Unusual Suspects Summary List

I got a bit overwhelmed by the 100+ entries to Unusual Suspects, so I made up a summary list to quickly review & remind what each character/crew is about.

A summary list of all the submissions to the Unusual Suspects Playbook Jam for Blades in the Dark, on Itch.io.


Character (xp triggers; 2-dot action, 1-dot action) – Description (usually quoted from the document)
Crew (xp triggers) – Description
* indicates changed/additional mechanics
† indicates a specifically supernatural character
§ indicates it’s for a Forged in the Dark game or a different setting


  • Amalgam (curiosity, disregard for safety; wreck, skirmish) – A patchwork person
  • Analyst (bookwork, academic expertise; study, survey) – An accountant, examiner, or lawyer
  • Animus (horrific acts, savagery; wreck, command) – A vengeful incarnation of nature’s wrath
  • Archivist (knowledge, forethought; study, consort) – A keen student and diligent scholar
  • Arsonist (mayhem, fire; wreck, attune) – A destructive pyromaniac
  • Artist (distraction, emotion; consort, finesse) – A purveyor of emotions and experiences
  • Ascendant (mercy, supernatural coordination; consort, attune) – A voice in the dark, the first among many; has followers instead of items
  • Ascetic (fervorous preaching, blind faith; study, command) – An otherworldly prayer and dogmatic leader
  • Avenger (intimidation, justice; hunt, prowl) – A mysterious vigilante & investigator [Batman]
  • Barghest (terror, violence; wreck, command) – A terrible and foreboding omen [ghostly dog]
  • Blackcoat (willpower, arcane power; attune, sway) – A devour [sic] worshipper; has a familiar
  • Blades in the Spire Characters § [for Blades in the Spire]
    • Azurite § (hustle, influence; consort, sway) – A dealmaker and a hustler
    • Bound § (quick action/thinking; prowl, skirmish) – An acrobatic vigilante with a small god
    • Carrion-Priest § (gruesome/sacred logic; hunt, prowl) – A death-worshipper and dog lover
    • Firebrand § (political organization, public solidaritycommand, wreck) – A rabble-rouser and organizer
    • Idol § (beauty, glamour; consort, finesse) – An artist and a revolutionary
    • Knight § (directness, violence; skirmish, command) – A corrupt law enforcer and drink of fans [sic]
    • Lajhan § (thoughfulness, kindness; tinker, attune) – A silvered chosen of a moon goddess
    • Masked § (manipulation of status/power; consort, study) – A mask-wearing career servant
    • Midwife § (selflessness, motherly rage; wreck, attune) – An arachnid protector of the drow lineage [an actual spider]
    • Vermissian Sage § (strange knowledge, secret paths; study, prowl) – A weird historian and transit buff
  • Bookend (knowledge, obscurity; study, attune) – An esoteric collector and scholar of things long forgotten
  • Boom (explosions–or threat of; tinker, wreck) – A loud and devastating expert
  • Bounded † (satiate desires, entice others to join; 1s in 6 actions) – A lost soul, craving dark desires
  • Brand (impassioned rhetoric, destruction; wreck, sway) – An impassioned arsonist and agitator
  • Changeling † (use another’s form/identity; 1s in 6 actions) – An existence in search of attachments [by imitating people]
  • Charlatan (thievery, bravado; sway, finesse) – A cunning and elusive trickster
  • Clerk (exploiting connections/rules; study, sway) – A fixer at heart still trying to keep their job
  • Clown (laughter, whimsy; wreck, sway) – An unhinged entity and life of the party [no really, like, a circus/party clown]
  • Corsair (savvy, threats; finesse, command) – A bloody pirate & renowned scourge
  • Crone-Touched (bold cruelty, subtle terror; command, skirmish) – Harm is your fuel and your weapon
  • Culinarian (cuisine, authority; survey, consort) – An astute epicurian and pundit
  • Daemon § [for Hello World] (bargaining, subversion; none) – A disenfranchised entity native to World
  • Demonbound (ruthlessness, demon’s desires; skirmish, attune) – A damned soul, fused with a demon in exchange for power
  • Desperado (mysticism, violence; hunt, attune) – A damned wanderer with cursed guns
  • Driver (speed, daring maneuvers; tinker, finesse) – A fast and furious jockey
  • Drowner (violence, terror; wreck, attune) – Sinister vessel for a leviathan’s wrath
  • Duellist (bravado, style; finesse, skirmish) – A daring and graceful fighter
  • Dustman (philosophy, morbidity; 1 in study, survey, consort) – An instrospective collector of the dead
  • Flame Cultist/Burned (wisdom, divine might; 1 in study, wreck, attune) – A cultist devoted to a long forgotten but powerful entity and its will
  • Flame Without Shadow Revised Characters*
    • Bluecoat * (laying down the law, doing what’s right; patrol, deceive) – An officer of the law
    • Initiate * (imperial duty, doing what’s right; attune, coordinate, hunt) – A spirit warden in training
    • Inspector * (laying down the law, doing what’s right; 2 in coordinate, study) – An imperial investigator
  • Gambler (deception, charm; sway, survey) – A suave & scheming risk-taker
  • Gill-Man (slipperiness, stealth; prowl, attune) – A slippery fish out of water [Creature from the Black Lagoon]
  • Goatherder (tenacity, collaboration; survey, skirmish) – A loyal and resourceful protector
  • Haunt (urban knowledge/navigation; prowl, survey) – An experienced and esoteric urban guide
  • Hollow † (urges, lost emotions, obedience, defiance; 1 in survey, finesse, skirmish, no attune) – A pure vessel possessed of strange urges
  • Hopeful (sincerity, optimism; consort, attune) – A lonely light in the darkness
  • Ink Rake (manipulation, keen observation; study, sway) – An intrepid reporter
  • Jackpot ($3) – A futuristic setting and character types (only partially developed)
