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Is it just me, or does everyone picture Kristofer Hivju when talking about Ulf Ironborn...

Is there a Duskwall Factions Google Sheet out there that anyone has put together?

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Judd said it already and but we're playing some blades on actual play. Come join us!

https://www.twitch.tv/actualplay
We'll be livestreaming some Blades in the Dark with the Wobeggong Crew, +Jason Bowell, +Pete Cornell and +Sean Nittner.

This ep will be downtime with a bunch of heat from the past two jobs.

I'm working on adapting Blades to the particular brand of Shadowrun I like to run and to do that I think I need to significantly alter the current structure of the game. I'd appreciate advice doing so.

So, in Shadowrun when you break into a corporate facility to steal/place/kidnap/observe and then bug out, Blades' current structure works fine. But, for example, our last mission involved a two-week timeframe where the objective was to "convince" six members of a corporation's board to vote a particular way.

If we were using BitD, there would have been half a dozen Scores with no Downtime in between, with how Blades defines Downtime. After all, you're still on the clock, you're still in the middle of a mission, you can't go on a wild party or take a day off to gamble. The runners may well have Trauma'd their characters into retirement in that mission because there would be no traditional "Downtime".

So, essentially the idea is to place a fourth frame over Score -> Downtime -> Free Play. The Mission. Within the Mission, you pull off Scores which contribute to the mission, then get Downtime recontextualised in the fiction as less time to go on a drunken bender, and more those breathers where things aren't up to 11. Where you have a few hours, maybe even a day, to regroup. But you're professionals, so I don't see Vices as appropriate to the fiction I want.

And of course, Downtime consists of Heat and Entanglements (but not Payoff). Heat is less Blades' traditional representation, and more Sprawl's Legwork clock. Because after all, you aren't running a criminal enterprise which the police are getting closer and closer to unravelling. You're shadows that bleed into the darkness after the mission is over, the only time Heat matters is when the job is on. So after each Score of the mission, you attract more and more attention, but you have the Downtime actions to try to divert that attention away.

This is all my current speculation at the moment. I'd appreciate any advice on the subject. The main issues I see are when you do get more traditional single-Score Missions, as my current concept is to wipe the slate clean Heat, Harm and Stress, after each Mission ends. And if they're only one Score, then it makes it feel like Harm and Stress doesn't matter that much (although the threat of death and incapacitation certainly helps a little there). 

What are the mechanical effects of the crew increasing their Tier? I remember reading something about the requirements to go up a Tier, what happened to the crew when they did, and what benefits (and drawbacks) a higher Tier brought. But now I can't find the page, and I'm beginning to wonder if I just imagined it.

Incoming very long play report and ramblings about my experience so far with Blades in the Dark:

Recently started playing Blades, my group has had a few sessions now. It's the first rpg game I've played in a couple years; I've been really enjoying it. I've really been inspired by the play I've seen online of Blades over the last year, and I was itching to play it.

Something I ran into into in the second session was a realization that despite reading the book and watching several shows, I was unsure as to what exactly Attune could do, RAW, without Compel, Ritual, or Tempest. I reread a lot of the weirder stuff in the book again and came away wanting to apologise to a player with an interest in the ghostly aspects of the world, but excited to maybe play a Ritualist focussed character in the future.

When myself and two of the players met recently, I showed the relevant sections of the text to the previously mentioned player, and she promptly changed her play sheet from Spider to Whisper, spending a playbook advance to get Compel while keeping Foresight through the transfer. I talked with her about what she wanted from her character (interest in immortality, playing with compel and ritualist, weird ghost shit), and talked with them about a couple factions we could play around with, like the Dimmer Sisters and the Reconciled.

I started the session by having the three of us take turns reading a half-dozen little headlines and small newspaper blurts I'd written about the outcomes of their previous two jobs, the gang war in Crow's Foot, and a fluff piece about the two creepy creepy factions I wanted to introduce. The previous session they had kidnapped a Magistrate for the Dimmer Sisters and tipped him out of a wheelbarrow on their front doorstep rolled in a rug. He had been mysteriously returned to duty later that day and the kidnapping appears to have been covered up by the City Council and the Bluecoats. Then we went to down time.



The Spider/Whisper indulged her vice with Salia the body jumping Reconciled ghost, getting possessed for jollies and dissociative scream therapy (the rage isn't yours if it comes from the insane ghost, right?). I had been thinking of the Reconciled as maybe a kind of very small group of elitist immortals that want to control who gets to be immortal. But when I asked the player what she thought about why Salia has this other ghost (the ghost of a young boy, very wispy and clearly insane with rage), and she said that Salia was probably trying to save the ghost, so that may be out, or Salia may be strange for a Reconciled.

There was another scene with a long-term project to make Quillan the witch a friend/contact. We created Quillan together rolling on the People table and interpreting the results. She's an outcast Dimmer Sister, her face and head are covered in ritualistic brands, and she is bald. Her house has little stone feet on the corners, and grotesque gargoyles with dead ivy growing out of their mouths, a large painted phallus doorknocker inset in the mouth of a fire demon box of burned wood. The wooden door is covered in carved orgiastic scenes with another, beaten looking, fire demon face in the centre. Quillan and the PC had tea and chatted about spiritualist stuff in a professional way, and ticked "Friends With A Witch" a few times.

