E05. Blades in the Dark - Betrayal

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After the ambush at the Inside Job, the players track down their betrayer, and make plans for his bloody demise. Things take a turn, and dispite the GM throwing in the towl on this NPC they manage to surprise him with a rather heartwarming ending to his predicimet. Towards the end Anya's Trial concludes, marking the end of Season 1.

E04. Blades in the Dark - Inside Job

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The Cinder Street Dragons have been asked by Anya's Lawer, Layton Persible, to infiltrate his office, steal her case file, then leak it to the press. It's his belief that if this trial gets public the outcry will be huge enough that the Imperium will have no choice but to reconsider putting Anya on the Electroplasmic Chair.

This also marks the episode that we started to add a few more "in genre" ambient sounds to the podcast, provided by TabletopAudio.



Colin sits down with game designer and security expert Chad Walker to talk about his new game SIGMATA. Update: Kickstarter is LIve!

02:23 - Chad Walker
06:01 - Ethical Insurgency
07:04 - Receivers (Cyber Commandos)
10:43 - 80s Fascist America
14:29 - Who is this game for?
23:00 - Game Mechanics & Ethical Insurgency
27:55 - Design Team
35:06 - Kick-starter Stretch Goals: IRVING FORCE and other authors.

E03. Tomb of Annihilation - Random Encounters

Stalwarts Ben & Ian take to the Jungles of Chult and delve straight into the Random Encounters tables. This episode specifically deals with how the hex crawl experience plays out, things to look out for, and cool experiences to highlight for your own games.

00:59 - Recap
04:47- Dealing with Grief
07:06 - Introducing Murren
11:23 - Spiders Attack!
12:58 - Purify Food
15:38 - Chwingas Return!
18:14 - Natural Explorer
20:36 - Murren Dies

E03. Blades in the Dark - Downtimes

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The Cinder Street Dragons have a day of downtime actions to blow before Layton Persible gets back to them with a plan, and they take full advantage of it in this hour long episode. Commentary focuses on what a session of Player Downtime can look like and how it can build more of the good stuff that rolep-playing games can deliver, story.

01:21 - Commentary: Downtimes
04:06 - Dusk Manor Club (Vice Purveyor)
07:30 - Commentary: Sudi's Mark
11:26 - Erwin
17:56 - Commentary: Stress Management
19:25 - Aberthold Cheats at Dice
20:37 - Sudi & Phillipa
24:56 - Commentary: Failed Rolls
27:54 - Commentary: Sudi Rolls Brawl, Sway? 30:42 - Aberthol & Lady Dusk
34:48 - Sudi & Phillipa
37:46 - Commentary: Critical Success
39:44 - Modis
42:39 - Saying Goodbye to Phillipa
43:56 - Modis Needs a Dance Partner
45:21 - Zampino the Hunchback
48:05 - Layton Persible

E02. Blades in the Dark - Evidence Collection

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We last left off with the group planting Drugs on the Wainwright Construction Company, triggering a series of Imperial Audits and investigations setup by Vestine, a tax auditor that they've promised to perform a favor for in the near future.

Now that they've slowed down his plots in Crow's Foot, they've got to figure out the details of Anya's Trial and they're shooting for a full acquittal.

This Session begins the morning after... with Drav reading the latest Ink Raker headlines over a cup of bitter Iruvian Coffee.

01:31 - Commentary: Gather Information
02:35 - Sigurd Law Office
09:29 - Commentary: Shrewd Friends & Long Term Projects
10:29 - Meeting Jaren
12:10 - Ezra
18:31 - Commentary: Faction Level Status
27:19 - Layton Persible

Information Gathering

Gather information is a brilliant tool for the Game Master to rely on because it allows the players to get active engaging with the setting and it's characters. If everyone is an audience member and actor don't bore them with exposition, this is the show don't tell rule fiction writers always talk about, and Blades in the Dark has a specific tool for facilitating this.

Drav, used Information Gathering with the Study Ability on the morning News Papers, something his character does on a daily basis, in-fact I start just about every day of the game with Drav reading news paper in Duskwall and drinking Iruvian Coffee.

