Close
Close
Advanced Search

Here's To Crime: A Guide to Capers and Heists
Quick Preview
/gs_flipbook/flip.php?xml=/demo_xml/252431.xml&w=500&h=324
Full‑size Preview
https://watermark.dmsguild.com/pdf_previews/252431-sample.pdf

Here's To Crime: A Guide to Capers and Heists

ADD TO WISHLIST >
PDF
$1.99

"This is, to my mind, one of the best styles of supplement that someone can make for Dungeons and Dragons...great ideas in the supplement that any DM can build on in their campaign. I love rules that give a precise amount of controlled chaos, and 'Here's to Crime' seems to do that well" -Kotaku

Your guide to running "Ocean's 11" style capers and heists in 5th Edition D&D!

We all love watching Caper films, but it's hard to capture that same excitement at the gaming table. Planning sessions can devolve into tedium, and the caper itself feels like a normal dungeon crawl, without any twists or surprises. 

Capture the energy and mood of our favorite heist movies with this special rules supplement, which is strongly informed by the new classic RPG "Blades in the Dark", by John Harper and Evil Hat Productions. This guidebook hacks the “Blades in the Dark” approach for 5e, reaching a middle ground between John Harpers heavy narrative focus, and the mechanical robustness of 5e.

(Seriously, though, go buy Blades in the Dark, it’s so good)

-A Planning Phase keeps the focus on character first, planning just enough of the caper to let players influence the narrative, but still leaving room for surprises

-The Caper Phase lets PCs overcome heist challenges through combat, skill checks, and a special "Flashback" mechanic, mimicking the feel of our favorite films. 

-Then, in the Score Phase, it all comes together as the team executes their plan like clockwork, working together to get the prize and get out, before anyone is the wiser....hopefully!

Put the "Heist" into "Dragon Heist"!

 

(Note: Although concieved as an add-on for "Dragon Heist", this ruleset has a cinematic feel that is especially well suited for fast paced heist adventures in the Eberron setting!)

All of my first year products have been gathered in a 25% off bundle- click the link below! If you are in mobile, you may need to switch to desktop view.


 
 More from this Title's Contributors
 
 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (18)
Discussions (9)
Customer avatar
October 17, 2019 7:01 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I love this supplement and will be using it soon. I am, however, having some issues imagining how this will all play out. How long should a caper typically take in real-time to run? Depending on how much the players want to RP I can see this taking as few as 10 minutes to run through 3-5 skill checks. Also what about a skill check, like the example in the supplement, of opening a safe. If this is not the last thing done then I can see a failure in this one check derailing the whole heist, thus negating the group checks at the end.

All in all. I'd give ANYTHING, if the author would put a video or two up on YouTube or maybe some audio only files where he runs a few capers. It would really pull things together for me since I feel like I get the parts, but don't feel confident in manipulating them as a whole successfully.

Jim, are there any examples of folks using the rules to run capers in the wild that we can view or listen to to help make all this click?
Customer avatar
James M October 17, 2019 7:22 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hey there!

I’m going to reply to this comment in detail walking through some Heists I’ve done with my players- I want to take some time and put some thought in that, though, so it may not be until after the weekend- just wanted to drop a line so you know I’ve seen this and I’m not leaving you hanging :)
Customer avatar
October 17, 2019 7:33 pm UTC
PURCHASER
That is amazing! I cannot say how much I appreciate your willingness to help!
Customer avatar
James M October 21, 2019 7:10 pm UTC
CREATOR
I haven’t forgotten you! Got caught up in a new release and home game prep today, but I’ll be checking in here tomorrow.
Customer avatar
James M October 23, 2019 2:29 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hey there!

Sorry this took a bit longer than intended for me to get too-but I'm happy to walk you through some timing issues!

This was primarily playtested at convention games where I had a two hour slot- and I still find about two hours to be the sweet spot. The timing tends to break down as follows:

-The first 20-30 minutes of the game sets the scene, establishes characters and conflict, ect.

-The "Planning" Phase of the Heist tends to be 10-15 minutes

-The bulk of the heist, where the skill checks are done, tends to be about an hour. Now, if a group doesn't like roleplaying, this can absolutely be grazed over by just describing checks. I've sometimes done this as a "warm up" to kind of wake the group up in the beginning of a session. Just doing a few checks and narrating results is a way to make a heist go very quickly. But, in general, I tend to recommend this system for roleplay heavy groups. It's especially fun because,...See more
Customer avatar
October 29, 2019 1:18 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thank you! This was helpful!

I ran a heist 2 nights ago and...to be honest it was a total flop. I walked my party through the process and explained what the idea of the new rules was, to run a caper like in The Italian Job or Oceans 11.

Our first try ended up being a drug deal. Instead of a situation where there could be a series of locations and encounters their plan drove the thing in the opposite direction. Contriving a meeting in an empty cemetery with a single target. For the life of my I just could not think of any encounters to give them. They wanted to make a trade and it was either going to happen or no, with or without violence. Arguably, this was my fault for a lack of imagination.

