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Drawtectives is an Urban Fantasy whodunnit RPG campaign created for Drawfee by Julia Lepetit, who also serves as the DM.

It follows the adventures of the mismatched power trio of rookie detectives Gyorik "York" Rogdul the half-orc barbarian (Jacob Andrews), Grendan Highforge the dwarf druid (Nathan Yaffe) and Rosé the human rogue (Karina Farek) as they solve mysteries, catch criminals... and also make a surprising amount of drawings.

The show was put on hold after the 2020 CollegeHumor shutdown, which left the future of the series up in the air. However, after Drawfee reestablished itself as an independent production, the show has officially been Uncancelled, with new episodes premiering on the channel.

Season One — dubbed Murder on Crescent Hill — has our heroes trying to uncover the truth about the murder of Paladin Captain Sorin Justice, which was committed during a social gathering at the expansive Crescent Hill mansion. Following the end of this arc, a second season has been announced and will release it's first episode on October 5th.

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On August 23rd a special one-shot was live-streamed where the gang reunite to solve the dissapearance of Harper's dog.

The show can be watched on Youtube. For Drawfee's other art challenge-based RPG campaign, see Drawga.


Tropes:

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     General Drawtectives Tropes 

  • A Wizard Did It: This is basically the Hand Wave explanation for how Grendan's art book has all the tools and functions of a Photoshop program. It's all druid magic.
  • Excuse Plot: The premise of the show is essentially an excuse to incorporate Drawfee challenges into an actual story. To wit, our protagonists are tasked with solving a crime which has already been solved, and proceed to interview witness who inexplicably all want them to draw stuff.
  • Furries Are Easier to Draw: Inverted. Julia Lepitit essentially banned antropomorhic animals from the setting as she felt that they would be too difficult to draw in her detailed style.
  • Genius Ditz: York. He doesn't know what cameras are nor does he know his own age and is scared of trains (which may or may not be creatures), but he can do division and understands the intricacies of privilege.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The players openly state in their Q&A video that it will contain spoilers, and should ideally be watched after Season One. This also applies to the One-Shot Stream, which alludes to the events of said season.
  • Low Culture, High Tech: The orcs have a fairly primitive culture compared to the rest of this world, but they still produce some of the more popular soap operas around.
  • Narrowed It Down To The Guy I Recognise:
    • Julia Lepitit was well aware of this trope while making both Season One and the One-Shot Stream, deliberately Averting it by playing all of the suspects herself.
    • It's been confirmed that Season Two will try to avoid it in a different way, Namely by having multiple Special Guests with equal involvement in the show's production.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Harper starts off sounding like a Valley Girl but gradually slides into a Long Island accent. This is lampshaded in the livestream oneshot where it is Hand Waved as her getting progressively more drunk.
  • Power Trio: A few can be formed-
  • Scully Box: A virtual one. Because of the main characters' height difference, it was often necessary to artificially raise Grendan's image so that he'd fit into the frame, as if he was standing on a box.
  • Shared Universe: Defied. The players have made it clear — perhaps to allow for more creative freedom and to avoid Continuity Snarl and/or Continuity Lockout — that the series is not set in the same universe as Drawga, though they haven't completely ruled out the idea of portals opening up between the two universes. (According to a later Drawfee episode, York and Ryjinah are — if nothing else — part of the same online friend group, along with some other of Jacob Andrews's characters.)
  • Sliding Scale of Plot Versus Characters: Heavily on the character side, to the point that the plot is mostly an excuse to have eccentric figures interact with each other (and draw.)

