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Secondary Missions (Band of Blades) with Thomas Manuel

Secondary Missions (Band of Blades) with Thomas Manuel


Thomas Manuel of the Indie RPG Newsletter and the Yes Indie’d podcast joins me to talk about Secondary Missions, a mechanic from Band of Blades by Off Guard Games.

In Band of Blades, a grim military fantasy forged in the dark game, you and your party go off and do missions. Meanwhile, there’s a whole other squad out there doing a whole other mission! What’s up with them? This mechanic tells us. It’s such a change in the mouthfeel of Band of Blades compare to other forged in the dark games.

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 a classic Dice Exploder deep dive this week. Enjoy.

Further reading:


Thomas on itch and Twitter.

Sam on Bluesky, Twitter, dice.camp, and itch.

Our logo was designed by sporgory, and our theme song is Sunset Bridge by Purely Grey.

Join the Dice Exploder Discord to talk about the show!


Sam: Hello and welcome to another episode of Dice Exploder. Each week we take a tabletop RPG mechanic and have its back as we head behind enemy lines. My name is Sam Dunnewold, and my co host is Thomas Manuel. Oh, so exciting. Thomas is an Indian playwright, journalist, and game designer. He runs the Indie RPG Newsletter, for my money one of the best sources of IndyRPG news on the internet and an easy subscribe. Plus he's the current host of the excellent Yes Indeed podcast. He's also the designer of This Ship is No Mother, a card based take on the kind of Mothership genre that's very much worth your time. Thomas is great,

And he brought on a mechanic from Band of Blades, a grim military fantasy forged in the dark game from Off Guard Games and Evil Hat. Specifically, Thomas brought secondary missions.

In Band of Blades, while you and your party are off doing one mission, there's a whole other squad over there doing a whole other mission's worth of stuff. What's up with them? This mechanic tells us.

Secondary missions, have a deceptively big impact on the mouthfeel of Band of Blades. 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 at least my favorites. It's a classic Dice Exploder this week, a deep dive at its very best.

Here is Thomas Manuel with Secondary Missions.

Thomas, thanks for being here.

Thomas: Thank you for inviting me. I'm so excited to talk about Band of Blades.

Sam: Hell yeah. What is Band Blades?

Thomas: Band of Blades is a sort of dark fantasy military take on the forge in the dark framework.

Sam: Yeah. A band of Blades kind of play on Band of Brothers is where the name is coming from. Right?

Thomas: Yeah, I, I assume it is a play on that, but it is also different enough from that show that I don't think people should use it as a touchstone. The premise of the game is that you play The Legion, which is an army that has just lost the decisive battle for the fate of humanity.

There is an undead horde that is an existential threat to humanity. And we fought that battle and we lost it. And now the legion is in retreat. And it ends up being a kind of a point crawl where you're retreating from the location of the battle to a fort where you hope you can hold up there and figure things out and, you know, other pockets of the legion might end up there as well and that could be the last stand.

Sam: Yeah. So we, before we get into specifics of what mechanic you brought from this I just wanna say, first of all, this game has like six different mechanics in it that I would be excited to do episodes on. Like truly there's so much innovative design in this game.

And also I. I, I think it's okay. Like, I think it's a great game that was like an okay experience for me. It was like a little dark, like parts of it didn't quite, quite fit with me.

Like, my experience with Band of Blades was that I'd started running a campaign in January of 2020 and it was going okay. We were like, kind of getting a feel for it when you know uh, March happened of 2020 and we were all like, this might be a little crunchier and darker than like, we wanna play right now.

And I, I never really felt like it was something I was super drawn back to because I prefer a little bit more at that like minimalism level and there's, there's just so much game in this game but I, I really love so much of, of the innovation that went into this game.

Thomas: I, I also think that this game is extremely innovative, like has, really interesting design. I think Off Guard Games, uh, Stras and John kind of have done so many interesting things that I am constantly coming back to it and learning stuff about design and like getting inspired by it.

I ran, I think this is probably 2021. I, I ran the whole campaign uh, sort of reskinned for Malazan: Book of the Fallen and kinda set in that world if that, which, you know, I'm a big fan of that series. It's also sort of military fantasy and we ran the whole campaign and I, I really enjoyed it. I think it is, yeah, it does have some crunch. It does have some darkness, but I think it kind of balances it out really well for me.

And yeah. I'm, glad we picked this one because this is in the spirit of taking something small that is not particularly discussed in the text and then kind of exploding it like, this is a great choice.

