I had an absolute blast at Totalcon this past weekend. I ran Blades in the Dark twice. I used the standard intro setup from the book, the Lampblacks and the Red Sashes are about to go to war in Crow’s Foot, and each side wants your new up-and-coming gang to help out against the other. Some highlights:
The first session had three players: a Whisper, a Lurk, and a Hound. They agreed to steal a case of whiskey from the Sashes for Baszo Baz, but they also agreed to steal a painting from the Lampblacks for Mylera. The twist was that they asked Mylera for the whiskey as payment. Once she sussed out that their mysterious buyer was Baszo, she agreed, but poisoned all the bottles. The Whisper used Attune to case both gang’s HQs, and discovered VERY similar wards in each place. When he questioned his BFF Setarra about it, she told him that the grudge was personal, as Baszo held Mylera responsible for the death of his wife Celia, who also just happened to be Mylera’s sister (and the architect of the wards). After getting a critical on their engagement roll for the painting job, their cohort of Rooks managed to distract most of the Lampblacks away from their HQ by setting one of their nearby holdings on fire. The crew managed to get the basement door open, and the Whisper used what he learned from Setarra to poke the alarm wards in the right spot to shut them down (with some help from a silence potion). They crept inside, and got to work on the vault. Once the door swung open, they saw the Harry Potter style portrait of the Weeping Lady occasionally peek at them from behind her hands. They quickly covered up the painting and escaped into the night. They managed to get away with ZERO heat, because they kept it quiet, they didn’t kill anyone, and they didn’t take any bargains that would have upped the heat.
For the second session we had four players: A Whisper, a Lurk, a Slide, and a Hound. The Slide took Baszo Baz as a friend, so it colored the scenario quite a bit. They also agreed to steal the whiskey for Baszo, and later met with Mylera and agreed to steal the painting, though by that time it was pretty much decided that they were going to side with the Lampblacks. The Lurk visited his friend in the hall of records to look up the original blueprints for the house that the Sashes were using as they HQ (originally Tesslyn manor), and identified all the load-bearing walls. Baszo had asked the crew to plant a sealed envelope in place of the whiskey, saying it was his formal declaration of war. The Whisper attuned to it, and found a hex that would give the arcane equivalent of a poke in the eye to whoever opened it. He visited his friend Setarra to see if it could be turned up to 11. Setarra agreed to modify the runes in exchange for one of the Whisper’s childhood memories (the player described a scene from when the character was about 8, when his Leviathan Hunter father came home one night and announced that he’d gotten a promotion at work and wouldn’t have to go to sea anymore). The crew also met with Lyssa, and informed her what they were up to. She offered them a tidy sum of Coin to ensure that the war between the Sashes and the Lampblacks is brought to a swift conclusion (and didn’t much care which side won). The crew worked their way into the Sashes’ basement, but initially ran into some trouble finding good spots to place the explosives they brought with them. The Whisper made short work of locating the whiskey, and he carted it out while the rest of the crew moved some crates around to clear the spots on the walls. They hightailed it out of there, and the low bass rumble of the charges going off was the signal to the Hound standing guard on the rooftop across the street, his pistols and rifle arrayed in front of him for easy access. As the Sashes began fleeing from the now dangerously wobbling house, he began to take aim and started picking them off as the structure slowly collapsed in on itself with a series of loud groans and creaks. The next morning Mylera returned to the house to find it a smoking ruin. Her major domo Aldo retrieved the letter from the back doorstep, and when he opened it, was instantly disintegrated right before Mylera’s eyes. In contrast to the previous group, they ended up with a LOT of heat. I inadvertently agreed to run a Part 2 next year when I gave them a quick synopsis of the progression of the war over the next few days.
In both cases, there were players at the table who had never played before, and at the end asked if the book was available in the dealer’s room (it was, thanks to the fine folks at Modern Myths). Hope to hear tales of their own exploits here sometime soon. 🙂