Professionals Gameplay Example

I wrote the following in preparation for converting my Earth-592 game from the Leverage RPG to the Professionals. The Professionals is a game I’m designing and wanting to playtest. While I haven’t made the rules public I figured I could share this little example so others can see, generally, how the game works.

Rob and Mike sit down to play a game, Rob takes on the Game Master (GM) role while Mike is a Player. Mike’s Character, Mahmoud Atef, is detailed below for reference.

Rob opens by telling Mike that it’s a dark and stormy night, the perfect setting for a little skullduggery. Mahmoud has found himself outside of a mansion of a well-to-do noble and plans to take the greedy aristocrat for all he’s worth. Mike tells Rob that ideally, Mahmoud would like to pick the lock to slip into the house, but Rob tells him that this particular Lord has been robbed several times in the past and has invested in some pretty hefty security. Mike laughs and admits that this isn’t his first time robbing this house.

Rob tells Mike that it will be a TN 2, 6, 9, and 13 to pick the locks on the main entrance. Mike says that Mahmoud doesn’t care for those odds and decides to check the back and side door. What do you know, security here is a little lighter. Rob informs Mike that I will only be a TN 4 and 7 to pick the lock and slip into the mansion through the servant’s door.

Since Mahmoud is pretty good at this Mike feels confidant in his odds. He starts gathering his dice pool; Steal Skill (d10), Unlock Specialty (d6), Audacious Aspect (d10), and Lockpick Tools (d6 & d8). Everything he’s using is pretty obvious to Rob, except for Audacious. Mike explains that it’s this kind of bravado, breaking into a secure mansion… that he’s already broken into before… all alone, that Mahmoud thrives at. Rob agrees and Mike is allowed to keep the Audacious Aspect. Mike’s pool is 2d10, 1d8 & 2d6. He rolls and gets:

2, 8, 6, 4, 4

Mike uses the 4 to get a Success on the TN 4 and the 8 to get a Partial Success on the TN 7. He has three dice left unused so he converts two of them to 1 Bit (bringing him to 2 Bits.) Rob then tells him the Consequence he has to deal with because of the Partial Success. Mahmoud leaves traces of a break in behind and that he now has a +1 Die Limit to Escape Rolls for the duration of the Heist. Mike declines spending a Bit to avoid the Complication, valuing the Success more than the Consequence.

Emerging from the cold rain, Mahmoud finds himself in the hallway leading to the kitchen. He can see shadows dancing in the servant’s hall ahead and decides to use his Talent, Shroud of Night, to darken the hallway. Rob agrees that this will be more than enough for Mahmoud slip past the servant’s hall unseen, and that there is no need for a roll. Mike notes that he spend a Bit (bringing him to 1 Bit) Mahmoud quickly makes his way upstairs.

Soon Mahmoud is in a guest room and decides to take it for all it’s worth. This time Mike asks if he can make a Scrounge roll to toss the room and find something really worth his time. Rob agrees and assigns a TN 14. Mike gathers up his pool; Steal Skill (d10), Scrounge Specialty (d4), and his Best Thief in the World Aspect (d6). This time the Rob understands why Mike is using every Trait he gathered. Mike spends one Bit (bringing him to zero Bits) to break down his Best Thief in the World Aspect into 2d4 resulting in a pool of 1d10 and 3d4. He rolls his dice and gets:

10, 3, 2, 1

He uses the 10, adds the 3, and adds the 1 to get to a perfect 14. He has one die remaining so he doesn’t get any Bits. Rob tells him he finds a d10 Coin and a d4 Trophy, not a bad little haul for the first room. Pocketing his find he moves on to the next room and asks to Scrounge again. Not wanting the game to turn into a room-by-room Scrounge-Crawl, the Rob instead asks for a Covert roll… There is someone sleeping in this room!

Mahmoud smiles. While he’s a great thief, he’s even better at stealth. He asks Rob what his TN is and Rob consults the NPC’s sheet for reference. The guest has a Notice of 5 and a Light Sleeper Aspect at 2.

Rob could either make a single TN of 7 or use both as two TNs. He opts to use both and informs Mike that his TN is 2 and 5. Miek gathers his dice; Covert Skill (d12), Sneak Specialty (d6), and Audacious (d6). His pool ends up being 1d12 and 2d6. He rolls and gets:

1, 6, 3

Mike subtracts 1 from 6 to get the 5 he needs for a Success TN 5 and then uses the 3 for the TN 2 getting only a Partial Success. Mike uses all his dice, leaving no extras for Bits. Rob tells Mike that he’s undetected, but the man stirs in his sleep, forcing Mahmoud into the hallway.Undeterred Mahmoud begins to make his way to the next room, only to heavy hear footsteps coming his way.

