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Care to Dance? Cutlass 29


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Q&D Promenade
Voilà, sprightly acts are the thing to protect the life of our king. Only in a Cutlass style game can one use his innate combat balance, confidence and agility to do something truly necessary to save ones sovereign from the assassin’s blade. That being, to dance in a masquerade ball. Care to match me D20 crowd, without generating yet another Druid in the Underworld—worthless fidget—sucking all the life out of the character’s abilities to be clever for one circumstance. We can dance if we want to and well! And yes, a similar table could be created for Outlands and will be when the time is right.

But for now, the situation is dire in France. HRH Maxime is threatened by the banished Apothecary Thomas. The players must uncover the would-be assassin, while at the same time not humiliating the powerful members of court by making them look clumsy as they dally gaily before his majesty.

Difficulty Modifiers
Gold coin couple subtracts two on all Difficulty.
Silver coin couple offers the player a choice of adding three to Difficulty or treating Banes as Double Banes for this couple.
Fresh Enemy treats as silver but adds one to each Difficulty. Once the identity of the couple is revealed make note of the NPC offended.
Enraged King adds one to all Difficulty. Plus, all Banes are treated as Double Banes for all couples except Gold.
Pace pavane (march) is baseline and has no penalty.
Pace haute dance (lifts & leaps) means all players lose one make-roll. If none available, character is escorted out from the ballroom.

Note: any player character ousted from the ballroom will remain incommunicado and may fail in protecting his king. The player may instead opt to sneak back (masked), but a second ousting will result in a vicious wound. If all players are tossed, then King Maxime will be slain. France descends into chaos, and for a period every city-state becomes an independent Merchant Principality, until one claimant forces each back to loyalty.

Q&D Lento Grave Tempo
King Promenade: Exude an aura of devil may care respectability. Success and delight the king; his temperament never rises beyond amused (gold), his best mood. Regardless, select a swagger next round to potentially unmask a couple and possibly reveal the party-crashing assassin. Difficulty: 8 Advantage: Captain-Ship's Pilot
Queen Promenade: Count steps in time with the music. Success and charm the couple. If the courtier is already placated (gold), they are uncovered (laid bare) and if harmless become a safe place on the dance floor. Difficulty: 8 Advantage: Accountant-Bookkeeper
Knight Promenade: Extend a finger as your pointer and model your steps as if you are in a rapier duel. Success and delight the king; his temperament never rises beyond amused (gold), his best mood. Regardless, select a swagger next round to potentially unmask a couple and possibly reveal the party-crashing assassin. Difficulty: 8 Advantage: Fencer
Knave Promenade: Smile, these steps are in your wheelhouse; if not, be enthralling. Success and charm the couple. If the courtier is already placated (gold), they are uncovered (laid bare) and if harmless become a safe place on the dance floor. Difficulty: 9 Advantage: Trait Dashing
10 Promenade: A flood of memories of your Mum, teaching you to dance in the parlor of your home (even if that home had a dirt floor). Success and delight the king; his temperament never rises beyond amused (gold), his best mood. Difficulty: 10 Advantage: Trait Lordly
9 Promenade: Perform knee bends and bows comfortably in an ill fitting jerkin or set of silver thread pantaloons. Optional, success and draw center attention; move to the location of any couple in the ballroom. If couple is already revealed, Difficulty decreases by five. Difficulty: 9 Advantage: Armorer
8 Promenade: Belt out a shanty and jig to the titters of the ladies of the court. Success and the music decreases pace back to pavane (march). Regardless, select a swagger next round to potentially unmask a couple and possibly reveal the party-crashing assassin. Difficulty: 9 Advantage: Sailor
7 Promenade: Demonstrate you’ve practiced at manhandling human flesh. Optional, success and change partners to an adjacent couple or gain a chance to select a swagger to unmask a couple. Difficulty: 9 Advantage: Slaver
6 Promenade: Gaze at your feet and wonder if you’ve just created tap-dancing with accent provided by your scabbard strike to the marble floor. Success and the music decreases pace back to pavane (march). Regardless, select a swagger next round to potentially unmask a couple and possibly reveal the party-crashing assassin. Difficulty: 9 Advantage: Trait Cunning
5 Promenade: To garner sympathy, describe your exaggerated limp as a chivalrous wound. Bonus of plus three if the character actually is maimed. Optional, success and change partners twice; move around two logical steps or gain a chance to select a swagger to unmask a couple. Difficulty: 9 Advantage: Man-at-Arms
4 Promenade: Give a gal a slap, just like grappling with even playful nips, but do so foregoing a clenched fist. Optional, success and draw center attention; move to the location of any couple in the ballroom or gain a chance to select a swagger to unmask a couple. Difficulty: 9 Advantage: Brawler
3 Promenade: Tap a lad on the shoulder and ask to cut-in. Optional, success and change partners twice; move around two logical steps. If couple is already revealed, Difficulty decreases by four. Difficulty: 9 Advantage: Trait Stout
2 Promenade: Flatter and act the perfumed fop, of inconsequence to the chauvinism of the court. Optional, success and change partners to an adjacent couple. If couple is already revealed, Difficulty decreases by three. Difficulty: 9 Advantage: Solicitor
Ace Promenade: Add a souvenir of the evening, perhaps someone else’s purloined dance card. Success and reveal the couple's identity, assassin or not. This occurs without recourse to selected swagger. If couple currently is exposed, upon success move to any adjacent pair in the dance. Difficulty: 7 Advantage: Pickpocket