Sam: Yeah, totally. So let's get into it. So what mechanic specifically did you bring?

Thomas: So, yeah, we are gonna talk about secondary missions which I think in the text might be, you know, a page at most. And the idea is that like Blades or other games, one of the phases of play is a mission phase where you are going to take your player character and go out and do a mission that is going to help the legion.

And then you come back and there's a second mission. There's a second mission that is other members of the Legion people you aren't controlling, what they did while you were out. And that is resolved with one dice roll. It's basically just the engagement roll. It's the same procedure as the engagement roll for the primary mission. You're gonna roll that engagement role and then just based on the result of that, of that one role, you're going to narrate how the secondary mission went. And yeah, it often goes really badly.

Sam: Yeah, I mean, you have to do really well for like many people to not die. And band of Blades like has troupe play, so you're constantly rotating between characters. So you're often like sending out some of your faves onto this secondary mission. And whether or not they fucking die is gonna be determined by a single die roll.

It's, it's hardcore.

Thomas: It is. It is. And you know, I think it brings in that... like a war game needs to have a certain level of gravitas. And I think that's what the secondary mission is, is bringing.

Sam: Yeah, totally. So, yeah, why did you bring this? Like what is it specifically about this that really made you wanna bring it on the show to talk?

Thomas: Okay. So I have not seen a mechanic like this in another game. That isn't to say that it doesn't exist, but my experience of the secondary mission was that we would go on this primary mission ,and because this is a forged in the dark game, like our characters are awesome. We are going to go up against impossible odds and we are going to somehow, pull success out of the jaws of victory. And we are going to come home battered and bruised, but triumphant.

And then we come back. And then we'd roll the secondary mission and we'd be like, fuck. War is hell. War is hell, and we can't save everybody. And it was often really powerful moments that led to things like, people like talking about like mourning and like how, you know, a character just died. Like how do we, how do we respond to that? Like what are the traditions around that stuff? Like in the Legion, it led to some really great moments. Yeah.

Sam: Yeah. Another thing that it does with that sort of, you go off and like kick ass, then you come back to camp, is it gives you that feeling of you can't be everywhere at once. Like the Legion is bigger than just your playgroup. Like what? Any four of you, they're out on a mission or whatever. That there's all of these other people, like both doing their best and succeeding at times away from you and coming back victorious, but also often failing without you, and you just have to... it, it makes you feel small in this way that I think is really appropriate to that war setting.

Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. I think through play is again, one of those other things that we could have been talking about today. And this is, yeah, it, it slots into troupe play like really well. And what it does and what true play really does is it makes this the story of the Legion.

Sam: Yeah,

Thomas: Like every individual character is, their own saga, living and dying. They have all the humanity that we associate, you know, that we want to inject into them and all of that stuff. But the story is the story of this Legion, which is, something greater than any individual.

Sam: Yeah. You know, I was just in the Dice Exploder discord, hashtag Dice Exploder discord, this afternoon. We were having this like long conversation about the crew sheet in Blades and whether or not it's effective at what it's doing. Because a lot of people I think feel like the idea of the cruise sheet is really great and also people get attached to their own characters and don't want to... like you're focused on your character. You're not focused on the crew in the way that like Blades, I think, wants you to focus more on the crew at least according to my reading of the text.

And I think Band of Blades really succeeds through troupe play explicitly and through mechanics like secondary missions at really doing the thing you're saying at, at foregrounding the story of the legion of the crew more than any individual in it.

And that's really impressive.

Thomas: Yeah, absolutely. I think that sort of gentle confusion about Blades as priorities is a part of the text. I think John Harper leaves the door open for troupe play but is also like, you know, people like to play their characters. So I'm gonna, I'm not gonna take a strong stance on that.

But Band of Blades is like, there's a role called the Marshall, and they decide who goes on the mission, and they decide who's playing who.

And I'm like, amazing.

Sam: Well, it's, another thread from this conversation from this afternoon was like, a lot of people feeling like a lot of the mechanics on the Blades crew sheet are a bit unnecessary or just like not their favorite or a little bit more like paperwork like, as opposed to the mechanics on the playbooks. And band of Blades actually, like this is another mechanic from this game we could have spent a whole episode on like it's dividing up like the GM role in some ways and like all of this paperwork stuff among different roles at camp that all the players get to play like the Marshall, like you're saying. But somehow like bringing in even more crunch to that the, that crew role basically it, instead of feeling like, oh my God, I'm like drowning in the crunch, it, it really does pull you up into that Marshall level, that bird's eye view of the legion as a whole, as opposed to being down with your individual guy or, or whoever.

Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. I think, you know, in terms of GM load, Band of Blades is doing something amazing with that restructuring that we're talking about. And in that sense, the secondary mission roll is also a part of that because what, what the secondary mission does, it takes the pressure off you as the GM to drive home a kind of misery in the primary mission.

Like if you as the GM are like, I'm playing a war story. I need to bring these elements of tragedy into it, like the primary mission, players should and can succeed. And because the secondary mission and the design of the game is going to help you hit those notes and that is such a huge relief that the game allows you to simultaneously be a generous and a fan of the players while still still able to experience those themes, you know.

Sam: yeah, yeah. Yeah. Another thing I like about it is how the choice of what mission is going to be the primary mission, what mission is going to be the secondary mission. And sometimes you have like a third mission that you just can't do because you don't have the people and you automatically fail it.

And that choice of which of these are we gonna prioritize is a really interesting choice every time. I think a lot of that theme that we've been talking about of this being a game of is clearly a game about war and making almost like resource choices almost that like the kind of cold math you have to do in war with human life, I think it, is really highlighted every time you have to choose what mission is gonna be primary and what's gonna be secondary.

Thomas: Yeah, I think there are a series of games, especially video games that have this trend of what you're actually doing is you're playing the world's worst HR manager. You know what I mean? Like, like Darkest Dungeon is a good example, right? Like, you are just sending these folks into a bad situation and then you're like, putting them in a, in a bar a church and saying, deal with your stress and come out and then you go back in.

And there is a certain kind of inhumanity in that, that that cold calculating thing that you're doing. And I think Band of Blades for me specifically does a better job of that than those games. Like there is in some sense because it's a role playing game. Like you are never really treating anybody as a pawn, like you're feeling their feelings. And it is always like this hard choice to be like,

Um, the most common result of the secondary mission roll is the four to five, right? Like that is, you know, it's very common to get one to three, but maybe six. And the critical result is the only result in which nothing bad happens. So, on the four to five, you are given this difficult choice of saying either fail the mission and all the troops return unharmed, or you succeed the mission, two squad members die and all the specialists take some harm. Which are wounds.

And what is interesting is while so much of the game is very clear about who makes what call - Commander, you decide whether the Legion moves. Marshall, you decide who goes on the mission - the question of how the table decides this call is not explicit. The only way for us to decide, you know, it isn't the Marsh's decision, it's we all sit and we go like, oh my God, if we succeed, who is dying? And everyone has to kind of like have that thing of like, I don't, I, I don't know.

And sometimes it's fine. Like it's a really important mission. You're like, we have to succeed. But sometimes you are like, nah, let's, let's fail this. Like we can eat the failure, but you know, we can't lose people.

Sam: I will not have my wonderful bug man die. Like I'm too in love. Like... and no, that's, that's a great observation about Not having a specific person make this choice, unlike a lot of the rest of the game. It almost feels like you all have to get your hands bloody in this choice. Like, it's not letting anyone off the hook. You all have to put your stab into the murder victim's back, like,

Thomas: Oh, that is so good. Yeah.

Sam: It's, yeah, no one gets to sit this one out.

Thomas: Yeah. And yeah, often you fail and then you just feel that failure. And that's, in some sense, that's easier. It's, it's simpler. It's simpler than the four to five, like

Sam: If everyone is just sad, at least they're alive. But like sometimes, sometimes also the mission is like save a small town from being eaten by zombies and you're like I mean, they're probably gonna die when the zombies get here anyway. We'll save our two guys. Let's, let's move on. Let's move on. And it's, it's like, it's hard. It's hard choices.

Thomas: Yeah, it is. It is. I think that is... a lot of this game is supposed to be hard choices, but I think there are various kinds of hard choices. There's the tactical choices, which is, you know, a lot of the crunch of the game is like, let's make cool tactical decisions about, you know, setting us up for success when we reach our, our destination, which is Skydagger Keep.

But a lot of the, the decisions are also just emotional you know, just in terms of like what narrative we want and we've talked about like not letting people die. There's also this moment of your like, I think it's this character dies and I think that is appropriate. I think there's a moment in the Band of Blades actual play on the Actual Play channel where I think they fail a secondary roll or they get a four, five or whatever and they, two, two characters just had a fight in the, in the previous session, in, in the downtime phase or whatever, and they're like one of them died and the other person is going to have to live with the fact that the last thing that they interacted with this person was a fight.