Mike asks if he can make a Notice roll to tell who’s coming but Rob tells him that the footfalls are easily identifiable to a thief like Mahmoud. Those are guard’s boots. Fighting a Guard is the last thing Mahmoud wants to do, so Mike asks about hiding somewhere. Rob tells him the hall doesn’t have any crevasses large enough to squeeze into. Mike wants to use his Shroud of Night Talent again but doesn’t have an Bits left for it. Mahmoud curses and decides to simply run for it. Rob nods and looks at the Guard’s sheet for reference.

The Guard has a few traits to use for this, his Notice (5), Ever Vigilant (2), Fresh Faced (3), and Lantern (2) could all help spot Mahmoud before he gets away. Mike asks what “Fresh Faced” means and Rob explains that this guard is new on the job and extra dilligant in his rounds. Mike sighs and mutters something about his luck. Rob decides to use two TN 5s and one TN 2. A decent challenge for Mahmoud.

Mike gathers his dice, Escape (d6), Run (d6), Audacious (d6), and Always Has a Way Out (d8). Rob asks for Mike to explain how Audacious is helping him and Mike thinks about it for a second before admitting it would likely work against him. Rob agrees and instead of adding it to his pool, Mike gains a Bit and adds a TN 3 to the challenge. Mike then decides to spend the Bit to add his Covert (d12) and Sneak (d6) to the pool for a total of 1d12, 1d8, and 3d6. He rolls:

6, 6, 6, 4, 1

Rob then reminds Mike that he has a Die Limit for Escape Rolls! Mike chooses to discard one of the 6s. He uses the other two 6s for the two TN 5s, getting two Partial Successes. He then uses the 4 against the TN 3 for a third Partial Success and the 1 against the TN 2 for a fourth Partial Success. There are no remaining dice for Mahmoud to get Bits from and with his pool exhausted it looks like Mahmoud is stuck with four Consequences. Rob tells Mike about his mad dash down the hall and a dive from the window into the the bushes outside. For the first two Consequences, Mahmoud gets cut up from the window and bruised from the fall, a +2 Die Limit on any Physical Rolls until he can get medical attention. In his dash some of the Coins he found slip from his pocket, lowering his Coin from a d10 to a d8. Then for the final Consequence the Guard managed to see Mahmoud’s face, so the city watch is going to start looking for him. This means Mike’s +1 Die Limit on Escape rolls is extended past the heist and remains in effect until heat from the City Watch dies down. Mike thinks that’s fair and doesn’t protest further. He’s away from the Mansion, a little battered up, but with some more Coin and a little Trophy for his time.


Appendix: Character Stats

Mahmoud Atef

Profession: 1d4
Bits: 1

Skills

  • Covert: d12\6
    • Hide: d8\4
  • Sneak: d6\3
    • Stash: d4\2
  • Steal: d10\5
    • Unlock: d6\3
    • Swipe: d6\3
    • Scrounge: d4\2
  • Notice: d8\4
    • Focus: d6\3
    • Alert: d6\3
  • Escape: d6\3
    • Climb: d4\2
    • Run: d6\3
  • Talk: 0\0
  • Fight: d4\2
    • Aim: d6\3

Character Aspects

Best Thief in the World: d6\3
Audacious: d10\5
Always Has a Way Out: d8\4

Tools

Lockpicks: d6\3 & d8\4
Crossbow: d10\5

Talents

Shroud of Night: Spend a Bit; Create an area of darkness, swallowing and suppressing all light, except sunlight. All Covert Skills may be Broken Down once for free while inside the Shroud.

Trophies

A Lock of Selene’s Hair: d6\3

Sleeping Guest

Skills

Covert: 2
Steal: 0
Notice: 5
Escape: 4
Talk: 6
Fight: 3

Aspects

Light Sleeper: 2

Guard Patrol

Skills

Covert: 3
Steal: 0
Notice: 5
Escape: 4
Talk: 2
Fight: 6

Aspects

Ever Vigilant: 2
Fresh Faced: 3

Tools

Club: 4
Lantern: 2

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