Q&D Cantering Larghetto Tempo
Bane King Promenade: Trip over your scabbard and quickly recover before you slice open the lady’s petticoat. Fail and anger the couple. If the courtier is already upset (silver) or exposed, make an enemy of them. Difficulty: 7 Advantage: Heroic Swordplay*
Bane Queen Promenade: Express your appreciation for any laughter by discharging your weapon into a coat of arms hanging above a mantle. Fail and the music increases pace to haute dance (lifts & leaps). Difficulty: 7 Advantage: Daring Pistol Fire*
Bane Knight Promenade: Complement the man, not his wife, making one or both uncomfortable. Fail and anger the couple. If the courtier is already upset (silver) or exposed, make an enemy of them. Regardless, change partners to an adjacent couple. Difficulty: 8 Advantage: Trait Cunning
Bane Knave Promenade: Discretely shift a valet blocking your sightline and tactically flanked approach. Fail and vex the king; he deceases in temperament to neutral, silver or enraged. Difficulty: 7 Advantage: Hilt Punch*
Bane 10 Promenade: Suddenly realize that you possess a decent sense of rhythm? Fail and anger the couple. If the courtier is already upset (silver) or exposed, make an enemy of them. Regardless, pirouette into the wall opposite the king; start anew. Difficulty: 8 Advantage: Trait Dashing
Bane 9 Promenade: Create a distraction by toppling a servant and his tray of petit fours. Fail and retreat to the wall opposite the king; start anew. Difficulty: 8 Advantage: Chiasmic Actions*
Bane 8 Promenade: Begin to spontaneously high kick; marvel that you may be on to something as a trendsetter as others mimic. Fail and the music increases pace to haute dance (lifts & leaps). Difficulty: 7 Advantage: Effective Spurning*
Bane 7 Promenade: Catch what you believe is the glean off a dagger; respond in overkill with force that might send a damsel hurtling across the ballroom. Fail and called to task for rude rules of engagement; suffer a time-out at the wall next to the king. Difficulty: 7 Advantage: Seize Swordarm*
Bane 6 Promenade: Rid yond players of a piper or two who seem to be overly aggressive leading the tune. Fail and the music increases pace to haute dance (lifts & leaps). Regardless, select a swagger next round to potentially unmask a couple and possibly reveal the party-crashing assassin. Difficulty: 7 Advantage: Automatic Reload*
Bane 5 Promenade: Ignore and play dumb to a royal finger wag of come hither to review the rules of conduct. Fail and demi-pointe to the wall next to the king; start anew. Difficulty: 7 Advantage: Trait Lordly
Bane 4 Promenade: Shout tally-ho (or gator) while dropping to the floor quaking; many wonder if you’re possessed. Actually, you wish to slip off for a quick tryst. Fail and tossed from the ballroom; character may not return until the assassin is revealed. Even on success, character returns next round at a position on the far wall. Difficulty: 8 Advantage: Attract Fire*
Bane 3 Promenade: Tap your pistol handle (or do more) to remind the conductor of the request to exhaust these guests quickly and make an early evening of the festivities. Fail and slink to the wall opposite the king; start anew. Regardless, pace raises to haute dance (lifts & leaps). Difficulty: 7 Advantage: Tenacious Pistol Fire*
Bane 2 Promenade: Drug a drink and propose a toast. Fail and vex the king; he deceases in temperament to neutral, silver or enraged. Regardless, select a swagger next round to potentially unmask a couple and possibly reveal the party-crashing assassin. If character has the skill Apothecary, Difficulty decreases by three. Difficulty: 8 Advantage: Uncontested Dagger Thrust*
Bane Ace Promenade: Accept an ironic complement on your surefooted style of frolic. Fail and anger the couple. If the courtier is already upset (silver) or exposed, make an enemy of them. Regardless, select a swagger next round to potentially unmask a couple and possibly reveal the party-crashing assassin. Difficulty: 6 Advantage: Trait Stout

