Introducing myself and Route 6D6 my Rock n' Roll Americana Psychedelic Roadtrip game!

Hello Blades in the Dark Community!

My name is Stirling, I am a professional illustrator, long time GM, and (tentatively trying out the title) Game Designer. Most recently you might have seen my Illustration work in some Traveler RPG books from Mongoose or some Cthulu books from Sandy Petersen games!

I have been working on a Rock n Roll Americana Psychedelic Road Trip RPG for a little while now called Route 6D6! You are part of a reckless and radical group of friends roaring down a shifting and dangerous highway, like bats out of hell in muscle-car RVs and Monster Trucks powered by Dieselmancy. Maybe you are a touring band, cryptid hunters, or pilgrims to the tomb of Elvis. Whatever the destination, on the journey you’ve got your friends beside you, wheels beneath you, and a killer soundtrack. Ive done quite a bit of art so far, but apparently new users can only embed a single image into a post, so I suppose this is the picture that has the title in it:

Under the hood, Route 6D6 is FitD (and all of the giant shoulders it is standing on), with some lessons from Heart: the City Beneath, Ultraviolet Grasslands, Electric Bastionland and Stars Without Number. On top of that, Ive souped it up with some custom alterations and given it a paint job inspired by Bruce Springsteen, Jack Keroac, road trip movies, and the weirder corners of America.
As I’ve been eagerly listening to anything I can get my hands on where Harper talks about designing Blades, he mentions how important online communities were to the process. So here I am making contact with an online community! hopefully this takes some of the pressure off of my partner, as I think she is tired of hearing me declare “Baby! Ive reincorporated dice pools back into the Navigation Roll!” and whatnot.

I am uncertain exactly what to share, as I haven’t spent a lot of time in online spaces. I am about to start putting together character sheets and a basic player-facing page to start play-testing! I imagine most of my ideas will be radically altered once they actually hit the table, and many parts are going to be changed before that. But Ill tell y’all some of my general ideas and especially the ways in which I’ve had to depart from the core BitD game:

I love the cinematic nature of Blades, the dice mechanic, stress, and a lot of other individual bits. But for my vision of this setting and game I need to make a few massive changes right off the bat:

1. This is a game about being constantly on the move, while blades is really concerned with being in one place. Maybe half of the game has to be thrown out with this change. Everything from the faction game and tier stuff, to the structure of The Score and Downtime cycles is gone. But the stuff that replaces those systems are still inspired by them, so I feel comfortable calling this game Forged in the Dark.
The evershifting fractal Highway of Route 6D6 is unmappable, and often visualization and manifestation are as important to reaching your destination as getting directions. Getting lost and dealing with the weird places you find yourself are all a part of the journey. The phases of play in R6D6 are “on the road”, “action scenes” , “pit stops” , and occasionally “destinations.” maybe in a future post Ill break down what goes in on in these phases, but for now: know that random tables play a big part, generating weird and sometimes dangerous places you end up as pit stop, the roll on these tables is modified by clues, directions, maps, etc that you can gather as a pit stop activity, making it more and more likely that you end up at your intended destination.

2. instead of tracking Heat, Rep, and other thigns that assume that others have heard of your gang, we are tracking the sorts of things that tend to matter to groups on roadtrips: currently that is Fuel, car maintainence and Morale (might be calling this Power of Friendship, as I think mechanizing the Power of Friendship is hilarious). I keep going back and forth on whether or not we are tracking food.

3. These characters are not scoundrels and have significantly more Protagonist Energy. but they should still be reckless, daring, weirdos. I have made less concrete progress on this part of the design. Special abilities feel more supernatural, and can sometimes lead to bigger dice pools than are often available in Blades, but often spend group resources like food and the power of friendship. We want our heroes to be winning regularly, to the sound of a big guitar solo, but then we want to encourage them stop at the haunted gas station infested with kudzu because they burnt through all of their gas and snacks. I want to absolutely discourage killing, but have not come up with a specific way.

So, those are some of the main ideas of Route 6D6! I have a lot more stuff than what you see above. Especially re: characters and the setting, but I suspect that stuff will change much more once we start playtesting. all-in-all I am very excited about this project. If nothing else its a space for me to draw muscle cars and muppets and fantasy guitars, and to imagine a big redneck witch in a trailer with legs and name her Bubba Yaga. So its fun for me, if nothing else.

If anyone wants to talk about it, or has any questions, I am eager to discuss this project at all times!


Hi Stirlzzz –

Looks like quite the thing you’re cooking up! This site has been a little sleepy of late, and I thought I’d mention the BitD Discord server. There’s a large, very active community of FitD hackers over there who are happily chatting about their new games. I think you’d feel right at home. The link is here.

thank you! I was somewhat surprised that I didnt see a discord link on the site, and am glad to be pointed in the right direction!

Excellent concept and I very much enjoy the direction you are describing. I’ll look for continued discussions on the other thread. (listed by @Scaramouche Scaramouche)