Band of Blades : a few questions

Hi everibody, I#m new on this forum. I#m French and have participated this year to the Kickstarter-equivalent that will allow translation of both BitD and BoB in French. But of course, like many others I couldn’t wait and have also bought the English language PDFs.

I have a few questions regarding BoB, the rules or the way to play.

1/ Weapons.
In the RAW there is no mechanical advantage having a heavy, two-handed weapon compared to a one-handed one or even a dagger. Indeed, it could be said to be detrimental, since wielding a two-handed sword for example would prevent the Heavy to wear a shield, and make it more vulnerable. I would like to have the opinion of more experienced GMs on this : how do you integrate two-handed weapons in the position/effect discussion? Do you do it often or just handwave it?

2/ Rookies’ death.
If a squad of heavy-loaded NPC Rookies (with shield and armor) take Harm, can the squad use the collective Armor and Shield to reduce the number of dead rookies (one use for each only), or is it irrelevant?

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don’t take my answers as official but just as another french guy trying to help you :wink:

1/ everything is about fiction and position/effect: two-handed weapon have reach and are dealing heavy damage. Sometimes it’s counter productive (e.g fighting in a sewer) but in open field, it’s far more effective than a dagger. As an GM/MC, you may ask for a risky/standard skirmish roll when fighting an Heartless with a two-handed sword (you have the same reach, if it connects, you’re expected to do some real damage). If you try the same with a dagger, I’d go for desperate/limited effect (you expose yourself before being able to be in striking distance and your dagger is a puny weapon vs an Heartless).

2/ NPC rookies are just hit points. You don’t manage load, abilities, actions…Etc
If a rookie is near promotion, you should not let it be an NPC :slight_smile:

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Hi Kamor, thanks for the answers.
1/ In your example, why not go even further? I mean:

  • Limited effect with a dagger or equivalent weapon
  • Standard effect with a one-handed sword
  • Great effect with a two handed weapon (at least if wielded by a Heavy)
    This could be generalized, except of course in the few cases where a bigger weapon would be a disadvantage (in a sewer…).

2/ “If a rookie is near promotion, you should not let it be an NPC” : but do the NPC Rookies get XP ? I haven’t seen this in the rules book. I thought they coud be proöoted only when they are actually played.
As for the point I was raising : if the NPC Rookies don’t get any mechanical advantage (less death) from their armor/shield when in Heavy Load, why bother ? It would be better for them to stay in Medium Load. And you cannot adjust position/effect for armor/shield, especially if they are not fine Equipment…

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“but do the NPC Rookies get XP ? I haven’t seen this in the rules book. I thought they coud be proöoted only when they are actually played.”

Just got the book and have the question. Replying so I can see the answer if someone has it. :slight_smile:

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NPC Rookies can be automatically promoted when they participate in a Secondary Mission and you roll a 6 or Critical. You can also promote NPC rookies as a reward on some special missions.

1/ Personnaly, I won’t go further because it would put too much D&D in my BoB. What would you do if somebody is using a one-hand-and-a-half sword (a common real life weapon) ?

2/ Rookies are getting XP when played by a player but may be they don’t get enough XP to get promoted. That’s why I said you should avoid using this specific rookie as an NPC in a future mission (because he’s halfway to become a soldier). As NPC, you don’t manage equipment, load…etc for a rookie. You never choose a load for them (as NPC).

As for pure/direct promotion, some secondary mission engament roll results have direct promotion (cf the Marshal sheet). You don’t count XP for that.


1: most weapons do not have a mechanical difference, this is true. However, you’ll agree that using a rifle is definitely an advantage when the thing you’re shooting at is much bigger than you - it keeps you out of danger and allows you to attack your target. In the same way, a dagger, which is a close range melee weapon presents disadvantages; more-so against undead, for whom bleeding and pain are not a problem. A heavy, two-handed weapon can dismember a Rotter and sever parts of a Horror, which a knife simply can’t do. We definitely include a discussion of the weapon when talking about position and effect in our table. If a player at our table charged a Horror (with a reach longer then the player’s entire body) with a knife, I would make them make a resistance roll just to close with the monstrosity.

2: @Warzen_Kamor is correct, we just generally don’t manage load directly for the NPCs.The fiction of the Rookies having a bunch of armor could be important, but mechanically, when harm befalls the squad, Rookies die. You might choose to make protect actions for well-armored Rookies more effective, or soften the harm from death to incapacitated but these are calls that you would make as a GM, and generally speaking, it’s not needed.

3: You are correct, NPC Rookies do not get XP at the end of a mission. Played Rookies do, and that XP is kept on their sheet.


1/ [quote=“Warzen_Kamor, post:6, topic:679”]
What would you do if somebody is using a one-hand-and-a-half sword

Well, I would treat as a one-handed sword if used with one hand, and a two-handed sword if used with two hands.

But I understand your point: rules have to stay flexible.

2/ Understood: one should not risk as an NPC a Rookie who has already been played as a PC.

Well noted and thanks!

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