The Game

Against the Titans of War is a Forged in the Dark game that puts you in the middle of a seemingly endlessly escalating series of wars and conflicts waged with machines called FRACTs. You play as the Resistance, fighting against a corrupt army who controls Earth and space. They are the Enemy.

It is a game for 4 to 5 players. All but one of you will take on the role of both Soldiers, and Tactical Officers. The other will be the game’s MC.

When you are playing your Soldier, you will take to the battlefield, both on foot and in your FRACT. It is the Soldier’s job to deliver on the orders and designs of the Tactical Officers.

When you are in the role of your Tactician, you represent one of the factions sponsoring the Resistance. It is your job to guide the Resistance’s plans and choices towards success… whether that’s the Resistance’s success or your own faction’s is up to you to choose.

Getting started

In order to play Against the Titans of War, you should already be familiar with the Blades in the Dark’s system, the rules for which are available for free on the Blades SRD.

Specifically, you should know how the following work:

Once you’re familiar with Blades, it’s time to dive into the Titans rules. Players and MCs should all familiarize themselves with

At least one of you should know these pretty well before the first session, but everyone should have an idea of what these are and what they do.

And when you’re ready, follow the first session guide!

First session

Recipe for your first session of Against the Titans of War:

  1. read the Blades rules
  2. read the Titans rules
  3. create the Enemy
  4. create your Resistance
  5. create your sponsor factions
  6. create some unaffiliated factions (potential sponsors and enemies)
  7. create your Soldiers
  8. create your Tactical officers
  9. do your first Tactical phase
  10. run your first mission

The Resistance

War has been ravaging the world and space for decades. Victim becomes aggressor, aggressor becomes victor, victor becomes victim in a never ending cycle.

Ten years ago the Last War ended. It was supposed to be the last war ever fought, but now, while the name is the same, it just means it was the last war we found ourselves in. The Earth Federacy won, and for a while disarmament seemed to proceed apace.

And then the Federacy created the Stampede, their special forces. The Stampede are soldiers with special permission to follow any matter they choose, using any methods they like, to root out the last of the Federacy’s enemies. We call them the Enemy.

The Stampede’s power corrupted them. Or maybe they were corrupt from the start. It doesn’t matter, either way, it is your job to resist them.

We are the Resistance

In Against the Titans of War, you take on multiple roles in the Resistance. The Resistance is a coalition of anyone who stands against the Enemy. Some of you may have been the closest allies in the Last War. Some of you were bitter enemies. Your work is as much about finding the common ground with each other so so you can stand strong together as it is to fight the Enemy.

Creating your Resistance and Enemy

When it comes time to begin your game, you will need to define your Resistance, and your Enemy. These two entities are very closely intertwined–where one fights for peoples’ freedoms, the other crushes a tight fist. They won’t always be polar opposites, and there may be some uncomfortable similarities… but they are always in conversation with each other.

For now, don’t worry about the Resistance sponsor factions–there will probably be places where their values differ from the Resistance, and that’s good and interesting. This first step is about defining what you as players think is the evil of the Enemy, the rightness of the Resistance, and the grey in between.

Who are the Enemy?

To create your Enemy, answer the following questions:

Who are we, the Resistance?

To create the Resistance, answer these questions:


When you play Against the Titans of War, you will play pilots, mechanics, technicians, and other soldiers on a FRACT carrier. Each of these characters are unique individuals, and their own heritages and backgrounds inform their perspectives on the world and the war.

Actions and Attributes

When you play your Soldiers, you will be rolling dice to take actions, and using your attributes to resist consequences. The Blades in the Dark SRD has all the information you’ll need on action rolls, position and effect, and the consequences you might suffer, and how to resist them with your attributes.

There are some changes though. The actions in Against the Titans of War are…

Insight Prowess Resolve
Hunt Finesse Consort
Study Skirmish Command
Rig Maneuver Attune
an icon to indicate a veteran adjective instead of normal action Canny an icon to indicate a veteran adjective instead of normal action Practiced an icon to indicate a veteran adjective instead of normal action Tempered

Veteran Adjectives

The an icon to indicate a veteran adjective instead of normal action marks that the adjective is not a normal action you roll. These are Veteran Adjectives. Your Soldiers earn these special adjectives as they grow and gain experience.

