Belated update

Blades in the Dark!

Blades in the Dark is an RPG about a crew of rogues out to make a score through various nefarious deeds. You don't play the good guys in this one, although individually each member of the crew has their own moral compass.


Chef Roselle, proprietor of the Golden Plum (the finest restaurant in Six Towers and perhaps all of North Duskvol) needs certain… exotic ingredients that are only grown by Tasha Durovlin (a black sheep of the Durovlin family that’s struck out on her own) to make a dish that will impress the Commissioner of the Ministry of Provisions. Chef Roselle desires to be a judge at the annual Emperor’s Duskvol Cooking Competition (the premier cooking contest in all of northern Arkoros) so she can vote for her niece who’s taking part as the niece is also a chef at the Golden Plum.

She can’t buy the ingredients from Tasha Durovlin because they have a feud due to disputes over whose eel and algae pie recipe is the best.

Tonight, Tasha is away from the farm, supposedly dining with her family in an attempt to mend the fences. It’s a good time to raid as the farm workers all go home for the night.

Chef Roselle has contacted a crew of Shadows for the job: the Darkblades (on account their weapons have a dark sheen on them so they won’t glitter at night. Some say the blades are also poisoned but no one knows for sure as no one has experienced them and lived to tell the tale). They have a reputation for being an up-and-coming, professional crew so they have the required skills but also come slightly cheaper than more established crews with the same Reputation.

They are:

Dart, a Hound, a deadly sharpshooter and tracker. She’s from THE DAGGER ISLES 
and used to serve in the military as a scout. She’s now put her talents to more… lucrative pursuits.

Kat, a Lurk, a stealthy infiltrator and burglar. Her family’s from SKOVLAN, and she used to be a street urchin growing up in The Docks, consorting with the Fog Hounds and Lampblacks while learning her trade.

The final member of the Darkblades is Silent, a Whisper, an arcane adept and channeler. She’s a young, disgraced academic from AKOROS. She’s now in Duskvol on a mysterious personal quest.

+ + +

Time: The darkest part of the Night. 

Location: 10 feet away from Tasha Durovlin’s farm.

The Darkblades stand a safe distance away from the writhing, twisting Radiant Energy fence.

“Damn me. Strangler vines,” Dart curses.

Indeed, the lashing vines and thorns are alive and seem to pulse and grow larger the longer the trio of Shadows wait.

+ + +

FLASHBACK: Kat isn’t happy not knowing anything about the farm and so she talks to some of the people/workers/suppliers/cartiers she sees moving in and out of the farm. She tries to (Sway) one of them to reveal some info. She does so by the simple expedient of taking a young inexperienced farmhand to bed.

Turns out while the strangler vines... in fact, all the plants... are grown with Radiant Energy, too much electroplasm has a negative effect on them. It accelerates their growth and they go through their life cycle quickly then wither and die, so they must be carefully monitored at all times.

+ + +

Kat turns to the rest of her crew. “I’ve an idea. Silent? Can you toss some of your electroplasm vials at the strangler vine? Then Dart, you shoot them with your electroplasm ammo.”

Silent nods and carefully throws an electroplasm vial at a spot on the living fence. She hesitates… and tosses another vial at the same spot. (Success but...) It hits a thorn and the vial shatters. At the same time, Dart fires her electroplasm ammo at the vials. (Success but...) They blow up in a silent flash… but two vials was too much! The splashed plasm adds to the effect. There’s a huge flash, a silent explosion and all three rogues are hurled to the ground!

(Consequence : blinded for 4 segments of the clock.)

Thanks to her quick reflexes, Dart manages to turn her eyes away quickly enough that she only catches the fringe of the explosion. Spots dance before her eyes, but she can still see a little. (Blinded for 1 clock segment).

Kat, watching the vials intently to see their effect, is caught by surprise and receives the full effect of the blast! (Blinded for 6 clock segments.)

Silent, well versed in all things electroplasmic, turns away as soon as she threw the vials and escapes unscathed.

“Why didn’t you tell us?!” hisses Dart as she wipes her red eyes.

“Sorry, sorry, I just… assumed... I'm sorry, OK? I didn’t expect two vials to be that powerful! It's not like I shoot my electroplasmic vials with electroplasmic ammo all the time, you know!”

Kat’s silence speaks volumes. Her streaming red eyes glare accusingly in the direction of Silent’s voice.

“I know, I know… I’m sorry, OK?” Silent holds Kat’s arm. “I’ll… I’ll make it up to you, alright? I’ll… I’ll accompany you next time you go to the Leaky Bucket, alright?”

Kat isn’t happy but suffers herself to be led by Silent.

They pass through the withered vines. The opening is just wide enough for them to pass through. Live vines and thorns attempt to reach them but the tips brush futilely against their cloaks.

Once inside, they see the farm. It consists of several large metal, high tunnel huts that typically serve as barracks for farm workers. But since the workers all go home for the night, they’ve been used to grow the exotic plants instead. 

