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Blades in the Dark
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Blades in the Dark


Winner: 2015 Golden Geek, RPG of the Year

Winner: 2016 Indie RPG Award, Game of the Year (also Best Production and Best Support)

Blades in the Dark is a tabletop role-playing game about a crew of daring scoundrels seeking their fortunes on the haunted streets of an industrial-fantasy city. There are heists, chases, occult mysteries, dangerous bargains, bloody skirmishes, and, above all, riches to be had — if you’re bold enough to seize them.

You and your fledgling crew must thrive amidst the threats of rival gangs, powerful noble families, vengeful ghosts, the Bluecoats of the city watch, and the siren song of your scoundrel’s own vices. Will you rise to power in the criminal underworld? What are you willing to do to get to the top?

In this stand-alone game, you’ll find:

  • Rules to create your scoundrel using the following character archetypes: the Cutter, the Hound, the Leech, the Lurk, the Slide, the Spider, or the Whisper.
  • Rules to create your crew, built from types like Assassins, Bravos, a Cult, Hawkers, Shadows, or Smugglers.
  • A robust core mechanic which puts the fiction first—the strength of a character’s position (desperate, risky, or controlled) matters just as much as the character’s ability scores.
  • A lightning-fast mechanic for planning criminal operations to cut through the usual slog of planning at the game table.
  • Rules for alchemical experiments, gadget tinkering, and weird occult powers—including rules for playing Ghosts and other strange beings.
  • A setting guide to the haunted city of Doskvol, with all the maps, factions, NPCs, schemes, and opportunities you need to run an exciting sandbox game.

Number of players: 3-6
Age of players: 13+
Length: 2-6 hours
Type of Game: Roleplaying Game
Page Count: 336

