Planning a Heist (Why Talking to Convicts Might Be A Better Plan)

Posted on 11/01/2012 by


So I’m planning a heist. Or at least, I think I am. And no, this isn’t a confession regarding my criminal tendencies. This is just… I think Wizards has a heist in it.

So heist. Which means heist research. Which means — okay, lots of reading stuff (and wishing woefully that there was a straightforward way to go about interviewing bank robbers), but also watching heist movies! Cause that’s totally how you prepare for life, right? Watch movies on related subjects? Seems legit.

Me: I was bracketed by young ladies last night who tried to bully me into having a variety of different parties. I talked them down. I’m tough that way.
Arkem: You are very tough.
Me: I am!
Arkem: I am confident of your resolve.
Me: They were all, ‘PARTY!’, and I was like, ‘Eh’. And they were like, ‘PARTY PARTY PARTY!’, and I was like, ‘Exclusionist foursome!’. And they were like, ‘…Oh. That sounds good too’.*
Arkem: Just in case you have forgotten, I would like, for the record, to declare my fondness for young ladies.
Me: See? I’m providing you couches, young ladies and heist movies. There is nothing wrong here. (Please do not look too closely at the fact that one of them is related to you.)
Arkem: You lose points. Only a few. Can we plan a heist where we steal some young ladies?
Me: Well, sure. Isn’t that what we’re planning for? We watch the heist movies. We learn how to do heists. We PLAN a heist. We steal the young ladies. Totally straightforward.**

Screen capture from the movie 'Inside Man' featuring a man standing in the open door of a bank vault with another masked and carrying a gun standing nearby

For the record, this is an awful plan. For one thing, it’s like explaining the con to the mark before you conduct it. For another… people are squishy and unpredictable. One should not heist them. That’s why they have words like ‘abduct’ and ‘kidnap’, so they can cover all the messy parts.

Also, it turns out (not shockingly) heist movies are a terrible source of information for planning a heist. They don’t spend nearly enough time planning. They keep you in the dark on bits of it. And they spend far too much time developing characters and being funny. Which, okay, is good for the movie but not helpful in terms of research.

Perhaps I should go and hang around a prison or something. I mean, even if I gift my heroes with Sheer Dumb Luck (a particularly useful character trait) I have to know how they should have been caught and why they ought never have been able to get away with it. Otherwise they might as well be stealing candy from babies. (Which, you know, don’t do that. That’s usually the point where they start handing out the black hats. We’re all trying to retain at least a little moral ambiguity here. For some reason candy-from-babies and puppy-kicking is like voting for Hitler, the bad press never goes away. Which is strange, you know, because there’s all kinds of candy babies really shouldn’t have… Aaand I’m going to stop babbling now and start pretending like I had a decent eight hours sleep last night. Okay? Good.)


* I would like to state for the record that this conversation includes far too many instances of the word ‘like’ and any resemblance I may bear in it to a total ditz is… well completely unintentional if occasionally valid.