What is The Gobstopper Job?

It's a cross between Ocean's Eleven, Supermarket Sweep and The Crystal Maze.

The Gobstopper Job is a game in which you steal sweets from a sweetshop at gunpoint. Using all the traditional heist tropes but treating them to a jaunty cops-and-robbers overhaul players will form teams, use stealth and cunning to evade the cops, steal sweets from a shop we’re hiring for the day then take part in a madcap dash to safety.

We have actual sweets. There are far too many.

The game takes place at IgFest in Bristol this Saturday (that’s the 8th of September, date fans) and it should be pretty cool. Although I’ve been running games about zombie apocalypses for years, I’ve always wanted to run a game about a Heist. IgFest offered to give me a place to run, and even though it isn’t the computer-hacking replica-gun-wielding ski-mask-wearing everybody-get-on-the-flooring game I’d had in my mind, it’s a fun way to test out the system.

The Merchandise

This. This is how many sweets we have.

We’ll be in Castle Park from 1pm onwards with games kicking off every half hour or so for groups of four to eight people, each paying £3 a head. Come along and join us – I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Story

Okay, here’s the deal. We called you here today because you’re the best of the best. We called you here because no-one can knock over a sweetshop like you can. We need this job done and we need it done properly.

Now, we just got word of a shipment of sweets getting shipped into the Castle Park kiosk in Bristol on September 8th. Get your equipment, meet your crew, make a plan, and get as many of those sweets as possible back to me. Love Hearts, lollipops, boiled sweets, fruit salads – all there. All high-quality merchandise.

"What the fuck is that?"  "Heh heh. This is a shotgun, Sol."  "It's a fucking anti-aircraft gun, Vincent."

We also boast the next level in flag-based weaponry.

Of course, the real treasure is three giant Gobstoppers – the biggest you’ve seen – that are part of the shipment. Get hold of those, and we’ll be in your eternal debt. Miss ’em? Well, we can still use the sweets.

We’ll pay you in rare gobstoppers, as is the standard – one bag a piece, in exchange for the raid. The more you get for us, the more gobstoppers you’ll receive in return, and maybe a handful of the merchandise you lifted if you’re lucky. Of course, with a haul this big, the cops are standing guard. You’ll have to sneak past, distract them or, well, deal with them however you see fit. Try to be nice, though. We don’t want any more blood on our hands than necessary.

Heist Roles

Each player picks one of the following roles. No more than two of each in every party. All equipment is provided. Equipment may not be transferred between roles on account of the massive expertise needed to perform each role. Roles use “MAN” rather than “PERSON” because “GUN PERSON” isn’t a phrase. It sounds like someone who shoots bullets out of their mouth. Please assume that all roles can be played of people of either gender.

GUN MAN – You’re carrying a prototype, customised, top-of-the-line BANG gun. It doesn’t make any noise at all when you fire it, because instead of bullets it uses a flag that says BANG on it in big letters. Get in real close to a cop – or anyone else – before you make the kill, so they can see the flag once you pull the trigger. Once you’ve fired, that’s it – you only get one shot. So use it wisely.

CON MAN – You’re a master of disguise, trained in the fine arts of subterfuge and deceit. You are carrying a revolutionary mask that, when worn, makes you indistinguishable from a police officer. If you act out of character, though, your cover will be blown and the mask will be useless.

"All right ladies and gents, move along now, nothin' to see here."

It might surprise you to hear that this isn’t actually a policeman. This is me in a complicated policeman disguise.

DEMO MAN – You’re proficient in the manufacture and use of explosive devices. You are carrying a high-explosive BOMB which, when detonated, can stun Police Officers. All police officers will wear backpacks, so if you can sneak up on them and sneak the bomb into the bag without them noticing, so much the better. Or you can just throw it. Once the bomb’s been placed – or thrown – shout “BOOM!” to detonate it using advanced voice-activated technology. All nearby cops will go flying.

BAG MAN – You’re in charge of the bag. For reasons unclear to the crew, your employers will only accept sweets that are in this bag when it enters the safe zone at the end of the job. Using your specially-trained muscles and strong running legs, you’ll carry all the goods back to the safe zone and make sure that everyone gets paid.

Rules

It’s your job to infiltrate the sweet shop by bypassing or taking out Police Officers. Name your crew and assign roles, then make a plan of attack that sees as many of you as possible getting into the sweet shop before the alarm sounds.

If you are tagged by a Police Officer at any point, you are out of the game. Police Officers will be able to tell that you are a thief on account of your required uniform – a black hat and an eyemask. Do not remove your uniform at any point. If the Police see a big group of you running in together all guns blazing, they are liable to sound the alarm before you even reach the shop. So be sneaky!

Once you get into the sweet shop and identified as crooks, you’ll have thirty seconds to put as many sweets as possible into the BAG MAN’s sack, as only these sweets count at the final weigh-in. Once the thirty seconds is up – announced by a klaxon – you must LEAVE THE SHOP as multiple police units are inbound.

Race back to the starting area in the park where the refs will weigh your haul and hand out your payment – a bag full of gobstoppers, supplemented with a cut from the merchandise you lifted – we’ll take almost all of the sweets back, because as much as we’d like to let you actually steal the sweets it would cost us more money than we’ve got to support that, plus we have to run the event all day. Sorry.

The team with the highest weight of stolen goods at the end of the day will win our eternal respect and some sort of celebratory post on Facebook. if you catch us after a couple of drinks, we’ll probably do a little dance for you as well.