Sunday, July 8, 2018

Blades in the Dark: Someone Else's Opus

My gaming group decided to give Evil Hat's Blades in the Dark a quick try.  The first session was last Friday, mostly spent introducing the group to the rules and the PC and gang creation system.  The initial PC's include

  • A Leech specializing in pseudo-science technology
  • A Whisper who can influence the weather
  • A Cutter who is a former merchant marine
  • A Lurk who can briefly enter the ghost realm
  • And a Slide who is a professional con artist
For a gang, they decided to be Smugglers, which I thought of as being a fairly "safe" choice and easiest to stay on the morally unobjectionable side (versus say, a Cult or Hawkers, who are vice peddlers).  Some of the younger players also picked fairly "soft" vices, like being obligated to their family instead of gamblers or drug addicts.

Photograph by Orla on Deviant Art.  There is no shortage of possible group photos online for this game.

I suspect that the game will likely be more of a "Han Solo" kind of campaign versus a more gritty, ethically murky affair, but that's okay given the disposition of my group.  What's interesting for me is that it is the first game I'm tried in a while where most of the campaign background, NPC's, etc. are already made up.  There's a huge trove of detailed information in the book that it in and of itself an incredibly impressive corpus of work, but I'm been more likely in the past to do most of the creative work myself on top of a skeleton of rules.

I have mixed feelings about this.  On one hand, I suspect I'll be able to do this game with less prep, which means it will be likely to run longer than some other campaigns have.  On the other hand, it'll never feel like my game. It's someone else's opus, and I'll just be massaging it into something that looks more like me.  Plus I like to engage in the creative process, so it will be interesting to see how much room I have within the construct of the RPG.

How do you feel about super-detailed RPG's?  Love 'em or hate 'em?

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