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Blades in the Dark

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$20.00

The streets of Duskwall are haunted. By vengeful ghosts and cruel demons. By the masked spirit wardens and their lightning-hooks. By sharp-eyed inspectors and their gossiping crows. By the alluring hawkers of vice and pleasure. By thieves and killers and scoundrels like you — the Blades in the Dark.

The noble elite grow ever richer from the profits of their leviathan-hunting fleets and electroplasm refineries. The Bluecoats of the constabulary crack skulls and line their pockets with graft. The powerful crime syndicates leech coin from every business, brothel, drug den, and gambling house. And then there's your crew of scoundrels: all the way down at the bottom rung. Can you make it to the top? What are you willing to do to get there? There's only one way to find out...

THE GAME
Blades in the Dark is a tabletop role-playing game about a gang of criminals seeking their fortunes on the haunted streets of Duskwall. There are heists, chases, occult mysteries, dangerous bargains, bloody skirmishes, and, above all, riches to be had if you're bold enough.

You play to find out if your fledgling crew can thrive amidst the threats of rival gangs, powerful noble families, malicious ghosts, the Bluecoats of the city watch, and the siren song of your scoundrel’s own vices.

Gameplay focuses on criminal endeavors called scores. A session of play usually consists of 1 or 2 scores, each followed by recovery, downtime projects, and advancement for the scoundrels and the crew.

In Blades in the Dark, your crew gets its own "character sheet" (chosen from different crew classes, like Cult, Thieves, or Smugglers), earns XP, and levels up alongside the characters. As you advance the crew, you unlock new options and abilities for the scoundrels and climb up the ladder of factions within the city.

The game features a robust core resolution mechanic which asks the group to characterize actions as desperaterisky, or dominant. Each choice provides a range of multiple outcomes, beyond simple success or failure. To highlight the roguish nature of the characters, players can accept a devil's bargain (a bonus die with strings attached) to bolster their chances.

Many RPG sessions grind to a halt when planning is required. The group ends up discussing options for hours -- talking about the game rather than playing the game. Blades in the Darkcuts through all that with a lightning-fast planning technique that takes less than one minute. You make a few simple decisions and you're off and running. In addition, the players can use flashback scenes to roll for a setup actions their characters performed in the past.

Check out this YouTube Let's Play series to see what the game is like in action!
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQQW3Ew6DKsN0-Iv7n7144RbqKKRneqHH


 
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Reviews (5)
Discussions (30)
Customer avatar
Benjamin Lung-Tze L February 01, 2017 8:17 am UTC
PURCHASER
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
PURCHASER
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
PURCHASER
I don't think they're doing PoD since the book's getting regular publishing via Evil Hat. Preorders are currently up: https://bladesinthedark.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders
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
PURCHASER
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
PURCHASER
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
PURCHASER
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: https://bladesinthedark.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders
Customer avatar
Sean N January 30, 2017 8:50 pm UTC
It's here!
Customer avatar
January 31, 2017 4:58 am UTC
PURCHASER
Indeed. And looks good!
Customer avatar
January 06, 2017 8:36 am UTC
PURCHASER
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: http://www.evilhat.com/home/project-status/
Customer avatar
Mark C M January 06, 2017 5:51 am UTC
PURCHASER
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: http://www.evilhat.com/home/project-status/
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: http://www.evilhat.com/home/project-status/
Customer avatar
Peter J December 21, 2016 10:31 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Looking forward to 8.0 :) yeeeeh. Love the "Blades in the Dark"-show on itmejp twitch channel ... sooo goooood
Customer avatar
Brandon P December 20, 2016 5:14 am UTC
PURCHASER
Awesome.
Customer avatar
John H December 01, 2016 9:40 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
The next update (this month!) will be the release-candidate book PDF. There will still be copy-editing and artwork passes after that. The final, final book PDF will be released in Q1 next year (and updated to all the buyers here).
Customer avatar
December 30, 2016 11:37 am UTC
PURCHASER
This month, you say? ;)
Customer avatar
John W December 30, 2016 8:29 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Any minute now, right?
Customer avatar
John H January 01, 2017 9:44 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Sorry, everyone. I've had a situation arise that's required my attention more than Blades right now. The update will be out in January instead.
Customer avatar
January 02, 2017 6:37 pm UTC
PURCHASER
On my second read-thru of the current rules, really looking forward to playing this!
Customer avatar
John W January 03, 2017 9:11 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks for keeping us posted. I am on the edge of my seat.
Customer avatar
Sean N January 04, 2017 9:52 pm UTC
For those wondering about the print status, updates on Blades in the Dark release schedule are here: http://www.evilhat.com/home/project-status/
Customer avatar
John W November 12, 2016 8:12 am UTC
PURCHASER
Any estimate on the final product's date yet?
Customer avatar
Sean N January 04, 2017 7:10 pm UTC
Updates on Blades in the Dark release schedule are here: http://www.evilhat.com/home/project-status/
Customer avatar
Daniel L November 06, 2016 6:19 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I've been watching John run this game for a while, and I am deeply in love with Blades in the Dark. It's so easy to hack, very mod-friendly, and I'm down with that.
Customer avatar
Matthew W October 31, 2016 4:36 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Can't open the file, it keeps downloading corrupt
Customer avatar
Damian D October 26, 2016 11:35 pm UTC
PURCHASER
will there be a full version available for purchase? because I love this system and want to try it out with a group of friends.
Customer avatar
Stefan S October 27, 2016 12:11 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Have look at the description "This is the digital early access edition of the game. When you purchase this product, you'll receive a PDF of the game in progress as well as every update of the PDF including the final, complete version of the game book. If you'd rather wait and buy the game once it's fully finished, then this product isn't for you! If you want to jump in and start playing now with the core materials of the game, then this PDF will serve you well."
So, yes, there will be a full version and no, it's not available, yet.
Customer avatar
Sean N January 04, 2017 7:11 pm UTC
Updates on Blades in the Dark release schedule are here: http://www.evilhat.com/home/project-status/
Customer avatar
Robin D September 26, 2016 4:11 pm UTC
PURCHASER
will there be an option to "upgrade" my purchase to the print version (if there ist going to be one?)
Customer avatar
Andrew R December 31, 2016 5:27 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I'd be interested in finding out about that as well.
Customer avatar
Sean N January 13, 2017 7:13 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: http://www.evilhat.com/home/project-status/
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Product Information
Platinum seller
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Pages
328
File Size:
106.3 MB
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Original electronic
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File Last Updated:
January 30, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on January 10, 2016.