Blades In The Dark – Session 4

Fourth Session – The Red Sashes are no more, and we decide to start a fighting pit and start trouble with the Crows. I just watched Dolemite so I ensured that it ended up in a Dolemite-style club confrontation in the end!

We’re getting the hang of the game, so decide we need to expand our turf with a fighting pit (which will generate revenue for us). Of course you can’t do anything without stepping on some other gang, even though we did find a spot that had been off limits due to haunting but had recently been cleansed. We took it over and came up with a bunch of plans that we eventually decided were too complicated, and just started a fighting pit, invited Lampblack gang leader Bazsho Baz, and waited for the Crows to show up and start trouble.

They did; we played a weird game of brinkmanship with having the audience back our play but not so much they get murderized. There’s ghosts!  Shotguns! In the end we capture a couple of them and, since we’re from a professional mercenary unit, ransom them back to the Crows.

And Kraid continues his very long term plan to turn the homeless people in the turf we own into craftsmen, making nets… None of us can figure out why he’s sinking so much effort into it. His new friend Smelly Pete is proving useful, though.

Blades In The Dark – Session 3

Third Session – The Red Sashes decide to get back at us by coming to take over our homeless-infested mansion. A lot of violence ensues. Then when we go to try to sell off some bank notes we liberated, a captain woman decides she’ll ride Marto like a Harley on a bad piece of road.

The fight against the Red Sashes starts off pretty rough – the dice mechanic is not good in general (“get a 6 on a pool of 2d6, and you will be fine…”) and they are all higher tier which means penalties to that.  But the tide turns dramatically when Toad crits with a alchemist-bomb into a crowd of opposition and next thing you know we’re mopping up retreating survivors.

Of course, then we’re at war! So many rules… Downtime actions and gang stuff and clocks and mandatory stress relief and it all requires rolls that have collateral problems. But we’re getting by.  We get a bunch of ship captains and such to cut in on redeeming our stolen bank notes, and one takes a fancy to Marto the Bear, which entertains all of us except Bruce.

Blades In The Dark – Session 2

Second Session – We continue to maneuver with the other gangs like the Crows, Red Sashes, and Lampblacks.  We decide we need some turf so take over a  homeless camp. Starting small.  But we meet some lady in an Eyes Wide Shut kind of cult so that’s cool.

My guy can summon and semi-control ghosts, but when things go bad it’s a problem.  This session, our NPC gang members get in trouble betting in a fighting club and so I try to summon a ghost to break it up and I end up having a Ghostbusters kind of experience where I get an ancient god like Gozer instead but in a latrine instead of a refrigerator.

Then we decide to do a home invasion of some guy called Lord Skinnister.  I forget why, besides all his prostitute murders. Oh, right, it was to pay off the gambling debts of our hapless NPCs. Kraid murders his way through the house and we get to the Lord and his weird S&M dominatrix friend. She holds a knife to my throat but Kraid kills her anyway.  I banish him to the ghost dimension in an attempt to distract the ancient god that keeps bothering me.

The game system is very… game-y.  Luckily we had a discussion about this after the last game – so many of these newer games are kinda “meta”, with a lot of detailed rules about doing things that tempt you to plan, plan, plan, roll without pausing for actual in-character roleplay.  This game has that tendency, but we as a group determined we needed to put extra effort into counteracting that so it’s going well.

 

Blades In The Dark – Session 1

First Session – Welcome to our Blades In The Dark campaign!  Besides character and gang generation, we go to jack with the Red Sashes gang at the behest of the Lampblacks gang who are both destablizing the previously ascendant Crows gang.

Our gang, the Gambler’s Orphans, was a mercenary company on the losing end of a recent war.  Now our base is an orphanage, the Yaggo’s Home For Miscreant Children, in the Six Towers district.  We seek to build ourselves up into a force to be reckoned with!

  • Bruce is Marto “the Bear”, a Hound (murderer type 1).
  • Tim is Kraid Naben, a Cutter (murderer type 2).
  • Patrick is Thaddeus “Toad” Todd, a Leech (doctor/alchemist).
  • Chris is Hasten Doom, a Lurk (thief).
  • Ernest (I) am Reis, a Whisper (ghost wrangler).
  • And Paul is our GM.

