At Death’s Door: Three and Twelve

At Death’s Door: Three and Twelve

At Death’s Door: Three and Twelve

In imagining a hack of Blades, one of the biggest questions is: do I change the basic actions:attributes. For many the answer is “no.” Especially if your hack involves heists and crime, things the Blades system does well, the defaults are a great fit. Perhaps with some tweaking of ATTUNE to fit your magic system or TINKER to move away from the electropunk feel.

For At Death’s Door I wanted to provide a game that focused more classical adventure tropes, including mystery adventure, complicated social drama, and exploration. I considered doing minor modifications, but the more I looked at them I realized the three attributes needed to change and, with them, the twelve actions.

Attributes and Actions are to FitD what Modifiers and Basic Moves are to many Apocalypse world games. Changing them really alters the feel of the world and informs us as to what our game is ABOUT.

Bellow are the ones I’ve developed for ADD. What do they tell you about my game?


A characters competency is described by 3 attributes reflecting the ideals of Mandate society.

DISCIPLINE: The ability to remain calm under pressure, usually through training. Used to resist consequences from mental or physical strain.

GRACE: Elegance of movement and voice due to innate beauty or refined. Used to resist consequences from social or physical injury.

EXCELLENCE: Skill refined through learning and knowledge. Used to resist consequences from deceit or misunderstanding.


Each attribute is divided into 4 narrative actions a character may employ to accomplish their goals.

Under Discipline …

Command: Demanding attention and obedience through rank or force of will. Possibly the leverage of social status, but Maneuver might prove less obvious.

Skirmish: Scuffling or engaging in close combat, whether with a pistol or fists. Possibly an attempt at intimidation but Command might be less violent.

Track: Following a clue or a quarry. Hunting down a target or coursing a trail.

Possibly searching for detailed information but Study could be quicker.

Volley: Firing a shot accurately with a musket or bow. Possibly hurling insults but Converse might draw less ire.

Under Grace …

Converse: Engaging someone in communication, whether through speech or some other shared language. Possibly with lies or misdirection, though Mislead might be less transparent.

Finesse: Performing fine movement whether to play an instrument, guide a mount, or dance. Possibly fencing in a duel though Skirmish may prove deadlier.

Maneuver: Positioning oneself with speed and power. Running, vaulting or applying social acumen. Possibly taking the wheel of a ship, though Operate may be less harrowing.

Mislead: Causing someone to ignore your deeds or believe an untruth, whether with lies or omissions. Possibly crafting a distraction, though Devise might accomplish the task more thoroughly.

Under Excellence:

Dabble: Experimentation in occult practices or tinkering in complex machinery. Possibly picking a lock, though Finesse may prove the superior route.

Devise: Cunning in craft or shrewd planning. Putting together clues based on current information. Possibly deducing a spiritual connection, though Dabble may prove more intuitive.

Operate: Use and execution of complex tools or mechanisms for their intended purpose. Possibly firing a gun, though Volley might be more accurate.

Study: Close observation. Comprehension of information read or absorbed. Possibly determining speed and direction, though Track would be better suited.

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