Obscure, Innovative, and Favorite

Hey folks! The Forged in the Dark family has grown a lot since I last checked in. Let’s do a fun exercise to bring me up to speed.

  1. What is the most obscure FitD game you’re aware of? What’s unique about it?

  2. In recent memory, which games have innovated on the FitD formula most successfully? How so?

  3. Which FitD game (that isn’t BitD) is your current favorite? Why? Bonus points if it isn’t an Evil Hat Production.


Welcome back!

Tough questions, but here we go:

1. Most Obscure: A Thousand Thousand Worlds by Calum Grace. A game about awful galactic rulers, intrigue, and politics. The far away sci-fi empire genre hasn’t seen many hacks yet, and Calum has exactly the right grim poetry to describe rival houses of intergalactic nobles. You can get it, and a lot of other works in progress, by subscribing to him on Patreon.

2. Most Innovative: Ugh, this is hard. I’m limiting myself to games that are released right now otherwise my answer would probably be Slugblaster by Mikey Hamm. My go-to here is usually Crash//Cart by Galen Pejeau. It does 2 things that I think other designers should consider. The first is using a dwindling deck of cards instead of dice to illustrate your crew’s limited resources, time, and energy. The second is collapsing pretty much all world building to just item descriptions and prompts on the client sheets. No lore dumps, no big faction descriptions, just a ruthless future version of LA painted one score at a time.

3. Current Favourite: Antiquarian Adventures by Ash McAllan. This has been a long time favourite because of how well it nails the feel of pulpy adventures like The Mummy or Indiana Jones. The names of all the actions and special abilities are all fantastic. The composure mechanic especially is absolutely perfect.

Excited to see what everyone else picks!

  1. Most obscure FITD game I’ve heard of is hard to pin down objectively but I’d guess Hieronymous, which is a FITD hexcrawl through a Hieronymous Bosch painting. I appreciate how absolutely willing to commit to its own thing it is. I haven’t gotten to really devour it yet.
  2. The most interesting innovations I’ve found are from Deathwish, which uses the core language of Blades but moves far away from its conventions in a lot of ways, and has shaped a lot of how I think about establishing and signaling difficulty in such a flexible, fictiony game style.
  3. Favorite is still Copperhead County, a game of southern crime fiction in the vein of Justified or a reframed Breaking Bad. Been very rewarding to see it get tweaked over the years - good verbs, great setting, lots of little things packed in. Also a good example of how something superficially similar to base Blades still benefits from a lot of plumbing changes.

For #1, I wanna say Tides of Gold? It was pretty notable while it was available, but suddenly vanished one day and as far as I’m aware no public reason was given for taking it down. As far as I know it is the only “pirate” themed FitD, and it had some unique travel mechanics for sailing that I liked.

For #2, my first thought is Enter the Survival Horror. The Instinct system as a replacement for actions is very fun, and the doom clock/doom menu is the coolest horror tech I’ve seen since Dread.

For #3, I haven’t played much FitD lately that I didn’t make or work on. But I’m getting together a group to play Crescent Moon soon, and we’re really excited for it!

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@Antifinity There’s also Sea of Dead Men if you’re looking for pirate-themed adventure. (And who wouldn’t be? YAR!) But, wow, that’s too bad (and very surprising) about Tides.

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