City of Flowers
In the past there may have been wizards and dragons and dungeons and elves and all of that, but that was long time ago. Now we are in a time of science and civilization. The Republic of Florence is at the forefront of this new revolution. But not all forces are excited about this change. This is an espionage campaign, with all characters as covert agents for one of the most powerful men in Florence, Cosimo de Medici. The Medicis originally came from the countryside and grew their wealth and influence through hard work in the wool trade and banking and through excellent diplomacy and social networking. They are on the ascendancy, and with the charismatic visionary Cosimo de Medici taking over the Medici bank after the death of his father, they are poised to make a play to rule the city in earnest. But their rise is not going unnoticed. The main faction aligned against the upstart Medicis are a group of rich noble families who have held Florence in their sway long before the Medicis had anything to their name. That faction is led by the Albizzis and the Strozzis. Of noble birth, they will stop at nothing to maintain the old regime. But there are other more nefarious factions in the city, some of them spies from other states, some of them secret orders of mages and alchemists, and some of them the stuff of nightmares. In order to work against all of these forces, and to keep the city safe, Cosimo will need allies, those Allies are the equally secretive Order of the Blue Rose. Cosimo will recruit anyone who will be useful regardless of class, gender, nationality, or background.
Some inspirational media:
Assassin’s Creed 2
the Zeffirelli Romeo & Juliet
Prince of Foxes
Nuts and Bolts:
Characters are built with 150cps. -50pts available in Disads and -5pts in Quirks.
This is a social game and an espionage game. This means that Social Adavantages/Disadvantages are very appropriate, including: Patrons, Allies, Enemies, Dependents, Claims of Hospitality, Status, Wealth, Rank (Military, Guild, etc), Duty, etc.
Only members of the 21 recognized guilds are eligible to serve in the government or vote.
Membership in a guild, or any other organization, is a Perk. Membership in a Guild opens up the possibility of Claims to Hospitality, Allies, Rank, etc. However, it also generally comes with Duty.
Starting Characters are limited to a maximum final Status of 3.
Rank is limited to a maximum of 3, except for Police Rank with is limited to a maximum of 2.
Debts are prevalent amongst the higher classes, mainly because the government taxes those with money and property heavily.
Some women and religious minorities count as Social Stigma (Second Class Citizens). However, PCs who are women or religious minorities will not be treated like complete crap. Women had lots of power and there were religious minorities who were ambassadors or functioning members of Florentine society. Yet, they also can’t vote. So it a Disadvantage, but only a -5pt disadvantage, and there will be no harrassing PCs above and beyond a -5pt disadvantage.
Martial Arts and Cinematic Abilities:
It is a “realistic” game, so no cinematic skills or abilities are available, with one exception: with Trained by a Master or Weapon Master and a Martial Arts Style, cinematic abilities included in that style are available.
(From Martial Arts) Bare-Knuckle Boxing, Dagger Fighting, Italian Style Fencing, La Verdadera Destreza Fencing, Transitional French School Fencing, Late Medieval Knightly Mounted Combat, Longsword Fighting, Foot Archery, Masters of Defense Weapon Training, Polearm Fighting Glaive Fighting (but the Swiss Halberd variant), Pollaxe Fighting, Savate, Shortsword Fighting, Sword-and-Buckler Play, Sword-and-Shield Fighting, Combat Wrestling
You don’t need to have Weapon Master or Trained by a Master if you don’t want to. Also note that no one will be allowed to wander around the city with longswords or heavy armor. Though rapiers and daggers are fairly standard among wealthier people. PCs don’t have to be designed with a lot of combat skills. However, all members of the Order of the Blue Rose will be given some rudamentary fighting skills in the style Il Lavoro Veloce.
Magic does exist. There are two sorts of magic. Most people who do use magic (of which there aren’t that many), use Path Magic, Energy Accumulating. Although, there are reports of witches out in forests using the spell-based magic system…though spirit assisted. But witchcraft is illegal and witchhunts happen every now and again. So nobody who uses any kind of magic is open about it. In Florence, mages are members of secret Mage Societies. The Cult of Zenobius (who are anti-Medici) and The Body of Hermes (who are aligned with the Medicis) are the two main mage societies operating in Florence. They both also have Alchemists, though Alchemists are also sometimes known to work independently…though that might be slightly dangerous. There is also a breakaway religious magic order of healers called the Sanctuarians.
Because this is a lightly supernatural espionage campaign. You’ll want to be good at spying. This means do not ignore things like Stealth and Fast-Talk. But you also have non-espionage lives that you need to be able to function in…which could mean anything from Theology to Administration to Savoir-Faire and Dancing.
The first step, before pen is put to paper, is to come up with a character concept. However, I do want us all to build our concepts together so that we all work well as a team and all have PCs who are intertwined and connected to each other. Concept is more than just what you do (i.e. Fighter), but who you are, what you want, how you earn a living, what you love or hate, what your story is (i.e. Isabella, daughter of a working man who was killed by one of the Albizzi for no reason other than the father agitated that the people should have a voice in the government, not just those from the guilds. With no father, she watched her mother suffer, and it soon fell to her to support the family. She swore vengeance on the Albizzi and the other aristocrats. So she dedicated herself to becoming a deadly duellist so that she could get revenge on the Albizzi who killed her father. She currently makes her money as a stage actress and when she had the chance to work with the up and coming Cosimo de Medici she jumped at it.) Fighter is just a fighter, Isabella is a fighter with a story and a set of goals.