Stop laughing, I'm serious! In 2009, Artisan Home Entertainment released the animated adventure Barbie and the Three Musketeers on DVD. As the nerd father of a young girl, I thought the movie would be a good Trojan Horse where cultivating a taste for action-adventure and swashbucklers was concerned. The movie is better than it has any right to be—which is lucky, considering the dozens of times I've had to watch it in the last three years.
In the film, Barbie plays Corinne, daughter of D'Artagnan (who is apparently dead). She leaves her mother and her Gascon home to head north to Paris; she plans to present Monsieur Treville with a letter with a letter from her mother encouraging Treville to make Corinne a Musketeer. Hijinks ensue as Corinne and her three serving maid friends struggle to defeat would-be usurper Philippe (played by Tim Curry) and the marshaled forces of oppressive patriarchy.
Needless to say, Corinne's Honor + Intrigue stats follow below.
Corinne, Daughter of D'Artagnan
Ambition (to become a Musketeer like her father)
Attractive (Bonus die in situations where looks matter—this is Barbie, after all)
Beast-Friend (Bonus die when dealing with animals; has animal companions—see below)
Born Athlete (Bonus die when performing athletic activities other than fighting)
Country Bumpkin (Penalty die in situations where street smarts matter)
Hot-Headed (Penalty die when attempting to suppress anger)
Epee (1d6 damage, +1 Parry)
Miette (Corinne's kitten . . . who apparently duels as well—don't ask!)
Alexander (Corinne's elderly horse, inherited from her father)
Honor + Intrigue is now available in PDF form (with print copies to follow). After a quick read-through, I'm incredibly impressed with what Chris Rutkowski has achieved here. My favorite rule so far is the maneuver "Return Weapon": if your hero uses his minor action to return his disarmed opponent's weapon (as is so often the case in swashbuckler duels), he receives a reward of 1 Advantage over his foe as well as 1 point of Fortune.
Now that I have the rules I can update my character sheet for Errol Flynn's Robin of Locksley as follows: Attributes
[No changes here.]
[No changes here.]
[Again, no changes needed.]
[Scores calculated now that I have the formulae for doing so.]
Longbow (1d6+2 damage, range increments of 110')
Sparkly Lincoln green tunic and tights
Sword (1d6 damage, +1 Parry)
[The weapons listed in Honor + Intrigue are seventeenth-century weapons, so I've had to improvise here. Robin's sword in the film is closest to the game's epee, and I've therefore given his blade the epee's stats.]
Crack Shot: Longbow (Bonus die on all damage rolls w/bows, range increments increased by 10', more Fortune points required to reduce effect of Robin's successful shots)
Favored by Fortune (permanent +2 increase to Fortune)
Laugh in the Face of Danger (Bonus die to Daring rolls to resist fear/intimidation, Social Combat/Repartee rolls against Daring have a Penalty die)
[A big change here: I dropped "Knighted" since the description of the Boon describes it as more of a reward for services rendered, and Robin is a baron and knight by birth in the film. Hard choices followed, though. The other boons that were the most logical choices for Robin—Attractive, Daredevil, and Favored by Fortune—are all Beginning Boons and can only be purchased during character creation. I decided that an early Fortune boost made the most sense for Robin at this stage of his career: he's often luckier than he should be, and that gets him out of jams.
Hot-Headed (Penalty die when trying to suppress anger; whenever anger gets Robin into trouble, he gains 1 Fortune point)
Hunted (whenever Robin faces off with the followers of Prince John, Guy of Gisborne, or the Sheriff of Nottingham, he gains 1 Fortune point)
[Another change here: "Obligation" is more of a specific debt or responsibility than a generic devotion to Saxon welfare. (Robin is also free of anti-Norman bigotry even as he opposes Norman tyranny: his battle for justice reflects a devotion to the virtue in general rather than to a specific ethnicity.) I therefore decided that Robin's in-play story begins after he escapes from Nottingham Castle and flees to Sherwood Forest; this gives him "Hunted."]
OK, the venomous pao's Strange Stones was two years old on Friday, February 3rd, and now it's Vargold's turn to be the birthday blog. What was going on back in May 2009 to give birth to these blogs in February 2010?
(Seriously, though, thanks to everyone who's followed the blog, commented on it, and/or added it to their blog roll—I appreciate it very much!)
Basic Action Games is getting close to a release date for its swashbuckling RPG Honor + Intrigue. While the game will have rules for those who wish to mix some magic in with their derring-do, it's largely a historical RPG. Nonetheless, it has a place on this blog if only for its clever use of Simon Washbourne's Barbarians of Lemuria ruleset (one of my favorites and a mainstay of Vargold posts).
Basic Action Games owner and designer Chris Rutkowski has put copies of both a character sheet and a quick reference sheet on the company's Facebook page and challenged fans to start creating characters for the game. (The reference sheet includes a list of all Honor + Intrigue careers, boons, and flaws.) I obliged him by putting together this version of Errol Flynn's Robin Hood (from the 1938 Adventures of Robin Hood). Once I get my copy of the actual rules, I may have to emend some of my choices (and finish stats I don't yet know how to calculate), but I think these stats do a good job of representing Robin of Locksley as he appears in his first scene in the film.