DriveThruRPG.com
Browse Categories
$ to $















Back
pixel_trans.gif
Other comments left for this publisher:
You must be logged in to rate this
pixel_trans.gif
Court of Blades - Scandal, Forged in the Dark
by Laura A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/13/2023 17:12:37

When I tell you this title is beautiful, I mean it. The Drakes have created a truly stunning universe that allows for infinite flavors of play. You have the opportunity to create a truly collaborative story with your table with this lush, spectacular lore. Unfortunately, I've only been able to play in a brief one-shot, but what I got a chance to explore was absolutely addictive. This title is so much fun and I can't wait to take a deeper dive!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Court of Blades - Scandal, Forged in the Dark
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

pixel_trans.gif
Court of Blades - Scandal, Forged in the Dark
by Zormar R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/10/2023 10:25:36

Overall (only after reading, haven't had a chance to play yet), it presents itself as a very capable Blades in the Dark hack, developing ideas from the base system in an interesting and competent way, but not very much in the non-mechanical aspects.

Good sides:

  • Interesting, mechanized approach to romance as a game element;
  • Playbooks are mostly good and well fit well with overall tone of the game;
  • The overall structure and additional metacurrencies seem to emulate various machinations, intrigues and general ascents of power and influence in an interesting way;
  • I really like the idea of breaking down our group's choices into two things: House and coterie type;
  • I like addressing the issue of modifying items, not just crafting them;
  • I'm a big fan of intrigue as downtime action. Fits very well with the premise of the game;
  • I also really like the fact that the accumulation of "negative points" reflects on the group's activities from the very beginning and their constant monitoring is a key element of the game;
  • House management mechanics for GMs look very cool;
  • The illustrations are nice and the layout is legible and clear, although sometimes the Gothic font is almost illegible.

Weak sides:

  • I am disappointed with The Knack playbook as well as the general approach to magic. I was hoping that the game would provide some interesting approach to magic, since it was supposed to be one of the pillars. Unfortunately, I couldn't find it here. I honestly feel the original Blades in the Dark has more magic than Court;
  • The world proposed by the game is completely uninteresting to me, I didn't find anything in it that would attract me in any way. It's just awfully bland to me;
  • The chapters devoted to driving and the gameplay in general seem to me to repeat the same things three times. This space could be used better;
  • There are no tools or a short chapter on modifying the rules and creating your own elements.


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
pixel_trans.gif
Court of Blades - Scandal, Forged in the Dark
by Nigel M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/16/2023 20:20:14

I'm a big fan of the Forged in the Dark system and this game is an excellent example of it in use. Court of Blades takes the great narrative first structure of Forged in the Dark and applies it to daring adventure, courtly intrigue and romance without adding layer upon layer to the structure of the system. Setting is distinctive but totally open to customisation by your group to the playstyle you favour. The art is beautiful and evocativ. Happy to recommend



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
pixel_trans.gif
Court of Blades - Scandal, Forged in the Dark
by Shaun S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2022 12:28:16

This is a well written complete hack of blades in the dark.

As advertised it has a much lighter feel, with swords & sorcery, romance, mystery and intrigue.

2 complaints.

  1. The player handouts are wrong in the download. Spirit cafe rather than court of blades.
  2. There is no large map either in the printed material or online. In a game with so much attention on location and factions in those locations this is a major missing.

For those wanting a fillable pdf. If you play on roll20 there are some made there.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
pixel_trans.gif
Creator Reply:
Just a quick note for everyone surfing reviews: we've since fixed the wrong handout issue and included a high resolution map of Ilrien for home printing (see if you can solve the puzzle hidden in it). Happy gaming! :)
pixel_trans.gif
Spirited Cafe - A Game of Spirits, Cooking & Family Drama
by Amelia F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/11/2022 21:57:45

As a fan of light-hearted games like Golden Sky Stories, I had to check out Spirited Cafe the moment I learned about it. Spirited Cafe is a game in which you play a family that have by some means become indebted to Baba, a cruel and demanding spirit who forces you to work in a cafe and serve guests. Your goal is to get out of debt to Baba by making the guests (a host of spirits) happy with good food. The trick is that your whole cafe is kind of a mess and you aren't trained on what the spirits want. Since most spirits cannot communicate in any language you understand, you have to guess or intuit what they want. Do it right, and they'll leave you payment for Baba. Screw up and they'll leave without paying (and increase your debt!). In a one-shot, you might be spending just a single evening here to secure your freedom; in long-term play, you could have a whole season of guests and strange events.

I am amazed to see something based on Forged in the Dark translated into something this adorable (while maintaining an edge of horror). Everything is here: clocks, resistance rolls, bargaining (with Baba, in this case) for extra dice. Most of it works well. The only time the system feels like a hindrance is in its Action Ratings ("Moves"). Like Blades in the Dark, Spirited Cafe has nine Action Ratings. It feels like overkill for a game this focused, and indeed, it was sometimes difficult to tell which Action Rating felt appropriate to the situation. Sometimes it felt hard finding which of the nine Action Ratings was appropriate to the situation; in particular, there isn't a single cooking and/or prep action rating, and sometimes dishes feel like the options on display don't make sense. In that case, just picking something that was good enough was fine, but I would love to see either a smaller and broader list, or one that has a different set of nine Action Ratings. Despite this, the system rolled along fine.

This is a highly-structured game: you have a literal three-hour clock for serving guests, you flip between a sunset, night, and sunrise mode, and there's a number of individual and group resources to track. So it was delightfully surprising to see how easy it is to fit roleplaying in. With its heavy emphasis on events happening, and encouraging the GM to invent interesting situations for the players to solve, a group will spend a lot of time working their characters' personalities into the game's narrative. The biggest challenge may be making sure that the PCs have a reason to interact with each other, in addition to the environment and the spirits wandering through. A GM needs to be careful to give them equal spotlight and think about how their actions will bounce off each other.

Each of the four playbooks (Bow Tie, Ringmaster, Knife Witch, and White Hat) comes with a set of abilities that help them do their job. There is a lot of joy to be had in realizing that your Knife Witch's ability to put out a fire before it begins is suddenly useful, or the White Hat stopping the business hours clock until they are done cooking their current meal. I just wish there were even more playbooks: we have a waiter, but not a bartender. I would love to see someone who works as an entertainer or even a bouncer for disgruntled guests.

The game's only other limitation is its page count: at 44 pages, they squeeze in a ton of great content, but you can feel there's room for more. More playbooks, playbooks for the cafe type itself, more spirits, more meals, other shops in the area, more complications. What we have already is fantastic, and I would love to see it grow.

I had fun running a one-shot of Spirited Cafe. It's a game I definitely want to return to at some point for a longer campaign. Even at a slim 44 pages, it has plenty to give it steam for several sessions of play. Choosing an Action Rating and determining an outcome can sometimes be difficult to figure out, but the session won't fall apart if a group struggles to intuit the mechanics. So long as you come into the game with the right spirit, you'll leave the session happy.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Spirited Cafe - A Game of Spirits, Cooking & Family Drama
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

pixel_trans.gif
Displaying 1 to 5 (of 5 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
pixel_trans.gif
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates