The second mission essential covers the heist – a mission where the PCs need to obtain a physical object protected by several layers of security. The heist often focuses on the planning stage as PC’s gather the necessary information to retrieve the object without being detected. Often when the plan is executed things go wrong – this is desired.
The target of a heist is to obtain something that is otherwise unobtainable to the characters or the contact who hired them. The object can take many forms including:
- Nuyen: The target of the heist is to steal a large sum of nuyen. The PCs might be working for someone but this is often the reward for the heist itself. This is the simplest heist to run.
- Physical: The object is located within the physical world. The PCs need to break through the security around the object to obtain it.
- Immaterial: The target is located on a metaplane or in the matrix and team might be required to a get a team member to a certain location to steal the target. These jobs are often best suited for specialized teams.
There are three important locations in a heist: where the planning is done, where the target’s location and where the hand-off is going to occur. Often there will be secondary locations the PCs need to visit to accomplish their primary goal and these take the form of smaller missions. E.g. steal the passkeys from the bank manager’s private residence to gain access to the bank’s foyer.
- Where plans are made: This is the location the characters spend most of their time planning and often contains blueprints, surveillance feeds, and floor plans. This treasure trove of information would be a primary target in tracking down the group after the heist.
- The target site: This is where all of the action happens and will often be visited prior to the actual mission to reconnaissance the site. On site the characters can expect to find several overlapping layers of security. However, if authorized personal are on site then there will be a clear path to the target. Most importantly however the PCs will need to consider how they get out – defeating the security on the way in doesn’t always mean it has been defeated on the way out.
- The hand-off: This is where the party hands off their ill-gotten gains and gets paid for their service. If the PCs have alerted the opposition then this will be the In true heist fashion if a betrayal is going to happen it is going to occur here.
The opposition the players can expect to encounter during a heist is primarily the security surrounding the target. This is determined by asking the following questions:
- 1. Who is protecting the target?
- 2. What is protecting the target?
- 3. Where is the target?
- 4. How do you get to the target?
The answers to these questions will be different depending on the corporation involved and where the object is located. For example robbing a Stuffer Shack means corporate sponsored blood mages are less likely to be present than raiding the Aztechonology corporate HQ.
Below is a list of complications that may affect the party’s success if used. The list is not comprehensive and other complications are possible.
- The planning location is a private node and each character only knows the others by their avatars and not all of them can be trusted.
- The object must be retrieved by a certain time otherwise it is worthless. The opposition knows this and if alerted to the theft will try and delay the characters from delivering the goods. If the opposition is successful the contact who hired them will not be happy.
- If the opposition cannot have the object then no one can. The last security layer before getting the target will result in destroying it if it isn’t bypassed.
- A random event threatens to expose the PCs in the middle of the heist. How they deal with it determines how long they have until being discovered.
- The object is harmful to the players (radioactive, explosive, etc) and they will need to take extra precautions until it is delivered.
The mission essentials feature of the blog is designed to provide gamemasters with a mission distilled to its core components. It’s hoped this will allow sandbox gamemasters to rapidly generate missions as the core components present themselves in game while non-sandbox gamemasters can use this as a template for preparing a game.