Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thoughts toward a Lupin the Third convention game

Red jacket Lupin is obviously the best. Why else would he be on the game cover?

 
One of the things I learned from both the Savage Rifts® x Fairy Tail game and ¡Viva el Zorro! is that it really kicks a convention game into high gear when the players can easily identify with and get into character as the pre-gens. This has me seriously, seriously considering doing a Lupin the Third adventure at the next convention. 
 
Certain parts of designing such an adventure seem pretty straightforward: 
  • The players would play Lupin, Jigen, Goemon, Fujiko, and Inspector Zenigata. Why play something set in the world of Lupin the Third if you’re not going to be part of the gang? 
  • The characters would be built using the Savage Worlds Super Powers Companion using the Street Fighters power level. Goemon needs AP 50 for his zantestuken, so that’s going to cost 25 Power Points – but that still gives him plenty of points to spend on deflection. Going all the way up to Four Color heroes seems like overkill. 
  • The heroes will be at least Veterans, if not higher in Rank. 
  • I need to buy the Lupin the Third board game for the miniatures. 
  • On Robin’s recommendation, using Sean Patrick Fannon’s Plans & Operations rules for the upcoming Freedom Squadron setting will perfectly cover the globe-trotting heist structure of a typical Lupin the Third movie or TV special.
  
I found myself overbooked for most of my Chupacabracon games this year, so I know I should plan ahead for that contingency. My fix for this in the case of a Lupin game is not to force latecomers to play lame-ass secondary characters (like Joseph and Pierre from the 2014 live action film) but instead to make them play alternate Lupins. The first player to choose to play Lupin the Third gets to play either red jacket or green jacket Lupin (their choice, though obviously red jacket is better); once the rest of the gang is chosen, anybody late to sign up gets an alternate-colored Lupin (whichever is left of red or green, then blue and pink). All the Lupins would think they’re the real Lupin and the others are clones or imposters. 
 
(And the in-game justification for that is that the apparent villain of the game would be clonemesiter Mamo from THE BEST LUPIN THE THIRD MOVIE AND YOU’LL NEVER CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE. Hmm… I’ll have to prepare sealed envelopes with secret messages confirming the identity of the real Lupin to hand out at the end of the adventure.) 
 
Now, the weird thing I’m considering experimenting with is asymmetrical Benny sharing as a way to preserve the friendships and rivalries among the cast. Basically, everybody would have the equivalent of Common Bond – but it wouldn’t apply evenly across the board. This is all brainstorming nonsense right now, but I’m thinking something like:
  • Goemon and Jigen are pals, so they share Bennies evenly.
  • Jigen hates Fujiko, so any Bennies he gives her impose a -2 on the reroll.
  • Fujiko is always reluctant to help Lupin but secretly loves him, so it costs her 2 (or maybe 3) Bennies to give one to Lupin – but that gives him the reroll plus a +2 bonus (or maybe +4 if she spends 3 Bennies).
  • Lupin, on the other hand, is head over heels for Fujiko, so any Benny he gives her comes with a +2 bonus.
  • Jigen is so loyal to Lupin that any Benny he gives his boss has a +2 bonus.
  • Since super powers games use the Joker’s Wild setting rule by default, everybody gets a free Benny when a Joker is drawn – however, if there are multiple Lupins in play, only the Lupin that drew the card gets the Benny because they all hate each other.
  • And so on… (I don’t know what to do with Zenigata yet.) 
It’s all really rough right now, but I think it could be fun and add some inter-player tension while not tumbling everything into inter-player fighting. I’ll have to playtest it with friends first, of course. I wonder if it might serve as the basis for some sort of relationship or rivalry rule in the anime rom-com material?

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