A crime at the river – A weird noir fiction D6 adventure S1E01

I’m beginning to formulate some rules on how the closure of the crime case will be resolved (if we get there). I’ll be gathering clues, plot items and events, and connecting them, and use them to count a score. When the case is ready to be closed, depending on the score a roll is made and maybe the true perpetrator has been caught or maybe not.

On to the session now.

Noon April 5th, 1921, Arkham, 5th Precinct
Back at the precinct, Stan heads over to forensics. He hands over the knife to the uniform on duty. “Pull off prints if you can.”
“It still has blood on it!” The young man exclaims.
“All the more reason to check it.” Stan replies.
“Yes, sir. Anyone you want me to check it against?” He asks.
“A Latimer Tilton. We’re expecting him at the coroner’s in a few.” Stan says and heads back upstairs.

He goes to his desk. Wade is already across the room at his own desk, in a phone call.
He hangs up. “Just spoke with the registry office.”
“And? Next of kin?” Stan asks.

Q: Are there any next of kin? (Likely)
A: No. (Wow).

“Poor fella had no one. Bachelor. Folks had passed away long ago. No siblings.” Wade informs Stan.
Stan, frustrated breaks a match in his fingers. “You said he was an author right?”
Wade nods. “Let’s talk to his editor. He may know something.” Wade nods again. “Let me make some calls.” He says agreeing to Stan.

Q: Does Wade find the editor’s contact info? (Likely)
A: Yes, and he’s also available for a meeting right now.

A while later, Stan is interrupted from his coffee and cigarette break, by Wade, coat in hand. “Let’s go. Found him. Joseph Verner. He’s Tilton’s editor. He says we can meet him at his office now.”

They take the service car and 15 minutes later they are at the address.
They enter a small office at the 3rd floor of an apartments building. The glass panel on the door has a sign that reads “Verner Editions”.
They are greeted by a middle aged man with a round face, trimmed silver hair and large amber eyes, wearing a dark suit.
“Welcome detectives.” He says with a lisp. “How may I be of assistance? Over the phone you didn’t tell me what it was about.”
“Mr. Verner. I am detective Stanton Malkowski and this is my partner Wade Norman. You are the editor of ‘We are our end’ is that correct?” Stan asks.

Q: Is it a successful book?
A: Yes, and it’s Verner’s bestseller.

“Our bestseller? Of course.” Joseph says and his eyes light up.
“And what about your relationship with Mr. Tilton?” Stan presses.

Opposed Perception roll, to read the face of Verner as the detective asks him questions.
Stan: Perception: 2+/2 Success and he manages to know if he truly is hiding something or not.
Q: Is Joseph truthful?
A: Yes, and he has nothing to hide.
Intervention!: New entity. I will roll on donjon.
Q: Was Joseph’s relationship with Latimer good?
A: No

Joseph’s face darkens. “Look, we have our differences. I invested money from my savings to publish his book exactly as he wanted, and in turn I gave him a smaller share of the profits. When it became such a huge success he accused me of ripping him off. Which of course isn’t true. Why? What about him? Is he in trouble? I won’t forgive myself if…”

Donjon: NPC: Pierre Tillman , Clergyman

Mr. Verner is interrupted as the door opens and a catholic priest enters the office. He has a narrow face, with trimmed red hair and narrow eyes. He is wearing dark rimmed glasses and a priests collar.

“Father Tillman.” Joseph says. “These detectives were asking about Latimer”.
“Do you know Mr. Tillman, father?” Wade asks.

Opposed Perception: 3/3: Success
Q: Does Tillman appear shaken?
A: No, but Stan can’t be certain.

“Why, Yes, he’s a member of our congregation. Is he alright?” The priest asks.
“I’m afraid he’s dead.” Stan drops the bomb.

Q: Is Joseph shaken?
A: No, but he’s not completely cool either.

“God bless his soul. How did he pass?” Pierre asks.
“It’s an ongoing investigation and we can’t discuss any details. Do you know if anyone might have wanted to harm him?” Stan inquires.

Q: Does Joseph know/say something?
A: No
Q: Does Pierre know/say something?
A: Yes, but he’s reluctant to share.

Joseph shakes his head. “No. Latimer was a quiet fella. Kept to himself. His book May be radical, but we had no threats whatsoever.”
“I wish I could help you detectives, but I have nothing.” The priest adds.
“Well… in case you remember anything.” Wade gives them each a business card and Joseph sees them out.

End of the episode.
I have the following clues so far.

  • Bloody knife
  • Signs of struggle
  • Black goo
  • Rat bites

Victim, Latimer Tilton

  • Author, bestseller
  • Catholic, priest Pierre Tillman
  • Financial differences with editor Joseph Verner


  • Next of kin – Dead End
  • Editor – Financial differences
  • Church – Ask fellow members
  • Riverside – Ask for witnesses

Session Background: First time playing an investigation solo, and I really like it so far. I’m quite happy with the mechanics chosen, but it’s really early to say for sure. If you are interested in my draft crime case mechanics here is a temporary link.