The King is Dead

The King is Dead: A Gothic Revolutionary RPG Setting

 A LAND IN NEED OF REVOLUTION

A rotting corpse sits on the throne of Malleus.  We have allowed the dictates of King Wilhelm to dominate the lives of living men and women for centuries.  We have allowed him to declare what laws and taxes he will with no recourse to fair representation in the Diet of Hammerstadt.  We have allowed him to feed on the lifeblood of our sons and daughters for far too long…

…In signing this declaration, we commit ourselves to the fight against injustice and tyranny.  We commit ourselves to the overthrow of the vampire King Wilhelm and all his brood.  We commit ourselves to raising a new government by the living, for the living.
from The Declaration of the Illuminated
May 1st, 1776

The island nation of Malleus is in the throes of revolution.  An artistic revolution flowers as the people embrace periwigs and hoop skirts, symphonies and comic operas.  An economic revolution looms as the steam engine changes industry and the wealth from the colonies invigorates the middle class.  An intellectual revolution boils as scholars study science and philosophy, galvanism and the social contract.  And a political revolution threatens as the people of Malleus conspire to take their nation back from the bloodsucking ruling class that treats them like cattle.

On the coasts of Malleus, smugglers evade the Royal Navy to bring embargoed garlic and ash wood stakes to the rebels.  On mountain heights, scientists harness the lightning to create weapons capable of incinerating the dead.  In the dark forests that line the king’s roads, highwaymen in masks and greatcoats ambush nobles’ coaches and plunder their wealth.  In the streets of Hammerstadt, radicals risk their lives to spread the call to rebellion amongst the people.  In secret rooms, conspirators gather to destroy the old government and forge a new one.  And in the palaces of the vampires, libertines in lace and silk become assassins and strike the first blows for freedom.

The King is Dead is a setting of Gothic revolution in an 18th century that never was.

***

A SETTING OF TERROR & HOPE

What is The King is Dead?
The King is Dead is yet another attempt by me to write a game setting (heck, I've threatened to write this setting before).  It’s a Gothic revolutionary setting in an 18th century that never was; If D&D is “You play Conan, I play Gandalf. We team up to fight Dracula,” then The King is Dead is “You play Natty Bumppo, I play Casanova. We team up to win the French Revolution by fighting Dracula.” As I type this, I’m going to try to stat it up for both Honor + Intrigue andSavage Worlds, but I can’t guarantee how much in the way of stats there will even be. I expect more setting description than anything else.

The plan this time is to follow the examples of Planet Motherfucker and Accursed and put together some bloody scraps of meat that hopefully congeal into a whole setting.  I’m also writing to my own interests (pseudo-historical espionage and monster hunting) and the strengths of the systems (swashbuckling action and monster hunting), rather than trying to bend myself to the subject matter like By Light, By Night or the rules to the setting like Regency/Gothic (nor am I inventing rules like I would have to with Die, Daikaiju!). 

Why “Gothic revolutionary?”
I'm obsessed with the 18th century.  I love the freedom of the American frontier and the Golden Age of Piracy.  I love the sophistication of the salons and symphonies.  I love the clothes and the loose morals.  I love the wonderful possibilities of the Enlightenment, even if we're still fighting for some of the rights they dreamed up back then.

I've also complained in the past that I loathe the aristocracy.  This is obviously part and parcel of enjoying stories of freebooters and frontiersmen, but it's also not incompatible with waxing rhapsodic over satin and lace.  The 18th century was also the heyday of such adventurers as Casanova and Cagliostro, the Chevalier D'Eon and the Comte de Saint Germain -- men who lived the high life as they bilked the aristocracy.  And, obviously, the French decided they didn't like their aristocracies anymore and did something about them.  Unfortunately, it got a teensy bit out of control.

I want to write a setting about con artists, conspirators, and outlaws so I need an excuse for the only sane course of action in this setting to be becoming a con artist, conspirator, or outlaw.  The aristocracy of 18th century France were pretty loathsome as a class, but they were still people with their own strengths and weaknesses.  There's no arguing that the relentless slaughter of the aristos during the Terror was a good thing, but it would be damned cathartic to play.

