Kevin Weiser on Pathfinder and the Skull & Shackles Adventure Path

Kevin, you are GMing Pathfinder! What is your campaign’s premise? How did you begin the first game?


The main premise is “Hey, Virtual Tabletops have sure come a long way, haven’t they?”

I wanted to incorporate a virtual tabletop at the actual tabletop. My friend’s game room has a nice big table with a 80″ HDTV that fits perfect at one end. So a couple months before my turn came up to GM in our group, I fired up Roll20, the group picked a Pathfinder Adventure Path, and I set to work importing the maps, monster tokens, and art from the Skull and Shackles Adventure Path PDFs into Roll20. I wanted the visual aspect of the RPG to actually be pretty, and the battle map itself to help play: easy to measure distances, easy to move tokens around, automatically calculating lighting and fog-of-war, stuff like that. Computer-aided RPG.

So, this is my first campaign I’ve GM’d with a strong visual component. I also wanted to highlight the nitty-gritty tactics of Pathfinder, as I’m a firm believer of System Matters, and the Pathfinder system does tactics very well, go big or go home. I wanted the other players to be challenged, and to feel clever for overcoming those challenges. So far, so good!

Also, pirates. YAR! It’s been fun learning more about historical pirates, and thinking about how a high magic setting like Golarion would affect piracy. It doesn’t hurt that there are so many gorgeous works of art around the Age of Sail. So I’m really glad we decided to go with Skull and Shackles.


Skull and Shackles! Nice.

Tell me more about piracy in Golarion, please. What makes them different from Earth pirates?

Sails are much more vulnerable in Golarion. Sure on Earth we had chain shot and a good hit to the mast can really ruin the mobility of a ship, but a single fireball will evaporate the mainsail and all the rigging. A flying wizard can hit all three masts from 600 feet away, well out of the range of any cannon or ballistae, and now that ship is a sitting duck. Another big factor is attacks can come from many more directions. Mostly on Earth you just have to watch for sails on the horizon. On Golarion, there are many intelligent creatures that can swim faster than most ships, likewise flying creatures can increase the scouting range of a pirate crew by many miles. It becomes much more about not being seen at all than it is about losing any possible pursuer. It actually feels a lot closer to modern naval combat in that regard.


What is the coolest (or what are some cool) nitty-gritty tactics moments?

I’ll give two, one GM side and one Player Side.

As the GM, I had a LOT of fun when a player introduced a Aboleth in the backstory for his Hunter. GM: “A hunter, eh? What do you hunt?” Player: “I HUNT THE WHITE ABOLETH.”

This was super fun for two reasons: 1) I got to unleash a wicked pun when I changed it from White Aboleth to Wight Aboleth, oh man the look on that player’s face when he realized why that tentacle slap gave him negative levels… Priceless.

2) Aboleths try to raise slave armies through mental domination, so I got to thoroughly muck with the pre-written adventure by introducing a monster that’s running around dominating all these important NPC’s. There are limits, though. The domination lasts 16 days and works from unlimited range, but has to be renewed in person. So, how big of a network can one undead Aboleth create? Well, since they don’t tire and can swim all day and all night, the answer is “pretty big.” Watching the players discover, then dismantle this network of thralls was very rewarding. Working out the logistics of all this made my brainmeats happy.

From the Player side, a little while ago they rolled up on a fortress of Cyclopes. The Adventure Path suggests compartmentalizing the encounters, but I didn’t like that idea. If the alarm is raised, why wouldn’t everybody come? So what was supposed to be 4 or 5 encounters with Cyclopes was in fact one encounter with 16 Cyclopes, a Big Boss Cyclpse, and his 2nd in command. If the PC’s had played it straight, they would have been paste. But they were super smart about it. A combination of area denial, crowd control, and blocking line of sight with spells forced the Cyclopes into a kill zone. I did my best to play them smart, but there just wasn’t much they could do about it. It was amazing to watch the players organically develop a strategy that was absolutely devastating. System mastery at its finest!


Sweet. It was the Moby Dick of Aboleths. Love it.

I ran the Kingmaker Adventure Path a few years ago using BW and really liked it. How are you liking Skull and Shackles?
What is the AP providing?

