What Breaks if....?

I am prepping to start a new campaign this week of Band of Blades having never run it. I will probably have more than the average players with 6-7 total players. I have never run band of blades before and I have some tentative thoughts on some house rules, but it seems that the game is pretty well tuned. My fear with any house rule with no experience is that it will break some fundamental part of the game in a way I will regret. So as I go over these ideas in my head, I would like to get feedback from people with more experience.

  1. Have no secondary mission and just run two primary missions. I dislike the fickle nature of secondary missions in a single roll. Would just running two missions as primary break anything essential? It seems like casualties and harm will still be high. Rookies overall will probably get more xp so there might be more soldiers. Sessions will take longer and thats probably fine. What else?

  2. Let a player play the chosen as a commander. I am thinking of allowing a player to play the chosen during the commander phase. I wouldn’t give them specific abilities but I would allow it for roleplay purposes. Is there anything terrible about this?

  3. Include all three broken. The campaign says to pick two. Does anything break if I include all three for diversity of villians? Maybe more work on the part of the GM?

  4. With seven players I am thinkng of keeping it two specialists and with 5 rookies I would have the whole squad represented. This might reduce casualties a bit, would there be any other serious negatives?

Anything else I should think about before starting my first game?

Hi Aaron,
Welcome to the Legion!

So, TLDR : if you implement all those houserules, you will probably have a lot of fun, but the game will be unbalanced and you will probably lose a lot of the grittiness which IS a great thing in this game.

  1. On secondary missions “fickle nature”, I can only refer you to this thread, where many people give their advice, including Stras:

The rate of success of primary missions is much higher than the rate of success of secondary missions, as well as the XP harvest. So there is a risk of never lacking any ressources (intel, supply, morale…), and managing this lack of ressources is one of the nice things about the Roles (Commander, Marshal, QM…). You will snowball to victory, with more resources, more soldiers, more specialists…

  1. Having a player role-play the Chosen is a good thing imo. However the GM should still be able to put his veto if this is used as a deus ex machina to solve all the problems of the Legion without a real price.

  2. Nothing really breaks here, but this would normally disadvantage the Legion at the end of the Campaign, when the Final Wave dice roll and the Score depend on how many Infamous and Lieutenant survive. But in your case, it won’t, since you will have twice as many missions to kill them if you play only primary…

  3. You will have a much larger stress pool to draw from with 6 or 7 PCs in the game. So the game will, again, feel easier. “This might reduce casualties a bit”: it probably will, and that partially contradicts your first statement in 1.: “It seems like casualties and harm will still be high”. You can compensate that by being harsher on consequences, on NPCs taking the initiative against the squad, and so on.

Also you will have problems of providing enough spotlight on all PCs. Some will get bored if they feel they don’t act often enough. But that’s a general problem for all rpgs, not only BoB.

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