A downloadable game

The city of Doskvol is alive with thousands of daring scoundrels on desperate scores, scrambling for their lives, their deaths, their futures, and even the future of the city itself. It's a city of action. You know this.

But you may be less familiar with the quiet of the city. An altar boy washes the candle wax out of ceremonial robes. The noodle stand guy lets his favorite customer eat on credit today. A scoundrel with a broken leg sits on a rooftop and looks for ghosts in the neighborhood windows, just like she used to with her sister.

Doskvol is alive in those places, too. Its heart is not always beating out of its chest. Sometimes, it rests.

Doskvol Breathes.

This is a supplement, expansion, or hack of John Harper's Blades in the Dark, though it technically does not require Blades in the Dark to be played. It is meant to pry downtime open a little more, and to encourage quiet, intimate, reflective moments with characters, both PC and NPC alike.

Doskvol Breathes is free to download and read, but if you use it at your table, I ask that you pay for it by donating a few dollars to a bail fund local to you, or to The Bail Project, if can afford to. If you would rather pay me for it, that's also fine.

CategoryPhysical game
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(43 total ratings)


Doskvol Breathes.pdf 997 kB


Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.


I really love this concept and the way you've laid it out. I play much more AD&D and OSE than BitD, and I'm adapting this idea to the way I run downtime in those systems. Thanks so much for sharing.

(1 edit) (+1)

Hey thanks for the praise!

If you're looking for a more fantasy and OSR-y take on this and have the $ to spend, you should also check out Trophy Hearthfire, either in the Codex - Hearthfire issue or the Hearthfire section of Trophy Gold (assuming you haven't already). Basically you a list of downtime actions in your fantasy town, and every time you take one of them, you answer another question from its list. So when you go Carousing the first time, you describe your favorite tavern in town. The second time, you describe your favorite meal there (and other people tell you why your choice is bad, actually). When you put money in your Hoard, you narrate flashbacks about what's motivating you to get money by adventuring. etc.

Though of course, whatever you're doing yourself is probably more interesting and exciting for your table. :)

Oh, cool. I'll have to look into that.  I'm currently moving to Downtime in Zyan instead of a freeform approach I'd used up to this point.  Trophy Hearthfire sounds like another good resource to help me layer in a bit more color.


I love this - the encouragement to get a little more personal is ALWAYS both necessary and beneficial in my personal opinion (I know it's not shared by all, but I would much rather too much story/character development and not enough combat than the reverse), and I also appreciated the exhortion to address some of the societal issues that are already being put in front of us with Blades but are maybe not being given their proper due by the design.
You can tell someone loves a game when they critique it by writing a supplement!  The vignettes are great and super helpful and the point of view is absolutely in line with things I'd want to address in play. 


Just reading this is incredibly inspiring. My table has some issues exploring personal matters in play, and this will give me a lot of ways to introduce that.

I like how the vignettes replace the Downtime Actions, but also expand on them a little, for example by adding different consequences for overindulging.

I think I'll build on those ideas to create new vignettes, and maybe even export the idea for other games !


That's great to hear, thanks for the kind words delotox. I intended for these vignettes to, among other things, act as kind of training wheels for anyone not used to framing scenes like this. Hopefully it won't be just you who's out there creating new vignettes, but your whole table who can start to build out scenes around their downtime actions! I'd love to hear how it goes for you!


A fantastic addition to any Blades in the Dark campaign. If, like me, you find yourself enjoying the little character moments and role-play opportunities afforded by the downtime phase, you owe it to yourself to check this out.