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Jeremiah Frye
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One thing I, and the other players, in my group have struggled with a bit is the 4th crew xp trigger "express the goals, drives, inner conflict, or essential nature of the crew."

We're not having much luck coming up with goals or drives. Immediate thoughts seem like things all crews would be doing and not particularly unique. Like taking over more territory or earning respect or something like that.

So I'm curious what sorts of goals, drives, or essential natures people have seen/used in play and what that looked like.

What do people consider challenges?

Every playbook has an xp tracker about "addressing a challenge" with something appropriate to the class. Violence or coercion for the Cutter, calculation or conspiracy for the Spider, etc.

Action roles seem obvious.

But what about gather information? What if my Cutter beats up a few people to get information out of them?

What about downtime activities? If my Cutter scares some people or beats them into submission to stay quiet and reduce hit, is that a challenge?

We had a player at the table make the argument that things like gather information and downtime activities don't have any real stakes. You can't really fail per se. Which does make sense.

On the other hand, it's still adding to the narrative. If my Cutter is always going around beating people up for information or whatever maybe word gets around and it makes my life difficult in some way. Who knows. Seems like either way it's playing to the Cutter's nature.

So I'm curious what other people think.

I'm curious what other people do to prep scores for their scoundrels. Like, how much do you like to have ready? Are there specific things you try to be ready for? Specific things you don't worry about prepping for?

I have a love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with prepping. I want to feel ready, but I never know how much is enough and I get a bit of decision paralysis.

In general I'm pretty comfortable improvising a lot of stuff at the table, but Blades seems like the kind of game I should come to the table with at least something.

So far I've just run one job, which was for the crew to ransom some information out of a guy. All I came to the table with was the target, the client, and where the target lived. I feel like it went okay, but I feel like it could have gone better if I'd had a little more in my back pocket.

Any input/advice is appreciated!

I ran my group (an Assassin Crew) through their very first score the other night. The job was to get some information about the location of some artifact that only this noble knew. I phrased/offered in such a way that the job could be framed as a ransom job (ransom the guy for his information), because that's what they get a bonus for in their hunting grounds. I figured a relatively straightforward job for their first outing would be good for all of us getting our feet wet.

Anyhow, it brought up a couple question (well probably more than that, but two main ones).

I asked them what kind of plan they'd be going with. The Spider wanted to be a sort of man on the inside while the rest of the crew find another way in, which I thought seemed fun. I said I thought Stealth made the most sense. In hindsight the two-prong attack felt a little weird -- the Spider going in to talk with the guy while everyone else sneaks in. Any tips/suggestions for dealing with that in future? Should I have just done the Spider's part as a setup maneuver sort of thing?

For the second, once they were able to have a direct confrontation with the mark, the Whisper wanted to set something up with his ally, a possessor Ghost. The idea being the ghost would possess the noble and then give the crew the information they wanted. I loved the idea so I just had him spend a little stress for the flashback. He basically ended up letting the ghost hitch a ride in his body and then had the ghost transfer into the noble. I still love the idea of that, but I don't want it to become too much of a crutch or a solution to a lot of problems. I don't want to totally disincentivize using his ally contact, but I feel like I definitely made it too easy for this first time around. What might be some appropriate consequences to doing something similar in the future?

Last night I ran my first actual play session (Cabal creation was a few weeks back -- it took us a bit to get back to it).

The players came up with a mission to increase Knowledge. They wanted to send their field research team out to look for new plant life and have their lab scientists research their findings.

So Team Epsilon (field research) went to the rain forests of South America. There they made contact with an indigenous tribe and heard rumors of a forbidden place. They were able to track it down and discovered some forgotten Mayan burial mounds. There they discovered some plant life that only grew on the mounds and didn't seem to grow anywhere else. So they harvested some and sent it to HQ.

Hilarity ensued when we realized that the lab research team (Team Delta) had almost every science skill imaginable... except Botany (at this point I forgot they could make use of the root skill Biology).

Trying some internet research didn't produce any helpful results, except that they couldn't find any information about the plant, so maybe it was new. The roll failed, so I made a note that curious/motivated enough people could track down their posts and queries back to their company and maybe even narrow down where in South America it came from.

Next character decides to try studying it using toxicology. Seems like a great idea, but he failed badly. I figured with a failure the plant should be poisonous. I was trying to decide how bad the poison should be, but instead of just declaring it I had the player roll a d10 and compared it to the damage table. He rolled a 10. So I ruled that the plant had a deadly contact poison and that although he was wearing gloves he just wasn't careful enough (we jokingly said he probably wiped his brow at some point).

The two surviving scientists did some further testing (involving animals) to get a better idea of the capabilities of the plant, but quickly decided they were out of their depth, so they put a hold on their research until they could fill a req for a Botanist (which the player of the deceased was currently making).

All in all it went relatively smoothly. A bit of finding our way being the first time actually playing, but that's to be expected. Everyone seemed to get into it and we talked a bit about what their next step might be.

Just finished my initial read-through of the rules. I'm planning to run it soon, hopefully.

One question came up, though. I feel like I'm either missing something or I'm just over-thinking it.

Has to do with ammo. If I'm understanding correctly the base ammo value is how many times the weapon can be fired before having to reload. And for those with the auto-fire option (SMGs and assault rifles), they can only auto-fire 3 times before having to reload. Okay, that seems fair.

But then when I look at the ammo on the SMG it's 4/1. If my understanding is correct, then if you don't auto-fire you reload after 4 rounds. If you do auto-fire, you do after 3. And I'm left thinking... why would I not just always do auto-fire? Double the damage bonus and only one less round.

Is that correct?

Hey anyone else flying out of Oakland early Monday morning? Our (two of us) flight leaves at 805, so we'd like to plan to be there by 630.

Plan A is BART but Uber or something could be cheaper with a couple extra people.

I've run UW for two different groups now. One is my regular group which will be somewhat ongoing. The other a one-shot over the weekend.

Both groups named a Faction after Weyland-Yutani.

I have a feeling this isn't uncommon.

Had a few questions come up in last night's game that I didn't have immediate answers for.

Should advancement triggers and leveling occur as they happen in game or should they be evaluated at the end of the game? This was our second game and we've been doing it at the end of the session.

Are explosives meant to be one-time use? A player picked some sort of explosive as one of his starting assets and he points out it seems unfair if he can only use it once whereas every other asset types stick around. My guess here is it's more of a supply of explosives and misses could lead to running out of supplies.

Are there any rules for permanently upgrading assets? Like adding a new tag to a weapon, or training existing crew.

Just finished a read-through of Uncharted Worlds. One thing that jumped out to me that I couldn't think of an immediate answer (possibly I'm over-thinking) is if the group goes the route to start with a starship.

The text says they'll be in some significant debt (whatever color that debt takes), but doesn't give much guidance beyond that.

Is that extra debt in addition to what they already start with? How much?
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