6 types of vampires

Roll 6d6…


“I hope we get a Video Store Clerk. I love Lost Boys.”

Has the mouth of a…

  1. Lamprey Circle
  2. Mosquito Proboscis (throat sheath)
  3. Endless rows of needle teeth
  4. Bat Fangs
  5. Leech Sucker
  6. Tube with syringe at the end, attached to a scuba helmet

Can turn into a…

  1. Tiger
  2. Black Rhino
  3. Possum (carries young on its back!)
  4. Night Monkey
  5. Tasmanian Devil
  6. Hyena


Commands a horde of…

  1. Opossums
  2. Fireflies
  3. Tarantulas
  4. Cockroaches
  5. Badgers
  6. Monkeys

Need more nocturnal animals?


Walks around looking like a…

  1. Crusader turned Victorian fearful idea of a foreign predator
  2. Sewer Hermit
  3. Rock Star
  4. Scared Teen
  5. Video Store Owner
  6. Gang Leader


Feeds on…

  1. Fluids
  2. Dreams
  3. Emotions
  4. Tears
  5. Money
  6. Magic


Believes someone in your party is…

  1. Their reincarnated dead spouse
  2. A fine choice to be mother-figure to their spawn
  3. A narcissistic asshole
  4. A good person worth trusting
  5. Tastier than anyone else
  6. Infected with vampirism that hasn’t blossomed fully yet (true!)



Which myths are true?

Add up the result of your 6d6. All myths below the result are true.

6-11. – None are true, all bullshit. Make some up based on results.

12-17 – or more – Sun hurts them.

18-23 – or more – Holy symbols vex them.

24 -29 – or more – Holy water burns like alien blood.

30 -35 – or more – Can’t cross running water.

36 – All true and then some. Make a few more up based on results.


The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Cowboys Shooting Craps” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1898 – 1931. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-88cc-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Insects And Insect Parts.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1856 – 1858. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-2669-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Tete de tigre” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1888. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/09f6af00-1f95-0134-753d-00505686a51c
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Female Musquito — Natural Size And Magnified ; Culex Pipiens — Head Of Male.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1858. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-2aad-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. “Petromizon marinus, The Lamprey.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1785 – 1797. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-6925-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle, The New York Public Library. “Bride and groom facing frowning man with staff; men, woman and child watching something in the distance” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/79c4597e-dcca-8413-e040-e00a18066cd4
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Indented Javelin Bat ; Vampire & Javelin Bat ; Trefoil Leaf Bat ; Three-Toothed Horseshoe Bat ; The Rear-Mouse Bat.” The New York Public Library Digital Collectionshttp://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-34d2-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99



The Alas Poor Roric Job, Part I

In which a child of the Goat Matron is unleashed on Coalridge, the Hive’s link into the Lampblack/Red Sashes War is delved into and Rorick’s Ghost is hunted through the under-canals and back-alleys of Crow’s Foot.

Link to Twitch Video

[Youtube Video will be embedded here]

The Gang

It was Maude and Skannon this time around. It is interesting to see what kind of jobs interest different combinations of scoundrels, based on their skills and inclinations.

Skannon used his downtime to heal up after getting stabbed in the Upper Deck Job and he did some spying on the Hive. He saw them loan mercs to the Lampblacks, evening out the war. It was as if the Hive want the war to go on longer. He caught site of a mysterious Dagger Island woman with a bad-ass platoon of Hive Mercenaries as her personal bodyguards.

Maude used her downtime to also heal up as she was still ghost-touched, also from the same previous job. She also took a new vice, as her obligations vice wasn’t finding traction in play. Another big deal, her Attune went to 3 in the midst of dealing with the Dimmer Sisters. I liked how Sean described it, with Maude realizing that there was more to this ghost-stuff than simply binding and banishing.

Downtime actions were limited because the Wobbegong Crew is at war with the Red Sashes after stealing turf from them.


Maude made good headway into her clock about becoming the High Priestess of the Saint of Witches.

The job started with a few clocks in action but I’ll go into that below.

Duskwall again

Roric, he’s in the book and I’ve got ideas about him. John did a neat job setting up a cool web around Roric and his death. I’m excited that they are hunting down his ghost. In a way he’s the keystone to the starting situation. He was the one who kept the peace between the Lampblacks and the Red Sashes before Lyssa, his second-in-command stabbed him in the back and threw his body into the canal.

