Crew Concepts: write your own or react to others

Dead Officers

Unity war veterans whose purpose was killing officers at long range.

Type: Assassin

How do they make coin? Killing.

First Job: Kill former handler and destroy records of their existence.

Character concepts:

  • Cutter - Close quarters and exit specialist

  • Hound - Sniper

  • Leech - Army Medic

  • Lurk - Security Evasion Specialist

  • Slide - Spy

  • Spider - Conspiracy theorist, scared army wants them dead

  • Whisper - Killer who has seen too much death


Old Codgers

Gang who have been locked up for over a decade when their first gang died. What were their playbooks in their youth and how has their time locked up changed them into a new playbook? I thought this one could be cool for a group who have lots of BitD veterans at the table, people who know the scoundrel’s grind a bit.

Type: Bravos

First Job: Take a piece of turf from a gang that is showing weakness.

How do they make coin? Taking corners…

Character concepts:

  • Cutter - Child of one of the codgers who is ready to throw down and prove themselves

  • Hound - Deathlands convict who thrived beyond the lightning barrier

  • Leech - Learned medicine in Ironhook

  • Lurk - Survived inside by not being seen.

  • Slide - Took someone else’s identity while inside.

  • Spider - Former Cutter who wants to solve problems in new ways.

  • Whisper - Spent a decade in the hole…


Demon Lords

Anarchist cult that wants to bind demons to keep ghosts out in order to get the city out of the empire’s grasp and out of the Leviathan blood economy.

Type: Cult

First Job: Shut down the lightning barrier for a bit, show folks how shoddy it is.

How do they make coin? Good fucking question.

Character concepts:

  • Cutter - Former Leviathan Hunter who survived a wrecked ship

  • Hound - Severosi who hates being pent up in this shithole.

  • Leech - Intellectual anarchist

  • Lurk - Demon-haunted killer

  • Slide - Finder of high society occultists

  • Spider - Anarchist die hard

  • Whisper - High Cleric

People’s Free hospital

Steal medicine from the rich and heal the poor.

Type: Hawkers

First Job: Steal medical equipment shipment coming in on train.

How do they make coin? Selling legit drugs and medical procedures.

Character concepts:

  • Cutter - Former nurse

  • Hound - Looking for vengeance against the ludicrous medical system.

  • Leech - The Doc

  • Lurk - escaped hospital patient

  • Slide - ?

  • Spider - Former hospital administrator

  • Whisper - The Other Doc, the one with strange ideas…


The Fence-Hoppers

A crew of Sevrosi nomads who get Deathlands artifacts and sell the in the city…kind of a D&D party, aren’t they?

Type: Smugglers

First Job: Get access to Ancient Gate.

How do they make coin? Grab Deathlands artifacts and sell them to the highest bidder.

Character concepts:

  • Cutter - Sevrosi ghost matador

  • Hound - Deathlands Ranger

  • Leech - Old World Artificer

  • Lurk - Sevrosi ex-Army Assassin

  • Slide - ?

  • Spider - High society fence

  • Whisper - Feral ghost lexiconographer



Servants who steal from the rich. Fart-catcher is a shitty slur for a servant, someone who stands behind someone else all day.

Type: Shadows

First Job: Steal items and pin it on others so that the entire crew can get into a particularly rich house.

How do they make coin? Stealing and blackmailing the rich of Brightstone and Charterhall

Character concepts:

  • Cutter - Mean butler

  • Hound - Hunting guide

  • Leech - House doctor

  • Lurk - Invisible Groom

  • Slide - Fake Lady/Lord

  • Spider - Servant employment agent

  • Whisper - M’lady’s favorite fortune teller

Please share your own crew ideas or offer thoughts on other crews…


I just want to say, these are great! I want to run or play in Old Codgers and Fart-Catchers immediately.


The crew is a family clan who used to own significant farmland in Barrowcleft but have come into hard times. Rival family clans ruined their profits and Saltford’s bank foreclosed their land. Now all they have left is the dilapidated family manor by the river, and there’s money owing on that, too…

Type: Hawkers

First Job: Saltford’s bank would like everyone to be in debt to Saltford’s bank. So rather than take your manor house, they’ve offered a deal - the Vale family has a bargeload of produce being sent up-river to a Nightmarket cannery. Steal the shipment and the Vale family will be forced to go to Saltford’s for a loan of their own to cover the loss. If that happens, Saltford’s will defer payment on your manor house mortgage.

How do they make coin? Selling produce - stolen at first, but eventually by gaining farmland and rebuilding the clan’s holdings.

