Nice post! I just posted a thread in r/bladesinthedark about progress clocks yesterday. I am curious about what amount of detail you leave in when you “show it to your players.”
I have generally been transparent to players in the sense that some of my players are GMs and care about game mechanics. I tell them “I am using a clock to track this threat and I will advance the clock depending on how you do on X.”
I am not generally transparent to the point of showing the clock or telling a player “be careful, there is only one segment left.” I think I am partially concerned about transparency because I don’t want to give up control of the narrative. Something about revealing clocks makes those events feel inevitable. As long as they are hidden clocks, I can add a step, or add nuance to the flow of the plot.
I am running my first Blades in the Dark game on Roll20 this weekend and am thinking about taking on the challenge of playing with 100% revealed progress clocks. I have been thinking that even if I reveal the clock, and title the clock, I will still not reveal my notes about what will happen in the world during future segments. So I would reveal “Goblin Clan Threat” but each segment would remain unlabeled, or it would be labeled as it was filled in.
Thanks for posting useful thoughts!