Band of Blades Resources

My collection of various resources for Band of Blades campaigns. Others will be added as as I find or develop them.

Try this link instead if you were looking for my Blades in the Dark resources.

Let’s start with a very cool Pinterest Board that can inspire ideas for characters, places, and so forth, collected by Jo Bech Dalsgaard. All very nicely organized and categorized!

For even more inspiration, see this Pinterest Board curated by Francis Gaskin.

You should also check out both the Blades in the Dark Discord server and its Band of Blades channel, and the Band of Blades discussion forum on the official BitD community forums.

The next three tools are Google sheets that you will need to copy to your local drive for use with Excel, or to your Google drive:

  • This is a random name generation tool created by Barlimain. It’s fairly complete, covering all the major culture groups described in the book, with a number of additional names in its database for each culture (Russian for Zemyati, Swiss for Orite, Urdu and Assyrian for Bartan, Austrian for Aldermani, and Slovak for Horse Lords).
  • Here’s a web-based Position, Effect, and Harm Calculator by Mike ‘TestProctor’ to help determine the final level of consequences and possible harm done by encountered opponents when compared to a legionnaire or squad’s threat level. Please see the very important note about this sheet below.[!!]
  • This is an incredibly detailed mission generator by Barlimain, based on a sheet by Will_P. It generates not only all the basic details from the charts in the book, but includes additional adjectives for mission names and adds a wide variety of random “oracles” pulled from elsewhere to help provide inspiration to flesh out a mission!
  • If you prefer something without the bells and whistles, you can also use Off Guard Games’ web-based official mission generator.
  • I’ve also crafted a consequences chart with quick ideas for coming up with position-based consequences, plus a reminder list of GM Actions from the Best Practices section.

    Finally, this is a wonderful — if not indispensable — Campaign Cycle Guide created by Jethro Larson. (I’ve updated this one slightly from the latest version available on the forums.) The guide lists each of the phases of play, including which command-level character acts when, and what they do or can choose to do. It’s incredibly helpful in play!

    I’ve written some additional scenarios for Band of Blades:

    Flight from Ettenmark includes (almost) everything you’ll need to run a one-shot Band of Blades scenario for convention play: maps, handouts, mission details. This mission is set before the Legion’s survivors regroup, and concerns the actions of a small squad of legionnaires in the direct aftermath of the rout at Ettenmark Fields.

    Quest of the Banner Guard is a full-length campaign centered on the activities of a small, elite force of the Legion entrusted to undertake an impossible mission. This campaign was made available to patrons early this year via the WHS Patreon, along with some special bonus tokens, and is now available for general release via itch.io

    I also have a collection of Mission Sheets written and designed for one of my campaigns. (These are also available via the WHS blog.) Plus some hard-won advice I learned over the course of that campaign and a couple others (I’m told it’s pretty good): Hopefully Useful Post-playthrough Advice.

    As a companion tool to the Mission Sheets, there is a Mission Record Google sheet so a group (or the Lorekeeper) can quickly record the salient details of the missions undertaken for the Legion’s Annals.

    (Please let me know if I’ve missed any item you feel is important to record keeping so I can update the sheet!)

    Here are some additional or alternative playbooks for the Legion: the Spy, by Justin Ford; and the Mercy and the Alchemist, by Raven Daegmorgan, in the form of Specialist playbooks to flesh out your squads! The PDFs below include custom playbook sheets, not just the chapter text.

    I haven’t had the chance to test these in play, but have received some feedback from helpful folks on various forums. As in the base game, the Alchemist and the Mercy are considered auxiliary to the Legion, so they don’t count as oathsworn for the purposes of mission Engagement rolls.

    Playbook: Mercy

    Playbook: Alchemist

    This was originally a sort-of joke, but more a celebration of World Bear Day and Wojtek, but people love it (and have actually used it in their campaigns) so I redesigned it and now you, too, can use the An Actual Bear playbook.

    I am also working on a draft of an Automaton playbook: Orite clockwork soldiers.

    Finally, because the Band of Blades system has so many options and moving parts it can seem overwhelming, I designed notecard-sized player aids to help my group recall what they could do to gain dice, influence effect, and so on. Each player card details one of the options a player has available, and they work very effectively in play!

    There are also some notecards with reminders of things the GM needs to refer to on a constant basis; and because I was having such a difficult time at first remembering how to use the Position & Effect resolution system in Band, I put together a notecard for that as well.[1]

    If you’re gaming on-line with a VTT, I’ve also created a batch of these cards in .png format, which you can upload and place on the play area or include as part of a gameboard. They’re available via a shared folder on Google Drive. That folder also has simple clock icons designed for use with Roll20.

    The Notecard Play-Aids PDF contains 12 pages, with eight cards per page. Cut out the cards and distribute them or keep them on hand. I suggest printing the cards on a light or medium cardstock for durability.

    • The first six sheets are the player cards listing the various options a player has available (Push, Devil’s Bargain, Resist, Flashback, etc). You only need print one of these sheets per player. I included a sixth copy of the sheet in case the GM desired a copy, and/or if a group decided to try the game with a sixth player.
    • The seventh sheet has two player cards (Fine & Potent and Fortune Roll) that can serve as rule reminders.
    • The eighth sheet has four player cards (Teamwork), three cards for tracking campaign time[2] (Summer, Fall, Winter) to remind the Legion they’re (*ahem*) on a clock, and one card for abstract Legion resources (Morale, Supply, etc).
    • The ninth and tenth sheets are quick reference cards (Scale, Harm, Consequences, etc), mainly for the GM. You only need to print one of these sheets, but you can print the other if the players want copies of this information on the table, too.
    • The eleventh and twelfth sheets are various-sized clocks (of 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 sections, labeled). There are four 4-clocks, and three of each other size clock. If you don’t want to keep printing out copies, for ease-of-reuse you can use small glass beads for tracking, or laminate the cards and use dry-erase markers!

    [!!] The calculations on this sheet contain an error: the current version alters the level of harm taken if you mark having pushed — however, pushing does not affect the amount of harm you take. The sheet is easily corrected by either changing the value of cell ‘H7’ to zero, or simply deleting the cell’s contents and removing ‘- H7’ from the formula in the four ‘Effect/Base Harm’ cells.

    [1] The Position/Effect notecard is a quick reference guide to help walk through setting the P/E for an Action roll: run down the list for Position; rotate the card, run down the list for Effect; rotate the card back, calculate potential Harm/Ticks; inform the players, discuss, make modifications as necessary.

    Note: I have not listed None or Exceptional Effect levels on the card since I can keep them in my head. Remember: 1) a Position’s Consequence does not need to be Harm (I put Harm on the card because it needs more math), and 2) a Setup action influences either Position or Effect, but not both.

    [2] If you downloaded the VTT files or the PDF before August 21st, 2020, please download the new version! The Legion’s Time clocks were accidentally set as 12-clocks instead of 10-clocks in version 1, and clarifying text and new cards have been added in version 1.2. The Position-Effect Cheat Sheet has been corrected to remove Potency, Threat, and Scale from calculating Position: the game’s designers have clarified these do not affect Position.