If you’re familiar with the Forged in the Dark SRD or the game Blades in the Dark, this article will help you get your head around key mechanical changes we’ve made to fit this setting. These are the parts that are most heavily under playtesting. If you’re new to Forged in the Dark games, then give this article a pass because it will only serve to confuse you.
In short, we did not set out to reinvent the wheel here. We took what was already an amazing system and only made the mechanical changes or additions that were necessary to tell the kind of story we were trying to tell. So, without further ado, here are the biggest features to look out for:
1. Court of Blades is intended to be a slower burn than other Forged in the Dark games, so it requires more experience to unlock upgrades and action dice across the board. It does not offer more stress or trauma slots, rather, it expects the player to take more care during play to minimize overloading their stress tracker if they want to make it to the end with a single character.
2. The idea of “Social Seasons” are introduced. This divides game play into bite-sized segments and creates a pressure-cooker environment where the PCs cannot possibly achieve every single goal they want to achieve in the allotted time. Just the same, the choices made within each season will affect their chance of advancing the house they serve.
3. The GM’s Turn is introduced. In-between each social season (essentially every three game sessions) the GM will make a set of rolls to determine how the political landscape of the game is changing. Our intention is to make sure this additional bookkeeping does not take more than 5-10 minutes. It exists to create the amount of politicking necessary to make the non-PC houses feel alive and constantly scheming.
If you decide to join us and playtest this game with your group, we would love to hear feedback from you! Send us a message any time.