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Fine Blueprints

Arts & Culture Podcasts

A TTRPG talk show in the Fiction First network, where indie designers talk about their new and in-development games! We discuss designing more generally, with a focus on Forged in the Dark and fiction-driven games. Based out of the official Blades in the Dark discord, but not with Blades in the Dark, Evil Hat, or One Seven Design. Join the community!


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A TTRPG talk show in the Fiction First network, where indie designers talk about their new and in-development games! We discuss designing more generally, with a focus on Forged in the Dark and fiction-driven games. Based out of the official Blades in the Dark discord, but not with Blades in the Dark, Evil Hat, or One Seven Design. Join the community!




Dice Exploder: Secondary Missions (Band of Blades) with Thomas Manuel

Today we bring you another episode of DICE EXPLODER, the show where host Sam Dunnewold breaks down one ttrpg mechanic with a friend. On this episode, Sam talks with Thomas Manuel of the Yes Indie’d podcast and the Indie RPG Newsletter about Secondary Missions, a mechanic from Band of Blades by Off Guard Games. This mechanic has a deceptively big impact on the mouthfeel of Band of Blades. It’s just a masterpiece of design. We get into how it supports the genre and themes of the game, all the tough choices it puts in front of players, and how mechanics like this one that couldn’t exist in any other game are often our favorites. It’s classic Dice Exploder this week, a deep dive at it’s best. And if you enjoy this episode, check out the third season of Dice Exploder on Kickstarter now through October 6th!


Dice Exploder: A New Deep-Dive Show!

Today we've got sneak peak of the first episode of DICE EXPLODER, a new show on the fiction first network. Each week on Dice Exploder, Sam will have on a new cohost, and they'll bring one RPG mechanic that we'll break down as far as we can. It's gonna be a real nuts and bolts show about design and getting the most out of games. The first season premieres on May 25th. Subscribe to Dice Exploder on your favorite podcast app for future episodes! This week, Sam talks with Ray Chou about "rolling the dice," the core mechanic from John Harper's game Lasers and Feelings. Some topics covered include: You can find Ray's publishing company at You can find Sam @sdunnewold on Twitter,, and


Fine Blueprints: Road Trips with The Last Caravan

We're back with another episode before Sam takes over for a bit. Today, Ted joins us to talk about his upcoming game, The Last Caravan, kickstarting very soon! Ted and Ray discuss travel mechanics and converting the phase structure of Blades while running away from aliens. Bookmark the kickstarter here! And download the quickstart here;


Fine Blueprints: Comedy in TTRPGs

We're finally back with a hilarious episode! Long-time Fiction First Network contributor Sam hosts Healed and Skelpie to talk about their games, Most Trusted Advisors and That's Right, I Did It! We talk about how to allow the players to create humor in their games, what goes into a humorous setting, and what purpose mechanics serve in comedic games, with plenty of laughs along the way! You can find Most Trusted Advisors here: You can follow Healed and her cowriter on twitter That's Right, I Did It isn't fully released just yet, but stay tuned to the Blades in the Dark discord for updates. We'll be pausing Fine Blueprints after this episode to do more recordings, but in its place, Sam will be hosting a new series deep-diving into some of the game design community's favorite TTRPG mechanics. Stay tuned Dice Exploder! We plan to be back with Fine Blueprints after that.


Fine Blueprints: Your'Duasha with the Desperate Attune Podcast

Today, we talk with members of the Desperate Attune actual play podcast about their adaptation of the U'Dudasha setting, an aspect of the Special Edition of Blades in the Dark. Tree and Prince talk about setting aspects they've added, excitement and critiques of the setting as written, and so on, as well as how they develop the limited setting into greater detail for their show. You can find the show's twitter, with a link to the show, at, or listen to it where you listen to your favorite podcasts! You can also find Tree's game at


Fine Blueprints: Cinematic Narration with Bump in the Dark

We're joined today by Jex to talk about their game, Bump in the Dark, and how using the cinematic techniques of film and TV can help add vibrancy to your game and bring players into the writer's room of story telling. We talk about some of the tools and terms of this style of story telling, including some of the downsides as well. You can find Bump in the Dark here: You can follow Jex on twitter (if you're still there) here: Or on Mastodon here:


Fine Blueprints: Playing with Fire with Mythopoeia

Today we're joined by Ray of Mythopoeia to talk about TTRPG publishing, including the risks brought about by the pandemic and economy. Ray also talks about how he teamed up with TTRPG author Fenix to publish The Wildsea, and where he's going next with Mythopoeia. You can find Mythopoeia's games and comics at Ray's Tiktok is @mythopoeians:


Fine Blueprints: Keeping Blades Fresh Roundtable

Continuing off last episode's discussion of Blades modules, we invite some of our most experienced Blades in the Dark GMs for a roundtable discussion about GMing and creating community content. We're trying out a new way to do an intro, so let us know what you think!


Fine Blueprints: Time Together with Doskvol Breathes

Today, Sam joins us to talk about his Blades in the Dark supplement, Doskvol Breaths, a series of vignettes to replace downtime actions. We also talk about designing Downtime in your game, even if your game doesn't formalize it like Blades does, as well as how to incorporate Firebrands-style vignettes into your game (for downtime or otherwise). Sam also turns the tables on hosts Justin and Adam to ask how Adam's game, Enter the Survival Horror, was inspired by Doskvol Breathes, and how Justin's game, At Death's Door, uses and customizes vignettes more broadly. You can find Doskvol Breathes here: You can also follow Sam on twitter at Our spooky game jam, Are You Afraid In The Dark, is over, but you can buy a bundle with all of the jam's games right now! Check them out at, complete with an entry by Sam, Adam, and many more! Hurry, the bundle ends soon!


