A downloadable playbook

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Introducing the Skeleton, a clacking assortment of accursed bones.

Bones litter Doskvol—the chewed-up treasures of the hounds, the discarded scrimshaw of the leviathan hunters, the eel-picked bodies lurking beneath the murky waters of the canals. 

Each of these fragments carries a spark of memory, of feeling, of spirit. Bind enough of them together and you get, well, you. The skeleton, given life.

The Skeleton is a custom playbook for Blades in the Dark by John Harper, inspired by all of the uncanny creatures that go clack in the night. They are strange and mournful, but with the unerring ability to befriend dogs.


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Click download now to get access to the following files:

SKELETON_character sheet.pdf 334 kB
SKELETON_playbook.pdf 1 MB


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An exquisite playbook, full of theme and fit for the season.

You'd probably need to use veteran advances from other playbooks to get a really playable character, rather than a walking gimmick, but pick one or two specials from this playbook to get a real creepy fellow with cool tricks up their sleeve !

I'd definitely play one if given the chance.

Thank you! I probably agree - one of the nice things about designing for Blades is that the basics are really covered with the regular playbooks, so it felt like I could focus on thematic moves and let the player work out how to fill in the gaps! I partly designed this as a break from some more nuanced design work on my main project, so I deliberately didn't really hold back on what went in.

Adding this as much as a note for people who try out the playbook and because your comment got me thinking! I think there are a couple of niches where the Skeleton really shines. The first is as an information gatherer with moves like Bone Meal and Skeletons, Plural - you start with a decent prowl and it's easy to lean into that, probably focusing on the dark shadows of Doskvol perhaps with some lurk or slide moves. Read the Bones and Danse Macabre work really well paired with some whisper moves, to create an uncanny, skeletal magician. Lastly, you can of course go full nightmare with moves like Sentient OssuaryThe Devil's BackboneBehind the Mask and then Sticks and Stones to resist harm - I think adding some Cutter into this too would be terrifying.