After a bit of searching about, I finally found the Blades in the Dark game I’ve been looking for. I dug up two people on Reddit, of all places, and we had our first session last week. It’s a cool group of PCs, sort of occult-leaning novices to the criminal world. Dock is a kid who was raised in a cult and has no idea how the world works (but lots of occult knowledge); Crucible is an alchemist and sailor from the Dagger Isles who got kicked off her ship for stealing things and now has to figure out how to live well in Doskvol; and Loretta (aka Etty) is the child of a noble family who lost all their money and status, so she’s stuck living on the streets with the ghost of her childhood pet for company.
This game sparked my documentation obsession, so we have a wiki. For the click-adverse, the record of the first session follows.
The (as yet unnamed) crew is a bunch of Shadows in Six Towers, who have carved out a few blocks around the Old Dragon tavern as their hunting grounds. They paid tribute to Lord Scurlock for that privilege. Rigney, the owner of the Old Dragon, seems content enough with this state of affairs. They have a hideout on a boat in a concealed dock off the canal between Six Towers and the electric wall to the east of the city.
Griggs of the Gondoliers helped them find the boat and dock, out of the goodness of his heart. They had to evict a squatter, but that was easy, Dock and Etty just scared him off. A week or two afterwards, Crucible overheard Bear — he’s second in command of the Fog Hands — bitching about how these three kids kicked his cousin out of his perfectly good shack, so that’s not great, but the cousin is a bit of a lush and as of now the Fog Hands don’t know who exactly those three kids are or where they’re lairing.
Oh, and that Skovlander Ulf Ironborn is now carrying a grudge because the crew saw Rigney kick him out of the Old Dragon; Rigney doesn’t like Skovlanders and you know how angry Ulf gets about that. Maybe Etty was a bit rude to him, too.
The crew was lounging around in the Old Dragon one evening; Dock was drinking virgin mushroom wine at the bar, while Crucible and Etty relaxed at a table. Over the course of fifteen minutes or so, they noticed people were filtering out of the tavern and new people weren’t coming in; this culminated with the arrival of Andrel, who politely asked to join the scoundrels. They assented.
Andrel explained that Lord Scurlock was ever so pleased that the crew was settling in nicely, and that Lord Scurlock was wondering if they’d be willing to do him a slight favor. There was this Bluecoat, Timoth, and Lord Scurlock was hoping that the trio would be able to embarrass him somehow. Details left up to the scoundrels. Would this be a possible thing? Lord Scurlock would be willing to reward the crew with four coin, if so.
Etty, with a sharp eye towards profit, said she thought it was more of a five coin job. Andrel thought Lord Scurlock would be comfortable with that if it was a very well done job. Dock, who was keenly observing this new modality of human interaction, said boldly, “Ten coin!” Everyone looked at him, and he retreated back to his mushroom wine.
Andrel further noted that Lord Scurlock needed the job completed within a week, which everyone agreed was more than enough time. He bought the trio a round and left, somewhat to Rigney’s relief.
Our scoundrels kicked around a few ideas for humiliating Timoth for a bit before coming up with the idea of tattooing some kind of embarrassing mark on his face. Dock took on responsibility for finding the right one — he’s a bookish sort — but after some research he was unable to nail down the distinction between two fairly similar Hadrathi symbols; one means (roughly) idiot and one symbolizes a man who should be feared. It’s a matter of the angle of the middle glyph stroke.
Stuck, he retired to his cabin on the boat to consult with his demonic friend Setarra. As a polite scoundrel, he warned Crucible and Etty that he’d be talking to a friend.
Crucible: “Oh — is this a sock on the door kind of a friend?”
Etty: “Is this a friend of the heart?”
Etty: “Or more a friend of the pants?”
Etty and Crucible: “Never mind.”
Setarra the Six-Fingered, once summoned, happily supplied the appropriate glyph and then asked if he could meet Dock’s new friends. “Of course!”
Setarra and Dock headed up to the main cabin, where everyone introduced themselves and Setarra accepted some mushroom wine — which he then mulled using only the tip of his finger.
Setarra: “So, are those your real names or use names?”
Etty: “Those are our use names. How about you?”
Setarra: “Oh, it’s my use name. I’m glad you’re clever. You’ll take good care of Dock, won’t you? I worry about him; I’d be devastated if anything happened to him.”
Setarra took his leave after carving Dock’s glyph into the hull of the boat, once more using his fingertip.
After Dock got a handle on the glyph to carve, the trio headed out to intercept Timoth along his usual patrol path. Etty was dressed in her finest; Crucible was dressed as a thug. Dock lurked in the back of an alley. The plan was for Crucible to “pickpocket” Etty’s bag, then run for the alley, where she and Dock and Etty would overpower Timoth. The three prepared themselves.
Crucible: “Now, you know how to carve a sigil into someone’s face, right?”
Dock: “Do I! Why, I’ve only been doing it every Sunday morning since forever!”
Unfortunately, while Crucible and Etty’s acting was sufficient unto the task, Timoth was completely willing to turn a blind eye to random street crime. As Crucible lifted Etty’s purse, he slipped her a wink and moved on. She sighed, and fell back to plan B: hit Timoth over the head and drag him aside for the tattooing.
That plan worked better, although Timoth did get a full look at Crucible’s face in the process. Half an hour later, he had a fully embarrassing glyph carved into his face in an permanent fashion. The scoundrels debated a moment about where they should drop him off, and decided to just leave him in the alley for the sake of staying somewhat incognito.
The scoundrels passed the word to Lord Scurlock that they’d completed the job. Andrel dropped by the Old Dragon the following night, and passed over four coin. (If they’d dropped the Bluecoat in the middle of a public square for maximum visibility, that would have been five coin.) He bought them all a second round — although Rigney doesn’t stock the liquors Etty would prefer — and headed off into the night again. The three scoundrels distributed the coin amongst themselves, and went off to enjoy their leisure time.
Crucible: began working on a new alchemical creation (details to come when Bryant and Susan sit down and figure them out). She also indulged her vice, visiting TK’s drug den and blotting out the memory of everything that’s ever embarrassed her.
Dock: indulged his vice by visiting a spirit who holds open a small gap in the lightning wall, allowing her visitors to gaze upon the deathlands beyond using her occult sight. Unfortunately, Dock overindulged rudely and will not be welcome there again. He also began plotting out a way to move the old distillery equipment from his former home to the new lair; during this downtime, he scouted out the old home and made sure nobody else was eyeing it.
Etty: took it upon herself to help out the crew by framing another Dagger Isles woman for the assault on Timoth. Her whisper campaign was successful, dropping the crew’s Heat by 1. She then went off and trained Diamond, in the interests of paying back her Ghost Hunter special ability.