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The Magpies Podcast is a Blades in the Dark Actual Play podcast set in the haunted, industrial-fantasy city of Duskwall. Join the crew of The Magpies as they lie, steal, and fight their way to the top of the city's criminals and elite... or into an early grave. The Magpies is hosted by GM Rhi and players Kim, Josie, and Minna.
 
A talk show that brings on designers to talk about their Forged in the Dark games and hacks, and discusses designing in that space more generally. Associated with the official Blades in the Dark discord, but not with Blades in the Dark, Evil Hat, or One Seven Design. Join the community! discord.com/invite/BDZckBB
 
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show series
 
Previously a Patreon exclusive, we celebrated our one-year anniversary with a goofy, non-canon bonus episode! It features Florence Fable, reporter extraordinaire for Rumordish, Duskwall's premiere source for scandal and gossip, as she asks the Magpies only the most hard-hitting questions. (In other words: we did a bunch of online quizzes in-charact…
 
Today, Nychelle is joined by Michael Low from Luck of Legends, an educational creative writing and story game camp, about the first chapters of his new game project, Stories RPG. We talk about running and designing games for kids, and how they can be amazing educational tools for topics ranging from conflict resolution to science! Michael describes…
 
Previously a Patreon exclusive! Since Kim wasn't able to join the main group for The Two Scores Score, she and I recorded a solo adventure with Blaire. It was a fun session where we were both still figuring out the system and setting. It's the backstory for the acorns that Blaire carried with her throughout the entire show. Special thanks to Minna …
 
Today, Justin returns as a guest to talk about his current project, CHEW, an official spinoff forged in the dark game based on the best-selling CHEW comics by Image. Justin and Mark talk about incorporating humor into the typically more gritty forged in the dark system, as well as how he has incorporated the established world and, especially, the t…
 
Formerly a Patreon exclusive, this is one of the very earliest adventures of the Magpies, from before we started posting episodes! It's the story behind the "hitting two gangs in one night" score that's been referenced a few times. Things are a little rough, as we were all still getting the hang of the system and recording, but it's a fun story non…
 
Previously a Patreon exclusive: Thirty minutes of goofs from Season 3. Featuring Kim's Scurlock thirst, Rhi being viciously assaulted by pop punk puns, and the life-changing knowledge that two animated musical versions of Titanic exist. Featured Charity: The Lilith Fund Visit Clever Corvids Productions to learn about the Magpies' future projects! V…
 
Today, we're trying something new! We recently ran an Actual Play stream of External Containment Bureau (ECB), and we brought on the cast of the stream to talk about how it went, their favorite parts, and some insights into the game! Please let us know if you enjoy this format, and we can keep doing it with our future streams! Follow us on Twitch t…
 
Previously a Patreon exclusive: With Season 2 officially concluded, it's time for the blooper reel! Almost 30 minutes of bits, goofs, and obscure references. Also some singing. Enjoy! Featured Charity: The Lilith Fund Visit Clever Corvids Productions to learn about the Magpies' future projects! Visit 5calls.org to contact your representatives, and …
 
33+ ridiculous minutes of our best bits, goofs, and laughs from Season 1. Featuring special musical guests, Minna's roommates, providing the Magpies theme song! Featured Charity: The Lilith Fund Visit Clever Corvids Productions to learn about the Magpies' future projects! Visit 5calls.org to contact your representatives, and Fair Fight to learn how…
 
Today, Mark is joined by Cohan and Garrett of Poor Students to talk about their one-page game Subconscious_Routine, submitted as part of the Applied Hope game jam. They discuss how they limit both the overall rules and the players' available actions to convey the tone and setting of robots searching for free will, as well as their use of other medi…
 
The cast of the Magpies answer your questions and look back on all four seasons of the show. Featuring heartfelt reflection, thoughts on the future, and a weird diversion into the KFC Colonel Sanders movie. PLUS: the entire Season 4 blooper reel after the Q&A! Featured Charity: The Lilith Fund Visit Clever Corvids Productions to learn about the Mag…
 