Bricks, the barber who healed up Skannon, who works under a Hive-owned brothel.

Noggs the Knife, an old ghost from under the Upper Deck, killed in a gang war 60 years ago.

Pigsfoot, the old name of Crow’s Foot, back back from the Crows were the ruling gang.

Thirsty Ghost, an old pub in Crow’s foot where Roric had a cache of weapons and clothes.

Flint, Maude’s friend, a spirit trafficker. I’m not sure why I described him as the caretaker of an alley filled with forgotten gods’ altars but I did and it has stuck. He was with Maude when she failed a succession of rolls that led to her accidentally summoning one of the Ghost Matron’s children in a church to the Forgotten Gods in Coalridge. He dragged her out of there once the demon-goat-thing made its way out of the bleeding walls.

The Job with text

We exchange e-mails between games. I mentioned that in the Upper Deck job they had taken the leader of the Red Sashes, Mylera Klev’s little brother and now she wants to make a deal for peace or his return or something. We were thinking that tonight was going to be the Hostage Job but that didn’t pan out with only two players at the table.

Several Lampblacks have refused to leave the little brother’s side, not wanting their gang to lose their space in that leverage.

Since Pete and Sean were going to be at the game, Sean suggested an occult job and I suggested Roric’s ghost had a bounty on it – one bounty by Lyssa and another bounty by a mystery bidder who was doubling the coin offered by Lyssa.

Skannon said, “It must be Roric’s lover…who else would be motivated to pay so much?” I did my best to keep a poker face when Pete said that.

They hunted Roric’s ghost down through Crow’s Foot while the Dimmer Sisters, the Gondoliers and some moonlighting Railjacks all hunted too. I set up a clock for each of them. Sean suggested that their clocks be less than the Wobbegong clock, since they were all higher tier gangs. Those kinds of mechanical suggestions are invaluable. The crew had an 8-part clock and the rest of the rival ghost-hunters had 6-part clocks.

Maude and Skannon left Maude’s new ghost friend, Noggs, to be eaten by a pair of Dimmer Sisters to get away from a conflict with them, a pair of young ladies in widow’s garb and black veils, floating a few feet off the ground. Maude could see that they weren’t possessed by a single ghost, but were a pair of women in a network of women, run by a council of ghosts in a complicated web.

To find Roric’s trail when it had run cold, Maude hacked the network, a Desperate roll. It was cool have that be a success and show a bit behind the scenes of the Dimmer Sisters’ operations.

We ended there, with Skannon leading them through back alleys to where Rorick, possessing an old woman, had picked up a brace of pistols and a cloak.

To be continued in a few weeks. I have family obligations next week.

The Mechanics in White

I was happy to be rolling on a more chill entanglements table this week. The Bluecoats took Kyle in and questioned him, adding +1 Heat because they saw through a lie he told.

I felt like I was asking for better die rolls this week. In the last job I made a bunch of mistakes, having people roll dice like to-hit rolls, which led to unsatisfying results. The clocks were set up well for this job but the job was also just more dynamic. Hunting a ghost through the streets while other arcane powers strive to get there first is pretty cool. The fiction being flavorful led to an easier time setting up consequences.

This is the first job we’ve stopped mid-game. It felt like an easy stop-point. I remember right where they were, tracking the body Roric has possessed while the Dimmer Sisters close on in.


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

Doskvol Slang

wanted poster

Here are a few of my favorite bits of scoundrel’s slang from Grose’s Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, Revised and Corrected and The Slang Dictionary (grabbed those titles from this blog post):

Admiral of the Narrows Seas, person who from drunkenness vomits into the lap of the person sitting opposite them.

Anchor, to bring your ass to anchor, to sit down, to keep within the letter of the law.

Arch Rogue, Dimber Damber, Upright Man: Leader of a group of scoundrels.

Bachelor’s Son, a bastard

Bad Bargain, one of his majesty’s bad bargains; a worthless soldier

Ballast, money. A rich man is said to be well-ballasted. If not proud and over-bearing he is said to carry his ballast well.

