A Sleuth's Quest (Hardboiled)

Discussion in 'Roleplaying & Quests' started by open_sketchbook, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. open_sketchbook

    open_sketchbook Herald of the Evil Feminist Shadow Cabal


    You and your fellow Spacebattlers will be taking control of a young, up-and-coming Private Detective, just recently certified by the government of Union City, a city cast in permanent night, and you will take up the call to battle spies, saboteurs and criminals in the vast and murky underworld. The trials and hardships ahead will be many, but justice does not flinch in the face of such things.

    Quick background: For the past year, I've been writing a pen and paper RPG called Cyberpulp Adventures: Hardboiled or just Hardboiled for short. It's a d10 driven game with frantic and intensely lethal gunfighting, investigation, and a built in "Downtime" which simulates what your character does between adventures. I've been playtesting it for a while, and I wanted to do something fun with the community, hence this quest.

    We'll be using a modified version of the rules here. Mostly, I'll be abstracting the combat a bit more than usual to flow better in this medium (using some optional rules from the back of the book), and some different character progression stuff. For the most part, though, you'll pretty much be playing what's gonna be in the book. You're character will be the Sleuth archetype from the game, though we might expand the party, depending on how things are going, later.

    That said, this game is a work in progress. Most of the big bugs have been ironed out, but stuff is still changing. I'll let you know about any rule adjustments that are made either in general or from stuff in this thread specifically, but I won't retcon away any of your successes or drastically change things mid-stream, don't worry. Any adjustments at this point will probably be clarifications, bug fixes and numbers stuff.

    The primary rule of Hardboiled is that when taking skill tests, the more specific you are with your action, the easier success will be. Should be right up your collective alley. Anything else, I'll explain as we go along, if we need to. As for lore, the world of Hardboiled is to 1900-1940 as Warhammer is to the 1500s; twistedly familiar, with the same nations and events seen through a very different lens.

    So without further ado...

    A Sleuth's Quest
    It has many names. The City Under the Moon. The Silver City. The City that Never Rests. The Dark Jewel. Glorious Columbia. To most, however, it is simply The City; the only city they'll ever know, and as far as they are concerned, the only city in existence.

    It's said you could live ten lives in this city and not see everything there is to see. It's dark towers stretch skywards from horizon to horizon, and from no point can you see any two edges to it's urban sprawl. Daring aviators in the most advanced of aircraft have taken to the skies, far above the streets and the tallest skyscrapers, and yet they can only ever see a fraction of it's glorious scale. The city that is a nation is simply too much to be comprehended by any one man.

    Nobody knows quite for sure how long Union City has existed. Legend says that the Founding Fathers led a rebellion against a great empire to establish the Union, shattering the very sky with the destructive forces they unleashed and casting man down to rebuild from the ruins they left behind. Most folks agree that it's been about three hundred years since then, but like all things from the decline of the First Empire there is little evidence and even less certainty.

    Around the world, Union City is a potent symbol. It's the last refuge of democracy and freedom against the might of the Golden City and the Networked Commune. It's ships and marines are the only thing keeping the world from slipping into chaos and darkness. It's a beacon of hope for the downtrodden refugees of failed empires and crumbling city-states. It's a place to start over, to try again, or to experience a hundred new things every day. It's a bastion, a bulwark against the night, a shining example of the greatest humanity has to offer.

    However, it is and ever shall be a city of darkness and shadow. Behind it's glittering lights lie a core of corruption, inequality and violence. The night here does not end, for the true light of the sun has long abandoned the city to the pitiless gaze of the moon. Behind every corner and lurking in every alley lies threats to the stability and security of honest people; criminals, gangsters, revolutionaries and the agents of sinister powers close in on every side. Though Union City is a beacon, it is also a dark omen of the worst that is yet to come.

    In the end, for it's untold million citizens just like you, it is home.

    But who are you? (Character Creation Part 1: The Big Questions)

    - Are you a human, the dominate class of Union City, or a Servo, it's mechanical citizens?
    - Do you hail from the city, or are you or your family immigrants from the greater world?
    - What has drawn you towards the life of the Private Detective? What's your motivation?
    ward, Zeitgeist, Dirtnap and 7 others like this.
  2. open_sketchbook

    open_sketchbook Herald of the Evil Feminist Shadow Cabal

    Character Sheet

    Name: Donatella "Donnie" Nero​
    Archetype: Sleuth​
    Human: [x]​
    Origin: Union City​
    Class: 3​
    Motivation: Avenge your parents and uncover secrets.​
    - It's what we do, not how we were born, that defines us.​
    - To live through your ideals is to become immortal.​
    - Guile is a greater weapon than strength.​
    Vice: Wrath​
    Virtue: Diligence​

