Will be running my first session of Band of Blades this week and have some questions I hope this community can help with.

With 5 people playing (including GM), will all 4 players select a Specialist to play per mission? I read that a typical mission is 2 specialists and 1 squad. All players make 1 specialist to begin, but will 2 players need to select a Rookie for missions?

Thank you in advance for any responses/guidance.

9 thoughts on “BAND OF BLADES”

  1. Yup. It’s dangerous to go alone, take a Rookie with you.

    Part of the way the game works is giving each players multiple characters to play and care about so when one DIE HORRIBLY they still have a way to stay invested in the game

  2. I did take a look and it cleared things up. I am wondering if 2 specialists and 1 squad is a hard rule for all missions. It seemed odd that players make a character and only half play the character they initially made. So I wanted to clarify. Appreciate it!

  3. It’s the standard Legion deployment. Meaning that while “all specialist” or “all rookie” missions exist (read some of the special missions), they are very rare. Some missions can have an extra specialist deployed. But in general, one squad + two specialists is the majority of the game.

    BoB is not a “this is the story of my character” type game.

    It’s the story of the Legion.

    Say Alice makes a Heavy. Alice also makes the Bartan rookie in the Ember Wolves. The rookie levels up becoming a soldier. Both the Soldier and the Heavy are assigned to an assault mission. Who does Alice play? Who plays the other? (Hint: it’s whomever likes, or whomever the Marshall decides)

    There isn’t character “ownership” in the sense you’re insinuating. The reason everyone makes a character is largely for speed/time constraints.

    Obviously if Alice loves playing her Heavy, and wants to player her whenever she is assigned to primary missions—that’s not a problem. And if Alice decides to play her Soldier later, whomever gets the heavy should try to portray her authentically as established.

    Troupe style games are nothing new (Ars Magica did it decades ago forex). The only characters you have consistent authority over are the roles (Commander, QM, Marshal). It sounds weird from a say DnD or Blades perspective, but I suggest you give it a whirl, and keep an open mind (it might be fun/useful to challenge your assumptions of what is a standard game concept surrounding character ownership).

    In our playtests and experiences, people have a ton of fun playing rookies, and picking up new ones as those fall. They love the emergent story of a rookie leveling up, and the growth they have over a campaign. Hopefully you’ll have the same experience at your table.

  4. Hey Stras, I appreciate the response! I am running the first session tonight and wanted to check in so I could explain to them clearly. This will help a ton!

    Regarding leveling up, if a Rookie promotes to a Soldier or Specialist, will the 3rd and 4th players select a new rookie to play, or is the rookie that has been promoted playable alongside two specialists?

  5. No prob! I love hearing about BoB games.

    Soldiers and Rookies both stay in squads. A soldier is basically a “veteran rookie”. So when a squad is deployed you can play a Soldier if one’s available, or grab a fresh rookie to level up.

    Specialists (Medic, Heavy, Sniper, Scout, Officer) are included in the 2, and tracked a bit separately (you’ll note there are no soldier requirements for missions).

    Good luck with the game tonight! ^_^

  6. Stras Acimovic perfect, I appreciate the response and understand the dynamic much better now.

    Black Company is my favorite book series and our gaming group has really embraced Blades lately. I’ve been hyped for BoB since my friend sent me to the PDF. Great work on the game!

  7. I’m super hyped to see people starting to play it.

    I’m starting layout on the full text next week ^_~ So you’ll get a much more beefy, more detailed book with a ton of this style of explanation in the next few months hopefully.

Comments are closed.