We learn how to exercise the rules and plan and execute jobs. The job goes well and we take the Red Sash war treasury.  This is one of those mechanics where you need a 6 on d6 to succeed and succeeding with some major blowback is largely indistinguishable from failure, and you can usually boost up a pure fail into that fail-with-much-pain region.  I had played a one-shot of this game at Chupacabracon and had realized that it’s not much good as a one-shot because so much of the mechanic is about long term clocked goals and incurring wounds and stress and stuff that penalize you in subsequent sessions.

We also learn about their use of the hip new mechanic called “clocks”, which is making a pie-chart kind of circle and using it as a counter towards some goal.

Still Here, Still Gaming…

I know I have trouble posting much any more, but I am putting session summaries up still on the Reavers page.  The campaign’s still going (in fact, I see that we just passed 10 years!).

We’ve been playing other stuff in the off weeks as well – currently, a Blades In The Dark campaign – I’m putting some summaries up (they’re hand written by a player), the campaign page is here.

We briefly played Coriolis but the GM had trouble keeping it going. It’s supposed to be Arabian Nights in space but it kinda felt like all our other space games in the end.

Gamer Cocktails: The Sharknado

This one is actually by Robin Laws. One day he tweeted “Has anyone named 1 oz sloe gin, 1 oz spiced rum, orange juice? Because if not I’m calling it a Sharknado.” It’s where I got the idea for the sloe gin component to the Midsommar.

So we made it!

Sharknado

1 oz. sloe gin
1 oz. spiced rum
orange juice
gummy shark

Except we couldn’t find gummy sharks but could find gummy octopi so this is technically a “Sharktopus.”  Even better since I used Kraken spiced rum. Refreshing!

 

Gamer Cocktails: The Midsommar

Midsommar-Screenshot-e1562172378921My gaming group likes the odd cocktail every now and then.  I’ve come up with some custom concoctions we’ve enjoyed so I thought I’d start sharing them!

I enjoyed the horror movie Midsommar when I saw it last week.  As luck would have it, I am also a fan of gin and had just gotten a bottle of Hendricks’ limited edition Midsummer Solstice gin. It’s a very floral gin, which makes it a little hard to fit into some things.  I made a gin and tonic with it, but that was not super. But, I thought, I’ve also made Aviations for this group, and those are floral… Maybe I should make a new cocktail! And I did just go see Midsommar, that’s quite a coincidence…

aviation-new-720x720-recipe-1The Aviation is a classic gin cocktail that largely disappeared after Prohibition because its ingredients weren’t available here, primarily a violet liqueur named Creme de Violette. It had a hipster-type renaissance when it became available again in the 2000s.  But… I’ll be honest, the violet is a little overwhelming. Some people describe it as “drinking hand soap.”  The classic Aviation is (amounts vary from recipe to recipe):

Aviation

1 1/2 – 2 oz. gin
1/2 – 3/4 oz. Maraschino liqueur (Luxardo is the good one)
1/4 – 1/2 oz. Creme de Violette
1/2 – 3/4 oz. lemon juice

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, garnish with a cherry.

I’ve made Aviations for the group but no one’s asked for more. So I thought “what about an Aviation, except instead of using dry gin and Creme de Violette, I just use Hendricks Midsummer Solstice as both those parts?  It’s floral but not gag-me-with-a-spoon floral.” Thus, the Midsommar was born.

2019-07-10 10.42.02Midsommar

2 oz. Hendricks’ Midsummer Solstice gin
1/2 oz. Luxardo
1/2 oz. lemon juice
dash of sloe gin (if making multiple, optionally add this only to one)

Shake with ice, strain into a glass.  (If you care about what kind of glass and what to garnish it with, more power to you, but I’m just a civilian.)

Results: Really good!  Very well balanced, floral and summery but not overly cloying. Better than a stock Aviation. The only drawback of my first iteration is that it was just clear/lemon juice colored, without the fun purple of the Aviation. I happened upon the idea of adding just a touch of sloe gin to this to add a tinge of red, for reasons that should be obvious to those who have watched the movie. The result:

 

 

Give it a try! All these should be available at your local liquor store and aren’t terribly expensive; a .75 of the Hendrick’s was $40 at my nearby Twin Liquors. (I’m actually disappointed that the Alamo Drafthouse isn’t doing some Midsommar-inspired cocktail using this… Seems like the kind of thing they’d do…)

Your gaming group can then look like this.

midsommar