  • Jester ($2) – Something like the Joker from DC Comics, I think
  • Magnate (wealth, authority; command, survey) – A shrewd industrialist
  • Marked (act with/against patron’s wishes; attune, skirmish) – Your gift is your curse [supernatural powers from a patron]
  • Mechanist (ingenuity, cunning, own creations; tinker, wreck) – An inventor, an entrepreneur, a walking weapon
  • Medium (vengeance, mysterious actions; attune, sway) – A haunted and eccentric oracle
  • Medium* § [for Adrenaline] (n/a?; channel, manipulate) – A haunted and eccentric oracle
  • Mirror (mimicry, confusion; finesse, attune) – A reflected soul | luos detcelfer A [you have a marionette double]
  • Mischief* (use little friends, annoy people; wreck, finesse) – Scurrying about with little friends [see also Swarm]
  • Mother (indignation, put others’ needs first; command, consort) – Someone has to knock some sense into these idiots
  • Mythos-Forged Playbooks [Lovecraft-inspired but mostly suitable for BitD core]
    • Astromancer (fortuitous timing, setup actions; survey, sway) – A cunning stargazer and strategist
    • Reliquarian (recklessness, indirect solutions; prowl, hunt) – A quixotic explorer and collector of curiosities
    • Savant (flashbacks, eldritch knowledge; study, attune) – A scholar and a madman
    • Stygian (devilish bargaining, ultra-violence; attune, skirmish) – An ambitious student and regretful servant
    • Seekers Crew (acquisition, conjuration, disruption, venture) – Rash pursuers of the forbidden and abhorred
  • Old Salt (experience, fury; command, wreck) – An unpredictable force with nothing to lose [retired Leviathan hunter]
  • Operative § [for Scum & Villainy] (stealth, evasion; skulk, rig) – A former agent of the Hegemony
  • Pledge (theft, innocence; 1 in consort, finesse, prowl) – A young thief and newcomer
  • Preacher (rhetoric, conviction; command, sway) – A fiery orator and divine leader [incomplete]
  • Prince (acquired poise, put-upon abandon; finesse, consort) – A noble slumming it among the common people
  • Psychonaut 1 (alchemical/psychic power; attune, tinker) – A voyager through altered states of consciousness
  • Psychonaut 2 (mind-altering techniques, esoteric insight; study, attune) – A researcher and explorer of inebriated senses
  • Quell (brutily, arcane power; attune, wreck) – A mystical and deadly survivalist
  • Quotidian (just because; consort, study) – A nice normal person
  • Radiant † (foresight, detached foreboding; survey, finesse) – A glowing tree eater and dreamer [says its a spirit character but not mechanically like one]
  • Rakehell (recklessness, charm; consort, wreck) – A vicious and charming libertine
  • Red Sash (address challenge stylishly, defend reputation; finesse, consort) – An elegant dancer and duelist
  • Seeker (bold action, wit, intelligence; survey, skirmish) – An adventurer and arcane archaeologist [Indiana Jones, Lara Croft]
  • Siren (influence, charisma; sway, consort) – A seductive manipulator and controller [incomplete]
  • Skeleton (undeathly vigor, uncanny memory; prowl, attune) – A clacking assortment of accursed bones
  • Skovland Playbooks
    • Drwid (natural knowledge, primal power; study, command) – A natural world acolyte and oracle of the wilds
    • Fægir (creativity, dedication; consort, tinker) – A dedicated artist of many crafts and styles
    • Hersir (leadership, strategy; command, skirmish) – A battle-hardened commander
    • Prests (ancient power, personal influence; attune, sway) – A priest, or preacher, of a forgotten god
    • Serkr (violence, mayhem; skirmish, wreck) – A violent and fierce combatant
    • Skipas (technical skill, deception; tinker, finesse) – A masterful pilot and artisan
    • Vík (violence, camaraderie; skirmish, finesse) – An agile corsair and raider
  • Sleuth (curiosity, keen observation; study, survey) – A peerless detective and mentalist
  • Snake (exploit someone, gain/betray trust; command, sway) – A social predator who preys on hopes and fears
  • Snooker (ingenuity, guile; sway, finesse) – An ever-shifting deceiver and fraudster
  • Spy § [for Band of Blades] (diplomacy, careful planning; sway, subterfuge, scout, consort) – An infiltration and reconnaissance expert
  • Stitcher (past experience, misplaced confidence; tinker, consort) – A talented fixer and philosopher charlatan
  • Stranger (radical perspectives, bizarre methods; attune, tinker) – An unusual soul blessed with strange talents
  • Surge ($3) – A force of electroplasmic manipulation and mayhem
  • Swarm (infiltration, fright; survey, attune) – An arcane critter specialist [see also Mischief*]
  • Switchblade (innocence, violence; prowl, sway) – An ususpeceting [sic] & ravenous predator
  • Tar (resilience, camaraderie; consort, survey) – An erstwhile sailor, weathered by the Void Sea [Leviathan Hunter]
  • Vagabond (getting by, defying expectations; 1 in survey, finesse, sway) – A filthy bohemian scavenger
  • Veteran (violence, discipline; command, skirmish) – You’ve survived the war, now what?
  • Virtuoso (sacrifice practicality for beauty or vice-versa; study, tinker) – A starving artist earning a living through forgery
  • Void Chanty (music, coordination; command, attune) – A jaunty tune and a timepiece
  • Warden (courage, intrigue; attune, hunt) – A bronze-masked custodian
  • Weaver (recklessness, trust; command, wreck) – A reckless master of luck and fate
  • Welded † (mechanical power, struggle for place in human society; 1 in tinker, 1 in another) – An amalgam of flesh and machinery
  • Werebeast (instill primitive fear; hunt, prowl) – A shifting horror disguised as human
  • Wizard * (knowledge, arcane power; attune, study) – A D&D (3.5e) style wizard
  • Wraith (speed; misdirection; prowl, consort) – A graceful avenger and social chameleon


