Noire: Elle Est, Elles Sont

Noire: Elle Est, Elles Sont is a mini RPG where you play as a group of Femmes Fatales, trying to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of an alcoholic detective.

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NOIRE: ELLE EST, ELLES SONT

This Town is rotten, and you’ve always known it. Hell, the whole town knows it, deep down. No matter where you start pullin’ you’re bound to unravel some mess or other. Some of it goes higher than most folks dare to follow, some of it takes you down some pretty dark rabbit holes – and believe me, Alice ain’t comin’ out of these ones alive.

Hartigan’s a good guy. A deadbeat and a scumbag, but one of the good ones. There’s not many in this town you can say that about. Something’s happened, though. His office has been turned and he’s nowhere to be seen. It ain’t like usual, when Hartigan’s had one too many and smashed up the place. This looks serious. Hartigan must’ve gotten himself into something real bad this time.

Whatever’s been going on, it’s up to the FEMMES FATALES to sort out this mess.

Silhouette of a woman reminiscent of a still from Big Combo

HOW  TO  PLAY

You are a group of FEMMES FATALES, trying to solve the disappearance of an alcoholic Private Investigator. Using any means necessary, navigate the twisting underworld of the city and find out what happened.

Whenever you take a MOVE, roll a d10. On a 6+, your MOVE is a success. On a failure, things get harder. Whenever you fail, you gain a permanent -1 in that MOVE, which stacks to a maximum of -3.

MOVES

ACTION

When the pressure is on

SUCCESS – Act successfully under pressure
FAILURE – You lose your cool. If appropriate, take HARM

BRUTAL CYNICISM

When enacting physical or psychological harm

SUCCESS – Deal HARM to an opponent
FAILURE – Take HARM

PULL THE THREAD

When investigating a scene

SUCCESS – A small, but important detail jumps out at you
FAILURE – You find nothing

SNAPPY ONE LINER

When interviewing a suspect

SUCCESS – They let slip an important piece of information
FAILURE – They clam up.

WILES

When someone underestimates you

SUCCESS – You take advantage of the situation.
FAILURE – They ain’t buying it.

HARM

When you take harm, mark a point. Points stack until you die, ranging between HURT, INJURED, BROKEN, DYING, DEAD.

WHEN HARMED

When a FEMME FATALE is BROKEN, instead of rolling 1d10, roll 2d10 and take the lowest result.

When a FEMME FATALE is DYING, roll 2d10 and take the lowest AND take a further -1 on top of any modifiers accrued through FAILURE.

GRITTY MONOLOGUE

You can heal back one HARM by taking an aside for a gritty monologue.

LAST DITCH

Once per game, if you are DYING, you can use your LAST DITCH to ignore the effects of your HARM when rolling.

CHOOSE YOUR FEMME FATALE

Pick one from each of the lists below to describe your Femme Fatale:

You are…
A Wild Card
Followed Around By Saxophone Music
Hell On High Heels
Made Up To The Nines
The Vamp
Trouble The Moment You Walk In

You have…
A Gun
A Red Dress
A String Of Lovers Across Town
Friends In High Places
No Remorse
Your Own Way Of Getting Around

You need…
A Break
A Good Stiff Drink
A Little Respect
Fame
Fortune
Revenge

FOR GMs

FEMMES FATALES

Whenever the Femmes Fatales enter a scene, they must be offered cigarettes.
Let the Femmes Fatales use their descriptions to help them out in their investigation. If they have Friends In High Places, let them have a connection in City Hall, for instance. Try and put their needs into the story, too, to give them something to throw them off course, or reward them at the end.

LEADS

Noir is all about the small details that lead to big revelations. Remember you are on the side of the Femmes Fatales, you want them to solve the mystery. Let them direct the investigation. If they want to follow an unplanned lead, let it take them somewhere, but don’t be afraid to throw in a dead-end here or there. For inspiration, use the table.

ADVERSARIES

Adversaries have a threshold of 2 for any BRUTAL CYNICISM. Adversaries always take 2 HARM to kill.
When a Femme Fatale uses BRUTAL CYNICISM to inflict physical wounds, consider 1 HARM to be injured and 2 HARM to be dead.
When a Femme Fatale uses BRUTAL CYNICISM to inflict psychological wounds, consider 1 HARM to put the victim in a more susceptible place for questioning and 2 HARM to cause them to clam up.

INSPIRATION

If you need some inspiration for the plot – Whodunit, Leads or Dead Ends, then roll a d10 and refer to this table.

WHO?

1 THE MOB
2 THE COPS
3 THE MAYOR
4 AN OLD PARTNER
5 HARTIGAN, HIMSELF
6 A FORMER RIVAL
7 A KNOWN ALLY
8 AN OLD FLAME
9 A DISSATISFIED CLIENT
10 A BUSINESS CONTACT

LEADS

1  A BOOK OF MATCHES
2  A TICKET STUB
3  A FACE
4  A NAME
5  A LEDGER
6  A MANILLA ENVELOPE
7  A PHOTO
8  A LETTER
9  AN ITEM OF CLOTHING
10 A LOCK OF HAIR

DEAD ENDS

1  A WOMAN IN RED
2 A MAN IN BLACK
3  A JAZZ CLUB
4  THE 11.15 TRAIN
5  A DOG BARKING
6  A GREEN SEDAN
7  A MAN IN AN OVERCOAT
8  A DRY CLEANING RECEIPT
9  A DOWNTOWN RESTAURANT
10  A WOMAN IN A GREEN HAT

Silhouette of a woman with a gun