I just ran my first session and

Well it was cool. Not great but cool.
The system is really cool but I lacked a firm grasp on it, and my players are as green as I am when it comes to this kind of narrative system. The session was heavily improvised considering I had very little time to prepare it, and resulted in a somewhat low intensity session.
But I think my players were both enthusiastic and involved, sensing that the system offers some really neat possibilities.
One of my major problem was to setup an interesting social score.
I used the war in crow’s foot as the starting situation, the blacklamp requiring some help to sell some new products (my PCs are a gang of hawkers selling low quantities but good quality firearms since the have the good stuff special capacity) and my players accepted since one member of the crew and the leader of the blacklamp go way back, despite being an unusual product to sell. They had to think about how to sell it and to who. I made them gather information after they decided to sell it in bulk since the lacked the know how and the clientele. Due to nature of the product (a new blend that deeply affect emotion) and with the help of a deal brokers they realized that it could be of some use in some occult ritual and tried to sell their stock to the dimmer sisters. Hence start the score and a few of my issues, there was in the end very little difficulties to the situation. Sure I made it difficult to them to meet the sisters they learned of the place r managed by the sisters and realized that the place seemed empty and the door lacked any device to open it or to knock, forcing them to study then attune to the door to magically knock, the only way for them to be deemed worthy of a meeting. A small conversation then followed, convincing the sisters to buy half their stock only since the occult market might be small considering the niche use.
They were also under the threat of meeting unfriendly red sashes members who heard someone was trying to find buyers for blacklamp drugs from the informant with a fairly low work ethic my pc met when gathering information.

We ended the session there, with my players still needing to unload half of their product unto another buyer.
I’m rather satisfied with story in itself considering it was 90% improv, but still think the negotiations with the sisters were rather boring so to speak. The whole score took 4 or 5 action rolls from the PC and half of it were fun but fairly safe.

I have many questions to ask you guys, both in terms of mechanics and roleplay, but it’s really late (or early considering) and I need to grab a couple hours of sleep before starting my day.

Feel free to comment folks!


Learning any new system is going to be difficult and, occasionally, awkward. I’d say if your group had a good time with the “Session 0.5,” then you’ll probably continue to enjoy the game moving forward.

Something that’s probably not going to go away, though, is the amount of improvisation you’ll be doing as GM—that’s the nature of the beast with BitD. You can absolutely prep things that will help you improvise better, but the game is meant to be run in a fashion where the GM never knows what’s going to happen next (“Play to find out what happens.”)

BitD really sings when the scoundrels are the ones driving the action and deciding what scores to take on. You’ll want to nudge your players in that direction while still giving them the opportunity to take “pre-baked” scores if they can’t think of a job themselves. When I run, I start each session by asking the crew if they have a score in mind. If they do, they pursue that. If not, I roll up something random on the score generation tables, and then feed that opportunity to the crew through an ally, contact, or fixer.

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I think it also helps if you ask at the end of a session if they have something in mind, because then you can prep elements (some potential location details, NPC names and traits you can pull out as needed, etc.) in a focused way, and you don’t have to improv as much. (I love BitD and other FitD games, but if I have to 100% improv, I am in trouble. :frowning: Prepping elements and obstacles, but not plot, helps a lot when I need to reach for interesting details, and it’s easier to do that if the players have an idea of what they might go for.)

My BitD campaign is on hiatus at the moment, but I have a notebook with potential NPCs, locations, and scores that I just added notes to before each session to help prep, and I usually spent about 30-60 minutes on that. (And I’m sure others can run with less prep time than that!) And I spent about 5-10 minutes after each session noting details of what changed or what we discovered during the session so I could rely on it in future too.

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