Sam: Yeah.

Thomas: You know, and I'm like, awesome.

Sam: We touched on this, but I really wanna highlight explicitly how this mechanic forces you into the position of doing the math with human life, but it does it without dehumanizing people. That the exact moment you just described is always the thing that you're thinking about as you make this decision that largely comes down to numbers.

I, I also wanna say like, I think fundamentally the most interesting part of roleplaying games, oh, story games for me is characters making hard decisions. And not just this mechanic, but this game is absolutely riddled with hard decisions. You also were just saying that, but I, I just think it's so cool to see a mechanic that is so explicitly and reliably, that's the other thing, reliably putting a hard decision in front of people.

Thomas: Yeah. You can play Band of Blades and you will have the experience that this game wants if you're willing to engage with the game on its terms and like treat these characters like as people and all this stuff, which most people playing this game will do.

But that hard decision stuff, like, yeah, I think it's perfectly fine to flag that that can become grinding down. Like I know some people, Paul Beakley, I think on the Indie Game Reading Club has an article about Band of Blades. He describes how at the end of the campaign, everyone was kind of tired. And that was not my experience, but I, I get it. Like, I guess, you know, that is something that can happen both thematically and mechanically

Sam: Yeah, of course. Yeah. Yeah. That's like in a lot of ways that exhaustion I think is part of what the game is about.

Thomas: But I, I mean, I think it's still supposed to be fun.

Sam: Yeah. Yeah. It is. It is. And we did a whole episode in season one on The Watch. Right? Which is also, I think a lot about not like, can you win the war. But what is the cost of war? How do you live with the cost of war? And, and this is another game that is even more explicit about that, I think, than The Watch is, which is already pretty explicit about it.

Like, you, you're not winning. You lost, like, what, cost are you gonna pay?

Thomas: Yeah, I think if you are making a war game, you have to be really conscious about, you know, what you're saying about war. And yeah, both of these games, I think The Watch is, kind of using war as, as metaphor and Band of Blades is again, sort of like, very consciously stripping the glory out of this.

Like, this is not that game. Which Band of brothers to some extent does have, right? It's, it's a show that it know, you know, war is awful, but like these characters are, are noble and brave and righteous and all of that to some extent.

And this game is like, if we focus on the fact that it's a retreat, we can tell an interesting and sometimes under explored facet of war stories.

Sam: Yeah, I should state for the record, I've never actually seen Band of Brothers, so I, I, I cannot actually speak to it, but but the, the other thing I wanted to just touch on in all that is just how brutal this game can be and like, very clearly and, and intentionally. And this particular mechanic as we've kind of discussed, I think is especially about brutality. Like when you fail, just three people die. And like several more are like critically wounded. Like you could just wipe out and every person who dies


Thomas: half a squad.

Sam: And like the morale is hard to keep up in this game. And you fail one secondary mission and you're just, the whole legion is in so much trouble.

It's a hard game. There's a, but you know what? You know what rule we really should have done a whole episode on is the single sentence in Band of Blades "this is a game you can lose." Like it's, yeah, it's a lot.

Thomas: Again, like why is that sentence there? Why is this game that you can lose when role playing games usually aren't? And I think, again, that all flows from the decision to make a game about war. And you touched upon this adjacent mechanic, which is morale, which we should clarify that. Like, anytime a member of the legion dies, the legion loses morale and, you lose enough morale, you lose the game.

Sam: Yeah. Yeah.

Thomas: And other things also, but like yeah. Worse situation. Yeah. The game's over. And yeah, one failure can demoralize the squad in a huge way.

And also like if you lose three squad members, a, a squad is like five people. They've lost more than half your squad. All your specialists are, you know, who went on the mission are beaten up. Yeah, it is. It is awful. And so what usually happens is that people will look at the primary mission and say, okay, we are going on this, so we failed the resource here. The fact that we are awesome and we can do stuff, let's load out the secondary mission with the best, best, you know, assets we can give it like Quartermaster, can we send them with like extra supplies? Like, you know what, what do we have to like, increase the odds there? And, and I think that is also like a kind of fun and meaningful choice. Yeah.

Sam: There's something really nice in that, about how this mechanic is sort of indirectly encouraging you to be empathetic to that secondary squad. It's like, don't you love them? Don't you like feel for what they're about to go through? Like you should care about them, you should give them the extra ammo.

Yeah, Is there anything about this mechanic that you have trouble with or that bumps you?

