Since Fall 2019, the Gamer Working Group (my lunch time gaming group) has been running a new action movie-style campaign. Inspired by the Fast and the Furious franchise, the campaign is about a group of freelance agents undertaking questionable jobs for fun and profit.
We started with the climatic scene of our last mission: blowing a dam on the Nile for some eco-activists (note: I said we were freelance agents; whether we’re heroes remains to be seen). Soon after things spiraled out of control as we were paid with gold stolen from the Chinese government.
To be clear, we didn’t steal the gold.
The Chinese, in a move reminiscent of Iron Man 3, attacked our California cliff house with armored vehicles and helicopters. We barely thanks to refitted Soviet Kelo-class submarine we kept in our basement wet dock.
Since then, we’ve traveled the world trying to stay a step ahead of our enemies while attempting to figure out who set us up for the gold job. The campaign is powered by GURPS Lite, and the game is the first chance I’ve had to play the venerable RPG. GURPS is known for its extensive, exceedingly detailed ruleset, particularly around skills. We use just enough to drive the action forward and hand wave a lot of the details.
One of the campaign’s most amusing aspects has been figuring out which movie we’re in, which in turn, drives the physics and technology. Keep in mind that, in the Fast and the Furious franchise, they start off with fast cars street racing in LA. As the movies progressed, we see cars jumping between skyscrapers, racing submarines on ice, and even being launched into space.
Our campaign’s been going for 3 years, and we figure we’re currently at Fast and Furious (aka Fast & Furious 4). We’ve acquired (and destroyed) a variety of fast cars, we’ve got a small swarm of drones we use for recon, and we occasionally gimmick up tracking devices using questionable science, but we’re not yet stealing vaults full of money and dragging them behind us through the streets of Rio, or airdropping cars out of cargo planes.
Our campaign features five characters:
- Wes Warden – Hacker
- Don Steel – Wheelman
- Miles McMuffin – Random Solutions Guy
- Dominic Blaze – Faceman and FBI Guy
- Mick – Technophobe MacGuyver
My own character is Miles – he’s meant to be the guy in the movie who randomly shows up and solves the problem at hand because my work schedule can be a bit bonkers. Having someone walk in and go “hey, would this work?” fits my schedule and the campaign’s vibe. I wrote about Miles as part of RPG a Day 2022:
- Who is your current character?
- What situation is your character currently in?
- When did you start playing this character?
- Where has that character been?
The character with the most impressive story arc is Dominic Blaze. He’s an FBI agent who joined the crew to investigate – and perhaps avenge – the death of his brother, Dante Blaze. Dante was our crew’s explosives expert who himself and a good chunk of a harbor during a climatic escape scene in China. Since then, Dominic’s struggled with doing the right thing versus well … we’re not quite sure what it is we’re doing. We don’t want to be bad guys, but we do find ourselves in a lot of “bad guy” type situations. I’d say we’re trying for the “rogues with a heart of gold” vibe, but it seems like we’re perpetually one job away from becoming the villains.
Featured Image Meta
My character sheet for Miles McGuffin and the GURPS core rule books. Credit: Ken Newquist