Court Intrigue: Uncle Louis

  • 2 Replies
Court Intrigue: Uncle Louis
« on: May 15, 2011, 12:45:13 AM »
What is this?
- A intrigue hack based on the court of Louis XVI (called “Uncle Louis”) who was the last French king and was executed in the French revolution. Loius was a well-meaning but indecisive ruler who relied too much on his advisors and was too influenced by the desires of the members of his court.

Why do I care?
- You know you love court intrigue and you want to see an AW hack for this.
- It already has an awesomely cool relationship map where you lay out cards.
- AW structure + Fiasco scenes + Diplomacy backstabbing = win.
- You can help hack this and make it fly.

Why to play?
- You are so hot right now. Ruthless, ambitious and manipulative with the connections and cash to get what you want.
- The court is ripe for conquest. Normally it would take years to advance, but with a weak king and a tense population, advancement is ripe for the picking.
- Think of the power you could wield. The goal of the game is power, which could be having the power to get the King to do what you want or being the king yourself.
- But time is running out. The revolution is imminent. Can you get a puppet king installed and stop it? Or will you use your sharp words rally the people to storm the palace instead?
- Gently now: don’t twist the tigers tail. Pushing too hard and fast will leave a trail of bodies to fire up the population and get the revolution started.

Stefoid is looking for someone to turn an old Ronnie entry ( into an AW hack. From our exchange on Story games ( I’m working on this brief:
- Improve roleplaying focus with a structured game like AW.
- But with no MC. Which means we need something to “activate” the NPCs.
- Make sure there plenty of intrigue.
- King Louis should be a "capricious bastard".

I want to add this stuff in as well, but it is not essential:
- Try and make this a game you can play at multiple levels: a “boardgame”, a one shot and a campaign.
- Utilise something like the Master mechanic from my Goblin World hack ( That is: it should take different approach to influence those above and below you in status.
-  I think it can be done without a character sheet.

(Edit: damn hyperlinks)

Re: Court Intrigue: Uncle Louis
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2011, 07:26:28 AM »
OK, here is the first bit I've hacked. I want you to have simple "playbooks" with the details that could fit on a couple of playing cards. Each "playbook" is made up of a FACTION and a STYLE which determines your character stats and abilities. You can draw a (non-picture) card to randomly determine your "playbook".

  • Determined by card suit
  • Diamonds - Loyalists - King Louis (KD) - 3 coins - Want to keep the King on the throne. These characters will try to get ahead but avoid a rebellion.
  • Hearts - Expansionists - Queen Antoinette (QH) - 4 coins - Think foreign power is necessary to keep the people down.
  • Spades - Rationalists - The Heir Apparent (KS) - 5 coins - Think that rationality and economics are the solutions to the current problems.
  • Clubs - The People - No leader or perhaps the Prime Minister? - 4 coins - Think nobility is not divine. These characters are more likely to push forward a revolution.

  • Determined by card value
  • Odd is a man, even is a woman.
  • Ace-2: Wolf (in sheeps clothing). Subterfuge +3, Beauty +1. When you Assassinate with a 10+ the body does not go to the Graveyard.
  • 3-4: Dogs. Sub +2, Beauty +2. The workhorses of the empire. Start with a Level 1 Commission of your choice.
  • 5-6: Chameleon. Sub +1, Beauty +2. Everyone's dearest friend. Count as the other suit of your colour whenever most advantagous for you.
  • 7-8: Peacock. Sub +0, Beauty +3. Overly indulgent with the latest fashions. Use Beauty for one of your Subterfuge move.
  • 9-10: Mutton (dressed as lamb). Sub +2 Beauty +1. Use Subterfuge for one of the Beauty moves.

I think the multiplication of FACTION and STYLE will create an interestingly wide range of character types with a simple mechanic.

But I'm not 100% happy with the STYLE names. Any better ideas?

Re: Court Intrigue: Uncle Louis
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2011, 01:10:57 AM »
OK, a couple of other core elements I'm thinking about that sort of work like Hx / Stats.

PRESTIGE (a Stat of how influential you in the court)
- This is based very solidly on Stefoid’s original design, but with some additional levels and tweaks.
- You move up and down these ranks of prestige as you play.

Rank - Description - Number of spots - Starting filled by
+5 - Ruler - 1 - King Louis (KD)
+4 - Like Family - 2 - Queen Antionette (QH) + the Heir (KS)
+3 - Powerful - 3 - random non-picture cards
+2 - Influential - 4 - random non-picture cards
+1 - Central - 5 - random non-picture cards
+0 - Introduced - PCs and other random non-picture cards
-1 - Out of court - Unlimited
-2 - In Prison - when 5 filled the prisons a revolution starts and the prisons are emptied
-3 - Dead - when 3 filled the revolution starts and the dead become martyrs

CONNECTIONS (your power over other specific characters)
- Use coins, with each player having a different denomination.
- For each connection with another character place one coin on their card.
- If the other character has the same suit as you but you have no Connections, assume it is +1.
- If the other character is the same style (card value) as you but you have no Connections, assume it is +1.
- When you roll+Connection with another player you roll and add the number of coins on their card (maximum +3).
- Limited number of coins at start based on Faction and Style but can grow or drop as the game progresses.
- Originally I was thinking favours, an owe list or something like Hx. However I figure that people don’t actually trade favours, they just build up relationships based on favours. And an owe list is too complicated.

Any ideas / suggestions on this?