Thomas: It can, if your primary mission has gone badly, it can be a second punch in the face. Like, I think, I think that is that is a thing. But otherwise nothing specifically that I can, that I can think of that is like an issue I have with it or I will change the design or something.

Sam: Yeah.

Thomas: Yeah.

Sam: Another thing, look, one of the first things you said on this episode was that you've never seen another mechanic like this one. And I think that's a testament to how specific to the setting and genre and story that Band of Blades is telling this mechanic is.

And I always love it. I love it when I see mechanics like that because I literally just before this recording, moments before this recording, wrapped up a forged in the dark Pirates campaign with one of my home groups where we just weren't using an established setting. We just like have played a lot of Blades and we were like, eh, I'll make up some special abilities and go. And it worked totally fine and for a lot of ideas I can just do that.

But it, it takes. Like the new systems, the new games that are really interesting to me are the games that have mechanics like this one that are so bespoke, so tailor made to what this game is doing. And I really love that. I really really respect mechanics like that.

Thomas: Yeah, and it is again a testament to band Blades, good design, and why I want to talk about, 'cause I think it's completely like under-discussed. I think we should all be talking about it all the time, is the fact that all of this is so like, enmeshed together. Right? In some sense the secondary roll is necessitated because forged in the dark is such an empowering framework for players.

Right. Like, how do I tell a war story with this? And you, and you started that question and then something like this is almost, almost required. I would, I wouldn't have thought of it, but it does, it does like something like this is needed once you decide to go with this framework. And I think, yeah, it is, It does feel like something bespoke and tailor made that has then through play testing kind of integrated into everything smoothly and perfectly.

Sam: Yeah. So after you've made the secondary mission roll and you've kind of determined the results of it, there's then this moment that the book encourages of you to sit at the table and sort of flesh out the story of what happened on that secondary mission. Like, you know what the goal of the mission was and you know how many people got fucked up and or died on the mission.

But there's a lot between point A and point B there. So it kind of sets you up to devise this short story together of what happened on this secondary mission.

And I think it does a good job of giving you enough handholds of what was the beginning and what was the end of that story, to kind of flesh it out such that it doesn't really need a framework of doing that in between. And that in itself is like pretty impressive to me.

Sometimes you'll be given a mechanic as you're playing a game, like the game will present you with a mechanic where it, it has a little bit of that, like now draw the rest of the owl feeling to it. Where, where it's asking you to, fill in the blanks on something that it has not set you up well enough to fill in the blanks on. And this moment of fleshing out what happened on the secondary mission in some ways feels like drawing the rest of the owl, but in a way where like I feel empowered to draw the rest of the owl. And that's, that's cool.

Thomas: And you know, one reason is that as a GM, before the Commander makes the decision of which is the primary and secondary mission, you fleshed out both equally, right? Like you have as much information on one than the other. So you're starting off in a good place, you're not taking it lightly.

And then, yeah, when we get to the result, like there is this question like immediately that comes to mind of like, how did this happen? Like, you know we chose that as a secondary mission 'cause maybe we thought it was safer. And you know, we have to now, now sort of at the table discuss and figure it out because also we might be in the next primary mission playing the people who went on this mission, right?

Like, we want to, we want to reflect the fact that, you know, I just broke my shoulder like last time and I'm coming like half patched up into this one. Stuff like that, like, yeah.

Sam: Maybe we encountered like a new type of zombie for the first time. And so

Thomas: Mm.

Sam: that specialist is the only one who's seen that type of zombie before and that's gonna come up next time. They can be the person who's like Uhoh on the next mission and, and do that foreshadowing, but all that, all that.

And they can also be like the person telling the horrible war story, like around the campfire, like the ghost story almost of what happened. That can be in itself, a cool downtime scene.

Thomas: Yeah, I think that is actually a thing that comes up regularly often where you want to contextualize what happened on a mission to the other characters, not necessarily the players. So you wanna see it through one character's eye, like what they experienced and stuff like that. 'cause if you're going to limp home limp back to camp, you know, half your squad gone, people know it went horribly wrong.

And you know, there is like, there is just this sense of like, you know, at some point we need to know why. And often it's at like the Commander Marshall level where, you know, you might role play like having a character debrief the senior officers going like, this is, this is what happened. And the senior officers had to sit around going, Yeah, it's our fault, you know, like, we made that call and we have to settle with it. Yeah.

