Running Lady Blackbird Face to Face for the first time

So I ran Lady Blackbird face to face for the first time last weekend.

I thought I would be mainly enthralled by the dice mechanic, with the pool and the keys and the secrets, but it turned out (in my actual experience) that these didn’t matter as much as I thought they would. The main thing that drove the game is the GM advise of asking questions and looking for ways to increase drama and ask interesting/difficult questions.

The Keys and Secrets helped a lot in pointing to what to target, but I don’t think any player (except for one) took advantage of the Keys to gain any XP. XP didn’t seem as important. I think you can play it just as well with a sort of after session upgrade/progression, or some type of milestone thing. You might even not reward these defining character traits but just let them be true, and I think the experience will be very similar.

Can’t wait to run or play it again, or the follow up one about Magister Lor.

Anyone else feel like they agree or maybe entirely not? I’m curious.


Yeah, I think that’s the best part of the game, and it is something I’ve taken away from both Lady Blackbird and InSpectres.

I use the keys in every action I partake in (with ease), but I feel filthy because I’m not doing those because it’s fun but because of the XP. I guess your players are the same. The characters are pretty competent from the start, and you can twist your actions enough to hit most aspects.

I agree. The keys could work as character descriptions instead. The only rule you need is that you can change the description after a session or two. I dunno, it feels like the American drive to mechanize everything, instead of leaning towards techniques.


Yeah, I’m currently “vibing” or finding my style in the FKR mindset. I like the story of the follow-up Magister Lor, but the mechanics system has been made more complicated, which I’m not sure I’m a fan of, but I still need to try that one out.

It is teaching me more of how I would like to run a game using The Pool as is. The only thing I might change immediately there is discarding the word limit, though it kind of scratches an itch for me in the same way I like to write haiku poetry. But that is definitely a personal thing, and can be adjusted to add flavor to a game set in Japan or something. Perhaps a cyberpunk type game?

Anyway. There are many possibilities.

I feel this too. I like how FATE does its milestone advancement. Where it’s not gaining new aspects, but changing them to see how your character changed through play.

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I can’t remember anything about a word limit. Where did you read about that?

Didn’t know about Magister Lor. Will try that game one day. Also, noticed that Lady Blackbird had an update.


There’s no word limit in Lady Blackbird, but there is in The Pool’s character creation (50 words, iirc). Lady Blackbird is a heavily modified version of The Pool.

As to the prequels/sequels, there’s two. One is Magister Lor, while the other is Lord Scurlock (which seems geared towards pvp play and has early elements of what would be the setting and feel of Blades in the Dark)


Could you elaborate what you mean by techniques over mechanics?


Take keys, for example, where you get a mechanical reward for activating it … or you can merely have it as a personality trait and “activate” it when you think it’s fun to play out. Or if you want to make keys apparent, force the players to involve a key when they make a roll.