The way to make this work -- the way to give an inarguable justification for violent reprisal on a ruling class that pays no taxes and does no work -- is to literalize the metaphor and make those damned aristos actual bloodsucking monsters.  Hence vampires.

And if I'm going to have vampires, why not go all-out Gothic?  Why not a corrupt Church that preaches fealty to the vampires while working black magic in their cloisters and nunneries?  Why not landscapes of sublime grandeur -- dark forests and craggy mountains -- that cover the land?  Why not incest and murder and seduction?  The Gothic fiction was born in 1764 and the tropes of the genre fit revolution better than romance

What's with the German names?
I suck at French.  I took German in high school and it's my game so I'm going to use a language I like.

Also, Hammer Films.
***

THIS GRIM, UNPLEASANT LAND
A Guide to the lands of Great Malleus

GREAT MALLEUS 
Great Malleus is a large island with a land mass of approximately 175,000 square miles.  It is surrounded by hundreds of smaller islands that hug its cliffs and coasts, including the subject island nation of Clavus.  The continent of Incus – home to a baker’s dozen of competing nations – lies to the east. 

(Great Malleus itself looks suspiciously like Great Britain if somebody laid modern Germany over where England is supposed to be, while Clavus looks suspiciously like a sideways Ireland and Incus looks like somebody cut Germany out of Europe and shoved France backwards to fill in the space.)

Malleus
The land of Malleus on the island of Great Malleus is the central, developed, wealthy region where dwells the vampire nobility and the bulk of their subjects.  (It is to Great Malleus what England is to Britain.)  There is a tendency amongst both foreigners and the Malleans themselves to refer to island as a whole as Malleus and take for granted the supremacy of Mallean culture.

Approaching Malleus from Incus across the Mallean Channel first takes you past the Kaiser Island and the Claws, a group of deceptively pleasant-looking islands with broad beaches on their southern sides and steep cliffs on the north.  The beaches, however, are only the most visible part of dangerous shoals that fuel the local industry of wrecking.  The inhabitants of Kaiser Island and the Claws are roundly despised by sailors of all nations who accuse them of using black magic to pull in unwary vessels and blame the Clawfolk’s wall-eyed look on mating with fish.

As one reaches Malleus proper, one first beholds the gleaming heights of the Pale Cliffs of Port Dour.  The town offers a safe and excellent harbor and passengers with little luggage might wish to disembark to take the mail coach to Hammerstadt as the River Mürrisch is not navigable to ocean-going vessels.  Those involved in the business of the Glorious Revolt will find allies among the smugglers of the town, but the young and beautiful should be careful of the panderers who work the inns and taverns, hunting for fresh virgins to offer the vampires.

Of course, panderers also work the dockside taverns of Hammerstadt, but the hustle and bustle of industry there means that they are far easier to dispose of – a sharp crack to the head from a hammer or belaying pin and a leech’s pimp becomes just another anonymous body in the pounding flow of the River Hammer.  (While the river has lost much of the thundering force it is born with at the triple waterfalls that give it its name by the time it reaches Hammerstadt, it is still swifter and more deadly than the Thames.)  The docks of Hammerstadt are an exotic maze to newcomers, filled with people from all over the world: black-skinned Südlichred-skinned Cruthin from the Colonies, and yellow-skinned Orientals mix amongst the Occidental sailors and merchants from all over Incus.  Iron collars cover the Südlich sailors’ throats; there are no vampires south of the Middle Sea and they will not suffer themselves to be taken by the dead.