When your Soldier is piloting their FRACT, any action roll will have reduced effect until the Soldier has the veteran adjective in action’s attribute.

Once they have it, they get an extra die when using that attribute to resist as if they had dots in an action as well as full effect when piloting and using actions in the same attribute as the adjective.

Earning Veteran Adjectives

Soldiers don’t start with any Veteran Adjectives, except for the Ace and Veteran playbooks.

Veteran Adjectives are earned by making desperate actions when piloting your FRACT. Taking a Veteran Adjective requires filling the attribute XP track twice.


These are the Soldier playbooks for Against the Titans of War which will give you starting places for the characters you play on the ground.

Titans is a game very focused on what it might be like to be a soldier in a war, with little influence over what you have to do. Some of these archetypes focus on that experience–some a little more, and some a little less. Others focus more on exploring humanity and connection in the midst of conflict. Choose what interests you.

And, if none of them jump out at you, or you like bits of one and bits of another… mix it up. If it’s just one or two special abilities, take them as veteran advances. If it’s a deeper mash up you want, propose one to your fellow players. Talk about how people feel about it. Make sure that no one feels like it might take too much focus on to itself by being a Marty Stu, but otherwise, go for it!

The playbooks in Titans are…

The Ace

is an experienced and dangerous FRACT pilot. Play the Ace if you want to show off just how much better you are in your FRACT than anyone else.

The Commander

is an officer who leads your squad to execute Tactical’s orders, good or bad. Play the Commander if you want to try and protect your squad from the worst of Tactical’s choices

The Envoy

yearns to connect and understand with both friend and enemy and reaches out with their empathic and psychic power. Play the Envoy if you want to break the cycle of war by drawing friends and enemies close to you.

The Machinist

is the hands and mind that keep the FRACTs running and your soldiers alive. Play the Machinist if you want to keep the FRACTs running and invent new tools to win the war and survive.

The ReMade

is an artificial Envoy–created to exploit their power to destroy. Play the ReMade if you want to lay bare the dark side of humanity’s will to win, and be the most powerful weapon you can.

The Rookie

is a young, idealistic soldier assigned to your squad and yet to understand the real horrors that Tactical can enact. Play the Rookie if you want to bring the human perspective from outside the war into its midst.

The Veteran

is the oldest member of your squad, and has survived this long because they understand the only thing keeping them alive is their comrades… so they make sure they do the same. Play the Veteran if you want to be thin line between your comrades and death when all else has failed.

Pending playbooks


FRACTs are the giant humanoid machines that your Soldiers can pilot in the war. You don’t have to pilot these–in fact, it is entirely possible to play Against the Titans of War without these massive mecha existing in your world at all. But if you want to… this is how you create and use a FRACT.

FRACT categories

FRACTs fall into one of 3 categories:

When you begin the game, you will probably be piloting mass-produced FRACTs, or possibly one or two performance units if you have an Ace in your squad.

The differences between the different categories are the number of Edges, Flaws, and Gambits they have, and how much it costs to keep them running:

Class Edges Flaws Gambits Repair cost
Mass-produced 2 2 1 2 FN
Performance 2 2 2 4 FN
Ace (option a) 3 1 2 6 FN
Ace (option b) 3 2 3 6 FN

Creating a FRACT

One of my favorite parts of this is creating my FRACT–there’s a lot of story that you can tell with the edges, flaws, and gambits you give your machine.

Create your FRACTs as a group–talk through what you all are thinking. Is each FRACT a unique piece? What does it mean for it to be ‘mass-produced’ in that case? Or, if it’s off of an assembly line, do all of you pilot the same model, with only small modifications? If so, maybe you all have the same Edges and Flaws, but your Gambit is where you show your own personal flair.


Edges are characteristics of your FRACT where it excels. Fast, strong, relentless, quiet are all good choices–these should be adjectives or traits that can give you advantage.

When you are performing an action in your FRACT and it aligns with one of the FRACT’s Edges, take +1d or improved effect, your choice..

If you are looking for more inspiration, there is a list of example Edges.


The opposite of Edges, Flaws are traits of your FRACT that are dangerous, the places where it is easily outclassed. Things like slow, ponderous, loud, clumsy, recognizable are all good flaws.

