Simplified Sheets for Overwhelmed Newbies?

I’ve just bought BitD and have started working my way through the rules. I am a bit shocked by the complexity of the character sheets (or ‘playbooks’) as I was planning to run several one-shots with this.

I have run some story games before (e.g. The Pool, InSpectres, The Mountain Witch, Dust Devils) but neither anything Powered by the Apocalpyse nor BitD. I think I can handle the rules just fine, but my players will be overwhelmed.

I appreciate the playbooks, as they seem to contain everything a player needs to know (except a primer for the world and Doskvol). However, the many options can lead to analysis paralysis, the many rules are confusing, and the experience rules won’t be necessary for a one-shot (though a good reward system is a thing of beauty).

Are there ‘starter rules’, simplified playbooks, partially or pre-generated characters etc.?

(A link to “World of Blades” by Duamn Figueroa in the Fan Creations section seems to promise some of that, but the link apparently died along with Google+.)

Do you have any advice?

Best Wishes



I’m interested in this too—I have a player with ADD who finds the core sheets pretty overwhelming.

As for World of Blades, the author posted a working link on twitter.

Blades isn’t a simple story game – it rewards engagement with mechanics and system mastery. And it’s made for campaigns, not one shots. I don’t want to entirely discourage you, but also I don’t want you to set yourself up for failure with your group.

Having said that, I’m working on some simpler sheets for players who don’t want all the reference stuff on their character sheet. I’ll post them on the website (and notify here) when they’re ready.


I hunted down the world of Blades PDF down in the g+ archive:
I thought about using it to introduce my group to BitD, but then found that the simplifications are actually not that many. And i didn’t like some of the flat reductions instead of dice rolls. I just like the chaos that can result form a badly gone resistance rolls and the player satisfaction from a 6 on it.

Thank you for answers (and for hunting down World of Blades, Christopher!).

I’d love to run or play a BitD campaign, but that’s just not in the cards for me right now. I totally dig the central concept of the Crew (with its own character sheet and concerns such as heat and turf and whatnot) and think it’s one of many stand-out features of the game!

That said, the game looks as if it has a lot to offer even for a one-shot (and an evening of fun would certainly whet people’s appetite for more).

I found a nice guide to con-games, So you want to run a Blades One Shot…, which I guess many of you might already be familiar with.

I look forward to those alternative playbooks and, in the meantime, will create my own (greying/blacking/whitening out stuff).

Best wishes


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I feel like your problems with the sheets would be easily solved with premade characters. Just let them pick from sheets you’ve already filled out with a cool description for each, and ignore the parts that are irrelevant. Give them the top ability on the sheet (that ability has been deliberately placed there for newbies), their skills, their contacts and they’re good to go.

I can’t imagine very many players are going to feel overwhelmed if the answers are on their sheet and they don’t have to make decisions. All I can think that would be relevant to a new player on a premade sheet is what their skills are, which is the most fundamental part of the game. Stuff like loadout, contacts, items and harm can all be easily ignored without mocking up brand new sheets.

A Blades sheet is less complicated than a D&D sheet and people brand new to rpgs pick up D&D every day. All you have to do is pare down the mechanics they interact with in their early sessions.