Please clarify Crafted Alchemy (p226) and their Load

I would like to just ask for a clarification on the rules for these items:

On page 88 it says an “Arcane Implement” is 1 load and provides a Quicksilver Vial as an example. So if my Cutter wanted to have a Quicksilver vial, he would tick that box and get 1 vial for 1 Load. (Provided that my crew has crafted or acquired 1 vial during the downtime phase).

Some of the crafted items have 3 uses and 2 uses. If my PC spends DA to craft Grenades (2 uses) does that mean if they tick that box they can have 2 Grenades for 1 Load, or 1 Grenade (and they leave the second grenade back at base)?

Would that also be the same for something like Trance Powder? Trance Powder has 3 uses. But on a Slide it has 0 Load. So 1 vial is pretty light…

Therefore on my Cutter, if I tick the box, do I get 1 vial for 1 Load? or 3 vials for 1 Load? (And the other 2 vials stay at base).

I think it would just be a lot clearer on p88 to write:

“Arcane Implement or Consumable:
A pouch of black salt. A spirt anchor in the form of a small stone. A spirit bottle.
Or
1 use of a consumable item; A vial of quicksilver. A vial of electroplasm designed to break and splatter on impact. A grenade. A large bomb. Includes bombs, oils, drugs, poisons, and potions. See p292.”

Implied the Arcane Implement is re-usable (or in the case of black salt, number of uses is not tracked).

Edit:
I can see why didn’t include a category called Misc Item. Because in order to preserve the flavor and distinctness of the classes, you don’t want them to be able to reach into each other’s gimmicks (item choices). On the other hand 1 box would mean you’d only be able to get 1 such item. But with 6 PCs, it could really start to make the classes all seem too same-y.

For that matter, is a lightning hook a Large Weapon, or can only the Whisper get it? An Unusual Weapon and Arcane Implement are only 1 box… so no go there, unless you combine the two. Still I feel thats… walking on the Whisper’s uniqueness.

I wouldn’t go the route of making Consumable have 0 Load (to match the weights of vials for the other classes). Because then you have to separate out the Large Bomb (1 Load surely).

You then have to add yet another category. Will it be just “Bombs”? Or will everyone be able to take at least one Gadget? You run the risk of a late-game team having crafted a bunch of gadgets, which everyone uses, and coming across as too Techo. All 6 of your party walking around with Line Throwers instead of climbing gear. Spoils the flavor of the game.

Somehow I’m more accepting of the notion that a non-standard vial can takeup 1 load, than I am that it takeup 0 load and be limited by what you have crafted. It just feels right that there should be a greater limit.

As a rule of a thumb, any item on a playbook’s list can’t be marked using a standard item.

The items lists covers the tools your PC always has access to and can carry with them at any time, and Load is meant to only represent those items. To gain access to anything else you need to specially acquire or craft them, and when you bring them they don’t cost Load.

You can add an item to your special items list (which starts with your playbook’s list) through a Long-term Project downtime activity, the story or whenever the GM thinks it is reasonable.

It is important to note that Load is a meta-currency much like Coin - it is loosly defined and doesn’t have setted values, and should stay this way. An example is the Hound’s fine pair of pistols, which “costs” 1 Load for two pistols, while one standard pistol “costs” 1 Load.

Blades in the Dark is a story-driven TTRPG, and it was built so the narrative and the mechanics will be woven to each other. For this reason descriptions can really matter, and there are no specific rules for every little thing as traditional TTRPGs. The narrative and the Position/Effect rules cover most of it. Don’t think too much when playing and let the story flow.

Furthermore, playbooks should not be seen as classes, but as a bag of tools your PC starts with. Since special abilities can be taken from any playbook, the only definitive features of any playbook are its special items and xp trigger. They suggest how your PC solves problems and how other think you solve them - their names are a slang used by the underworld for people who use certain methods and tools.

1 Like