The Sleuth: A Peerless Detective and Mentalist

I’ve just released a custom playbook for Blades: The Sleuth.

I’ve written a number of playbooks for FitD games before but never for the base game. Download it for free, below, and tell me what you think? And while you’re at it, maybe tell me what place you think a hard-boiled detective has in the mean streets of Doskvol?



Awesome. Looking forward to digging into this. Incidentally one of the bonus playbooks for Neon Black is also called the Sleuth and fills a similar role. I’m curious to see if ours overlap!

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I’d love to check it out. Always willing to give feedback on playbooks <3

This is a fantastic playbook. I think it does a great job capturing the feel of playing a character who could be a talented investigator, a blow hard know-it-all, or a strange occultist. Fits right in to Doskvol.

The wording of the context where you can use this special ability feels a bit needlessly ambiguous in a game where these things are codified:

When you roll a dangerous action you may gather info as though you’d
rolled the same result.

I would expect this to say something like, “When you roll a risky action” or “When you roll a desperate action” or maybe even both. Desperate feels appropriate to get what feels like a big benefit. Regardless, feels odd that the specific position isn’t called out.

I love this, feels right at home especially in a playbook where you have few specific combat abilities. For abilities where you push yourself there is typically some rules text that reminds the player:

When you push yourself to activate this ability, you still get one of the normal benefits of pushing yourself (+1d, +1 effect, etc.) in addition to the special ability.

Just felt odd that it didn’t include that. Less of an issue in a fan playbook.

Whoa, FOUR fine items? Feels like a lot. Perhaps their very specific uses makes up for that. Might just feel unbalanced since there are only 4 items total as opposed to the typical 6. I expected something like Evidence Gathering Materials, Alchemical Equipment, or Encyclopedic Knowledge among them.

The custom pistol is a nice touch. I immediately want to figure out a way to have it in my enemies hands so I can get the drop on them and deliver a witty retort.

Fine dirt is great in concept but the name, at first blush and still when I look at it, makes me feel like my character has a pocket full of the choicest soil. It feels like you want something less objective than “Fine facts” but I feel like there may be a better word here.

These all feel perfect and I love them.

In summary: after I read the playbook I immediately wanted to take it for a spin. Great work.

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Those are all great points! I may go in and make a quick edit regarding some of points around clarity and change the coat and gun to standard items rather than fine.

As to Guile: I think I’ll improve the language to say “non-trivial” and add an explanation to clarify that it applies to all actions with a position of controlled and above. This is actually one of the abilities I’ve playtested the most and it’s never felt out of hand since the information gathered is still appropriate to the action employed. Good for probing an enemies weekends with a Skirmish action, say, but that’s a modest benefit after having already made a desperate action to retrieve that information.

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I really like the flavor and coherence of 5his playbook. It is a great asset to any crew - I love the ghost field special ability.

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