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"Best Noir/Hardboiled Crime Rules? (RPG or RPG Lite)" Topic

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1,080 hits since 18 Jul 2014
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Comments or corrections?

Gamer With No Name Inactive Member18 Jul 2014 1:29 p.m. PST

I have "A Dirty World" and quite like it but was wondering what other rule sets are out there. I like the character aspects of ADW but don't like the way they relegate combat to the same scale as other struggles.

Have heard good things of the .45 rules. Basically I'm looking for rules that feature strong character driven stories with solid combat rules, nothing fancy but can be lethal to PCs and NPCs alike.

Wombling Free Inactive Member18 Jul 2014 1:47 p.m. PST

I really like .45 Adventures. It is RPG Light, easy to pick up and play and requires few figures to have a good game. Better yet, you can get a feel for the game by downloading the free demo rules:
I've not downloaded the demo version of the current rules, but the old one had everything except the character creation system in it, and included a scenario to get you started. It would be well worth trying them out at least to see if you like them, and will only cost you a little time.

darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2014 1:47 p.m. PST

I've heard good things about:

Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes
Crimes People Play

Gumshoe in particular seems to have a system built to ensure a game isn't totally blown by players missing (what seems to the GM) obvious clues.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2014 3:31 p.m. PST

Pulp Alley would work well as an RPG Lite game for Noir type games.

clifblkskull Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2014 3:39 p.m. PST

Mad Dogs with Guns is really Good

M C MonkeyDew18 Jul 2014 5:06 p.m. PST

Ed did a really good job with "5150: New Hope City, PI".

It's a sci-fi game, but all you really have to do is declare every joe you run into a human, and rename the weapons if they sound to high tech.

Very atmospheric if you like Two Hour Wargames style.

I had nothing to do with the production of this title.


Personal logo Ed the Two Hour Wargames guy Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Jul 2014 8:19 p.m. PST

Here's a step by step example.


vdal1812 Inactive Member18 Jul 2014 9:45 p.m. PST

Savage Worlds can do pulp

Faustnik pt18 Jul 2014 11:56 p.m. PST

Another vote on Pulp Alley.

A reliable game engine and very adaptable to most settings and types of gaming.

We use it even for Wild West shotouts

Gamer With No Name Inactive Member19 Jul 2014 7:40 a.m. PST

Cool, thanks all! I played a light version of Mad Dogs with Guns and enjoyed it. I also just downloaded .45 demo but will check out the others as well.

Personal logo Operator5 Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Jul 2014 8:24 a.m. PST

All of the rules systems mentioned are great. But a good noir game will come down to preparation on the part of the GM. With an RPG (no miniatures) it's a bit easier since the expectation is there would be a lot of talking in a noir game. When it comes to miniatures, you have to distill the action down to one pivotal scene where the action takes place.

For The Maltese Falcon, doing the final scene might not be very good from a miniatures standpoint (I move my model to the end table and glare menacingly). But, the confrontation on the ship that is only hinted at in the movie could be a great miniatures game. Maybe add Spade in as well even though he was not there originally.

The Shadow19 Jul 2014 9:01 a.m. PST

I second what OP 5 said. "Character driven", if I understand you correctly, would be up to whomever creates the scenario. Miniatures games are not usually character driven. If, OTOH, you mean that you want to be able to create characters with a lot of abilities that strongly define the characters, .45A and Pulp Alley will both allow you to do that. But they are *entirely* different systems and you should get a demo of both before buying. When you talk about "solid combat rules", do you mean highly detailed, like each shot is accounted for and hits a specific part of the body and cause a specific amount of damage, rather than simply saying that a shot causes a wound that's added to a total that will kill the character?

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Jul 2014 1:21 p.m. PST

Where can an ignoramus buy a copy of "Gumshoe?"


warren bruhn Inactive Member20 Jul 2014 1:23 p.m. PST

Pelgrane Press Gumshoe


Wiki re same:


warren bruhn Inactive Member20 Jul 2014 1:27 p.m. PST

Flying Buffalo Mercenaries, Spies, & Private Eyes

Wiki for same:


warren bruhn Inactive Member20 Jul 2014 1:34 p.m. PST

Haunted Attic – Crimes People Play


warren bruhn Inactive Member20 Jul 2014 1:46 p.m. PST

Pinnacle Entertainment Group – Streets of Bedlam: A Savage World of Crime + Corruption


warren bruhn Inactive Member20 Jul 2014 1:58 p.m. PST

Get them all. I haven't compared Pulp light RPGs, but have compared swashbuckling Gloire (Rattrap) with Savage Worlds Pirates of the Carribean and the Gurps swashbuckling rules. Seems to me that the specific rules one uses might come down to the type of dice one likes to throw, 1d6, 2d6, 1d10, 1d20, or varied die sizes and numbers. The abilities and modifiers can be translated between Gloire and Savage Worlds. So I assume they can be translated between the various Pulp rules too. So one can borrow ideas from a range of rulebooks to set up a fun game or campaign.

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Jul 2014 12:30 p.m. PST

Gentlemen and Scholars All!

Thank you for resources for "Gumshoe," but also all the other titles previously alluded to.

This is how a Community responds!


bpmasher12 May 2017 10:14 a.m. PST

Hero System – Pulp Hero.

Full rpg rules with lots of crunch.

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