Character concepts:

  • Cutter - A big beefy grandchild who’s used to doing hard physical labour in the fields
  • Hound - The matriarch’s favourite child and red right-hand
  • Leech - A sibling who studied to be a vet and takes care of the health of the farm animals
  • Lurk - The black sheep of the family, frequently in and out of prison
  • Slide - The face of the family who sells the produce at market - a true hawker in every sense of the word
  • Spider - The matriarch of the clan
  • Whisper - Old Granny, who likes to tell stories



I have a powerful desire to play that granny and stick it to the bank.

Nice. I don’t do family gangs enough…


These are really good. What I love even more than those examples is the format and the suggestions to come up with such a core idea before starting play. I suppose a crew concept can emerge naturally from play from a good starting situation but in my games we have actually struggled with this.


The Lost Family
Doskovol was truly founded when the clan of fisherfolk and the clan of coal miners made peace by marrying their heirs. The 7 Founding Families do not recognize you but your family is made of the truest descendants of the most ancient founding family, worshipping the eldest pre-Imperial bloodthirsty gods.

Type: Cult

First Job: Seize on of the abandoned Founding Family Towers for your clan.

How do they make coin? Good question that the family has ignored for far too long.

Character concepts :

  • Cutter - Heartless killer or priest in charge of blood sacrifices?
  • Hound - Served in the Unity War and now ventures into the Deathlands in order to find ancient artifacts that prove the family’s place in Doskovol’s history.
  • Leech - Sent to university to better the family’s fortune and has seen how fucked up it all is.
  • Lurk - ?
  • Slide - The social climber who so desperately wants their family to have the status it deserves.
  • Spider - Wants the family to find a way to make money so they can purchase their way into high society.
  • Whisper - The scholar who talks to the ghosts of the family’s ancestors.

Both scoundrel games I’ve played with Blades have had some kind of idea of what the gang was about.

In one the crew were all marines from the Unity War, veterans of a brutal battle, The Battle of Barghast Bay, the battle in which state of the art War Hulls were rolled out onto the battlefield. It helped to have that trust baked into the group.

In the other the crew were all orphans in Dunslough, probably with parents in Ironhook but who really knows?

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The concept for our current crew is that they were cellmates in Ironhook and became tight-knit during their time there. They were all released within a few months of each other and decided to go into business together, as it were…

Shamble Lane Abbots

The former workers of a shuttered abattoir. They were slaughtering for shit wages, might as well stick to the same field and get paid.

Type: Assassins

First Job: There’s a pit fighter who won when they should have lost. What’s more, the results already went to press. Make sure no one does this again.

How do they make coin? Enforcing for the Ink Rakes

Character Concepts:

  • Cutter - Old-timer, has slit dozens of throats a day for decades

  • Hound - Rat-catcher with a trained weasel

  • Leech - Mechanic who’s skilled with the cattle bolt

  • Lurk - That person who’s just always there, and way too into the job

  • Slide - Saved months of pay for goods suits and fancy meals

  • Spider - Ink Rake liaison and intern

  • Whisper - Haruspex


When is Netflix gonna pick this up?


When I ran the game at TotalCon last February, the players came up with a crew of Shadows that were all ex-Imperial military, specifically they were a Special Forces style group of saboteurs called the North Hook Sappers. Baked into this concept was a certain amount of racism against Skovlanders, and this informed their faction choices (they weren’t fans of the Refugees or Ulf Ironborn).

The Ashy Hand / The Ashen Hand

Coalridge publicans, muscle-for-hire, and wannabe political activists. The pub is “The Ashen Hand,” and the completely separate (wink wink) criminal organization is “The Ashy Hand.”

Type: Bravos

How do they make coin? Extortion rackets, smash-and-grab jobs, and the occasional political fundraiser for Coalridge workers’ unions. (Certainly not from business at their crappy pub.)

First Job: Deal with (meaning “kill,” scare off," or otherwise “get rid of”) some Grinders who want to forcibly “invest” in the pub.

Character concepts:
Cutter - Ex-boxer who frequented the pub so often they’re now part-owner
Hound - Charterhall University slacker slumming it in Coalridge
Leech - Disgraced surgeon and degenerate gambler who ran to the Hand for protection against debtors
Lurk - Out-of-work rat-catcher looking for other “vermin” to hunt
Slide - Disowned royal who wants to use the Hand to further their political career
Spider - Bartender that excels at manipulating desperate patrons for their own ends
Whisper - Squatter who’s been living in the basement for as long as anyone can remember


The Small Council of the True Heir
Fools believe that the Emperor is immortal and has ruled for a thousand years. We know better - we know that “Immortal Emperor” is a title passed from parent to child in a single bloodline reaching back to the cataclysm. But the current Immortal Emperor is a heretical usurper, and for the good of the Imperium he must be deposed in favour of the True Heir.

