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Hacked in the Dark

Arts & Culture Podcasts

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

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


United States


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




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: ttrpg.link/exilesks You can find Crescent Moon here: https://pocketcompass.itch.io/crescentmoon 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...


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...


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!...


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 twitch.tv/hackedinthedark You can watch the ECB stream on our Youtube page at youtube.com/c/HackedintheDark 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...


Episode 28: Dice, Math, and Future.Shock with Umbra

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 different story than what the designer intended. You can follow Umbra on twitter at @DealerUmbra. You can find Future.Shock and Umbra's other...


Episode 27: The Solo Conversation with A Torch in the Dark

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 game. You can find Michael on twitter @notwritinggames. You can find A Torch in the Dark, as well as Michael's other games and his hugely helpful...


Episode 26: Touchstones with Fistful of Darkness

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 highlight the parts of the game that shined. You can check out the game on itch here: monkeyecho.itch.io/a-fistful-of-darkness You can find Stefan on...


Episode 25: Artistic Inspiration with Hieronymous

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 episode! You can find Laurie on twitter @Laurie_eee, and you can find his games on itch at laurieoconnel.itch.io. If you want a physical copy...


Episode 24: Narrative Authority with Enter the Survival Horror

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 can check out Adam on twitter @AdamBucceri, and you can find Enter the Survival Horror on itch.io at...


Episode 23: Porting to FitD with Synthicide

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. Synthicide: Sharpers in the Dark is kickstarting now! You can check it out here! Follow Dustin on here, and Michael on their twitter here. Show...


Episode 22: Iteration with Mothlight

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 take feedback, as well as the huge changes that Justin has made to Mothlight over its development. You can hear Justin as our usual host on most...


Episode 21: Laser Blades - Sci Fi in Forged in the Dark with Runners in the Shadows

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, Voyagers in the Dark, a military sci fi game inspired by Star Trek, and we contrast Runners with Justin's sci-fi game, Mothlight. Mark has been a huge...


Episode 20: It's Supplemental! Featuring Rearguard

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 twitter @roswellwrites and Caro's @seaexcursion. If you want to hear more about Beam Saber, check out our podcast episode 4, where we talk to the...


Episode 19: Fiction-first and Tight Design with CBR-PNK

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 Emanoel on twitter @emanoelmelo. You can check out CBR-PNK at emanoelmelo.itch.io/cbrpnk. For another cyberpunk take, check out our actual-play...


Episode 18: Starting Fresh with The Brightest Things We Know

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 power level and tone-balancing. You can find Briar Sovereign on twitter @weregazelle. Check out The Brightest Things We Know on itch.io at...


Episode 17: Gameable Lore with Pammu

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 are expressed in Blades, and how Pammu uses it in her own work, as well as how you can introduce it into yours! You can follow Pammu on twitter...


Episode 16: Consequences and Complications with Asphalt & Trouble

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 Slights and Grudges system. We talk about all the sources of trouble that players find themselves in, from Devil's Bargains to Entanglements, and how...


Episode 15: Zinequest 2021!

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 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/spookymeal/crescentmoon. Laurie (@Laurie_eee) talks about his game of trans people becoming liches to get...