Friday, October 16, 2015

Requiem for a trio of duelists

costume swordsman2duelist in renaissance_poet_shirt_04Italian Style Duelist
Although I am running Honor+Intrigue, I adapt a lot of things from Flashing Blades. I've mentioned that I adopted the Social Rank system and I've also taken elements of the setting and the published adventures. One of those are the rival dueling schools located in Paris. We started play with two of the PCs as members of one dueling school, the Fraternité Sainct-Didier, which is one of the best of the schools teaching the French style.

The Fraternité Sainct-Didier has a rival school, the Fratellanza di Giganti. Students of the Fratellanza di Giganti are often members of the rich bourgeoisie of the Six Guilds and the robe nobility that hold many of the government and judicial offices in Paris. Students may be readily identified on the streets of Paris by their Black Tabards. The school maintains a long and intense feud with the Fraternité Sainct-Didier, and students of the two schools often engage in duels.

The PCs have gotten into a number of scrapes and duels with the di Gigantis. Not long ago, the school had to close as it's founder's had fled Paris after his role in the kidnapping of the grandmaster of the fraternite had been exposed to the authorities. This drastic action was motivated by the humiliations inflicted on the di Giganti by the Fraternité, primarily executed by the PCs.

As a result of the encounters between the two schools, a number of students of the di Giganti have been killed. Here's a few of them.

These NPCs can be used as members of a dueling school like the di Giganti or lone duelists. They are retainers in Honor+Intrigue terms, which means they are not the equal of a combat oriented or experienced PC, even a beginning PC. Though they should hold their own or even be dangerous to a non-combatant PC. As usual, underlined maneuvers indicate mastery. Retainers that have mastered reaction maneuvers like Dodge, Cloak Parry, Parry, Riposte, and Stop-Thrust are significantly more dangerous than Retainers who have not mastered any of those maneuvers. So watch for that in their stats.

Note that these Retainers are customized. H+I uses three levels of Retainers denoted 1-3 with 3 points distributed to each of Qualities, Combat Abilities, and Careers. I've added a couple of higher levels of Retainers, in part as a result of the PCs growing combat abilities. These three are what I call Retainer level 4. They have 4 points in each of Qualities, Combat Abilities, and Careers which is equivalent to a starting Hero or Villain. In addition, they have +1 to their Advantage statistic. An Advantage of 2 allows them to be much more effective duelists since they can retreat from one successful attack without yielding. You give up one Advantage to avoid a successful hit against you. If your Advantage reaches 0 you have lost the fight and are at the mercy of the victor. Starting Heroes and Villains have an Advantage 3 which allows them to retreat from two successful attacks before yielding.

Valentin Dautin (dead)

Spanish Style Duelist             (SR 7)

Fraction: Fratellanza di Giganti
Although Valentin Dautin is an up and coming member of the bureaucracy - both a scholar and a law student, he often misses classes to practice his swordsmanship and he is an enthusiastic duelist. 

Friction between the Fratellanza di Giganti and its rival school has increased. At a windmill outside of Paris, Dautin led an ambush of his fellow students to kill Gaston Thibeault after he had killed a second master of their school, Pietro Morosini, in a duel at the windmill. Dautin was mortally wounded by a disemboweling stroke of Gaston’s vizcaina and he bled to death.
Daring 2           Flair 2
Brawl -1           Melee 3          Defense 2
Duelist 2          Scholar 1       Magistrate 1
Lifeblood 8      Advantage 2     Retainer 4

Boons: Dueling Style: Spanish; Manuever Mastery;
: City Dweller, Hot-Headed

Rapier: 1d6 Dmg; Parry +1;

Manuevers: Bladework+5, Quick Cut (Bonus+5), Tag+5, Footwork+3, Dodge, Parry+3, Riposte+3

† Emilien Mercier (dead)

Shifty lawyer & Duelist          (SR 6)
Location: Paris, Fratellanza di Giganti
Fraction: Fratellanza di Giganti
Emilien Mercier is a Parisian lawyer and a student of the Fratellanza di Giganti. As a lawyer, he will do anything to win a case and is far more concerned with his ability to win the case than any merits or morality to the case. One of his regular clients is Armand Patrella a financier of the Paris Underworld. Patrella keeps Mercier on a generous retainer.

