_spells/)
A ton of stuff to work with\~\~\~! Thank you so much!\~