Hammerstadt is the capitol and greatest city of Malleus; here one finds the cyclopean cathedrals of Saint Kerioth and Westenmeister where the bishops preach the all-consuming power of death, the Diet where those vampires who take an interest in politics gather to play with lives of millions, the grim edifice of Hammerturm where political prisoners are tortured, and the palaces of the king and his sons whose candlelit halls are filled with the laughter and sighs from masques and orgies.  Naturally, the capitol is the playground of the aristocracy, dead and not-yet-dead alike, so it is filled with nocturnal delights – bordellos, coffee houses, night-blooming gardens, parks, and salons – and the hundreds of thousands of mortals needed to provide those pleasures.  Here those gallant adventurers  who dare to bait the tiger in its lair send coded messages with decks of cards and seduce the seducers to discover their secrets.

Beyond the city lies the Pale, the broad swath of largely deforested (and therefore lighter-colored) countryside where the farms of the nation lay.  Running in a ragged crescent from northeast of Hammerstadt to southwest of the city, it is filled with scores of small villages answerable to absentee vampire barons and counts.  Actual government of the villages falls to local squires – landed gentry trapped uncomfortably between the commoners and the nobles – who anxiously await the capricious arrivals of their masters, not knowing if this time the vampires will take their blood tax from the villagers or demand it from the squires’ own children.  With their greater wealth and opportunities for education, the squires form the backbone of the philosophical and scientific secret societies.

Sownfield Palace -- the residence of King Wilhelm the Everlasting, vampire monarch of Malleus – sits just outside Hammerstadt.  The king’s body has been changing over the last two hundred years -- he has lost all his hair, his eyes have sunken while his talons have grown, and the smell of putrescence clings to him – and so ashamed he ordered the construction of a new court removed from the prying eyes of mortals.  The innocent-sounding name is in fact a grim reference to the six hundred and sixty-six prisoners who were offered as human sacrifice to Sathaniel for the king‘s protection and were buried beneath the foundations and lush gardens of the palace when construction began last century.  Sownfield Palace has no indoor plumbing.

North of Hammerstadt sits the ominous edifice of the Steinheng, a prehistoric circle of standing stones whose origins have been lost to the ages.  There has been a great deal of interest in the ancient Kimmerian ancestors of the Malleans in recent times – due in no small part to the recent discovery and publication of the poems of the Kimmerian bard Osean – and certain mystically-inclined supporters of the Glorious Revolt wonder whether Steinheng’s mystic powers could be used against the vampires.  

Beyond the Pale to the north lies Brustlager, the most industrialized city in Malleus, home to coal mining, shipping, and textiles.  The city exists in a strange middleground between progress and squalor; gaslamps illuminate the streets but that only serves to shine a light on the mangled factory workers in their slums.  The threat of new mechanical looms taking jobs away from skilled workers has sparked protests and sabotage.  Captain Redbreast, a charismatic highwayman, has raised a band that destroys looms and harrasses industrialists; her actions have sparked debate between those factions of the Glorious Revolt that favor the free market or the social contract.

Beyond the Pale to the west lies the Nachtwald, a dense and ancient forest feared by mortal and vampire alike.  While a few highways have been cut through the wood and villages have grown up along the roads and the forest’s edges, little attempt has been made to clear the woods or settle further in.  Vampires fear that the ash tree still grows in the depths, much to their peril, and deputize fire wardens to seek out and burn its groves.  Mortals, though, fear the bandits who lurk in the Nachtwald’s depths and plague travelers (as well as the ancient bogeys of fairies and monsters).  Noble-minded highwaymen act as couriers and recruiters for the Revolt, while poachers venture into the forest’s depths to hunt for ash wood.  At least one laboratory of the Zunft von Hohenheim is hidden in the Nachtwald as well.

Beyond the Pale to the south sits the Darkmoor.  This wilderness of bogs, mires, and granite-topped tors is home to very little modern human habitation, but boasts numerous ancient cairns, menhirs, and standing stones.  Mystically-minded members of the Glorious Revolt and desperate criminals are some of the few humans to inhabit the area; the vampires largely avoid it due to the lack of prey, but some people claim the area holds stranger horrors – werewolves, wights, and wyrms amongst others.