Bang-up, first-rate, in the best possible style.

Bankruptcy List, a list that signifies, in pugilism, that one is completely finished.

Bellyful, a beating

Blunderbuss, a short gun with a wide bore, a stupid blundering fellow.

Catch Fart, servants so called from such servants commonly following close behind their master or mistress

City College, scoundrels’ nickname for Ironhook Prison

Cold cook, an undertaker. Cold cook’s shop, the crematorium

Cold meat, a corpse. Cold-meat box, a coffin

Cow Handed, Awkward

Crib, A house To crack a crib, to break open a house

Dab or dabster, an expert person. Most probably derived from the Latin adeptus

Distressed, in boxing when a man is distressed he is out

Do it away, to fence or dispose of a stolen article beyond the reach of probable detection

Floor, to knock down.—Pugilistic

Floorer, a blow sufficiently strong to knock a man down, or bring him to the floor. Often used in reference to sudden and unpleasant news

Ghost, “the ghost doesn’t walk,” a theatrical term which implies that there is no money about, and that there will be no “treasury”

Jack in an Office, an insolent fellow in authority

Land-shark, a sailor’s definition of a lawyer

Larrup, to beat or thrash

Larruping, a good beating or hiding

Lay down the knife and fork, to die. Compare pegging-out, hopping the twig, and similar flippancies

Lumber House, a house appropriated by scoundrels for the reception of their stolen property

My Uncle, a pawnbroker Cant

Nose, a thief who turns informer; a paid spy; generally called a policeman’s nose; “on the nose,” on the look-out

Nose, to give information to the police, to turn approver

Nose-ender, a straight blow delivered full on the nasal promontory

Number of his mess, when a man dies in the army or navy, he is said to “lose the number of his mess”

Rhino, ready money — Old
“Some as I know, Have parted with their ready rino.” – The Seaman’s Adieu, Old Ballad

Rhinoceral, rich, wealthy, abounding in rhino. At first sound it would seem as though it meant a man abounding in rhinoceroses

Scapegallows, one who deserves and has narrowly escaped the gallows a slip gibbet one for whom the gallows is said to groan

Scoundrel’s Grind, the relentless pressure in a scoundrel’s life

Snappers, pistols

Thumper, a magnificently constructed lie, a lie about which there is no stint of imaginative power

Thumping, large, fine, or strong

Togs, clothes; “Sunday togs,” best clothes

Vice Admiral of the Narrow Seas, a drunken man that pisses under the table into his companion’s shoes

Water of Life, gin


Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. “James Keiley, convicted for complicity with Sergt. McCarthy ; Thomas Chambers, convicted for desertion, see page 18 ; Michael Harrington ; Robert Cranston.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1866. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dc-9766-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Batman #28 Review

It is another fine issue in the War of Jokes and Riddles. The issue has 3 main parts: Gordon trying to end the war by talking to both sides, Battle of the Snipers – Deathstroke vs Deadshot and a bit with Catwoman during this mess. The Kite-Man interlude  is over though he clearly has a role to play. We’re back to Bruce telling Selina the war story as the narrative device.

  • Written by Tom King
  • Pencils by Mikel Janin
  • Inks by Mikel Janin
  • Colored by June Chung
  • Cover by Mikel Janin


Not an issue goes by without a reminder that this arc is building on top of Frank Miller. This issue was a line referencing a memorable panel from Batman: Year One:

But these were the best mercenaries in the world.

And I was a year away from kicking a tree.

Batman is vulnerable. His costume is different in the flashbacks, more simple year one style different from than the modern DC look with the lines and the yellow outline around the chest bat icon. In stopping Deathstroke and Deadshot he gives Deadshot a concussion that nearly kills him (NOTE: that touch made me smile because I was just talking to friends at a party about how brutal someone of Batman’s size, strength and training dealing out head trauma would be).

I love that Batman’s inexperience is shown by having to use too much force to stop the violence. Once again, the textual spotlight isn’t on the cool Deathstroke vs. Deadshot matchup but the bystanders killed in the crossfire and the excess of violence deployed to end it. That said, these mercs facing off was still cool and got some amazing panels.