Here he came across the name Sigrid Law a poor lawyer from the Crows Food District and he thought he might ask her more information. He rolled a 6 and got all of the information he needed in that next scene and we got to meet a new face in Duskwall.

I would encourage players scrub this mechanic like a Street Fighter II Turbo Console. It's a fictional go-gone, getting you unstuck to start making interesting choices, and fundamentally games are about making interesting choices.

Sudi Used Mesmerize

The group has a small ace up their sleeves, Yaphet. In their war against the Red Sashes, the Cinder Street Dragons convinced this low ranking member to betray his gang for a steady supply of drugs and protection for loyalty.

They need Yaphet to give a core testimony in the narrative they're building to get their friend Anya, acquitted. The ever clever Ashley took matters into her own hands and used Mesmerism from her Slides Playbook, plating a thought in Yaphet mind that he should risk exposing himself for their help.

Mesmerism is thusly defined in the book as...

When you Sway someone, you may cause them to forget that it’s happened until they next interact with you. The victim’s memory “glosses over” the missing time, so it’s not suspicious that they’ve forgotten something. When you next interact with the victim, they remember everything clearly, including the strange effect of this ability.

She rolled and got a 5, and I called it was less effective than she would have desired, with Yaphet making a counter demand to help him disappear from Duskwall on the next Electro Rail out of the city. She Agreed, and He forgot she was the one that planted the idea in his head.

This is a great social manipulator / spy ability, but the language is fuzzy and I would have liked a cleaner explanation to the designers intent for how he envisioned its use.

E01. Blades in the Dark - Magical Prostitute

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Sudi, Drav, and Aberthol contact an Imperium Tax Auditor who is willing to help them delay Quince Wainwright owner of a wealthy construction firm who is planning a gentrification expansion into Crows Foot. Their scheme it so plant undocumented drugs in one of his warehouses and get him under heavy tax audit.

This episode also contains bits of commentary throughout when the rules are engaged if you're an aspiring Game Master or Player.

01:21 - Meeting Vestine
06:15 - Next Scene The Score Mechanics
10:42 - The Play Goes On!
13:30 - Sudi Get's Phin Drunk
15:10 - The Formans "Entertains"
16:04 - Magical Prostitue
21:30 - Commentary: Multiple Choices
22:26 - Commentary: Clocks
22:57 - Warehouse 19
27:04 - Commentary: The Action Roll
29:32 - Planting the Drugs
33:17 - Retcon Action Roll

E02. Tome of Annihilation - Welcome to the Jungle


Penelopy and Sariel take to the jungles with their Guide Solida! Things turn dark quickly on the second afternoon.

01:13 Breakfast with Draza & Belyam
12:54 Salida and the Sellsword, Chok...
18:55 Osip and Iwana (The Emrald Enclave)
22:27 River Soshenstar
24:20 The Sea Hags Ambush
26:45 Escape! (Enclave Hideout)
29:42 The Next Morning...
32:29 The River Canoes Have Been Taken!
34:44 Chiwingas

E01. Tomb of Annihilation - The Quest Begins

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Syndra Silvane needs help and through some major divine intervention ended up with Sariel and Penelopy, her last best hope for ending the Death Curse that's slowly killing her. Good Deeds ahead!

01:42 Campaign Setup
03:06 Syndra Silvane
07:15 Port Nyanzaru (Executioners Run)
16:25 Where do we start?
20:47 Wakanga O'tamu (Merchant Prince)
23:37 The Wizards Journal (Vorn the Shield Guardian)
29:31 Kaya's House of Repose
36:43 Eku (Guide Interviews)
41:39 Hew Hackenstone (Guide Interviews)
46:00 Solida (Guide Interviews)
50:09 You're Hired!
54:12 Ladies Night Out!
59:52 An Innocent Man! (Side Quest)
1:02:57 Drunks to the Rescue...
1:13:38 Rules Check: Death Saves
1:14:40 Saving Draza
1:26:23 Closing