The second attempt (a heist) collapsed when the party failed a stealth check and was surrounded by a large group of enemies. This whole thing was complicated by the fact that they found the location of their target in the prep but didn't do any scouting or infiltration. Thus...See more
Customer avatar
James M October 30, 2019 5:17 pm UTC
CREATOR
We're gonna get you through this! I'm cranking through a few deadlines, but mid-next week I'll be able to work through some of these points with 'ya :)
Customer avatar
November 24, 2019 5:55 pm UTC
PURCHASER
James,

Thanks for all the help you have offered up to this point. If you have any quick answers to the questions above I'd appreciate them. We are playing again tonight and I am going to start trying to figure out how I will salvage the mess I have made.
Customer avatar
James M November 25, 2019 7:31 pm UTC
CREATOR
I'll drop another line soon! Sorry for it taking a bit, I'm juggling a few deadlines in addition to normal holiday stuff :)
Customer avatar
December 01, 2019 7:33 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I understand entirely! I'm very grateful for how much support you offer for your product!
Customer avatar
George L May 04, 2019 1:53 am UTC
PURCHASER
I am really struggling, and so are my players, on understanding any difference between "work the mark" and "con job" as both effectively involve lying to the person you are robbing to get to their things easier.

Other than the stat being used on approach, they seem the same, and that makes it really confusing when trying to get my players to pick a style of job. Could anyone help me out here?
Customer avatar
James M May 04, 2019 3:36 am UTC
CREATOR
Hey George! Thank you for checking this out- I hope you and your players are enjoying it overall.

In terms of "working the mark" and "Con job", the main difference is- in a "Work the Mark" scenario, they actually aren't lying to the mark. You're exerting social pressure to get them to do what you want, but you're not actually deceiving them.

So here are some examples of working the mark:

-We will find out an embarrassing fact about her, then blackmail her into helping
-We will seduce him, and he will do what we want in exchange for pleasure
-We will show the mark all the reasons why this secondary target deserves to be robbed, and convince them to help us

But the main thing to remember is, in a con job we are lying to the mark, in a "work the mark" scenario we are convincing the mark to help us using a method other than lying. I hope this was helpful!
Customer avatar
March 01, 2019 8:30 pm UTC
PURCHASER
There are two files in the product but aside from "_11" and different file sizes there is no indication as to which one is the product I bought. If one is an update to the other why is the original included? There don't seem to be version numbers in the documents or a list of corrections.

So why the two files? What is the specific purpose of each one?
Customer avatar
James M March 02, 2019 12:26 am UTC
CREATOR
Thank you for taking the time to check this out! Sorry about the confusion- the updated version is 1.1. The only difference between the two is a clarification in the credits.

Hope you enjoy!
Customer avatar
Bryn C February 11, 2019 3:08 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hey I'm intending to run this next week with my group and had a question about resolving combat complications during Phase 2/the caper -- are they designed to be resolved as actual D&D combat encounter, or just with a single strength (or relevant attack modifier) roll?

Building on that, I know the players can approach it however they want and you need to roll with the punches, but is the expectation during the caper phase that they're all split up and dealing with elements of the caper independently? And then they come back together for the group check at the end? Thinking about balancing the combat encounters referred to above for either solo fights or full party combat.
Customer avatar
James M February 11, 2019 5:26 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hey, thanks for taking the time to check this out!

It's intended to be run as a conventional combat scenario, although a fairly short one. Rather than a huge set piece that a normal game may have, it may just be a character trying to quickly take down a guard or two. One thing that's made fights work really well in capers I've run is, let the PC overmatch whatever they're fighting. The fight is less about "Will the PC win this fight", and more about "Can they win the fight before X happens", or "Is this fight the distraction the team needed?". Running it as a single roll could be interesting for a Metal Gear style stealth takedown.

I've found my games have been really successful when I've split them up and let them deal with independent elements that highlight their individual abilities. Create situations where each character can be in a spotlight doing what they do best. And during the skill check at the end, they completely take control of the narrative,...See more
Customer avatar
Leland W October 03, 2018 8:49 am UTC
PURCHASER
I haven't run one, but this system seems like it would cut the play time down. Is this the case?
Customer avatar
James M October 03, 2018 10:29 am UTC
CREATOR
Mileage will vary of course, but when I run it, the planning phase is normally about 20 minutes, the heist itself is about an hour to an hour and a half depending on if there’s a combat challenge or not, and the “score” phase is about 5-10 minutes. It pushes for a faster paced game than a lot of other heist approaches.
Customer avatar
Leland W October 09, 2018 8:26 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Good to know. I'm planning 3 back to back heists related to stealing keys. I'm calling it The Keychain Caper.
Customer avatar
Zach P September 22, 2018 7:27 pm UTC
PURCHASER
The flashback system is blowing my mind. It’s so cool.
Customer avatar
James M September 22, 2018 7:37 pm UTC
CREATOR
Thank you! I was super proud of cracking that particular nut.
Customer avatar
Paweł N September 24, 2018 8:14 am UTC
PURCHASER
Are you sure that you cracked this particular nut, not John Harper in his award-winning game Blades in the Dark?
It's common to borrow succesfull mechanics, but please, have some dignity and give credits to the creator.
Customer avatar
James M September 24, 2018 10:59 am UTC
CREATOR
Hey there Pawel!