    Fisticuffs (Fs): 1​
    Steadiness (Sd): 0​
    Dexterity (Dx): 2​
    Grit (Gt): 1​
    Derring Do (Dd): 1​
    Slickness (Sl): 2​
    Sleuthiness (Su): 3​
    Covertness (Co): 1​
    Intelligence (Iq): 3​
    Stature (St): 1​
    Connections (Cn): 2​
    Contacts (Ct): 2​

    Hardiness: 2​
    Vitality: 9​
    Resolve: 8​


    You went to one of the colleges of Union City and got yourself a little piece of paper assuring everyone of your skills and knowledge in a particular sphere. +1 to Connections within Union City academia and those related to your sphere (Knowledge - Law)

    Thanks to your job, a past event or your connections, you have managed to obtain moderate security clearance within Union City's intelligence agencies. If you know what you are looking for, a phone call can probably secure files on people and events outside of normal records and media. However, misuse can have grave consequences. Once per week, with a Hard Connections skill check, you can gain bonus information on one specific person or event from a government perspective. However, repeated failures, blunders or Complications may result in a review, revoking of your security status or even legal charges.
    Last Place you Look
    You are excellent at finding hidden things. While searching for something which is hidden, you can burn an Intuition point to find it immediately.
    On the Spot
    You are excellent at detecting lies. If you use Intuition to ask if somebody is lying, and the answer is yes, you keep your Intuition point.
    Just a Hunch
    You get +2 intuition.
    Knowledge - Union City
    You have good general working knowledge of Union City's geographic, history and demographics. +1 to Intelligence skill tests involving this subject.
    Knowledge - Forensics
    You have studied the science of forensics and know the basics. +1 to Intelligence or Sleuthiness skill tests involving this subject.
    Knowledge - Law
    You know the legal code of Union City better than most. +1 to Intelligence or Sleuthiness skill tests involving this subject.
    Everything you’ve seen and endured has just made you more determined than ever. You can reroll your end of week Resolve roll.

    Tape Reader: A Medium object which can connect to your nervous system with a wire and play reels of tape. This allows you to make external copies of memories (though these will be distorted and not admissible in court), record what you experience in real time (this is admissible), or load language or perk tapes and narcotics programs. Tape deck included.

    Hearing Augs: By concentrating, you can hear conversations up to 30 yards away as though you were standing over the shoulders of the speaker. You are also immune to being deafened by loud noises.

    Augment Eyes: +1 to Sleuthiness while looking for visual detail. By concentrating, you can see objects up to 30 yards away as though they were nearby, including reading small text. Additionally, you are not affected by low light conditions. However, you can only see in greyscale.

    Subdermal Armor: 1 level of protection against all damage types on head, chest, torso, spine and shoulders. Durability 8.

    Casual Outfit: Tape Deck, Switchblade, Detective Kit, badge, keys
    Shoulder Holster: Pulsar, 2 Chips .44 Magnum
    Belt: Bulldog Alpha
    Silk Vest

    Fushia Works Pulsar
    A low cost electric gun intended for personal defense, the Pulsar does away with complex power regulation, firing a standard arc so long as the cylinder generates enough power and storing the remainder in capacitors. Combined with it's sleek appearance, this makes it extremely practical for self-defense purpose but reduces some of the flexibility of the weapon.
    Weapon Type: Handgun, Shock
    Size: Small
    Attack Dice: 2d10
    Damage Bonus: +2
    Armour Reduction: 0
    Range: 20
    Ammo: -
    Price: $75.00
    Attachments : None.
    Special : None

    Bulldog Alpha
    Considered a more practical market alternative to the Diamondback Python, the Bulldog Alpha is a slightly more compact magnum which sets the cylinder as far back as it can manage while retaining an ergonomic design. This gives it an extra inch of barrel despite it's similar size, increasing the muzzle velocity, but when combined with it's excessively heavy trigger pull the repeatability suffer.

    Bulldog Alpha
    Weapon Type: Medium Handgun
    Attack Dice: 1d10
    Aim Bonus: +0
    Damage Bonus: +1
    Armour Reduction: 1
    Range Steps: 30/60/90
    Ammo: 1M
    Chip Size: Compact
    Reload: 1
    Ammo: .44 Magnum
    Price: $50.00
    Attachments : Short Scope.
    Special : +1 to Stature when Intimidating if it is visible. +1 to damage when using it for Pistol Whipping in melee due to it's large size.

    Though many advocates of the switchblade tout it's nature as a surprise weapon and it's compact, easy to hide nature, the fact of the matter is they are really just glad you can fit it in a pocket without accidentally stabbing yourself when you sit down.
    One-Handed Weapon
    Size : Small
    Attack Dice : 1d10
    Damage Bonus : Grit + 1
    Damage Type : Edged
    Armour Penetration : 0
    Parry Bonus : +0
    Disarm Bonus : +0
    Ward Value : 0
    Cost : $6.00
    Special : A switchblade can be folded and kept in a pocket.

