Actual Play – Darmot must Die! (6/18/2016)

ghost_titleGM: Sean Nittner
Players: Mengu Gungor, Michael Donovan, David Millar, Geoff Hunt
System: Blades in the Dark, Quickset Rules v.6

What is it with Darmot? We either love him or hate him. This time it was all hate.

The Method: The one-shot method I was trying out at Origins worked great!

Our Crew

Lex, the Hound was ex-military (dishonorably discharged) who still had family (Veleris) in the serivce, who helped him stay ahead of the various agencies after him.

Beeker, the Leech is an Skovlan orphan taken in by Stacia as both surrogate child and apprentice to help her work in her shop and occassinaly perform services for the Lampblacks.

Three Spin, as he goes by now, the Lurk used to be an inspector in the Imperial City, but has traveled all the way to Doskvol to escape that past. Unfortunately the Bluecoat Darmot has followed him here, and recruiting a few very, very mercenary members of the service, is now hunting him down.

Mink, the Cutter, grew up on the streets. His mother was a prostitute that worked at the Red and Black, and all the women there treated Mink as though he was their own. Trying to make a name for himself, Mink set out to find a crew and start pulling scores.

2016-06-18 18.05.19The Score: Darmot!

With Darmot and his leg breakers hunting for Three Spin, the choice was either to leave the Lurk out of the gang, or to accepted him and deal with his Bluecoat problems. The crew decided to set Darmot up. They would have some of the ladies at the Red and Black let slip that he was hiding out in an an old half sunken Opera House that you could only get either via canals or by finding some passage down from the shops that had been built on top of it.

The crew cleared out the opera house (which had a few waifs and urchins that actually had been hiding out in it) and set up an ambush. Beaker made some explosives. Lex set up a good spot to snipe from, Three Spin would be the bait, and Mink would jump them once the explosions cleared!

A serious complication

Tricking Darmot, however, turned out to be more dangerous than expected. Charlene, who worked at the the Red & Black, hated the cruel man, and was a bit too eager to set him up [Engagement Result (1-3): Bad Outcome].

Instead of just storming off to the Opera House, Darmot decided to cover his tracks and called in a few favors. Just before the scoundrels headed out to ambush him, they saw from the Fox & Hound (the tavern adjacent to the Red and Black) that another pack of Bluecoats had arrived to shot the place down. A whole bunch of Mink’s family was about to be hauled off to Ironhook and meanwhile, the prize was getting away.

Here’s my permit officer… a dagger in your belly

With some fast talking and bravado (that inadvertently revealed to Three Spin’s allies that he had clearly served on the force himself) Three Spin cleared the way for Mink to straighten things out with sergeant Devilin, which he did by stabbing him in the belly and then expecting his fellow compatriots to fight, which at least most of them did. Beaker bolted for his life!

Finishing the Job

Though bloodied and beaten from their first mortal altercation with the Bluecoats, our bloodthirsty scoundrels were not stopping their. They made their way quickly to the Opera House, where Beaker was already priming the charge and a tried to ambush the Darmot and his cronies. The attack didn’t go off exactly as planned, Beaker’s remote detonation failed had to light the fuse up close and got caught in it, Mink was shot, and Three Spin was gutted! Some ugly, ugly work, but it was done. And oh how the bells at the crematorium rung!

What Rocked

Perhaps for the first time I saw some real sense of scoundrels having a home and people they cared about. The Red and Black were Mink’s people and when they were threatened he was compelled to act to help them. I haven’t even seen vigilantes do that!

It was quickly apparent that Darmot was the big threat to our crew, so I played him up hard. We had a few scenes of him interrogating NPCs for Three Spin’s whereabouts cut in between the PCs scenes, and he was an awful, awful person.

Beaker’s explosion in the end mirrored one he had described early on, when he accidentally blew up Eckert’s corpse locker (Eckert was his enemy). It was great to see that reincorporated.

Three Spin’s desire to keep his past hidden was fantastic. Not only did he slip up in front of crew, but there were also a few chance encounters with the Red Sashes on rooftops where he tried to play it cool, but they nearly identified him as well!

There was also a great motivation to help Three Spin. Though Darmot was his enemy, Frake, a locksmith was his friend and promised to tell him which high end establishments bought his locks and how to pick them!

What could have improved

We had a lot going on in this session. Red Sashes trying to take possession of Beaker (he was a valuable alchemist), Three Spin’s secret identity, Mink’s relationships with the Red and Black, and Lex’s dark past. As with any session, you’ve just got to pick one or two items and stick with it, but I missed getting a chance to explore the other stories we could have told.

The Bluecoat massacre of 847 was an ugly and brutal one. It would have been cool to get to the payoff, because I think they generated ALL the heat. Wild, devastating exposure: 6, Killing involved +2, Well connected target +1. The crew would have gone from nobodies to wanted in a single score!

I could really use a “first session sheet” that has a space to write up all the PCs, their NPCs with strong connections, clocks that we start, and devils bargains taken. Even better if in the corners it has lists (names, taverns, city descriptors, etc). As you can see from the picture above, currently I use index cards but they don’t quite fit enough on them and once I get past two or three it becomes a mess.