The Big Crime is a roleplaying game that faithfully and meticulously emulates the bleak, shadow-drenched crime thrillers of the 1940s and ‘50s – Out of the Past, The Asphalt Jungle, Double Indemnity, The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep and hundreds more! Every aspect of the game was designed to evoke the pessimistic, desperate tone of these films!
The core system revolves around rolling a certain number of d8s, d6s or d10s. The exact amount of dice rolled varies depending on several factors such as advantageous/disadvantageous situations and whether or not the character has a helpful Aspect – usually, it's 3 to 5 dice. The goal is to roll multiples of the same number (known as "matching results"). Rolling multiples of the maximum number a die can roll provides even greater success.
There are three special types of scenes in The Big Crime: drama scenes, fight scenes and chase scenes. Each type uses the core task resolution system, but with exciting twists that truly capture the way things work in those wonderful films of yesteryear. One thing that is true of all three scene types is that if you cause an opponent to gain four Setback Tokens, you Defeat him. The only exception is that female characters are Defeated in fight scenes with the acquisition of two Setback Tokens, due to the fact that dames are portrayed very differently than fellas in film noir.
The game also employs a Temptation Point system. As your character commits immoral acts, you'll gain points in one of three different tracks: Guilt, Desperation or Alienation. When a track acquires ten Temptation Points, that track is "nixed", which imposes certain penalties. To represent that the characters in film noir often risk corruption to gain a quick advantage, we allow them to voluntarily gain one to three (the exact amount is random) Temptation Points to activate potent ways to cheat the system (such as re-rolling the dice, etc.).
What about character creation? You can create any manner of film noir character within ten minutes – duplicitous femmes fatales, cynical private eyes, ex-cons looking to turn over a new leaf, crooked cops, hoodlums out to make a load of cash, WWII vets trying to find their place in the post-war world and so forth. The system for doing so is neither random nor points-based, offering a world of customization without a lot of hassle. The capper of the character creation system is the evocative Special Rules that you can give your character – Waterworks, Sucker, Right Gee, I Know A Fella, Dutiful Dame, Comeback Quip, etc.
The core rulebook includes extensive chapters that offer advice to players and Directors alike, helping them learn to make the most of the genre. The Director's chapter even contains a section that discusses using cinematography techniques to enhance the noir "feel".
Also in the core rulebook is a fully playable adventure (we call them "films") called Search By Night, about a man who gets out of prison and goes looking for his missing girlfriend. Even better, it contains two versions of this film; the Theatrical Release and Director's Cut.
Two-Chapter Preview of The Big Crime!
Click the link below to read the first two chapters of the TBC core rulebook.
Available Now in PDF!