And a star to steer her by

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A PBP game of [Lady Blackbird:Tales in the Wild Blue Yonder]

Lady Blackbird is on the run from an arranged marriage to Count Carlowe. She hired a smuggler skyship, The Owl, to take her from her palace on the Imperial world of Ilysium to the far reaches of the Remnants, so she could be with her once secret lover, the pirate king Uriah Flint.

however—Just before reaching the halfway point of Haven, The Owl was pursued and captured by the Imperial cruiser Hand of Sorrow, under charges of flying a false flag.

even now Lady Blackbird, her bodyguard, and the crew of The Owl are detained in the brig, while the commander of the cruiser, Captain Hollas, runs the smuggler ship’s registry over the wireless. It’s only a matter of time before they discover the outstanding warrants and learn that The Owl is owned by none other than the infamous outcast Cyrus Vance.


Character Status[edit]

Character Pool Dice Unused Points Conditions
Lady Blackbird 3 1 2
Naomi Bishop 3 1 2
Cyrus Vance 2 4 1
Kale Arkham 2 3 1
Snargle 2 4 1

Rules Summary[edit]

Rolling the Dice[edit]

When you try to overcome an obstacle, you roll dice. Start with one die. Add a die if you have a trait that can help you. If that trait has any tags that apply, add another die for each tag. Finally, add any number of dice from your personal pool of dice (your pool starts with 7 dice).

Roll all the dice you’ve gathered. Each die that shows 4 or higher is a hit. You need hits equal to the difficulty level (usually 3) to pass the obstacle.


easy—3 difficult—4 challenging—5 extreme

If you pass, discard all the dice you rolled (including any pool dice you used). Don’t worry, you can get your pool dice back.

If you don’t pass, you don’t yet achieve your goal. But, you get to keep the pool dice you rolled and add another die to your pool. The GM will escalate the situation in some way and you might be able to try again.


When events warrant or especially when you fail a roll, the GM may impose a condition on your character: Injured, Dead, Tired, Angry, Lost, Hunted, or Trapped. When you take a condition, mark its box and say how it comes about. [Note: The “dead” condition just means “presumed dead” unless you say otherwise.]


If your character is in a position to help another character, you can give them a die from your pool. Say what your character does to help. If the roll fails, you get your pool die back. If it succeeds, your die is lost.


When you hit a Key, you can do one of two things:

  • Take an experience point (XP)
  • Add a die to your pool (up to a max of 10)

If you go into danger because of your key, you get 2 XP or 2 pool dice (or 1 XP and 1 pool die). When you have accumulated 5 XP, you earn an advance. You can spend an advance on one of the following:

  • Add a new Trait (based on something you learned during play or

on some past experience that has come to light)

  • Add a tag to an existing trait
  • Add a new Key (you can never have the same key twice)
  • Learn a Secret (if you have the means to)

You can hold on to advances if you want, and spend them at any time, even in the middle of a battle!

Each key also has a buyoff. If the buyoff condition occurs, you have the option of removing the Key and earning two advances.


You can refresh your pool back to 7 dice by having a refreshment scene with another character. You may also remove a condition, depending on the details of the scene. A refreshment scene is a good time to ask questions (in character) so the other player can show off aspects of his or her PC—“Why did you choose this life?”—“What do you think of the Lady?”—“Why did you take this job?” etc. Refreshment scenes can be flashbacks, too.