One of the best parts of Blades in the Dark and other FitD games is how fast you can play the game. The equipment rules and Flashback system allow you to jump straight into a mission without feeling like you’re woefully underprepared, and the Downtime system is well-defined and efficient. But there are two places where Blades in the Dark can come to a grinding halt.
1) Choosing Missions. While my groups improved on this over time, choosing a mission would sometimes take upwards of an hour. Other times the mission would be chosen easily, but deciding how to approach the mission would take just as long. Eventually, we developed a system where any simple majority in votes automatically ended any further discussion and started a mission.
2) Choosing Crew Upgrades. My. God. The amount of time I’ve seen spent on arguing about what Crew Upgrades or Powers to purchase… My groups would advance the crew at the end of a session, text about the upgrades all week, STILL not have reached any consensus, and then argue for an hour at the next game before settling on powers or upgrades.
After trying a lot of different approaches, I eventually ended any and all discussion of Crew Upgrades during the game. Instead, at the end of a session where the Crew advanced, each player would secretly nominate one Crew Power and 2 Crew Upgrades. I would then send a Google Quiz out during the week that all the players would vote on. Despite being more work for me, it saved all of the players a lot of time arguing over what Crew Upgrades are best.
What are the sticking-points and slowdowns in your games? Do you have any clever ways of shortening discussions? Have you had similar problems?