This is for sure not the first game that features a Flashback mechanic. However, I think if you compare this to games like "Blades" and "Leverage", you'll find the handling of it quite different here- it was tricky to figure out how to get that feeling in 5e. I've seen other house rules try "Flashbacks" in 5e to varying degrees of success, and I'm super proud of my approach to it in this piece.
That said, because it was an influence, I sent this game over to the "Blades" crew. They are happy with the level of credit given, and were cool enough to link it on their "Fan creations" section on the Blades website. Hope you enjoyed :)
Customer avatar
Jason Z September 18, 2018 4:53 am UTC
PURCHASER
Loved this. Simple and direct, a LOT of room left for fun. Inspired stuff.
Customer avatar
Paul S September 16, 2018 1:10 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Question: How easy would it be to make use of this in a Pathfinder game? Like is it really dependent on 5e rules or is it more of a guideline to planning a heist?
Customer avatar
James M September 16, 2018 1:22 pm UTC
CREATOR
You would have to do a bit of legwork. I use advantage/disadvantage, so you’d want to switch that over to positive and negative modifiers.
Also, 5e has a pretty narrow math- this supplement leans on the fact that a -3 to +3 spread has a big impact. So you’d want to redo a lot of those numbers.
On the plus side, Pathfinder has more skills, so you’d get more variety in the skill challenge portions. I would expect a bit of trial and error on adjusting my first two points though. But hey, it’s two bucks :)
Customer avatar
James M September 16, 2018 1:37 pm UTC
CREATOR
Oh, and it also uses “Inspiration”, which PF doesn’t have. Things the players do during the planning phase gives them a point of inspiration, which they can spend to trigger a flashback during the heist. So you’ll just want to introduce “Caper Points” or something like that.
It’s not really a clean conversion to Pathfinder, but you could get it workable after some poking.
Customer avatar
Paul S September 16, 2018 1:46 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Ok, thanks. Doesn't sound too bad for 2 dollars. That narrow math bit makes me wish my group wasn't set in stone on Pathfinder because of how much we've invested in the system.
Customer avatar
Benjamin E September 17, 2018 12:00 am UTC
To convert to Pathfinder, I'd think that you could do the following things:

1. Where it makes reference to advantage and disadvantage, use +/- 4. This is the system equivalent of the 5e rule.

2. Adjust skill DCs to their Pathfinder equivalent. 5e's skill DCs are always fixed, while Pathfinder's skill DCs need adjusting for unbounded bonuses (see: https://www.runagame.net/2015/08/skill-dcs-by-level-for-pathfinder.html).
Customer avatar
Santo A September 17, 2018 1:57 pm UTC
Ultimate Intrigue has a chapter about heist planning as well.
Customer avatar
Leland W October 03, 2018 8:47 am UTC
PURCHASER
Advantage and disadvantage are equal to +/-5 not 4.
Customer avatar
David T September 15, 2018 7:01 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I hope you at least referenced and gave credit to John Harper's game, "Blades in the Dark", which you have clearly adapted to 5e with these rules and suggestions.
Customer avatar
James M September 15, 2018 7:16 pm UTC
CREATOR
A quote from this supplement- "The fantastic roleplaying game "Blades in the Dark" by evil hat productions, strongly informed the approach to capers in this ruleset. In "Blades in the Dark", you play as a group of daring scoundrels seeking their fortune on the streets of an industrial fantasy city. If you enjoy capers, you owe it to yourself to buy this game!"
Customer avatar
James M September 15, 2018 7:45 pm UTC
CREATOR
You're right that I should have mentioned in the blurb as well as in the proper text, though, thank you!
Customer avatar
Jeff C September 16, 2018 3:33 am UTC
PURCHASER
Cheers!
Customer avatar
James M September 16, 2018 4:59 am UTC
CREATOR
Thanks mate!
Customer avatar
David T September 16, 2018 3:49 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Cheers.
Customer avatar
James M September 20, 2018 8:51 pm UTC
CREATOR
Also, just so there's no confusion, I did send my work to them, and they signed off on the level of credit they wanted received for their inspiration to my piece. They were cool enough to attach a link to this on their "Fan Creations" page, which is a cool thrill! (But that's not an endorsement of my piece beyond the level they endorse all hacks of their game. :) )
Narrow Results
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!











Product Information
Mithral seller
Community Content
Author(s)
Rules Edition(s)
Pages
4
Format
Original electronic
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
Original electronic format
These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Last Updated:
September 17, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on September 15, 2018.