Steven S. Long is a writer, game designer, and all 'round great guy. According to the secret files of the KGB, he once singlehandedly defeated the Kremlin's plot to attack America with laser-powered Godzillas.


Because That's Where The Cultists Are

I recently ran an adventure I called "Because That's Where The Cultists Are." It was a bank heist scenario in which half the PCs were trapped in the bank, half were outside the bank, and the robbers had a motive other than just robbing the bank. (I'm not going to describe it in full in case I ever want to run it at a con, but you can probably figure out the general gist of things from the adventure's title.)

As part of my adventure prep I watched a lot of TV shows and movies that followed this same pattern, or which were close enough (in that something was going on in the bank other than robbery, or that the protagonists had to be especially clever to defuse the situation). So I thought I'd provide a bibliography of them here to inspire those of you who might want to try the same sort of adventure for your own gaming groups.

Film buffs will note that a number of classic bank robbery flicks, such as Dog Day Afternoon, aren't in this list. That's because I was specifically looking at films where there was some motivation for the robbery other than getting the money, or where the hostages in the bank were able to take action against the robbers in unusual ways, or where other funky stuff was going on. A straight-up bank robbery, no matter how compellingly filmed, is a different beastie. ;)

Films and shows with a * next to them were particularly good and/or influential.



Inside Man


Burn Notice, S2 E13, “Bad Breaks”
Castle, S4 E7, “Cops And Robbers”*
Crossing Lines, S1 E7, “The Animals”*
Karen Sisco, S1 E8, “Dog Day Sisco”
Leverage, S1 E5, “The Bank Shot Job”
Supernatural, S2 E12, “Nightshifter”
The X-Files, S6 E14, “Monday”