When you are taking an action that aligns with one of your FRACT’s Flaws, take -1d or reduced effect (your choice).

If you are looking for more inspiration, there is a list of example Flaws.

Flaws as Edges, Edges as Flaws

There might arise situations where a trait that is usually a Flaw can be an Edge–“recognizable’, for example, could me made to work in your favor. When this is the case, take the windfall, because it will probably bite you even harder next time.

On the other hand, when an Edge would work against you, take that penalty. If you are trying to be delicate, and your ‘vicious’ Edge can cause you problems… take it on the chin.

There’s maybe some strategy in choosing Edges and Flaws that can double as both. If you do, just be honest about both traits. Don’t be a weasel and only take flexible Flaws.


Gambits are like special abilities that you only have access to while piloting your FRACT. In mecha anime, the machines themselves have certain character and nudge their pilots to behave in certain ways. Edges and Flaws already get us part of the way there, but it’s your FRACT’s Gambits that really drive this.

When creating a Gambit, think about what you would like your FRACT to be exceptional at, the things that really set it apart. Things like “when it is surrounded, it can move fast enough to attack all the enemies at once for a split second”, or “when it transforms, it is the fastest and most maneuverable machine on the field” are good places to start.

Once you know what trait of the FRACT you’d like to focus, think about how you can break specific rules of the game to make that a reality both in the narrative, and in the crunch: for example, a Zaku’s reliability might make it easier and cheaper to repair, so consider reducing repair cost and giving a bonus die or even an extra tick on the repair clock. For the Guncannon, it might be that you can push to lay down a heavy barrage, and damage either several enemies or one or two very powerful enemies with improved effect.

The more generally applicable the trigger is, the less spectacular the Gambit should be. For example, if I were making a gambit for the Zaku II (the most common mobile suit from the Gundam series) about its reliability and ease of repair, I might give it this gambit:


Zaku are everywhere, and parts and knowhow are easy to find. When you repair your Zaku spend 1 FN instead of 2 for parts, and tick 1 extra repair box.

It’s not the most glamorous, exciting, or rule-bending Gambit, but on the other hand, FRACTs will need to be repaired almost every mission, so this Gambit will always be useful.

On the other hand, if I were making a Gambit for the Qubeley from Zeta…


When an Envoy sorties in this mobile suit, they can use the psycommu to deploy and control funnels or bits, which are small remote-controlled beam-cannons capable of moving themselves around in space at your mental command. You can spend Stress, one for one, for any of the following effects:

  • attack an enemy from a direction they're not expecting
  • attack multiple enemies simultaneously
  • create a field of beam-cannon fire to slow a pursuer or quarry down

This is a much more ‘powerful’ Gambit, and so has a higher cost (Stress) associated with it. It’s also more restricted in its use–only Soldiers using the Envoy playbook can really make use of it.

When creating a gambit, common formula include:

If you need inspiration, the core Blades playbook special abilities are great, and there are example gambits included in the game.

Maintaining a FRACT

Example Edges

Example Flaws

Example Gambits

These are example Gambits for your FRACTs. You can use them for inspiration when creating your own, or just use these. They are mostly inspired by mobile suits from different Gundam series.

Chobham Armor

Your FRACT has +4 Damage slots, and the Flaw "Heavy".

At any point, including when you have filled your Damage track and would usually have to send your FRACT back to base, you can shed the Chobham Armor:

  • clear your Damage track
  • remove the 4 extra slots
  • ignore the "Heavy" flaw until the armor is reapplied
  • gain Potency in speed in the ensuing action

When an Envoy sorties in this mobile suit, they can use the psycommu to deploy and control funnels or bits, which are small remote-controlled beam-cannons capable of moving themselves around in space at your mental command. You can spend Stress, one for one, for any of the following effects:

  • attack an enemy from a direction they're not expecting
  • attack multiple enemies simultaneously
  • create a field of beam-cannon fire to slow a pursuer or quarry down
Heavy Weapons System

Your FRACT has +2 Damage slots, +2 Load, and the Flaw "Heavy".

