December 30, 2019

Ocean’s Eleven #ifthiswereaTTRPG

Today’s #ifthiswereaTTRPG is about the heist of the Bellagio Casino in Ocean’s Eleven.

There are few films of the past 20 years that are more conducive to translating to a tabletop role playing game than Oceans Eleven. The group, led by Danny Ocean, comes together with a distinct plan – rob the Bellagio casino during Fight Night of ~$160 million dollars – and each individual member has a distinct set of skills and corresponding role in the heist.

Danny Ocean, charismatic leader with a plan and an abundance of style, sophistication, and baggage

Rusty Ryan, loyal right hand man with incredible, multifaceted talents, quirks, and competency

Linus Caldwell, the young up-and-comer with incredible yet unrefined skills

Frank Catton, the target “in” guy who provides on-the-ground information

The Malloy Twins, wrecking balls. Jack-of-all-trades guys who can do whatever is asked of them

Livingston Dell, electronics expert

Basher Tarr, explosives expert

“The Amazing” Yen, athletics expert

Saul Bloom, character actor extraordinaire

Reuben Tishkoff, the funds for the whole thing

With Danny’s vision, the group comes together, forges a plan to rob the Bellagio, and sets events in motion.

Today’s #ifthiswereaTTRPG post focuses on two of some of the most crucial rolls in the film:

Livingston Dell’s hacking of the Bellagio mainframe
Yen’s back-flip onto the door-frame from within

#ifthiswereaTTRPG, and Livingston Dell were a character in a tabletop role playing game, the GM would tell the player controlling Livingston that they need to make two rolls:

One for Search, in order to find the control room and the second for Electronics, to successfully hard-wire the group tap into the Bellagio mainframe.

The GM turns to the player and tells them “it’s now or never.” The player rolls for Search: it’s the exact amount they need! The GM tells the player: “Livington struggles to find the control room at first, having smudged the ink map of the area on his palm, but he/you eventually make it to the unguarded control room.”

The Livingston player responds: “I attempt to hard-wire our tap into the mainframe.” They roll for Electronics: it’s a critical success! The GM congratulates the player and, for good measure, gives them a scare as Livingston makes his way out and a guard sees him…only to give back the badge he left inside.

ifthiswereaTTRPG, and Yen were a character in the same game, his crucial roll comes as he unpacks himself within the Bellagio vault and must back-flip from the center of the room and onto the top of the door-frame. The GM looks to the player playing Yen and asks if they’re ready.

The player nods, blows on the dice for good luck, and rolls for Athletics: a fantastic result! Both the player and GM wipe the proverbial sweat off their brow as the GM says: “Yen, even though injured, makes the critical back-flip onto the door-frame. You successfully plant the remote detonator on the inside of the door but, as you attempt to make your way back to the center of the room, get caught on the door.”

The player’s heart drops. “I struggle to try and free myself.” The GM responds: “Roll a Strength challenge roll to see if you can escape.” With the detonation timer ticking down to its explosion point, the player rolls: a critical failure…oh no! Yen squints as he braces himself for his certain death…but no explosion happens.

The GM tells the player: “It seems fate has granted you an extra chance. Try again!” This time, with a renewed chance at life, Yen again rolls for Strength: a high roll! The GM says: “Not a moment too soon, you’re able to rip through the bandage and flight yourself to the floor right before the detonation. You take a few points of damage but certainly stay alive.” A close call!

With Livingston and Yen having played their parts to near perfection, it’s up to the rest of the team to hold up their ends of the bargain. Next time you watch Ocean’s Eleven, try and pretend what’s happening is a group of friends around a table playing a TTRPG. It’s a fun lens to see movies, TV, games etc. through. Stay tuned for more on next week’s #ifthiswereaTTRPG!