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.