Hardboiled D&D

What if the troupes of D&D where slightly different…….slightly more Grim Noir..

“I knew the dame was trouble when she walked in. I’ve seen her type before, an Elven Temptress, and this one was a right looker alright. Said she had a job for me and my party. Her ‘husband’ had got into trouble with Ginni Death face, a local loan shark, and needed rescuing from the Black Dragon Inn on the waterfront. Within minutes I was on the case and calling up my gang.  Micky No-Nose the Barbarian for muscle, Jarella the Charmer for that special feminine touch, and Hari Hairfoot for his light fingers. And then there’s me Jak Hardhammer, dwarfen hardboiled Detective.

Little did I know that I was heading out for another wild adventure in the “City of a Thousand Lights”, featuring Necromancers, Ninjas from Chi-Town and blasphemous cultists of the Forbidden God!”

A supplement for Old School first edition games, taking the adventure into the heart of the City that never sleeps.

Oh and don’t expect to see this anytime soon, its an idea I’m toying with after reading too much of old White Dwarf with its wacky Character Classes, such as the Detective  the Houri and of course the more “Conan in his Thief years” Barbarian. All of which, with the possible exception of the Barbarian would be crap in the usual D&D setting, but perfect for urban adventuring with a more investigative bent.

….perhaps after I get Albion Adventures up and going.

6 thoughts on “Hardboiled D&D

  1. Sword Noir is a genre I have played around with myself for a while now. It is funny, I almost get more inspiration for my sword & sorcery gaming from westerns, hard boiled detective stories and horror than I do straight fantasy. At least in the setting, plot and character development departments. Go figure…

  2. Too much White Dwarf? There are a couple of old Warhammer books that fit this description – Beasts in Velvet has a ‘Dirty Harry’ character, and there was a short story about a Halfling detective. Mind you, given the tone (grimdark with parodic elements) of the Warhammer world, and given the lethality of the WFRP game system, it isn’t surprising if the fiction, and the game, go a little ‘noir’.

  3. Ah yes, I remember the ‘Detective’ AD&D class from White Dwarf! (I believe that I still have that issue packed away somewhere.) If I recall correctly, WD also published an adventure that featured that class.

    Good times. 🙂

    • I know the author from the con scene, and the temptation to contact him about doing some form of reprint, is sometimes too much to bear 😉

  4. Gods I would play in that campaign tomorrow. Mark Galeotti and I ran a joint Heroquest game set in Furthest that was completely this sort of noir setting, it was all about gangsters, power struggles and murder. The Bath House replaced the seedy club for most intrigue. It was a superb set of games. But seriously I would love to see this done for OpenQuest.

    • Yeah Mark told me a bit about that campaign when I first started working on some Lunar adventures (which will see the light of day finally very soon), and it sounded a bunch of fun 🙂 I was always up for the Lunars being more about a the internal power struggles and a fantasy version of The Godfather/Goodfellas than it being all about big conquering armies.

      I’m in the current planning stage of running a big sandbox campaign for OQ, set in Two Fort Country, and “gangsters, power struggles and murder” are going to be heavily featured elements, alongside the usual fantasy troupes of orcs etc. I shall put a bath house in the setting as a tribute!

Leave a Reply