Deathwish Public Alpha

Hey everyone! My hack Deathwish is hopefully finally ready for public review!
Definitely looking for feedback, and if anyone tries to run it, I’d love to hear about it.
The genre is “western meets fantasy”, and the main setting hook is alchemy, 12 emotionally-reactive elements that interact with each other to produce all the supernatural phenomenon in the setting.

The intended play-style is designed heavily around tactical problem solving, and as a consequence items and setting elements are far more detailed than would usually be needed in a FitD game. This gives a strong mechanical framework for players, GMs, and even different play groups to evaluate builds, plans, and solutions consistently.

Hi! Saw this over on reddit yesterday. Just wanted to say that I think the setting details are awesome. You’ve clearly done a ton of work to flesh out the background. The idea of alchemical elements with specific reactions to emotions is such a cool idea, and I love the way you use it to set up the rest of the game. The way equipment plays off of alchemy, for example, is great. Reminds me of Brandon Sanderson, but cooler.

Some of the abilities struck me as a very “mechanical” in that they clearly do a thing, but without much flavor (e.g., the Ranger one that lets you use a rifle in melee). Abilities with a very prescribed purpose (like ones that specify which action roll they apply to) seem to limit creative usage, and don’t really fit what I personally enjoy about BitD. But obviously I haven’t played Deathwish, so I don’t have a sense of how that style might fit with what you are going for.

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Thanks for the reply Khierdan!

I have put a lot of work into the worldbuilding and ecology since I think it is very important in this kind of game for the GM to be able to plausibly answer all sorts of questions that another game might not be able to (where a monster comes from, where it eats, what its natural predators are, etc.) That way players have maximum freedom to come up with creative solutions!

Definitely agree on the special abilities! The balance for them is subtly different from other Blades in the Dark games, since you can’t get more with exp. So right now I’ve got a lot that are pretty lacking and underpicked, and then I’ll hopefully merge and cut them as I get data from more players! A lot of the current ones are essentially tailor-made for my local play group, so I’m hoping to see what other sorts of creative builds people come up with.