Who else is Forging in the Dark?


Anyone else designing a game using the Forged in the Dark rules? I’d love to hear why other people chose the system and what they’re hoping to make it do for them.

Aside from really enjoying GMing my Blades campaign, I really like how FitD is set up to handle two-tier play. It’s great to have a structured mechanism to look at the wider context of a setting before zooming in on our heroes and their actions. One thing I’m trying to do is make each playbook feel really unique. My game is about animals fighting back against an evil reptilian empire and I want to make the experience of playing a dog distinct compared to playing a cat. Had some success playing around with the action taxonomy and introducing some special actions.

How’s your game coming?


Animals fighting reptiles sounds like a fun time, especially with really distinct playbooks. I’m interested to see how it goes. What kind of things are you doing with actions?

The first game I ever really made was Blades/Shadowrun hack that served as a learning experience. Now I’m looking at taking that experience and starting (somewhat) over from the beginning to create an original game about indigenous futurism and resisting against oppression in a quarantined world.

What I like about FitD has shifted over the years. At first it grabbed me with flashbacks and quick planning, then kept me with the phase structure and faction system and progress clocks which make it easy (for me) to GM with low prep. As a designer, I’ve come to appreciate how all of the systems interlock and reinforce each other…it feels like every system has impact and purpose.


I think the structure of BitD is what I’m mostly using for one of the games on the back burner. I want to do a Fighting Game RPG where the goal is more the ridiculous stories that come from fighting games, and less about the actual action part.


Sherri’s working on a hack of our Neo Shinobi Vendetta anime-esque game for fitD. Its primarily to make use of the organizational focus and how well the game supports mission-based play. I think that last point is what really draws me to Blades-- the fact that the play structure focuses on these sharp, discrete tasks.


I’ve been playing a lot with what happens when different playbooks have different sets of actions. It’s a nightmare of taxonomy and makes it hard to write bonuses that grant an extra die to certain actions BUT it lends amazing texture to the proceedings when dogs hunt but cats stalk


Hey! I’ve been developing a couple Blades hacks recently: A science fiction game focused on pacts and promises called Moth-Light and an occult adventure game that tries to capture the spirit of classic adventure stories in all their varied tones and genres titles At Death’s Door. Development of each has fed into one another in a really satisfying way, and I feel I’ve had the same arc as Cass described in appreciating the system.

And I’m always down to talk about design :sparkling_heart:


PS: I’m also experimenting with non standardized actions and think I’ve found a good solution for my own work. I’m happy to share in detail another time, but in short I have condensed the action economy to the attributes’ rating with various actions underneath that attribute being “trained” or “untrained”


That is very different from the solutions I am finding and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter


Oh, heck yeah I’m about this!


Detailed differences like that could be awesome. I’m interested to see where it goes.


I’ve been rereading the game (still haven’t played), but I really enjoy how it gives more granularity and heft to the PbtA framework, and it feels like a very interesting design to tinker with. Unsure just how far it could be drifted, but it would be really fun to make a game where it’s about a team of superheroes in a city…or maybe it’s a team of supervillains instead!


I just have some formative ideas for a spy game, mainly inspired by missing the experience of running Spycraft and not really wanting to go back to that ruleset.


I have a FitD game about modern American crime, corruption, and politics.

What I love most about the FitD engine is the interaction of action, position, and effect and the tight integration of fiction and mechanics. I love open-ended action and resolution mechanics, and I also like mechanical systems, and the Forged engine really brings everything together for me. I also love downtime systems in games, and the light strategic layer downtime adds to FitD games.

I also like that Blades brought a meaty setting back into fashion, and the importance of setting for Blades and some other FitD games, and the balance struck between the presented setting and table-driven worldbuilding.


I’m working on a not-at-all serious thing called “Wands In Twilight Come Hither”, adapting the FITD rules for Harry Potter/Little Witch Academia/Kiki’s Delivery Service style young witch characters and their magical adventures. I’m doing it mostly to become familiar with the rules (I’m a player in a Scum and Villainy game), but also to see just how entangled the mechanics actually are with the tone of Blades or S&V.

It’s just ready enough that a few friends and I can start assembling archetype/playbook rules and filling in some of the mechanical gaps.


What I love most about the FitD engine is the interaction of action, position, and effect and the tight integration of fiction and mechanics. I love open-ended action and resolution mechanics, and I also like mechanical systems, and the Forged engine really brings everything together for me.

I think this is also what appeals most to me about FitD. I like story games but I also like a bit of crunch; I like mechanics. Blades strikes a satisfying balance.

I’ve noodled a little bit with FitD hacks;

  • Dogs in the Bark, about playing a pack of stray dogs in Doskvol
  • Blood Red Clouds in the Western Sky, a revisionist western game in the vein of Blood Meridian, Deadwood, etc. I want this one to be an actual proper game, not just a little hack, so it’s a slow-moving thing. I’m happy with the gangs and playbooks (in the PDF above), I’m just tinkering with new mechanics; epilogues (seems to me that westerns are about endings and epilogues), roles (to facilitate team archetypes; the big shot, the ace, etc), and Manifest Destiny (a tension-ratcheting mechanic where certain antagonist factions increase in Tier, implacably, over time). I’m also pondering the setting, and how to sensitively handle tricky stuff like the general prejudices of the time and indigenous experiences.


Oh and also:

(I’m only allowed to put 2 links per post apparently)


I eagerly anticipate Copperhead County. Instant purchase for me


Blades in the underhive sounds like extremely my shit. Part of me would love to preserve the more skirmish wargame element of the original game and part of me thinks that is insane


Can’t say I’m making BitD my boilerplate, but I’m definitely inspired by many aspects of the system. What I enjoy besides the two-tier setup in particular is:

  • The character structure
  • The character sheets
  • The experience system
  • The equipment/coin/weight system

But there are other aspects as well.


I have like four different Forged in the Dark games in some stage of completion. There’s:

  • The Elysian, a John Wick (film) esque game about a stylized criminal underworld.
  • The Jackpot, a cyberpunk game inspired by William Gibson’s The Peripheral.
  • Schola Arx Mysteria, a game about teenagers at a magical boarding school, inspired mainly by The Magicians, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Little Witch Academia.
  • An unnamed game about superhero mirror universe shenanigans, inspired by Into the Spider-Verse.

They’re all backburnered to different degrees while I work on Cable Street and Plunderlight, but my intent is to eventually do something with all of them.

As for why Forged in the Dark? I really enjoy GMing the system. It’s a really good mechanical framework for episodic gameplay. The existing subsystems are great for pacing. Entanglements, Heat, and the faction system are great for mechanically representing pressure and consequence.