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Blades in the Dark
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Blades in the Dark


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 (8)
Discussions (45)
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
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.
Customer avatar
March 22, 2017 1:38 pm UTC
Thanks for the response.
Customer avatar
March 20, 2017 12:02 am UTC
I paid for a PDF with a cover image like the image the above with a cover. When I downloaded pdf there was no cover image. Where is the PDF with the cover image?
Customer avatar
Sean N March 22, 2017 3:54 am UTC
Hi there, the PDF version doesn't have the cover (front or back), it's just the internal contents. If you'd like a copy of the image though, there is a decent version here ( If you'd like a print quality resolution, reply here and I'll get one over to you.
Customer avatar
March 08, 2017 3:56 pm UTC
Benjamin N, I'm a HUGE fan of Thief and Dishonored and cannot recommend this game enough. It's a fantastic product and the support is incredible (Sean is one of hardest-working, nicest people I've had the pleasure of dealing with). There's also a great community on G+ I recommend joining.
Customer avatar
Benjamin N March 04, 2017 10:04 am UTC
I'm intrigued by what I'm reading about this game. I was wondering how well it would emulate the Thief computer game series by Looking Glass Games? Or even Dishonored video game? The setting, at least seems to suggest it, from what I've read. Basically, I'm looking for a stealth-heavy (or one that can be made stealth-heavy) tabletop rpg that can emulate with dice what I like playing in video games.
Customer avatar
Sean N March 05, 2017 12:00 am UTC
Very much so. Both Thief and Dishonored were very strong influences for John. The game focuses a bit more on the crew than the video games do, but the action is very focused on pulling of capers, heists, and scores, and then trying to keep your life from falling apart when you're done with them.
Customer avatar
Benjamin N March 05, 2017 2:03 am UTC
I'm sure I'll be buying this game next payday. I've been watching a couple videos dealing with this game on Youtube, and it looks very much what I've been searching for for years in an rpg. Perhaps the closest, by far, I've ever encountered.

I do have one more question: is it possible to play this game solo? As in using the Mythic GM Emulator with it? I don't have a readily available group to play any rpgs with at this period of time. But I'm very intrigued by what I'm learning about this game.
Customer avatar
Sean N March 05, 2017 6:32 am UTC
This is the first I've heard of Mythic GM Emulator, so I don't think I can speak to that. Although, I'm super intrigued that such a thing exists! My guess is that it wouldn't be a great fit however, because a lot of the game is about the crew as an entity, not just the individual PCs. For example, one of the ways you gain XP for the crew is by showing the internal conflict, which is tricky when there is just one player.

Honestly, I'd join the G+ group ( and see if there is anyone either in your area or that games online who you might be able to start a game with (or join in an existing game).
Customer avatar
Benjamin N March 05, 2017 12:38 pm UTC
I'll have to look at the game system. But if it boils down to a playbook, then it should be doable. I'm not concerned about XP. I'm looking for a very stealth-based narrative game system. And a cool setting that's much like the Thief and Dishonored games. I watched some Youtube videos about this game, and it seems to be quite hackable.
Customer avatar
Jack R February 25, 2017 3:49 pm UTC
Is there any way to upgrade my purchase to a special edition PDF?

I'd love to read through the extra material but can't realistically justify spending enough to get the book with postage.
Customer avatar
Sean N February 28, 2017 4:46 am UTC
Hi Jack, John may release the extra U'Duasha content as a separate PDF in the future but at the moment the ways to get it digitally are:

1. If you were a Kickstarter backer, upgrade to the Tinker level or higher on BackerKit.
2. If not, pre-order the special edition on BackerKit.
Customer avatar
Jack R February 28, 2017 12:15 pm UTC
Not being able to get it without either being a backer or spending 50% of the product's cost for shipping of a physical version I'm not super keen on isn't exactly a great solution.
Customer avatar
Sean N February 28, 2017 7:33 pm UTC
Hi Jack, I'm sorry we don't have a good solution for you. John is still contemplating how to release the additional city information, but there is nothing specific decided yet.
Customer avatar
Todor P February 22, 2017 7:07 am UTC
20 bucks for a black and white PDF and you can't even get a full preview to see what the pages really say? I don't think so...
Customer avatar
Brandon P February 24, 2017 3:03 pm UTC
It is completely worth it. The current version, 8.1 (which is the finalized and edited version going to print) is 336 pages and the playsheets table referencces (many of which you don't actually need to play - The is a GM reference, two page rules reference, the 7 basic playbooks and 7 crewsheets, the 3 advanced playbooks, a blank crew and playsheet, and the rest is a primer on the city of Doskvol and the different wards) is 59 pages. The rules are simple yest layered and nuanced, and instead of bringing the game to a halt on a failed roll it drives play forward. There are also rules and discussions for making the game your own. You can download much of the playsheets and references freely from the downloads page for Blades in the Dark on Evil Hat's website.
Customer avatar
Sean N February 24, 2017 6:16 pm UTC
Hi Todor, that's a good point. I'll see if we can get some higher resolution images in the preview. There also a lot more information about it (along with some free downloads to check out the crews and characters) over yonder:
Customer avatar
Benjamin Lung-Tze L February 01, 2017 8:17 am UTC
Awesome book. It's nice to have the final PDF now.

My one gripe is the lack of bookmarks in the PDF. Will there be an update with bookmarks soon?
Customer avatar
Sean N February 09, 2017 12:08 am UTC
Yep, the FINAL final will come out later in February with corrections we've received from backers and hyperlinks.
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on January 10, 2016.