At any point, including when you have filled your Damage track and would usually have to send your FRACT back to base, you can shed the Heavy Weapons System:

  • clear your Damage track
  • remove the 2 extra Damage slots
  • reduce your Load by 2, or if you have declared all or part of the 2 Load, choose 2 Load worth of empty slots and gear to leave behind
  • ignore the "Heavy" flaw until the armor is reapplied
  • gain Potency in speed in the ensuing action

Zaku are everywhere, and parts and knowhow are easy to find. When you repair your Zaku spend 1 FN instead of 2 for parts, and tick 1 extra repair box.

The Sponsor Factions

On equal footing with the drama and action of your Soldiers are the politics and intrigue of the the sponsor Factions in Against the Titans of War.

The Resistance did not spring from nothing–it is forged from experience and and desires of many people who have come together to stand against the Enemy. The sponsor Factions represent the strongest of these–the voices that guide the Resistance’s hand.

Just because these groups fight against the corrupt Enemy does not make them inherently good. While some support the Resistance because it is the right thing to do, others are here because they see it as a vehicle to ride to further their own influence and power, a tool they can bend to their own ends.

Each player will create a faction and take on the role of its Tactical officer to advocate for their interests and goals while planning missions and tactics for the Resistance.

Creating a faction

To create a faction, follow these steps:

  1. Choose an archetype
  2. Decide their goals
  3. Decide their shadow
  4. Choose a resource they make available to the Resistance
  5. Choose their closest ally
  6. Choose their bitterest enemy

A note about starting resources…

Even if none of your sponsor factions choose FRACTs or a ship as the resource they make available to the Resistance, the Resistance will start with basic, outdated ship and FRACTs, a sponsor just provides better ones.

MOMENTUM and faction growth

All factions start at TIER 0.

Factions will get stronger (or possibly weaker) as you play. When a faction has 10 MOMENTUM, they increase TIER by 1. They should choose a new special ability or resource. Sometimes the MC will require you to run a mission to secure the resource before it is available.

Conversely, if your faction’s MOMENTUM is ever lowered to 0, their TIER decreases, and they must lose a special ability or resource they sponsor for the Resistance.

Tactical Officers

When you step into the Tactical phase of the game, you will be playing a Tactical Officer who represents one of the Resistance’s sponsor factions. This Officer is one of the faction’s most trusted agents, and their goals align with the faction’s.

If at any point your Tactical Officer begins to object to their faction’s actions, consider moving them into the Soldier side of the game. The game’s structure depends on a tension between Tactical and Soldiers.

Faction Archetypes

A faction’s archetype is the biggest determining factor in who they are and how they operate. It is their playbook.

The Objectors are people from the same organization as the Enemy, who will not stand for what is happening.

The Resurgent Defeated are the losers of the Last War, hunted by the Enemy. Their hate burns hotter than anyone else’s.

The Corporate Atlas is a private company who supports the Resistance both financially and with materiel, either out of good intention or because the Enemy has blacklisted them from their market.

The Objectors

The Objectors are people from the same organization as the Enemy, who will not stand for what is happening.




The Resurgent Defeated

The Resurgent Defeated are the losers of the Last War, hunted by the Enemy. Their hate burns hotter than anyone else’s.




The Corporate Atlas

The Corporate Atlas is a private company who supports the Resistance both financially and with materiel, either out of good intention or because the Enemy has blacklisted them from their market.




The Tactical game

In addition to playing a Soldier, you will also be taking on the role of a Tactical Officer.

Tactical Officers do not engage the Enemy directly–they are responsible for planning the Resistance’s strategy to take down the Enemy.

Each Tactical Officer is a member of one of the Resistance’s sponsor factions, and will likely have their own more selfish goals in addition to defeating the Enemy.

During Tactical, the MC takes on the role of the Intelligence Officer in addition to their normal role. As the Intelligence Officer, the MC’s job is to present all information as honestly and openly as possible. Don’t lie or fuck around here–life is going to be hard enough for the Tactical Officers as it is.

Tactical phase overview

The first thing you do when you begin playing Against the Titans of War, after you’ve created your characters, the Resistance, the Enemy, and your factions, is begin your first Tactical phase. Your MC will have some information for you about the Enemy and their goals, and you will take on the roles of your Tactical Officers and decide how the Resistance responds. You will also return to the Tactical phase when you have resolved fallout after each mission.

