Lady Blackbird Recording

Hello and welcome back to You Don't Meet In An Inn!

Today we have our Overview of John Harper's Lady Blackbird.

In this episode Christine and Austin discuss what they like about the system, what the system can do, and what media is good inspiration for a game of Lady Blackbird.

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We hope you enjoy listening!


  • Thanks. Just a request or personal feedback:
    Please provide podcasts as mp3 rather than m4a. They won't play on my car radio and I won't bother to convert them.
    See also:
  • edited July 2015
    Mp3s sound horrible compared to fourth gen codecs like vorbis and aac. :(
    (Edited rather than turning the thread into a bikeshed coloring off topic thread)
    If I understand correctly, it's the filter banks that are especially audible with MP3s at any bitrate. Whereas with vorbis or AAC, I can't hear the difference compared to 44.1/16 wav or flac.
    For podcasts (w/ mostly human speech), you usually don't encode it at 44.1/16 192 either. (Whoops, I guess according to libsyn, you do. I guess people have more bandwidth these days.)

    Mp3 encoding is among the more lossy of the audio codecs in current use 2015. I get that there's more compatibility, but it's not that hard to transcode yourself, either, and then both the patent issues and the audio lossage are on you rather than on the podcaster.

    That's right, Fraunhofer's patents haven't expired yet. AAC is also patented though.

    That said, they could provide multiple formats (at their own risk wrt patents, but that'd satisfy most people when it comes to both audio quality and formats).

    Edited again: I guess I don't really mind so much if a Lady Blackbird podcast on the internet is a little noisy. So use any format you like. As for the patents, it's not my neck that's on the line. I'm trying to learn to not quarrel so much. I'm sorry.
  • edited July 2015
    Well, Mp3 sounds considerably better than hearing nothing out of my car's speakers. :-)

    The phrase "mp3 sounds horrible" is also a bit misleading. You do get near-CD quality with mp3 if you want, just at a higher file size compared other codecs. For a downloadable file, I prefer a larger mp3 for better compatibility.
  • I got sucked into the audio discussion because I used to be interested in that topic but I didn't intend to listen to the show but now I am listening to the show and it's very good!
    Thanks folks
  • Before this post, I didn't know this podcast existed.
    I started the Lady Blackbird AP (not the overview, I wanted to hear you play it first) and got to the point where Captain Vance was described as very old, about 60, obese, with a peg leg and an eye patch. I stopped listening at that point.

    It broke my brain a little. I realize it could be my baggage for Lady B more than anything. I'll get back to it at some point, but the old fat Vance kills the idea of a steampunk romance RPG, which is how I've normally seen / played / ran it.
  • Everyone needs to be young and hot?!
  • Yeah, I like the idea of an aging, obese Vance. That's actually a selling point for me - sounds interesting!
  • Everyone needs to be young and hot?!
    I have run Lady Blackbird about 25-30 times now, and I've seen lots of different Captain Vance's. The ones I've most enjoyed had some chance of a romance with Lady Blackbird, since the PC has the Secret of Hidden Longing.
    (Lady Blackbird was described as commanding and statuesque in the same game. I'm 15 minutes into the game now and Vance is being played as if he's the narrator for a Spongebob Squarepants episode. This is not what I foresee as a romantic opportunity)

    Granted, Lady Blackbird is incredibly flexible as a game and I've played in games where players took the PCs in very different directions, but I've found the most enjoyment in games where these things remained true:
    1. Vance loves Lady Blackbird and at least has a slim chance of that attraction being returned
    2. Kale is Vance's friend
    3. Naomi actually cares about what happens to Lady Blackbird
    4. Snargle has a moral compass
    Yeah, I like the idea of an aging, obese Vance. That's actually a selling point for me - sounds interesting!
    Give it a listen, maybe it's something you'd dig!
  • edited July 2015
    That's a pretty good list of requirements.