Type: Cult

First Job: Ever since the usurper took the throne, the True Heir has been imprisoned in the ghost field, locked in an iron spirit mask that inhibits their terrible powers. A ghost key that gives access to the shadow-oubliette is kept within the Lord Governor’s stronghold on Whitecrown. Acquire it.

How do they make coin? The small council has connections amongst some of the oldest nobility of Akoros, and these people can be leveraged for coin; as patrons, clients, or targets for blackmail.

Character concepts:

  • Cutter - The Emperor’s Guard
  • Hound - The Master of War
  • Leech - The High Alchemist
  • Lurk - The Master of Spies
  • Slide - The Master of Coin
  • Spider - The Chancellor
  • Whisper - The High Priest



Joness Hall of Local Archaeology

Charterhall University is the great hope of Duskwall for the free and open transmission of knowledge to a populace mired in ignorance. Or at least, those ponces at Doskvol Academy keep all their research to themselves and it shouldn’t be tolerated. Either for selflessness or greed, you work to discover and secure lost artifacts before they can.

Type: Shadows

First Job: The Spirit Wardens discovered an artifact while patrolling the catacombs beneath Six Towers. The Academy is involved in the excavation. It belongs in your museum.

How Do They Make Coin? Funding from a ruthless administration that demands a return on investment.

Character Concepts:

  • Cutter - Two-fisted professor of history; plunderer extraordinaire.

  • Hound - Member of an ancient order of protectors with deep Duskwall heritage.

  • Leech - Professor of Alchemy with a knack for drugs and poisons.

  • Lurk - Blue-collar groundskeeper fascinated by Duskwall history.

  • Slide - Department administrator/funding liaison and child of a struggling noble house.

  • Spider - Librarian assistant with emphasis on lost artifacts.

  • Whisper - Occult professor; secret double agent within the Spirit Wardens.


I love these as seeds for an AP game. Even if you say “these character concepts are only inspirational; feel free to come up with your own” it still does so much to establish a theme you can explore for a full campaign.


Riffing on Eli’s theme above…

The Faculty
Morlan Hall of Unnatural Philosophy is an old and storied college within Charterhall University. However, times are tough and the competition for funding and students within the university is absolutely cut-throat. You are the senior staff of Morlan Hall - it is your task to restore this ancient college to its former glory.

Type: Hawkers

How do they make coin? From grants, philanthropic donations, and student fees. Gain patrons amongst the wealthy, promote your academic prowess widely, and attract more students.

First Job: You have word that a rival college is about to publish research that could make leviathan oil production vastly more efficient and profitable - and would make that college famous throughout the Imperium. Make the research disappear.

Character concepts:

  • Cutter - Groundskeeper
  • Hound - Professor of Zoology
  • Leech - Professor of Unnatural Sciences
  • Lurk - Head Librarian
  • Slide - Professor of Fine Arts
  • Spider - Professor of Law
  • Whisper - Professor of Arcane Philosophy



The Farmer’s Cooperative

“Nothing’s free and everyone has to eat.” The Farmer’s Cooperative is an agricultural business that uses extortion and sabotage to beat out their competitors. Every calorie consumed on Coalsdottir Avenue passes through the Cooperative’s hands, and they have plans to expand their business into the rest of the city.

Type: Hawkers

How do they make coin? Grasshopper meal fed with fish offal is sold to the masses as Fargus Protein Meal. For customers with a little more coin, the Coop has fish sauce and “mixed renders”, a salty oil rendered from a variety of animals (best to not ask which ones). Competitors are treated to sabotage and violence.

First Job: Rumor has it that the Gondoliers feed themselves from secret lamprey pools hidden somewhere deep within the canals. Time to diversify your holdings.

Character Concepts

  • Cutter - Bagman, fee collector, responsible for running off other soup carts.
  • Hound - A master of animal procurement for the Protein Dispensaries.
  • Leech - Head chef and health inspector.
  • Lurk - Chief of anti-competitive operations and sabotage.
  • Slide - Spokesman and head of marketing.
  • Spider - Human Resources
  • Whisper - Keeper of the Secret Ingredients



The Vultures

The Spirit Wardens may ultimately be responsible for the disposal of all corpses in the City of Doskvol, but they have neither the numbers nor the time to personally oversee the transportation of every corpse to Bellwether Crematorium. Instead, the Wardens subcontract the transportation of the dead to small licensed businesses called “funeral carriages”. Civilians give these black carriages wide berth which makes the businesses a perfect front for smugglers, provided the Spirit Wardens don’t find out…

Type: Smugglers

How do they make coin? By filling their coffins with contraband! Whether it’s 9 stone of quicksilver, the corpse of a rival, or newly forged military firearms, the Vultures are ready to take it to your chosen destination.

