A downloadable playbook

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In a city brimming with secrets only one individual can cut through the smoke and make sense of it all.

Enter The Sleuth, a peerless detective and mentalist.

In every lie there exists a kernel of truth. In every stroke of the pen, a hundred words. In a city like Doskvol it can be tempting to turn a blind eye to the meaning of it all, to shut the door and allow the trash to pile up underneath the floorboards. The Sleuth knows that a foundation of lies drags everyone down and that is very useful information.

The Sleuth is a custom playbook for Blades in the Dark, by John Harper. Designed to fit right alongside the likes of The Hound, The Leech, or The Spider, The Sleuth is a useful addition to any Crew with more questions than answers.

Concept and Design by Justin Ford

Iconic Sleuth by Al Lukehart

Original image by Teral Goe 


I talk about designing The Sleuth, and other playbooks, in the inaugural episode of Hacked in the Dark.

Episode 1: The Sleuth with Justin Ford

CategoryPhysical game
Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars
(24 total ratings)
GenreRole Playing
Tagsbladesinthedark, Forged in the Dark, playbook


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Click download now to get access to the following files:

Sleuth Playbook.pdf 2 MB
Sleuth Character Sheet.pdf 404 kB

Development log


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Hi. Why this playbook is free on Drivethru? I'd put it PWYW; it could be a nice way to reward you.
PS: I usually avoid to buy thru itch.io 'cause it adds extra taxes if I declare I'm here in Europe.

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Hi, Andrea. First of all, thank you for making the extra effort to come here to itch.
To explain why I have it for free on DriveThru, my reasons are several.

1. This product uses assets from the Blades in the Dark book, by John Harper, without permission. Because of that it actually makes a difference that this version is available for free on itch, with the potential for tips, versus PWYW. Unfortunately there is no equivalent on DriveThru.

2. Even forgetting that issue, sadly, very few people actually pay for small PWYW products on DriveThru.

3. There has actually been a malicious user (even several?) on DriveThru low-rating free indy products on the site for whatever reason.

Anyhow, thank you again for your patronage, and know that I receive more money, and thus can charge less, for my paid products here on itch vs on DriveThru. 

(1 edit)

Thanks for the reply. PS I saw a minor typo on the Ghost Sense: there's a phrase starting with "Is your trigger..." but it's not a interrogative one.

Also, the explanation "Note that what you perceive..." it's slightly confusing. IMHO you could simply initially state that the ability cover all your senses (calling it Ghost SenseS), and eventually in the final note stating that the player should choose a particular sense that is enhanced during the Flashback.


Great playbook, would go wonderfully with the vigilantes playbook

In the process of starting a detective noir themed blades in the dark game and this was exactly what I was looking for!


A solid playbook for Blades. It feels like it should have been in the original book.