Today, Umbra joins hosts Jacob and Nychelle to talk about his game Future.Shock, as well as how resolution mechanics (dice, cards, etc.) affect the tone and fantasy of your game. He describes his transhumanist game, but also discusses how to tell if your dice mechanics will work out, and gives examples of when the dice mechanics accidentally told a…
 
Today, Mark is joined by Michael, author of a number of forged in the dark games, to talk about A Torch in the Dark, his single-player dungeon-delving/revolution game. We talk about how "the conversation" which usually happens between players and GM still happens in a solo game. He also talks about his influences and what drew him to make a solo ga…
 
In which the Magpies confront Lady Penderyn, Madam Tesslyn, and the Circle of Flame, for the last time. Listen to Part 1 first. Content Warnings: Implied/off-screen torture and ritual sacrifice. Featured Charity: RIP Medical Debt Josie will be a player on The Dishonorables, presented by Moon Harbor Cast! Visit Clever Corvids Productions to learn ab…
 
The war between the Magpies and the Circle of Flame for the future of Duskwall has dragged on for months. When the leader of the Circle approaches them with an offer of truce and change, what will the Magpies choose? Listen to Part 2 next. Featured Charity: RIP Medical Debt Josie will be a player on The Dishonorables, presented by Moon Harbor Cast!…
 
Today, Stefan joins hosts Nychelle and Mark to talk about his game Fistful of Darkness, the impact of the touchstones you give on defining how your game plays, and also the effect of the hellish economy of the system. Last year, Nychelle ran a game of Fistful for our twitch channel with Stefan and Mark as players, so we reminisce about and highligh…
 
The relics have been acquired, the rituals prepared, the preparations made. All that's left is to face down Setarra and bind her with her kin in the sea... assuming that the Magpies survive. Featured Charity: Woodson Museum of St. Petersburg Aki, the new cast member for Project Bluejay, can be heard on Goblets & Gays! Josie will be a player on The …
 
Today, Justin is joined once again by Laurie to talk about his game, Hieronymous, a FitD hex-crawl game through the artwork of Hieronymus Bosch. He talks about what inspired the idea, and how to get inspiration from art. We also talk about Lichcraft, Laurie's kickstarted game about trans necromancers, which he also discussed on our Zinequest 2021 e…
 
The gauntlet has been thrown, and the Magpies are facing off against Lady Drake in a courtroom gamble where the stakes couldn't be higher: either Lady Drake's crimes and corruption will be exposed, or the Magpies will be locked up in Ironhook. Featured Charity: Woodson Museum of St. Petersburg Aki, the new cast member for Project Bluejay, can be he…
 
Today, Jacob and Ian are joined by Adam Bucceri to talk about his new, setting-agnostic game, Enter the Survival Horror! We discuss how the Doom Clock and related mechanics set the survival horror tone, and how to enable the players to take on the narrative authority normally associated with a GM by making them choose between difficult options. You…
 
A sudden Bluecoat raid turns the Magpies world upside down. When they learn Lady Drake is behind it, they see an opportunity to help their friends and allies... but when the game is this rigged, who will win? Featured Charity: United Palestinian Appeal Visit Clever Corvids Productions to learn about the Magpies' future projects! Support the Magpies…
 
Today, our host Mark is joined by Dustin and Michael to talk about Synthicide: Sharpers in the Dark, their new Forged in the Dark adaptation of Dustin's original trad-game. We discuss why Dustin wanted to bring his game to FitD, and how they maintained the tone and content of the original, as well as how more content was added to fit into FitD. Syn…
 
The Magpies have successfully infiltrated the cult of The Maw of the Void. Now, they have to locate a single relic in a hidden sanctuary filled with them... all without being discovered as the thieves they are. Featured Charity: United Palestinian Appeal Visit Clever Corvids Productions to learn about the Magpies' future projects! Support the Magpi…
 
In this very special episode, Justin is interviewed by three guest hosts: Ema, Eli, and Nychelle! Our hosts get a bit silly, then we talk about Justin's highly anticipated post-fall sci-fi game, Mothlight, and the process of iterating on your designs through playtests, feedback, and experience. We talk about what to change, what to keep, and how to…
 
