Risky Vices and Purveyors

What do you do with a vice that risks life and limb and doesn’t naturally fit having a purveyor?

Most of my new crew has custom vices, which I take to be a sign of good engagement. The addictions to radiant light and getting possessed fit into weird, and I can think of a few different purveyors that will work. All good so far.

But our Leech had a great suggestion for an obligation linked to his Skovlander heritage and military background, where he frequents True Dusker bars wearing his Skovland military hat or coat, and waits for someone to pick a fight so he can defend his country’s honor. It worked in Firefly so why not in Blades?

My concerns are:

  1. How do you handle stress relief if it’s likely to involve bodily harm? His character is going to struggle with injury if to reduce stress he gets beaten up. One person against a bar is going to be down a couple of orders of scale, so even if he were good at fighting (he’s not! which I kind of like) effect would be zero without taking stress or spending coin.
  2. This risky behaviour seems fairly solo in nature, so who is the vice purveyor? I understand that a vice purveyor serves the purpose of tying the PC closer to the city, giving another obligation as they can be rolled by the Blue Coats or a rival gang, and can be a source of information even leading to new scores. And there is a risk they might cut you off. So they seem useful if a little tangential if you are connected in other ways.

The only thought I’ve had for the latter is a wing-man type who they either fight along-side, or who is paid to pull them out by the ankles before they are killed. Kind of works? But maybe weakens the martyr complex part which is interesting as a self-destructive character trait?


Yet to run my first session, but here’s what I’m thinking.

  1. I would just treat it like a small bit of fisticuffs unless your player Overindulges. When that happens, that’s when the consequences occur. A few bruises for flavour, but nothing to put them out of action.

  2. The wingman idea is not too bad. The other idea that I had is that his usual “True Dusker” bar is the Vice Purveyor. So maybe when they overindulge and need to find a new purveyor it’s like the bar staff know who he is now and immediately eject him. Then he has to find a new bar.

Sounds like you have a cool group of players though!


Excellent idea from your Leech and I’m ashamed to say I’ve done this kind of things a few times in my youth. It never worked though: mostly I got free drinks.

I think Leadeye is right about Overindulgence. This would mean some sever beating, the player is out for a few session, comes back healed and totally relaxed.

For the “purveyor”, you could say that they are not a wingman, but on the contrary a guy that the Leech intently looks for not have a fight. The leech would be satisfied with ay fight, but he is obsessed about this big ex-Akoros soldier and wants to beat him. The other knows it too, and depending on circonstances either avoids the PC or searches for him too.


Thanks @Leadeye and @A_B for your inputs - I appreciate the effort to out thought into this

Yeah, it wouldn’t have to always lead to fights - that could be a failure mode for him or a road to resolution. But the default being a few bruises sounds good. Downtime normally involves a few days so recovery from that should be possible.

So I have some options for vice purveyor - wingman, just safe enough bar, specific target of ire, or maybe bouncer at one of these places. None jumps out as just right, but I suspect most of them would work well enough. Maybe best to follow John’s advice now and just play.


The vice purveyor is the sympathetic owner or bartender of one specific bar.

There is nothing I have seen in adjacent fiction that would convince me that bar owners in Duskvol just don’t care about bar fights in their establishments. At the very least there is the property destruction angle and last time I checked the materials for finished goods might not be easy to replace…

For comparison, if you had a bar in 2020 and a regular came in starting fights every few days you would just ban them because most people go to bars with the INTENTION of chilling out. That’s why a lot of bars have bouncers, to PREVENT fighting.

Somebody in a position of authority for that bar needs to be willing to let the PC disrupt their business on a regular basis.


That is a damned good point. Of course, he could move around to different places, and that might make sense, but he might have to go further and further afield. In fact, that might happen anyway as I doubt any bar owner’s patience will last for long!

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If the PC is bouncing around then you could have a truth of Duskvol be:

Bar owners in a district pay kickbacks to have some Bluecoats on the payroll specifically for keeping the peace in the bars. Just a little motivation for those Bluecoats to ACTUALLY do their jobs for once (and also not turn around and try to run a protection racket against the bar owners).

So now the PC has to get in good with a leader of one of these paid patrols, to go easy on them, no matter which drinking district they go to.


Well that worked well. I liked this vice so much that it is what we opened session one with. Having been beaten by true duskers he was rescued by the bar’s owner who he has an arrangement with. The whole thing got back to Ulf Ironborn who found these antics amusing and that lead to him giving the crew their first score against the sons of Akaros.

I mentioned the blue coats and a possible arrangement but left that open for the future.

Having played this out in more detail than usual I made the level 2 harm temporary in this case, leaving real consequences for overindulgence.

Thanks for the thoughts everyone!

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