Band of Blades AMA


I thought the purpose of the XP cookie for bringing in trauma was’t to incentivize the getting of trauma, but to incentivize people to bring it up rather than gloss over its existence? Likewise, I’d think giving XP for bringing up something like Rage wouldn’t be to incentivize getting corrupt, but to make sure people have an incentive not to forget about it?

Did I misunderstand the idea behind that XP reward in BitD?

(Stras) #42

This is a tricky question because there is no single answer that will apply to everything. I’ll break it down like this.

XP is a way to motivate a player—it’s a reward (ok this is pretty universal :stuck_out_tongue: ). This is gamification. We incentivize certain player behaviors by clearly flagging what will be rewarded.

If you incentivize getting treasure but not murdering, you will have people that do their best to skip encounters and make away with loot. You incentivize monster slaying? You’ll get people that make sure every fight is to the bitter end, with maximum grind.

What you’re incentivizing as a designer is often pretty clear. Why you’re incentivizing changes, and sometimes isn’t a single thing. Ultimately it’s a thing you can ask us, but it often doesn’t matter. It’s a curiosity, rather than an effect on the game. It can help you gauge if we’ve done our jobs well, but it won’t change play.

Traumas are things that change your personality. There’s a line about agency. We don’t feel we should TELL you how your behavior is changing. We can suggest it (here’s a list of trauma conditions) and then incentivize you to bring it into play (you can largely ignore this, but if you showcase how the trauma of war changes you, here’s a cookie). You can apply whatever why you want here (that there is ours), but the what of the incentive is pretty clear.


Soo, I’ve got a question.
(Also, Hi, I’m new.:grinning: Apologies, I’m very wordy and very intense about things I find interesting. Apologies for any slights or insults, communication is not the easiest.)

RAW, The Legion has the organization, tactics, coherency and operational tempo of a 20th century light infantry company, while being armed with late 19th century metallic cartridge breech loaders and magazine fed heavy rifles (the reason for jacketed rounds) with a 110m+, and 300m+ range respectively, while the first thing in their Medic kit is antiseptics, implying a working knowledge of germ theory among the Legion, along with packaged sterilized compress’ and genuine medication. The Legion also seems to have a mature understanding of the use of camouflage, against both ground-based and aerial threats. The other tools and equipment have similar implications of a multiple century difference in technology, tactics and skill between the Legion and the world around them.

Was this intentional? Are you thinking of the implications of this on the overall setting if it is?

Am I just insane!?:grinning:

(I was going to write a long spiel but realized I could make it shorter, no need for rambling, yay!)

(Also, the Legion are simply The Best! Good Job.)

Another question. What’s the point of the Flare Gun? Does the Legion have grid maps of their areas of operation and the flares are used to mark targets for indirect shelling from their artillery sections or something?

(Stras) #44

You’re probably over-thinking the implications of some of their tech. Bear in mind this is a fantasy game, so while we thought out some of this, there’s a bit of handwavium as well (we weren’t trying to make a 100% realistic alternate history, though we tried addressing some of the big points).

Some of it’s intentional—but for example I didn’t actually know the magazine-fed bullet story, so that’s clearly not implied there, though there’s other reasons for those rounds. ^_~ Some of what you’re assuming is not for reasons you expect (the Legion may have no ideas about Germ Theory, but if a healing god shows up, and they fall into her ranks, and she tells them to use “this stuff” they make a note in the Annals and stock their kits once it’s proven to work). They may not know why always, but they’ve been trained to try and overcome impossible problems, and use their merc funds not to grow exponentially—but equip themselves to solve problems others cannot. For example they can’t make Crimson Seeker rounds, but they bought what they could, and have a couple left from the Godswar.

There’s a few key things in play. One is that the Old Empire had more advanced tech than is currently available (you can see a piece of their comms network in one of the special missions). It went belly-up when the Empire did (what’s up Zora!) but the Legion keeps the Annals which has notes, and it saves certain things in its stores (like strange bullets and relics) and watches for some of that tech to resurface and get re-developed.

The WHY on some of this is not always paralel to our world (remember that some fundamental rules—like alchemy actually works—are not 100% the same, so consequently what develops and when is not either). For example, the reason for jacketing here has to do with containing specific alchemical type bullets (you’ve seen black and red shot, but there are at least two others).

