I’m just putting the finishing touches to my new game, One Last Job, and I’ll be publishing it later this week. I’m excited about it. It’s a game about calling the crew together for one last job and seeing it through to completion despite the fact that you loathe each other after what happened in Utah; here are five reasons why you should GET HYPE.
ONE – YOU DON’T GET TO MAKE YOUR OWN CHARACTER, NOT EVEN A LITTLE.
Unlike every other roleplaying game that I can think of, One Last Job starts play with a blank character sheet. There’s no pre-genning; the character generation is the game, and everyone else does it for you. You don’t get to define your character’s name, or profession, or any of their equipment or skills or weaknesses. Everything is handled by other players.
The core of your character – their name and why they’re there – is determined in a sequence where the gamesmaster Gets The Crew Back Together, and each player in turn takes on one character then makes up an identity for the next one. It means you probably won’t get to play the character you’ve always dreamed of… but it’s probably good to let that idea go, to be frank. But hey, you want to saddle up your friends with an alcoholic, one-eyed, xenophobic gunfighter? You want to turn to your best friend and say “Looks like you’re playing my bitter ex-husband, chum”? This is the game for you. You get to mess with each other before you ever go near a set of dice.
Want a roleplaying challenge? Want to work outside of your normal roles, and to try something different – to lose control of your character’s backstory? Give it a shot.
TWO – YOUR FAILURES MAKE YOU STRONGER.
You push on through a Job, and when you fail – and you probably will fail – your friends take the piss and establish one of your traits through an anecdote. “What are you doing,” one says, “you shot your way out of the Black Pit, a Bolivian jail, after you broke in and rescued Jack; you telling me you can’t hit a single weedy guard who’s barely returning fire?” And he’s right, you did shoot your way out of the Black Pit, so you scrawl that down on your character sheet under Legend, grab some extra dice, and roll it again. Maybe you’ll hit this time. Every time you pull a gun, you’ll have a better chance of success, because you shot your way out of the Black Pit.
More fun than Legends are scars, which give you an automatic success, but totally screw you in a single regard. “Christ, I haven’t seen you move like that since you ended up in that wheelchair when that SWAT team chased me and you off the roof of the bank, that time back in Utah. Lucky that you broke my fall, really.” Have you explicitly said that your character has functional legs? And do you want to earn grit, points which you can use to boost rolls and heal yourself, by taking on a scar? No? Yes? Best get comfortable in your new wheels, pal.
(You can deny anything another player says, by the way, but that means you miss out on the bonuses, re-rolls, and grit. So, you know. Play along if you want the crew to get out alive.)
THREE – IT’S ZERO-PREP.
The Gamesmaster steers play through framing scenes, describing threats, and asking questions about what’s going on. They don’t have to write anything beforehand at all. In fact, anything they did write would probably make the game worse! So if you’re a lazy GM and you like winging it, One Last Job is probably your cup of tea. (So long as you don’t mind handing over some creative control to the players.)
FOUR – IT’S ADAPTABLE.
One Last Job is written with a “professional criminals” style of game in mind, but it works for all sorts of things. I’ve played in Cyberpunk, High Fantasy, Wild West and Space Opera games (in the Space Opera game I married a sentient black hole, it was pretty rad) and I’ve heard of playtest groups using it for Post-Apocalypse, Royal Assassinations, and even Battle-of-the-Band contests. So long as it’s a story about people with a shared backstory on some difficult mission, it’ll work just fine. I’ve written six sample settings in the back of the document, and – to be honest – no-one’s used them. They’re just there for inspiration, to give people an idea of what to build themselves. I’m sure whatever your group comes up with will serve you better than using my ideas as-written.
If you want to try out a setting that you’re not sure about the precise details of, One Last Job is a good way of working out the nitty-gritty in play. You can determine it as you go, and the GM can steer play and veto details.
My wife reckons it would work for Regency Ladies, and I’m inclined to agree with her.
FIVE – IT HAS ACE COVER ART.
As part of my Patreon pledges, I’ve vowed to include art in every single one of my games; I pay for it by splitting the revenue I get from my Patrons 50/50 with the artist. This time, I’m excited to work with Greg Blackman, a UK comic artist, who’s handling the badass cover. (That’s the rough draft above.) It’s fantastic being able to work with artists, and Patreon means I can pay them a half-decent rate for their work.
THAT’S FIVE, RIGHT?
Yes! If you’re excited to see One Last Job, head on over to my Patreon page and chip in a few dollars, and you’ll get a copy when it launches later this week.