Recently I was inspired by the likes of Dredd, Assault on Precinct 13, Die Hard, and a few other related siege movies. Soon after, the thought came to mind about creating a role playing game based on the hard working third shift security forces of the world. What if those poor souls were suddenly thrust into a scenario way over their pay grade? All of this culminated into Flashlights & Guff.
Flashlights & Guff (F&G) is a rules light RPG conversion based on Lasers and Feelings, originally created by One-Seven Design. At the end of this article I will give suggestions on how to implement F&G into other RPG systems.
Power Level & Style
Here is a way to think about the power level of F&G. On a scale of One to Ten where one is Mall Cop, five is Celebrity Bodyguard, and ten is PMC… your characters are a solid three. This is not a game for overpowered super-cops. You are the hourly security force of some establishment. Until this very moment you have been basking in the glow of a boring job. But that is all about to change. Soon will begin a game of cat a mouse where you have to use your wits and what limited resources you have to your advantage. Good luck and remember to punch out at the end of your shift!
Flashlights and Guff
You are a member of Third Watch Security, LLC. For the past year your team has taken on a contract to guard a certain large establishment, and to defend it from the unknown ne’er do wells of the outside world. This has been a cushy job, but suddenly all outside communication has been cut (even your personal phones)! If that weren’t enough, Security Officer Biff has taken ill by consuming sushi he unwisely purchased from a less than reputable establishment. Now rudderless, it is up to your team to saddle up, figure out whats going on, and to finally earn that paycheck!
Players: Create Characters
- Choose a style for your characters: Solthful, Malodorous, Aged, Portly, Cantankerous, or Loquacious
- Choose a role for your character: Patrol, Security Camera Operator, Inventory, Front Desk, or Driver
- Choose your number, from 2 to 5. A high number means you’re better at FLASHLIGHTS (technology; science; cold rationality; calm, precise action). A low number means you’re better at GUFF (intuition; diplomacy; seduction; wild, passionate action).
- Give your character some sort of boring real name and unrelated nickname. Like Bob “Weevil” Johnson. Your fellow security guards will only call you by your nickname.
- You have: a security uniform (with utility belt), ID badge (complete with awkward photo), keys (to the whole building), clipboard & pen, flashlight, walkie talkie, & pepper spray.
- Player goal: To stop the ne’er do wells and save the day… while having fun!
- Character goal: Choose one or create your own: Get a Promotion, Use my Pepper Spray, Hit Something with my Flashlight, Make it on the News, etc.
PLAYERS: CREATE THE BUILDING & SECURITY SYSTEM
- As a group, decide on what type of building you are defending: Art Museum, Stadium, Office High Rise, Warehouse, Cargo Ship, Secluded Estate, or some other place that is large and out of the way.
- As a group, pick two strengths for your security: Strong Doors, HD Cameras, Guard Dog (named Skippy), Motion Sensors, A Single Fire Axe, Panic Room, Access to a Garage (With one Security Van)
- Also, pick one security flaw: Glitchy monitors, Officer Biff sealed himself in the panic room!, Faulty power grid, Empty first aid kit, Unreasonably large person-sized vents, no one has their f***ing keys, Poor lighting, Sentient security robot with a vendetta, Unreliable Security Van.
ROLLING THE DICE
When you do something risky, roll 1d6 to find out how it goes. Roll +1d if you’re prepared and +1d if you’re an expert. (The GM tells you how many dice to roll, based on your character and the situation.) Roll your dice and compare each die result to your number.
If you’re using FLASHLIGHTS (technology, science, or reason), you want to roll under your number.
If you’re using GUFF, (attacks, rapport, passion) you want to roll over your number.
- 0 – If none of your dice succeed, it goes wrong. The GM says how things get worse somehow.
- 1 – If one die succeeds, you barely manage it. The GM inflicts a complication, harm, or cost.
- 2 – If two dice succeed, you do it well. Good job!
- 3 – If three dice succeed, you get a critical success! The GM tells you some extra effect you get.
* If you roll your number exactly, you have achieved FLASH GUFF, and receive special insight into what’s going on. Ask the GM a question and they’ll answer you honestly. Some good questions: What are they really feeling? Who’s behind this? How could I get them to ? What should I be on the lookout for? What’s the best way to ? What’s really going on here?
(A roll of FLASH GUFF counts as a success.)
HELPING: If you want to help someone else who’s rolling, say how you try to help and make a roll. If you succeed, give them +1d.
USING STRENGTHS: If a security strength can be used for a particular roll, you gain +1d for that roll.
USING PROBLEMS: If the Security Flaw comes into play during a particular roll, it will cancel out any bonus die (even from HELPING).
CREATE THE FOE! – Roll 1d6 on each chart to set up the scenario!
The NE’ER DO WELLS…
|1. Thieves||2. Skilled Assassins|
|3. The Youth||4. Disgruntled Former Employees|
|5. Mimes||6. Local Scoundrels|
|1 Destroy/Kill||2-3 Steal/Kidnapp|
|4-5 Vandalize/Rough Up||6 Download/Plant Something|
|1 People/Person Who Hired You||2-3 Valuable Stuff (Money, Art, etc.)|
|4-5 Secret Thing You Didn’t Know You Had||6 Your Security Footage|
FOR THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF…
|1 Profit!||2 Political Statement|
|3 Embezzlement||4 Because they are a**holes|
|5 Corporate Rivalry||6 To get someone fired (Choose)|
GM: RUN THE GAME
Play to find out how they defeat the threat. Introduce the threat by showing evidence
of its recent badness. Before a threat does something to the characters, show signs
that it’s about to happen, then ask them what they do. “The Thieves are using welding equipment on the door. What do you do?” “The mimes drop down from the ceiling in a Kung-Fu Stance. What do you do?”
Call for a roll when the situation is uncertain. Don’t pre-plan outcomes—let the
chips fall where they may. Use failures to push the action forward. The situation
always changes after a roll, for good or ill.
Ask questions and build on the answers. “Have any of you ever stopped a burglary before? Where? What happened?”
Conversion Ideas for Other Systems:
I suggest using either Savage Worlds, or Cypher System as decent system alternatives. If you are using Savage Worlds, be sure to start at the lowest character level and nix any supernatural abilities. If you are using Cypher System, be sure to start on first tier and avoid the Adept class, along with Magic and Tech flavors.
Additionally, if you want to try this out in Shadowrun, and I truly hope you do, be sure to nix any arcane characters and combat cybernetics. Also, make sure that the security team is only allowed the equipment that the company provides!
If you like the idea of FLASHLIGHTS & GUFF, or have run a game using this conversion, please let us know! We would love to hear about how it went!