Mercier was one of the kidnappers of Master Sainte-Pierre. During the Master's rescue, Mercier was killed in the chapel by Gaston with a Stop-Thrust. (Going to -8 Lifeblood is instant death in H+I.)
Initative 1d6+2
Daring 2           Savvy 1          Flair 1

Brawl -1           Melee 3          Defense2
Duelist 2           Lawyer 1        Don Juan 1
Lifeblood 10    Advantage 2     Retainer 4

Boons: Dueling Style: Spanish; Speed (+1 Initiative)
Flaws: Hopeless Romantic, Untrustworthy (You have proven you are untrustworthy and your word alone is never enough. Penalty Die for someone to believe or trust you.)
Rapier: 1d6 Dmg; Parry +1;
Maneuvers: Bladework+5, Quick Cut+4, Tag+4, Footwork+4, Dodge, Parry+4, Riposte+4

Severin Bailleul (dead)

Banker, Ship Owner, & Duelist in the (SR 7)

Location: formerly Paris, Fratellanza di Giganti; now on board the Calais Lady

Description: Dark mustache, no beard.

Roleplaying: He is fond of the new vice – snuff and sneezes frequently.

Tractability: Flexible; no bonus or penalty to attempts to persuade him; Bailleul is average in his openness to new ideas or to persuasion.

Factions: Fratellanza di Giganti; Bourgeoisie

Bailleul is a prosperous member of the Bourgeois: a Banker and Ship Owner. He is an expeirenced duelist and a former member of the Fratellanza di Giganti in Paris. He believes his experience as a duelist helps him negotiate better deals and ensure loan repayments since his clients know that he can personally defend his honor and his property. He was one of the kidnappers of Master Sainte-Pierre. In the chapel where the kidnapped Master was being held, he was reduced to 1 Lifeblood and 1 Advantage, then he surrendered to Gaston Thibeault rather than risking a fatal wound. 

When Maestro Sapristi fled France to avoid both scandal and the arm of the law, Bailleul also fled. He set sail on his merchant ship as owner aboard. The ship sailed out of a French northern port to Amsterdam. Later, while the players were traveling on a diplomatic mission to Amsterdam, Bailleul was encountered in Brussels where he was challenged to a duel by Lt. Gaston Thibeault. Bailleul’s skipped the duel after it was arranged, leaving the fight to his second, the English duelist, Francis Blake who was acting as Bailleul’s bodyguard. Blake was disgusted with Bailleul’s attempt to avoid a duel and resigned from his service though he agreed, as a final duty, to act as Bailleul’s second. Gaston gravely wounded Blake and broke his sword, but allowed Blake to surrender. 

The failure to defend his own honor and the loss of his bodyguard interfered with Mercier's plans to obtain a Flemish Letter of Marque from the Archduchess which delayed him in the Spanish Netherlands.

Then, when the PCs broke Norbert the Giant out of prison, Guy (the Spy) left clues that implicated Bailleul and his ship in the escape of Norbert. Guy disguised himself as a sailor and hired a coach which he ordered to wait at an inn near the secret prison and again at the dock by the Calais Lady. He left a piece of scrimshaw that he had inscribed with the name Calais Lady in Norbert's cell where it was connected with the escape. 

The combination of needing to avoid Gaston combined with his implication in the escape forced  Bailleul to leave abruptly and without his Letter of Marque. This caused him to turn pirate, where the PCs, in the typical dramatic coincidence of the genre, again encountered him aboard his ship, the Calais Lady. In the climactic sea battle, Bailleul was killed by Gaston Thibeault via a fatal lunge.

Might 2            Daring 2
Brawl 1            Melee 3          Ranged -1       Defense 1
Duelist 2          Banker 2        Sailor 0
Lifeblood 10    Advantage 2     Retainer 4

Languages: French (N)

Boons: Dueling Style: Italian; Manuever Mastery; Ship

Flaws: Arrogant; Greedy, Infamous (Kidnapper of Fencing Master Sainte-Pierre)

Rapier: 1d6+2 Dmg; Parry +1;
Main gauche: 1d6+2 Dmg; +1 Bind, Disarm, Swordbreak
Fist: 1d2+2 Dmg;

Manuevers: Bladework+5, Brawling+1, Dirty Fighting+1, Disarm+5, Lunge+5, Swordbreak;
(Bonus+5), Bind+5 free after parry, Feint+3, Footwork+3, Shove/Trip+3; Parry+3, Riposte+3, Stop-Thrust (Bonus+5),

Author:Gaston's Hat          NPC in: L'Honneur et les Intrigues (Fic)

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