Actual Play – Doskvol Spectral Society (5/3/2016)

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

I am so delighted we are starting up another game of Blades. This one in person! This will also be the first weekly game I’ve played in since college. So you know, no pressure or anything to make it UTTERLY AWESOME folks.

Doskvol Academia

Whether they felt the pressure or not, my group proceeded to make the coolest band of scoundrels I could imagine. They all met at the University of Doksvol, studying varied subjects, but found a bond in their desire to make a profit and reputation by supplying the students, faculty, and staff all the illicit goods they might need, particularly the transportation of ghosts, which they have developed a ritual to do so safely!

Because they created it in this order, I’ll start with their crew sheet: Doskvol Spectral Society.

Doskvol Specral Society

Ghost passage is pretty much one of the coolest moves in the game. We’re not sure just yet how they do it, but we’re pretty sure it is tied into our natural born whisper Elke Salkaran from the Dagger Isles.

We’re really fond of the idea that Harland found a school boat which had somehow slipped off the registry and that they now use for their illicit activities. Notably it still has the markings of school property, so it is generally left undisturbed when parked in the docks or outside their lair.

Our Strange Scoundrels

We wouldn’t have this crazy ritual to contain ghosts, if it weren’t for Elke Salkaran, the natural born whisper from the Dagger Isles. She was raised believing that ghosts could be reasoned with and live in some peace with the people on the Dagger Isles. More and more frequently, people are born with the innate ability to compel ghosts to their will, and thus whispers from her island have become a prized commodity in the Imperium. Elke has a close friend since childhood,Nyryx, a possessor ghost. She also has a rival by reputation only, Scurlock, a vampire, who her family considers an abomination.

Moving product through the streets of Doskvol is dangerous, thankfully Halfard Younghusband, a young alchemy student who has stumbled upon a concoction that turns him into a dangerous cutter, has learned to pilot the university canal boats, and was quick to act when he noticed one that was off the registrar. Halfard’s academic status is constantly in peril because of fellow student Grace, who has been extorting payment with threats to reveal his academic misconduct and get him kicked out of the university. Thankfully he has Stras, a clever blade who grew up with him and though they perused different careers, understands the complexities of being a merchant’s son in school.

The society would have never been formed, nor would anyone have put together the connections at the docks which ship all sorts of goods in and out of Doskvol, with the clambering desire for illicit goods within the university walls, if not for Hix Stromfass, a spider who studies under master architect Augus in Sparkright Tower. She is from a family of Rail Jacks and understands the transportation business. She also has a fine mind and is the first of the Stromfass family to go to school. However she was allowed in only by the good graces of Dean Augus, and ever since she’s crossed him, her academic tenure has been in peril.

What Rocked

Okay, how about the fact that we have three scoundrels pulling heists INSIDE the academic world of Doskvol? How about the fact that we get to create all the petty rivalries, the strange obsessions, and the illicit dealings in the school. Who doesn’t need corpses that haven’t lost their soul yet for experimentation? Who isn’t interested in the dean’s private affairs? What factions aren’t pulling strings and manipulating the young fine minds of Doskvol to do their bidding?

I’m am so excited about this setting, and John’s interest in the setting that I’ve started writing up a bit on Doskvol Academia. This will need work and refinement, but here’s what I’ve got so far. Dosvol Academia

Dosvol Academia

What could be improved

There is so much to create in terms of academic institutions that I just want to make sure I never lose sight of player characters. The majors players have gotta be their friends and rivals, or other that they have interest in dealing with. Which means, I’ve gotta ask myself questions like “what is lord Scurlock doing poking around the university?” and also the more general questions about ensuring opportunities for smuggling good within Doskvol. Unlike thieves and hawkers (what I’ve played with so far) I can see smugglers really needed customers, or patrons if you will, that need their services…

Questions to ponder next session:

  • How does the ghost passage ritual work? Where did you learn it? What does it require?
  • Who is in need of their services? To take what people or items or ghosts? And from where to where?
  • What implications on academic status will their work have? Who will need them? Who will try to extort them?