|Lupin III gang by Monkey Punch|
Years ago, Lupin III and gang saved the world from the wrath of Mamo,* a 10,000 year-old mastermind who had extended his life through alchemical cloning experiments. Now it appears that Mamo has somehow returned, bringing with him a plethora of the Lupin gang’s fallen foes and threatening to send the world crashing into chaos.
Act I: A Robbery Interrupted
The adventure begins in media res as Lupin III [red jacket or green jacket at player’s discretion], Jigen, Goemon, and Fujiko flee robbing the Louvre pursued by Inspector Zenigata and a squad of policemen. Suddenly, Mr. Flinch [Wild Card; as the Super Powers Companion character Knave of Clubs] – Mamo’s long-deceased henchman – and a handful of Fuma clan ninja** [Extras; as Ninja without attack, melee] attack, wiping out the police and challenging the heroes. The Game Master may call for a Fear check as the heroes stagger with the surprise of fighting a dead foe (Goemon is at -2 because he personally killed Flinch in a hard-fought battle); those who fail suffer fear/nausea. When the Lupin gang inevitably defeat their opponents, additional police reinforcements arrive, leading to a Chase scene. Cue opening credits and the classic Lupin III theme song.
Note: If six people are playing, the sixth player plays the other choice between green jack and red jacket Lupin. At the beginning of the act, green jacket Lupin is teamed with Jigen and Goemon while red jacket Lupin is teamed with Fujiko; both teams meet while fleeing robbing separate treasures from the Louvre (possibly the Mona Lisa and the pyxis of al-Mughira). If seven or eight people are playing, the extra three players run Zenigata’s lieutenants [as Wild Card Investigators]. They run into the other Lupins after reconvening at their headquarters.
Act II: Strange Bedfellows
Reconvening at a ruined chateau outside of Paris, Lupin’s gang has a moment to reflect on this strange reappearance (or fight over who the real Lupin is, if multiple Lupins are playing). The Game Master may allow Goemon an opportunity for an Interval, reflecting on his duel with Flinch or his long years of self-sacrifice while mastering swordsmanship. [The Game Master will not correct Goemon’s player if the player has not seen or does not remember The Mystery of Mamo.] Have all of the Lupins draw a card; the winner can also indulge in an Interval to tell a story of why their Lupin is the real Lupin III.
Proximity alarms alert the gang that Inspector Zenigata has arrived – alone and bearing a white flag. When confronted by the other heroes, Zenigata pleads with them to assist him. The INTERPOL database has been hacked by the Mamo Organization and is threatening to plunge world law enforcement into chaos. The Game Master can prompt Zenigata to tempt Lupin III with the chance to save his legacy; if the database is wiped, then all knowledge of Lupin's crimes will be lost! [Go with it, people; it's cartoon logic. Bribe the players with a Benny if need be.]
The debate is suddenly interrupted by the image of Mamo breaking through on their security camera screens, TV, and smart phones. He gloats about escaping Lupin's treachery [smile evilly if players protest that Mamo was just a giant brain that was floating dead in space at the end of the movie] and challenges the team to a scavenger hunt. If they can beat some of their resurrected foes to recover certain special items, then Mamo will unlock the INTERPOL database.
When the players agree, launch into the next act.
Act III: We Need a Montage!
Using a modified version of Sean Patrick Fannon's Freedom Squadron Plans & Operations rules (as found when you back his Patreon), cut to a montage of heist adventures as the team splits up into smaller groups in order to get all the treasures in time. [Only one Lupin III is allowed per team if multiple Lupins are playing.] Most of the scenes should involve more than one character at a time, but solo scenes can be useful. Intersperse the heists with opportunities for the players who have not done Interludes to do so, preferably relating to opponents they are about to confront.
Possible opponents and treasures/challenges might include:
- Beauty*** – a rogue cop whose fast draw and accuracy challenge Jigen’s skill with a gun – has kidnapped Zenigata’s estranged daughter Toshiko in revenge for Zenigata siding with the Lupin gang against him. [As Hunter.]
- Count Cagliostro**** – counterfeiter and would-be king of an idyllic European monarchy – has recovered the “goat bills” Lupin III cost him and now intends to flood counterfeit currency into the USA through Las Vegas casinos. [As the Spider.]
- Count Luis y Almeida***** – a Spanish fascist whose experiments in psychological torture created trouble for Fujiko – has abducted Goemon’s fiancée Murasaki Suminawa and intends to brainwash her into being the ultimate ninja assassin. [As Decay, but with radiation effects swapped for fear and hallucinations.]
- The Fuma Ninja Boss** – whose skill in swordsmanship rivals even Goemon – leads an expedition to recover the sword Excalibur in the quiet English town of Glastonbury. [As the Black Samurai.]
- Puma****** – a dangerous assassin who works hard to never be seen – hunts Queen Clarisse of Cagliostro while she visits Istanbul on an international goodwill tour. [As Huntsman.]
- Pycal******* -- a fire-using “magician” whom Lupin has already killed twice – threatens to immolate the Museum of Modern Art unless the heroes duel him at the Statue of Liberty. [As Oktober.]
[The writer reserves the right to mix things up and work up proper stats for the villains if he has time.]
Every time a villain is defeated, the heroes receive a partial clue to Mamo’s location. Once all the challenges are beaten, the clues can be deciphered and the gang proceeds to Mamo’s lair (which is not on his old private island, but might be back in Paris).
Act IV: The Secret of Mamo
The Lupin gang enters Mamo’s office, escorted in by a small army of mercenaries (many of whom they might vaguely remember as soldiers of fortune with whom they’ve crossed paths). Mamo sits at a desk behind a shield of bulletproof plexiglass. He concedes their success, laughing at their distress. [Bribe the players with a "you-can't-attack-the-villain-until-he-finishes-his-monologue" Benny.)
As weird and non-human the tiny, wizened man always was, there’s something really weird about him. When he reaches out a hand to push the button that unlocks the INTERPOL files, the hero with the highest Notice roll realizes that his arm is being moved by a thin rod – like a Muppet. Suddenly, everyone realizes that Mamo is merely a puppet, and the puppeteer sits in the chair behind him, wearing a concealing suit made of the same upholstery as the chair. The mystery villain laughs, tearing off his costume (or leaping free if one of the heroes slashes or shoots through the plexiglass), revealing himself to be Lupin III!
This false (?) Lupin claims to be the real one, long ago having gone underground to run the true, ruthless Lupin Organization as the international crime ring it was meant to be – and that the heroic Lupin(s) and gang have been thwarting his plans for years. He summons clones of the heroes and goes on the attack [as duplicates of the heroes, but with Game Master character allotments of Bennies; the villainous Lupin III possibly has Extra Action, allowing him to stay ahead of the heroes while the villainous clones perhaps have an extra die of damage in their attack powers].
*see Lupin III: The Mystery of Mamo (AKA The Secret of Mamo AKA Lupin vs. the Clone)
**see Lupin III: The Plot of the Fuma Clan
***see Red Jacket series episode 66, “Shooting Orders!!”
****see The Castle of Cagliostro
*****see Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine
******see Red Jacket series episode 32, “Lupin Dies Twice”
*******see Green Jacket series episode 2, “The Man They Called a Magician” and Lupin III: The Return of Pycal