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Band of Blades, Digital Edition Early Access
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Band of Blades, Digital Edition Early Access



This is the digital early access edition of the game! You will REQUIRE the Blades in the Dark core book (or the SRD found at in order to play.

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. The current version 1.0 is very new! The Early Access version is being provided for fans and early adopters who want to try it before the final version is released in the coming months.


Band of Blades is a forged in the dark roleplaying game of dark military fantasy.

It's a game about the remnants of a mercenary band named the Legion retreating from a failed offensive and armies of undead. The Cinder King's generals (called the Broken) give chase across the nation of Aldermark, and our Legionnaires fight fresh horrors every night.

There are offensives, maneuvers, unwise bargains, desperate gambits, horrifying costs, and the ever-ticking clock as the Legion attempts to make it to Skydagger Keep before the pass is cut off, or the undead slip by.

We play to find out if our Legion can outwit, outrun, and outlast the endless hordes of undead while rationing dwindling supplies, risking daring operations, and whether they will make a difference in the outcome of this war. Gameplay focuses on military operations called missions.

A session of play usually consists of a primary and secondary mission, followed by campaign actions for the Legion and their generals. In Band of Blades, each player takes on two roles.

The first is the role of a general of the Legion, either Commanding the Legion to follow specific routes, Marshaling the troops to perform missions, Quartermastering the precious resources of the army, Spymastering the intel gathered in the field, or Lorekeeping the histories of the Legion.

The second is the role of a rookie, soldier or specialist on one of the missions the Commander picks.

Forward march, soldier. The Kingdoms of the East are depending on you.

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Discussions (7)
Customer avatar
Brian S January 18, 2019 2:37 pm UTC
I’m interested but $17 for an unfinished pdf that requires another product to play, seems a little outlandish.
Customer avatar
John L January 19, 2019 9:53 pm UTC
The quick start that requires the free SRD to play is only temporary. The files will be updated to the full book text once it's complete in a couple months (so you get the full version at this price as soon as it's available) and that's what most people are buying into.

Since many people have requested this (and indeed, we get a lot of questions, feedback and actual-play reports from it) it's targeted at the big chunk of our playerbase that doesn't want to wait for the full version to get this to their table. Additionally the quick start rules help fund all our art, and finish development.

If you want the full version, feel free to visit in a few months.

Thanks for the feedback!
Customer avatar
Mike S January 14, 2019 7:18 pm UTC
Very intriguing game, but even in a Beta format this really needs at least an opening page that sets it up for me. It's really odd to open this up directly to a playbook. Like, what am I even looking at here? What is this game about? Even a summation of the Role:Game Master page would be a better opening than what you have now.

Frankly I had to check all three files to see if mine was bad and was missing the opening pages!
Customer avatar
Mike S January 14, 2019 8:38 pm UTC
Quick update - I failed to open the correct file and just now noticed that the 6x9 file is actually the real game text. So I withdraw the complaint above, but it would be nice to append "handouts" or something similar to the other file names to avoid the confusion!
Customer avatar
John L January 19, 2019 9:48 pm UTC
Interestingly you're the first person to bring this up, but it's actually a reasonable suggestion. We're working on the full version atm, but I'll make sure to have updated filenames when the files go up.
Customer avatar
October 04, 2018 1:36 am UTC
This shows as not updated since May, is it DOA?
Customer avatar
John L November 27, 2018 12:55 am UTC
The full text is actually at the editors. Be aware, it takes a significant amount of time to take a quick start to full book—but there should be news and updates soon.
Customer avatar
Luc B September 12, 2018 1:33 pm UTC
I have the same question as Gareth. I'm interested in this game but as a print on demand product that has been completed.
Customer avatar
John L September 19, 2018 10:27 pm UTC
Hey Luc!

As you can see in the comment below, we will indeed have a standalone product.

We also do plan to have a physical copy, though I'm not sure print on demand is likely.
Customer avatar
Gareth L August 29, 2018 6:04 am UTC
Hi there,
Is this going to be expanded into a complete game, or is it intended to always require blades to use?
Customer avatar
John L September 19, 2018 10:26 pm UTC
Hey Gareth!

We're definitely making this a standalone product, same as we did with Scum and Villainy (we mention this in the product description).

The gist is this. We wanted folks to be able to pick up something they could play with the Blades SRD (which you can get for free here: right away, but as we work on the text the folks that picked up the game will get updates until it's finally done.

So yes. You'll get a complete standalone game, though books take a bit to write. I promise we're doing it as fast as we can (almost have a full text first draft!).

Thanks for asking!

Customer avatar
Chad K June 25, 2018 3:07 pm UTC
Please make the preview even smaller, I want to go blind so i can get a dog and that sweet white cane. i also look good in dark sunglasses. thanks.
Customer avatar
John L July 30, 2018 9:56 pm UTC
Chad K -

The preview is auto-generated by DriveThru. We can only tell them what pages to generate it from. But if you do get a cute dog, nice shades and a sweet cane, we definitely want to see some photos! :D
Customer avatar
Chad K July 31, 2018 12:16 am UTC
There is an option for a "FULL SIZE PREVIEW" that you can talk to Drive-Thru about. :) :) :)
Customer avatar
June 09, 2018 8:27 pm UTC
Getting vibes of "The Black Company." Sounds great.
Customer avatar
coleman G January 18, 2019 5:30 pm UTC
I'm getting the same vibes...along with vibes of the "Myth: the Fallen Lords" series by Bungie (which drew a lot of inspiration from the Black Company series). An army of the dead with corrupted Generals, tactical retreats, a mercenary company called the Legion...
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Product Information
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File Size:
68.09 MB
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File Last Updated:
May 31, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on May 31, 2018.