Actual Play – Walunds v Bookers: First Bood (3/24/2016)

ghost_titleGM: Sean Nittner
Players: Shaun Hayworth, Noam Rosen, and David Rothfeder
System: Blades in the Dark, Quickset Rules v.6
Playset: Vigilantes draft 1.11

After a few updates to both Blades and the Vigilantes draft, we picked up to see what these scoundrels would do to protect their family.


We re-visited the scoundrels created last session, Thrasher, Emiline (Echo), and The Duke! A good reminder of not only who the player characters are but their relationship and the pressing matters (read: the Booker family has been fucking with the Walund and just got a step up by allying with the crows, something has gotta be done to put food on the table and satisfy some baser needs). We also recounted our friends and rivals, just so we knew who else would be giving the Walunds trouble.

Plans, devious plans

The Waylunds agreed to start by hitting the Bookers where it hurts, in their supply lines. They’d find out where a drop was going down and ambush them to embarass the Bookers and show everyone the Waylunds are watching out for them. Sounds pretty good!

Canter spend a lot of time at the church of the Weeping Lady, at least at their soup kitchens, and he knows a guy there named Holtz. He’s going to make sure there are plenty of hungry people ready to take food and supplies. The plan is to forge some new instructions for deliveries so they go to the wrong place… where the Walunds could jump them!

Filling in the Details

Surely Bazso Baz would know who the Bookers are moving things for and where they are dispatched out of. Surely. The met him at one of his brothels and Wesley, operating as a Bluecoat, managed to pry out of him the location of their dispatch office on the docks and who will be watching them (Olan Booker).

Giving them the slip (or taking the slip from them)

Through a complex series of distractions in the form of Emaline’s alchemical fire, and Thrasher getting in a fight, Wesley was able to slip into the dock house (as a Bluecoat) grab a stack of paper, pull out the important documents and adjust them to lead the Booker’s delivery right to their ambush point.

Thumping time

As the lone gondola made its way through the canal of Crow’s Foot, just as it went under a bridge, a horde of Walunds descended upon them.

Blades on Air


The Bookers rep is getting too solid. People don’t want to fuck with them. We need to prove that they are chumps.

That sounds like the perfect place for Thrasher to go loiter outside and the when he’s asked to leave, be resistant to leave.

What I’m trying to decide is if this is a good time to start a garbage fire…

Notes for next game

  • Baszo doesn’t remember their meeting, but he will the next time he sees Wesley.
  • Thrasher made some enemies, there will be retribution.
  • Olan knows Emaline’s face, but he doesn’t know she’s a Walund.
  • Canter is a tough little kid who is pushing the limits.
  • The shipment lost belonged to the Red Sashes and they blame the Bookers for the fuck up!
  • The Bookers were beaten, stripped naked and sent packing!
  • Holtz at the Weeping Lady is in debt to the Walunds for their “contribution”.

What Rocked

I was delighted to see several moves in place. I had not idea Duke had the Mesmerism move. That means Baszo will totally forget about their meeting. Amazing. The fact that Thorn in your Side and Life is War both came up as well are fantastic! And Thrasher used “Not to be trifled with!”

My best moves were stealing moves that John made a few nights ago, and playing Bazso as charming and opportunistic.

I remembered to ask what their load was going to be before hitting the docks! Woot. Not only am I glad I remembered, but their concealed gear made it even better.

When Thrasher could have just taken a few thumps, which might have even been absorbed by his arm, he said Devil-t0-this and got serious with them. Desperate Skirmish prompting a Wreck via garbage fire for the win!

What could have improved

I wasn’t factoring in the Bookers higher tier in terms of magnitude and effect when the Walunds were accosting them. A lot of that was because we wrapped up in a bit of a rush at the end, but I should have been considering their size. Good to remember for next time.

I feel like the score was a bit drawn out. First get the info from Bazso, then swap the paperwork at the docs, and finally hit the gondala in the canals. I wonder if I should have treated this as multiple scores, elided past some of the details, or taken out a step in the process.

I’m not sure if this is normal (I would have to go back to listen to more AP posts) but damn, I talked a lot. Like, probably 75% or more of the time was me talking. I should be asking more questions.

