Actual Play – Corpse Killers (6/28/2015)

ghost_titleGM: Sean Nittner
Players: Mark Levad, Tony Dowler, Joe England, Soren Ludwig
System: Blades in the Dark, Quickstart 3 Rules
Score: Gaddoc Rail Station

Gaddoc, session 3!

First off there is something very satisfying about running the same adventure over and over. The details of the world come into greater focus. Sure, ever wall is made of crumbling brick, and every ally is dark and slick. But knowing that Rigney hides rogues in his back office in exchange for services, and that Larose is a black lotus puffing bluecoat, and that the Argonaut is so long her caboose hangs out of the end of the station, well, that stuff makes Duskwall come alive.

Thought all of the characters had their own connections as usual, Tony’s character Aldo “Dog” Lomond really cemented them in the fiction. The Lomond family has worked for generations in Coalridge ostensibly as miners, but actually running protection rackets. Recently Ulf Ironborn has begun eating up Lomond territory and the two families have become bitter rivals.

IMG_4773So… when it was a question of what other game was involved? Of course it was the Ironborn. When we had meaning “hey, you know me, and I know you” interactions, of course they were with other coal miners who might fucking hate each others guts when it came to turf disputes, but both knew one another’s families, and didn’t have any intention of siding with a fucking demon vessel just come alive!

Oh yeah, the “score” in this game was a mummified bodied with pre-cataclysmic runes inscribed all over it. The body could house a demon inside it and was undetectable as such. The demon, normally trapped, had of course broken out and now used the corpse as it’s own….to rend the flesh of humans looking for enough power to break free of it’s bonds. Funsies.

What Rocked

The aforementioned family rivalry was great. Personal connections between the PCs and the NPCs is awesome.

Drav “Key” Penderyn being a security specialist working in academia opened up a whole new world of Duskwall, and new questions. So what does personal security look like? How do universities protect themselves from Blades? What are the politic of Duskwall academia like? How do you get on the outs? Good stuff.

IMG_4772Dobo’s relationship with Satarra was messed up. He hadn’t always been Dobo. Maybe someone else could be Dobo for him instead? I kept wondering if he would try to put Satarra in the corpse, as a way to contain her. To bad we didn’t have enough time.

The fight with the corpse demon was brutal. I’ve never seen so many desperate rolls. Raven and Dog tried to intimidate the crowd with the corpse of that had <redacted so as to not offend reader’s sensibility> but when it came alive and groped for them with inhuman strength, it was our blades who were terrified. Inside the car it was Dobo’s job to contain the demon, but he could not complete the ritual and it overpowered him. The academic Key had to leap in, way outside of anything he even remotely knew, and wrap the spirit bane necklace around the corpses neck before it tore open Dobo’s chest. Damn, that was a rough fight (thanks to clocks, btw).

On the note of clocks, advancing a clock as a complication is a great way to show “you did it, but the world is alive and others are in motion too”.

First crew to be named in play!

I totally stole “a demon wreaking havok on the train” idea from John Harper, who ran the scenario the day before with a chain demon that had himself a little massacre on the train as well. That an my players saying there was an ancient corpse that held a demon. Why do people ship all this crazy shit into Duskwall!!?!?!!

What could have improved

IMG_4774As much as I loved the Lomond v. Ironborn fued, I think focusing on that meant leaving out a lot of other stuff. We didn’t see much of Satarra, or of Key’s connection to Rosiland, or Raven’s rivalry and love affair with Casta. There is a lot more I’d like to have explored with these rogues.