Dumb Table, P.I.

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Here are five dumb tables for Private Detectives.

What Did He Fail At?

Nobody’s a private detective because they grew up dreaming of one day being a private detective. They all started out somewhere else, screwed it up, and ended up doing this. Most P.I.’s are former cops or spies or soldiers, but there are lots of other respectable (and not-so-respectable) jobs with a skill set that can be adapted to P.I. work when nobody in your field will hire you anymore.

  1. Minor Celebrity
  2. Hired Goon
  3. Blue Collar Worker
  4. Athlete
  5. Soldier
  6. Bodyguard
  7. Beat Cop
  8. Journalist
  9. Crime Scene Investigator
  10. Intelligence Analyst
  11. Police Detective
  12. G-Man
  13. Security Consultant
  14. S.W.A.T. Team Member
  15. Special Forces Soldier
  16. Political Activist
  17. White Collar Professional
  18. Entertainer
  19. Political Operative
  20. Spy

What Makes Him A Scumbag?

As Bruce Willis observed in The Last Boy Scout, “All private detectives are scumbags.” This table provides examples of actions and attitudes that can contribute to a P.I.’s scumbaggery.

  1. Obsessive Compulsive
  2. Drug Addict
  3. Glory Hound
  4. Greedy
  5. Vindictive
  6. Dishonest
  7. Lecherous
  8. Violent
  9. Always In A Bad Mood
  10. Compulsive Gambler
  11. Drunk
  12. Bigot
  13. Lazy
  14. No Filter
  15. Superstitious
  16. Self-Righteous
  17. Know-It-All
  18. Antiquated Worldview
  19. Broken Moral Compass
  20. Roll Twice

Who’s Out To Get Him?

Everybody has enemies.

  1. A Minor Celebrity
  2. A Crime Syndicate
  3. A Drug Cartel
  4. A Street Gang
  5. A Small-Time Criminal
  6. A Former Employer
  7. A Former Ally or Co-Worker
  8. Bill Collectors
  9. An Ex-Lover
  10. A Criminal
  11. A Dirty Cop
  12. A Good Cop
  13. A Former Client
  14. A Former Employee
  15. A Concerned Citizen
  16. A Reporter
  17. The D.A.
  18. A Politician
  19. A Government Agency
  20. A Cult or Secret Society

Who Is His Only True Friend?

Most private detectives only have one, probably because of the whole “scumbag” thing.

  1. A Minor Celebrity
  2. A Vagrant
  3. A Morgue Attendant
  4. A Small-Time Criminal
  5. A Sex Worker
  6. A Bartender/Waitress
  7. A Friend On The Force
  8. His Underappreciated Secretary
  9. An Old Army Buddy
  10. His Dog
  11. A Kid
  12. A Retiree With Nothing Better To Do
  13. A Relative
  14. A Neighbor
  15. A Local Business Owner
  16. A Respectable Citizen
  17. A Political Activist
  18. A Reporter
  19. A Bureaucrat
  20. A Crank

What’s He Got In His Pockets

For some reason, I always imagine private detectives as having a bunch of weird shit in their pockets. This table is for stuff in addition to the normal P.I. pocket contents (gun, hip flask, cigars, note pad and pen, phone, half-eaten sandwich, etc). Once per game, a PC P.I. can roll to see what turns up in his pockets. He may make additional rolls by spending Yum Yums. The cost starts at 1 and increases by 1 for each additional pocket search. Normally, the GM determines the exact nature of the item, but the player can choose if he doubles the YY cost (the cost is 1 for the free pocket reach).

  1. Something gross
  2. Something illegal
  3. Something you’d find in a bathroom
  4. Something you’d find in a kitchen
  5. Something you’d find in a bedroom
  6. Something you’d find in a garage or shed
  7. Something you’d find in a car
  8. Something you’d find in the junk drawer
  9. Something you can eat
  10. Something that can be used as a weapon
  11. Something you’d find in a toolbox
  12. Something you’d find in a first aid kit
  13. Something that runs on batteries
  14. Something you’d find in a diner
  15. Something you’d find in an office
  16. Something you can buy at a bodega
  17. Something containing written information
  18. Tickets to an event
  19. Something you can sell for quick cash
  20. A Clue

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