Blades in the Dark
A devious mastermind
The underworld may appear on the surface to be a chaotic array of warring factions and bloody deeds, but it has a beautiful order to those who are able to see it. This pattern is the web of connections, favors, vendettas, and secrets that bind the criminal world together. The scoundrels who pluck the strands of this web are known as Spiders.
When you play a Spider, you earn xp when you address a challenge with calculation or conspiracy. Reach out to your contacts, friends, and associates to set your crew up for success. Use your downtime activities and flashbacks wisely to prepare for trouble and to calculate the angles of success. When things go wrong, don’t panic, and remember: you planned for this.
Are you enmeshed in the network of favors and debts that you exploit as a Spider, or do you scrupulously hold yourself apart, as a cold predator upon the web?
If you want some guidance when you assign your four action dots and special ability, use one of these templates.
The Arbiter. Attune +2, Study +1, Sway +1. Ghost Contract.
The Conductor. Command +2, Survey +2. Foresight.
The Convict. Command +1, Skirmish +2, Sway +1. Jail Bird.
The Operator. Prowl +2, Tinker +2. Mastermind.
Shrewd Friends and Rivals
Salia, an information broker. Perhaps a reliable contact for underworld jobs, or perhaps a former partner who sold you out?
Augus, a master architect. Perhaps a good source for building schematics and historical details, or perhaps a rival who designs security measures?
Jennah, a servant. Perhaps a good source for gossip among the upper class?
Riven, a chemist. Perhaps a good source of medicines for recovery?
Jeren, a Bluecoat archivist. Perhaps a double-agent within the City Watch, or perhaps an overly curious officer, interested in your crimes?
SPIDER SPECIAL ABILITIES
Two times per score you can assist a teammate without paying stress. Describe how you prepared for this.
You can narrate an event in the past that helps your teammate now, or you might explain how you expected this situation and planned a helpful contingency that you reveal now.
Due to your careful planning, during downtime, you may give yourself or another crew member +1 downtime activity.
If you forget to use this ability during downtime, you can still activate it during the score and flashback to the previous downtime when the extra activity happened.
During downtime, you get +1 result level when you acquire an asset or reduce heat.
Your array of underworld connections can be leveraged to loan assets, pressure a vendor to give you a better deal, intimidate witnesses, etc.
When you indulge your vice, you may adjust the dice outcome by 1 or 2 (up or down). An ally who joins you may do the same.
If you indulged your vice and rolled a 4, you could increase the result to 5 or 6, or you could reduce the result to 3 or 2 (perhaps to avoid overindulgence). Allies that join you don’t need to have the same vice as you, just one that could be indulged alongside yours somehow.
When you shake on a deal or draft one in writing, you and your partner—human or otherwise—both bear a mark of your oath. If either breaks the contract, they take level 3 harm, “Cursed.”
The mark of the oath is obvious to anyone who sees it (perhaps a magical rune appears on the skin). When you suffer “Cursed” harm, you’re incapacitated by withering: enfeebled muscles, hair falling out, bleeding from the eyes and ears, etc., until you either fulfill the deal or discover a way to heal the curse.
When incarcerated, your wanted level counts as 1 less, your Tier as 1 more, and you gain +1 faction status with a faction that you help while you’re inside, in addition to whatever you get from the incarceration roll.
Zero is the minimum wanted level; this ability can’t make your wanted level negative. See the Incarceration roll, page 148.
You may expend your special armor to protect a teammate, or to push yourself when you gather information or work on a long-term project.
When you use this ability, tick the special armor box on your playbook sheet. If you protect a teammate, this ability negates or reduces the severity of a consequence or harm that your teammate is facing. You don’t have to be present to use this ability—say how you prepared for this situation in the past. 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.
weaving the web
You gain to Consort when you gather information on a target for a score. You get 1d to the engagement roll for that operation.
Your network of underworld connections can always be leveraged to gain insight for a job—even when your contacts aren’t aware that they’re helping you.
Fine cover identity: Paperwork, planted stories and rumors, and false relationships sufficient to pass as a different person. [0 load]
Fine bottle of whiskey: A rare distillation from your personal collection, potent both in its alcohol and its ability to impress. [1 load]
Blueprints: A folio of useful architectural drawings and city plans. Feel free to specify which plans you’re carrying when you choose this item. [1 load]
Vial of slumber essence: A dose of slumber essence sufficient to put someone to sleep for an hour. The victim’s sleep isn’t supernatural, but it is deep—they can be roused with some effort. [0 load]
Concealed palm pistol: A small firearm with a weak charge, easily concealed in a sleeve or waistcoat. This pistol has extremely limited range; only a few feet. It’s very difficult to detect on your person, even if you’re searched. [0 load]