     Murder on Crescent Hill Tropes 

  • Aborted Arc: We never find out just why plants were missing from the conservatory. Word of God is that Dr. Fontaine used them to make the tea she later shares with the detectives, but they never managed to figure this out.
  • Artistic License – Law:
    • Pierce Steel has the Drawtectives give him their wild hunches of how Sorin died — with no information except for the fact that he was stabbed — then goes on to treat their (unsurprisingly inaccurate) guesses as gospel.
    • The group quite reguarly talk about performing "Citizen's Arrests" while seeming to have no idea what it actually is.
  • Bad Ending: It luckily doesn't come to pass, but Word of God is that had the Drawtectives arrested the wrong suspect, the season would have ended with them getting fired.
  • Be as Unhelpful as Possible: Everyone of course, but Sam is so deliberately unhelpful that Grendan has to use his ability to draw the truth out of someone on her.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Avis and Ogalvy, as well as York and Grendan.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Episode 3, in which kitchen intern Don Jovi wants to find the tastiest fictional animal which could possible exist, is based all around this trope.
    • Grendan draws dumpling creatures, which cook all food they eat within their own stomachs, essentially making them two meals in one.
    • Rosé draws a cake turtle, which the rest of the group don't find very appetizing.
    • York, being a bit of a narcissist, simply draws himself.
      • York himself is an example, as he reportedly has two stomachs and urinates and defacates at the exact same time.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The A-team seemingly can't spell the word "extraction", but they're still perfectly capable of performing one.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The key the detectives got from Buzz turns out to fit into the box Fauco is holding into. It turns out to be an empty knife box, or rather a "knife bed."
  • Constantly Changing Name: Grendan starts out as such, but on meeting Faucon (with a silent "N") he changes it to Grenda (actually "Grendan" with a silent "N"). Soon after, Harper can't remember his name but remembers it starts with a "G", so she calls him G-man, which Grendan takes to but then remembers the N in his name is now silent, so he says his name is now G-ma. Harper comments it sounds like "grandma", which is where his name has sat since then.
  • Cutting the Knot: This is generally the approach our protagonists take when inventor Larm Alassa asks them for help.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Sure, Rosé. Living cake creatures may sound like a good idea, but they are going to get really dirty running around in nature, and they're not exactly easy to clean.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: During Episode 2, Rosé is tasked with drawing how she thinks Sorin died. However she is so absorbed in her sexy drawing of Sorin, looking as though he's on the cover of a taudry romance novel, that she completely forgot Sorin died, prompting this gem of a line: "Oh right, he got killed".
  • The Dog Walker Was The Mastermind: Defied. Our investigators point out that the murderer could just be some random stranger — like the briefly mentioned Todd Walker the dog walker — who somehow avoided detection, but feel that this would be incredibly anti-climatic.
  • Energetic and Soft-Spoken Duo: Avis is the soft-spoken father to the energetic and noisy Ogalvy.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The entire 11 episode season — released over the course of almost two years — is set during a single evening, possibly in more than real time.
  • Faking the Dead: Grendan Highforge speculates that Sorin might be doing this, as part of some complicated Batman Gambit. This turns out to not be the case, however.
  • Faux Shadowing: Lotta seems to take the death of her husband far worse than anyone else present at the scene. Now why would that be so significant? It isn't. She genuinly had the most emotional reaction to it.
  • Foreshadowing: There is a subtle piece of enviromental storytelling in the design of the mansion. Other than the Justice family's private quartets, the house is very sparsely decorated. This hints both towards The Reveal that they are not actually rich and that the building serves more as a base of operations than a home.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Episode 9 has newspaper articles which are only shown briefly and not in their entirety.
    • JORGANS AND BORGANS FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY
      BY A. DAM WRITER
      When Jorgans and Borgans began, People flocked to their firm to help them save all of their shiny coins. However, it seems that the Jorgans and Borgans in fighting has made it's mark on the firms own coins and will be forced to close later this year. Jorgan is known for his ruthless "flap and claw" strategies while Borgan was known, more pleasantly, for his more low key tactic known only as "claw and flap". The two seemed unable to reach an agreement on whether or not they should combine the two ideas and call it "claw and claw" or "happy flappy".

      Asked if the firm expects to restructure and return in the future, Jorgan Said "I'm reevaluating on my own whether or not I should start another firm and I'm somewhere between yes and yes. If I do, I will make my firm up somewhere very high, round and with many sticks. Wait, what was the question?" Borgan said simply "no".
    • BIRDS OF PREY SINGER TAKES BREAK FROM BAND
      BY TOM BETTY
      The mysterious singer of Birds of Prey'' known only as Faucon has stated in a social post that she will be taking a break from her band. This comes as a surprise as the band landed at the top of the charts after a ground breaking album. Pushing out some other band that had been taking up the number one spot for the past few years, the band was expected the sour into everyone's everyday listening.