Janin’s clean lines really shine here, both in showing off the action scenes and the innocent bystanders trying to get away from the war. His one and two-page spreads are amazing every issue, especially the scenes where we get to see the Joker and Riddler’s gangs all together.

I’m curious to see what mistakes Batman will make and what lessons will we see him take into future arcs. Will this arc take us into the present with Batman and Selina fighting crime together while the story is finished? I’m intrigued and I’m in, feeling like I’m reading the best Batman arc that I can remember.

Re-thinking the Upper Deck Job

The Job with text

The players set up the Upper Deck Job, taking turf from the Red Sashes with Lampblack muscle helping them, as a stealth job. They surveyed and saw that this was a lightly guarded drug den that had half the guards since the war began. The players defined their point of entry, started to talk about planning the mission and I asked for an engagement roll and get things started. I should have asked a few more questions, gotten an idea of what exactly they wanted to do, maybe even drawn up an ugly map and drawn in a few arrows and X’s.

They got a mixed result and I essentially turned their stealth mission into an assault mission with one mixed result. I should’ve set up a 6-count clock with several ticks in it and let the tension of the sneaking vs. the guards finding out they were on board ramp up.

When the players ask for a certain type of job, they are asking for a certain type of tension. They want to see their characters be a certain kind of cool. I’m totally open to a stealth job becoming a total mess and turning into an assault…or an assault forcing the crew into hiding and becoming a stealth job or deception as they ditch their own clothes and put on a bluecoats’ uniform. The engagement roll is not there to decide on success or failure but to set a level of starting tension and danger. It shouldn’t throw the entire mission immediately into disarray with one mediocre roll. I’m going to think of the engagement roll as setting the music playing in the opening scene of the job.

My bad, a mistake on my third engagement roll ever but I’ll keep an eye on that for next time.

Discussion on G+

Gang Wars now and Gang Wars to come for the Wobbegong Crew

In which the Wobbegong Crew pay to avoid prison, learn that the Red Sashes snitched, witness the beginning of a serious rift in the Billhooks and take Red Sash turf for their own.

[Youtube video will be embedded here.]

Episode 5 on Twitch 

The Gang

Charming: He was separated from the rest of the crew for most of the job and managed not to kill anyone. In his downtime, he did some healing and some stress relief with his buddy, Sawtooth.

Skannon: Our stealthy scoundrel took a beating this game, getting a 2nd trauma, Haunted, after he ghost cloak’d his way through the floor to avoid an irate Red Sash and nearly destroyed the ghost ward in the lower decks.

The dice were not kind to Pete tonight but Skannon was still awesome.

Maude: She led the charge into the Pig Pit during downtime. She started and completed a short clock to ally with the Lampblacks and hit a big crit to notice a big rift between Erin and Coran, putting together that Erin’s lover is the leader of the Red Sashes. Good stuff.

Another big moment was using a ghost to take out a flare meant to alert the Red Sashes and summon a war crew. Muade had a helluva night.

Duskwall again

The Billhooks: Tension in the Billhooks gang is written in but today we learned a bunch about how that is shaking out. The group tripped over the tensions between Erin and Coran, both vying for control as the gang while Coran’s father/Erin’s brother serves time in Ironhook Prison.

Black Dust Pub: We met Edlun again in Duskwall’s version of a cop bar in Coalridge. This time the gang met with him to lower their heat. Edlun gave a good speech to a rookie about how the Bluecoats are just another gang. “Our job isn’t justice; our job is peace.”

I like Edlun more and more.

Morlan: One of the Billhooks saved by the Wobbegong’s in their first job. He accompanied them into the Black Dust Pub as a go-between.

The Upper Deck: This is the drug den the Red Sashes owned, taken by the Wobbegong with Lampblack help. It is a scuttled ship on the docks whose lower decks are flooded. There are buildings built on top of the ship.

The 5 Faces of the Moon: A Brightstone drug den with fine hash and dreamsmoke.

The Leaky Bucket: This is where the gang planned the job with the Lampblacks. Sean mentioned it and it worked. Is it in the book? Not sure.


I started the job with a 4 part clock for the guards surrendering and that was a poor judgment. I changed it to a 6 part clock, making the job less easy (but still not that bad).


The Billhooks Civil War

Oh, it is coming and it will be bloody.