We did do some research on military unit organzations, and the Legion acts like a set of special forces units (small squads who train together, with specialists attached based on missions as necessary). And yeah, they’re a bit more advanced than the folks around them. A chunk of that is definitely tied to being under the personal banner of previous Emperors/Empresses. I agree that they’re pretty neat :smiley: I’m glad you like em.


PS. On flares—that can be a use. The flares are a bit more complex than appear at first glance because they’re alchemical. So, they can be set to do a variety of colors for signaling. Talk to your group, figure out how your version of the legion uses them :slight_smile: You can see some ideas in one of the eps I run on Actual Play (we had an ep where legion flares actually played a big part).


Ok, yeah that’s good solid stuff there. Wooo! Last fighting Legion of the high-tech precursor state, Go!:grinning:

If I may ask another question or two. When the Aldermani were enacting their fighting retreat from the Cinder King’s forces (Or possibly before?), they began trading with the Orites which gave them black powder, access to modern road building techniques and “A few primitive Steam Engines” (Trains?), do the kingdoms outside of Or have access to native gun-smithing or black powder manufacture? I could see not having them in the West just from the setting fluff, but the three Eastern Kingdoms have a relatively powerful, advanced and, if the “Only didn’t invade/occupy because of being inhospitable” part is true, expansionist neighbor in their midst. And you aren’t going to hold back firearm and cannon with spear, shield and cavalry, at least, not easily and not for long.

Also what is Zora’s favorite breakfast?:grinning:

Also, The magazine fed because of jacketed bullets assumption I had comes from that type of bullet being invented IRL in order to make magazine based rifles feed the bullet into the chamber easier, among other advantages, higher bullet velocities and less damage from using armor piercing rounds etc… Using straight lead in a magazine fed rifle often caused deformations in the bullet and problems with jams, bad flight characteristics etc. compared to hand loaded single shot breech loaders like the Legion have.

Your reason’s cooler though. :grinning:
(I’m such a nerd.)

(Stras) #46

The Aldermani were trading with Or before the retreat, the Orites just made a big pile of Black Shot.

The big problem is that metallurgy isn’t really advanced. So Kingdoms outside of Or or have gun-smithing, but it’s relatively primitive. Muskets aren’t a problem, but the big jump is actually in metal. Or have the only people to do proper machining, and they cheat and create advanced alloys using alchemy instead of taking steps like our world does. So, Aldermani definitely can make guns, just not great ones (the concept of rifling is foreign forex). It’s not that muskets are terrible, but if you want to have a Sniper it’s Orite rifle or go home.

Zora doesn’t usually eat, but I’m sure she likes eggs preferrably with something spicy. :wink:


So the Legion, with all that hoarded merc money, remaining social and political clout from the glory days, and a bit of Annalic foreknowledge on training, tactics and the existence of this tech in the first place, snapped a few crates of those beauties right quick? A bit too expensive to make them the standard for the line troops yet. Maybe give it a few years to purcolate and go down in price, get a machine or two and some alchemists on the roster once Blighter’s in the ground and Alchemy starts working right again, start a little in-unit manufacturing. Can’t rely on Or for all the shiny toys, even the Old Empire still fell.:grinning: Really cool!

I’m loving the “Tech hunters/hoarders during a fallen age” thing going on. Reminds me of the Brotherhood of Steel from Fallout or the monastary from A Canticle for Leibowitz except more proactive and killy.

(This isn’t necessarily a question, just kinda being jazzed a bit. Your setting is just aces!)

(Warzen Kamor) #48

I have one quick question so far: how many crowns of True Fire are there ? The Cinder King has a nine-pointed one while a ten-pointed one was seen in Dar.

Or may there’s only one but the Cinder King Broke one of the point ! :wink:

(Stras) #49

There is only one, but one point has been removed and hidden (as a hint, you should check out special missions under Gallows pass).

(Warzen Kamor) #50

Thx for the info !! I’ve just started to read the locations so I’m probably a few pages away from the hint ! :slight_smile:

(Joel Short) #51

I know this isn’t technically the place for rules questions, but: can you use Antoinette’s ability to start the game with two master spies by taking the other spy as a master?

I’m interested in how the Broken a) seem to be compelled to follow the Cinder King’s commands but b) also all want to overthrow him. I’m getting major Ten Who Were Taken vibes, and the infighting also reminds me of the Primarchs from the Horus Heresy.