I like Skull and Shackles quite a bit. The rags-to-riches revenge story of a group that started their pirate career drugged and press ganged then gradually rise in power and reputation to the most fearsome pirates in the sea!

A couple things I like in particular: I really enjoy how much of the adventure path is about reputation, infamy, and the political realities of piracy. Like the fact that in the beginning, other pirates are just as much of a threat as the occasional Pirate Hunter sent down from Chelliax. That is, until the PC’s have made a name for themselves. I also enjoy the political intrigue of the pirate council, and the major plot thread that involves sniffing out a traitor, with the looming threat of a massive invasion.

Another thing I’ve been enjoying is the lack of large dungeons, but instead there are many small dungeons, some just 2 or 3 rooms. They’re quick but very flavorful: a sunken temple here, a mysterious Black Tower there, and the obligatory series of clues written in poem form on a treasure map. These smaller locations are much more believable than a multi-trip large dungeon, and they cram in only the best stuff, very few filler rooms.

Also, this AP lets aquatic themed character builds really shine, and that’s rare.


Any favorite dungeons?


I really enjoyed the finale to the first module: Riptide Cove, a sea cave lair of Grindylows on Bonewrack Isle, where the PC’s have been shipwrecked. It’s a dungeon that varies widely depending on what time of day it is: during high tide it’s almost entirely underwater, but low tide most of the time it’s only ankle deep. There’s also a nice mix of encounters in there, Grindylows, a Devil Fish, and some Lacedons.

I also really enjoyed the Sahuagin Tunnels in Mancatcher Cove, completely dark and underwater, the PC’s had to play it smart to get in and out alive. That’s also where the final showdown with the Wight Aboleth was, as he’d dominated the Sahuagin and was using them to grow his nascent undersea empire.


I’m fascinated by Chelliax. They worship a devil, right?


Yes! Chelliax’s ruling family signed a multi-generational deal with the Archdevil Asmodeus, which has been re-negotiated twice since then, and so the throne now has the most metal name ever: The Thrice-Damned Throne. The overarching geopolitical situation in Skull and Shackles is that Chelliax used to have a colony down in the south called Sargava (analagus to Rio De Janeiro) which fought for and claimed independence a little while ago. The only reason Chelliax hasn’t reclaimed their colony is because those pesky Shackles Pirates cut a deal with Sargava, and pick apart any Armada that comes through. Chelliax is fed up with that, and plans to send an invasion fleet to deal with the pirates once and for all (in about 4 months game time in my campaign, we’re close enough to the end that I’ve actually set a hard date.)


Creating a good build is a big part of Pathfinder. What are your thoughts on grabbing an optimal build?


I do think optimal builds are important in Pathfinder. System mastery is one of the primary reasons to play a game of this complexity. While I definitely am not a fan of the idea of the antagonistic GM, I do feel that one of the most important aspects of Pathfinder and games like it is the feeling of being challenged and overcoming that challenge. The stakes need to be high, and the players need to be able to say “Man, we would have been so screwed if we didn’t have X” where X is a class ability or spell that the player took, or the exact right magic item they sought out and acquired.

Which is not to say sub-optimal builds don’t have a place. I just think it’s better suited for very experienced players who are deliberately handicapping themselves. “You say Bards suck? Let me see what I can do with one.” That kind of thing.


What does an aquatic character build look like?


One of the cool features of Pathfinder is over the years each class has accumulated dozens of variants called archetypes. Each one swaps out a base class ability for something else along a theme. Every class has a “aquatic” variant or two, plus spellcasters can often take specializations or patron deities that are sea-related and those convey special abilities too. So far we’ve had a Pirate Rogue, an Aquatic Druid, a Mer-folk Monk, all of which would be a poor choice almost anywhere else in Golarion, but they all got to shine here.


I was surprised at how much I enjoyed adding my own details and spin on Golarion. How are you feeling about making Golarion your own?


Oh man I love it. The wiki(s) has just the right amount of information on a region or faction to get you started but it’s all there for the taking. It took me a long time tog et over my fear of established settings and pre-written modules. But now I’m finally comfortable with the idea that these things are tools in my toolkit, not sacred texts to be followed.

