With injuries like these, Vand the Whisper, Veleris the Hound and Miss Ruby the Spider could really do with a cocktail, a massage and two weeks on a beach in Iruvia. What they have is two canisters of Leviathan Oil, some hastily trained orphans, a bag of improvised explosives and a priest to kill.
Time to do the Deep Lord’s work.
Pic is Urban Explorer Aboard Derelict Frigate by Tom Blackwell on Flickr, CC A N$.
Blades in the Dark is a fantastic game, and you’re likely to be hearing a lot more of it and its descendants from us.
With the wounds of their last encounter barely closed, the Disciples of the Depths set their eyes on clearing the Docks of their competition. Will Veleris the Hound, Vand the Whisper and Miss Ruby the Spider be able to send a Priest of Ecstasy to their God once the stars are right?
Blades in the Dark is a game of heists and bastardy set in a haunted industrial city, and is a product of John Harper’s fevered mind. Check it out.
Well, the Liberation Industries team took to the world and character creation section of our Karma in the Dark game with characteristic gusto. The full recording of this technologically hobbled session is still available through the Whimsy and Metaphor Twitch, and should surface on our Youtube pretty soon. But for those in the Too Long, Didn’t Listen camp… I’m going to do a few quick blog posts here to summarize the results, and whet your appetites for when the next live sessions air.
Welcome to Metro East
Now Karma offers us some downright robust world building tools; though the game’s elevator pitch is probably “Blades Powered Shadowrun” its got a lot more going for it than that, and can basically handle all of your magic cyberpunk needs. It lets you build a world with a strong focus on privilege, and the exact avenues that power is expressed in that dystopia.
Naturally, we decided to set our game in Sydney, Australia. Or at least, what’s left of it.
Power is influenced by three factors in Karma, chosen by the players at the start of the campaign. Our group chose Metatype as one factor in a nod to classic Shadowrun; elves and humans have an easier time negotiating society than their goblinoid cousins. The other two factors we chose were Bloodline and Property, with family ties to the Oligarch Clans offering a measure of protection, and a citizen’s social clout strongly resting on how much capital they can bring to bear.
With that in place, we have a distinctly neo-feudal city.
Glittering Heights, Murky Depths
Even before the magical Outbreak hit, Metro East was not doing so well. With its lower levels subsiding in ever greater floodwaters and further growth choked by geographical restrictions, the skyline grew desperately taller, clawing for the sky even as the building’s foundations were swallowed by the sea. The city grew upwards in layers, like a mad termite mound.
Then the Outbreak struck, and the world changed completely. With the return of magic to the world, technology that had been the lifeblood of a globalised economy – wireless communication, positioning satellites, even long distance radio – went silent in the face of a global magical susurrus. Technology had to be rebuilt in shielded, wired form, and cities were left to fend for themselves. It is a metropolis of text-fed terminals, flickering hologram billboards, and murky phone booths with gnarled nerve-jack leads swinging in the ever present storm winds.
The crash was eighty years ago, and only now are we returning to the globalised world that was lost. So far, even the great corporations have been unable to challenge the primacy of the City States, but with more ships arriving in Metro East from abroad every day, that may be set to change.
It is a city of great divisions. Industry is driven by intensive, exploitative aquaculture and risky ocean mining, offset by a ravenous urge for respect that has manifested in a cutting edge fashion scene. The Oligarchs maintain their hold through monopolies on the most alarming magic – they say the rites of divination that keep them ahead of their rivals are unspeakably horrid – and access to the best medical care. They have developed a taste for flaunting their elegant, tailored bioware, the symbol of their coveted longevity, with the fashion for gauzy, revealing garments that display humanity’s augmented peak. For the kelp-fed poor, crude cyberware can be the difference between life and death, but social pressure often drives it to be covered; given the harsh weather, the working classes make their way in shrouds and bulky raincoats through the torrid, waterlogged industrial quarters. Life expectancy gets lower the deeper you go.
Metro East is viewed by outsiders as both an enclave of vain upstarts, and a pit of desperate criminal savagery… and both of these statements are true.
Tune in next week, and we’ll take a look at some of the City’s movers and shakers, at least in the tumbledown neighbourhood our characters inhabit. If you have any questions, drop a comment, or have a look at Cass K Designs; this game comes thoroughly recommended!
Hey hey imaginary listeners!
We are taking the Liberation Industries magic into the modern age with the help of Whimsy and Metaphor, and taking our teeth to Cass K’s fantastic Shadowrun/Blades in the Dark hybrid, Karma in the Dark!
The show will be airing on Twitch at 7pm tomorrow (Sunday 1st April), Australian Eastern Standard Time. The first session will be mostly world creation, but for the die-hards among you I look forward to seeing you there!
Its a filthy damned mess for the Disciples of the Depths in this episode as Veleris the Hound, Vand the Whisper and Miss Ruby the Spider conclude their brutal dealings with the Gondoliers and then do what they can to handle the fallout. This one is going to need stitches…
Blades in the Dark, the game of heists and skulduggery in a haunted industrial metropolis, is brought to us by John Harper and Evil Hat games. It is rich, exciting and captures the feeling it was aiming for perfectly. So stitch some razors in your cap and give it a try!
Join the crew on another jaunt in service of the Lord of the Depths in this grisly episode of our Blades in the Darkgame! Can Veleris the Hound, Vand the Whisper and Miss Ruby the Spider infiltrate the Gondolier’s subterranean canal network to find a safe home for the whispering Coral Crown?
As it so often is in this game, the answer is “Yes, but…”
With the local nobility supernaturally terrorized into a charitable mood, the Disciples of the Depths move on to the main event. Unfortunately someone tipped off their rivals in the Church of the Weeping Lady, so the battle for the hearts and wallets of Doskvol begins in earnest…
Season’s Greeting listeners! For our holiday horror special, here comes another slippery caper of Blades in the Dark!
With the terror of famine hovering like the ever present Doskvol fog, the Disciples of the Depths spring into action in what may be the biggest canned food scam the city has ever seen. After all, it is much easier to be faithful with a full belly, and if those nobles aren’t in a giving spirit yet then perhaps they need some convincing…
Will Miss Ruby the Spider, Vand the Whisper and Veleris the Hound be able to push some good-natured nuns out of the pickled eel racket?
Join the Liberation Industries crew as they take John Harper and Evil Hat’s gripping crime romp Blades in the Dark for a spin.
Nothing is ever simple in Doskvol… at least not for cultists of the Lord of the Depths trying to spread the good word to the unbelievers. Will Vand the Whisper, Veleris the Hound and Miss Ruby the Spider be able to secure a haunted artifact without too many explosions or murders?
Of course not. But its the journey that’s exciting.