Thursday, May 16, 2013

List of 10 Investigative Clues In An Office Setting

When developing adventures it's always nice to have an idea of the sorts of clues you might be able to place in different locations.  While it helps to have an idea about what sort of leads you want to leave (i.e. clues to a megalomaniac's scheme), or the sort of detritus that might be left by an event (i.e. clues of an embezzlement and hasty office pack up), it also helps to know what sort of things could be in a location that could give you that hint in the first place.  So here we go:

1. Bomb Threat Checklist
This could be used as a prop for the players to fill in while their character receives a bomb threat or a previously filled in version could be used as evidence.

2. Contact Lists
While employee records are generally hard to find, contact lists may be left in an unlocked cabinet and will provide access to names, contact numbers, and sometimes a brief piece of information on responsibilities.

3. Timetables
Timetables include a list of activities and their timing.  This might include names and contact details (especially if it's a shift timetable) but not always.

4. Accident Report Forms
These forms are used by employees after a workplace accident that resulted in an injury.  They report details on the location, timing, witnesses, and results of the accident - including any actions taken to treat or rehabilitate staff members or ensure that it won't happen again.

5. Hazard Report Forms
These forms are used when a hazard has been identified as likely to cause injury to property or people - either because it could lead to direct harm, litigation, or significant harm to company proceedings.  This could provide information on unsafe work practices or equipment.  They might hint at sabotage, poltergeist activity in a particular office, or simple neglect if that machine causes injury later.

6. Risk Management Checklists
A Risk Management Checklist is a list of possible risks to an organisation from a particular device or event (i.e. rain is a risk for an outdoor concert) as well as a series of strategies to mitigate that risk (i.e. access to an indoor area or maquees).  This could provide evidence that the organisation was aware of a risk yet did nothing about it.

7. Corporate Policies
A Corporate Policies sets out what the business expects employees to do under certain circumstances and are either writte, or at least approved, by upper management.  These can be used when attempting to manipulate an organisation into doing what you wish it to be doing as most organisations attempt to cleave to these policies.  They can also be used to operate the internal machinery of rules and use them to your own advantages.

8. Newspaper Clippings
An employee might keep clippings of advertisements, articles on the organisation, or on a particular person.

9. Handbooks
A handbook is a procedural manual that sets out what you need to as well as providing additional information on the topic.  While handbooks are generally pretty mundane, they might be interesting if they are for security personnel or a cyberpunk corporation that favours secrecy and dodgy practices.  Generally dodgy practices will be evidence in what isn’t said rather than what is said.

10. Post-it Note
These might include passwords, cryptic warnings, contact information, or appointments and could be found anywhere about a cubicle or office.

I might do another ten last week.  This was fun.


  1. Very nice! I've ended up posting some related stuff because you inspired me, but I hope I haven't trodden on your toes for the next post.

    1. I love inspiring posts, not least because people so often link back to me. Folk who'd like to read his office post can find it here: