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Once Upon a Crime

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Once Upon a Crime is a roleplaying game (RPG) using the Fate Core System, published by Evil Hat Productions. Players and Games Masters (GMs) will need a copy of that book to fully use this product, although the setting can be used with any system.

Once Upon a Crime blends fairytale stories with the best of hardboiled crime fiction and film noir. In it, players will take on the role of Arcadians forced to flee their home in the first six months of 1940s, as a great calamity seemed certain to destroy everything. To a human, many Arcadians are recognisable as characters from stories we read as children – Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, The Frog Prince, Beauty and the Beast, etc. – but they aren’t exactly the same and their time on Earth has changed them even more. Not everyone survived the journey from Arcadia, and those left behind were lost when the calamity – referred to as The Darkening by the survivors – severed the portals linking the two realms together. Now, the Arcadians on Earth must work together to survive their strange new home while coming to terms with their grief.

However, this is not to say that Once Upon a Crime is a game just about loss. For some, arriving on Earth is an escape from the rigid feudal structure of Arcadia. While there is still poverty and inequality, for the first time, many are sensing that they are finally free. Peasants are no longer bound to a lord while the lords themselves have no lands to govern. New communities are being formed around the world – admittedly not truly egalitarian but certainly more open than ever before.

This book is divided into four chapters:

At the front of the book is Once Upon a Time, a brief history of The Darkening and the events that led to the Arcadians arriving on Earth.
Chapter One – Introduction, includes a summary of Once Upon a Crime with a list of suggested material to inspire players and GMs. 
Chapter Two - Characters, contains all of the additional rules and character options players need to create one of these strange folk. It includes two new Skills and a list of Stunts players may wish to consider.
Chapter Three - Who Killed Mr Wolfe? is a ready-to-play adventure where the Los Angeles Arcadian community is rocked by the murder of the Big Bad Wolf himself. The players take on the roles of investigators, tasked with bringing the killer to justice. As they probe deeper, the characters find themselves questioning what justice means when it takes place in the shadows. The adventure contains a multitude of options to aid GMs in tailoring the adventure for their players.
Chapter Four – The Truth?, is a chapter aimed solely at the GM. It discusses the Arcadians as a concept, explores Arcadia and reveals a closely guarded secret.

Who Killed Mr Wolfe?

“The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be.”
    Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye

Who Killed Mr Wolfe is a murder mystery where the victim – the Big Bad Wolfe himself – is reviled by the community in which he lived. Forrest - the man who has confessed to Wolfe’s murder - is someone filled with unrequited love for Red Hood, Wolfe’s on-off girlfriend. Such is the community’s hatred for the victim, many regard Forrest as a hero. If this wasn’t murky enough, Wolfe may have uncovered evidence of a criminal conspiracy involving a Magistrate that will shake the community to its core.

Who Killed Mr Wolfe is a standalone story for Once Upon a Crime and only those rules and a copy of Fate Core are needed to play. While it can be played with any number of people, it works best with smaller groups - or even a single player.

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Reviews (1)
Discussions (1)
Customer avatar
Lisa M August 19, 2019 9:07 pm UTC
This looks fun, but when I tried to download it won't work, has it been deleted?
Customer avatar
February 11, 2020 12:37 pm UTC
Hello, very sorry for the late response! I didnt receive a notification that a question had been asked.

It is still available. If you are still having issues downloading, email me at once_upon_a_crime_rpg [at] and I will send you a copy
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File Last Updated:
January 17, 2016
This title was added to our catalog on January 18, 2016.
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