Spell and Blade sneak preview on Hacked in the Dark podcast

I’m so excited. I just listened to Stras (@Stras) introduce Spell and Blade on the latest Hacked in the Dark podcast:

Before settling on Blades inthe Dark for my latest campaign, I considered Torchbearer and Dungeon World. What I wanted was Spell and Blade.

It’s easy to imagine how combat would go with position/effect and resistances/harm. Magic could be handled much like the ghost field in Blades. It shouldn’t be too hard to get a light reskin working along those lines. Instead, Spell and Blades introduces several magical subsystems. Becoming a necromancer by splicing a dead necromancer’s bone into your body, then crawling back from the dead? Calling on your god for favors that you have to pay back? Gadgeteer/alchemical magical devices? Yes, yes, and yes, please. The camp mechanics sound like a combination of short/long rest and camp in Torchbearer, with storytelling around the campfire incentives. There’s also a town phase which also reminded me of Torchbearer.

Can I get in line to run or play in a play test? I haven’t been this excited to try a new game since I read the Blades in the Dark rules and watched some actual play.

The podcast is nominally about breaking Blades in the Dark, or more specifically, what you can hack and what’s core. Stras gives some nice examples of dropping downtime and crew sheets. The podcast is really about the design process (like the films Helvetica, Objectified, and Unzipped). Stras sounds very much like an experienced software designer (my day job) in the emphasis on edge conditions and testing. I chuckled at Stras’s description of watching sci-fi and analyzing scenes for position and effect when designing Scum and Villainy; I find myself doing that with heist and con films now, which I’m consuming in large quantity.

Thanks to Justin (@Dissonance) and Ian (@Antifinity) for the great job they’re doing hosting Hacked in the Dark. Ian’s also the guest on Episode 2.


I’ve been enjoying the show. The episodes always fly by.

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Really interesting interview, thanks, and also gosh Spell and Blades sounds good! Is the Dylan Stras mentioned Dylan Green of Blades Against Darkness fame?

There is no Dylan Stras afaik, the Stras here mentioned is Stras Acimovic, co-author of Scum & Villany and of Band of Blades.

I think so.

:slight_smile: See the editorial “[that]” inserted above. Of course, the original was fine grammatically, because English doesn’t require an explicit subordinator like “that”.

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My bad : not native speaker!

I was also super intrigued by the pitch of Spell and Blade. Would love to run it as part of a play test with some of my groups :slight_smile: