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DoubleZero Worlds: Hardboiled FolliesClick to magnify

DoubleZero Worlds: Hardboiled Follies


A dark comedy noir setting toolkit for DoubleZero: Modern Roleplaying

I was minding my own business, enjoying a quiet evening at home with a good book, when the doorbell rang. I had a feeling that this was going to be the start of a long and strange night. Little did I know that by the time the sun came up, I would have tangled with gangsters, dodged bullets, and uncovered a conspiracy that rocked the city to its core. All because I decided to answer the door. But hey, nobody ever said being an amateur detective was easy.

Hardboiled Follies combines the elements of the film noir and dark comedy genres. Noir typically features a dark, gritty, and often urban setting, with a focus on crime, corruption, and moral ambiguity. The tone is often cynical and the characters are typically hard-boiled detectives, femme fatales, and doomed heroes, similar to the Noir genre. Unlike traditional noir, dark comedy noir incorporates elements of black humor and satire to comment on or make light of the serious and often violent subject matter. The tone can range from ironic and tongue-in-cheek to bitter and sardonic. It is a genre that often explores serious or taboo subjects in a way that is both humorous and disturbing. Some examples of dark comedy noir would be films and television shows like The Big Lebowski, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Archer, and Bored to Death, which all include noir elements such as crime and corruption, with the addition of dark humor to create a unique and often comedic take on the genre.

This book includes:

  • Worldbuilding: How to utilize and develop the setting elements you’ll need to successfully run a Hardboiled Follies, including the genre, setting, theme, and tone.
  • Amateur Detectives: The player characters and how they might organize themselves, including their purpose, the resources at their disposal, and supporting characters.
  • The Columbia Agency: The antagonist organization, a professional investigation and security agency, including how they’re structured, their capabilities, and a selection of important individuals.
  • Creating Characters: Information on the types of player characters, antagonists, and supporting characters most appropriate for a Hardboiled Follies campaign.
  • Adventures: Elements you’ll to run a Hardboiled Follies adventure. This chapter covers the premise, goals, obstacles, and stakes, and includes a selection of plot hooks to get you started.
  • Systems: New Advantages and Disadvantages that reflect the things characters will face in the dark comedy noir genre.
  • Glossary: A selection of distinctive dark comedy and noir terms from the Hardboiled Follies setting.

A copy of DoubleZero: Modern Roleplaying is needed to play.

Why a Toolkit?

Roleplaying is a creative and collaborative activity. A large portion of the joy it brings is from making up the things that add to the experience. The reason Hardboiled Follies is a toolkit and not a highly developed setting with tons of worldbuilding details is so there’s room left for your imagination. While it is cool to roleplay setting guides that cover everything down to the last detail, in play it can box you in and make you feel that your own ideas don’t fit or aren’t valid. The goal here is to give you as much as you need to get started, then step aside and let you turn this into whatever you and the other players want it to be.

Content Warnings

Here is a list of potential content warnings that might be relevant to a dark comedy noir setting:

  • Disturbing Imagery: There is some imagery in the adventure that could be disturbing to some players, like crime scenes or graphic depictions of violence.
  • Drug Use: There is references to drug use, but it should not be glorified or depicted in a positive light.
  • Flashbacks: The adventure can include flashbacks to events that occurred in the past, which could be disturbing to some player.
  • Humor: The adventure can include humorous elements and is intended to be lighthearted, but it is possible that some players can find the humor offensive or inappropriate.
  • Illegal Activity: Behavior that violates the criminal laws of a particular jurisdiction can appear in this type of adventure.
  • Loss and Grief: The adventure can include themes of loss and grief, which could be emotionally difficult for some player.
  • Mature Themes: The adventure can deal with themes that might not be suitable for all audiences, like corruption, deception, and betrayal.
  • Mental Health: The adventure can include characters who struggle with mental health issues, like anxiety or depression.
  • Misogyny: The adventure can include instances of misogyny, either in the form of characters' attitudes or behaviors, or in the form of cultural norms or societal attitudes.
  • Murder: Murder refers to the unlawful killing of one person by another, with malice or premeditation.
  • Police: Characterization of law enforcement officers and departments that is considered controversial or offensive.
  • Sexual Content: Sexual content: There is references to sexual relationships or situations, but they should not be explicit or gratuitous.
  • Strong Language: Strong language refers to the use of profanity or vulgar words or phrases.
  • Violence: Violence refers to the use of physical force or aggression to cause harm or injury to others.

The DoubleZero System is a tabletop roleplaying game toolkit. First designed for action, espionage, and thriller adventures, the skill-driven tabletop roleplaying system is perfect for mysteries, police procedurals, and crime dramas based on your favorite television series, movies, and novels. DoubleZero works with any “realistic” modern setting that doesn’t lean into magic, the supernatural, or superpowers.

Lightspress Media is a tabletop roleplaying company with a lo-fi approach. Utility of content takes precedence over ostentatious production value. Graphic elements should enhance the message of the text, not act as page filler and eye candy. Physical books need to be compact, portable, and sturdy. This minimalist aesthetic results in powerful toolkits that are both useful and affordable. After all, tabletop roleplaying isn’t the book. It’s the creativity and collaboration that takes place around the tabletop. Our mission is to give you as much as you need, then get out of your way.

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Product Information
Rule System(s)
Publisher Stock #
DXP 21006
File Size:
2.53 MB
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File Last Updated:
January 11, 2023
This title was added to our catalog on January 11, 2023.