Detect Or Die

Solve the Case. Discover who you were. Decide who you are.

A tabletop RPG of neo noir empiricism, unstable detectives, and total ego death & resurrection.

Inspired by science fiction stories of memory and detection likeBlade Runner (1982) and Disco Elysium (2019), Detect or Die places the players as the various inner voices of the Detective, collectively embodying the fractured psyche of an amnesiac protagonist attempting to solve the Case. One player takes on the role of the World, laying out the setting and mystery for the rest, using a bespoke variation of the Powered by the Apocalypse game engine influenced byBlades in the Dark andBluebeard’s Bride. The rest play Personality Components, the fragments of the Detective’s Ego who combine investigative competencies with erratic coping mechanisms, trading off control and emotional stamina to make it through the Case to the ultimate revelations about the World and about the Detective.

This 132 page book contains rules for

  • Acting and investigating as the Detective, both as the conscious steering mind and in the unconscious back seat.
  • Skills suited for the situation, representing the Detective’s unique perspective and estrangement.
  • Trading off direct control via the Glass, which gives reasons both to take charge and, at times, to hang back and let other parts of the Detective run the show.
  • Recovering memories over time, both those the Detective wants and the ones the Detective definitely does not, using an innovative system of Déjà Vu.
  • Losing control, freaking out, and undergoing Total Personal Katabasis… and recovering.
  • Twelve archetypes with unique Flaws and Perks, each of which expresses a unique side of any Detective, and guidelines for creating your own archetypes.
  • Optional modes, including progression rules for longer term Cases
  • KNIFE FIGHT IN THE MEMORY PALACE, in which the PCs jockey to become the Detective’s true self, trading off Ego points in a semi competitive optional mode.
  • Extensive advice for the World, to help design and run your own unique Cases for your own unique Detectives.
Despite the high concept, gameplay is straightforward, with a more or less traditional GM and PCs arrangement that has proven easy for beginners and hobby veterans alike to pick up and get started.

Also included (NOTE Will be added by 8/25/2023) are an extended example of play, a printable character sheet PDF for the Detective, and printable clock tarot cards.

Playtesters say
“Detect or Die is one of the best games I’ve played in terms of representing its distinct niche and suiting modern playstyles in terms of its mechanical benefits, it’s a smooth engine for the glorious mess that investigating a mystery with your brain scrambled should be. Outside of the game, the semi troupe structure has made it amazingly easy to organise and fit in to hectic lives.”
~ Spectralent
(more quotations to go here when the playtesters in question decide they’re happy with them)

This item is priced at $ 20.00

This item is produced by Silk & Stone Publishing

Check it out!

This is an affiliate post.