Telegraphing Results

Can anyone explain the design philosophy behind being upfront to the players ?

Specifically telling the crew ‘this will happen if you fail this roll’

Also the same for Devil’s Bargains

Are there any GM’s who don’t use the RAW i.e hidden DB’s

Thanks in advance

Part of it is about establishing the likely outcomes so that you’ll have a baseline for adjusting if the likeliest outcomes don’t happen. Having a clear idea of what outright failure and success would mean helps you calibrate the narrative results when a roll gives you a partial success.

But also, it’s about giving players the info they need to fine tune their actions. Since you, as GM, hold the most consequential version of the world in your head, it’s sometimes difficult for players to develop a reasonable sense of how all the parts will interact when they try something. Telegraphing results cuts away a lot of the guesswork. You say, “Okay, you can try swinging across the gap between buildings, but if you fail, you might get hit by a train,” and the players respond, “Oh! I didn’t really register that the tracks ran through that gap. Let me adjust that plan.” Which is fair: a person in the character’s situation would have that information, and if it wasn’t apparent to the player, that’s partly because the game takes place in social, rather than physical, space.


SymbolicCity’s said the big mechanical reasons you’d want to tell a player the negative outcomes, but I’d like to add that it both drives tension and puts responsibility on player’s shoulders. If a roll goes badly, they knew the risk and accepted it.

The Devil’s Bargains are similar; the entire point of them is that players hear the bargain and must decide whether or not it’s worth it for the bonus die. If the players aren’t aware of the cost, it’s just the GM doing something bad to them without a chance to negate it.


Thanks for your speedy responses Cochlearia & SymbolicCity! I,m gearing upto to run BITD & many of the concepts & playstyles are, as we know, not standard practice in most TTRPGs.
I,m OK with the upfrontery to to speak but some of my players in a Q&A session have questioned whether these things should be known. I will win them round with your explanations so appreciate those posts. Thanks again

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No problem! It may also help to point out that failure in Blades can have a wider range of outcomes than something like DnD is traditionally thought of as having, so it’s more important to be clear about stakes.


And they can always Resist consequences! :slight_smile:


Yup! In fact, a lot of what makes Blades special doesn’t work without something approaching full information. By and large, the things that players shouldn’t know are just the things that haven’t been decided yet, and won’t be until someone makes a roll.


It’s uncomfortable for me to bring it up, but you seem to be using a picture of Idi Amin as your profile picture. One can take a look at his wikipedia page if one is curious about why this is problematic.

I suggest you reconsider your choice.

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This is pretty toxic behaviour @Prince_Aliaps . Back off, genocide is no joke. I think you should retract your comments or you will be suspended.

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Nice try slinging mud, but this is about your behaviour. Show others respect and make them feel welcome. Or you’re out.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s all laid all real clear in The Blades Community Inclusivity Policy.

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And you’re out.

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