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True Crime

A supplement for the FATE Core RPG system

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I looked down at the stiff and wondered who had knocked him off. Whoever the killer was, he hadn't been monkeying around. Lucky Lorcano had been shot right through the pump. Guess he wasn't so lucky, after all.


True Crime is an 82-page supplement for the FATE Core system, inspired by detective fiction and film noir movies of the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s. It contains adventure seeds inspired by classic films, tips for creating realistic murder mystery scenarios, one complete adventure, plus a wealth of information on how real-world detectives actually investigate murders.

True Crime features new rules that put the emphasis on interviewing suspects and witnesses, based on the Investigator’s chosen Personality Traits and current Interview Techniques. Depending on whether an Investigator chooses a “confiding” tone, “interrogation” or to lend a “sympathetic ear,” for example, the NPCs being questioned might prove more resistant or compliant.

Using True Crime, a gamemaster can run a light-hearted mystery along the lines of a Thin Man murder or a Charlie Chan comedy, or might focus on a serious courtroom drama along the lines of Perry Mason. There are also suggestions for running a “cozy” little mystery solved by amateur detectives, or for taking a lone private eye through the mean streets of a film noir inspired city.

Written by veteran RPG designer Lisa Smedman (author of dozens of adventures and supplements for the Dungeons & Dragons game and a host of other RPGs) True Crime offers a realistic system for running detective games, using the FATE Core system.


Sure as ten dimes is a dollar, this case would be a tough nut to crack, even for an experienced shamus like me. The suspects might all be stringing me along, but I’d tumble to their game eventually, no matter how many dames I had to shadow, no matter how many mugs I had to rough up. Somebody might take a poke at me, or throw some lead my way. But eventually I'd have the answers I needed to solve the case.

Why do I take these risks?

Because that's my job, for $25 a day, plus expenses.

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