Actual Play – A Favor from Nyryx (6/28/2016)

GM: Sean Nittner
Players: Karen Twelves, Eric Fattig, and Adrienne Mueller
System: Blades in the Dark, Quickset Rules v.6

Our scoundrels, feeling tapped and ready for action jumped right into another score. They were going to take the Lampblacks up on their offer and move some product!


Before play started, I wanted to know a few things about our academics:

What was it like for Hix in Ironhook?

She never actually got quite that far. They had her in an iron armored carriage ready to haul off when the orders came to release her. She saw Ironhook across the canal, but never actually stepped inside it.

What is Scapa’s Story?

The crew got an advance last session and with it chose to take Scapa as a cohort (no longer just a asset, now she’s part of the crew). So we had to find out a few things about her. Ashlyn Scapa is:

  • Loyal, she knows who freed her, she’s not going to forget it. The living by and large looks like food, but these three, she’s loyal to them.
  • Principled, she going to fight for her clients and she’s not going to back down. She’s also not going to take an action that would forfeit a case if it was discovered.
  • Obsessed, and because she’s a ghost she had a needs as well. In her case, she had a long list of cases that were never resolved. Now, her clients, living or dead, are going to get the trials they deserve!

The Score

(Transcribed from Adrienne’s notes with some mechanical bits and small flourishes added in. Thank you so much for taking this all down Adreinne!)

After a quick discussion of their options, the Society decides to head to the Lampblacks to find out whether they can shift some product for the gang. [I made a fortune check to see if the Lampblacks were in any mood to talk with the war on, but hit a 6. Lucky them] Cross was not only present at the Leaky Bucket, but available and willing to talk business with them!

Harland and Hix settle in to negotiate, while Elke starts to tell the Bucket’s patrons about our previous score and our abilities. [Cross, despite liking the kids, didn’t have any reason to trust them or that they were capable of doing the job. I asked how they would win him over and Harland said he would sway him with stories of their past exploits. Originally the roll was going to be risky, as Cross started talking about Dream Smoke and Trance Powder, but Halrand pushed it, they wanted a big score, they wanted to move Bloodneedle and Black Lotus. From Risky to Desperate in one swoop!] They persuade Cross that they’re capable of moving even his hardest drugs and Hix goes to the bar to talk numbers and sample the wares. [Cross realizes from her proficiency doping that Hix is a regular Bloodneedle user]

Meanwhile Elka keeps at it with stories of her mastery of spectrology and Harland backs her up, boosting her stories. Elke wanted to do more than just get this one job, she also wanted the Lampblacks to use the Doskvol Spectral Society as their go to for all things spectral in the future. Pressed to prove her claims, she summons Nyrix in. The place goes cold. One man drops his mug as it starts to freeze in his hand. Nyrix swooshes in, deeply unsettling the Lampblacks, and comes to roost in Elke. The Lampblacks are amazed – except for one, Ruby, who has the look of a person about to go tattle a tale to someone. [She took the Devil’s Bargain to fill in the final tick on the “Lampblacks know about our business” clock, which means they ferreted out their turf as well as their abilities, at least as far as they understand them. She also got a consequence and stealing very liberally from John, I put a snitch in the crowd. Wow, the Lampblacks are just riddled with snitches!]

Back at the bar, as Nyryx enters and and the mirror behind the bar frosts over, Hix sees a strange pattern laid out by the antlers, heads and horns that are mounted on the wall behind her. It seems like something intriguing and occult and Hix hurriedly tries to jot it down on a scrap of paper. Because of her injured arm though she can barely hold a pen though and Cross sees what she’s up to; snatching, crumpling and disposing of the drawing and encouraging her to agree that she actually saw nothing. She does.

Elke points the snitch out to Harland. Harland, asking to be poured a drink, points the snitch out to Cross. Cross suggests that Harland might have misspoke. Harland agrees, perhaps he did, and informs Cross more pointedly that that man, right over there, is a SNITCH.

