Sleuth: Shades of Mystery - Help


Sleuth is an open-ended detective RPG where you solve mysteries by searching for clues, questioning suspects and interviewing witnesses. Every mystery is unique, with different victims, suspects and clues. All mysteries are solvable, in fact there are always two ways to solve any single mystery, but player skill and a small amount of luck are necessary to nab the guilty suspect.


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Creating a new Detective

Your detective is your personification in the world of Sleuth. A detective has certain statistics, skills and equipment that make it easier to solve cases.

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Detective Appearance

Your detective's appearance does not affect gameplay. Once set, you cannot change your features, face shape or skin color. You can however change your hat, glasses and image background. Some of these items are not available to new players and can only be unlocked by accomplishing certain goals in the game.

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Detective Background

Your detective's background affects the skills and contacts your detective will begin his or her career with. These in turn affect how you play the game. See the Skills section for more details.

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Detective Name and Password

Sleuth detectives are persistent. You can stop playing in the middle of a case one day, and come back the next day to pick up right where you left off. This means you need to assign your detective a name and password so that you can access the account the next time you play Sleuth.

Email Address

It is highly recommended that you assign your detective a valid email address so we can send you password reminders and notify you of in-game events.

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How to Solve a Case

You solve a case by accusing the guilty suspect. There is always exactly one guilty suspect in every case.

There are three rules you should keep in mind when determing which suspect is guilty.

  1. You must find a suspect's Motive to accuse them.
  2. The guilty suspect will always have a Fake Alibi or No Alibi.
  3. The guilty suspect will have at least 3 stars of implicating evidence.
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Game Time vs Server Time

While playing Sleuth, the current Game Time is shown in the upper right hand corner. Game Time is not connected to time in the real world. It only advances when you do something in the game, like visit a suspect or search a location. If you stop playing the game one day, and log back in the next, the Game Time will not have changed in the interim.

Game Time is important for determining when suspects can be found at home and when you are in danger of missing your case deadline.

On the other hand, Server Time is the real world time in the time zone where the Sleuth server is located. If you leave the game and come back later, Server Time will have elapsed just as the time where you live has.

Server Time is important, because there are certain limits to what you can do in a given day, and how often you can do it. For instance, you may be limited to playing a certain number of cases in a day. This limit refers to Server Time.

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Using Skills

Charm: Make a suspect or witness talk by being nice.

Intimidation: Make a suspect or witness talk by being mean.

Judge of Character: Determine whether somebody will respond better to Charm or Intimidation.

Lock Picking: Open a locked door without a key.

Negotiation: Lower the prices you must pay for most goods and services.

Research: Search through records to find information about a suspect. You can research in the following locations:
* Doylesburgh Police Station
* The Daily Monitor
* Spade Central Hospital

Code Breaking: Unravel meaning buried within a coded message. You must find a quiet place to concentrate to use this skill.

Necromancy: Speak with the dead to learn what secrets they took with them to the grave. You can only commune with the very recently departed.

Evidence Analysis Skills

You need time to spare and a quiet place to concentrate for these skills.

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Gifts are items that can be used to make somebody who has clammed up more cooperative. You may not give somebody more than one gift in a mystery, but you can give gifts to multiple people.

Gifts may be earned in the game by finishing favors for people. Better gifts may be earned for harder favors.

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Training Skills

Once you have earned a few skill points, you can train your skills by finding a trainer. It is only possible to train your skills when you are not working on a mystery.

Skill Training Costs (In Skill Points)
Skill Level: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Charm 16 8 10 10 14 18 18 16 14 12 12 12
Intimidation 16 8 10 10 14 18 18 16 14 12 12 12
Judge of Character 14 7 7 14 16
Lock Picking 18 9 9 18 21 21 18 16
Hair Analysis 18 14 10
Thread Analysis 18 14 10
Handwriting Analysis 18 14 10
Footprint Analysis 18 14 10
Cosmetic Analysis 13 10 7
Tobacco Analysis 13 10 7
Negotiation 14 7 7 14 16 16
Research 10 10 10 8 10 10 12 12 10 10 8 8
Code Breaking 13 9
Necromancy 15 11
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False Accusations and Retirement

If you accuse an innocent suspect, your detective will have a False Accusation added to his or her permanent record. If you accumulate three False Accusations, your detective license will be revoked and you will be forced into retirement. At that point you have the choice to either reset your detective, or start over with a brand new detective.

