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Thorsteinn Mar

Thorsteinn Mar

Jan 24, 2024  ·  3 min read

What is Blades in the Dark?

Blades in the Dark

TTRPGs

Guide

The Blades in the Dark roleplaying game
Version: 1st
Designer: John Harper
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions

Your motley crew of scoundrels gather in the dim light of a guttering oil lamp. As you lean in, your faces lit by the flickering lamp. A bluecoat officer walks around the corner.

What do you do?

How to start playing Blades in the Dark

[TODO]

So far, a starter set for Blades in the Dark hasn’t been published. However, there are a few modules available for download on bladesinthedark.com. You can also find the rules here on Quest Portal.

Mechanics

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Setting

Blades in the Dark focuses on a group of daring scoundrels seeking fortune and power in a haunted, industrialized city.

The primary setting of Blades in the Dark is the city of Duskwall, also known as Doskvol. Inspired by Victorian-era London and gothic horror, this city is dark and grimy, dominated by industrial technology and haunted by supernatural forces.

The world of Blades in the Dark is shrouded in perpetual darkness after a cataclysm shattered the sun. Ghosts and other supernatural entities are a common reality, making the city both dangerous and mysterious. The game features a unique blend of Industrial Revolution technology with steampunk aesthetics. Trains, steamboats, and complex machinery exist alongside more arcane and supernatural elements.

The game's focus is on criminal underworld activities. Players form a crew of criminals, such as smugglers, thieves, or cultists, vying for power and influence in a city rife with gang warfare, corrupt officials, and shadowy factions.

Duskwall is governed by a tenuous balance of power among various factions, including noble houses, criminal gangs, labour unions, and the mysterious spirit wardens who manage supernatural threats. Magic and the occult play significant roles. Rituals, alchemical concoctions, and ghostly phenomena are part of the city's fabric, often tied into the heists and machinations of the game's characters. The game emphasizes a dark, gritty atmosphere, where moral ambiguity reigns and the characters must navigate a world of danger and difficult choices.

Blades in the Dark is known for its innovative mechanics that support a player-driven narrative, focusing on planning and executing heists, espionage, and other criminal endeavours. The game mechanics facilitate a story-rich and fast-paced gaming experience. The game includes a detailed system for managing the crew's resources, reputation, and progression. Players must balance their ambitions with the need to maintain their hideout, manage their earnings, and deal with the consequences of their actions.
While much of the game focuses on Duskwall, the world outside the city is filled with dangerous and unexplored territories, offering opportunities for expansion and discovery.

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