(Getting in) The doors are locked as expected but not padlocked which is surprising. Tasha must place a lot of faith in her vines to protect the farm.

“What do you see?” Kat asks in a low voice.

Silent squints at the building. “The farm’s inside one of those large metal hut things… and there’s a door there, but it isn’t padlocked.” 

Dart tries the door. “It’s locked though.” 

Kat sighs. “I’ll do it… and…” she holds up a finger “…I can do it even if I can’t see. Lockpicking’s done mostly by feel, anyway. But I do need your help.” She shoots an accusing look with her red, teary eyes at Silent.

Kat (Finesses) the locks despite her blindness. Silent (Assists) her, passing the required tools when requested.

With a final soft click and a pleased “Ahhhh…” (Success but...) Kat unsnaps the lock but because of her blindness fumbles and the lock clatters against the metal door, making a loud noise.

(Clock tick)

“Who’s there?”

@#$%&@!! The farm was supposed to be deserted!

Dart blinks away the final dots in her eyes and (Scouts) inside to check it out.

“Who’s there I say? Is that you, Dunstan?” A sound like a door being closed or locked is heard.

Hidden among the plants, Dart sees what must be Tasha Durovlin coming out of a small enclosure at the back of the huge metal hut. (Success but...) However, her sight is still slightly affected by the electro plasm blast and she — normally cat footed — stumbles against some watering cans left by a careless farmhand.

(Clock tick)

“Alright! Who’s there? Show yourself!” The voice is now sharp with command.

Dart clamps her mouth tightly shut and rejoins her friends. “The Durovlin woman’s still on the farm! She didn’t go out.”

“Damn…” Kat hisses.

“Boys! Come here!” A sharp whistle is heard. 

“That’s … not good,” Kat’s face is scrunched and tense. “Damn this blindness!!!”

Silent for once is silent. Her face is tense but calm at the same time as she attempts to detect any ghostly presences. It’s not very likely as the farming area between Dunslough and Barrowcleft isn’t known for ghostly activity… but “not very likely” is better than “none”. (Reduced effect from roll.) She pushes herself (take 2 Stress) and succeeds!!!! There is indeed a ghost around. (Success but... the Ghost is flighty and it’s difficult to get its attention if roll on 4/5).

(Clock tick)

Silent pushes herself to (Compel) the Ghost (take 2 Stress).

The sound of barking is heard, and it’s getting louder!

“Silent….” Kat hisses.

Dart places a hand on Kat’s shoulder and the Lurk quietens, her face tense.

Silent covers her face with her Spirit Mask. 

Dart shudders. The mask is made of carved Leviathan ivory painted red and gold, fringed with rare furs and there are four white feathers at the four compass points. She never fails to do so every time she sees it.

Whispers. Sibilant hisses. A moan. Silent shudders violently for a moment, then slumps down, exhausted. (Success!) 

(Clock tick)

Suddenly, loud clattering noises are heard as farming implements and watering cans are casually tossed around. Then the loud barking is transformed into pitiful whines and the terrified yelps of the sentry dogs fade into the night.

“Damn it! Come back here!!!” The voice recedes in the distance, but not before the trio hear a final “Stupid damn ghosts…!!!!”

Kat expels her breath. “You guys better go get what we came for. I still can’t see a damn thing!”

“Right,” Silent gets up from her slump and quickly disappears into the gloom followed by Dart.

A Fortune roll determines there are no further complications and the crew complete their task, gathering the necessary ingredients before making a silent exit via the way they came, leading the still blinded Kat.

They hand the requested loot -- a Strangle Lily (a variant of the tangle vine) -- to Chef Roselle who it very pleased as the flower is fresh and picked at just the right time. 

Kat tries to (Sway) Chef Roselle to give them a hazard bonus: "I could’ve been blinded for the rest of my life!" But the proprietor of the finest restaurant in Six Towers (and perhaps all of northern Duskvol) is not impressed.

“You were just robbing a farm,” she sniffs. “What ‘extra hazard’ can there be?” 

She pays them the agreed upon fee, no more no less, and dances off into the depths of her kitchens.

+ + +

That’s my very first solo game of BitD. In fact, first one of any RPG that’s not a combat-heavy dungeon crawl,  

I like it! I had no idea what to do beyond the score given in the Hours of Silk PDF I picked up off DTRPG. It tells you the basics (the who and the what) of the score, but not how to do it, so I rolled on the Oracle and got the strangler vine as an idea for an obstacle. And everything flowed on from there.

The way to neutralise the strangler vine came out of the gear the crew were carrying (5 load BTW).

Then my best shot at carrying out the score (Kat the Lurk) was taken out of action and the one I had no idea how to use (Silent the Whisper) turned out to be the MVP of the session. Nice! 

So this was a nice, low level, low difficulty score to start off my very first session and I’m impressed by how well the BitD system works for solo.