Blades in the Dark PDF tells the story of a group of daring scoundrels building a criminal enterprise on the streets of an industrial fantasy city. The book contains heists, chases, escapes, dangerous bargains, bloody skirmishes, deceptions, betrayals, victories, and deaths.
We play to find out if the fledgling crew can thrive amidst rival gangs, powerful noble families, ghostly vengeful spirits, the Bluecoats of the City Watch, and the siren song of the scoundrel’s own vices.
Doskvol (aka Duckwall or “the Dusk”) is a cold, foggy city. Most of its development has been industrial. A world like ours during the second industrial revolution of the 1870s would be filled with trains, steamboats, printing presses, simple electrical technology, and black smog from chimneys. A mashup of London, Prague, and Venice is Doskvol. The city is crisscrossed with hundreds of little waterways and bridges, and filled with rows of houses. A fantasy city, indeed.
A GM creates a dynamic world around the characters, particularly the corrupt and wicked rulers of the city and the violent and desperate criminal underworld.
Each non-player character in the world has a concrete desire and preferred method of action, which the GM plays. The GM helps to organize the conversation so that it’s focused on the fun aspects of the game.
The GM isn’t responsible for the story and doesn’t need to plan events in advance. Players are presented with interesting opportunities, and then the chain of actions and consequences is followed. For more information, see Running the Game, page 187.
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