Another PC has a clock "In Love with a Dimmer Sister" after seeing one in a window of the Dimmer House, and the other is interested in immortality, so I got to thinking about how maybe the Dimmer Sisters are actually secretly immortals, and how that could be dark and weird without being vampires or ghosts or liches or something. I've been percolating for a few days about it. I don't want to pin it down too closely, but maybe that the Dimmer Sisters undergo real ritual reincarnation. They are regular humans that undergo a ritual allowing them to have hollow children, always female, that another Dimmer Sister can ritualistically inhabit, leaving their old body permanently behind to live another new life. It echoes a female version of Frank Herbert's Bene Tleilaxu ghola immortality.

Their loudly secretive, near legendary status is a defensive camouflage: it defends their secret behind, and allows for private, secret lives away from the Dimmer House, which is more of a "family" council hall and workshop for a powerful and immortal gang of spiritualists that control the spirit essence trade. I wonder what else the Dimmer Sisters do with spirit essences in their ritual-halls? I asked the player if I was free to give them a really weird creepy secret, and she was stoked.

Another PC's character is basically a Skovland freedom-fighter, with an interest in working on a long-term project to cure the horrible, sometimes fatal mutations that occur in Lockport around the leviathan blood refineries. I told him it would be a multi-clock long term project, probably requiring scores to find out the secret alchemical processes of the refining process and work cataloguing the various internal and external mutations, possibly some on site in Lockport. He was interested, and took Physicker saying his character has some purpose, besides killing high-profile ship and refinery owning Doskvol nobles and agents of the imperial government in Skovland, then pouring acids from the refining process on their faces as a political statement.

He and I talked about my idea of introducing an ancient Skov god called the Father of the Abyss, taking some inspiration from the story in the book about the Skovs once using human sacrifice to summon leviathans. I thought we'd explore the juxtaposition of the increasing number of human lives ended by the sacrificing Skovlander Refugee cult and the Imperial occupation and refining effort, with their dual desire to control power through the blood of a leviathan. Maybe they can make a secret cult centre in an abandoned refinery in the Old Port, out in the deathlands, where they summon and butcher leviathans. I hope we see a summoned leviathan attacking the Governor's Stronghold eventually!

Also that session we did some downtime, and then two linked scores: framing someone for a murder they committed and stealing the reward money from the guy the Whisper/Spider convinced to report the framed person. We did the convincing first as a Social score. The guy worked with the victim and the target of the frame-up, and disliked and suspected the target. As a result of a couple good gather information rolls looking for a good patsy, and a controlled result on the engagement roll, then more good rolls, it was a smooth quiet job of the Skov Lurk pouring drinks in the target's glass and the Whisper/Spider pouring poison in their ear.

The other score was an Infiltration placing damning evidence in the target's home office just ahead of the Inspectors and the Bluecoats. They were using one of three bundles of coded papers from a diplomatic pouch stole from the original victim and a vial of the acid used to burn his face off, an aide to the Skovlan Governor. The Skov Lurk just barely avoided a Bluecoat patrol in the Brightstone alleyway by hiding in a gap between two walls under his shadow and went silently over the garden wall of the posh townhouse, then picked the lock. He trauma'd out while successfully carefully stashing the evidence to best be found only by Investigator Tessyln Welker, whose clocks were the driving background pressure of the session: "Rightful Suspicion" and "Knows Where You Live," which is almost full.

They're really going to have to do something about that Tessyln Welker, apparently she's a veteran of the Imperial army who uses the latest in electroplamic sniffing tech to track down criminals.

It was a long session, about 2 hours of just character discussion and discussing where we wanted the game to go, what we were interested in seeing, followed by a long break, then downtime and character scenes and scores lasting about 3 hours. I felt like I found some good buy-in with the players in those opening discussions, and then the game was really smooth except for opening the book to discuss in more detail the use of set up actions, but that was nice because I think they internalized the core rolling rules, though there was some echo of the old rules-lawyering I remember for the first, and so far only, time with the game.

If you made it this far, thanks very much! I'd love some more ideas! I've been lurking around the G+ for the last few weeks and really enjoy the discussion and inspiration. Comments? Concerns for my lengthy ramble and its effects on my posture and wrist health?

Under +Jeremy Kear​ 's guidance, we updated our or game to the final rules yesterday, converting our crew, The Telestic Order, into a cult. Oh what fun. The game ran smooth as silk. The final playbooks felt very balanced and cool. The book itself is easy to reference during play. Great stuff! Thank you +John Harper​ and team for an amazing game!

Just noticed that the note about gaining Stash when the crew advances is wrong on the Roll20 sheet. It reads "+2 Stash (+1 per Tier)", but it should read "+1 Stash (+2 per Tier)"

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#CopperheadCounty

To honor the launch of a second playtest group this week, I present a comprehensive Copperhead County: Almost Done Edition update.

Copperhead County is Blades in the Dark if it married Justified and had children named The Wire, Breaking Bad, and Fargo. It is a full hack set in a fictional Appalachian county in Tennessee in the year 201x, where a corrupt establishment is creaking under the weight of change. Old South vs New South. Town vs country. Locals vs interlopers. Crew vs crew.

Inside you will find:
* An original setting with original factions
* Six playbooks, including the all-new Mover
* Three crews, including the all-new Blood
* Revised Claims and more
* An official and very good Spotify playlist
* PDFs with bookmarks

Copperhead County: Almost Done Edition:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxKYBKmPes3HajVpVXRYUmM2bWc

To Do:
* Polish everything
* Test and iterate Mover and Blood
* Finish and include area writeups
* Finish and include descriptions for non-criminal factions
* Write other copy
* Better maps
* Art???
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