First Look: Blades In The Dark

We took a look at the new Fantasy Heist RPG of thievery and murder; Blades In The Dark.
We’ve got a little bit of character generation, because we thought you guys might be interested in seeing more of that. We also ran a daring assault on a mansion full of swordsmen.

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  1. This was a really fantastic first session! I love the setting and the concept behind Blades in the Dark, but the core mechanic seems like it takes forever to resolve. Having to designate a Position and Effect Level *every* time a character attempts an action is just slightly disruptive to the flow of the story. I suppose it takes a while to get used to, though.

    I loved how Raymond’s character became the walking distraction for the other PCs during this mission. Every time someone was put in a difficult position or had to take a devil’s bargain, they threw her under the bus.

    One thing I did have a question about: wouldn’t their attempts to cast suspicion on The Lampblacks for Cortes’ unfortunate fate be considered “keeping it quiet?” I mean, god knows the job didn’t go quietly, but they were trying to pin the blame elsewhere. It kind of defeats the purpose of trying to frame the Lampblacks if the mission becomes part of the crew’s Rep, doesn’t it?

    After listening to this session, I’m very excited to give this game a try with my group!


    1. You’re right, it would complicate our Rep. I think it probably would have been more that we started another parallel rumour chain. Making it harder to tell who actually pulled the job, but nor ruling us out.

      Also; our campaign is in a different setting so…doesn’t matter too much.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Glad you enjoyed listening to it.

      Yeah I realised afterwards that it probably should have effectively made the job quiet and no rep. It’s a one off session though and the first time for all of us playing BitD so we were all sort of feeling it out and free of ongoing implications.

      Also having now played a couple more sessions, judging position and effect and declaring it does get smoother. I get what you mean about it seeming to pull things out of the fiction compared to something where you just roll and judge success or failure. I would say though that in practice I’ve found it really adaptable and fluid and less intrusive than in D&D or an Apocalypse World game where someone says ‘I use turn undead’ or whatever ability or move and then you have to stop and go ‘okay so how many can that affect? In what area?’ and establish the extent and how it works. Saying ‘that sounds like a desperate action and the effect is limited’ is really very succinct in comparison.


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