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As a player and designer of Forged in the Dark games I have learned many lessons.

I've learned to flashback and explore the past from a new perspective.

To bare my teeth and present the stakes clearly.

And I have learned to play in alternate dimensions, entertaining the best and worst outcomes simultaneously.

Alternate Timelines is a short essay featuring personal reflections and advice for GMs, players, and Designers. In it I explore the nature of roleplaying games as quantum realities and consider how we might harness this knowledge in order to tell better stories.


  • 9 page pdf.
  • Approximately 2000 words.
  • Inspired by my time with Blades in the Dark.
  • Composed and written for 2021's Lesson's From the Dark.
  • Plain text available on request.
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Click download now to get access to the following files:

Alternate Timelines.pdf 448 kB


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Once again Justin offers insightful, intentional advice applicable to Blades and many other games.

The premise of using revision not just in the moment, or as a safety tool, but as a storytelling device is excellent.

I also loved the questions you ask the reader. I’ll have to ponder them for my own projects!

Based on the name, I thought it was a FitD time travel game. I am still happy despite being wrong :)

Super insightful! Great work, as always.