Solo Skald |||

Blades in the Dark Solo - The Pincers - Part 2

We’ll start off by looking at a few open questions.


How is Telda feeling about the questioning?

Let’s use a fortune roll to guide us on this one. She’s a beggar lady, not some street tough, so 1d => 4, recovering. She doesn’t blame Talitha for getting rounded up, but might be wary for a bit. Don’t count on her help for the next score or two.


Which factions do we actually care about?

I’ve learned it’s easy to select a bunch that we forget during the campaign, so let’s take some time to think about this.

We pay a tithe to The Unseen, so there’s that. We don’t need to dig into it right now, though eventually that could be interesting as a major faction in the criminal underworld here.

Also, the Fog Hounds were the source of the maps and passkeys we stole. That might be interesting, since they’re a low-tier smuggler crew. They’re looking to eliminate rival smugglers and find a new patron. The Fog Hounds have the Pincers at Hostile (-2). If there’s an opportunity to hurt our crew, they’ll take it, and they might even create one. Keep this in mind when dealing with the canals or the harbor!

What about the Circle of Flame and the Reconciled? Do we want to play with that, OR are some of their members just tied individually to our crew? Is the Reconciled member affiliated with Wicker instead of the CoF? Fortune roll, 1d (probably not) => 1, no. So let’s keep an eye on the CoF as a faction as well, where they have the Pincers at Friendly (+1). We should be on the lookout for opportunities to help them, or at least do business with them.

Score: Rumors of War

Plant a damning paper trail in the office of the ambassador.

Which ambassador? 3: Iruvian. So the local consulate, or at least his residence.

Who’s the client? A politically active magistrate.

What does the house look like? Cut stone blocks, beautiful stone work.

☞ Engagement

Assuming we’re operating in Brightstone (which fits, and is also our hunting grounds), -1d on the engagement roll due to law enforcement presence.

View of the Hôtel de Pincé, also known as Logis Pincé, a sixteenth-century townhouse located in Angers.

Generally, we prefer stealth plans. We’ll need to gather info to figure out an entry point. Talitha will survey for this, looking at the residence from the street. She’s on her own here… 2d => 3, limited information. Rolling for a building detail: skylights! This is probably the best way in, but she doesn’t see a way to get up on the roof easily. She will need to prowl up close to find a way in… 3d => 6, great effect! Is there an adjoining building? 2d (maybe) => 6, yes, perfect! Is there security in place? 1d (probably against us) => 4, yes, some (but it isn’t airtight).

So the plan detail: access the skylights from an adjacent building - that opera house from the previous job.

Engagement roll comes to 2d => 5, Risky.

☞ Score

The opera house has some security, so let’s start there. A guard is on patrol. We’ll do a group prowl past him, with Talitha in the lead.

  • Talitha: 2d => 5
  • Wicker: 2d => 6

No stress, and we just do it! The pair of scoundrels slip past in the shadows. Sounds of a howling wind outside mask them.

We have a clear line of sight to the roof. Talitha uses light climbing gear to set up a way across for them both. Before opening the skylight, she surveys to check for alarms. Risky / Standard, with some help from Wicker to make this 2d => 5. It’s clear, but we’ll start a 6-clock Alarm is sounded” and put 1 tick on it.

We’re in… but where is the office?

FLASHBACK: while Talitha was casing the manor for a way in, Wicker studied newspaper reports of social events, interviews, etc. to determine where the office would be. This will be a 0 stress flashback… 1d => 6, great information! We know exactly where it is and a few details about its layout.

Time for a few fortune rolls to figure things out. Is the office on this top floor? 3d (probably) => 3, no, it’s way down. Is there some access between floors, like a dumbwaiter? 2d (uncertain) => 6, yes, there we have it!

We’ll take the dumbwaiter down, hoping not to run into anyone. But if somebody catches us, it’s going to be bad. That means our group prowl is Desperate, with Great effect (it should take us right there)

  • Talitha: 2d => 4
  • Wicker: 2d => 4

No stress, but there’s a complication as they make a lot of noise, so we’ll put 3 ticks (Desperate position) on the clock.

  • Alarm sounds: 4/6

But we’re in the office now! Talitha attempts to place the papers in an unobtrusive manner with finesse… while nobody’s here, getting caught probably means going to Ironhook and mission failure, which makes this Desperate / Standard. Wicker assists for an extra die. 2d => 4, success with a serious complication. This could be filling the Alarm clock, but she’ll resist with Prowess and throwing down a silence potion vial. 2d => 5, Talitha takes 1 stress.

Time to exfiltrate the crew. Rather than go out the way we came, we’ll use those underground maps we stole from the Fog Hounds to leave. Again, the consequences of discovery are severe, so this will be a group prowl at Desperate / Great, with Talitha in the lead.

  • Talitha: 3d (push) => 2
  • Wicker: 3d (push) => 5

1 stress with a severe complication. Someone sees them fleeing down the tunnels from the Iruvian ambassador’s residence, +2 Heat.

Payoff, etc

We’re done and it’s time to wrap up..

That’s a pretty important target. The Iruvian consulate is Tier III, so 5 rep for us. Just a standard job, though, so 6 coin, -1 to the Unseen (let’s not aggravate them when we’re so tiny). 1 coin to the crew itself, 2 each to the scoundrels.

For Heat, +1 for a well-connected target and +1 for hostile turf (nobility in Brightstone, as listed in the district traits). Yikes, we’ve gained a Wanted level! But we’re at 0 Heat within said Wanted level, so 1d => 2, Th Usual Suspects”. Last time, it was Telda. Quellyn doesn’t seem likely for this one. Who else?

Aranna the Blessed (Wicker’s vice purveyor). People know she’s connected to him, plus she’s on a barge so they may think she was involved. She’s kinda creepy and might resist, so 2d => 4, level 2 harm, panicked”. No indulging for Wicker this downtime. Speaking of which…


Talitha knows she’s wanted but indulges her vice anyway at the Leaky Bucket. This only clears 1 stress, which is not enough. She keeps going and clears 6 more, which is just right. Hell of a hangover, though!

Wicker can’t show his face around the cult at the moment. Maybe he’ll even have to join them next time. But he also doesn’t have any trauma, so he’s okay for now. Heat is at zero, nothing to do there. Instead, he’ll train Prowess, hoping to learn some knife fighting. He’ll also start a long-term project.

Who was that masked vampire?” This will be an 8-segment clock, and he’ll work with Quellyn on this (that’s what friends are for). She’ll give him +1d to his attune as they try to inspect the ghost field remnants to see what they can learn together. 3d => 6, 3 ticks!

Faction Downtime

As noted, the Fog Hounds are looking for a patron. Maybe it’s the vampire? They’re tier 1, so 1d => 6, 3 ticks out of six.

Also, the Reconciled want to infiltrate the Church. This could relate to the next score, since I want to run something from a third-part supplement. In the meantime, this is an 8-lock. They’re Tier III but the Church itself is Tier IV, so we’ll bump the roll down from 3d to 1d => 4, two ticks out of 8.

Let’s also just say that this score was ultimately on behalf of the Imperial Military. They sure would like a chance to go play” with Iruvia… Yes, this throws away a bit of the earlier roll about the magistrate, but he can easily be connected to the military. Having +1 with them might come in handy at some point.

Up next Blades in the Dark Solo - The Pincers - Part 1 Blades in the Dark Solo - The Pincers - Part 3
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