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The name's Frank Darrow. I'm a Private Eye.

Sleuthing in LA has been a one man game ever since Julius Diamond cracked the Carpathia double homicide back in '31. With Julie snagging a new headline in every other Times, all us regular Joes have had to subsist on divorce cases and missing Lhasa Apsos. Not that he's has kept it all to himself. Every dick in the city has done freelance work for the Diamond Detective Agency. We lay down the shoeleather and DDA takes the credit. Business as usual in the City of Angels.

So the day a wet-nosed kid in a blue-and-white monkey suit showed up in my waiting room with the Diamond Eye logo peeking out of his message bag, I ate a whole can of tuna on wheat crackers before I unlocked the inside door. Sure money's tight. But pride's even tighter.

“What's in the poke, Pancho?” I asked, but the kid didn't speak American. I had to repeat myself in English. “Do you have a letter for me?”

He cleared his throat and pulled his mouth harp out of a breast pocket.

I batted it aside. “Never mind the floorshow, kid, just gimme the package.”

The kid scowled at me as he fished out the envelope. “I get paid by the song, ya know.”

I palmed him a nickel. “Just whistle through your teeth on the way out.”

Back at my desk I examined the large white envelope with some admiration. Eight-by-ten, logo on front and clasp. Custom print job. Julie does everything with style. I slit the top with my pen knife. Inside was a single typed sheet between two pieces of black felt and a five-by-seven photograph. I read the caption on the photo first. It was of a dead girl. She was seven years dead. But she had been alive, and then some. The photo proved it. It proved a lot, and very little of what it proved had ever made the papers. I could think of a half-dozen pencil scratchers who would have bitten their lower lips in half for a peek at this little beauty. Why Julie had sent it to me was the subject of the letter. I won't bore you with the details, but it was the opportunity of a lifetime....



The above is the introduction to my new design, Shamus, from the first playtest draft of the rules. The game is a tribute to the noir stories of Raymond Chandler and Dashiel Hammett. Mechanically, it's a route-optimization Euro with Ameritrash sympathies, designed to be played with the components from Queen Games' Shogun or its predecessors.

I've set up a Google Group for Print-and-Play playtesters, if anyone is in the mood for high-energy, brain-burning pseudo sleuthing.


This sounds really slick - makes me wonder how the game works. If you'd like to PM me about the google group I'd be interested to read about the mechanics you've come up with for it!

I never got around with making a game using the Cube tower, but it was fun thinking about how it works.

- Seth

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