Beyond that lies Kernow.  Once an independent Kimmerian kingdom, Kernow has been assimilated into Mallean culture for nearly one thousand years and few local peculiarities still linger.  Since the Kernish isthmus is the westernmost extent of the isle of Malleus, it is a natural haven for smugglers and pirates arriving from the colonies.  The town of Pennsans, in particular, has become a pirate haven and a division of the Royal Army under Major General Garnet has been dispatched to pacify the town.  The major general has taken his bevy of vampiric “daughters” (truthfully, his several times great-granddaughters) with him to Pennsans; they’re looking forward to the holiday.

The unofficial leader of the Red Brotherhood in Malleus is the Reverend Kristoff Thorndyke, a former pirate turned smuggler turned highwayman also known as Feathertop for the weird, scarecrow-like mask he wears to protect his identity.  Reverend Thorndyke is a bitter, nihilistic man with a pitch-black sense of humor; his fiancée was taken off by a vampire when he was young, and now he preaches subservience to them during the day and undercuts their power by night.  If there is any hope of persuading the Red Brotherhood to actually embrace the Glorious Revolt, it could well begin in Thorndyke’s parish of Rum Marsh.

Lochland
Lochland was an independent nation until 1715 when the  Deircc – MacFindlay of Moray, the Red King – was slain by a highlander uprising led by the Clan O’Nail.  Rather than freeing Lochland of vampire rule, this instead led to Wilhelm the Everlasting laying claim to Lochland through his treaty with MacFindlay and invading the country.  The invasion has exacerbated differences between the southern lowlands of Lochland and the northern highlands and the nation is now at war with itself.

The lowlands of Lochland are essentially Mallean in culture and language.  While the lowlanders certainly have their own unique dialect and brogue, their customs and fashions ape the fashionable of Hammerstadt.  Most Lochlander nobles have kin at Sownfield Palace and civilized Lochlander high society is practically indistinguishable from Mallean.

The capitol of Edenesburch, located near the south of Lochland, is an old city frantically trying to modernize.  The process began under the late  Deircc -- embracing modernity as his traditional-minded countrymen turned against him – and has been accelerated by the influx of young Mallean nobles who have come to Lochland trying to prove themselves worthy of their ancestors’ blood.  The city is a center of banking and fiscal philosophy where the upper and middle class mingle freely, but that’s more due to overcrowding than social equality. Edenesburch is still a nearly medieval warren of wooden buildings leaning precariously against each other, with streets filled with filth, and the looming black crag of Rook Castle looming above it all.

Glesga, west of Edenesburch, is a growing port city.  Significant amounts of trade from the Colonies – particularly tobacco – makes its way through the city, and the enriched middle class has taken to building grand houses for themselves that look almost like ancient Remulan or Akhaian temples.  A disaffected Illuminated occultist, Gideon Moriskentänzer, has begun pushing a philosophy of anarchism that has attracted converts from the Star’s Children and other secret societies; his talents are prodigious, but some worry he will collapse the Glorious Revolt into a madness and terror.

The highlands -- filled with brochs and lochs, dark forests and fairy glens – are not civilized. The Lochland highland clans eke out a living grazing shaggy cattle on the highland pastures – or stealing the cattle from each other, the same way they’ve been doing since Kimmerian times. The Clan O’Nail urged the highlanders into open rebellion in 1715 and 1745, but now the clans are caught in a bitter guerilla war against the invading bloodcoats.

THE NEW WORLD

Atlantika
Exploitation of the continent of Atlantika has proved problematic for the noble houses of Malleus.  Unlike its sister continent Darién, it is covered in ash trees; unlike Bharatastan, it has no native vampire population to assist Mallean interests in gaining a foothold.  Indeed, the native population of Cruthin (“Painted People”) are determinedly hostile to vampiric expansion.  This has led to a development deeply uncomfortable to King Wilhelm and his advisors: unsupervised human settlements.

The vast majority of Mallean settlements in the Colonies are devoid of vampiric presence. There are no proper vampires in the Colonies at all and only a score or two of adventuresome (or desperate) young dunpeals.  As moroi -- blood-fed human servitors – require a vampire or dunpeal to provide the blood that gives them their strength – and as the blood of dunpeal is weaker than that of vampires – their presence is also extremely limited.  Therefore most colonists are left to their own devices with only the sermons of their local pastor to keep them obedient to king and country.

