The Bond Street Score

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Having been missing players last session, we needed to do a bit of catch-up on Downtime, so Dominus decided to indulge his vice. He cleared his stress, but over-indulged, which meant something bad happened. Since his vice was enjoying fine art and luxury, he was at a gallery with one of his contacts. He managed to be not around when she got picked up by the Blue Coats and questioned about his activities, but fortunately didn’t give anything away.

Since the crew had decided to steal the sarcophagus from the warehouse at Bond House, Dominus decided to ask his other contact, a rival connected to the Blue Coats, about anything similar having been stolen. He rolled badly… a complete failure, so whilst out drinking managed to instead of gaining information, gave away a bit too much about their own plans.

After that, and with a bit more preparation (we haven’t figured out how to complete avoid doing at least some planning at the start of a score), the crew begin their ‘quiet’ break-in of the warehouse.

Their mission was to quietly get in and retrieve the sarcophagus that was in one of the rooms, preferably with a minimum of noise and violence.

They had been told before hand that the warehouse itself was in the basement of a tenement block, and the ground floor was abandoned despite the upper floors being populated. A preliminary scouting by Rue discovered that the ground floor was abandoned due to being infected by strange mushrooms. With suitable cloth masks the crew were able to sneak into the building to begin the score.

Things went well at first, and they found their way to a place above the southern most room which was being used to store some bulk goods and animals (mostly goats and chickens – I’m not sure whether there are chickens in the Blades world, but it seemed reasonable). The quality of the stonework in the floor was poor, so getting through wouldn’t be a problem – but getting through quietly would be.

I suggested that they could maybe use a flashback to pay for some people to begin making noise out in the street, which they decided to opt for and accept a level of stress. So they managed to mask their work, and made a whole large enough to drop down into the basement.

The sarge tried to peek out the door, but made enough noise to attract the guard. As the guard came in to investigate, Sarge and Dominus tackled him and took him down, though made enough noise to attract further attention. Sarge tried to imitate the guard’s voice to say that there was an escape goat, but the other two were a bit suspicious.

It was then that things really started to go wrong. They tried to take down the next guard, but failed, and both had swords out and were able to attack, doing a serious injury to Sarge if he hadn’t taken it on his armour.

Rou tried to use her blowgun, but though she was practised with using it from stealth, had to take a Devil’s Bargain to have much chance whilst in the middle of a melee – so this was her last dose of her sleeping poison. Unfortunately for her, she rolled badly and completely missed.

Eventually the two guards were taken out, but the Crew had taken a lot of stress in the process due to a series of very bad rolls. A couple more guards came out of the guardroom and Sarge rushed them, followed closely by Dominus.

It was then that Rue decided to have another flashback, that she’d planted some explosives on the floor above designed to bring the ceiling down at certain points. A couple of stress and I figured that could have been put in place – so just needed to roll her Wreck action. She succeeded, but brought down a bit more than she bargained for, crushing the two guards and injuring Sarge and Dominus who were now both quiet seriously injured.

The remaining guard in the room with the sarcophagus runs and hides, and quickly surrenders when threatened. Whilst the crew are checking the room for the crate with the sarcophagus and any other goods, shouting can be heard from outside the building – a group of Blue Coats have turned up (maybe they were expecting something to happen?)

Tamasis tries to bluff them – and gets a critical – the Blue Coats are convinced things are now under control and they don’t need to force their way in.

Using her Drift Oil to make the large crate weightless, the Crew get the sarcophagus out of the warehouse and away to safety. They’ve succeeded, though not as quietly as they’d hoped.

Neena Dara, their contact with the Circle of Flame, is not too happy with how things went, but they delivered the goods so she pays them as promised, muttering about them being the obvious choice if she ever needs someone to actually make a loud statement.

With two level one, and two level two harms, Sarge is going to be out for a while. Dominus also has a level two harm, so he’s going to need some healing before he’s up to full strength. We discuss the possibility of multiple characters since it’s going to be a few sessions before some of them may feel up to taking part in another score.

But they managed to gain some reputation and a reasonable amount of Coin from the score, despite gaining another 4 Heat. The system is seeming a bit unforgiving at the moment, but they had a lot of bad luck on dice rolls, so maybe things will go better next time.

As GM, I’m still finding it hard to get the dice rolls right – I’m very used to asking people to roll and seeing how high the result is. With Blades, there’s several side factors to consider, such as whether the action is Desperate, Risky or Controlled and the level of effect and things like that. These sort of need to be done before hand, which I need to get used to doing.

The players are starting to make use of flashbacks, though I felt a need to prompt them once to get them into the habit. I think they’re also getting used to the more story driven actions – though there was some questions of “who’s turn is it?” during the fights, we started to slot into just describing what people were doing naturally rather than taking it in turns.

So more work to do to get used to running this sort of game, but it seems to be going okay.

Samuel Penn