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a|state Second Edition


Step inside a baroque urban nightmare, the world of a|state.


In The City you’ll fight off threats to your canalside home, trying to make this grim and haunted place safer and better, somehow.

a|state brings a new, hopeful approach to the much-loved Forged in the Dark ruleset. Your ability to Care counts as much as your ability to Fight.


Create Troublemakers such as the deft and deadly Ghostfighter, the caring and curious Lostfinder, the persuasive and passionate Activist, and the striking and stealthy Sneakthief. If they can trust each other they might have a chance.

Defend your corner from selfish authorities, angry gangs and heartless industries, and deal with the spiralling consequences of your own actions as you struggle for a better tomorrow.


Bringing the wine-dark visual vibes of Dark City and The City of Lost Children, a|state delivers Dickensian anti-Thatcher sparks and knives sci fi.

Here’s a glimpse of some of what you’ll find in a|state second edition, in chapter order:

  • A smooth, powerful iteration of Forged in the Dark
  • Seven character playbooks with many more variations to explore
  • Rules for creating your own threatened corner of The City
  • Guidance for going on missions as you struggle to bring hope to your community
  • New rules to bring downtime between missions to life
  • A toolkit for exploring the unknown reaches of The City beyond your home
  • Focused assistance for the GM to create missions, support players and manage the whole struggle
  • The Trouble Engine, an innovative creation system that will throw problem after problem at the corner and those who defend it
  • A vibrant and instantly usable guide to life in The City
  • Playable details of 26 locations
  • Full descriptions of every major faction in The City and how they will make life difficult for the corner
  • Insights into the deepest mysteries of The City and the strange beings known as the Shifted
  • And throughout, there will be songs, poems, folk tales, advertising, and ephemera that vividly bring to life the world of The City.

This is the story of how you fight back.

Written by Malcolm Craig, Morgan Davie, and Gregor Hutton with Tanya Floaker, Brian Nisbet, Gareth Ryder Hanrahan and KC Shi.

Illustrated by Paul Bourne, Jon Hodgson and Scott Purdy.

The City

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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Reviews (2)
Discussions (5)
Customer avatar
John H April 10, 2023 8:11 am UTC
Customer avatar
Piotr M April 05, 2023 11:03 am UTC
Is printed version only sold by your store, or maybe there is some reteiler in EU? Had some issues since Brexit with books shipped from UK.
Customer avatar
Jon H April 05, 2023 11:09 am UTC
Understood - Sphaerenmeisters Spiele has stock right now, and can always get more from us.
Customer avatar
Chris M January 14, 2023 8:12 pm UTC
I am enjoying the book a lot, however there seems to be a LOT of unanswered questions. I assume (please give feedback) that this is on purpose to allow freedom of the GM?
Customer avatar
Jon H January 16, 2023 9:43 pm UTC
Hi Chris - very much so. Because of the collaborative nature of the ruleset, a|state presents a bunch of options for the big mysteries of The City for you and your players to decide on between you, preferably through play.
Customer avatar
Chris M January 29, 2023 1:16 pm UTC
Thank you Jon. Is there any details for the bottom half of the map, seems all locations are only mentioned in the top half?
Customer avatar
Jon H January 31, 2023 6:48 pm UTC
Don't worry - we didn't forget to fill it in. There's plenty of room to explore, and for supplements to expand on what's there. The City is a VAST place. The book is already 304 pages, with only maybe a third to half of the total area scattered with locations. There's scope for a lot more, and room for you and your group to build out your own setting details, which is strongly encouraged throughout.
Customer avatar
Simon S December 02, 2022 2:40 am UTC
Is there a list of what was just updated on the 29th?

I have the print edition already and wanted to see if anything was changed / errata etc
Customer avatar
Jon H December 02, 2022 6:39 am UTC
Hi Simon,
On the last couple of days of November form-fillable playbooks and a form-fillable faction sheet were added.

The pdf remains in line with the print edition. We made several revisions to the pdf prior to going to print.
Customer avatar
Jeff S May 18, 2022 1:17 am UTC
I really wish the font size chosen for the layout wasn't so small. I like to read full pages in my viewer and for me it's too difficult to read, compared to many other TTRPG PDFs.
Customer avatar
Jon H May 18, 2022 5:29 am UTC
Hi Jeff,
This confused me for a moment - the font size is very standard and not at all a smaller size. But then I realised what’s happening. The pages are US letter sized, with text in two columns rather than single column digest sized. So the text looks smaller when you view full page.

Some people really want the PDF to be a direct mirror of the physical book so that all the page references and navigation is the same between print and PDF. And some people prefer something more e-reader friendly. We’ll see what we can do about an e-reader version.

Customer avatar
Jeff S May 20, 2022 5:54 pm UTC
Thanks for responding. Part of the issue I have (and others with sight limitations) is that what's considered a standard font size is often way too small. Compare to a book like Coyote and Crow (also two column), one of the more readable TTRPG books I've bought in the last year or so. Even big publishers like Cubicle 7 run far too small for many of us (Wrath and Glory, Soulbound). It may be "standard" but that only works for very large screens or folks with excellent eyesight.
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164.38 MB
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These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

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File Last Updated:
December 09, 2022
This title was added to our catalog on April 26, 2022.