This is not working.

The Colonies are a hive of freethinkers and anarchists.  Released of the burden of the blood tax, even colonists of upstanding Mallean families begin to question the word of Sathaniel.  Clavish and Lochlanders who buy their way out of servitude find that they really can get a plot of land to call their own.  The example of the Six Nations of the native Cruthin inspires talk of democracy. The vast, unspoiled wilderness is a siren call to freedom.     

The “Thirteen” Colonies

Mathildeland
Founded as a refuge for Orthodox Sathanielists, the colony has since been overrun by Reformed Sathanielists and its original Orthodox inhabitants have become a hated minority.  Its primary crops are tobacco and wheat.

Moswetuset Bay
Originally founded by Purified Sathanielists, the colony has become infamous for the Druid trials at the beginning of the century and growing unrest that has plagued the two decades.  The capital of Trimountaine is a hotbed of Illuminated activity.

New Kaiserland
It’s only been a few decades since New Kaiserland was appointed a governor separate from New Malleus.  The pine barrens are home to what local legend claims is either a malformed dunpeal or escaped demon called the Kaiser Teufel.

New Malleus
Dominated by the Neuhammer and Maquas river valleys, this large colony is both the most civilized colony (particularly the busting port city of Neuhammerstadt) and home to the threatening Six Nations confederacy.  While relations between the colonists and the Cruthin are amicable, the local governor is less sanguine.

New Thornshire
Relations with the Cruthin are less amicable in New Thornshire, but then the colonists there are also often in armed conflict with New Malleans as well. 

Nordkarolina
Decrees by King Wilhelm against expanding westward into the Allegany Mountains are deeply resented in the colony, and frequently ignored by frontiersmen and trappers. 

Quinetucket
Home of gun-runners, pirates, and whalers.  Due to the haphazard way land grants have been issued by King Wilhelm, it has large western territories on the far side of New Malleus that bring it into conflict with Überwald.

Reinland
The oldest colony, it was named for the promise of its virgin fields and woods.  Early attempts to start install a vampire at Roanoke led to the mysterious disappearance of all the inhabitants.

Rote Insel and Vorsehung Plantations
A strange and eldritch colony, home to more devout Sathanielists than elsewhere in Atlantika. It’s best not to linger in the graveyards at night.

Südkarolina
The capital, Karlsberg, is a prosperous port (even if it has been home to the infamous pirate Schwarzen Bart).  The western part of the state is a contentious buffer zone between Cruthin and colonists. 

Überwald and the Low Counties
Technically one colony, Überwald and the Low Counties were settled independently and maintain separate Assemblies; only the recalcitrance of royal officials keeps them united.  The Low Counties are unremarkable in culture, but Überwald hosts a large population of Thunderers, a strange religious movement that began in the Nachtwald. 

Wilhelmia
…is on my mind.

***

CHARACTER CREATION
Character creation follows standard Savage Worlds guidelines except for the following provisions.

SAVAGE WORLDS HORROR COMPANION
The King is Dead makes use of the Savage Worlds Horror Companion.    

The following Hindrances are allowed from the Horror Companion: Bleeder, Bullet Magnet, Combat Shock, Cursed, Jumpy, Screamer, Slow, and Victim.

The following Edges are allowed from the Horror Companion: Relentless, Fanaticism, Exorcist, Necromancer/Master Necromancer, Talisman Craftsman, Monster Hunter, Tower of Will, and One of the Chosen.

The following Setting Rules from the Horror Companion are in force: Buckets of Blood, Chronological Phenomena, Rituals, Signs & Portents, and Wards & Binds.

All of the new Powers introduced in the Savage Worlds Horror Companion are available in The King is Dead.

