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Blades in the Dark is a terrific and collaborative role-playing game. It features a haunted industrialized city, dozens of factions, hundreds of NPCs, and a unique  system of rules that puts the fiction first. It can be very difficult for a game master to run Blades in the Dark, especially with the baggage of playing so many other systems that make very different assumptions about RPGs and storytelling. 

To help new and old game masters alike, I have compiled 9 tips I've learned from running Blades in the Dark, as well as other Forged in the Dark games like Scum & Villainy, and Band of Blades. These tips should help you focus the game on what you and the players are interested in, and highlight different rules and parts of the game that I think make it special. Topics include:

  • How to make sure everyone is telling the same story together
  • What you can and cannot do as a GM in Blades in the Dark
  • How to set up your game
  • Is harm good? 
  • And more!
This work is based on Blades in the Dark (found at, product of One Seven Design, developed and authored by John Harper, and licensed for our use under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (
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April 28th, 2022
This is well-written and put together. However it's not much more than an extended article, with some points stretched to make two points and an extra page. About half of those points are useful tools for running the game, while the rest are more [...]
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2.07 MB
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File Last Updated:
August 30, 2021
This title was added to our catalog on August 30, 2021.
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