White Lies is DwD Studio’s latest espionage RPG, much in the vein of their Covert Ops RPG. While both are technically “generic” espionage RPG systems, White Lies is more for those who like the Old School of game rules, as it is based on the Swords & Wizardry Whitebox by Matt J. Finch.
Weighing in at a slim 132 pages, White Lies is written in a surprisingly accessible manner. It’s direct, concise and gets the point across in every page without a lot of flowery prose.
The rules themselves are straightforward to those famililar with old school D&D, and those looking for innovation in terms of the rules will find little novelty here. Instead, we have a workhorse product that delivers a system that can do exactly what it says in the cover.
White Lies provides 5 classes to choose from: Confiscator, Eliminator, Infiltrator, Investigator and Transporter. Each one covers a wide range of possible character concepts, and there is a wide range of gear to pick from to make any modern day action-espionage character happy.
For GMs, there is a ton of tables to reference for making a scenario. Everything from mission names to creation rules for Enemy Organizations, Master Villains (and Henchmen!) and Missions are all detailed with an economy of wordcount but without feeling incomplete.
The book also includes a huge range of adversaries from criminals to animals and even aliens (yes, aliens. It makes sense in the context of one of the game modes, trust me.)
The game also includes a premade agency to work for, and a starting adventure which provides a quick and punchy romp that touches a lot of the key elements of an espionage game to help a new group find their feet.
With good layout, decent artwork and efficient writing, DwD Studios has come up with a lean and mean game that will work well in any GMs repertoire of games. It’s easy to learn, quick to get started, and even those unfamiliar with the rules can learn as they go. It might not be incredibly fresh or novel, but it gets the job done with no mess and no fuss.