Q&D Quick Step Vivacissimo Tempo
Double Bane King Promenade: Hurl a purse of coins to the band and request a favorite. Fail and lose Trait Dashing. Regardless, all players shift one position anticlockwise. If character has skill Briber, Difficulty decreases by two. Difficulty: 10 Advantage: Better Valor*
Double Bane Queen Promenade: Receive a respectful request to partner with a widowed crone. Fail and the music increases pace to haute dance (lifts & leaps). Regardless, change partners to an adjacent couple (after you made someone smile). Difficulty: 12 Advantage: Trait Lordly
Double Bane Knight Promenade: As the dance starts, bow to your partner – how can you cock that up? Success and delight the king; his temperament never rises beyond amused (gold), his best mood. But fail and lose Trait Lordly. Regardless, demi-pointe to the wall next to the king; start anew. Difficulty: 10 Advantage: Gesticulate Garment*
Double Bane Knave Promenade: Recite an ode to the many who sneer and wonder what barn sired your parents. Fail and lose Trait Lordly. Difficulty: 10 Advantage: Trait Cunning
Double Bane 10 Promenade: Stagger awkwardly and bring the gasping assembly to a startled halt. Fail and vex the king; he deceases in temperament to neutral, silver or enraged. Regardless, pirouette into the wall opposite the king; start anew. Difficulty: 13 Advantage: Trait Dashing
Double Bane 9 Promenade: Smirk and pat the scrawny shoulder of a mocking bachelor; puncture his femoral artery, then instruct him to be carried away as a doubled-over sot, soon perished off site. Fail and tossed from the ballroom; character may not return until the assassin is revealed. If card’s suit is a Cup, the slain man is the son of a vengeful high lord; expect reprisal (some day to come). Difficulty: 12 Advantage: Irregular Swordstrokes*
Double Bane 8 Promenade: Is this dance or gymnastics? Fail and tossed from the ballroom; character may not return until the assassin is revealed. Difficulty: 12 Advantage: Oriental Pummeling*
Double Bane 7 Promenade: Overwhelm someone who desired a simple embrace of compatriots. Fail and tossed from the ballroom; character may not return until the assassin is revealed. Difficulty: 12 Advantage: Wrestling Holds*
Double Bane 6 Promenade: Suffer a rebuff and accept the glancing blow before apologizing; any insult and grudge doesn’t make your top twenty. Fail and lose Trait Dashing. Difficulty: 10 Advantage: Trait Stout
Double Bane 5 Promenade: Unsure how to act or what move comes next, you simply follow the example of your sovereign lord of the dance. Fail and vex the king; he deceases in temperament to neutral, silver or enraged. Regardless, the king is now on the dance floor and may be vulnerable. Difficulty: 10 Advantage: Flamboyant Moves*
Double Bane 4 Promenade: Delight a circle of the gracious folk with some of your best vulgar jokes. Success and delight the king; his temperament never rises beyond amused (gold), his best mood. But, fail and tossed from the ballroom; character may not return until the assassin is revealed. Difficulty: 10 Advantage: Repartee*
Double Bane 3 Promenade: Tire of witty games; start stalking the room and jerking down masks at random. Fail and tossed from the ballroom; character may not return until the true assassin is revealed. Regardless, Ref reveals one suspect couple, not the assassin, among the many minor others in supporting roles. Difficulty: 12 Advantage: Disarming Blows*
Double Bane 2 Promenade: Self deprecate and make excuses for your actually brilliant manners and more than adequate dexterity. Fail and pirouette into the wall opposite the king; start anew. Regardless, character raises one social status during the next Administer’s Affairs. Difficulty: 11 Advantage: Feigns*
Double Bane Ace Promenade: Drink heavily; turn many of the august into tavern customers. Fail and demi-pointe to the wall next to the king; start anew. Regardless, the king is now drunk and vulnerable in this besot state. Difficulty: 9 Advantage: Charismatic Style*

