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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 (6)
Discussions (37)
Customer avatar
March 22, 2017 9:17 pm UTC
Would not mind a print resolution image of cover.
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.
Customer avatar
James G January 30, 2017 10:17 pm UTC
Got this as a PDF a while back, as its now the final version any chance of a PoD?
Customer avatar
February 05, 2017 6:05 am UTC
I don't think they're doing PoD since the book's getting regular publishing via Evil Hat. Preorders are currently up:
Customer avatar
Sean N February 09, 2017 12:10 am UTC
We'll still be offering a PoD copy though we recommend buying the it from BackerKit as you'll get a hardbound copy that way for the same price. If you'd like to print on demand (often a good move if you're out of the US to avoid intentional shipping, we'll be releasing those codes in late March.
Customer avatar
James G February 09, 2017 9:05 am UTC
Yeah I'm in the UK so the cost of purchase from the Backerkit is the same as the book itself, so I will wait for the PoD. Thanks
Customer avatar
Tim L January 30, 2017 9:27 pm UTC
So... Bit confused here... If I want to buy the game in its final version, do I buy it from this page that still reads 'early edition', or will there be a separate version uploaded under the Evil Hat publishing brand? Mostly wondering in terms of possible future updates and the like.
Customer avatar
Tim L January 30, 2017 9:56 pm UTC
Well, since the title of the page now changed to just 'Blades in the Dark' I decided to buy it. :) The pdf does not have the nice graphical cover image of the printed book though... Any chance that might be added as a separate PDF, or included in the main file through an update in the future?
Customer avatar
Sean N February 09, 2017 12:11 am UTC
Hi Tim, if you want to buy the PDF only, buy this version. If you want a print copy and the PDF you can pre-order that now from BackerKit here:
Customer avatar
Sean N January 30, 2017 8:50 pm UTC
It's here!
Customer avatar
January 31, 2017 4:58 am UTC
Indeed. And looks good!
Customer avatar
January 06, 2017 8:36 am UTC
im looking for version 8 i take it its not on here yet?
Customer avatar
Sean N January 06, 2017 9:01 pm UTC
V8 will be the final release. Project status updates are here:
Customer avatar
Mark C M January 06, 2017 5:51 am UTC
My impression after a year of play during development is: It's a f**king game-changer. I love it so much, I am developing a game using the SRD when that comes out.

The mechanics break a lot of new ground, yet remain so clean - they somehow achieve a rare balance of making it fun to pause and deepen the scenes while you talk about what is happening before a roll. This is largely due to the presence of flashbacks, the load system, and how flexible the action system is - which are all amazing. Encouraging risk and rewarding with every description is the GM's primary job, and asking questions to settle things the setting hasn't defined (like how deadly the game is). Everything about the rules language and the way risks are decided is smooth and informative for everyone at the table.

And the setting! I want to call it ghostpunk; is that a thing? It's dark fantasy, but something else... It's this cutthroat underworld that slaps your mind into creative mode about how to outsmart it. Plus, the...See more
Customer avatar
Sean N January 04, 2017 7:13 pm UTC
For those wondering about the print status, updates on Blades in the Dark release schedule are here:
Customer avatar
David J January 03, 2017 10:38 pm UTC
If I buy the digital version now, will there be a discount for the print release later? Or if I want to get both the digital and physical, should I just wait until the print release?
Customer avatar
Sean N January 13, 2017 7:10 pm UTC
Kickstarter backers (at the Infiltrator level or higher) will receive an option for a discounted print release when BackerKit launches (estimated end of January). This Digital Early Access release, however, is just the the PDF. Two options for the print release right now are:

1. Purchase the Digital Early Access release here and then pre-order the print release when BackerKit opens.
2. Wait till the BackerKit opens and pre-order the print release which will also include a download of the PDF.

For project status updates see:
Customer avatar
Peter J December 21, 2016 10:31 pm UTC
Looking forward to 8.0 :) yeeeeh. Love the "Blades in the Dark"-show on itmejp twitch channel ... sooo goooood
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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.