BitD Hack - Military Campaign Progress


Yes, indeed! Brilliant game, and the pieces are so tightly interwoven. It took me half a dozen, ten sessions to really understand how that is so.
Yeah, the trick is to have all these interwoven systems but still leave room for meaningful choices. In the original BitD, when you start out your choices are often dictated by necessity - choosing the right risk/reward balance from the available scores, balancing your faction standing, managing injuries, stress and heat, and maintaining enough income to support and build the crew. But once you find your feet, you'll be looking to pursue goals related to whatever elements of plot are unfolding, or finding ways to expand your operation, maybe setting up your own scores instead of working on behalf of clients or patrons.

Likewise in a military campaign, there will be constraints of logistics, operational goals and enemy action, but players will want the freedom to make tactical choices, and ultimately as they rise in rank to set their own strategic goals and choose how to pursue them.

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Oh, sure! I mean, so long as everyone is having fun, it's easy enough to adjust on the fly to address any unintended perturbation. [...]
One thing I have learned over the years is that my gaming group does not enjoy when rules change once the game is in progress. I can play around with the rules to my heart's content before the campaign starts, but have to be much more restrictive once the characters have been made and adjusted to the current rules. However, this applies mostly to the rules for characters and their abilities. If I change the 5E Fireball to do 5d6 damage instead of 8d6 damage, there will likely be protests. If I change how much heat you remove with a background action in BitD I don't suppose the reaction would be as bad.


I think understanding of Blades comes in stages. You understand each part on its own first… the action rolls, the phases of play, flashbacks, etc… and then once you get all that, you start to see how they all connect. How each part of the game leads to the next, and how the game generates momentum and pressure.

It’s easy to swap out action rolls to reflavor the game for another setting. It’s something else to mess with how downtime and score interact.

But, having said that, the game won’t implode if you make a change and it’s not perfect. When that happens, you just adjust and move on.
Its interesting to look at Candela Obscura against this background. They removed the entire background part and are using BitD action mechanics for a much more conventional rpg experience. The GM's role, in particular, is much more conventional in CO than in BitD. And this kind of works, but it is not BitD at all. I struggle to come up with an analogy... Its a bit like how Mutants and Masterminds and 3E both are d20 games, but M&M has cut the character classes... Still not a very good analogy.

I find that in Princess Kingdoms, I still GM in a more conventional way, if not nearly as much as in OC. PK lacks the mechanisms for how the players pick the type of score and the PC's starting position in that score. This makes the "score" equivalents in PK much more conventional with more of the burden and agency on the GM.

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