Magician: Perhaps his highness might focus on his duties? Move to the wall next to the king to pull a courtesan away from his rough play. The king is no longer flirting. You dare to make such affront? If this happens a second time, that player character makes an enemy of his highness.
High Priestess: Rousing good fellowship; make amends with any enemy. This card event may be shared with someone else or used to reconcile a hatred outside of the court.
Empress: The bored king grows sullen. His mood reduces a step toward angry.
Emperor: The dance switches to a reel; the king is now on the floor and threatened by the assassin.
Hierophant: Perhaps his excellence would enjoy a smoke? Move to the wall next to the king to swap his goblet for his pipe. The king is no longer besot. You dare imply humility? If this happens a second time, that player character makes an enemy of his highness.
Lovers: Dalliance. The king is presently distracted by his interest in a stylish coquette; this might leave him vulnerable to attack.
Chariot: Invent the messenger. Escort the king off the dance floor and back to his guarded throne. You dare deceive your king? If this happens a second time, that player character makes an enemy of his highness.
Justice: Scowl and suggest to his highness that there may be several people out to kill him. Move to the wall next to the king as he removes all vulnerabilities. You dare threaten his person? If this happens a second time, that player character makes an enemy of his highness.
Hermit: Now he spills fine wine? Move to the wall next to the king to pray with him back into relative sobriety. The king is no longer besot. You dare question his piety? If this happens a second time, that player character makes an enemy of his highness.
Wheel of Fortune: Shuffle the deck and continue.
Force: Move to any place on the dance floor, but the location you land turns Silver, or if that already, makes the player character an enemy. This action is not optional.
Hanged Man: Slurred speech. Should the king be drunk and besot, the assassin strikes him down dead; follow with personal combat to apprehend the assailant.
Death: Vulnerability. Should the king be asleep, flirting, besot or even just on the floor dancing, the assassin strikes him down dead; follow with personal combat to apprehend the assailant.
Temperance: Dreaming. The king seems to be asleep (for the moment); this might leave him vulnerable to attack.
Devil: Revelry. The king is presently two sheets to the wind, pissing himself drunk; this might leave him vulnerable to attack.
Tower of Destruction: Is he merely asleep or dead? Move to the wall next to the king to nudge him awake to see that he still breaths. The king is fully awake (for now). You dare to touch a king? If this happens a second time, that player character makes an enemy of his highness.
Star: Merry tune of fife and bassoon. Remove one silver coin or add one gold to any couple, just not on anyone presently being chatted up by another player.
Moon: Should the king be asleep, the assassin strikes him down dead; follow with personal combat to apprehend the assailant.
Sun: Applause break. Reveal one couple of your choice.
Judgment: The king cheers the celebration. His mood returns to gold.
World: Dos-à-dos. Should the king be on the floor and dancing, the assassin strikes him down dead; follow with personal combat to apprehend the assailant.
Fool: Love-sick. Should the king be flirting, the assassin strikes him down dead; follow with personal combat to apprehend the assailant.


Yours,

   red



Message Replies:
Speaking totally out of all characters... -- Mike Myke Mique (posted: 1/12/2019) 
Always your choice -- red (posted: 1/12/2019) 
Out of character. -- Mike Myke Mique (posted: 1/12/2019) 
Viva le Revolution -- red (posted: 1/13/2019) 
What's Wrong with Dutch Campaign? -- Fredrick Rourk (posted: 1/22/2019) 
Certainly better cheeses -- Mike Miller (posted: 2/5/2019) 
 
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