Fine Blueprints: Mars Attacks with As The Sun Forever Sets

We are joined today by none other than one of the Fiction First network's members, Riley, to talk about their game, As The Sun Forever Sets, a game of survival against Martian invaders in Victorian England, inspired by War of the Worlds. We also talk about the themes of Survival and how Riley's changes to the rules emphasize the tone. It's a game with a lot of hype on the discord, so give it a look! Also, Riley does all of the awesome icons, banners, and overlays for the network, and we talk about how the book's art style also inspired the game's design! Thanks Riley! You can find As The Sun Forever Sets here: You can also follow Riley on twitter here: Stay tuned for the Are You Afraid In The Dark spooky game bundle that Riley is hosting later this month!


Fine Blueprints: Adaptation with Idiot Teenagers With A Deathwish

Today, Justin and Nychelle are joined by Danielle to talk about their Animorphs game, Idiot Teenagers With A Deathwish. She talks about what inspired her to make a game based on the Animorphs series, and how she shapes the core themes and powers into the Forged in the Dark system. We also discuss adapting your favorite media property to RPGs with some great tips and anecdotes. You can find the game on itch here: You can also find Danielle's actual play podcast of the game at or wherever you listen to your podcasts! You can follow Danielle and her projects and shows on Twitter at


Fine Blueprints: Minutes to Midnight and Intergalactic Kammerjager

Today, Oliver joins us to discuss his games Minutes to Midnight and Intergalactic Kammerjager. We talk about the mechanics that make IGK a comedy TV-show game, and the spy-thriller side of Minutes to Midnight. We also talk about games of alternate history with some very helpful advice for designing them! You can find Oliver's games at And on Twitter at


Fine Blueprints: Undead Awakening and Glamour of our Youth

In the first episode of Fine Blueprints, we change things up already! Today, host Justin is joined by two designers: Cass of Undead Awakening and Yuri of Glamour of our Youth. Both are very different games about the similar themes of monstrous and chaotic protagonists: Zombies and Teens. We talk about how similar inspirations and goals can cause two unique games. Undead Awakening is kickstarting now! Check them out: Glamour of our Youth is right here: And special shout out to Lo! Thy Dread Empire, which is also kickstarting, ending very soon! We wanted to get an episode in before the kickstarter ended, but we couldn't make it work. Give them all your support anyway! Follow our new Twitter! As always, join the Blades in the Dark discord to hang out with us!


Fine Blueprints Introduction

We're back, with a new name and a new network! Welcome to Fine Blueprints, a part of the Fiction First network. We all wanted to re-introduce ourselves! Follow our new Twitter! Nychelle: | Adam: | Justin: | Riley: | Jacob: | Michael (Eskur): | As always, join the Blades in the Dark discord to hang out with us!


Episode 33: The Exiles, a Crescent Moon Expansion

We're back! Today, we talk with Em Acosta about the stretch goals rapidly approaching for Exiles, a new dark fantasy TTRPG, funded in 48 hours and live now on Kickstarter! The Kickstarter ends in under 24 hours, so swing by right now: You can find Crescent Moon here: You can find Em at @spookymeals on twitter!


Episode 32: Establishing a Community with Mountain Home

Today, Mark and new host Erik are joined by Karl, author of Mountain Home, a forged in the dark game about dwarves establishing a new home in the mountains. We talk about how emergent narrative in the inspiration, Dwarf Fortress, evokes the narrative EXPLORATION of TTRPGs, and what it means to get into character as a dwarf. We also DELVE into how entanglements drive the narrative tone and challenges, and DIG deep into a number of adjusted mechanics. You can find Mountain Home at, and you can follow Carl on twitter at @TheTurtleHat. Podcast episodes will be slower to come out until the end of January, as we are preparing for Con in the Dark 2022! Stay tuned to our twitter @HackedintheDark for more information!


Episode 31: Games for kids with Luck of Legends

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 some of the game design aspects inspired by his students, as well as his methods for making the game approachable for a parent unfamiliar with TTRPGs to pick up and play with their kids. This is a great episode if you're thinking of designing an all-ages game of your own! For the young person in your life, you can find Luck of Legends at, and the first two chapters of Starsworn at You can also find Michael on Twitter @LuckLegends


Episode 30: A Taste of Humor with CHEW the Roleplaying Game

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 tone of the comics into a game. The CHEW Kickstarter is ending in 3 days! Check it out here and help them get more stretch goals! You can find Justin's other content on his new website, or on his twitter @MothLands.


Roundtable 1: External Containment Bureau

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 to catch our future streams at You can watch the ECB stream on our Youtube page at You...


Episode 29: Programmed Actions with Subconscious_Routine

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 media to convey the hopeful post-post-apocalyptic setting. Stick around to the end of the episode for a trailer for their game! Special thanks to Cohan for updating our intro and outro songs a few episodes back! You can download Subconscious_Routine and follow along at You can follow the Poor Students on twitter at @poorstudentsRPG. You can find other entries of the Applied Hope Jam here: As always, you can join our discord here: