Noir: The Game

The Overview

Noir: The Game is a tabletop pen and paper dice game that uses a multitude of D6's to play. It captures the intrigue and allure that is the genre of mystery and detective work. The system is simple to use, the base of the game is really what you make it. There are a few things you can pick up as you solve cases to imitate experience gain. The premise of the listed items is set in the world of the 40s & 50s where the height of the genre lays. The game is played with one gamemaster and at least one player, but can be played with as many as your game is designed for. 

The following is the rules for the game, if you wish to read Character Creation skip to the bottom of this page.

Rolling The Dice

The game is based on a D6 system, where you roll a number of D6 dice to determine how successful you are. The levels of success can reveal certain levels of information or can set the difficulty of combat. 

When rolling, you choose one of your skills that you wish to roll or as close to a skill as possible depending on what you are trying to do. You can roll a number of D6s equal to your level in that skill. You do not need to roll all of them, but when you roll less then your maximum, you cannot choose to roll more afterwards.

The GameMaster (GM) will determine how difficult a check might be by three factors as listed below.

The Level of Difficulty: This is a number between 2 to 6. This number is what a play must roll for it to count as one success. The easier the check the lower the number, the higher the difficulty the harder it will be.
Known Information: This is something the GM determines. How much do the players know about what they are trying to perform. The more information they know, the lower amount of success die they need.
Number of Success: This is the final portion of determining how difficult a check will be. After determining the level of difficulty, decided on how many successes are needed for a "Minor Success" (see below).

Once you have these three factors, you can have the player or npc roll their check against your difficulty. You choose the check based on what they are trying to accomplish. Choose from one of the listed skills (see below) and depending on their level in that skill, they will roll that many dice.

This is explained as "Level X and Number X" example below.
Player: I wish to see if i can find a clue in the trunk of the car.
GM: Ok make a Locate Skill Roll, the difficulty is Level 3 Number 2. (This means you need to roll at least two dice and if you roll a 3 or higher on two of them, you succeed.)
Note: If you dont have the required number of dice to roll you cannot succeed on the roll. 

Success & Failure

Rolling the dice will determine whether you succeed or fail on a skill check. Consult the table below to determine the outcome.

Table: Success and Failure

Type                               Number of Success

Total Failure                   Zero Success 
Minor Failure                  More Failure then Success
Minor Success                Meets Minimum Amount 
Total Success                  All Are Success

Total Failure: This means they learn nothing and can possibly lose the chance of that information. It can create animosity towards you or make someone less helpful. It may cause you to take extra hits, lose a chase or reveal your true intentions.
Minor Failure: Though you can succeed on this and gain a bit of a success, it is on the lower end of the scale. You might lose some ground in a chase, slip up with information etc..., but you still can get a small degree of success if you meet the minimum the GM has set.
Minor Success: This meets the minimum for the GM success for the difficulty put forward. Which ever skill check you use, you gain a positive progress toward what you are doing such as a Chase. If it is a success or fail this would constitute as the doing what is needed to complete that skill check such as shooting, wrestling etc...
Total Success: This is difficult to accomplish depending on how difficult the number of dice is needed. When you obtain this, you gain all information that can be found, gained or observed in the area. You can catch someone you are chasing or cause a significant wound that is capable of ending combat for a character. When you roll 3 or more dice and you get a total success, you gain 1 Detective Dice (see below).

Detective Dice

When you manage to acquire a Detective Dice by getting a "Total Success" from three or more dice, you can use one to change one of your dice you rolled for a check to a 6. There is no limit to how many Detective Dice you can have, but you can only use one per check. You can use this after you learn whether you get a success or not, but before any details of what happens is revealed. If you use a Detective Dice on the skill check, you cannot gain one from the same skill check.

Detective Skills

These are the common skills you use throughout the game. Each one starts off at level one and as you complete cases you will be able to level these up to help define what your character is good at.

Block: This is what you use to defend yourself when someone uses a strike against you. Roll your dice and add them all together to determine your Block Rating. If your Block Rating is higher then their Strike Rating, then you successfully defend yourself.

Charm: This is to help in your ability to gleam information, gain trust or any other positive charismatic emotion,

Chase: This is how you run after someone or something. You roll your dice to determine your ability to catch up or catch the object based on your success. When doing this vs another Player or a "Boss", you add the numbers you rolled together instead and gain a Chase Rating which you compare to the opposing Flee Rating. When doing it this way, you must win three times to chase down the target. If they win three times with their Flee Rating, they succeed on escaping.