      Asked why she was taking a break, the singer stated "I just needed to take a break from the pressures of stardom to just wind down and relax with tiny cowboy". It is still unclear if this was part of a bizarre marketing campaign but fans are still speculating. Others suspect something to do with a paladin she has been in contact with recently. We are investigating who this...
    • GOVERNMENT DEBATES DISBANDING OF LAWLESS EASTERN FORT
      BY MARINA TRENCH
      A fort on the eastern boarder named "Travelers Beware Woods" is up for debate for closure as stories emerge. Bird smuggling, underground cupcake roulette, and gambling are only some of the things causing some of the soldiers to issue massive debt at the fort also known as "Travelers Be There Woods". The...
  • Hammerspace: Rosé somehow manages to fit an entire "knife bed" in her pocket. Granted, this wouldn't be the first time a Bag of Holding appeared in a Drawfee RPG...
  • Milkman Conspiracy: The Song Parody title A Weaver You Can't Out-Bet leads to the characters discussing how weavers keep winning at boker [sic] and concluded that they must have made deals with the casinos. Also, at least some of them are vampire orcs.
  • Mock Millionaire: Both Sorin and Lotta, whose "rich socialite" presentation is really just a cover for The Night Vault spy network, who are the true owners of the Crescent Hill mansion. It's implied that they didn't sponsor Emery's fort partially because they flat-out didn't have the money.
  • Mysterious Note: The Justice family recieved one, with the threat that one of them would die unless a sum was paid in cash. It's assumed that whoever wrote it also arranged Sorin's murder. It was written by Emery, who needed the money to cover his gambling debts.
  • The Nicknamer: Harper, albeit unintentionally. She's responsible for three of Grendan's new names, and calls York "Piss-boy". Emery shares this trait with his sister, although his crosses into Malicious Misnaming with York, whom he calls "Dork" even after being corrected.
  • Non-Indicative Name: According to Fauco, Grendan Fury — not to be confused with protagonist Grendan Highforge — is really a Nice Guy who isn't at all prone to furious behaviour.
  • Orphaned Etymology: Parodied. The world of Drawtectives doesn't have airplanes, but it does have songs about them. It's mentioned that trains are sometimes referred to as "ground planes", even though that would be rather redundant if there are no other planes.
  • Panthera Awesome: York claims that northern cats are eight feet tall and eight feet long. Yes, they are in fact cube-shaped.
  • Police Are Useless:
    • Most of the B-squad, who are tasked with securing the mansion. For one thing, they cleaned up the crime scene before our investigators had a chance to look at it.
    • Also — as pointed out in the season finale — they didn't actually search any of the guests, so several of them were still carrying important evidence by the time they were questioned as witnesses.
  • Potty Emergency: York leaves for the mansion garden mid-investigation because he really has to pee. Jancy points out that there is a bathroom, but he's never used one before.
  • Railroad Tracks of Doom: York claims that "wild trains" are a real threat up north. Though given that wording, tracks may not actually be involved...
  • "Rashomon"-Style: One of the biggest tasks our protagonists face is trying to figure out which witness are lying and which are telling the truth when their stories don't line up. For instance, neither Harper nor Emery Justice admit to having seen the knife case they found before, but Dr. Susan Fontaine claims that it's been in the house for decades.
  • Revenge: Harper Justice makes our protagonists draw themselves in embarrasing situations as a collective punishment for York pretty much peeing on her and ruining her shoes.
    • Grendan is forced to draw himself losing a "dog-walking competition" against some bloke named Todd Walker. (Harper didn't quite understand what dog walkers actually did.)
    • Rosé has to draw herself as a middle-aged accountant Lady in a Power Suit (and a tacky one at that). She really doesn't mind the idea.
    • She tries to make York draw himself as a cute kitten, but he refuses, simply writing "Eat my butt". Rosé picks up the challenge instead.
    • Having to talk to Harper is itself revenge from Jancy, who is tired of the antics of her new hires.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: After concluding that Ogalvy didn't steal the jewels after all, the Drawtectives make certain to tell him that someone else did, knowing that he will track down the culprint to take them for himself.
  • Right Hand Vs Left Hand: The police have a real problem with this, as Jancy sends in our protagonists to solve the crime before the arrival of the more experienced policemen who will then solve it properly, and the crime scene has been cleaned up before any of them has had a chance to look at it. What's more, Jancy claims to have already solved the crime but has for some reason not shared her conclusion with anyone.
  • Robotic Reveal: The players agree that it would be cool if this happened, though they argue that this probably won't happen with the very sweaty Avis, at the very least.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Show Within a Show: Ogalvy asks the Drawtectives to draw characters from his favorite (In-Universe) cartoon, upside-down no less.
    • Rosé draws a rad, giant Bayonetta-esque woman riding a Cool Train, armed with tons of swords.
    • York draws a buff cowboy wearing a "gun hat", riding a "gun horse", while dual wielding guns.
    • Grendan, meanwhile, is forced to draw a Cerberus-inspired three-headed dog with six legs, riding a bicycle.
  • So Proud of You: At the end of Season One, Jancy admits that — despite earlier frustrations — she is proud of her detectives for solving the case.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Sorin, Ogalvy, and Faucon are the official spellings. Grendan as well when he becomes "Grenda", as he doesn't lose the N in his name, it's just silent now.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Grendan speculates that Tulip — Sorin's hypothetical mistress — can shapeshift into a shadow and a rhinoserous, to explain why they all drew different culprints.
  • Weird Currency: Bones are apparently accepted currency among orcs, the bigger the more valuable.
  • Wish Fulfillment: In stark contrast to his sister, Emery has the Drawtectives draw him in positions he would like to see himself in.
    • Grendan draws him avenging his father's killer (who is still portrayed as a rhinoceros.)
    • Rosé portrayes him as an old man, surrounded by riches and — reluctantly on the real Emrey's part — feet pics of York.
    • York draws Emery taking on a wild train, which he doubts the guy would actually manage.
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     Drawtectives One-Shot Stream Tropes 

  • Pinball Protagonist: Sort of. The trio have a quite hard time solving this mystery, forcing Jancy to more or lesstell them the solution.
  • Pounds Are Animal Prisons: The facility Harper originally stole Harold from very much fits into the mold of this trope, to the point that it reminded her of her own time as a convict.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Played With. It turns out that nobody stole the dog from Harper! It just got scared and ran off into the bushes. However, the investigation wasn't a complete waste of time, as it led to the arrest of the man behind a major, tangentally related crime spree.

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