In Tactical phase, you should follow these steps:

  1. The MC, as the Intelligence Officer rolls for intel, and presents this to the Tactical Officers. If any officers bid to have priority on intel, they should see it first, and may choose to alter it before others see it
  2. Each Tactical Officer decides to how much Influence to spend on their faction’s growth, and how much to spend on STRAT for Resistance operations
  3. Determine each Tactical Officer’s STRAT for the phase
  4. Decide on the Resistance’s next objective
  5. Attach Riders to the mission objective
  6. Submit Orders and intel bids for the next mission to the MC

Distribute Intel

Beginning in the second Tactical phase, the MC as the Intelligence Officer will roll the Resistance’s Tier to determine how much intel is available to the Tactical Officers. During the first Tactical phase, give 3 intel as if a 6 had been rolled:

Roll Intel to distribute
1-3 1 Enemy activity
45 2 Enemy activities
6 3 Enemy activities
Crit 3 Enemy activities, or if there are fewer than 5 this turn, disclose them all and give the Soldiers a bonus die on their next Engagement roll

This roll should happen after the MC has planned out the Enemy’s activity, and also implies that the Enemy should be making at least 3-4 actions on any given turn.

It is possible that one or more Tactical Officers have spent STRAT in order to look at intel ahead of their colleagues. If this is the case, the Intelligence Officer should show the intel to the officers in order of who bid the most STRAT, highest first. If there is a tie, the faction with the highest Tier gets priority. If this is tied, choose at random.

Each Tactical Officer may choose to redact a piece of intel for 1 STRAT, or replace it with false information for 2 STRAT if they have any left from the last tactical phase.

If any Tactical Officers choose to redact or tamper with intel, then officers seeing it after them, whether in the group or further down the priority intel line, will be seeing incomplete or false information.

It can be a good idea to distribute intel in between play sessions to make sure that no one knows who else might have seen intel or in what order. It’s harder to keep things secret when everyone is in a room or webcall together.

Allocating Influence

Your faction’s Influence for the Tactical phase is determined by how involved and supportive you were on the last mission. Take 1 Influence for each of the following:

For each of these, take -1 Influence:

Once you have determined your total Influence, you need to decide how to spend it: you can use your Influence to roll STRAT, or you can spend any amount of Influence to increase your faction’s Momentum 1 for 1 in order to eventually build its strength. You can also spend Momentum to increase the Influence you roll for STRAT this turn.

Determining STRAT

STRAT is the currency Tactical Officers use to influence the Resistance’s objective and mission parameters. You spend it to attach Riders to a mission objective, and to issue Orders to Soldiers or to your faction.

You can use STRAT to make sure the Resistance stays on track and has the best chance of defeating the Enemy… or you can use it selfishly to get the Resistance to help your own faction into a better position.

To determine your Tactical Officer’s STRAT, roll the Influence you’ve decided to use for Resistance operations. If your current Influence is 0, roll 0d6 (roll 2d6 and take the lowest result). Your base STRAT is equal to the single highest die result. If you roll a crit (two or more 6s if you have 2 or more influence), take 8 STRAT.

STRAT does not roll over–if you don’t use it during the current Tactical phase, it cannot be used in the next one.

Once you have determined your STRAT, tell everyone at the table how much your Tactical Officer has. After this, you don’t have to tell anyone how much STRAT you have or are spending. It’s time to count the cards.

Deciding on a mission objective

Discuss an objective for the Resistance to pursue, or a mission to undertake with the other Tactical Officers. This should be some kind of consensus, and there are no rules for this. The only thing to know is that if the Tactical Officers become deadlocked between two or more plans, anyone can spend STRAT to tip the scales one way or another.

The officer with the most STRAT gets the opportunity to do this first, and the option passes in descending order by STRAT count.

If at any point you think your Soldier would find the behavior, politicking, selfishness, or goals decided by the Tactical Officers contemptible, you make take Contempt.


Riders are supplemental mission objectives, or conditions placed on the squad for achieving or pursuing the main objective. These are optional for the squad, though if any Soldier pursues and achieves one, they mark 1 XP. If a Rider is achieved by the squad as a whole (for example, “perform the exfiltration without leaving any evidence that the Resistance was involved”), then each Soldier marks 1 XP.

