Blades in the Dark
A subtle manipulator and spy
It’s said that the primal substance of the world is not mere matter or strange plasms, it’s lies. Everything we do, everything we care about, everything we value—all lies we tell each other and ourselves. The world is a fabrication, a convenient fiction, a story—and the storytellers are Slides.
When you play a Slide, you earn xp when you address a challenge with deception or influence. Talk your way into trouble, then talk your way out again. Pretend to be someone you’re not. Bluff, lie, and manipulate to get your way. Every problem is ultimately a problem because of people—and people are the instrument upon which you play your music.
Is there anything true about you, at your core? Or are you whatever you need to be, day to day? Are all of your relationships merely gambits that you play for your advantage?
If you want some guidance when you assign your four action dots and special ability, use one of these templates.
The Siren. Attune +2, Consort +1, Prowl +1. Trust in Me.
The Prestige. Finesse +2, Prowl +2. Mesmerism.
The Grifter. Consort +1, Finesse +2, Study +1. A Little Something on the Side.
The Spy. Prowl +2, Finesse +1, Skirmish +1. Cloak & Dagger.
Sly Friends and Rivals
Bryl, a drug dealer. Perhaps a reliable underworld contact, or perhaps an old partner with a grudge?
Bazso Baz, a gang leader. Perhaps a paramour pursuing your affections, or perhaps a former lover, now scorned?
Klyra, a tavern owner. Perhaps a good source for gossip?
Nyryx, a prostitute. Perhaps an informant to spark potential marks, or perhaps a rival manipulator?
Harker, a jail bird. Perhaps a friend who you helped when you were in prison, or perhaps an enemy who hurt you when you served your time?
SLIDE SPECIAL ABILITIES
Take 2 stress to roll your best action rating while performing a different action. Say how you adapt your skill to this use.
This is the “jack-of-all-trades” ability. If you want to attempt lots of different sorts of actions and still have a good dice pool to roll, this is the special ability for you.
cloak & dagger
When you use a disguise or other form of covert misdirection, you get +1d to rolls to confuse or deflect suspicion. When you throw off your disguise, the resulting surprise gives you the initiative in the situation.
This ability gives you the chance to more easily get out of trouble if a covert operation goes haywire. Also, don’t forget your fine disguise kit item, which boosts the effect of your covert deception methods.
You know the secret method to interact with a ghost or demon as if it were a normal human, regardless of how wild or feral it appears. You gain potency when communicating with the supernatural.
The first part of this ability gives you permission to do something that is normally impossible: when you speak to a spirit, it always listens and understands you, even if it would otherwise be too bestial or insane to do so. The second part of the ability increases your effect when you use social actions with the supernatural.
like looking into a mirror
You can always tell when someone is lying to you.
This ability works in all situations without restriction. It is very powerful, but also a bit of a curse. You see though every lie, even the kind ones.
a little something on the side
At the end of each downtime phase, you earn +2 stash.
Since this money comes at the end of downtime, after all downtime actions are resolved, you can’t remove it from your stash and spend it on extra activities until your next downtime phase.
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.
You may expend your special armor to resist a consequence from suspicion or persuasion, or to push yourself for subterfuge.
When you use this ability, tick the special armor box on your playbook sheet. If you “resist a consequence” of the appropriate type, you avoid it completely. If you use this ability to push yourself, you get one of the benefits (+1d, +1 effect, act despite severe harm) but you don’t take 2 stress. Your special armor is restored at the beginning of downtime.
trust in me
You get +1d vs. a target with whom you have an intimate relationship.
This ability isn’t just for social interactions. Any action can get the bonus. “Intimate” is for you and the group to define, it need not exclusively mean romantic intimacy.
Fine clothes & jewelry: An outfit that appears to be of such fine make as to pass you off as a wealthy noble. [0 load] If you’re carrying this item as a second outfit to change into, it counts as 2 load.
Fine disguise kit: A theatrical make-up kit equipped with an impressive array of expert appliances to fool the eye. The fine quality of this kit may increase the effect of your deceptive actions when you use it. [1 load]
Fine loaded dice, trick cards: Gambling accouterments subtly altered to favor particular outcomes. The fine quality of this kit may increase the effect of your deceptive actions when you use it. [0 load]
Trance powder: A dose of the popular drug, which induces an altered mental state. The victim of this powder is not fully unconscious, but rather retreats into a calm, suggestible mental state, similar to hypnotism. [0 load]
A cane-sword: A slim sword and its sheath, disguised as a noble’s cane. The disguise will fool a cursory inspection. [1 load]