The final relic to bind Setarra and free Blaire of her menace lies within the clutches of a cult hidden deep underneath the city. What new threats await them in the secretive caverns? Will they find the relic they need? And just how many cults is Oksar a member of, anyway? Featured Charities: InTRANSitive (Arkansas), EqualityNC (North Carolina), an…
 
Today, Justin is joined by a member of the team, Mark, to talk about Science Fiction adaptations of Blades in the Dark through his Sci-Fi/ Fantasy game Runners in the Shadows. We talk about how to accomplish the tones and themes of science fiction, as well as how Mark balances and blends futurism with magic. Mark also teases his future game, Voyage…
 
Minx and Lord Mora square off in a very public duel, while Myra and Blaire ready the arcane traps needed to cover their escape. Will they succeed in forcing the demon to reveal himself? Featured Charities: InTRANSitive (Arkansas), EqualityNC (North Carolina), and OutFront (Minnesota) Check out You are the Dungeon and Court of Blades on Kickstarter!…
 
Today, Justin is joined by Ben Roswell and Caro Asercion to talk about Rearguard, their supplement for Beam Saber. They talk about what drove them to make a supplement, how their supply drop is more than just new playbooks, and why make a supplement instead of a hack. You can find Rearguard at roswellian.itch.io/rearguard You can check out Ben's tw…
 
The Magpies go on the offensive and take aim at Lord Alistair Mora, powerful nobleman and secret demon of earth and metal. But how will a trio of vigilantes take down someone with such inhuman power? Support The Magpies and Clever Corvids Productions on Kickstarter! Featured Charities: InTRANSitive (Arkansas), EqualityNC (North Carolina), and OutFr…
 
Today, Justin and Mark are joined by Emanoel to talk about his new game, CBR-PNK. We also discuss what sacrifices had to be made to fit the game into a one-page trifold, what advantages were gained, and how a fiction-first approach allowed it to stay small. We also talk about the TTRPG scene in Brazil, and FitD influences on OSR. You can find Emano…
 
Minx's gambit is paying off so far, but as the Magpies descend deep into the catacombs underneath the crematorium, perils both expected and surprising await. Support The Magpies and Clever Corvids Productions on Kickstarter! Featured Charities: InTRANSitive (Arkansas), EqualityNC (North Carolina), and OutFront (Minnesota) Visit Clever Corvids Produ…
 
Today, Justin and Ian are joined by Briar Sovereign to talk about their game, The Brightest Things We Know, a Destiny- and Warframe-inspired forged in the dark game. We also talk about making a forged in the dark game from a blank slate, cutting mechanics, and pulling inspiration from established games. We also talk about bringing the game to a new…
 
In order to destroy the relics of Kotar, the Magpies must infiltrate Bellwether Crematorium, the bastion of the powerful Spirit Wardens. But the Spirit Wardens aren't the only threat they'll face inside... Follow the Project Bluejay & Clever Corvids Kickstarter page! Featured Charity: National Alliance to End Homelessness Visit Clever Corvids Produ…
 
The Magpies venture into the Deathlands to recover a powerful and dangerous relic. What will they learn from the Heart? And what mistakes will they make in pursuit of knowledge? Follow the Project Bluejay & Clever Corvids Kickstarter page! Featured Charity: National Alliance to End Homelessness Check out A Knight of Shreds and Patches, an actual pl…
 
Today, Justin and Ray are joined by Pammu to talk about Gameable Lore, as well as some of her past and future FitD projects, including a Philippines-inspired Dagger Isles supplement. She also talks about the Filipino RPG scene and the struggles of decolonizing game design. We also define gameable lore and microsettings, with examples of how they ar…
 
The Gondoliers have discovered a spectral corruption poisoning Duskwall's waterways. The Magpies are happy to help, but their journey to uncover the source will lead them to a relic more dangerous than anything they've encountered before. Featured Charity: National Alliance to End Homelessness Check out A Knight of Shreds and Patches, an actual pla…
 
In this episode, Justin interviews ME, your editor, Jacob, about my game Asphalt & Trouble, a game of biker gangs in a corporate-fueled climate apocalypse! We talk about difference between complications and consequences, and the adjustments Asphalt & Trouble makes to the core FitD list of consequences, including a revamp of Harm, and the new Slight…
 
