Touchstones and inspirations

Hi there!

Similar to Blades in the Dark Guidebook I would love to hear your recommendations of TV shows, books, video games, movies, music and stuff that tells the dark fantasy horror stories of underdog soldiers for Band of Blades.

Obviously, the reference can cover just a part of the setting/theme. If we gather some maybe I Could compile them in the first post to let the people see.

And maybe the full-text pdf will have this section and this topic is redundant, but let’s hear it anyway.

I will start with an obvious one:
“The Black Company” by Glen Cook - no need to add anything to that :wink:
“Age of the Five” by Trudi Canavan - Somehow this book is something I think of when I play Chosen. Shows interesting relations between Gods and their “tools”.

TV Series
“Band of Brothers” - for the stories of brothers in arms dying and fighting.

Darkest Dungeon OST - especially “The Hamlet” for back at camp and “A Brief Respite” for camping. Combat music is great as well.
Bloodborne boss fights OST - for meeting those Infamous and more. Nothing like a good tune to describe rookies dying horribly.

I will add more if something comes up.


Generation Kill, the book and the HBO series.

Strong recommendation here for the television show “Burn Notice.” I consider it premium training for players. Think about how you can construct a con to manage a heist, think about how you can use tools at your disposal and what sort of prep your rogue might have done (that you can flash back to.) How you can use teamwork. How you can take care of the day-to-day missions while also driving towards larger objectives. Reframe problems to come at them from another angle. Be flexible, build your rep, manage your relationships.

It isn’t Gothic, or industrial, or fantasy, or particularly noir. BUT, it is focused on confidence schemes, judicious application of violence with minimal heat, dealing with contacts to acquire things, and pressing towards long term projects.

Michael Weston is a skilled Slide, Fiona is the Cutter, and Sam is a lousy Spider. =)

The Kingdom a great show on Netflix about a zombie outbreak in feudal Korea.
Battle: Los Angeles an ok movie - great for the feeling of a squad battling in hostile terrain.

Malazan Book of the Fallen for sure!

Artesia, a comic book series from a few years back. PDF available here.

One of the things I am surprised wasn’t listed in the book as an inspiration: Myth: the Fallen Lords.

Myth was an RTS computer game from the 90’s made by Bungie. In it, the Legion, led by powerful archmages, fights powerful, twisted sorcerer-generals (the Fallen) leading armies of the undead and other horrors against the last bastions of mankind and the Light. You play the small squads sent out on side-missions to defend key points, retrieve artifacts (or people), hunt traitors, and wreak general havoc on the enemy. (One of its big influences was, of course, also The Black Company.)

If you can find a copy, get it – I’ve been (re)playing Myth for over twenty years, so when I found Band, you can imagine the eruption of gleeful joy (and the “I’m soooo writing a hack…”). Anyways, the “journal entries” from the Legion’s chronicler before every mission are pure thematic gold: YouTube collection of Myth:TFL Journals (A bit spoiler-y, though, if you plan to play through.)


Even though it’s Scifi, the Iron Empires comics have a very Band of Blades kind of feel. Humanity is fighting a losing battle against an expansionist alien parasite. (The comic was eventually turned into the Burning Empires rpg.)

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DC Comics has a new series called The Last God about a fantasy world overrun by the undead. In April DC will be putting out an RPG game supplement based on it. Very evocative and the story is a lot of fun.
Details on their website here.

Have you been reading it @fictionalbeing? I generally just get trades, and I was curious about it, but I don’t know anyone who’s into it that had a review.

Stras, I don’t read as many comics nowadays, but like you, when I do I usually pick them up as trades. This series is still going so I started reading it on Comixology - and I’m really digging it so far (both the comic and reading it on Comixology). Not to spoil, but the series picks up after a group of adventures have defeated the undead god and are living in the days after. We get to find out what happened to them through a series of flashbacks. Great writing and great art. Also, the book has some backmatter that builds the world out. Enjoying the read do far. Hopes this helps!

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Well, we’ve been the whole summer without a good BoB session. My legion made it all the way Fort Calisco and we took a summer break. It is time to start again. After making it so far I would HATE to drop the campaign.
But I thought that maybe we needed a bit of an inspirational video, to spark again the imagination and put everybody in the mood for BoB.
So I mustered together all my very limited video editing skills and made this:

and then I thought: well, all campaigns pass by Fort Calisco at some point so maybe somebody may be able to reuse it. The video is not public, but sharing the link works.

Hope you enjoy it


Damn, thanks, Pablo!

I was going to offer subtitles in spanish, then I checked your user name. Igual no hace falta…

I’ll be sure to share this with my players, we’re recovering the campaign after the summer hiatus, just advanced to Gallows Pass, but I belive they are going to make for Skydagger Keep as fast as they can, we just started the last time clock.

Are your games recorded anywhere?

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That video was amazing Pablo! >_<

Also Brian McClellan’S Powder Mage Trilogy depicts gritty military campaigns with some fantasy elements.

It happened to us. Right when we were in Gallows pass, already in the last clock, the commander rolled a Crit when advancing. A critical!!! 5 segments and suddenly the campaign was was over.
It felt really anticlimactic way of loosing so they came up with a solution. They created a project to add skis to the legion and its charts. The effect was that, when advancing, -1 segment would be applied to the result. As a consequence, if they rolled 1-3, they clock does not advance. Now, as long as they advance in very location, they may still make to Skydagger keep.

btw, no, I’m afraid we don’t record.

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