All for One ~ Regime Diabolique Campaign Development Report 1

This post is intended both to help newcomers to All for One: Regime Diabolique get into the game more smoothly by looking at some of the more common questions about some important Skills and Talents, about the Magic system, and about Combat. The series will then lay out a sample campaign for the game via recaps.

The Basics of our Campaign
In order to fully test drive the game, I proposed running the campaign with troupe style play, giving each player two characters. One character will lean toward the Academic and have had some dealings with the supernatural forces which add the diabolic to the game’s title. The other will be a musketeer, with a firm grounding in the arts of war, the clash of blades, and duels of wits. If I were planning a longer campaign less concerned with delving into all the major areas of action the system provides, I would choose instead to have each player focus on a single character and work on how they were connected to the other characters with the other players before building the campaign framework.

The connection between these characters is to be that the Academics, former members or associates of a fraternity of professors and students with shady connections to a mystical lodge, have been involved in a horrific experience wherein most of their allies and associates were killed, vanished, or driven into hiding. The traumatic event took place on the grounds of a new chapel due to be consecrated at the end of the month. What they saw there, blurred for the most part by horror and the black arts, caused them to seek protection and anonymity in the bowels of Paris, hiring themselves out as valets to a trio of the King’s Musketeers. Each player will design and run two characters. His Academic will serve as the valet to the Musketeer of one of the other players, for maximum hijinx.

The Campaign is to be called ‘The Light that Never Warms,’ and will look at the effect of the loss of long-held belief on those who refuse to be victims. The first story will be entitled ‘Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Cold Dish’ and will set the stage for wicked things coming this way for revenge regardless of whether or not the groceries have been bought, or the day’s work has been done.

The Character Sheet
Uniquity is pretty simple to get into really, but some have a little trouble with games that have Secondary Attributes which are derived from the Primary Attributes and Modified by Talents and other factors like Encumbrance and Wounds. When building a character I find it is best to annotate the sheet with the effects of your Talents and so on, until the patterns become clear. An alternate method is to employ a digital character sheet.

In a curious mix of altrusitic creation and a blatant play for Style Points, one of my players, Kyrei, a frequent guest on my video blog posts, has once again immersed himself in the esoteric art of Excel to prepare an automated character tracking sheet for us. Once out of beta-testing it will display a ‘what you see is what you fight with’  set of traits which will track wounds, Talents, encumbrance, and so on. He is currently working on a list of known house rules to allow us to try different methods out as suits our needs and moods. His work on a sheet for Desolation was impressive, but this is a complete reworking from the ground up that far surpasses it. If you have an interest in Excel, doing this is an excellent way to bring all the little system elements to light as you go over the core rules and discuss them with your players.

Questions from Players
As with any foray into something new, there have been some questions coming in from the players about things which need some interpretation in the core rules. I have included some of the main ones here:

Fencing vs Melee
The game retains the standard melee skill found in all Ubiquity games, and characters can be freely made using it. Fencing has been added and contains the sort of mechanics and flavor that one expects from a game with swashbuckling elements. The questions arise when wondering why one should take Fencing when Melee allows for fighting with swords.

In a nutshell, this is as much about setting as it is about mechanics. Fencing is tied to what one learns in the many schools of fence operating in France in the setting, and choosing a school or schools of fence will colour how your character fights. Membership in a Fencing School will also allow many social advantages not necessarily available to a given person on their own, not to mention be source of information, credit, and of course further martial training.

Melee is melee and works fine. Fencing comes with a variety of inherent styles with their associated strengths and weaknesses, and lends itself most readily to enhancing and embellishing the Resource of Fencing School – an important aspect of the society of the period.

Slash, Thrust, Feint
Each fencing style has a set of bonuses and penalties to highlight their differences. Three of these can cause some questions at first; slash, thrust, and feint. Looking for these maneuvers in the Combat Manuevers listings will have you coming up with naught. The ideas of slash and thrust are purely descriptive, and so narrative in nature, and are there to aid the player in envisioning the core elements of their chosen style, and in describing how their character fights. The scene will dictate what needs be done, and creative control of scene elements to work to your advantage and your opponents’ disadvantage is part of the fun. This may require a leap of faith for those used to more regimented systems. Feint is a Trick, and the wonderful rules for tricking an opponent are found on page 101. Some of these require the rules for Touch Attacks as laid out on page 105.

Well-Educated, Jack of All Trades
There is some debate about how these Talents are applied in play as the descriptions do not contain an exhaustive list of every possible effect of purchasing them. In a general sense, it is good to remember that Ubiquity supports the GM through providing quick, evocative systems that stay out of the way and contribute to fast, single or opposed roll resolution of action or effect.

In the case of Well-Educated, it may apply as written to any Specialized Skill. This will include Fencing and Magic, even though they are not listed under the Talent. The same is true for Jack of All Trades. If this bothers you, disallow it and make that clear to the players, supporting your decision with how allowing it will work against the mood of the game you hope to evoke.

Character Design
Ubiquity definitely supports creating characters with one strong area or focus, and skills to support and enhance it. Unlike many other systems however, it does not actively penalize you for this specialization as it provides numerous ways to go beyond the simple numbers. A good quick example of this is Wealth. Not taking the Wealth Resource does not make your character homeless by default, it means the incoming funds and outgoing expenses balance out leaving the character with little disposable money. You decide what that means in play. You can be a poor musketeer, or an Inquisitor whose normal expenses are covered by the Church with no salary of which to speak, or a noble whose lifestyle leaves little left for spur of the moment expenditures. More on this concept can be read on this older entry entitled Ubiquity in Use: Weak Characters?

Mode of Play
We will be playing live in a coffee shop, with some online play thrown in for good measure. I use my android tablet (Acer A500) to take notes and record audio for game logs and analysis. I also use dice bag with important rolls programmed in by name, but tend to either Take the Average for villains, or roll real dice.

We usually meet every other week, and I use the off week to write up and post the events of the previous session and plan the next.

The support from Triple Ace Games is truly incredible. The active forums are quite open to questions and debate, including a healthy presence by the creative forces in the company. In addition, the monthly Richelieu Guides [now collected in three compendiums], each on a specific aspect of the setting are pure gold!

What’s Next?
The next post in this series will deal with specific questions about magic in All for One. If you have any of your own, feel free to add them in the comments of this post.

Campaign Development Report 2: Magic

Campaign Development Report 3: Combat

A Light that Never Warms: Campaign Recap 1

A Light that Never warms: Campaign Recap 2

2 Responses to “All for One ~ Regime Diabolique Campaign Development Report 1”
  1. Marcus (Binder) says:

    Sounds great! As I’m also about to run an All for One campaign, it’ll be interesting to hear how things progress.

    Good luck…

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