Adjusting effect AFTER the roll

One of my players thinks the Heavy should be able to use Anchor AFTER the dice roll to increase effect.

It seems to me the rules are pretty clear that position and effect are established prior to the roll by the player’s choices and ultimately the GM’s judgement, and I can’t see anything specific to the contrary.

How do other groups handle this?

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I’m not sure why someone would want to increase Effect after the roll; do you know why they’re asking about it? Did they just think “oh actually, I should’ve used Anchor”, or is something else happening with position/effect in the game?

Why: To get more ticks on a clock of an enemy they are fighting, for example.

No, not “I forgot” or something like that - rather explicitly choosing to decide after the roll.

There is nothing in the original Blades in the Dark rules that allows pushing for effect after the roll, but there is a play example in the text (pg40) that shows a GM allowing it. So it seems allowing or disallowing players to boost effect after they roll is more a way to interpret the rules than an explicit rule. I’ve always played Blades in the Dark allowing pushing for effect after the roll.

Band of Blades doesn’t have a play example like that. Also, I’ve heard the designers intended for players to make all their decisions before they roll. So I’ve always played that players can’t spend anchor or push for effect after rolling. It makes it harder and meaner, but that’s Band.


What Oliver (watergoesred) said above. Also, there’s no such rule in the book.



Thanks all.

Let me add one more thing. We disallow this completely in Blades too. That example causes some wild problems and if you look at the rules it outright contradicts them. It’s just bad -_-

Let’s look at basic blades. Say you’re a Cutter with Not to be Trifled with. You’re fighting a group. Is your position desparate? Yes (single person vs group) or no (see the trait) based on whether you’re using that power. The fiction changes completely based on whether you push. Your effect, damage, and the consequences are completely different.

Let’s look at roll assembly—no, it’s explicit: you don’t do this. You do all the jazz you need to and once you know the position/effect you roll in step 6 and interpret. The order of operations and fictional flow just goes all over the place if you do it the other way.

We clean this up in SnV/BoB and it really confuses me when there are standalone books but someone says “but this obscure contradictory example in a completely different game says…”. There’s no such rule.

There’s a lot (and I do mean a lot) of flex in these games, but this is one of those I come down super firmly on. That said … it’s also your game and you can bend/break the rules however your table needs to ^_~ So if you decide to go with it… realize that you’ll have more problems than “one effect tick” but it’s up to you.


You make a clear case about how critical the order of operations is. Thanks. I’ll definitely lean on it when someone tries this kind of finagling.

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Eh, I don’t think its quite so dire as all that.

There are important rules in Blades that tell you to hold on lightly, keep the conversation open, empower the players, etc. etc. etc.

The example in the book of “Oh dang, I want to do that is it too late?” “Nah, go ahead and do it now” is an embodiment of those rules, even if they “contradict” the rules about setting effect before the roll.

It’s a problem when it becomes a problem in play – not in the abstract.

If it becomes a problem in play (as Stras points out it could) then you should talk about it, get serious about procedure, or whatever. But until then, it’s okay (even better!) to be flexible.

Don’t try to play the game perfectly to avoid friction. Instead, understand that there will be mistakes and friction, judgment calls that have to change later, etc. – and create a play environment where that’s low stress and fun. Over time, you’ll get better and better, and the learning process will be collaborative and fun, instead of stressful and punitive.

The rules of Blades in the Dark aren’t just conveying a set of proper procedures to apply the mechanics. They’re also conveying a certain approach to developing a more smoothly functioning game group. The role of judgments and corrections – and the way the group can deal with them without legalistic precedence citing (or other bad habits) is crucial in this development.

Aaaaanyway… don’t adjust effect after the roll. :wink: