Sunday, August 2, 2015

Antigencon Blades in the Dark Actual Play

So I was joined by Slade and Jeroen for my Antigencon game at 2pm, we played 'til about 5:45, so, a good long session for me. From +Andrew Shields pre-gen characters, Slade played Lullaby, a Hound. Jeroen reprised his role as The Doctor, whom he played as in one of Andrew's earlier games. I believe they both played in that game, so the system introduction was already handled by the players or Andrew, or both. Jeroen had a copy of the rules up and assisted me when my knowledge of BitD was unclear, which was awesome. Slade used Google Draw to sketch out the countdown clocks, which was also super helpful.

My prep consisted of imagining the Lampblacks' HQ, the Red Sashes HQ, and writing down a few clocks for the Lampblacks, two of which I actually used. I wrote out a few potential jobs from Bazso Baz, none of which I used, and read through the jobs list in the rules quickstart, also unused.

We created their crew, named at the end of the session. The Purple Skulls had a gang of Shadow-Adepts, thanks to a crew playbook special ability, and a vault in their hidden lair.

Baz began the session by offering them work, in his office. Or, were the rogues there to kill him, working for the Red Sashes? They were! We flashed back to why they were in Bazso's office. Lullaby had taken up a sniper position near where Baz and his entourage were traveling; Doc was set up with an outdoor clinic nearby, working on some screaming patient. (To the character's credit, the Doctor does have one dot in Stitch.) Their Adept gang chanted and summoned something horrible, which chased the gang off, hungrily following for help/food, thanks to a devil's bargain. Lullaby shot Baz, intending to wound but doing significant damage, filling half of a 'Baz Dies' 6-clock. The Doctor quickly offered to stitch the wounded Baz up, I believe agreeing to a bargain that an underling would be suspicious. Doc succeeded with consequences and Baz was comatose when the two were summoned to help him again - too much poison delivered by the Doctor, on the sly. They didn't want to kill Baz yet, as they were hired to get intel from him first.

Baz was one clock tick from death, and got another 4-segment clock, "Baz Talks." But first, security. Lullaby brought 3 items, looking like quite a civilian, but her partner hauled in 5 items, triggering Lampblack security searching him. To be fair, I warned them. Sway helped get them through, but a Southern-accented guard, Aldo, followed the rogues. Doc gave Baz antivenom, which removed a clock tick from "Baz Dies," and used some horrible electrifying device to awaken Baz. Lullaby lured Aldo in and slit his throat, but not before the guard tried to wing her and scream out (though Lullaby's Prowess allowed her to resist all this).

Baz talked, spilling details of a safe in the warehouse HQ, designed in broad strokes by my players. Then he accidentally triggered a security device. One bargain meant that Baz would remember Doc vividly, which Jeroen happily accepted before slitting Bazso's throat. The two abseiled down the side of the warehouse as guards ran to the office. Jeroen flashed back to the Doc getting a device from the Adept gang, a spirit anchor with bound spirit(s) and a clockwork breaking mechanism. When broken, spirits escaped. In retrospect I should've charged him a stress or two (he even asked! my mistake), but this expanded a "Patrols Searching" clock from 4 to 6 segments.

The climb was seen by a few Bluecoats, raising the rogues' heat.

Into the second floor a spirit bomb went, into the first floor went our rogues, searching for the Lampblacks' vault. Finding it quickly, the rogues took all they could carry without making prowls/battles desperate (so, 6 items worth each). Since that's technically heavy, perhaps I should've capped it at 5, but at least I didn't give them portable holes. The two Finessed their way out in a manner reminiscent of the old Slip skill, just before the "Patrols Searching" clock could fill up.

They had killed Baz, stolen documents and coin from his vault. The Red Sashes paid 6 coin and lavished praise. The rogues had to pay off Bluecoats coming to make an arrest for their high-profile murder, and an Inspector casefile was opened on the Purple Skulls.

Lullaby, a great aider of the Doctor, had taken 7 stress, and overindulged her vice, drinking. She spoke of her work, drunk and heavily armed, and was asked to never return by terrified civilians. She began gathering information about good sniper spots for their next job, finding places to make carefully controlled shots. The Doctor asked his drug dealer friend Bril to reduce heat by selling drugs to Lampblacks, and deciphered some Lampblack documents, finding a vulnerable business to take over: receiving illicit relics from Deathlands Scavengers employed by the Lampblacks. The two began receiving and decoding wireless transmissions from the scavengers.

The two intercepted a supply run from the Lampblacks to the scavengers, a car full of supplies. Their Adepts put in physical labor, digging a ditch to stop the car, but digging it such that the car didn't see anything until it was too late. Daphne and Vey got out, rifle and spirit goggles at the ready, respectively. The Doctor stood to get their attention, disguised as a madman whisper surviving alone. This let Lullaby get a controlled shot off on Daphne, who died, but not before shooting the Doctor (devil's bargain). Doc staggered through this, resisting it down to a graze, and Sway'd Vey into running off, but not before Daphne possessed him, riding in his flesh back to Duskwall.

There was time for one downtime move, as the scavs returned to Duskwall. The Doctors reduced stress, letting Daphne send a message to some old friends, and Lullaby and her killer bud Oman slew Bluecoats to reduce the crew's heat.

Supply lines cut, the scavengers returned to Duskwall, meeting the rogues, as the Purple Skulls directed them to the meetup via wireless. Pool, head of the scavs, was skeptical, till Sway and Lullaby shooting a spun coin from the air convinced him to work for the two. They had stolen the original documents on Pool and his mates, used by the Lampblacks to blackmail them, and now the blackmailer had simply changed. Thanks to a bargain, Pool would always try to worm out of this crap arrangement - he wasn't in love with working the Deathlands, having lost an eye and most of a hand to them.

Lampblacks burst in, a 6-clock worth - actually, thanks to a flashback, Lullaby found out in advance and signaled Doc to wrap up. Everyone left, though the Doctor kited the Lampblacks into a fight, them all referring to their sketch of his face, dictated by Bazso's shade. Lullaby shot two of the four gangers, the rest fleeing. One of Daphne's old lovers almost found the Doctor, but the Doc tamped down on her before she could yell through his mouth.

We wrapped up with a long-term clock for the Doctor, 'Get rid of Daphne' with 3 segments left unfilled. Lullaby acquired some poor quality ammunition, likely good for fireworks next to her electroplasms-laced ammunition. Her friend, Oman, was arrested for questioning, but the crew bribed him to freedom.

Hanging Threads:
Inspector's files
Lampblack lieutenant who knew these two were suspect
Bazso's ghost remembers the Doctor quite well - used, but will come up again
Daphne haunting the Doctor
Daphne's love looking for her ghost
Lullaby finding a new purveyor of vice
Lullaby's friend Oman was picked up by bluecoats, they probably took some nice kit
Deathlands scavs now work for the crew

Overall, it was fantastic.


  1. So cool! Thanks for writing up the AP.

  2. Hey, thank you for writing Blades in the Dark! It has been lots of fun to run.