Blades in the Dark – 1 chef enters, no chefs leave

It’s been a while since my Blades group has gotten together but we managed to finally get back up and running just recently. Diving back in with glee I checked over my prep from last session, seeing that I had actually done some, and made a few notes. I wanted to lay out the turf map more before the players and I had a few jobs on offer as well!

After their initial tussle with the Red Sashes they had a visitation by a rather jovial ghost who wanted his ex-second in command murderised. This was Roric leader of the Crows faction, or at least used to be before he had a fatal case of getting stabbed. They considered this offer and a couple of others I threw at them, including a follow up job from Baz, who once again wanted them to obtain something for him on the side.

Going through how claims and turf worked I then just laid out all their possibilities, they are a Shadows group, and let them have a think about where to go. They decided to get themselves a network of informants, which we quickly concluded where related to Scott’s characters connections. Hitting them up for info. they were under the thrall of Ulf, a dangerous Skovlander who would find them and deal with them if they were even seen dealing with anyone else. Deciding that murderising him was the only way to go they set off to Tangletown where he was based for a good old fashioned assassination.

The Leech, Una, and the Hound, Hallam, strode in the front door going for the direct approach to meet Ulf and set him up for a grisly end to be perpetrated by the Lurk, Idrim, who was making his way up the back of the boat.

Focusing on Idrim for a moment he rolled to Prowl his way onto the boat only to screw it up monumentally. A chef made his way out of the kitchen on top of the boat and proceeded to piss off the side onto Idrim’s head. Wondering where the noises of protestation were coming from below, the chef looks down to see a man attached to a rope climbing his way up the side of the boat. He raises the alarm!

A little earlier Una and Hallam are making themselves comfortable and keepin an eye on Ulf, figuring out a way to get him on his own. Surrounded by his men, and telling stories to some children, Ulf finally shoos away the kids and stands up to greet a new arrival. Turning to see who it is Una and Hallam recognise the leader of the Red Sashes, Mylera Klev, entering with her bodyguards (I had decided on this due to a 5 on the engagement roll). They greet each other, and make their way into a private area of the bar, which is basically a small converted shipping container.

Meanwhile, somewhere more sneaky, the Lurk is hanging from a rope whilst a Chef sets off the alarm, a bell on the prow of the boat. Weighing up his options, he plunges a grappling hook into the chest of the chef, using him as a weight to repel off the prow of the boat and into the water. The lurk’s approach has been ruined!

Using the commotion caused by the chef raising the alarm the Hound gets himself on top of the shipping container and listens in to Mylera trying to recruit Ulf to help her out in Crow’s Foot. Hallam is spotted and in order to get out Una fires of a smoke grenade. Cutting the ankles of the men standing above Hallam, about to kill him, one of them strikes back, narrowly missing a deep cut on her back. As she falls, Hallam scoops her up and jumps off the ship into the awaiting water, where the Lurk meets them in a boat.

Seeing Mylera leave they quickly decide to take a shot at her! The Lurk grabs a grenade from the Leech and makes off after her. Scurrying along the rooftops, tracing her path below, the Lurk briefly loses sight of her and decides to drop down nearby for a better look. Something is afoot though as there is no longer one Mylera, but 3! With bodyguards! Unsure which is which he decides the better of it and retreats with the other two to their hideout.

This mission went wrong in all sorts of ways but it was an absolute blast for everyone. We all loved how much drama the game gave us depsite the team screwing up, and they didn’t come away completely emptied handed. They now know what my Red Sashes clock is all about, but who knows what Baz is actually up to. I am really enjoying the sandbox nature of the game and the players are being fantastic which really helps!

Iain McAllister

Tabletop games reviewer and podcaster based in Dalkeith, Scotland.

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