False Valor by Neal F. Litherland
A Mystery RPG Tabletop RPG for Your Next Campaign
A one-shot murder-mystery adventure awaits in the TPK Games Critical Hits: False Valor. Can you solve the murder before the killers get away?
False Valor is a short murder-mystery game for 4-6 first level PCs (player characters). This 5E compatible game combines the excitement of battle with the intrigue of sleuthing. Players must choose to play as Dale Valley's residents, militia, or Greengrove elves. The choice in character will determine what intel they are likely to collect, and what NPCs (non-player characters) they may be able to win over or intimidate.
Playing as a Dale Valleys resident or a peace keeper militia officer is the seemingly “easy” choice in False Valor. The Dale Valleys’ residents are more likely to trust the PC and be more forthcoming with intel. However, if a player is up to the challenge, playing as a Greengrove elf may present hidden intel and unlikely help later in the game.
The goal of False Valor is to solve the mystery of who killed Sherrilyn Rowe, and discover how she was killed. The success of this case will determine whether or not Dale Valley will break their truce with Greengrove, and reignite the Three Dales War. The stakes are high for the players.
This is a fun one-shot game that really sucks the players in. The potential paths the players can take can lead to a quick game play, or hours of sleuthing and really diving into the world of Dale Valleys. There are several NPCs placed in the game that can help the players piece the puzzle together. Each has a unique personality, and not simply Villager #1, Villager #2, etc. Great flavor text was put into this game to truly immerse the players into the mystery.
The choice between using violence to collect intel, or using charisma and history wisdom checks brings great balance to the game. It allows the characters who enjoy the storytelling experience to shine, and allows the characters itching to jump into action to also have their moment. The game also gives multiple opportunities for players to discover crucial intel, so even if a moment does not go according to plan, there are still future opportunities for players to gather crucial information to solve the mystery.
The materials included allow for this to be a great plug-and-play game. There is a map of the “world”, and each section of the story gives the GM (game master) detailed information on buildings the players can enter, and what crucial NPCs, items, and intel they can find. This takes a lot of the planning out of the equation for the GM, allowing for a quick, fun game that a group can play together at a moment’s notice. The NPCs also have their combat information included, incase the players want to fight the NPCs, or if they manage to befriend the NPCs into helping fight for the cause.
The flow of the game makes False Valor a great icebreaker for new players. There is a “path” the players will be expected to follow in order to solve the mystery. This narrows the options the players have, which takes the pressure off new players who may be overwhelmed with the seemingly infinite choices with an open world campaign. This game is also great for experienced players who are looking for something fun and quick to play as a palate cleanser between grand campaign game nights. Conversely, this game is also great for players who are looking to cut their teeth as a GM. The limited world and the clear paths the players can take allow for the GM to experience crafting the story for the players without having to build an entire world or dungeon on their own.
False Valor is a great one-shot game for players who love a good murder-mystery. The storyline has some great surprises, and gives players room to make “mistakes” while gathering intel. Perfect for newbie players or experienced players just looking for a new challenge. Give this game a go!
By: Neal Litherland
Editor: Michael Ritter
Cover Design: Brian Berg
Cartography: Brian Berg
Layout: Brian Berg
Artwork: Cover: Andreiuc88, Interior: Rick Hershey
Published by Total Party Kill Games, LLC. 1st printing, September 1st, 2018
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