In general, I the credit for overcoming that fear to discovering indie games. In fact, a lot of how much I can enjoy Pathfinder now comes from what I learned from indie games. And part of that comes from finding the Sons of Kryos all those years ago. So, thanks for that. 🙂


What advice would you give a GM trying to find their own angle/toehold on this huge world with so much published material?


For the love of God, don’t try to remember all of it or even READ all of it. Fall into wiki-holes related to whatever’s relevant for your campaign, and just dig around. Don’t be afraid to hand over lore-dumps to a player at the table who might know more than you. We’ve got a guy at my table that LOVES the Golarion Lore. He knows it way better than I do. I let him narrate when our party Bard inevitably gets an insane Knowledge (whatever) check.

Don’t forget that Pathfinder is a long-form game. There’s very little you actually need to know from session to session. Plenty of time to research related stuff as you go along.


That might be a great place to end it.

Anything else you wanted to talk about?

Just a thank you for asking me to do this, it was a lot of fun!


Thank you!

 

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The Wobbegong Crew: Do sharks have souls?

The Wobbegong Crew: Do sharks have souls?

 

sharksoul tweet

Link to tweet

 

This was an odd session. In Blades mechanical terms we had Free Play, then some Downtime and then some more Free Play. It was also an amazing session where we struggled to figure out what the gang was really about – our dreams of a better world, the worst of our trauma or just the money.

The first round of Free Play saw the group heading to Lord Scurlock’s manor to drop off the book they stole during last game’s job. There was tension in the gang. Maud wasn’t sure if the payment was in Coin or if they were going to be paid in Scurlock’s expertise in demonology and his ability to read the ancient book. Skannon wasn’t having that; if they did they job they should get paid, he thought.

A young man (I pictured him at 17 years old or so) answered the door, a bit high and bleeding from the neck but seeming not to notice. They recognized him as the son of the Lord Governor.

Scurlock paid the crew 3 Coin that was manifested by 3 antique coins about the size of an adult hand. He told them that how they dealt with the young man was up to them and that he would be watching to see what choice they made. He paid Skannon while staring him down.  When confronted with an ancient vampire lord who is a one-man-Tier-3-gang Skannon didn’t blink. In the end, they took the bleeding young man with them and Maud even went to some risk to break Scurlock’s arcane hold on him.

There was a rift in the group on how they should handle the situation. That conflict ran into the next bit of Free Play. Sean checked in with Pete to make sure he was cool with their characters conflicting, which was really nice. I’ve seen that turn ugly in the past.

Maud gathered info to find out what the hell happened to the Lampblacks. It turned out they hit a gambling den that belonged to the Hive after seeing the Wobbegong Crew take the Hive’s warehouse with little to no consequence. All of the Lampblack’s lieutenants were found dead and burned in a drug den that was destroyed by a fire. The Bluecoats wrote it off as a spark-related death.

But they’d heard that Bazso Baz was still alive in a drug den in Dunslough. It was too late in the evening in the real world to start a score. They decided to go visit Bazso – more Free Play.

When they found Bazso in the worst slum in Doskvol he was a broken man – hooked on spark. I thought of him, mechanically, as a character who retired with nothing saved up. The Hive had left him alive as a cautionary tale.

Once again the characters were divided. Maud wanted to leave him be but build up his family and personal network to help him regain what he had lost.

Charming wanted to pick him up, splash some water on him and get him back into form or just use him as a resource.

While Charming and Maud were debating, Skannon ghost veiled in and slit Bazso’s throat.

Skannon the Crow

Skannon a.k.a. The Crow got a 3rd trauma this game. He is teetering on the brink. The Crow wants to take the Hive’s offer, to prove to them that they can make money with the Wobbegong Crew in their pay without human trafficking.

Hence the title of the blog post. We are going to find out in the upcoming sessions what the gang is going to become.

