Friday 12 April a chance to show the strengths of one of my favourite system FGU’s 1983 musketeer game ‘ flashing blades’ playing the Grand Marksmenship Tourney & Scavenger Hunt.
SPOILER WARNINGS I am running this at DevaCon 2019 & perhaps at Grogmeet 2019.
A pair of gallant musketeers
- Cassius a gentlemen scholar and religious fanatic played by Doc
- Caesar, an amorous rogue played by Simon
A pair of hardy Cardinals Guards
- Achilles a romantic soul played by Jeremy
- Theseus, a sergeant and rash duelist played by Jon
Joined by their trusty manservant Bof/Crosh (who may or may not be the same person or his evil twin played by @comicbookevangelist )
Prelude the finale of La Rochelle
To warn players up we played the final stages of crushing hideous hugenouts & their perfidious English supporters at La Rochelle. Rolling on the random table Theseus had incurred powder burns and Cassius had a chance to fight a Protestant cavalier to capture a rebel standard.
Unfortunately he was rubbish based on the head & stumbled off stunned. Caesar took up the mantle wounding the revolting Protestant for a mighty blow in the left arm but stumbled off stunned in the chest. (With wiley Cassius picking up the fallen standard.)
The heavily armoured halberd wielding Guardsmen turn up and Achilles like his namesake smited the standard bearer – appropriately supervised by his Sergeant Theseus.
Lootwise Cassius acquires a wheelock pistol and Caesar got the armour off the same fallen general. Theseus acquired a draft horse but Achilles managed to secure a kings ransom in English gold. Bof/ Crosh knee his place.
The Grand Marksmenship Tourney
All but Cassius and the lackeys enter the Marksmenship tourney which celebrates the Royal victory after the parade, awards and Te Deum service which mark the rest of Grand Defile.
Theseus has a drink before hand with his chum and agent of the Cardinal the Baron D’lle de Batz who worried for the cardinal being in such an exposed position.
In the course of the parade some PCs notice a flash Spanish coach with Sergeant Lultzhausen one of the favourites for the tourney leaving carrying a purse.
At the ceremony in Tuilires Sergeant Theseus is decorated but fails to be allowed to kiss the kings hand (or attract flirtation from the Queen.)
The Te Deum allows the characters who are of insufficient rank to attend the service to place betters via their loyal manservant(s?)
Preparing for the tourney Cupid’s victims Achilles & Caesar see a competitors mask fall from their face to reveal an attractive madamoiseille De Roiseries the daughter of General Rolland confounding rules & society to shot herself the equal of any man. Both Guard & Musketeer pledge to keep her secret safe.
The first round of the completion privies devilishly hard only General Roland, the Swiss Guard Alban de Bergen & the nice but dim chinless birder the Viscount De Praz de Lys going through the second round.
Bof & Cassisus auspicious of the much vaunted Sergeant Lultzhausen crashing out early rail him and find him taking his arquebus through to a townhouse with excellent sighting on the royal box! No time to fight through the crowds to get guards they have to act!
Meanwhile the fallen competitors spot an attempt to damage Alban de Bergen’s musket (no doubt by a syndicate who betted on him losing.) They gave chase Theseus managing to fumble a tackle and end head first failing in a water but while Achilles managed to trip the scoundrel and get him arrested.
Over at the Rue St Honore Cassius climbs up the building and tries to shoot the assassin as he loads through a window with his new wheelock pistol. He misses and the German opens the window to skewer him with his sabre. A wild duel occurs with the musketeer clinging to the wattle and dawb houses frame while fencing trying to pull the Sergeant into a plummet.
Bof tried to help by grabbing Lultzhausen’s partially loaded arquebus, trusting and pulling the trigger. However he misses his intended target of the rectum – jams barrel up the gap between the marksmen’s backplate and doublet with the ramrod firing out the top but the powder starting a fire.
This is a surprise to Cassius when using his acrobatics he swings so he straddles the Germans shoulders. Unfortunately toasting his codpiece on the oven of the backplate. With an almighty push Bof swings the villains legs up and Cassius lands clear. The scoundrel is take into custody.
Alban and the Viscount go into a drawn out final round that Alban wins splitting his purse with the gallant soldiers who protected his musket. Cassius and Bof are sword to secrecy by the Cardinal the intended victim of the Spanish plot but he is in their debt.
Following on from the Great Marksmenship Tourney both Achilles & Caesar are courting the beautiful madamoiseille De Roiseries. Arriving on her birthday they find from her maid, the straight talking Fanny they find the only acceptable gifts are a dozen white Lilly’s, plumb wine & cherry bons Bon’s – the race is on!
Head for the confectionary passing public brandings, Theseus getting into a duel with a Sublatern of the Gascony regiment (bloody Gascony) and bumping into a pipe smoker and spilling his tobacco.
Tracking down the sole supplier of bons bobs they find the last case has been bought by the Duchess de Nozze. While Crosh fails to steel the sweets Achilles tells his tale. It softens the Duchesses heart and other parts and he suggests the chocolates in return for a spot of sport with our Guardsman. While Acillies makes sacrifices the Duke returns and he has to hide under the bed while the Duchess welcomes the conquering hero – eventually leaving disguising as a maid with the chocolates trying to avoid the dukes amorous eye.
Rushing to the Fox & Vine for plum wine they lose Theseus who manages to step on the Gascon’a foot again – twice in a row. Leaving him to two more duels to the blood they get to the pub and find the owner passed out & plumb wine the only labelled bottle in the cellar – but the suspicious Achilles tests it and so determines it was a rouse. They sample bottles to find the right stuff and eventually though Achilles is finding life hilarious and Crosh is zilched they find it. The musketeer loads his man servant into a wheel barrow and trundles off thinking Lilly’s don’t see that important.
Cassius and Caesar head off for the wine first, bumping into a man enjoying his tobacco pipe and spilling it – and Cassius alchemical studies enable him to spot the plum wine first time. The clever Caesar forged a label as a trap for any other paramours (see above.( They then get to the flower market find all lilies bought by a mobile flower seller. They track him down and secure the last supply though on route a bag on coal falls of a cart caking them in coal dust.
Finding the Bon bon route all dissipated them turn – again knocking the pipe of the (same unlucky) pipe smoker who’s found every smoke ruined by romantic idiots rushing around and announces he’s quitting the habit.
Between the sozzled Guard with his bon bons & wine & coal dust caked musketeer with his Lillies and wine the Mademoiselle regretfully informs both paramours she has found a real man to supply her needs. Stepping out from the shadows with a enormous bunch of lillies, box of cherry bons bons & magnum of plum wine is none other than the Cardinal’s own scoundrel Baron D’lle-de-Batz.
I bloody love flashing blades me & it’s of the FGU site,drivethrurpg and many others in print. It’s a compact 56 page system with a scissor paper stone mechanic for dueling. It can be unforgiving – think the Richard lester musketeer films rather than Errol Flynn.
I was very lucky to share this game with a great bunch of players, it was a great laugh – hopefully we’re it was their first experience of flashing blades they are tempted to pick up a copy (and so should you.)
For those of you on Twitter – I’ll get me coat.