The Suits

the suits

The Suits is a cooperative team-based game of members of two conflicting gangs raiding a casino on a train under a shroud of misinformation and lies. You want to get in, get the haul, and get out, but you don’t know who you can trust or how, and anyone you deal with might be a filthy, filthy liar.

The Score

Don’t talk. Just listen. I’m here to to you talk about an… opportunity.

Some of you hearing this recorded message have been to Macau before. Some of you haven’t. Hope the humidity’s not doing you in. For those of you who haven’t, here’s the super-short summary: Macau is the world’s gambling capital, a city that can serve two billion potential people who want to fly away from home for a casino weekend. We are Las Vegas, times twenty. We are the place to lose a lot of money.

We’re going to make sure that someone isn’t us.

The Macau Betton is a high-speed train that runs on a circuit around the city, at over two hundred kilometers an hour. It’s also, because this is Macau, home to a casino, a place that promises ‘the fastest Dice in the East.’ Because it’s not connected to major vaults, the government requires it keep its entire take in unmarked cash, in a vault, on the train, at all times. Naturally, that kind of haul has a lot of security – security I have organised to deal with. And I’m recruiting women like yourself – and one boy, if it’s you – to deal with it.

Get dressed up fancy, miss. Tonight, you’re going to pull off one of the biggest heists in world history. You will meet with the people I’ve chosen, make your way through the train, where the vault will be waiting, open for you.

Getting out?

Well now, that’s your problem.

As for me…? You can call me-

…Ms Red

…Ms Black

The Game

This basic version of the game requires five players.

You will need:

  • a conventional deck of playing cards
  • You need five markers (such as coins or chips) as the Loot markers
  • one marker you can use to mark the position of the gang.

Setup

First, separate the deck of cards into two piles. One pile is nothing but face cards (jack, queen, or king), the other pile is numbers. Deal each player a face card, face-down. This card will convey the player a rank (jack, queen, or king), a gang (red or black), and a nickname.

  • Kings are high-ranking gang members who won’t sully themselves dealing with small, cheap tasks (Aces, 2s and 3s).
  • Queens are mid-rankers who need to hand tasks on to Kings that are too high for them, and consider Jacks’ tasks below them (10s and aces)
  • Jacks are dogs-bodies who can do everything but the highest-rated stuff (10s, 9s).

Next, time to Make The Train. Deal out five cards from the deck, face-down. These are the train carriages. Place five loot markers at one end, then the gang’s marker at the other. Then, deal three face-down cards next to each carriage, at a 90 degree angle. These are the hazards in each carriage.

train unseen

Finally, deal a single, face-up card to the youngest player (or the player most willing to start), who looks at that card and tells people what colour is on it, but doesn’t reveal it. This card is the Gang Card. Whoever has the Gang Card is the Scout.

The Scout

The role of the Scout is a bit like the storyteller or dungeonmaster. When you’re the Scout, it’s your job to tell the people what problem is waiting for them in the next carriage. You’ve only got the keywords on the cards as your inspiration, and you need to come up with examples of what kind of problems they could be.

As the Scout, you’re not just trying to make the scenario interesting for people, though: You’re also trying to make sure that problems sound like things you, or your gang, won’t necessarily have to deal with. You can’t lie to people about the hazards – but you’re not under any obligation to make those hazards seem easy.

Also note that you’ll never be the Scout for the whole game. You hand the Gang card on to another player who has not been the Scout yet whenever you finish a carriage.

When in doubt thinking about the hazards, remember that Hearts cards are often about Blood, that Diamonds cards are often about Money, that Clubs cards are often about Violence, and that Spades cards are often about Power.

Before The Heist

Until the loot is touched, the characters are free to talk with one another, and roleplay in an effort to get to know one another, to determine what gang they may (or may not) be a member of. Players can look at the top card of each stack, to get an idea of the kind of problem they’ll have to deal with, during the ‘recon’ stage of the game. Everyone introduces themselves.

Now, it’s very easy to just tell people you’re a member of a particular gang, and they might even agree with you. Easy to do. The problem is, you can’t be sure and neither can they – they can’t look at your card and you can’t look at theirs. The more information you give away, the more vulnerable you are to being manipulated, after all.

When everyone’s ready to begin the heist, each player takes a single Loot token.

The Heist!

The Scout flips over the three cards in that carriage, and checks the keywords they have against the table. Then, The Scout explains what’s coming to the players.

train unseen

Players then have to discuss how they’re going to deal with the problems, with everyone concocting a reasonable solution to what they’re going to do. The problem is, not everyone can solve every problem, and saying you can’t deal with something can give away a detail of what your rank is in your gang.

In each room, three players can volunteer to solve the problem, and then discuss how they’re going to do it. The players that do then have to receive a majority vote from the remaining players to go ahead with the plan.

If the group gets its vote, they succeed and can move on to the next carriage. If the vote fails, someone in the whole crew loses a loot at random, and one of the cards from the enemy stack, chosen at random, goes away. The Scout can describe this however they want.

When the players have moved past one room, the Scout hands the Gang card to another player, who now becomes the Scout, and the process begins again.

Bein’ a Loser

If the players run out of loot, they all lose.

If the players can’t escape a room, they all lose.

If the players can’t pass three votes in a single room, they’ve spent too long on their plan and they’re caught, and the players lose the game.

The Divvy

the suits example

The players meet at the other side of the train, and reveal their character cards and the Gang Card. The gang that collected the most loot wins. And if both sides collected the same amount of loot – well, maybe everyone’s a winner. Or maybe you all walked out of the train with nothing, and now Ms Red or Ms Black is really mad.

Tables

Character Cards

King “Sweetness” “The Shark” “Brickhouse” “The Dame”
Queen “Spider” “The Bull” “Prime” “The Flower”
Jack “The Cruiser” “The Wolf” “Roller” “The Boy”

Card Keywords

A Lie Detector Mistimed Payoff Pickpocket Kid Sudden Darkness
2 Bloody Stain Bag of Coins Food Cart Phone Jamming
3 White Powder Suspicious Money-Changer Innocent Bystander Foreign Dignitary
4 Brawling Patrons Pack of Drunks Searing Hot Coffee Upstairs and Downstairs
5 Fingerprint Lock Mazelike Arrangement Mascot Costume Spy Exchange
6 Guard Dogs Room without Clocks Tennis Star Loot Dropoff
7 External Guards Big Problem In Tiny Box Drunken Royal Bribable Guard
8 Drone Sweeping Birds Callin’ Security Off-Duty Cop
9 Retina Scanner HE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD The Bruiser Three Surly Pitboss
10 Nine-Fingered Quan The Unholy Roller Bloody Princess The Chief of Police

 

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