Actual Play – The door (6/27/2015)

ghost_titleGM: Sean Nittner
Players: Christoph Sapinsky, Lisa Sapinsky, William Lee, Dave Weinstein
System: Blades in the Dark, Quickstart 3 Rules
Score: Gaddoc Rail Station

Game two of Gaddoc Rail! I cleaned up the rules a bit (added some explicit questions for the GM, and cleaned up the Score questions). It worked well, very well.

What was the score? This question interests me because the players get a chance to do some world building. The get to decide what’s so illegal and valuable and dangerous that they would risk time in Ironhook (or worse to get it). So what was it? A door. A port really, that allowed anything to step through it and pass through electroplasmic lightning. Holy crap!

Owning such a thing could allow a mass scale invasion of any city by ghosts. It could also allow entry into buildings thought secured by lightning towers. For a small time criminal like Baszo Baz it would mean riches, for a Skovlander looking to be free of the Imperium it would mean a revolution!

IMG_4770A Slide…finally

So far every game I’ve run has had a cutter and a whisper. Then a hound or a lurk or another cutter. This is the first time I’ve seen a Slide though. It surprises me they aren’t more popular given that you’d think the Slide wold be…popular.

Christoph fought a bit of an uphill battle trying to be super sly with a whole crew that was more about breaking and entering and more breaking, but he got to do it. And in doing so actually kept a lot of people from getting hurt unnecessarily, which I thought was pretty awesome.

The got in, they got out, and “Darling” covered their tracks, but left a few heartstrings behind himself.

What Rocked

Lady Axe, spirit bane wrapped around her blade, scattered a half dozen ghosts, thought one of them made it’s way into her. First possession in one of my games!

The aforementioned suaveness of Darling, which created the necessary distraction and bought the necessary time for them to find the “Door”.

The two Skovlanders, one a patriot, the other a turncoat, both being on the outs with the consulate, and then making matters worse by giving the score to the Lampblacks and later getting drunk and yelling outside the doors of the embassy that they had done it!

This no-nothing two-bit henchman named Potch inadvertently became their despised nemesis. We had a flashback scene where our lurk was lurking about to overhear some information. The controlled situation went poorly and escalated to a interaction with Potch, the lieutenant who had the information they needed but was holding out to get something for himself. That controlled situation also went poorly and escalated to Lady Axe joining the flashback to get up in his grill. We ended the adventure with him being the drop and the Blades refusing to hand it over to him, demanding they hand it directly to Baz themselves. That night Lady Axe woke just in time to hear some Bluecoats stomping up her stairs from an anonymous tip. She was out the window just in time!

IMG_4771A lot of heat was generated from this job, and that heat meant the entanglement roll was rough. The woman Darling seduced, the conductor of the Argonaut was brought in and interrogated. Dropping a hefty three coin, they paid for her escape. The could have let her rot, but feelings. Also, maybe should finger them. Maybe.

The Hooded Fox was their lair, they had a room always reserved for them, because they took care of the tavern owner, Rigney.

What could have improved

I was super disappointed with “Possessed” as harm. The way the harm rules work, it is very easy for someone to heal three ticks (which is the most deadly harm there is) in downtime. In fact, if you’re willing to throw coin at it, it’s pretty much impossible to fail. This took the “Oh, now Lady Axe has someone riding shotgun in her noggin, I wonder how that’s going to work” question out of the equation. Smoke the whisper banished it.

In retrospect I’d slow way down and say “how?” As in “you want to get the ghost out, how will you do it?” And then once it’s out, what then? Prepared for elecroplasmic incineration? Also, I think instead of treating it as Harm, I’d just say it’s something that is now true. No dice penalties, but there is someone else pushing buttons up there. Instead of handling removing it as healing, I’d handle it as a long term project. That at least would buy a bit of time for it to be played out.

3 thoughts on “Actual Play – The door (6/27/2015)”

  1. Yeah, I agree about Possession as harm being too easy to heal. I’m tinkering with harm right now, to try to get that balance right. The most severe harm should be serious business that really lingers.

  2. This was an awesome game Sean, I love playing Darling and in a longer campaign I think he would have really come into his own.

    John your game is really great! I love the territory map mechanic on the character sheet and wish I had grabbed it on kickstarter.

  3. Have to agree on possession. It’s not really a harm – I mean, it’ll cause Trauma after a week, but in the meantime it’s more of a thing to use when there are consequences. When the PC loses a bit of control, and the ghost gets to work on its agenda.

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