Cover & Shoot: This is similar to Shoot except this is used if you have the ability to get behind Cover. Instead of relying on the normal success table, you instead add up all the dice to get your Cover & Shoot Rating. This will be opposed to your opponents Skill check. If they have cover as well, then you both compare your Cover & Shoot Rating. If only one has cover and the other does not, then the one who does not have cover uses their Shoot skill instead and can only roll half the amount of their Maximum Dice (rounded up). This becomes their Shoot Rating, which will now be compared. The one with the higher roll will win the bout and give the loser an Injury Point. 

Drive:  This is identical to the chase skill except when done in a vehicle. If the opposing person is in a vehicle they use their Drive instead of Flee.

Flee: This is the opposite of Chase and is used the same way. This is your ability to escape while on foot. If you are in a vehicle you use Drive instead. 

Gamble: Keeping that full house is secret is a must have to raise the stakes. This skill helps determine your success when gambling. If there is another player involved or a "Boss", you instead add up all your dice to determine your Gambling Rating which is compared to the others. This skill can also be used when doing something risky such as sleight of hand tricks.  Using the skill in this way will give different results based on your level of success.

Health: This has two parts. The first, it determines how many Injury Points you have. The second is how your body reacts to things that have to do with your body. This can include things like drugs, tobacco and alcohol. It can affect any sickness or illness that might be obtained and your resistance to foreign substances like poisons. This also is used to understand the above items as well.
Hide: This is your ability to keep yourself hidden from others. Depending on your level of success will determine how difficult it is for others to locate you. 

Inspect: This skill is mainly used for looking over objects, whether it be as small as a thimble or as large as a vehicle. This can help you find information either about the item or clues in/on the object. 

Intimidate: Striking fear into someone can help you gain information or change a persons perspective of you. This can both be positive and negatively done based on how you do it and the person it being done to.

Intuition: A good detective needs a good intuition. This can be used to help put things together in your mind. A GM can have you roll this to help see the bigger picture or foresee a likely possible outcome or suspect.
Lie: Its pretty simple, you dont tell the truth. This can change a persons point of view of you if you have any type of failure.

Locate: Though similar to the Observe skill, it is simply more to find items and other objects. This can include things such as stores, cars and clues. 

Navigate: Location, Location, Location. This helps you understand where you are, where you need to go and how long it will take you to get their. This can help you find an escape route, travel through a maze or make your way through the sewers.

Observe: This helps you look over an area or a person. This can help you identify if someone is using the Lie skill or if you are watching an event unfold in front of you such as a bank robbery or hostage situation. 

Shoot: This determines whether or not you can hit a target when shooting a gun. Minor successes are usually a graze to the shoulder and a Total Success could be a shot to the leg to prevent them from escaping, shooting the gun out of their hand or simply a headshot.

Strike: This is the opposite of the Block skill. You add your dice rolled together to determine your Strike Rating and if yours is higher then their Block Rating, you successfully hit them. This also accounts for use with weapons. 

Wrestle: Sometimes its more then just a punching match. Sometimes you need to subdue a person or tackle them to the ground. These are similar to Block & Strike, as you add your dice together and compare it to the opposing Wrestle Rating. Wrestle can be an ongoing activity and last the longest. It take two consecutive success to subdue a target. You must be next to a person to use this skill. After two success, you win the bout and the target is unable to free themselves until you move. One minute after you move, they can attempt to Wrestle again, but you start out with one success. 


This is used to locate the address of locations and people of interest. This can be used from any public phone at no cost provided that you give your credentials. You can use the radio in a squad car or pay $60 to get one installed in your personal vehicle. 


When you have the correct evidence against an individual, they tend to fold easily on that information. When providing the correct evidence against someone who uses their Lie Skill, you do not need to roll, you gain a "Total Success". If you provide the wrong evidence against them, you instead get a "Total Faiulre".

Injury Points

Injury Points determines how many harmful effects you can take before falling unconscious or dying. You can have a number of Injury Points equal to 2 + your Health Skill. When you are hit by a Strike or Shoot skill you gain one Injury Point. There are other factors that can come into play that can cause you to gain Injury Points such as falling at least 15 feet. You gain an additional one every 15 feet. Getting hit by a car can earn you an Injury Point. The GM can determine whether or not something has created enough force to grant Injury Points. 

