Looking For Lady Blackbirds

I’m looking for games that are similar to Lady Blackbird. Here’s my completely arbitrary definition. To be a Lady Blackbird, the game has to:

  • be a one-shot,
  • use pre-generated characters with build-in relationships; and
  • have a history of great play experiences.

Bonus points if it’s a pdf.

Your help would be greatly appreciated.

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Escape from Dino Island! I ran this recently as my family’s first TTRPG, everyone had a blast.

Honey Heist is great, it doesn’t have pregens but that’s because the characters are super simple.

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I know there are multiple hacks of Lady Blackbird and there is at least a sequel/prequel (but I think there are two). The prequel is findable on Lady Blackbird’s site. Not immediately sure where the hacks are.

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FWIW, there are four games tagged as Lady Blackbird hacks on itch, including one by Sage LaTorra and one in French: https://itch.io/physical-games/tag-lady-blackbird

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This list of Lady Blackbird hacks is more than a decade out of date, but it lists a good number: https://mightyatom.blogspot.com/2010/03/lady-blackbird-hacks.html

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Thanks everybody for the reply so far. But I think there’s some confusion with the way that I worded my request. I’m not looking for a hacks of Lady Blackbird. I’m looking for games with similar characteristics: one-shots with pre-gens and histories of great play experiences.

Other things that might fit what you want, but are further from Lady Blackbird:

The Price of Coal

Love in the Time of Seið

HoL (Human Occupied Landfill)

and the Unknown Armies scenario Jailbreak (which initially appeared in the One Shots supplement).

Several scenarios for Lovecraftesque

And lots of games where character creation is extremely minimal (e.g. Honey Heist, Fall of Magic, Psi Run) or done entirely as part of the process of play (A Penny for My Thoughts, For the Queen, etc.).

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Have you looked at any 24XX games? Not sure if they fit the bill as far as your pregen criterion, but they’re excellent for one-shots, and lots of people love them. https://itch.io/c/1204990/24xx

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Pew Pew - Bounty Hunters in Space

The Gauntlet’s own Trophy Dark for horror seems to fit.

There are no pre-made characters but I’ve never met anyone (even children) that couldn’t make it through the super simple character creations of Lasers & Feelings (unlicensed, generally humorous Star Trek feel) or Inspectres (generally a sillier Ghostbusters / Buffy)

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Havok Brigade, by Grant Howitt, fits the bill here. Pretty darn fun game.

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As I’m reading all the suggestions, I’m realizing that the pre-gen characters are actually important for the category of game I am proposing (“a Lady Blackbird”) because a lot of the narrative tension is based on the characters’ relationships to each other which is already built into the pre-gens.

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I’m going back and editing my initial post to include what I just realized.

I recently purchased Seven Wonders from Pelgrane Press. It contains seven stand-alone story games suitable for one-shots. Not all of the games include pregens but the ones that do include relationships with the other characters. Haven’t played nor watched any actual plays so not sure this fits the history of play criteria. From the product page:

Different times call for different games
Have you ever wondered…

how the children from Narnia coped back in the real world?
what it’s like to voyage into a black hole?
how dystopias are created, and destroyed?
what you would sacrifice to protect your family?
what heroes talk about on the eve of a life-altering battle?
how to defend your village, when your heroes are away?
who protects your home when you’re not looking?
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Ah! Sounds to me like you’re specifically interested in scenarios with a storygame inclination, where the goal is to play out defined characters. Which, to my mind, is is different from a pre-gen. The latter suggests (to me) characters that, at least in principle, you could have built on your own using the system, whereas the storygame angle suggests that their place in the fiction is more important than stats or skills.

If that’s what you have in mind, it may be significantly trickier to find options. Maybe look at the ashcan for Yazeba’s Bed & Breakfast, for a start? https://possumcreekgames.itch.io/yazeba-ashcan

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Montsegur 1244 fits your criteria, and is an absolutely amazing game.

The mechanics were borrowed in Witch - The Road to Lindisfarne and in my own The Daughters of Verona. Both of which also fit your criteria.

Love in the Time of Seid is very nice too, IMO Jason Morningstar’s best game.

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