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At the Ball

A Scenario for

Swashbuckling Adventure in the Age of Kings

At The Ball
Intrigue, Insults, and Dancing
A Gloire Scenario for 1-4 Players by Pete Murray

2006 Rattrap Productions LLC Users may print copies for their own use, but distribution of this scenario either electronically or in print is strictly prohibited. More information on Gloire may be found at: http://www.rattrap-productions.com/

Introduction
My dear Don Armando, do I detect a look of concern on your face? If I did not know you better, I would say you were a man afraid. You read me correctly, D'Lessep, sighed Don Armando. Devils and angels, how I hate these circumstances! Give me something straightforward any day of the week Barbary corsairs, Bosniaks, or a bad district of Paris after midnightrather than have to face this sort of ground, crawling with enemy spies, and me bereft of the comfort of steel. I feel my enemy's eyes on the back of my head, and am powerless. D'Lessep smiled and straightened the lace of his cuffs. Oh, dear fellow, whatever shall we do with you? You must pluck up your courage, gird your loins, and for your own sake, you must not think of drawing your sword tonight. See now, Armando, the ranks are gathering. Draw close to your enemy! And don't forget what I have taught you! Be light on your feet, quick on your wits, and have eyes in the back of your head! The music was already gathering the participants, a lively minuet played well by the orchestra. The Grand Ball had begun.

The Scenario
No proper gentleman relies solely on his prowess with the sword to demonstrate his gloire. A Grand Ball is an excellent opportunity to gather information, form alliances, woo beautiful women, and snub one's enemies. To succeed on this battlefield, one must have a quick mind and light feet, a winsome smile and a ready compliment. Nothing overt may be attempted here, and to fail at the Grand Ball is as humiliating as to show cowardice on the field of Mars. Choose your most majestic clothes, your most radiant jewelry, and put a new feather in your hat! Your enemies await you. This scenario may be used as an interim chapter in a campaign. Success in this scenario should translate to a significant advantage in the next campaign, perhaps allowing the winning player to choose the location of Encounter Markers, or allowing him an advantage in models or starting position.

Victory Conditions
The objective of this Scenario is to earn as many Victory Points as possible, while avoiding mistakes. Victory Points may be earned by gathering information from dance partners and ball attendees and snubbing one's opponents. The game ends at the conclusion of the last dance. At that point, Victory Points earned are tallied, and the number of Disgraces are subtracted from this total. Whoever has the greatest net number of Victory Points is the scenario winner.

At the Ball: Intrigue, Insults, and Dancing 

The Characters
Each player controls one Grade 3 character. Players may use their campaign characters, or if this is a one-off game, may use the characters from The Waylaid Messenger in the Gloire rulebook.

The Board
The game takes place on a 24 x 24 board. This board represents the dance floor, and is devoid of scenery, terrain, or obstacles. Alternately, tables may be placed in the corners or edges of the board, or a scenic feature such as a fountain or statue may be located in the middle of the board. Designate North, South, East, and West edges of the board.

The Dances
At the beginning of the scenario, roll a d6. This determines how many Dances will be performed in the course of the evening. At the end of every turn, roll a d10 and keep track of the result. If the result is not 10, the Dance continues and you will roll again at the end of the next turn. The next time the d10 is rolled, the result is added to the previous results until the sum is equal to or more than 10, at which point the dance ends. There is a one turn break between Dances and at the beginning of the game, so that dance partners may be found. At the end of this break turn, roll a d10 and determine which Dance will be performed. Each Dance has a particular movement pattern associated with it. Participants not with partners will follow the movement pattern during their activation. Players are free to move their models and dance partners any way they like, but beware of colliding with other dancers on the floor! 1-2: Minuet: This is a relatively straightforward dance. There are no penalties or bonuses to skill checks during this dance. However, it is shorter than ordinary dances. Add 2 to the roll to determine if the dance has ended at the end of each turn. Dancers move clockwise around the board at SP=3 3-4: Gigue: This energetic dance contains some complicated steps to which one must attend, but Flourishes in this dance are particularly delightful. The players' models are at -1 for all DG checks during this dance, but Flourishes count double. Dancers move counterclockwise around the board at SP=3 5-6: Promenade: This courtly dance requires the dancers to attend to certain social niceties by rank. Keeping track of where one is in the promenade requires fast thinking, rather than fast feet. The upside of this dance is that the order of dancers is known, and one can prepare a bon mot or subtle jab prior to the appearance of the target. The player's