First Job: While your Funerary Carriage has the right look, your corpse disposal license is an obvious forgery. It’s time to capture a legitimate license from another business, through bribery, violence or heist.

Character Concepts:
Cutter - Footman. Always ready to jump off the back of the carriage to intimidate anyone who tries to stop your cart.
Hound - Rides shotgun with the Driver.
Leech - Wainwright. Maintains your carriages and fashions them with hidden compartments.
Lurk - Driver.
Slide - Funeral Chaplain. Always ready with a prayer and a distraction when times get tough.
Spider - Funeral Director. Arranges deliveries, keeps the licenses in order.
Whisper - Mortician. Keeps the corpses quiet and the Spirit Wardens ignorant.


The Night Parade

They say that anything can be found in Nightmarket, but who cares if you don’t know where to look?

At the end of every market day in Diamond Square, a small troupe of musicians, dancers, actors, mimes and stage magicians come together and perform an impromptu show that ends with a parade out of the square and into the back alleys of Nightmarket. Civilians are encouraged to participate, and once in the parade are subtly asked about their “desires”. As the parade tours the streets of Nightmarket, the entertainers point their customers to the drug-dens, brothels, and illicit manufacturers that they need in exchange for a cut of the action from the shops they recommend. The Parade serves as camouflage against the Bluecoats and allows for business to be conducted out in the open.

Type: Hawkers.

How do they make coin? By connecting people with needs with people with means and taking a cut of the action.

First Job: A small coalition of businesses are no longer paying your fees for “customer introductions”. Show them why the Parade is to be feared.

Cutter- Strongman. Flamboyant performers and intimidating security professionals.
Hound- Marksman. Good for a stunt to keep the attention of the crowd while less reputable businessmen get the real work done. Security in a pinch.
Leech- Concessions. Whether innocent or illicit, the concessions stands will hook you up.
Lurk- Juggler. These masters of sleight-of-hand make certain that money and product are handled with subtlety and care.
Slide- Clown. These people may look like fools, but the Clowns are the literal faces of the carnival and masters of misdirection.
Spider-Ringmaster. Keeps the performers happy and the acts in tip-top shape. Sets the agenda for performances.
Whisper-“Stage” Magician. So convincing you’d swear they were performing “real” magic.


The Quartermasters

With all the violence on the streets of Doskvol, there is always demand for tools to wage war more efficiently. As a group of Imperial soldiers learned, there is always someone willing to buy what the military gave them for free. It started with some ammo cartridges that were written off as defective, but now is a sizeable operation supplying most of the gangs in the City with weapons – ran by a bunch of officers.

Type: Smugglers

How do they make coin? By directing “missing” and “defective” weapons straight into the black market.

First Job: The Lampblacks need some extra firepower to gain the upper hand over the Red Sashes. But their rival gang isn’t the only problem that prevents the Quartermasters from making a lucrative deal. Lyssa, the leader of the Crows, doesn’t want either of the sides of conflict to overwhelm the other, forbidding the crew from interfering. But can she stop an experienced group of smugglers in cahoots with the Army?

Cutter: A former member of the Military Police, dishonorably discharged for being dirty.
Hound: They used to protect supply trains during the Unity War. Now they guard supply runs into the City they used to fight for.
Leech: A bomb expert, who can craft convincing duds resembling real ammunition and ordnance.
Lurk: A decorated war hero, who sneaked through enemy trenches to blow up an artillery nest. But you can’t eat medals and their soldier’s pay remained pitiful, so they found an another source of income.
Slide: A slimy corporal, who used to supply half of their unit with contraband. Demoted and court-martialed several times, it’s a mystery how they’re still in the Army (for those who read The Heroes, this is pretty much Corporal Tunny).
Spider: A freshly retired captain, beloved by their subordinates and respected by superiors. They’re considered an exemplar of a dutiful officer.
Whisper: They used to dispose of the spirits of departed friendlies and enemies alike. At least for the record. A ghost can fetch a nice price on the black market, after all.


[quote=“Gantolandon, post:20, topic:530”]
The Quartermasters

With all the violence on the streets of Doskvol, there is always demand for tools to wage war more efficiently. As a group of Imperial soldiers learned…[/quote]

Nice! Inspired by the Peaky Blinders we had a former military unit as a crew in our Wobegong Crew game and it was really fun.