Reset Current Detective If you choose to reset your current detective, that detective will be reset to zero experience, no equipment and only the starting skills and contacts appropriate for your detective's background. Your detective will lose their place on any high lists and any items carried. They will not, however lose membership in their detective agency.

Start over with New Detective If you choose to create a new detective, that detective will start from the absolute beginning. If you have an active subscription, it will be transferred to your new detective, but no other account data will be transferred. Your old detective will remain retired. They will maintain their position on any high score lists. You can login with a retired detective, but you cannot play any cases with them.

There is rumored to be at least one way to have False Accusations removed from your permanent record, but the price will surely be high.

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Occasionally, you will be given the opportunity to do a favor for one of the merchants or recurring characters around town. A favor is a special mystery that can help you improve your relationship (standing) with that person and earn other prizes as well.

Once you have a positive standing level with a particular person, they are considered to be your Contact. You can view your standing with all contacts by going to your detective page and clicking View All Contact Relationships under the New Case Contacts panel.

To accept a favor that has been offered, visit the person in their usual location and click Take the Case.

The harder a favor is, the greater the rewards for completing it successfully, and the greater the penalty if you quit or get a false accusation.

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New Case Contacts

Starting Contact
You start the game with one contact who will offer you new cases when you are looking for work.

Your Background Starting Case Contact
Reformed Burglar Desk Sergeant
Disillusioned Police Detective Desk Sergeant
Disgraced Doctor Desk Sergeant
Freelance Investigative Reporter Reporter
Retired Lawyer Reporter
Moonlighting Dilettante Reporter

Advanced Contacts
As you progress, you will gain access to other contacts who can offer harder cases. The more contacts you have, the more cases you will have to choose from. Note that you must reach a certain level of experience in order to access some case difficulty levels.

Case Difficulty Level Requirement
Beginner None
Easy 30 Experience
Intermediate New Contact
Hard 500 Experience
Very Hard New Contact
Very Very Hard 5000 Experience
Incredibly Hard 10000 Experience
Stupendously Hard New Contact
Ridiculously Hard 1000000 Experience
Almost Impossible 4000000 Experience
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Witness Contacts

As your detective's standing with certain people in town increases, they will become more cooperative in your mysteries. As your standing with Witness contacts increases, they will be more willing to answer questions.

People who are on friendly terms with you may not like being manipulated. Using Intimidation or Charm on a Witness Contact who you have a positive relationship with may reduce your standing with them.

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Coats and Accessories

As you advance, you will gain access to wearable equipment. Your detective has three slots available for equipped items: one for a coat and two for accessories. Wearing coats and accessories can improve your skill levels and standing levels with contacts.

Coats and accessories sustain a little bit of damage every time you solve a case. They are also damaged when you store them in an agency equipment locker.

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Detective Agencies

Detective Agencies are teams that players can create and join. Members of an agency can help each other with cases and share equipment.

If you want to join an existing detective agency, take a look at the Detective Agency Recruiting message board in City Hall. You should find a few messages posted by Agency Directors or Officers looking to bring on new memebers.

If you want to start your own agency, save up some money and head to the Real Estate Office. Assuming you have enough cash for a down payment, you can rent headquarters and establish your agency. Another option is to pitch in with a few other detectives, to share the down payment cost.

Agency Ranks:
Rookies Agents Officers Directors
Deposit Money in Safe Yes Yes Yes Yes
Broadcast Message Yes Yes Yes Yes
Access Case Files Yes Yes Yes Yes
Use Item Locker -- Yes Yes Yes
Invite New Members -- -- Yes Yes
Change Agency Description -- -- Yes Yes
Promote/Demote Members* -- -- Yes Yes
Withdraw from Office Safe -- -- -- Yes
Kick Out Member** -- -- -- Yes
Move Headquarters -- -- -- Yes

* Officers cannot demote or promote other officers. Directors can demote themselves, but cannot demote other Directors.
** Directors can only kick out other directors if they have been inactive for at least 30 days.

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More Help Documents

Subscription FAQ

Code of Conduct

Sleuth Showdown FAQ

Treasure Hunt FAQ

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