I wonder if there is a clear guide for when to use the Assist rules and when to use the Group Actions rules. Clearly if everyone has to be involved (like you’re all climbing up a wall, sneaking past guards, or swimming across a river) then Group Actions are the way to go. But if someone merely could be involved (for instance, in social interactions where one person can speak for a group) then it seems ambiguous as to whether you should be assisting, acting as part of a group action, or both. Clearly it works either way, but I was feeling unsure a few times when Wesley (The Duke) was trying to get information out of Bazso and the others were helping. The way to represent their assistance mechanically wasn’t totally clear to me.

We didn’t establish how the hidden document was created. It should have been a flashback. Not the end of the world.

Rules Questions

When rolling a group action, if someone had no dice, so they roll 2d6 and take the lowest die, and then roll boxcars, does that count as a crit, or do you just take one of these 6s? (My read is that is a crit)

If a flashback would be unlikely (1 stress) can the cost be reduced to a normal action (0 stress) by virtue of a character having the right gear on hand? In this case Wesley/Duke checked the box that he had an expert disguise kit, so we agreed that Emaline being disguised as a longshoreman would be a normal action rather than an unlikely one.

Actual Play – The Walunds (3/3/15)

ghost_titleGM: Sean Nittner
Players: Shaun Hayworth, Noam Rosen, and David Rothfeder
System: Blades in the Dark, Quickset Rules v.5
Playset: Vigilantes draft 1.9

Yes, playtesting the my Vigilantes playtest! Mostly we got through character and crew creation.

Our Vigilantes

Wesley Whales (Walund) – aka Duke Bankore, is a Bluecoat under a false name! Since they would never take a Walund into their ranks, he changed his name to Whales, and yet another name (Duke) as he donned the mask of vigilante. He’s a smooth talker with some odd friends that he has to remember who he is to them. A slide played by David Rothfeder.

Emile Waylund – aka Echo, a sister in the Walund family who looks out for her little brother and makes concoctions to boggle the mind and blow holes in doors. Also, hooked on freebasing demon blood.  A leech played by Shaun Hayworth.

Thassalrath Waylander – aka Thrasher, son of a Walund smuggler who tried to set up shop in the Dagger Isles, Thrasher has recently returned to Duskwall and re-united with his family, though he’s learning the hard way what a pinch they are in. A cutter played by Noam Rosen.

The Crew

The Walunds – A family of who is literally know for selling (fencing) anything they can get their hands on an whose rivals The Bookers have just secured a deal with the Crows, elevating them to a place where they can really put the hurt on the Walund families. The Walunds (PDF)

The Walunds (Session 1)_Page_1

The Walunds (Session 1)_Page_2

Vigilantes on Air

Other Details

Transcribed from my notes hastily taken during the session:

Walunds – Notorious for sellling to rivals, and for selling absolutely anything. Cover – Selling of raw materials.

Enemies: Bookers (been fueding forever fighting over contracts now but it goes back to something personal)
Tavern: The Hook & Line – No Walunds allowed
Tavern The Broken Tooth – Image of a broken Booker on it

Duke Bankor (vigilante name)
Pretending to be a high society person to end this horrible street war.
Real name: Wesley Walund.
Mother: Volette Coleburn, dead but still around.
Friend: Bazso Baz, a gang leader (Friends with Wesley Wails, the Bluecoat, on the take)
Rival: Nyryx, a prostitute (Rival, lover, its complicated, knows Wesley Wails is a waylund)
Vice: Obligation to Captain Edwards (completely in the pockets of the Lampblacks)
Vice: Pleasure (Silver Swan Pleasure Barge, Eldrin Prichard purveyor)

Emilie Waylund (Alias: Echo)

Friend: Eckerd, a corpse thief (friend, sold all kinds of bodies)
Rival: Malista, a priestess (rival)
Vice: Obligation to Canter Walund (younger brother, born with a defored arm)
Vice: Stumpor (freebasing demon blood, Ramira)

Thassalrath Waylander (Alias: Thrasher)

Friend: Grace, an extortionist (Mama Walund, close friend)
Rival: Chael Booker, a vicious thug (rival, sold you out)
Vice: Obligation to the family (Grace’s husband Maliey killed by Bookers, seeking revenge)
Vice: Stupor – Black Lotus (chronic pain) gets from Mr. Sleepy