 Gloire: Swashbuckling Adventure in the Age of Kings

models are at -1 for all BR checks during this dance, but Witticisms count double. Dancers move North and South on alternating actions, at SP=2. 7-8: Sarabande: A gentle, elegant dance, where the dancers are given ample opportunity to demonstrate their ability to move gracefully. The player's models are at +1 to both DG and BR checks during this dance, as the sedate pace allows them time to attend to other matters. Furthermore, deduct 2 from the roll to determine if the dance has ended at the end of each turn. Dancers move counterclockwise at SP=2. 9-10: Ballet: A centerpiece dance, with specific steps and meticulous choreography, it is regarded as the high point of the evening's entertainment. Intended to be a spectacle, it can spell the end of the career of the person who badly missteps or misses his part. The player's models are at -1 to all DG and BR checks during this dance. Witticisms, Flourishes, and Disgraces count as double, as the rewards for success and the price of failure are so great. Dancers move North for one action, South for one action, then move clockwise for the rest of the dance. Movement is at SP=3.

The Participants
In lieu of Objective Markers, each Participant at the Ball has a set of stats for the scenario, particular standards to which they are responsive, and information worth a certain number of Victory Points. More demanding participants possess more valuable information, while the unprepossessing and easily impressed seldom know much of worth. The participants are known to the players. Markers with the participants' names may be used in lieu of appropriate models. The Royal Princess (DG=4, BR=5): Politically powerful and connected, the Princess is an avid dancer and has high standards for her partners. In order to learn her information, a player's model will need to score at least 1 Witticism and 1 Flourish, plus an additional Witticism or Flourish in the same Dance. If any player suffers three Disgraces while dancing with her, she quits the ball out of pique and cannot be approached by another player. Her information is worth 5 Victory Points. Princess of the Blood (DG = 4, BR=4): Though not in line for the throne, this Princess is a savvy observer of the court, and keen on the latest gossip. In order to learn her information, a player's model will need to score at least 1 Witticism and 1 Flourish in the same Dance. If any player suffers three Disgraces while dancing with her, her next partner automatically succeeds without needing to score any successes. Her information is worth 4 Victory Points. Grande Madame (DG=4, BR=4): The wife of the king's younger brother, she is beautiful and vain, readily flattered and delighted by the spectacle of social rejection. In order to learn her information, a player will need to score 1 Witticism, and a second Witticism or a Snub, in the same Dance. Once she shares her information with one player's model, no

