Sunday, August 16, 2015

Requiem for a Mercenary

In our campaign, the English Spy Henry Rich, Lord Kensington. Rich is a favorite of King James of England and Scotland and thanks to his favor, in 1624 Rich will be made Earl Holland. In our game Rich, "The name is Rich...Henry Rich" is the 1620s version of James Bond taking on various special missions for King and Country. Some historians think Rich was actually an agent for England as well as a diplomat.

Leroux was a French mercenary who worked for Rich. He was part of the failed attempt to steal the plans for a multistage rocket from the Paris Arsenal. The handoff to Rich was thwarted and the plans recovered by a group of Cardinal Richelieu's new Red Guards. The Guards detained Rich without a warrant or letter de cachet. Rich complained vociferously and to avoid a diplomatic incident the guards concerned were sent to Marseille to take part in a mission to Morocco.

Before they left, Rich gave orders Leroux to teach the Guard responsible for the insult to Rich a lesson. I used a Cutaway scene to let the players be somewhat aware of the order. Mostly this ramped up the tension a bit, but since they did not know Leroux's name nor exactly who the target was (nor a date, location, or method) this didn't significantly affect their actions prior to Leroux's first attack.

Afternoon, in an elegant parlor, Notre Dame and the Ile-de-Cite are visible out the parlor window. Henry Rich, Lord Kensington is sitting at a desk, tossing cards into a hat which lies on a nearby chair. There is a knock at the door, Rich says, “Enter” as he calmly tosses one last card into the hat.
A man enters, but his face is in shadow, not visible to the camera, however light from the window reflects dully off his worn breast plate.
Rich: “You are late.”
Man in the Shadow: “The clerk wasn’t where you said he would be. It took a while, but I found him. That loose end has now been snipped…my Lord.”
“Good.” Without looking, Rich reaches into a draw behind him, withdraws a small sack, and tosses it to the other. “That’s not why I sent for you though. There is another loose end that needs taking care of.”
Man in the Shadow: “The Red Guard?”
Rich: “Yes. I want you to teach that upstart not to trifle with his betters.”
Man in the Shadow: “Do you want him eliminated?”
Rich airily waves a hand, “Whether he lives long enough to profit from the lesson is a matter of supreme indifference to me.”

Leroux made two attempts on his target, the Cardinal's Guard known as Cobweb, but failed both times. The last time, Cobweb ended the threat by shooting Leroux in the back. Not exactly heroic, the players are certainly doing a good job of giving the Cardinal's Guards a reputation that will justify their in-game advantage at intimidation.


Leroux was created as a typical tough retainer, suitable to act as a body guard or commander for a major villain. He is a bit better than a standard Retainer Level 3. But did not provide much of a challenge to Cobweb who is a duelist PC. That is expected for Honor+Intrigue. Leroux needs at least a few pawns to increase his threat level to challenge a combat oriented PC. Here are his stats.

Adam Leroux
Mercenary Retainer               SR 5
Motivation: Soldier of Fortune and Lady Fortune is what I seek.
Location: Paris
Personality: Leroux is a fatalist. He works for his success, but sees the actual outcome as mostly a matter of good or ill fortune. He is motivated by greed. However he resents his social superiors and his employers who he sees as only being in a superior position due to luck not ability. He is a brutal, uncaring man.
Roleplaying: Leroux relies on his luck or fortune.
Background: Leroux is a soldier of fortune, originally from Guyenne, and he has the braggadocio of a Gascon.

Might 1            Daring 1           Savvy 1           Flair 1
Brawl 1            Melee 2            Defense 1
Mercenary 2    Duelist 1          Traveler 1
Lifeblood 9      Advantage 1     Fortune 2         Retainer
Boons: Armor Familiarity, Favored by Fortune
Flaws: Greed, Brutal and Uncaring (casually brutal and a conscienceless killer)
Protection 1d6 (Breastplate) wears a helmet in battle
Broadsword: 1d6+2 Damage; +1 Beat
Stiletto: 1d3+1 Damage; +1 Called Shot; Ignores 2 Protection
Buckler: 1d3+1 Damage; +1 Parry
(2) Wheellock Pistols: 1d6+1 Damage, Range: 10’; Load: 3MA; Misfire: 2
Duelist: Old Style (can fight when Lifeblood = 0).
Maneuvers: Bladework+3, Brawling+2, Dirty Fighting(BD+2), Disarm+3, Lunge+3, Swordbreak, Quick Cut+3; Beat+3, Bind+3, Footwork+3, Shove/Trip+2; Dodge, Parry+3[4], Riposte+3
Author: Mark Sullivan              NPC in: L'Honneur et les Intrigues (Fic)

Leroux's men are Average Pawns.

Leroux’s Hired Swords

Mercenary Swordsmen          SR 3

Background: Bravos hired by Leroux to fight for pay.

Daring 1           Melee 1            Ranged -1        Defense 1        Duelist 0

Lifeblood 3      Average Competence: Pawn 2

Boons: Favored by Fortune

Flaws: Greed

Protection 1d3 (Buffcoat)

Rapier: 1d6 Damage; +1 Parry

Stiletto: 1d3+1 Damage; +1 Called Shot; Ignores 2 Protection

Maneuvers: Bladework+2, Brawling+1, Lunge+2; Dodge, Parry+1[2], Riposte+1

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