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Analysis / Blades in the Dark

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Dice roll distribution analysis

Here is a roll distribution table for Blades and other "Forged in the Dark" games, calculated using AnyDice:

Roll 1-3 4/5 6 CRIT
0d 75.0% 22.2% 2.8% 0.0%
1d 50.0% 33.3% 16.7% 0.0%
2d 25.0% 44.4% 27.8% 2.8%
3d 12.5% 45.4% 34.7% 7.4%
4d 6.3% 42.0% 38.6% 13.2%
5d 3.1% 37.1% 40.2% 19.6%

Comparing this table to that of Powered by the Apocalypse, we can observe that rolling 0d in FitD is statistically roughly equivalent to rolling−2 in PbtA. Because basic PbtA has no critical hits and defines the roll of 12 ambiguouslynote , we assume that a "CRIT" in PbtA is "rolling 13 to 15" in order to continue the comparison. Then, 1w is equivalent to roll+0, 2w ≈ roll+1, 3w ≈ roll+2, and so on. Interestingly, there is no roll in FitD that translates to roll−1 because the marginal advantage of rolling a single dice over rolling two and taking the worse one is statistically equivalent to going from roll−2 to roll+0.


Payday 2 crew as Scoundrels

The crew type of the Payday gang is hard to pin down exactly, since they go on very varied missions and can have a variety of skills, but judging from the promotional trailers, they would most likely be Bravos: "Mercenaries and thugs" specializing in "battles, extortion, sabotage, and smash & grabs" (i.e. "going loud"). Individual members (the original lineup, at least) are much easier to pin down:

  • Bane is the Spider.
  • Dallas/Mastermind is a mixed bag of the Slide (Controller tree), the Hound (Sharpshooter), and a bit of the Leech (Medic).
  • Chains/Enforcer is the Cutter, specializing in raw brute force.
  • Wolf/Technician is the Leech, with his technical know-how.
  • Houston/Ghost is the Lurk.
  • Hoxton/Fugitive is the Hound.

Cowboy Bebop crew as Scoundrels

Jet, as the manager and planner, is most likely the Spider; Spike, with his Improbable Aiming Skills, is the Hound; Faye is the Slide, thanks to her manipulative tendencies; and Ed's hacker mojo makes her the Leech (or perhaps a tech-based Whisper). As for their crew type, "Bounty Hunters" is sadly not included in Blades, so the closest match would, perhaps surprisingly, be Smugglers, given how strongly their crew concept ties in with their iconic vehicle, the Bebop.


Penny Dreadful cast as Scoundrels

Vanessa is pretty obviously the Whisper, as the team's only medium, while The Gunslinger Ethan is clearly the Hound. The Team Benefactor Malcolm is probably the Spider, while Sembene with his kukris is the Cutter. Victor is the Leech (come on, he is Dr. Frankenstein), and The Charmer Dorian is easily the Slide.

Black Lagoon crew as Scoundrels

Rock is obviously the Slide (albeit speccing over into the Spider later), Revy is the Cutter (definitely not a Hound: remember, there is no "shooting action" in Blades, and Revy is all about carnage, rather than careful tracking, like e.g. Roberta), Benny is a obviously the Leech, and Dutch is probably the Spider. Their crew type is clearly the Smugglers.

The Gentleman Bastards as Scoundrels

Chains is an obvious Spider, being the mastermind who rarely even leaves the den. Jean is an equally obvious Cutter, being a muscle-mountain specialized in two-weapon fighting. Sabetha meshes very well with the Slide playbook, being a specialist in social manipulation to the exclusion of all else. Locke could be either a Slide or a Lurk, being equally adept at second-story work and con artistry. The Sansa brothers are more difficult to pin down, explicitly being jacks-of-all-trades, and Bug is too young to really have crystallized in a role, though he leans towards Lurk as well. As for the crew type, Cult is probably closest, given the team's primary motivation is the worship of the Crooked Warden and stealing from the rich and mighty on His command.

Team Machine as Scoundrels

Team machine is a Vigilante crew with a reputation for being very Mysterious. Their protected grounds is all of New York. They are Gargoyles.Finch is a Spider, coordinating the team, setting up opportunities, finding information. He has a powerful contact in The Machine.

Reese is a Cutter. He often fights up close against several enemies at a time, and in the beginning, does all the muscle work. If there was anyone who had a reserve of potential in Stress, it's him. He also shows attributes of a Hound, fighting at range and having an attack dog, but that only shows up when he's not the only fighter.

Shaw is an unambiguous Cutter. She's a close ranged fighter. She also shows some Spider tendencies when Finch gets captured.

Root is a slide. She switches between false identities like clothes. She's definitely quite Obsessed with The Machine.


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