REBELS AND PLOTTERS
The King is Dead is a setting about conspiracies.  All player characters must choose a secret society to which to belong and for which they receive special benefits.  GMs may allow players to choose a secret society after play begins, or they may wish to run induction into the society as part of play; in those cases the characters do not get the benefits of membership until after they are inducted.  During the course of a campaign, a character may be offered honorary membership in other societies.  They do not get the Skill bonuses bequeathed by membership for any but their original secret society.

Membership in any secret society grants the Connections Edge for that society.

Membership in any secret society imposes the Vow (Major) Hindrance to uphold the goals and protect the secrets of that society.

Each secret society trains its members in Skills of vital importance to the society.  If a player does not choose a society before play begins, then the GM may feel free to impose 1d4 months of downtime on the character while she learns her society’s Skills.

Secret Societies of Malleus

The Balefire Club
A gathering of libertines run as a mock occult society, the Balefire Club appears to outsiders as simply yet another of the putrid excesses of the nobility.  The truth is that it is a honey trap for disaffected still-living nobles, a means of both discovering their secrets and seducing the few worthy ones to the Glorious Revolt.  The Balefire Club mocks Sathaniel with white masses where the communion is drunk in wine instead of blood, bread is shared instead of flesh, and it all ends orgies of that most life-affirming of physical acts.  The club welcomes men and women of all ranks, daring adventurous noblewomen to sneak out of their cloisters, shocking decadent noblemen out of their self-satisfied ruts, and enabling poor seditionists to seduce the nobility into paying for their own destruction.
Archetypes: adventurer, atheist, imposter, poet, rakehell, seducer.
Membership in the Balefire Club grants a d4 in Knowledge (Occult) and Persuasion.

The Bloodstained Blade
The greatest fencing masters of Malleus secretly belong to an ancient order of adepts – weapon masters who have sworn themselves to worship of the Pariah, the enemy of Sathaniel slain by St. Kerioth.  These anti-Sathanists dedicate themselves to painful regimens of exercise and meditation that allow them to move faster than the eye can follow, deflect bullets, and cut the very air itself – but only as long as they remain dedicated to the Pariah’s message of peace and brotherhood.
Archetypes: duelist, fencing master, heroic highwayman, wanderer.
Membership in the Bloodstained Blade grants a d4 in Knowledge (Occult) and Stealth.

Clan O’Nail
The O’Nails are a mad band of separatists from Clavus and Lochland who support the claims of Jacob O’Nail, a pretender to the throne of Malleus who claims descent from the ancient Kimmerian royal line obliterated by Wilhelm the Everlasting.  Not all Clavish or Lochlanders would claim membership in the Clan, but sympathy for their cause runs high.  The Clan O’Nail is not popular amongst the other secret societies because of their adherence to fairy superstitions and monarchism, but they seem to lead charmed lives.
Archetypes: bandit, bard, bogtrotter social climber, highlander. 
Membership in the Clan O’Nail grants a d4 in Streetwise and Survival.

The Illuminated
Formally “The Society for the Illumination of the Dark,” the Illuminated is one of the most radical and also most popular secret societies.  They have members amongst the planters of the Colonies, the merchants and artisans of the cities, the gentry of the Pale, and the adventurers of Hammerstadt – which is surprising, given that they preach not only the destruction of the vampire aristocracy, but also the abolition of slavery, the equality of women, and the rejection of the Church.  Membership is theoretically open to anyone who accepts their ideals, but the majority of Illuminated are gentry-class and middle-class Malleans.
Archetypes: adventurer, philosopher, poet, rabble-rouser, spy, statesman.
Membership in the Illuminated grants a d4 in Gambling and Persuasion.  [Note: the Illuminated use the incredibly common pastime of gambling to send secret messages by cheating at cards; this requires only a regular success on a Gambling roll and can be combined with gambling to win money.]