    Silk Vest
    Stylish and low-profile armour, a silk vest is simply a half-dozen layers of high quality silk tailored to the body. It's commonly worn by rich folks such as politicians or visiting dignitaries as protection against assassination, and many PIs go out of their way to acquire a set at great expense due to the dangers of their job. Silk has incredible tensile strength, which lets it catch a bullet; though these vests are not padded whatsoever and the bullet can still break the skin, it probably won't make it through the silk itself, and as the silk is kept tight over the body the penetration is greatly reduced.
    Type : Underarmour
    Size : Small
    Armour Value : 2
    Coverage : Chest, Torso, Spine
    Resistances : Impact
    Durability : 8, 4 against Edged.
    Inventory Slots : None
    Donning : 1/1
    Cost : $40.00
    Special : None.

    Property & Finances
    +$30 dollars per week Trust Fund
    -$25 per week Living Expenses

    Brownstone Office
    Contains a radio, telephone, and typewriter.
    -$10 per week Rent

    Midrange Sedan (Green)
    -$5 per week (Maintenance, Gas, Etc)

    Current Balance: $205.00

    6 Generic Advancement Points
    2 Steadiness Points

    8 Intuition Points
    0 Strikes
    1 Stress Points

    A stout policewoman with a swirl of tattoos on her well-developed forearms, shoulder-length red hair, and a prominent scar on the side of her mouth, Wallace is loud, opinionated and animated. As a first-generation Hibernian immigrant, she talks in an indecipherable accent which masks a surprising degree of cunning and experience.
    Fisticuffs (Fs): 3​
    Steadiness (Sd): 2​
    Dexterity (Dx): 2​
    Grit (Gt): 3​
    Derring Do (Dd): 2​
    Class (Cl): 1​
    Slickness (Sl): 1​
    Sleuthiness (Su): 1​
    Covertness (Co): 0​
    Intelligence (Iq): 2​
    Stature (St): 2​
    Connections (Cn): 1​
    Contacts (Ct): -2​
    Hardiness: 5
    Vitality: 13
    Resolve: 9

    Traits: Bloodthirsty, Short Fuse, Unknown Trait
    Perks: Double Tap, Brawler, Furious Charge, Weapon Proficiency - Longsword, Healthy, Battle Hardened
    On Person: Police Uniform, Beat Vest, Coolstone 20, 4 .32 chips (lead) for Coolstone, Nightstick, Handcuffs
    Owned: Double-Barreled Shotgun w/bayonet, 5 chips 12 gauge, Longsword, Short Sword, Combat Knife, Hatchet
  3. [X]Servo
    [X]Hail from the city
    [X]Desire to uncover secrets
  4. Human, hailing from the city. Became a private eye to try looking into the suspicious death of somebody they were close to, and... Well. Never quite got around to quitting.
  5. Hazimat

    Hazimat Analysising Blueprints...

    [x]Human (Is there augmentation?)
    [x]Hail from the city
    [x]Desire to uncover and when the time is right, expose corruption after somebody they were close in the police force was almost killed and the attacker walks away because of bribes and Lawyers.
  6. open_sketchbook

    open_sketchbook Herald of the Evil Feminist Shadow Cabal

    Yes, but it's fairly expensive, and voluntary human augmentation (when it isn't necessary to replace lost function) is generally seen as odd by much of the establishment, and considered downright deviant by others. Though there is a growing Synthegenic movement which sees mechanical augmentation is the future of humanity, a patriotic alternative to the Golden City eugenics movement. As it is a fairly young field, many augmentations also have disadvantages; for example, colour vision for artificial eyes is prohibitively expensive, and all augmentic eyes glow softly as part of their operation. Most augmentation requires the removal and replacement of the natural part.

    Most augmentics are fairly obvious, but nobody but extremists will blink an eye at smaller modifications like tape deck readers, hearing aids or regulators.

    Servos get upgrades cheaper as installation is easier, but, well, servos are heavily discriminated against by many so it can be a moot point.
  7. Admiral Skippy

    Admiral Skippy Shadow Cabal Labrador Wrestler

    [X] Human.
    [X] Hail from the upper crust of the city.
    [X] Desire to fight crime and bring justice to the night, to avenge the murder of your two parents.