In this special episode, Ray interviews a few designers submitting Forged in the Dark games to Zinequest 3, a Kickstarter program to promote small (zine) ttrpg games and modules. All of these games are kickstarting now, and some are ending soon, so check them out now! Ema (@Spookymeal) talks about her game of childhood dreamscapes, Crescent Moon at…
 
The Magpies and their friends gather to celebrate all they have to be grateful for. Content Note: Extensive description and discussion of food. Featured Charity: Facing History and Ourselves Support the Magpies on Patreon! Visit 5calls.org to contact your representatives, and Fair Fight to learn how you can advocate for voting rights.…
 
In this unique and instructive episode, we talk with Ray and Vince from Mythopoeia about how, as a game designer, to work with artists, including how and when to approach them, how to budget for art, what to do if you have a small or unsure budget, and more. We also talk about Mythopoeia's comic production background, and some of the overlap betwee…
 
The Magpies have claimed the trinket-turned-occult-focus that will let them release Ojal's spirit from the Hull, removing Salia's best defense. But with Ojal herself standing in the way, will they survive to see it done? Featured Charity: Southerners on New Ground (SONG) Support the Magpies on Patreon! Visit 5calls.org to contact your representativ…
 
Today, Justin is joined by a new cohost, Drake, to discuss Vergence with the author David. We talk about the vast, even infinite scope of the interdimensional setting of Vergence, and how he keeps the story rooted and human. We also discuss how to consider what mechanics to keep and what to toss from the core Forged in the Dark rules in order to ma…
 
Orla, Cass, and Thaddeus, members of the Delvers' Guild of Whitehollow, have learned about the haul of a lifetime waiting for them at the bottom of the Void Sea. But faced with treachery from the Guild, the perils of the deep, and their own flaws, will they escape with anything of value? CONTENT WARNINGS: Millipede-like creatures of varying sizes; …
 
At long last, the Magpies know where to find Salia and the relic binding Ojal's spirit to a murderous Hull. Myra uncovers secrets about her former mentor, and the Magpies learn that no job ever goes smoothly. Featured Charity: Southerners on New Ground (SONG). Donate to SONG or to the Black Voters Matter Fund and email your receipts to magpiepod at…
 
Today, Justin and Ray are joined by Dan and Kali of Gem Room Games (@GemRoomGames) to talk about Subway Runners and online generated content. We talk about designing a one-shot version of FitD, and how they used the customizable online random generator, Perchance, to make their game fresh and easy. We also discuss embracing the chaos, and we genera…
 
Minx and Myra prepare to kidnap the church elder from the middle of a very public ceremony, while Seeks and Blaire make their way through the catacombs to complete the ritual to remove the elder's soul. But what risks are they willing to take to accomplish their goal? And who will pay the price? Featured Charity: Black Voters Matter Fund. Donate an…
 
Following the highly successful Unusual Suspects Playbook Jam on itch.io, Justin and Jacob attempted something new: a live, call-in episode of the podcast with you the fans as the guests, talking about your own and your favorite playbooks! After some delay, to give your wallets a rest after all the Kickstarters lately, we're uploading the edited au…
 
When two physickers working for Seeks are kidnapped, the physicker reaches out to the Magpies for help in getting them back. But as they face an enemy at the highest levels of Imperial society, what risks will they have to take to get them back? Featured Charity: Black Voters Matter Fund. Donate and email your receipts to magpiepod at gmail dot com…
 
Today, Mikey joins Justin and Mark to talk about his game Slugblaster, kickstarting now! We explore themes of popularity and teenage rebellion, and how to branch away from the typical grim and gritty tones of Blades in the Dark. We also talk about some more ideas for light-hearted games for you to make! You can check out the Slugblaster kickstarter…
 
The Magpies once again find themselves with two friends in need of help at the same time. But with only two hours to prevent a violent factory riot and an equally violent Bluecoat raid, what measures will they resort to? Featured Charity: Fair Fight - Georgia Senate Support the Magpies on Patreon! Visit 5calls.org to contact your representatives, a…
 
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