The Red Brotherhood
Few societies active in the Glorious Revolt would consider the Red Brotherhood to be part of their conspiracy -- the Bloodstained Blade and the Illuminated in particular consider the Brotherhood to be as bad as the vampires – because the Red Brotherhood is a fraternity of criminals and murderers.  Composed of pirates, robber-knights, and smugglers, the fraternity enforces a rough code of honor that boils down to “brethren shall not prey on brethren.”  While essentially egalitarian (indeed no other society save the Wild Hunt has such a mix of races, and the Hunt has fewer women or as many former gentry), the Red Brotherhood has no interest in the higher goals of the Revolt; they don’t even particularly care to see the King Wilhelm overthrown since they’re doing just fine thumbing their noses at him.  The Glorious Revolt begrudgingly makes use of the Red Brotherhood when needed to smuggle arms and ash wood into Malleus; it would be a hero indeed who could persuade this army of cutthroats to take up the Revolt’s cause.
Archetypes: buccaneer, fence, highwayman, pirate, robber-knight, smuggler.
Membership in the Red Brotherhood grants a d4 in either Riding or Boating (depending on whether the character chooses to be a highwayman or live a life at sea) and Streetwise. 

The Sorority of Belquis
Named for an ancient queen of the Morgenland who worshipped the deified sun and tamed ifreet and jinn, the Sorority of Belquis is dedicated to spreading the message of empowerment amongst women of all classes.  The society neither preaches nor desires that men become subject to women, but it does demand that women make their own choices and that their voices be heard.  Sisters of the Sorority have infiltrated nunneries, practiced back-alley abortions, and helped battered wives emigrate to the Colonies.  The Sorority is naturally the target of suspicion and misogyny; even some male members of the Illuminated recoil from what they misperceive as a message of women’s dominance.  Surprisingly, one of the most prominent members of the Sorority of Belquis is technically male – the transvestite spy Ritter von Noe – but the Sorority refuses to discriminate.
Archetypes: adventuress, apostate nun, midwife, scholar, suffragette, transgendered
Membership in the Sorority of Belquis grants a d4 in Persuasion and Streetwise. 

The Star’s Children
About two decades ago, a meteorite fell to earth outside the Mallean hamlet of Newtown Weald.  It was a seven days’ wonder and people flocked from all over the surrounding countryside to see the glowing stone.  Now young men and women conceived by those who visited in that first week are displaying incredible abilities: inhuman strength and stamina, mesmerism, pyrokinesis, the second sight, telekinesis, telepathy… even flight.  Feared and hated by vampires and superstitious mortals alike, these young outcasts are reaching out to each other and the siren call of the Glorious Revolt.  Perhaps the victory of enlightened thought will see them accepted into society?
Archetypes: masked vigilante, mesmerist, strongman, superhero in a tricorn hat.
Membership in the Star’s Children grants a d4 in Stealth and Streetwise.

The Wild Hunt
The Wild Hunt is more a loose social network for the sharing of monster-killing secrets and survival tips than it is a true secret society.  Members may be from as disparate backgrounds as the native Cruthin tribes of the Colonies, the lederhosen-wearing Nachtwald peasantry, or even Südlich warriors from the Undiscovered Lands; they have invented a secret sign language taught only to members to share their knowledge.  Because the Wild Hunters are largely scandalous in upper-crust society, they often form partnerships with members of other secret societies to hunt their quarries; pity the fools who think these canny warriors are mere “noble savages.”
Archetypes: frontiersman, kung-fu kicking native warrior, naturalist, poacher.
Membership in the Wild Hunt grants a d4 in Survival and Tracking. 

Zunft von Hohenheim
Founded two centuries ago by alchemist, astrologer, and occultist Bombastus von Hohenheim, the Zunft is one of the oldest secret societies aiding the Glorious Revolt. Changing lead to gold is merely a metaphor for something greater; the goal of alchemy is material social progress.  The secret proddings of the Zunft have led to many of the seemingly banal advances in technology available in Malleus -- gas lighting, intricate clockwork, steam engines – as well as more miraculous uses like healing draughts and smoke bombs.  Many in the Zunft von Hohenheim are cautious of the radical actions of the other societies, but they at least support their principles.
Archetypes: alchemist, astrologer, inventor, mad scientist, mountebank, occultist.
Membership in the Zunft von Hohenheim grants a d4 in Knowledge (Occult) and Knowledge (Science).