Total Success can occur when taking an Injury Point. When you deal or suffer from a Total Success that would deal an Injury point, they gain an additional amount equal to half the amount of Dice rolled to commit the injury (rounded up). Additionally, they get a lasting effect depending on what was used for the attack. If it was done by a gun, then you have a lasting gun shot wound and need high impact surgery from a doctor before you can recover any Injury Points. If it was done by the Strike or Drive skill, you receive a broken bone and require a medium impact visit to the doctor before you can recover any Injury Points.

When you reach your maximum Injury Points you fall unconscious. If you take three times your maximum Injury Points, the individual will die. 

You can recover Injury Points in one of two ways. The easiest is by sleeping (see below). The other is visiting a doctor. If there are no broken bones then you can go see the doctor for the low impact cost to regain your full amount of Injury Points on your next full sleep. 

Lifting & Pushing

Normally you have places to store your items, but sometimes you need to move something or lift a heavy object. You can lift a number of pounds equal to (Strike skill x 20) +60. 

Point of View

This is the general view of how a person sees you. This is something that players wont see or be aware of, but can ultimately understand by how the person reacts to them. Someone with a High Point of View of you, will be nice and helpful. Someone with a Low Point of View of you, will be unhelpful and rude. The score of the Point of View system is a -5 to 5. With a -5 being hostile and ready to attack and a 5 being someone who is incredibly helpful. The general public will start off at a 0. Once someone learns your with the Police they will instantly drop to a -1 if they dont like Police or go to a 1 if they like Police. Every two points can affect either the Level of Difficulty or the Number of Difficulty depending on which suits the situation. 


The boom of cars happened during this time and it became easier to get one. Everyone spent time doing Sunday drives or heading to the Drive-In. The information listed below is the general average for Driving and can be adjusted to suit specific needs.

Blocks per Mile: 14
Size of Cars Gas Tank: 18 gallons 
Miles per Gallon in a Car: 13 miles
Traffic Violations Cost: $10


You are more then just a workaholic, you have a life outside hunting down criminals. You eat, drink, sleep and look for entertainment. The following are rules for your lifestyle.

Food & Drink

You need suitable food and drink to maintain your health. The list of food and drink are on the Off Duty page. You are required to have food and drink, if you do not you suffer from penalties and will eventually die without them.

At these times of the day you will suffer penalties if you do not consume food and drink. As long as you consume food & drink within the 5 hour time period before the designated time, you wont receive any penalties. If you do not, you get a -1 on all rolls if you did not consume food and another -1 penalty on all rolls if you did not consume drink. When you do consume enough food for a meal and enough for a drink these penalties will be removed. If consumed during the five hour period that falls into another category, you must consume 50% more food and/or drink then normal for it to count as part of the next requirement. If your penalty equals three times your Injury Point's, you will die. 

Work Schedule                         Breakfast        Lunch          Dinner
Day Shift (9am to 5pm)            8am                 1pm             6pm
Swing Shift (5pm to 1am)         4pm                 9pm            2am
Night Shift (1am to 9am)          12am                5am            10am


You need to sleep to recover from the days events. To get a suitable about of sleep, you need a minimum of six hours of sleep. For every two hours of sleep you miss, you get a -1 penalty to all rolls. If your penalties reach three times your Injury Point's, you will die. This stacks with the Food and Drink penalties as well. You can take a two hour nap to remove one of your sleep penalties or add one additional hour to your sleep when going to bed for the night. If you do, it will remove up to six sleep penalties.

When you rest and get at least 6 hours of sleep, you recover a number of Injury Points equal to half your Health Level (rounded up).


This can come in many forms, but it helps you destress form the day or a long week of work. Stress can affect the way you do things and your ability to think clearly. At the end of each work day you gain one level of stress. You can remove these by doing things that you find relaxing or calming. These can include but not limited to, watching tv, listening to the radio, taking a bath, going to the drive-in or the movie theater, going to a bar, going to a stripbar, going for a job, going to a jazzclub or other venue or any other activity you might be able to think of. Work with your GM to see if it is something that would apply. When spending at least two hours doing something relaxing, you remove 1 level of stress. 
You get a -1 to all rolls for every 3 levels of stress you have.

Keep in mind that other things can give you levels of stress as listed below, but not limited to them.
-Failed a Case
-Criminal got away
-Acquired an illness
-Shot someone
-Killed someone
-An innocent was harmed or killed because you couldn't prevent it
-A breakup or Divorce
-Demotion in your job
-Losing a fight or being humiliated
-Car Crash
-House problems

In Between Cases

Sometimes your Captain doesn't have a case for you. When this happens, you can step out and do things that you want to do, but keep in mind you are still on duty. You can attempt to make contacts with people, follow up on old cases to see how people are doing and what has happened to them. If you are in good standing with your Captain, you can request to look over some Cold Cases to see if you can figure them out.