Art

Leon F. Czolgosz, the assassin. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/90707285/>;.
The Corliss Bevel-Gear-Cutting Machine. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/2004678678/>;.
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Wm. Hawes in front of jewelry store with intricate clock.” The New York Public Library Digital Collectionshttp://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-69ca-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Grand View, City and Canal, Syracuse, N.Y.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1880. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-5eee-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
 The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “The transportation problem. The Baxter boat “City of New York,” the fastest steamer tried on the Erie Canal” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1825. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-7e54-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “For years he had been quietly filling his stocking.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1913. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/6c65dc92-8494-939f-e040-e00a180677f1

The Hellspawn and the Imperial Briefcase Job

 

Hellspawn Title 3D Red

In which the Hellspawn steal a briefcase from an Imperial Agent, talk to the Dimmer Sisters about some lost muscle and learn more about the demon.

Duskwall again

I had nearly forgotten that in the first job in the rush of fire and larceny the Hellspawn had stolen a second painting, one that was not requested to be stolen by their employer. Helles decided to look it over; they thought that perhaps it was somehow arcane. Dev said he was using Attune and I asked him how Helles was doing that which led to his cool description. Helles had a cup of water that she was using like a magnifying glass over the tapestry. She rolled and failed, drawn into the depths of the tapestry, depicting an ancient siege.

He discovered Naria, who had been muscle for the Dimmer Sisters but had become trapped in this tapestry. Helles was not able to bring them both out.

They met with the Dimmer Sisters when Helles looked into the tapestry they stole during the last job. She discovered that the demon was using the tapestry to gain access to their dreams and that there was a long-lost Dimmer Sister trapped within it. The Dimmer Sisters want their sister back but are leery of having that kind of Tycherosi magic in their manor. They’ve offered their help on a future job should the Hellspawn find a way to free Naria, who was lost on a job in the Veil Social Club 40 years ago.

The Hellspawn’s reaction to the Dimmer Sisters was starstruck awe. They had cool matching black dresses with black lace on the trim, mystique and poise. “I hope the Dimmer Sisters like us.” I described Roslyn,the Dimmer Sisters go-to gang member for outside-the-house dealings as a young Whoopi Goldberg with black lipstick on. I’m not sure why but that is what I saw when I pictured her.

Una completed a long term job about learning more about the demon. She learned that he’s known as The Serpent and was the power-behind-the-throne for the Goat King, whose siege is depicted in their stolen tapestry. She knows that well-to-do Tycherosi worship the Serpent in weekly rituals.

The Job with text

They took this job as penance because the Demon was pissed at them but also kind of impressed with their moxy. They’d be paid but there was no question. The job had to be done or the Demon would be pissed.

An Imperial Agent was coming to Doskvol via train and picking up a briefcase. They were to steal this briefcase. They did not know exactly where the briefcase was to be picked up. The crew set up around the likely exits of Gaddoc Station and rolled a 6 on the Engagement roll. The agent walked up to Helles and threw her a silver. “Go get me a cab and there will be another in it for you if the cab looks tidy. There’s a good lass…”

Flashback to Una securing a cab a few days ago and she is there to pick him up. He finds her Tycherosi heritage a charming exotic touch to the trip and asks to be taken to the Doskvol Academy. I explained to Dev and Laura that they’d have trouble following across the Great Bridge into Whitecrown. Flashback to Vestine, hidden in the trunk of the goat-drawn cab. The agent came back to the cab with the briefcase chained to his wrist.

They took a side-road route through the Docks and once they were in an abandoned area of warehouses dosed the agent with trance powder, threw a cloak over his head, cut the chain from his wrist, set another case in its place rigged with a fire oil trap and convinced him that a Bluecoat broke the robbery up before it could go down and the cab-driver had been driven off in the process.

It was the smoothest job I have ever seen. There were very few rolls (2 or 3…maybe too few?) and because they hit their engagement so well, I had that first roll to dose him with trance powder be Controlled, Great. I just didn’t think the agent would have any reason to doubt anything they were doing to get him into position.

Back in the safety of their cave HQ, they wanted to see what was in the briefcase and studied it carefully before doing so. They discovered that the case was fine but the papers had the Seal of the Undying Emperor, meaning that whoever broke said seal would send information back to the Imperial Court – but exactly what information was unclear. They decided to leave the seal unbroken.

The Demon paid them 6 Coin, letting them know that this payment included taxes for property and personnel damage previously incurred (setting the club on fire and killing the waiter). The Hellspawn thought that was pretty fair.

