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Shadow City Mysteries: The Roleplaying Game


Based on the Upcoming Narrative Adventure Video Game Shadow City Mysteries: A Clockwork Noir



Shadow City Mysteries: The Roleplaying Game is a TTRPG book packed with an exciting new setting for the 5th edition of the world’s most popular roleplaying game! Immerse yourself in a world of dark clockwork noir, where the lines between reality and the supernatural blur.

What's Inside: 
  • Comprehensive Rulebook
  • Expansive Setting Lore
  • 3 Tiered Power System (Mystery, Conspiracy, Supernatural)
  • New Backgrounds, Classes and Subclasses
  • Monochromatic Magic (Shadow and Light)
  • Clockwork Mechanics (Brass and Iron)
  • City Relationship Mapping System
  • ...and much more!
Enter the Femme Fatale- Art by Adam Schumpert




The sprawling metropolis the locals call Shadow City is far from the front lines of the war but at the heart of the nation’s politics. The fabulously wealthy play games of influence while those on the street organize into ever-bigger syndicates of crime. The union of steelworkers building the city’s clockwork tech and the nation’s war machines vies for status with the consortium of entertainers and other trades whose impossibly-intricate prostheses give them manual dexterity beyond the unaugmented. All the while, the mystical Church wields its divine mandate and heavenly gifts for both temporal control and to try to root out the shadowy cults that forever find purchase among the disenfranchised.

As a player, you stand between and among all these factions, and will unravel intricate mysteries, expose deep conspiracies, and confront the supernatural forces hidden beneath the mundane surfaces of the Shadow City. Your choice of factions and backgrounds shapes the unfolding narrative, providing you a unique path through the city’s politics every time you play. You may be a detective solving a crime of passion, a fixer navigating a web of deceit, or a warrior battling eldritch horrors. In Shadow City, each night is a new and unforgettable adventure where nothing is as it seems.



The wars are numerous across the sea, and business is booming back at home. Perhaps the largest metropolis in the world, the Shadow City serves as the nation’s key economic engine and its haven for malcontents. Far from the ostensible capital, as long as the factories continue to churn out weapons of war, the city’s factions are free to divide control among themselves across invisible battle lines. Sometimes these battles are literal fights in dark alleys, but so much more often they are a plan as intricate as the city’s clockwork to tear down an opponent without ever firing a shot. And, as a player character, you’ll forever find yourself being included in these plans and avoiding becoming collateral damage in the schemes of the powerful.

Six major factions work to bring all available citizens under their auspices. The Society of Ravens are the truly influential among the upper classes, while the Court of Rats organizes every player in the criminal underworld. The Iron Union represents every industrial worker in the city, many with massive iron prosthetics just shy of the power of the weapons they send off to the war, while the Brass Consortium spreads its membership across the “softer” trades, where entertainers are sometimes assassins. The Church of Astra wields tremendous power over the hearts and minds of those that worship, with their strongest priests manifesting miracles of light, but can never fully stamp out the Cult of Tenebrous, whose shadowy powers generate willing devotees among those with nothing to lose.

All of these factions are made possible by the clockwork physics of the color-starved world. Long ago, a great calamity changed the world such that color became a rarity, a sign of the miraculous. One of these miracles was Turnstone, a substance that rotates with no obvious motive force that became the inexhaustible power source of the world once engineers learned to harness it. Nearly every technological innovation in this era of increasing modernity is drawn from this substance, from self-winding arbalests, to internally-powered automobiles and tanks, to clockwork prosthetic limbs that work even better than the originals, to the locally-generated electricity that powers the buzzing lights that make it possible to navigate the dark. And the nation’s war machine will not grind to a halt any more than Turnstone will, while there is more of the essential substance buried beneath foreign lands, ready to drive the world to greater and greater heights of engineering marvels.

Wield these clockwork innovations, join a faction, and explore a world where the lines between reality and the supernatural blur and every choice can lead to unexpected consequences.

The "Smoker" and the Rat King- Art by Adam Schumpert




Play On Words Studios is a Malta-based studio focused on creating high-quality, diverse, and narrative-driven transmedia experiences for players of all backgrounds with original IPs with a twist. Our international team is made up of veterans from across the TTRPG, video game, and multimedia industries.

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