Blades of the Jhereg: Statement of Intent

(Daniel Hiatt) #1

Disclaimer: One of the stretch goals for the original BitD Kickstarter was Blades of the Jhereg, a FitD setting based on Steven Brusts’ Taltos series. I am NOT officially associated with John Harper, and can’t claim to be creating that stretch goal product. I first stumbled onto BitD through my love of the Taltos series, and just eventually decided that I had enough ideas about how the setting would work to actually create my own version.

So that’s what I’m working on now: A Blades hack set in Adrilankha. You and your group play a Jhereg crime organization seeking power and fortune. As the Taltos books were a primary inspiration for Blades in the Dark, many of the rules are brought over as is. The main changes/additions are:

  • New playbooks (some based on existing ones, some new, such as sorcerer, witch, and familiar)
  • New backgrounds/heritages (Dragaeran, Easterner, etc.)
  • Jhereg organization (new crew type) and crew rules
  • Rules for sorcery/witchcraft/psionics
  • Setting (obviously)

I’ve got my first playtest scheduled for the end of the month, so that will force me to get some polishing in. Enough to put an Alpha version out soon.

I mainly wanted to get this out there so folks know to watch this space for future updates. Also, please leave a reply if you have opinions on what this setting should include – any ideas about abilities, items (Items have been a big challenge – Brusts’ characters travel light!), for example.


(John Harper) #2

We should talk. I messaged you. :slight_smile:

(Logan W) #3

I’m interested in seeing how you handle morganti blades and Great Weapons.

(Daniel Hiatt) #4

That’s a fun one!

Current thought:
Morganti blades are in regular use by the Jhereg, and as such, you will be able to acquire them through an Acquire Assets check (requires a minimum effect result). You can also buy a crew upgrade that gives you access to them whenever you want.

Using them causes 1 stress per scene in which they are used. Wielding one gives you +1d to actions to intimidate, and potency in combat. Anyone killed by one has their soul destroyed, which is likely to result in increased heat and reduced faction status.

I’m not planning to cover Great Weapons in detail – it’s certainly an area players can explore if they wish. But Brust has laid out some guidelines. I’d say:

  • No stress cost
  • They protect your soul from being destroyed
  • You/They can choose not to destroy souls
  • They can be your witch’s familiar (Morrolan/Blackwand)
  • Each is unique and may have additional abilities

Let me know what you think!

(Ezra H.) #5

The effects of Morganti weapons in the books seem stronger than this. How about a similar effect to a ghost or demon appearing in Blades: everyone in the area must decide to run, freeze, or resist those consequences with Resolve? That would do a pretty decent job of replicating the spine-chilling fear that Brust describes. It’d also make these extremely powerful weapons dangerous to use for everyone involved.

(Daniel Hiatt) #6

That brings up a great point about how players are affected by opponents wielding Morganti blades, which I hadn’t put much thought to. I’ll make a note to add some details about that. Thanks!