Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Blades in the Dark: Downtime

Monday we had an abbreviated session of Blades in the Dark, because my car broke down on my way home and I didn't get back to the house until about half an hour later than the game should have started. So we kept things simple.

I still wanted to do the write-up, however, as we're new to the game and it's useful for me to have a record. Likewise, there's a thread over on RPGnet in which the OP mentioned that their group found Blades unsatisfying after about two sessions; downtime actions were too dear, harm too hard to get rid of it, and the focus on jumping into a score rather than planning it out didn't work for them. (That's perfectly fair; in my group, skipping the planning step and jumping right to the meet prevents the folks who fub from turning their phones on and prevents everyone from overthinking things to death.)

I think that so far, I see their point, but I don't think it's a problem for us. Like, healing is a bitch. I get that. Harm can be debilitating, but there are ways around it. It seems like a lot of that is GM management of consequences, but playing RAW, I can see how harm would get out of control quickly. I'm liking the game, though, so I don't think we're quite ready to quit (also Blades really does seem like a game that works better with a long-term campaign, so that you can see long-term projects and turf war and stuff pay off).

So anyway: Downtime. Step one is payoff. The characters delivered the corpse they'd stolen from the Gondoliers to Captain Vale of the Bluecoats, and she paid them a big bag of silver coins (probably evidence from something that she wanted to make disappear, but money's money). They split it up (1 Coin each, 2 to the gang's stash). They also got 5 Rep (2 for the score + 3 because they tangled with the Gondoliers, a Tier-3 faction).

Heat is next. The character's score was, erm, not subtle, so they wound up with a bunch of Heat (the overall rating settled at 5).

Entanglements was next, and they have no Wanted level, so I rolled two dice and took the lower result...and then roll boxcars. Sucks to be them. The Gondoliers decided to make life hard for them, so they did a Show of Force. Since Widdershins has no claims, they just dropped from strong to weak hold. That's a bummer.

Finally, downtime actions. Everyone took some time to get healed (using One Eye, since she's a physicker), and a couple of them paid her Coin for better result. Everyone also indulged their vice and burned off some stress. One Eye started a long-term project. She wants to build an alchemical eye to replace the one she lost, so she started drawing up specs for that. Cage, too, started a project: He wants to walk the Path of Echoes, so he's learning about the occult path to do so.

And that's downtime! Next time we'll start a score. The crew is looking for a way to reduce their antipathy with the Gondoliers, because being on their bad side is inconvenient, so that'll be next time.