How do you run the rail lines?

Hey, new poster here. I just bought the game and ran the zero session for my crew. Really looking forward to it, and they threw me a curveball when I asked about their hunting grounds (they’re Shadows). They said they want to hit Gaddoc Rail Station, trying to use info from a contact they have in the clerk’s office about lucrative shipments, and bribing/intimidating the station guards to turn a blind eye.

I’m envisioning fairly regular freight cars coming in, with passenger cars being more scarce due to the horrors of traversing the Deathlands. On arrival the freight will probably sit in the wagons for a while, then get unloaded to warehouses within the station grounds. After that the goods ship out by various means. Should give a few good opportunities for heists. And there’s the bonus of rival smugglers and thieves getting annoyed by their encroachment, plus the wrath of the cargo’s intended recipients.

Anyone got any fun angles on the rail service which could spice this up?

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Jon Harper created a game called Ghost Lines before Blades, which you can get for free here: http://www.onesevendesign.com/ghostlines/

It’s set on the trains in the deathlands, and although the worldbuilding is slightly different from blades, it definitely gave me a better perspective on who the railjacks are and how the railways work in the Shattered Isles.

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Didn’t use the rail’s much in my campaign, but one aspect we had was that since Gaddoc was relatively new it, and several rail lines were constructed to transport goods more securely than by sea. As a result when the station opened it killed a lot of work over in the docks. This could mean lots of discontent folk looking to ruin the station, either as rivals, friends, or maybe a crew working to mutually contradictory ends to your crew.

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I remember an old post in the g+ archive in which someone did some new maps with rail lines… that was inner city not out of Doskvol. If this may help you, you could search the old archive https://bitd.gplusarchive.online/

… I think it was this one:
https://bitd.gplusarchive.online/2017/12/11/i-dont-know-if-anyone-wants-or-need-thisbut-ive-been-hinting-in-our-campaign-that-duskvol-has-building-an/

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Well I’m always a sucker for lore. Thanks!

That’s a cool idea. The crew already has negative status with the Fog Hounds over at the Docks. Maybe they’ll eventually end up as buddies because of this?

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And now I’m definitely introducing the Line Bulls as a minor faction. The crew are going to hate running into them. Bust into the wrong freight car, come face to face with a dead-eyed brute of a man, ready to snap the bones of the low-life idiots who tried to lift merchandise on his shift.

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Oh, my! This is MOST EXCELLENT! Thank you so very much, I didn’t know of this, I’m so using it ASAP.

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If anyone wants to play a Rail Jack, the playbook for them is here on the supplements page:
https://bladesinthedark.com/blades-supplements

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Well, I told my players that if anyone goes out of action - overindulgence, incarceration, whatever - then they have to DM and I get to play until their character comes back. Me coming in as a Rail Jack might be a nice surprise for them. If they end up as allies, there’s a natural connection. If they turn out to be at each other’s throats then I’m a disgruntled former employee, looking to put the boot in. Thanks!

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Careful with the penalties there. The game is best when players are living on the edge, taking big risks and living with the consequences and you dont want to disincentivize that. Especially by taking away their agency. IMO, of course.

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