The Mechanics in White

Before the game started I explained how the fictional positioning in Action Rolls worked.

After the job, I showed them the Turf map on the Crew Sheet. “Your next job could be just what you pick up from around town, in which case I’ll offer 2 or 3 jobs and you can pick one or you could go to the Demon or the Dimmer Sisters and see if they’ve got any work for you. Or you could pick up some turf, which means taking something from another gang because you are all rats in a barrel.”

The primary interest was around stealing a Gambling Den from the Crows or taking Turf from the Dunslough Pigs, a Tier 0 gang created during character creation; the Pigs are the gang they stole their cave HQ from. They decided that taking on the Crows was not wise at this point. They’re going to take a barn on an eel farm next week, occupied by the Pigs, used for god-only-knows-what.

I liked that the turf gave us a reason to talk about setting stuff a bit. Suddenly, Lyssa having just betrayed Roric had a direct impact on them because her unsteady hand meant this was more ripe for the taking than it otherwise would’ve been. The turf map gave the setting info context.

Una said, “I think taking on a more experienced gang, led by someone who is willing to kill her own friends, not to mention a group of young thieves in a small gang who take her shit, is not a wise move at this point.”

These Dunslough kids are smart for a pack of scoundrels.

NOTE: I haven’t written about the adorable free play with the characters bickering and poking fun like a group of sisters but I felt like I over-wrote this AP as it was. More on that later…

Art

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Sing Sing Prison.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-5e82-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Leon F. Czolgosz, the assassin. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/90707285/>;.
The Corliss Bevel-Gear-Cutting Machine. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/2004678678/>;.
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Grand View, City and Canal, Syracuse, N.Y.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1880. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-5eee-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Wm. Hawes in front of jewelry store with intricate clock.” The New York Public Library Digital Collectionshttp://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-69ca-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Le port aux mouettes.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1886. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-4263-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

The Hellspawn and the Fight Night Art Replacement Job

In which the Hellspawn, Tycherosi prison orphans who operate out of a cave in Dunslough, accept their first job – stealing a piece of art in a social club.

In which Janaki and I game with our neighbors, Dev and Laura. Yay, face to face game. Having neighbors who are friends in NYC is a rare treat. It is nice to have a face to face game again.

The Gang

Helles “Bell” Tycherosi, the Spider, from whom the gang gets their name, the leader. Her older brother is Twelves, who is serving time in Ironhook but is allowed visitors and is the gang’s mentor. She has crystal faceted eyes due to her Tycherosi heritage.

Una “Bricks” Tycherosi, the Cutter, a pugilist who fights in pits all over Doskvol. She has goat horns on her head due to her Tycherosi heritage.

Kestine “Thistle” Tychero, the Leech, inventor of alchemical birth control. She has rows of shark teeth in her mouth due to her Tycherosi heritage.

 

The job was fun but I felt like it didn’t allow a moment for everyone to stretch their wings and be cool. I was vexed and tense.

Relax, Judd! You are among friends.

I looked over the jobs chart and saw something about stealing and replacing a piece of art. I noticed that there was a Tycherosi owner of a social club. I liked that option because the crew had to debate about it a bit. Would they rob a Tycherosi? I like those moments, especially in the first games, where the gang can decide their boundaries and codes of conduct.

The crew got into the social club on a fight night, under the auspices of being there to support Una, there to fight her pugilist friend, Marlane.

I loved what the players were doing and their choices. I asked for a roll for the Leech to fool a waiter and there should have been no roll there. It led to cool stuff, though, so I should chill out a bit.

When Kestine was sneaking around on the second floor of the social club she saw a young rich kid getting worked over by Aldo, a bookie with the Crows. Later they he was unconscious while the second floored burned because of Una’s alchemical fire. Helles saved him and now they are kind of courting. Una and Kestine gives her shit for that. The rich kid’s name is Milos Strangford.

The job ended with the Veil on fire, the art stowed away and the Spider in her under-garments.

I’ll call that a successful first session.

The Mechanics in White

I did a bunch of escalating instead of Harm. I’m not sure if those were wise choices.