There are many different kinds of substances, but the most common are tobacco, alcohol and caffein. There are other ones such as drugs though these are illegal. 


You have a chance to become addicted to any of these substances. When you consume any of the non-drug related substances, you start your countdown timer to addiction depending on what you consumed. When your timer runs out, you roll a Health Roll and if you succeed you dont become addicted and the timer restarts but is halved each time (stacking). Example. Beer starts at 8 months, but if you succeed it is now 4 months and if you succeed again it is 2 months etc. 

Drugs a pretty much the same except instead of weeks or months, they are much shorter and is done after a number of uses. If you succeed, these are not halved. 

To break addiction, you must roll a minor success on a health check equal to substance's difficulty a number of times equal to the amount of months it starts at. You roll this once per week.
For drugs, you must get a minor success a number of times equal to four times its Uses. You roll this once per week. 

If you are addicted to a substance, you get double the penalty they give until you consume or use your addiction. This effect happens everyday at noon. 

Name                             Timer            Difficulty  Penalties/Used            Duration
Beer                               8 months      L3, N2     -1 Drive, Observe         1 hour per bottle
Caffein                           3 months      L3, N2       -1 C. n' Shoot, Shoot  1 hour per cup
Cigarettes                                                            -2 Injury Point per 2    1 hour per two
  Murad                          3 months      L4, N3
  Yorkshre                      1 month         L4, N3
Drugs                                                        -2 on all rolls except Addiction 4 hours per use
  Amphetamines           4 uses           L5, N3
  Cocaine                      1 use              L6, N2
  LSD                             3 uses           L5, N2
  Marijuana                   10 uses          L4, N3
  Morphine                   3 uses            L5, N3
Filtered Cigarettes                                               -1 Injury Point per 2        1 hour per two
  Du Maurier                6 month         L4, N2
  Kent                           5 months       L4, N2
  Parliament                 6 months       L4, N2
Whiskey                       5 months       L4, N2      -1 Drive, Observe             1 hour per shot
Note: L=Level, N=Number
Note2: Whiskey can be replaced by any other hard alcohol.

Beer: Lowers 1 stress after a number of bottles equal to your Health Level
Caffein: Temporarily removes sleep penalty for 1 hour, (max 4 per day)
Cigarettes: Lowers 1 stress after a number equal to your Health Level
Drugs: Lowers 1 stress after a number of shots equal to your Health Level.


These are the more difficult of oppositions. They are usually the ones running the whole thing. They usually have enhanced skills on a few areas. Choose a number of Skills based on how difficult you believe the Boss to be. These Skills should not be lower then 6. Maybe they are former military and might have their skills in Cover & Shoot, Shoot, Strike and Drive. Maybe they are a master manipulator and have their skills in Charm, Lie, Intimidate and Intuition. They can also have their own abilities like the Noir Abilities. Their Injury Points start at 6 + Health Level instead of 3. 

Cold Cases

These are cases that have gone unsolved and have been archived to keep all information and evidence on hand. If you have time, you can attempt to work these cases on your own time. These cases are twice as hard as normal as they are old. Leads are cold, people forget or give the wrong information and clues are likely cleaned up or long gone by this point. 

Difficulty of Work Shift

In the Food and Drink section, it lists the normal shifts for your work schedule. These can provide their own difficulties when trying to solve a case. Day shift is likely the easiest to solve crimes as most people are awake and available. This includes the watch commanders, captains and any individuals you would need to get reports from. The swing shift is slights harder as you are limited on time before the above people get of work and are not as readily available. Night shit is the most difficult as clues are harder to find, people are off work, criminals have the cover of darkness and witnesses are less reliable. 


Though combat isn't a big part of the game, it will happen when you come across unruly people and suspects. 

Start of Encounter

This will happen when anyone wishes to commit a harmful act against another. When this happens, all people involved must roll an Observe Skill and add all their dice together. The order of turns will go from the highest to lowest.

Your Turn

On your turn you can perform one skill and perform one environment task. If you wish to move, you can move a number of feet depending on if your running away from an opponent or running towards an opponent. If you are running away, you make a Flee skill and move a number of feet equal to the total dice rolled. If you are running toward, you use the Chase skill and move a number of feet equal to the total dice you roll. 
Note: If one person rolls Flee and another rolls Chase, then the Chase rules take over. 

