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Steal the Idol

Basics: the players need something that's guarded by enemies.

Set-up: the players reach a location that holds an item they need. Enemies and traps await the players to prevent them from taking the item.
Progression: the enemies and traps focus on players who approach or capture the item. When it becomes apparent that the players are winning, the enemies try to take off with the item or even destroy it  to prevent it from falling in the hands of the players.

Success: the players manage to capture the item and get away with it. The location collapses behind them in true Indiana Jones fashion.

Failure: the enemies chase the players off or escape with/destroy the item before the players can capture it. The enemies now know that the players want the item, so they move it or double the guard.

Risks: don't be afraid to exceed the XP-budget by a good margin. You don't want the players to first kill the enemies and then pick up the item at their leisure. Bring in reinforcements after the first few rounds if you need to.


Capture the Loot

Basics: players and enemies compete for a number of items that both parties want.

Set-up: the players and a group of enemies both happen upon a site that holds a limited number of items that both groups want.

Progression: both parties simultaneously try to capture as many items as they can while preventing the other party from capturing the items. The enemies might have unusual ways to escape with the items, like flying or teleporting away.

Success: the players capture enough of the items to accomplish their goal, or kill enough enemies to force them to retreat with only a small number of items.

Failure: the enemies get away with most of the items, or send the players running with only a small number of items. The players now need to figure out how to steal the items from the enemies or get them some other way.

Risks: initiative plays a big part in this. If you see players rolling exceptionally high or low on their initiative, consider placing the enemies in different spots between the players' initiative counts instead of rolling for it. Also make sure the number of items is limited to keep it tense.

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