If a Soldier fulfills a Rider alone and that Soldier is from the same faction that placed the Rider, they mark 2 XP.

It costs 1 STRAT to attach one Rider to a mission or goal.

As a Tactical Officer, attaching Riders to a mission is a good way to privilege your own faction’s benefit over the general benefit of the Resistance or other sponsor factions. Keep in mind that Riders are open knowledge, and Soldiers may take Contempt if they disagree.


Orders are instructions to the MC to carry out certain actions during the mission, either at a certain point, or when specific trigger criteria are met. These can be instructions like if the Enemy dispatches more than 2 squads to intercept, then my faction will send in 1 squad to support or something more self-serving like when the Soldiers have secured the prototype, then offer 2 XP to Harding, a Soldier from my faction, to deliver it directly to us and not the Resistance.

Unlike Riders, Orders are submitted blind to the MC, who is in charge of executing them based on your instructions. This is where your faction can really maneuver for primacy within the Resistance leadership. It is also the only way to dispatch support resources to your Soldiers if you think they might need it, so place your Orders wisely.

While a Soldier won’t know what Orders have been placed until they execute, they can still take Contempt once an Order is revealed.

Orders can cost from 1 STRAT up to 6 STRAT:

When deciding Orders, every Tactical Officer should take an index card, and write your name, or your faction’s name on it, and any orders you have. If you are not submitting orders, submit an index card with the name and “no orders” to the MC. These should be given to the MC face down to maintain secrecy.

Bidding on priority Intel

The last thing you can do with you STRAT is bid on priority access to intel for the next mission. Your bids for intel should be submitted on the same card you use to submit your orders. Everyone who bids will see intel before the next tactical phase, in order of how much the officer bid (from highest to lowest).

If you bid to see intel, you will see all intel gathered by the Intelligence Officer. The amount available is determined by them in secret at the end of a mission, by rolling the Resistance’s Tier.

After rolling intel, the Intelligence Officer (MC) should determine the order to show intel to any officers that bid, and contact each officer one by one. This is a good thing to do in between sessions, because officers should not know if another officer has seen the intel before them.

Redacting intel

When you see intel after bidding, if you have STRAT left, you can spend 1 STRAT to redact it, so that no one else sees it. Any officers who see it after you, whether they bid or during tactical, will not know that it existed. You can spend 2 STRAT to replace it with false intelligence.

Bookkeeping and overspending STRAT

Once you have announced your total STRAT to the table at the beginning of Tactical phase, you are no longer obligated to be truthful about how much you have spent or have left. You are welcome to tell everyone, but I encourage you to keep it close to the chest.

The other Tactical Officers will have an idea of how much STRAT you have for issuing Orders, but because these are submitted blind, they will know you’ve submitted at least 1, but neither how many, nor what kind. Which means they won’t know exactly how much STRAT you spend or how much you have left for changing execution conditions during a mission. The only other person at the table who will, is the MC.

I intend to include optional rules for bluffing and overspending STRAT, but the core rule is don’t. If you realize you have by accident overspent at some some point, own up and decide with the group how to resolve and proceed.


Soldiers can take Contempt whenever they think someone in command, usually the Tactical Officers (but it can be another Soldier or NPC from a sponsor faction) is making selfish and bad decisions. Especially when it starts to endanger the cause or the Soldiers needlessly.

A Soldier either has Contempt, or they don’t. You can’t have ‘two contempt’. When you take Contempt, keep track of which faction angered you enough to do this–when you spend it this will be important.

Spending Contempt ratchets up the tension in the Resistance, and you will mark the Tension track. When the Tension track is full, you are in Crisis.

Spending Contempt

You can use your Contempt when you are in the field. It is a strong and ugly emotion that can burn inside your Soldier and carry them through, so they can see some kind of justice served. Or not.

When you have Contempt, you can spend it to

When you spend Contempt, the faction whose actions caused you to take it marks a 1 STRAT penalty for the next Tactical phase, and the Resistance marks the Tension track once.

Paying Stress

At any point, if you are about to mark Stress, you can spend a Contempt to avoid paying the Stress cost.