Sam: Yeah. Or like maybe you decide that one person who came back alive really was at fault and you hold a disciplinary meeting for them. Right? Like

Thomas: Oh, wow. Yeah.

Sam: Um, a specialist who comes back injured and carrying tons of guilt, like, yikes, I, let's do it.

There's another line at the end of the procedure here that is, if any squad members died, ask someone what they remember most about one of them, which is really just like sticking a finger in the wound. Right. It, it, it's making sure if it wasn't clear enough already, like you are supposed to feel these deaths.

Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. It is again, just and, and if people are sort of hearing this and going, oh, this is a bit, this is a bit much like I cannot overstate how much the primary missions can be just a joy, like a complete, like you can, you can be in this dark fantasy world of zombies. And you know, the humanity has lost the war.

But like when you start a primary mission, like when I was playing it very often my players would absolutely flub the engagement roll. And they would start in like a desperate position and I'd really kind of revel in like, how screwed they were. And then they would just go, okay, flashback, this was the plan all along, this is the diversion. I'd be like, shut the.

Sam: Flashback this, resist that. Yeah. I've got some explosives in my back pocket. It's all fine. There's, you, you say there's a broken themselves, one of the head zombies coming in to kill us? Like that's fine. We'll just collapse a church on their head. It'll be fine.


Thomas: We prepared for this all along.

Sam: Yeah. Yeah. It's cool to have both of those dualities in the game, like to have the wild successes. 'cause that also feels like a part of war is like sometimes you do get those miraculous victories too.

Thomas: Yeah, I will say that, and this is something that I'm still unpacking, but it can't be overstated how much culturally we have this fantasy, especially for young men of like the greatest destiny being that you gave your life on the battlefield, right? Like that you took a bullet for your comrade.

Like that is such a powerful you know, cultural feeling, I think. So And it is hard to sort of have that feeling in games that don't, at the end of it, make you go, okay, yeah, I think we might have glorified war there.

Sam: Yeah.

Thomas: and it is this game this game lets you do that.

So I am, I am going to unrelentingly recommend this to folks even though it can be dark. Like I think you have control of that dial to a huge extent. And you can You can make sure that this is a fun and pleasurable experience.

Sam: All right. What mechanic from Band of Blades should I do an episode about next?

Thomas: I mean, I think the immediate one that comes to mind is the idea of roles. That the one thing that players have continuity on is that they're either the Commander or the Marshal or the Quartermaster or optionally the spy or, and the Lorekeeper, I think.

And yeah, they just, they just divide the GM role in a nice way. Primarily because like, those are now player responsibilities, right? It's the Marshal's responsibility to name every member in the squad as in when they need a name. It's not the GM's job, you know. And that you know, you might think that a small thing, but it's, it's a big thing.

So I, I think that's an obvious other thing to kind of discuss all the ways in which Band of Blades gently and, sophisticatedly kind of divides that, GM experience.

Sam: Yeah. It both distributes all the paperwork and bookkeeping that the GM or someone would have to be doing among several people so that no one person is fully responsible, and by doing so, it puts more hard choices into the hands of each player.

Thomas: Yeah, and it also facilitates their mutual cooperation, right? Like when, when you have a sense of like, whose final call this is, like that doesn't mean you're not gonna discuss it. You're gonna discuss it and then someone has final call and you're going to respect that. And that does a lot for having straightforward and fluid like conversations.

Sam: Yeah. Well maybe I'll have you back in a year or two uh, to do that one. Um, But uh, this was excellent. This was great. Thanks for for being here and talking about secondary missions with me.

Thomas: Thanks so much. I am thinking about Band of Blades like all the time, you've just given me an opportunity to like talk about it, but if you had it, it'd just be me in my head thinking about it.

Sam: Thanks again to Thomas for being here. You can find him on socials at chaibypost, C H A I B Y P O S T, but in my opinion, you're better off just subscribing to the Indie RPG Newsletter and the Yes Indie’d podcast. Links for all that in the show notes.

As always, you can find me on socials at sdunnewold, bluesky, and itch preferred, and there's a Dice Exploder Discord! Come on by, talk about the show, and if you've backed the Kickstarter, claim your fancy pants roll.

Our logo was designed by sporgory, and our theme song is Sunset Bridge by Purely Gray.

Thanks, as always, to you for listening. See ya next time.

Dice Exploder
Dice Exploder
A show about tabletop RPG design. Each episode we bring you a single mechanic and break it down as deep as we possibly can. Co-hosted by Sam Dunnewold and a rotating roster of designers.