Actual Play – Kids these days (2/9/16)

blades_overlay_bloodletters_titleGM: John Harper
Players: Stras Acimovic, Adam Koebel, and Sean Nittner
System: Blades in the Dark, Quickset Rules v.5

Brightstone, the one clean speck in all of duskwall. Where the buildings are made of the white marble inlaid with silver, and the canals are scented with perfume.

Also the home of Lord Dunville who was hosting the Arkenvorn festival this year. A celebration where Duskwall’s finest gather to commemorate the founding of the Spirit Wardens….and where Duskwall’s finest scoundrels gathered to ply their demon blood tattoos on rich young dilettantes. Everyone wins!

Moments in high society

Canter, wearing a mask that looked like a deified version of his own face found Laenya, offended Captain Dunville (the lord’s son), and swept her away. Responding to the hosts etiquette with street savvy and casual insults, nearly (but not quite) getting us all kicked out of the party.

Lord Scurlock (the young lord that is) being announced at the party, dressed in crow’s feathers in the spirit of the ghost finding crows and drawing the attention of the entire crowd, then properly mingling while still keeping a distance and maneuvering into a position to observe the party, and himself recognizing his uncle and Setarra on one of the far landings even though they were protected by a supernatural veil causing all other eyes to glaze.

Arcy, awkwardly playing the part of a gossiping socialite and with Oskarr’s help to carry her voice, allowing lord Strathmill, her old captain that her mutiny failed against, to hear her speak about Harrington being locked up on “false charges”.


The centerpiece of the party (their party, not our party, that was down below and all about drugs and ink) was the commemorations of the creation of the Spirit Wardens (which were previously just called devil hunters) by the Church of the Ecstasy of the Flesh. As it turns out, the church isn’t just about Romanesque orgies (though there is that too) but instead really celebrating the sanctity of the living. Once dead, our ghosts are shadows of our form selves and that pervades them with a hunger to regain their humanity, despite it being forever lost.

As the ceremony was performed and the history of humankind’s triumph over demons was recounted Setarra, still invisible the to clouded eyes of mortals, emoted first amusement then outrage, but Oskarr realized later that was all an act. At the completion of the history, Dunville hull servants (yep, he’s got soulless peeps running around serving drinks, how good a guy could he be?) provided several spirits which had been bound in charms which were put inside a great chamber. The gaslights in the room went out and the chamber erupted in electromasmic fire, incinerating the spirits. After the show was complete, electric lights lit the room, symbolizing the advancement of humankind – and providing better light than their predecessors.

Below, with Duskwall’s Finest

After we had successfully acted the part of the upper crust attending a party (minus Canter, who antagonized our host but then thankfully the rest of the party canoodling with Leneya) we made our way down, deep below the mansion into the underground boat house.

[Mechanics point of order here: We killed it on this job. First we rolled an amazing engagement roll. Plenty of dice, easy 6. Second we used a teamwork move to set up the eventual buy with some scary stories and shit tons of dream powder].

Luckily no wardens, butlers, or other buzz kills were looming around the boat house so we were able to party with the young, naive and rich, and then after they were plied with both ample dream power to cloud their senses, and stories of terrifying and exotic wonders to arouse their ambition, we presented them with the exquisite tattoo patterns and the impossible colors (and sensations) of our unique ink (yes, fuckign leviathan blood, we are terrible, terrible people).

The hesitated for a moment but Canter made the sale by pretending to be affronted by their cowardness and prepared to leave. Eager to impress their new purveyor of delights they bought in…completely!  By the end of the night they were all talking about what their next tattoo would be!

Blades on Air

What Rocked

I loved the flashback to Arcy’s failed mutiny and her attempt to rally the sailors against the leviathan tainted Strathmill while the ship was under attack. It went poorly.

Canter just being a absolute fucker was awesome. Yeah, he nearly blew the mission just to prove a point, yeah it was asinine, but some day Captain Dunville will realize who was messing with him, and it will be great! Later him doubling down

The story Arcy told about Iruvian’ blades was one told to me by my father in a different context. I’m sure he was just as full of shit as Arcy was but it doesn’t make it any less of a great story. So happy I got a critical on that one.

Canter just pushing himself to the limit (in fact passing out and earning trauma)

Oskarr awkward exchange with Setarra that was totally one of those “if my husband/boyfriend/partner sees you here, he’s going to kill us!” looks.

Everyone’s costumes. Fucking Shiny!

What could have improved

Much as I like creating more complications for myself, I think I played Arcy too cool with Strathmill. Yeah, it will be cool when he starts investigating Harrington, but I should have just pulled the trigger and given him a tip that it was Arcy behind that Spirit Warden mask. It would have been cool to be in a desperate situation then rather than let one brew later.

really don’t like stepping on other people’s fun, and I think that is what I was doing (or at least potentially doing) when Arcy tried to dig her claws into Leneya. Yes, Arcy can’t stand Canter, but a) hurting him out of spite is just petty and b) Sean doesn’t want Adam to have less fun in the game because of our character’s revilary. I’m glad it was just information gathering. It’s going to stop at that.

Not enough time man, never enough. I wanted something more between Oskarr and Setarra. I wanted to to see Captain Dunville try again to best Canter. I wanted to see (as above) Arcy risk exposure due to her hatred of Strathmill. This game is so ripe with opportunities, I want see them all!


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