Question regarding Cinder Guard

In the first Zora mission, the Cinder Guard are labeled as “armored, brutal, potent”. I’m assuming armored means they have a point of Armor, and potent means they have Potency (against what in particular?) but I can’t find any mention of Brutal, Brutality, in a ‘rules’ context. Can anyone help me out with this?

So NPCs don’t “play with the same rules” as PCs. The description of the Cinder Guard says they’re “armored,” but they don’t “use armor points” to reduce Harm- because they don’t have Harm Tracks (like PCs do, at least). Instead these are useful fictional descriptors to give you an idea of how things might fair against the Cinder Guard.

There’s no “official” definition for these things, but it’s one of those “self explanatory” things that describes these NPCs.

  • Armored means that most typical means of attack aren’t going to work out so hot (no pun intended). These are some of the personal guard of the Cinder King. They’re big, scary, and hard to much of anything to because of their awesome armor.
  • Brutal means when they fight, they fight to kill and they do it in the most brutal way possible. No half measures with these guys.
  • Potent just means that: they’re Potent. They’re badass personal warriors of the Cinder King. They’re well ostensibly trained in fighting, surviving, and enduring all sorts of punishment

As such, these are all elements to consider when setting Position and Effect against these Cinder Guards. By the sounds of these descriptors, most full frontal assaults- even if you have a shred of Scale against them, is probably going to be Desperate/ Zero (maybe Limited) to start!

But, these positives can be a negative for them too! A Scout that needs to run away from these blokes should have little trouble doing so, maybe starting off Controlled/ Standard because these baddies are just a touch too slow and unrefined to keep up.


I guess the italics in the descriptors made me think that it was referring to something else in the rulebooks, but that’s a convention from WoTC books I think.

Yep, in these games, usually italics for NPCs are helpful descriptors for their attitudes in the fiction or other such helpful fictional traits to help you run those NPCs

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Bold text frequently implies that a mechanic is involved in Forged in the Dark (I don’t have experience with Band of Blades, but this use is repeated in some FitD).