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Reviews (12)
Discussions (52)
Customer avatar
Kevin D December 02, 2017 1:24 pm UTC
Has there been any word on the SRD for this?
Customer avatar
Federico T September 02, 2017 10:05 am UTC
Please, people outside the US really need a POD of this.
Customer avatar
Yuri L September 06, 2017 3:49 am UTC
Second that.
Customer avatar
Patrick A September 06, 2017 12:31 pm UTC
There was some update on the Kickstarter about the POD on August 15th, but it wasn't public, so I have no idea what the current status is. Some news would be greatly appreciated.
Customer avatar
Tina T September 08, 2017 10:18 am UTC
Fourthed. Current status from the August update is: it's delayed because it needed another pass, which was expected to take about a week (but apparently is taking longer or maybe another pass was needed).
Customer avatar
Luke W November 21, 2017 10:45 pm UTC
You guys do realise you can print a pdf yourself right? ;) hehe... you can even do it pretty nicely if you take some care :)
Customer avatar
Federico T November 26, 2017 1:27 pm UTC
I'm used to have private printings on Lulu (France) when PoD is not available here, to cut shipping. But this PDF along with many others cannot be printed that way. I don't care about this anymore, I got the hardcover book from a friend in UK, and yet the policy of some publishers is a statement about first and second class customers.
Customer avatar
James G June 30, 2017 5:23 pm UTC
is a POD still planned for this?
Customer avatar
Patrick A June 20, 2017 2:00 pm UTC
Anything new on the PoD release?
Customer avatar
Gil N June 11, 2017 11:26 pm UTC
Hello,I recently purchased the book from my local hobby shop. In several places,it references the site which is supposed to have additional material. But I cannot get to the site. Has it been taken down,or is there just an issue at this time? Otherwise,the game looks pretty cool. I've only had it for 24hrs,so I don't have enough experience with the game to post a review.
Customer avatar
June 17, 2017 5:23 pm UTC
It looks like you can find the sheets here instead:
Customer avatar
June 04, 2017 11:12 pm UTC
Since the print version is available from Evil Hat which is off set glossy paper hard back. A very nice book. I would recommend the Evil Hat version rather than POD.
Customer avatar
Jason Y May 30, 2017 11:31 pm UTC
I see that the print version is now available via EvilHat but it is only available in Print+PDF. Is there a way to get a discount on that over there for those of us who have already purchased the PDF?
Customer avatar
Sean N June 07, 2017 2:16 pm UTC
Hi Jason, unfortunately there's no upgrade path from PDF to book.
Customer avatar
Jory B May 16, 2017 9:10 pm UTC
Any word on the PoD release? I'm really looking forward to having a print version after missing the Kickstarter.
Customer avatar
Sean N May 22, 2017 2:40 pm UTC
Hi Jory B, The last kickstarter update has the lastest on the Print on Demand release:
Customer avatar
Sean N May 12, 2017 7:20 pm UTC
Print on Demand update over yonder:
Customer avatar
Patrick A July 21, 2017 11:07 am UTC
Anything new on that front?
Customer avatar
Nicolaj V April 26, 2017 9:34 pm UTC
When will we be able to buy the PoD version?
Customer avatar
Sean N May 04, 2017 3:40 pm UTC
Hi Nicolaj, John is working on that now. Once we have the PoD version up to our standards, he'll add it to the order options.
Customer avatar
KEVIN M April 18, 2017 6:24 pm UTC
Hey Sean Thanks for keeping us all updated I can't wait for more blades
Customer avatar
Sean N April 18, 2017 7:02 pm UTC
Very happy to help. I'm excited as well. Can't wait to hold it in my hands!
Customer avatar
Marc M April 11, 2017 1:21 pm UTC
Did the Bluecoats/Railjacks/Grifter playbooks get cut from the book or are they just not getting incorporated into the core?
Customer avatar
Sean N April 14, 2017 5:08 pm UTC
Hi Marc, all of the stretch goals (Bluecoats/Railjacks/Grifter, etc) will be released as standalone products by their creators. Once the Blades website is up (end of April) there will be links to all of the additional content that has been created.
Customer avatar
James G April 06, 2017 10:00 pm UTC
Any news of a PoD for this?
Customer avatar
Sean N April 07, 2017 8:33 pm UTC
Hi James, yep, the PoD version will be available later this month.
Customer avatar
Curtis W April 30, 2017 1:27 am UTC
Is PoD still slated for this month?
Customer avatar
Craig B April 06, 2017 6:38 am UTC
Has this been updated to include bookmarks?
Customer avatar
Sean N April 07, 2017 8:31 pm UTC
Hi Craig, yep the current version has bookmarks and live page links!
Customer avatar
Craig B April 07, 2017 11:40 pm UTC
Also, if I buy the physical copy from your website will I get it as a pdf too?
Customer avatar
Sean N April 08, 2017 8:21 pm UTC
Yes, you can pre-order the physical book here and you'll get the PDF immediately.
Customer avatar
Garth W May 21, 2017 10:22 pm UTC
That link takes me to the backerkit, which takes me to the kickstarter page, which takes me back here?
Customer avatar
Casper S March 25, 2017 7:37 pm UTC

Would like to know what the terms and conditions are around using this amongst my group of friends. Can I share this to my group (5 of us in total, or do they also have to buy the game)?

As an aside, I'd like to say that the bloodletters campaign and the rollplay presents campaign have inspired me to GM my first ever game. So thank you for inspiring me to do something I've always wanted to do.

Customer avatar
Casper S March 25, 2017 11:40 pm UTC
After having read a bit through the PDF it answers the question; give the players the players pdf (labled as blades sheets).
Customer avatar
Sean N March 27, 2017 2:21 pm UTC
That is awesome to hear Casper. Blades is a delight to run and to play. Good criming to you and your crew!
Customer avatar
March 22, 2017 9:17 pm UTC
Would not mind a print resolution image of cover.
Customer avatar
Sean N March 25, 2017 4:57 pm UTC
Sure thing, here's the full print resolution of the cover (front and back):
Customer avatar
March 25, 2017 5:13 pm UTC
Thank you sir.
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Product Information
Platinum seller
Rule System(s)
File Size:
64.29 MB
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File Last Updated:
February 21, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on January 10, 2016.