We jumped right to downtime and in order to lower their Heat, they went back and killed a waiter who they’d left alive. The Cutter and the Leech grabbed him and knifed him on his way back from work so he couldn’t identify them. Ruthless!

Dev wanted to get something to help with the Train Job and he tried to acquire an asset, which is really difficult as a Tier 0 gang.

I remembered to roll Entanglements after the Downtime was over. I got Demonic Notice/Show of Force. There was a bunch of talk about the owner of the Veil, a Tycherosi who is said to have a snake’s body for his lower half. The gang was doubtful that he really had a snake’s body or even if he was really Tycherosi at all.

The Demonic Notice began to take shape. He’s a demon and now that they’ve damaged his place, he wants them to do a job for him. They have to steal a attache case from an Imperial Agent leaving the city on a train. The next job is a train job.

Next game – more on how to get more dice for each roll. More Devil’s Bargains. More Harm. Better clocks. More relaxed Judd.

Art

Leon F. Czolgosz, the assassin. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/90707285/>;.
The Corliss Bevel-Gear-Cutting Machine. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/2004678678/>;.
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Grand View, City and Canal, Syracuse, N.Y.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1880. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-5eee-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Wm. Hawes in front of jewelry store with intricate clock.” The New York Public Library Digital Collectionshttp://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-69ca-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Le port aux mouettes.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1886. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-4263-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

2 Amazing Quotes from Office Hours 52

Office Hours is Adam Keobel’s call-in show (go record your own question here!) and in this past episode he really hit his stride. Below is the episode and the quotes I tweeted this weekend while watching the show but wanted to put them together in a blog post because for some reason, that feels more permanent or something. *shrug*

bottoms from the top
“A good GM bottoms from the top. Look it up…unless you’re 12, then please…don’t.”
Tweet link

rev irrev quote
“A good player walks the line between treating the game with reverence and irreverence as is appropriate for the game, table and situation.”
Tweet link

Artifact: The Blades in the Dark

The first knife-fight in Duskovol took place not long after it was founded. Scoundrel legends say it was a fight over turf and money between a sailor and a coal miner. Both died of their wounds, walked away with their gangs, covered in blood and died later of internal injuries. The knives are named Jake and Harp but no two districts’ criminals can agree what that means – old slang? names of the cutters who died? arcane reference to demonic powers?

What do the knives really look like? Some accounts depict them as solid pieces of black metal and others depict them as an antique nomad dagger and a rigging knife.

knife fight

Here’s what just about everyone agrees on:

When in the presence of violence, the daggers begin to heat up and sometimes give off sparks. The wielder feels the heat and the pain but it will not debilitate them as long as they continue fighting. They have appeared 4 times in Duskwall’s history, always during times of unrest and violence. Each time, blade-chosen cutters on different sides of the conflict killed one another with the knives and then the cursed blades always disappeared, spirited away by cultists who see the knives as holy relics.

There is a myth that the Dusker who wields both blades will cut Duskwall from the grip of the Empire. Imperial agents often investigate rumors of the daggers appearing, thinking that they are a sign of unrest or a symbol of rebellion conjured by con-men and a riotous rebel cult.

So, scoundrel, you’ve found one of the Blades in the Dark, the first  is a mission clock if you go looking for the other dagger, wanting to become a symbol of bloody rebellion, the other clocks start ticking off with or without you…

Find the other dagger before your most hated enemy

Cog 4


Imperial Agents track you down

cog-6

 


Monks from a mysterious blade cult pay you a visit

cog-6


Duskwall descends into bloody war

cog-8


 

SWN 13: Laser Rifles vs. Monoblade Spears

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 11.46.44 PM

That tweet kind of says it all.

They took a bit of a beating from the space marines and their monoblades turned into spears. Some of debate on how a genocidale unbraked AI got stranded on this planet and when they looked at the data they saw that it wasn’t destroyed because of a political breakdown in the AI-hunting Perimeter organizations

In the next game, they’ll figure out how to get 0r10n off-planet, past the nanite curtain made to hold unbraked AI’s on the surface.

Will they use the planetary kill-switch that will take the planet back to the stone age, destroying all tempered metal and synthetic compounds?

Will Arkady’s mentor teleport 0r10n off-planet, past the curtain?