    Menwearpink and Usernames like this.
  8. open_sketchbook

    open_sketchbook Herald of the Evil Feminist Shadow Cabal

    Oh, you are going to love our first expansion, Shadow Precinct...
  9. FriedIce

    FriedIce The Authentic Fake

    [X]Hail from the city
    [X] Boredom, coupled with an intense desire to uncover secrets
  10. RTM


    [X] - Human, Old.
    -[X] - Russian Immigrant.
    --[X] - A desire to retire from a life filled with nothing but war as a drafted soldier when you were young, mercenary work when you were in your middleground years and as a leader of an eventually squashed rebellion against a dictatorial union in your recent geriatric years. But, you did not wish to become complacent as you have a pathological need to think, and think and think constantly, and becoming nothing but an helpless, drooling vegetable hooked up to life support is utterly repulsive to someone of your age and experience. Becoming a PI was one of the alternatives you could chose.
  11. MHLord

    MHLord Happy Feast of Winter Veil!

    [x] Servo
    [x] From the City
    [x] Became a private eye to try looking into the suspicious death of somebody they were close to, and... Well. Never quite got around to quitting.
  12. BeRzErKeR

    BeRzErKeR Perpetually Perplexed Military Mind

    [x]A Servo
    [x] From the city
    [x] As a former killbot now bereft of your suddenly-deceased manner, you became a private eye because it seemed like the bet fit to your programming. And because most hiring managers don't approve of applicants with laser hands.
  13. Dermonster

    Dermonster Break the world, see what falls out.

    I was halfway expecting something along the lines of Problem Sleuth.
  14. Same here I admit. This definitely looks to have promise though.
  15. Usernames

    Usernames I'm getting too chivalrous for this shit.

    [X] Human.
    [X] Hail from the upper crust of the city.
    [X] Desire to fight crime and bring justice to the night, to avenge the murder of your two parents.
  16. open_sketchbook

    open_sketchbook Herald of the Evil Feminist Shadow Cabal

    Human from the city looks pretty locked in. We'll take a few more votes on motivation before moving on; it's really important, because it's one of the ways you generate cards. And you want cards.
  17. BeRzErKeR

    BeRzErKeR Perpetually Perplexed Military Mind

    Come on, people! Vote Killbot! Who doesn't want laser hands?
  18. Admiral Skippy

    Admiral Skippy Shadow Cabal Labrador Wrestler

    The people who want batarangs. :D
  19. open_sketchbook

    open_sketchbook Herald of the Evil Feminist Shadow Cabal

    What's a laser? Is that like a Golden City heat-ray?

    Also, Servos aren't typically "designed" for any one thing these days. It's not the dark ages! Servos are mechanical citizens just like you or me, except the drive the property values down wherever they live for reasons that totally aren't discrimination.

    (From the Robot Martial Art thread posted a long time ago, which should give you an idea what Servos are like)

    "Yo, so, lets say we have a race of sentient, electrically powered anthropomorphic robots. They have two arms, two legs, a head, and generally similar variations of proportion and scale as human beings; they are deliberately built quite anthropomorphically by design. They are built fairly lightweight, with thin metal coverings, bundles of wires, and distinctly mechanical joints with a definite bias towards simple, robust mechanical parts. They weigh only a little more than humans of the same size and build, and generally have similar strength and dexterity. Their outer shells are not armoured, usually consisting of very thin sheet metal like you might see on the surface of an automobile with appropriate gaps for flexible sections and joints, though they have appropriately thick "skulls" and pretty heavy frameworks analogous to ribs. Disrupting the flow of electricity causes feedback similar to a pain response, and if electricity stops flowing to their brain (in their head) they die. They are definitely not bulletproof or knife proof, but they are made of metal mostly."
    luckybreak91 likes this.
  20. Menwearpink

    Menwearpink Black Wing Lord

    I look forward to this.
  21. BeRzErKeR

    BeRzErKeR Perpetually Perplexed Military Mind

    I remember that thread. Hell, I posted in that thread. . . though my suggestions for robot martial arts, at least insofar as they would be different from human ones, did suppose that the robots could at least modify themselves to some degree.

    Let's compromise. Laser. . . batarang. . . hands. Yeah. Those.
    Admiral Skippy likes this.
  22. open_sketchbook

    open_sketchbook Herald of the Evil Feminist Shadow Cabal

    Which they can totally do. Flex-Judo and piston punches got into the rules as augs, in fact!
  23. BeRzErKeR

    BeRzErKeR Perpetually Perplexed Military Mind

    Yay! I'm a helper!
  24. Menwearpink

    Menwearpink Black Wing Lord

    Oi, Open.

    I figure I may as well give this idea a shot due to your avatar.

    Can we be a Megaman? :p
  25. open_sketchbook

    open_sketchbook Herald of the Evil Feminist Shadow Cabal

    You can try, but the requisite combination of mute, dwarfism and bright blue paint job may not serve you as well as you'd hope.