Upper Deck’s Ghosts Come for Skannon

This was part of a Devil’s Bargain. I’m feeling odd about these because I haven’t seen one of these clocks go off yet but I know the players are watching them and they are exerting pressure in some way. I might have to make these somehow more urgent or worded better. I’ll keep an eye out.

The Job with text

The Entanglement Roll that started the gang was rolled with 0 dice. That means I roll 2d6 and take the lower. Once again I rolled double 6’s, a result that calls for someone in the crew to go to jail. They paid Edlun coin to keep their crew out of prison and tossed in an extra coin to find out who snitched.

It was the Red Sashes.

The job was born. Good job, entanglement. I rolled to see how the war between the Lampblack and the Red Sashes was going. The Red Sashes rolled 6 and the Lampblacks rolled a 2. It wasn’t looking good for the Lampblacks; they were taking a beating and had taken heavy losses. The Lampblacks were ready for an ally.

I described the Upper Deck to the group and they were into taking it. 2 guards at the gang-plank and 3 more on the old, beat-up, grounded ship.

They decided they would stealth across the water onto the ship while Charming dealt with the gang-plank bouncers. Dice hit the table and things got complicated. Skannon took trauma and everyone took stress. It was a rough job and it could have been much, much more rough if Maude hadn’t nullified the S.O.S. flare, if Charming hadn’t beaten down the last door, if Skannnon hadn’t weaved the ward back together.

It was good stuff, solid teamwork. Now the team has a drug den on the docks, a grounded schooner that is also haunted – as it was used as a meat locker for enemies by a long dead gang. That is a juicy piece of turf, a nice new part of the Wobbegong mythology.

EDIT: Re-thinking the Upper Deck Job is a blog post in which I think about this job and how I would’ve done the engagement roll differently if I could go back.

The Mechanics in White

The Scoundrel’s Grind is in effect and the players are feeling it. They were careful to grab turf without killing anyone.

I need to make an Action Roll cheat sheet for myself, just something fast and easy to get an idea of what kind of consequences I can offer for the various types of failures and consequences for success-with-a-price results.

Having a rule mentor at the table is a tremendous help. I had Jim and Aaron when I was playing Burning Wheel and Sean is invaluable for getting all of the moving pieces that make up Blades in the Dark.

Discussion on G+


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 Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Camera notes”The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1901-10-01. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/a9185640-2289-0132-f854-58d385a7bbd0

Adaptation Beyond the Lightning Barrier: Wolves


When humans communicate and bind post-life entities they speak in what sounds like hushed tones in order to reach those sub-vocal ranges. Wolves have adapted to post-life plasmic predators by utilizing their howl. A pack will spread out in the area around the entity. The wolves will then howl to not only communicate with their pack-mates but begin changing the frequency of the howl to bind the entity to the pack’s will.

When the howling’s purpose changes one can hear as the sound quality becomes something that can cause vibrations in plasmic energy sources. Spirit Wardens attempted to breed wolves with hunting hounds, hoping to utilize this method but the experiment was a failure. Why this breeding program failed has been hotly debated but it could have something to do with the wide territory needed for a pack to successfully hunt or it could be something else about the physical changes that come with domesticity that biological sciences do not yet comprehend.


Having a plasmic post-life entity howl-bound to their will changes the pack dramatically. 3 of 4 such packs turn cannibal. Often, a member of the pack’s fur will turn white. In every case, the howl-binders will become more aggressive, taking down healthy armed humans with shocking regularity. In the period of about a month, the plasm will become used up and the pack will hunt down and bind another.

Humans who have been bitten by such packs and survive often get a disease that, at risk of sounding like a dime novel, we will call lycanthropy. Once inflicted with lycanthropy, the victim’s voice begins to vibrate plasmic energies, causing them to be misunderstood by their peers. If the disease is left untreated, the diseased will enter a quasi-living state, hovering between flesh and plasmic entities. Eventually, the patient will cease to be a living human taking on both plasmic and wolf-like qualities, becoming a new species, lupus plasmid.

Discussion on G+


Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. “Canis lupus, White American Wolf. Male. 1/3 Natural size.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1845 – 1848. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-783a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. “Canis lupus, Red Texan Wolf. (Male.)” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1845 – 1848. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-7844-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99