Increasing level of effect

You can spend a Contempt to bump the outcome of your successful action by one level: from Limited to Standard, or from Standard to Great. You can do this before or after the action has been taken.

Changing the outcome of an action roll

Once the dice for an action have been rolled, you can spend Contempt to adjust the result up or down. This means you can turn a 1-3 into a 45, a 45 into a 1-3 or 6, and a 6 into a 45 or Crit.

This can be for your own action, or if it would be narratively possible for you to have aided or interfered with another Soldier, with their action. If you are reducing another player’s result, you should talk this through with them. Blades in the Dark has good guidelines for handling inter-character conflict, paraphrased and adapted here for interfering with a roll:

  1. Pause and breathe–these are the characters in conflict, not you yourselves
  2. Agree about if this is OK
  3. Abide by the decision

Chances are if you’re spending Contempt to interfere with another character’s action, you should already have been trying to interfere or talk them down. Spending Contempt like this should be part of your story and exciting in and of itself, not a tool for ruining someone’s fun.

If the other player is not comfortable with you using your Contempt this way, don’t. Find another use for it. There are other really good uses for it.

Mark 2 XP

Sometimes it takes getting burned to learn and grow. You can spend your Contempt to just take whatever betrayal gave it to you on the chin and learn something new. Mark 2 Playbook XP.

Tension and Crisis

Every time a Soldier spends Contempt, the Resistance marks the Tension track. When the 10th mark is made, you are in Crisis.

When the Resistance is in Crisis, the organization is consumed in infighting. Do all of the following:


Roll 1d for each Crisis already marked (not including this one):

Result Crisis
Crit The Enemy has turned the leadership of the sponsor faction with the greatest Strength. Either they join the Enemy, or lose 9 Momentum to resist and deal with the traitors. If this crisis occurs while you are on a mission, it fails immediately. If the sponsor joined the enemy you are immediately attacked by the forces of this new alliance (begin a new mission to deal with the attack as if you had rolled a 1-3 on Engagement).
6 The Enemy attacks you now. If you are on a mission, it does not fail, but they immediately show up.
45 You catch wind that the Enemy is negotiating with one of the sponsor factions. How will you deal with this? All Soldiers get only 1 Downtime action.
1-3 All Soldiers get only 1 Downtime action in the next Downtime phase because there is so much to do to get everyone back on board.

Credits and License

Blades in the Darkā„¢ is a trademark of One Seven Design. The Forged in the Dark Logo is used with permission.

the Forged in the Dark logo

The game Against the Titans of War is licensed on the same Creative Commons CC BY 3.0 license as Blades.

Game influences

The Twilight Mirage season of Friends at the Table, for showing me I could use Scum and Villainy to do awesome giant robot shit (even if I’ve left the SaV rules-as-base behind).

Armour Astir by weregazelle, for being an amazing giant robot and hard feelings game. Basically, everything I’m doing here is done better there ;)

Girl by Moonlight, a Forged in the Dark game in development by Andrew Gillis. They have created a really beautiful game, and the way they have broken apart and reworked the core Blades formula has been a huge part of what made me want to try reworking the game as well. The drama, hope, and sorrow that drips out of this game is beautiful. Plus, the On a Sea of Stars version is about giant mecha too.

Beam Saber, another Forged in the Dark game by Austin Ramsay, about the pilots of giant mechs in a war that never ends. Austin’s game and this one sound like they could be very samey, but he’s done a lot of cool things with character connections and has built up an amazing setting for it. I love this game.

The Friction track and the Commander’s Hard Choices move both come from The Sprawl by Hamish Cameron. Specifically, Friction is an adaptation of the Action Clock, and Hard Choices comes from The Soldier playbook’s Here’s the Plan move.

Contempt comes more or less straight from The Quiet Year by Avery Alder (also at This is a lovely game that I’ve tried to keep in mind, even if not steal from (other than Contempt) for the Tactical phase here.


Logo created from Gundam by Simon Child from the Noun Project (and its palette-swapped version), and this head

Logo font is “Amuro”, licensed for commercial and non-commercial use (please contact me if you have questions about the donation made to procure the license).

Favicon from Gundam also by Simon Child from the Noun Project.

The raised fist icon used for attribute adjectives is sourced from Font Awesome, and used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.