    It's a bit sad, though, if being old and overweight disqualify Vance entirely from forming some kind of bond with Lady Blackbird. (A tragic, doomed, or questionable romance is not out of the question, I think, or even continued unrequited love combined with a deepening friendship.)

    How about a Beauty and the Beast story, where Vance discovers a magical or technological process which makes him more physically suitable for Lady Blackbird, if that's ultimately that important to your story?

    I mean, it's a story. Even if an outcome doesn't seem all that *likely*, can't we consider the very unlikely in our fantastic steampunk sci-fi tale?

    On the more realistic end of the spectrum (and a little darker), maybe Lady Blackbird rejects Vance because of his age and looks, and then we fast forward 10 years, or Lady Blackbird is horribly maimed in some kind of tragic accident... and when she sees that Vance still loves her, she realizes that she was a fool to reject him just based on his looks/age/infirmity, and they get their romantic ending after all.
  • The Kale / Vance relationship got interesting with the older Vance. Kind of a "role model" situation.
  • A good number of times I've been in groups that have gender-swapped Kale to Kayleigh. It makes for a fun dynamic: Vance is the only male human so opportunities for finding hetero romance are rarely without entanglement.

    I've had Blackbird assuming Kayleigh was Vance's lover, Naomi romancing Kayleigh, Kayleigh being jealous of Vance's feelings for Blackbird despite the supposably platonic nature of their working relationship, Blackbird spurning Vance but poaching Kayleigh into the sisterhood of sorceresses, and even Snargle and Kayleigh finding interspecies love in the bowels of The Owl (The Owl Bowel?).
  • A good number of times I've been in groups that have gender-swapped Kale to Kayleigh. It makes for a fun dynamic:
    Oh yes, I agree! I think of this as the "Some Kind of Wonderful" version of the game (referring to the movie).

    Another neat version of the game was when three players chose Kale (as Kayleigh), Snargle and Naomi, so Lady Blackbird and Vance were NPCs. It was amusing to see the romance play out off screen, and Naomi complaining about having to "guard Natasha's virtue along with her life". So fun!

  • Don't rule out Vance's romantic wiles just yet. ;)

    Today we have the continuation of our Lady Blackbird tale with "Betrayal at the Bordello!"

    In this episode the party discusses the bounty on "Natasha's" head and then encounter some people who are looking to cash in that bounty.

    Links to the show are in the OP.

    We hope you enjoy listening.
  • Today we continue our actual play of Lady Blackbird. In this episode the party finally has the charts to navigate to the Pirate King but knowing how to get there and reaching their destination are two different things.
  • Today we have the continuation of our Lady Blackbird tale with "Betrayal at the Bordello!"
    I don't get why these locations are so popular in TRPGs. Maybe they're more popular in real life than I thought.
    Another RPG show, Critical Role, also featured them. And many Sine Nomine books have them (Polychrome for example).
    I still kinda flinch every time, but... maybe I'm weird.
  • It's because brothel's are so archetypal as places where nefarious individuals can hide out. The sex workers who work/live there are "obviously" sinners and degenerates. Then there the pimps who are widely portrayed as being violent toward just about anyone, and the clientele who are never upstanding citizens.
    They are often referred to as "houses of ill repute."
    With all of this going on who's going to notice a couple murderers, thieves, and smugglers in the crowd. They are just about perfect for narrative purposes.
  • But is it really a place where you typically hang out in groups or crowds?
  • Excellent question! I don't know. (Maybe they're just titillating, and so people like them?)
  • Some people hang out at strip clubs with their associates. If it's more socially acceptable among your companions to pay for sex, why not just hang out at the brothel? You surround yourself with attractive people, possibly still have access to drink and food, and if you want sex, there you are!
  • In today's finale the party does battle with the Pirate King, Uriah Flint. Have they bitten off more than they can chew when he reveals he is a Flameblood sorceror? Listen in and find out if they can defeat this dangerous foe!

    Links to the show are in the OP.
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