So: how serious a threat to the Cinder King are the Broken? His divide-and-rule approach suggests they’re a fairly serious one, but the fact that they and four other Chosen weren’t enough to stop him suggests otherwise, at least a little. Do they have ideas above their station, or are they a risky tool used only to circumvent the limitations on Undead intelligence? If the latter, why not simply use human lieutenants (as Render seems to?)

(Stras) #52
  1. Yes. That’s the point of it. She’s there to give you a free 2nd master if that’s the build you want.

  2. The Chosen lost to the Cinder King largely because Breaking wasn’t a concept anyone understood, and none of them expect to be Broken. Who knows what would happen in a straight up fight (he’s technically a higher threat, but not so much so that they couldn’t get lucky). On one hand they HAVE to obey the cinder king’s edicts … so it sounds like they’re a small threat, and on the other, he does seem to act an awful lot like they might be a problem. They don’t quite have all the pieces necessary to really challenge him yet, and he keeps them off balance and squabbling to keep it that way. So the answer is actually kind of both?

Latter: He’s on a crusade to wipe out all humans (if that wasn’t obvious). Some Broken are making decisions out of his sight, and some (like Render) he tolerates for now (they’ve repeatedly proven their Knights are obsessively loyal … it’s part of Render’s schtick). To be real, it takes a special kind of evil to work for the CK, and there’s no guarantee that humans he got would be more loyal or wouldn’t work to seize power for themselves in that position either.

(Jake ) #53

So obviously we have the Blades SRD for use in making hacks and it’s clear what mechanics and things from there can be copied into a hack (all the mechanical bits, not the Duskvol worldbuilding stuff, etc), but how does it work for hacking Band of Blades? For example, the mechanic for resolving a secondary mission using just an engagement roll?

(Stras) #54

Hey Dadinista,

SRDs take a while to make and then format. We’re actually working on an official website right now (there’s just a tiny placeholder up atm). The Blades SRD covers a lot of things (what is an engagement roll) but not BoB specific things — so for now, let me give you a shorthand you can use.

If you don’t use our trade dress (the look and feel, the fonts, the borders) and you don’t use setting material (Aldermark, Chosen, Broken etc) you’re probably ok. Part of why we make games is to show how you can push things, and what knobs you can turn on the system. So if you want to resolve a mission with a roll? Grab it! Make it fit your setting. Go for it!

The whole FitD community is based on sharing, and extending stuff. I really believe in this. If you’re just grabbing a mechanic (extra harm from extra threat!) go for it. BoB is written in part to show how we use some of this stuff in our own setting, but the sincerest form of flattery you can give to a designer is to re-use something like this and give them credit in the thanks and inspiration sections ^_~

The places things get tricky are where the mechanics and material get very entertwined (What is a Commander, and what is Time tied to). For that you’ll probably have to wait for the SRD. But hey, in good news we’re doing an SnV one too ^_~ So you’ll officially have things like gambits to play with.

(Jake ) #55

Thanks Stras. I definitely understand the time and effort that it takes for you guys to get an SRD going. I just wanted to see what the policy was since the game I’m working on is inspired as much or more by Bands as it is by Blades. So thankful for everything you have contributed to the community through your games.

(Diego Fernandez) #56

hey , um this might sound like a weird question but i just got the pdf and preordered the book but cant seem to find the character sheets and playbooks for the different roles. Does anyone know what spot they are in so I can find them? Sorry if this isn’t the right place to ask

(Warzen Kamor) #57

You can find them here:

(Diego Fernandez) #58

thank you very much for your help

(Stras) #59

Also @marckontin our full website is AAAAAALMOST ready ( Right now it’s just a mini placeholder but we should have sheets up for anyone at that point.


PS - thanks @Warzen_Kamor :slight_smile: The best part of this community is helpful people.

(Cullen Lewis) #60

Hi all,

just want to say thanks for the awesome game! Just started a game with some friends and they’ve really loved the first couple of sessions!

Couple of questions if thats cool?

Firstly does breaking a chosen imply / include the breaking of the god/godess? Im partly asking as we have the horned one as our chosen and some of the characters are very interested in Nyx. The impression I got from the moon shattering when Nyx’s chosen was broken was that this connection was very very deep and powerful.

Other wonder Are old empire things like the warding stones divine “aagic” as well or do you imagine them more like alchemy esque it is science beyond current comprehension !

Thanks again !