Elke meanwhile is laying her own trap. She sidles over to the snitch, settles herself in his lap, and asks him outright who he’s planning on running and talking to. He hesitates. She tells him that she has a ghost inside her and she can easily make that ghost go inside someone else. He says, ‘I’ll kill you, little girl.’ and unceremoniously drops her to the floor.

At this point Cross has been persuaded to take Harland’s accusation at least somewhat seriously and calls out to the man that he’s being called a snitch. Everyone assumes there’s about to be a fight for honor between Harland and the man. To everyone’s surprise though, the man bolts. Hix takes the opportunity to rile up the rest of the Lampblacks into chasing him. (Would he run if he’s innocent?) [This was a great use of teamwork. Harland was trying to get Cross to turn on his own. I ruled this as a desperate action and I said there would be reduced effect. Cross would look into it, but not take immediate action. Harland rolled a 4-5 result so I told him that, Ruby, the snitch was going to get the jump on him behind the bar, and have several of his friends behind him. Elke, however, used her subtle threats and distractions to protect Harland, making the resistance roll for him. The serious complication of being jumped by Ruby and his friends was reduced to just a complication, of Ruby running to rat them out. Harland commanded the other Lampblacks, and because he already had Cross’s tacit interest, and because they too were wondering why he’d run, the chased him down!]

Elke, Harland and Hix are in close pursuit. Elke sics Nyrix on him, without resorting to a compel, but knows she’s presuming a lot from their relationship and he might not be so ready to help her in the future. Once he possesses Ruby, he drops. The Lampblacks – and Harland – close in to deliver the beat-down. Nyrix opens Ruby’s fingers so he can experience more pain as his fingers are broken and calls out to Elke about what she’s missing. Elke and Hix can barely stomach the horror of the situation – but they do.

To be continued

We decided that this was all one big score, so we’d pick up next session as they actually found a buy and moved the product!


What Rocked

I really love how hard the Society pushed. They wanted a bigger job, so they got one! With all the ensuing problems that followed!

What’s going to happen to Ruby? The Lampblacks didn’t kill him. He’s one of their own and killing in your own backyard is bad for business. But wow is he broken up something fierce. He’s got friends. I wonder what they think.

I love Hix getting in deep with drug trade, her own vice. I need to remember to start offering her Devil’s Bargains when using drugs to become addicted to them and/or make that consequences for using them in other actions. Not sure I want to play out all the horrors of addiction (there are many) but it’s very much part of drug crime fiction (and real drug crime) so it would be good to that have some effect for the DSS.

Even after watching them beat the hell out of Ruby frozen in the street (thanks to Nyryx) the Society still thinks of the Lampblacks as a bunch of nice guys. So good.

Speaking of Nyryx, he really didn’t appreciate being used for parlor tricks by Elke. She owes him one now.

Elke and her creepy spider (thanks Dimmer Sisters) coming out while she was sitting on Ruby’s lap. Cre-eeee-eepy.

Harland man. Talk about fearless. I love the way Eric said SNITCH.

Also, more thoughts for future games. The Lampblacks can start coming to them for help. The Red Sashes has whispers that mess them up something fierce. If they could get Elke to help counter them…

What could have improved

Despite my players loving it I did feel a wee bit unhappy stealing both John’s idea that there was a snitch in the crew and the effect in the mirror. Both played out very different, but I wasn’t at the height of creativity here.


3 thoughts on “Actual Play – A Favor from Nyryx (6/28/2016)”

  1. Man, I totally forgot about Ruby til this write-up. He’s so going to com back to bite us.

    And the Hix/drug thing is definitely ticking! I kind of like having her not be actually addicted to things – it’s the pleasure she’s after, after all – but it does seem implausible that she’d be using so hard and not be dependent.

    Favourite Bits:
    – Harland emphasizing the snitch to Cross; and talking up Elke’s abilities.
    – Finger-splaying of the snitch so Nyrix could experience more pain. What a wonderfully macabre little detail.
    – Elke threatening to have a guy be possessed while cuddling up to him on his lap. Creepy!

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