If you wish to attack with your hands, feet or a weapon being held you would use the Strike skill. If you have a gun, you would instead use the Shoot skill. If you can find cover with your gun you can use Cover & Shoot instead. The cover must be able to cover at least half of your body. 

Environment Tasks

These are the other things you can do on your turn. These are the things that don't fall on the Skill list. The following list are some examples of things that are considered an Environment Task.

-Drawing a weapon or reloading a Gun.
-Getting in a Car or Turning on a Car and putting it into Drive.
-Opening, closing or locking a door or window.
-Getting an item or storing an item in a pocket or bag.
-Move an object not being carried.

Expanding Your Character

There is no levels in this game like other tabletop games, it is dependent on your cases that you solve and their difficulty to complete the case.

Cases can take anywhere from 1-10 sessions depending on how complex and difficult they are and how good the players are. Characters will gain Skill points when they finish their cases as listed below.

Number of Skill Points Earned           Number of Cases Need to Complete
                0-5                                                         1
                6-10                                                        2
                11-15                                                       3
                16-20                                                     4
                21+                                                         5 

Noir Points

These are what is used to choose your special Detective Abilities (See Noir: Abilities page). These can be held onto and spent at the end of a case or before you start a new case. These cannot be spent during a case. These abilities have a prerequisite of a certain level in certain skills. You gain a Noir Point after every five (5) cases you complete. These can help define your expertise in these areas. 

Hostage Situations

There are two types of Hostage Situations. The first and most common is a hostile person grabs an innocent bystander and holds them threatening to harm them. The other is taking multple hostages and putting them under duress such as a bank robbery. Although similar, both are very different. Follow the rules below.

Bystander Hostage: When this happens, a innocent is grabbed and used as a shield. They follow the rules of Cover & Shoot skill while you only have your Shoot or Strike skill. You can attempt to Charm or Intimidate them into letting the hostage go, but on any failure it could cause the hostage to be harmed. You can attempt to Shoot or Strike (if you are close enough), but follow the rules of Cover & Shoot skill vs Shoot rules. If you fail to hit, you will likely hit the hostage. 

Group Hostage: Multiple hostages are taken and used as leverage to not be attacked. You can attempt to negotiate a safe end to the incident by using your Charm skill, but you must have a number of success equal to twice the number of Hostage Takers. 

Job Level & Case Type

Your Job can determine what type of cases you will get. This only affects you if you are working for a police department. If you do not, you can use this same list as a growing point for your character if they are a Private Investigator. 
Note: Private Investigators are restricted by the law and do not have the same resources as the police do.

Job Level            Case Type          Number of Successful Cases before Promotion           
Patrol                  Robberies           2-3
Traffic                  Car Crashes       4-5
Arson                  Fires                    4-5
Homicide            Murders              4-5
Vice                     Drugs                 4-5
Agent                  Any

You can also be Demoted if you fail the same number of cases. 

Promotions are not automatic. When they reach the ability to get a promotion, they must pass a certain Skill roll based on what they are being promoted to. Use the following table listed below as a guideline.

Promotion To      Skill Roll            Difficulty
Traffic                  Drive                 Level 4    Number  2
Arson                  Locate               Level 4    Number  2
Homicide            Observe            Level 5   Number 3
Vice                    Health                Level 5   Number 3
Agent                 Intuition              Level 6   Number 4

While on duty, you have access to certain items such as weapons and handcuffs. These all must be checked out and registered. While at the level of Patrol, your uniform is provided fro you. When you get promoted you are expected to have at leas two proper suits. 


You can't be expected to work for free. Listed below is the amount of money you get per week. Depending on how well you do during a Case, you may get a bonus.

Job Lvel               Pay Per Week
Patrol                   $65
Traffic                  $78
Arson                  $85
Homicide            $100
Vice                    $120
Agent                 $150

Character Creation

This is a simple process as there is not much to creating your character. The more in depth part of your character is your characters reason for doing what they are doing. 

You have eight (8) Skill points to spend to level up your skill levels. These cannot exceed three (3) levels during character creation, unless you are making more advanced characters and wishing to start your character deeper into their career. 

You have a one bedroom apartment that you must pay costs too at the end of every month (see Off Duty Page)
You have a car that is $1,800 or less
You have $400 in your bank account.