  • Bluecoats (pin crime on another faction, reduce a faction’s hold, gain favor w/faction) – The law, written in blood and coin
  • Citizens * (provide community’s needs, help it flourish) – Comrades & neighbors fighting for their community
  • Descendants * (deal with nemesis, gain allies/tools, live up to legacy) – A group destined to fight a nemesis
  • Drowners (return from depths with knowledge/booty) – Scavengers in the depths of the Void Sea
  • Echoes (retribution, justice for people, reinforce community) – Skovlanders still fighting the war, in Doskvol
  • Family (coercion, deception, rise in notoriety) – A close-knit, if not biological, family
  • Haunts (defiling, haunting, scaring, spooking) – The creatures that go bump in the night
  • Musicians (find new audience, create spectacle) – Artists and layabouts [has a public venue instead of a secret lair]
  • News Crew § [for FitD cyberpunk] (publish corporate exposé, event coverage, breaking news, hit piece) – Tending the flame of truth in dark times
  • Presses (pull off an exposé, investigation, smear, propaganda) – The people have the right to know
  • Roofballers (play roofball, support neighborhood, humiliate rival) – Illicit sports stars and neighborhood heroes
  • Stringers (document a dark happening, push agenda, overcome a rival) – Nightcrawlers, paparazzi, scribes of darkness
  • Urchins (extortion, burglarly, smash & grab) – Young offenders, pickpockets, & cutpurses


  • Jayan Alchemical Survey – New alchemical substances
  • Spark-Grafted * – Arcanepunk Human Augmentation for Blades in the Dark

Some useful groupings by type…


  • Amalgam
  • Animus
  • Barghest
  • Bounded
  • Changeling
  • Clown
  • Crone-Touched
  • Demonbound
  • Drowner
  • Dustman
  • Gill-Man
  • Hollow
  • Medium
  • Mirror
  • Radiant
  • Skeleton
  • Stranger
  • Swarm
  • Welded
  • Werebeast


  • Bounded †
  • Changeling †
  • Hollow †
  • Radiant †
  • Welded †


  • Animus – familiar (item, expert familiar), reanimated dead (special ability, expert undead), vermin (special ability, unspecified). Yes that’s right, you can get three different kinds of pets as an Animus!
  • Ascendant – followers (custom items)
  • Ascetic – followers (item, cultists)
  • Blackcoat – pet (item, expert occultist)
  • Bookend – assistant (item, expert archivist)
  • Corsair – a talking animal (item)
  • Drwid – fine animal companion (item, expert beast)
  • Goatherder - a gang of goats (item, “ornery and thuggish”)
  • Magnate – personal guard (item, thugs)
  • Medium – ghost pact (special ability)
  • Mischief – a group of rats (custom*)
  • Pledge – small pet (item, not a cohort)
  • Preacher – a group of followers (unspecified; requires special ability?)
  • Snake – followers (item, rooks)
  • Stygian – familiarity (special ability)
  • Swarm – a group of small undead/spirit creatures (custom*)
  • Vagabond – companion (special ability, expert animal)
  • Warden – trained raven (item, expert scout)
  • Wizard – magical familiar (item, expert assistant)

Added xp triggers to all characters. Added Goatherder to list of characters with cohorts/pets.

1 Like

This is a great and useful post :+1:

There is almost too many playbooks now :sweat_smile: