Starting mission (short) report and questions

Well, I ran my fist ever BoB mission today, with the Shreya starting mission (the bridge). It went moderately well. None of the players were familiar with Fitd, and I haven’t a lot of experience myself, so we forgot a few rthings (nothing really bad), I had to prompt them a lot to consider using their specialist action, and so on. It coud have been worse.

My worries :

  • I feel I didn’t use enough obstacles. Their first encounter (after a failed SCOUT roll) was with a gang of 2 Black Oak Knights + 3 Hounds. it was a bit messy, but they did it. Problem is when this fight was finished, it was already three hours of play, so I had them put the explosives charges and I ended the mission without any other undead attacks. So, with good resists and some armor, we didn’t get more than 3 moderate Ham across the group. Also, I didn’t put the (advised) 10 segment-clock for the bridge, because I felt it would have been way too repetitive to make so many MANEUVER/WRECK rolls. So I limited myself to two rolls of each, including the last WRECK roll in desperate position (from a 4/5 on the previous WRECK roll), that the Rookie PC rolled with a 1… and a 6 ! So success instead of having the bridge fall on his head.


  • How many undead did you GMs throw at your troops for this mission ?
  • Were your players more inventive to destroy this bridge ?


  • They captured a Black Oak Knight. That was one of the good moments. After a failed sniper shot at medium range, I had the Knight charge the Sniper at full speed with lance (complication). So the Sniper decided to get out of cover to get a better view, and rolled a Desperate SHOOT with his two fine pistols, aiming to kill the horse (a miss or 4/5 would have had the Sniper take a 4-Harm, 3 from desperate, +1 from the charge, I decided). Success: the horse took a bullet in the head, the Knight fell, slid on the wet stone of the bridge and two Rookies jumped to set the Sniper up, who hit him on the helmet with a big piece of wood found on the bridge).


  • Due to the fiction, I didn’t start a clock for this knight. I considered that what I just described was enough to render him unconscious. Was that being too easy on my Legionnaires?
  • Now the Knight has been brought back to camp. As my players and I don’t really want to play scenes of torture, I intend to give 1 Intel to the Commander, thanks to Shreya’s talents of persuasion, before she gives this Knight her “mercy”. Is an added reward like this something that you have already practised, or does that risk destroying the balance of the game ?
  • If the first Campaign Action is Liberty, and the Legion Morale improves thus from 7 to 9, can the QM take a second campign action before the advance ?

Thanks everybody for reading such a long rant!

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The very first session of Band of Blades I ever ran, the players chose Alanna (or as she’s now known, Shreya), so I can give you some insight into how I played it at least.

I wouldn’t beat yourself up too bad about not having enough obstacles. I suck at pacing as well, and if there wasn’t a time limit we might still be playing (speaking of which, I need to finish that write up at some point!)

  • I think I had a dozen rotters and a crow in the first wave, a dozen rotters and an Horror in the second, and three or so crows to deal with the guys on the struts.
  • My players had some of their number go over the bridge to set the furthest charges while the scout went underneath and placed charges on the support struts. I wouldn’t worry about player creativity here because the task is pretty straightforward - blow up the bridge. The interesting challenges come from any obstacles you can think up and the consequences of the legionnaire’s actions.

This is your choice. Like vanilla Blades, you tune the lethality and difficulty to where you want it. You can adjust it up and down as you like. I think your ruling is fine. If he’d blown the role, things wouldn’t have been good. Also, capturing a knight can lead to some awesome story seeds!

I think when I mentioned this concern before (balance vs. narrative), narrative wins out. Besides, if you’re worried have some consequences to balance it out. Next mission the knights are out in force and looking for their fallen comrade, or the captive tries to escape and they have to track him down as a mission, potentially missing out on something else, etc.

My reading is no, it’s based on what you had at the beginning. It makes the choice mean a little less otherwise.

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Thanks a lot for your comments and advice.

For the Campaign Action question, it was my feeling too.

For the lack of significant obstacles in this starting mission, yeah, it was mostly because we played way too slow to begin with. But then, afterwards, it was (sadly) compensated by a 6 thrown by the Commander, with one dice of Pressure, to advance to the Western Front. So we begin the real Campaign at Western front with 6 Time segments checked (2 initial, i from Time passes, 3 from the Legion advance), and things are quite tense already !