Jhereg Playbooks


(Daniel Hiatt) #1

For context, see:
https://community.bladesinthedark.com/t/blades-of-the-jhereg-statement-of-intent/697/18

Had my first playtest over the weekend. Character creation and playbooks went well, so I’m submitting them here, with a few tweaks. A few elements are pretty rough (especially starting builds, friends and rivals, items). But I’m happy with the general of shape of the playbooks so far. Feedback or discussion welcome: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1flMJ6_H_gqqhyXB9k3TAfDtXiLr6rqDg5veOuOwuvrY/edit

The playtest pointed out a few additional things that need work, so that will be my focus in the short term:

  • More general world background needed. A couple of my players weren’t familiar with the setting, so I need to provide some basics like: technology level, role of the jhereg, relationship between houses, etc.
  • Faction/crew game: I’m trying to reshape how crew works a bit, to better capture the feel of the first few Taltos books. The feel I’m going for is more focused on turf war, less on heists. But I need to rework claims maps and crew upgrades to make this work. In the end I may just go back to making analogs of the Blades crew types, but I’d like to explore this direction first.

(Michael) #2

There’s a few weird things in the doc. As an Easterner, you have the ability to choose to have a link to the orb. However, the background is how they are part of the Jhereg. If you’re a member of any of the great houses, you automatically get a link to the orb. Also, not everyone can teleport. Most people can, but not everyone, and even those that can aren’t often good at it.


(Daniel Hiatt) #3

Thanks for taking a look.

That’s a really good point. In my mind, joining the Jhereg didn’t necessarily equate to becoming a citizen of the Empire (Vlad and Cawti – I think – both purchased titles, so I don’t know if we’ve seen any examples), but I think you’re right that it’s a fair assumption that joining the Jhereg confers citizenship.

I wanted to cover the story of “Easterner outsider saves up to buy Jhereg title in order to get access to the Orb,” but I think it will simplify things if I just assume that all Jhereg characters have access to the Orb from somewhere. That should help clean up some of the background/ability rules. :slight_smile:

The fact that not everyone can teleport is a good point. Mechanically, I wanted to give everyone the ability, and not have to buy into it. Certainly if a player wants to play a character that can’t teleport, that should be allowed. I’ll add some text around that, and the differences between skilled/unskilled teleportation.

Helpful stuff, thanks again!


(John) #4

Nice so far. You’re starting characters with 3 special abilities if I’m reading it correctly? What was the thinking behind that?


(Daniel Hiatt) #5

Yeah, basically 2 plus Link to the Orb.

Two main reasons:

  • A few of the playbooks (witch, familiar) don’t much sense without one key ability, so I want to give the player an additional choice. (similar to Scum and Villainy)
  • Almost every main character in the book has skills beyond one main role. If a player had a concept that was X + Y, I wanted them to be able to start with at least a little of that feel, and “multiclass” from the get-go.