At the Ball: Intrigue, Insults, and Dancing 

other player will be able to extract any information from her. Her information is worth 4 Victory Points. Duchesse de Pontchartrain (DG=5, BR=4): One of the finest dancers of the court, de Pontchartrain is often invited to dance with the inner court in the most elaborate ballets. In order learn her information, a player must score 2 Flourishes in the same Dance. Once she shares her information with one player's model, all further players gain only half Victory Points from her. Her information is worth 4 Victory Points. Duchesse de Torcy (DG=4, BR=4): De Torcy is as famous for her jealous husband as she is for her very public flirtations. To learn her information, a player's model must score 2 Witticisms, Snubs, or Flourishes in the same dance. Any Disgraces suffered while dancing with de Torcy are doubled, as her jealous husband makes a public scene. Her information is worth 4 Victory Points. Duchesse de Beauvilliers (DG=4, BR=3): The elderly de Beauvilliers, though agile, is considered slightly dotty. In order to learn her information, a player must score either a Witticism or a Flourish during a Dance. The first time she shares information with a player her information is worth 1 Victory Point. However, each successive time she shares information, it is worth an additional Victory Point, as she remembers more and more pertinent information. Marquess du Perehoir (DG=3, BR=3): Du Perehoir is an ambitious social climber, eager to impress and always looking for information that will put her in someone's good stead. To learn her information, a player's model must score a Witticism or a Snub during a Dance. Her information is worth 2 Victory Points. Marquess Saint-Maxence (DG=3, BR=3): Saint-Maxence aspires to a position in the circle of de Pontchartrain. A player's model must score a Flourish in a Dance in order to learn her information, which is worth 2 Victory Points. Comtesse de Soissons (DG=3, BR=3): The capricious and mercurial de Soissons is wellpositioned in the court, but her contrariness is legendary. A player's model must score a Witticism, Snub, or Flourish in a Dance in order to learn her information. If he succeeds, roll a d10 and determine the outcome: 1-3: De Soissons leans in and whispers information worth 1 Victory Point. 4-6: De Soissons covertly passes a note containing information worth 2 Victory Points. 7-9: De Soissons makes a loud remark slighting another player. Choose another player's model. That model suffers a Disgrace. 10: De Soissons is visibly impressed. In a later rendezvous, she passes along information worth 3 Victory Points. Comtesse de Coetquen (DG=3, BR=3): De Coetquen is a confidant of the young nobility, who treat her as a favorite aunt. She is much attached to them, and knows many damaging secrets, but largely keeps confidence. If a player's model passes two DG checks in the same Dance, she shares information worth 1 Victory Point. If the character scores a Witticism, Snub, or Flourish, she shares information worth 2 Victory Points.

 Gloire: Swashbuckling Adventure in the Age of Kings

Mademoiselles de Rouvroy (DG=2, BR=2): De Rouvroy is a beautiful young lady, but many dancing partners have remarked that she seems perpetually in a melancholic fog. In order to learn her information, a player need only pass two BR checks in the same Dance, or score a Witticism. If he passes these checks or makes the Witticism, she shares information worth 1 Victory Point.

Mademoiselles de la Bourille (DG=2, BR=2): De la Bourille is new to the court. This is only her second Grand Ball, and she is still self-conscious and worried about making mistakes. In order to learn her information, a player need only pass two DG checks in the same Dance, or score a Flourish. If he passes these checks or makes the Flourish, she shares information worth 1 Victory Point.

Special Rules
Flourish: A Flourish is a dance step executed well beyond the ordinary ability. One cannot make a Flourish without leading one's partner well through the step. The player must declare they are attempting a Flourish. They then make an opposed DG roll against their partner. If this test is successful, then the Flourish is performed and counts towards the Participant's standards. If the step fails, the player must make an immediate DG check. If that second check fails, then the player suffers a Disgrace. Witticism: A Witticism is a pithy remark or observation made to one's partner, usually a pointed jab at another of the participants. The player must declare they are attempting a Witticism. They then make an opposed BR roll against their partner (representing trying to strike a balance between oblique and opaque comments). If this test is successful, then the Witticism succeeds and count towards the Participant's standards. If the test fails, the partner must pass a BR check. If the partner fails the BR check, they misinterpret the remark as an insult to them, and the player suffers a Disgrace. Snub: A player may attempt to snub another player's model within 3. Both players make an opposed Brains roll. If the initiator wins, then the other player receives a Disgrace. If the targeted player wins, he may make a Brains check to see if he can make a clever retort. If this check succeeds, then that player earns 1 Victory Point. Dancing: An uncontested partner will always accept an offer to dance. If two characters are vying for the same model, they make an opposed BR check, with the winner being granted the dance. During the Dance, the models remain in base contact with each other. A player may attempt to cut in with another player by making an opposed BR check at an additional -2. If he succeeds, then the original dancer is left without a partner. If he fails, he suffers a Disgrace. If a model and its dance partner move into base contact with a dancer, then they must both pass a DG check or suffer a Disgrace.

At the Ball: Intrigue, Insults, and Dancing 

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