One, Two and Three Shots

So we are watching a lot of old movies and TV series and listening to a lot of space age lounge music as documentation for our weekend project, How to Steal a Million (yes, we got the title from an old movie).

As it usually happens with the Mana Brothers, I am taking care of the fluff, while my brother is basically checking and rejecting my abortive crunch-related ideas as “this is re-inventing the wheel, bro…”.

How to Steal a Million will be our Caper Movie Savage Setting.
And this offers us a neat opportunity.


The setting will certainly work great with one shots… but what about campaigns?

Here, Wikipedia comes to the rescue

Usually a heist film will contain a three-act plot. The first act usually consists of the preparations for the heist: gathering conspirators; learning about the layout of the location to be robbed; learning about the alarm system; revealing innovative technologies to be used; and, most importantly, setting up the plot twists in the final act.

The second act is the heist itself. With rare exception, the heist will be successful, although some number of unexpected events will occur.

The third act is the unraveling of the plot. The characters involved in the heist will be turned against one another or one of the characters will have made arrangements with some outside party, who will interfere.

Here’s a very fine structure for Three-Shots Campaigns – that might well become the trademark of How to Steal a Million.

df4dcedb44d282d33df1d700a59d228aThree episodes, three scenarios, three/four gaming sessions.
Sounds exactly like what the doctor ordered.

And as Wikipedia informs us

As an established archetype, it became common, starting in the 1950s, to excise one or two of the acts in the story, relying on the viewers’ familiarity with the archetype to fill in the missing elements.

Which brings us back to the One-Shot, and suggests what might become a Double-Barreled Scenario.

Hmmm… maybe I should register these names.

IN OTHER NEWS: we are setting up a separate page on this site, to collect references, links and stuff to keep you happy while we prepare the book. Watch this space!

Categories: How to Steal a Million, Savage Setting | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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