LEADERSHIP EDGES
Characters in The King is Dead are expected to rise to positions of power and prominence in their societies; it is hoped they will become the leaders of the Glorious Revolt against the vampires.  To that end, all The King is Dead player characters receive Command as a bonus Edge at Novice.  Upon attaining every new Rank, they may choose another bonus Leadership Edge for which they are qualified. 

The benefits of Leadership Edges also apply to Mobs (see Setting Rules).

DERRING-DO
Even the most foppish member of the Illuminated may occasionally find the need to climb a garden wall or swim away from a sinking ship.  The Climbing and Swimming Skills are removed from play and replaced with Strength and Agility checks respectively.

SECRET SOCIETY SPOTLIGHT: SECRETS OF THE BLOODSTAINED BLADE 
And I say unto thee, that thou art my rock, and from this stone I shall smelt a steel, and from this steel I shall forge a blade; and this sword will pierce the heavens!Gospel of the Pariah 16:18 
Shimon the Swordsman spent his early years as a fisherman in the land of Tzion; it was here that he first met the miracle-worker called the Pariah and became one of his followers.  Shimon left his nets and his family behind and journeyed with the Pariah to the great city of Tzion in order to preach brotherhood and mercy.  It was there that he found his true, grim calling. 
After King Hordos the Dark Father and his daughter and mother Salome drank the blood of Yohanon, they called down death upon the rabble-rousers and rebels who preached against their rule.  The man called the Pariah was betrayed by his follower Kerioth and arrested; he was denied by his disciples, denied by his family, denied by his people, and condemned to death with thieves and murderers as his companions.  Shimon was one of those who denied him, and Shimon fled into the desert in shame. 
When Malkuth, a vampire servant of King Hordos, came to arrest the Pariah, Shimon took a sword from one of the Remulan centurions accompanying the vampire and struck off the vampire’s head in a single blow.  It did not save the Pariah, but it proved that vampires could be killed.  Alone in the wastes, Shimon stared at the black blood crusting the steel blade and pondered how to avenge the man of peace he had loved and followed. 
The pariah’s last words to Shimon had been “He who lives by violence, shall die by violence.” Thunderstruck, the former fisherman realized what that meant.  He turned his feet to the nearest town with a large Remulan presence and sold himself into slavery as a gladiator. 
Under the sword-name Scopulus (Remulan for “crag” or “rock”), Shimon trained his body and hardened his soul.  He learned every trick he could from everyone who would teach him – Remulan, Kimmerian, Südlich, and more – and became the most famous gladiator Remula had ever known.  He earned his freedom, opened his own gladiatorial school, and began his mission.  In secret vigils only allowed to his most trusted students, he preached the word of the Pariah; in darkened catacombs accompanied by those same students, he hunted vampires. 
Age stole his strength and he died a bloody death at the hands of a vampire, as he knew he would, as he knew he must for preaching peace and living a life of violence.  His students secretly protected the Remulan Empire for generations, but at last the hordes of Etzel swept in and scattered them to the winds.  From this battered, broken fellowship came the Bloodstained Blade.
RulesAdepts of the Bloodstained Blade pray to the Pariah, the Secret Sun, for the strength to fight the forces of darkness.  There are several paths by which one may approach the Pariah, codified into the following sets of Minor, Major, and Mortal Sins:·         The Path of Charity. The Pariah took a vow of poverty and forsook his family name. You follow his example of humility and giving.  Minor: refusing to give alms to beggars and the poor; Major: selling the services of your sword as duelist or soldier; Mortal: refusing aid to those in mortal peril.
·         The Path of Light: The Pariah is the Secret Sun, the Light of Truth given to creation by the Unseen Maker.  You stand against the darkness.  Minor: missing sunrise prayers regardless of fatigue or injury; Major: lying for any reason except to protect the secrets of the Bloodstained Blade; Mortal: giving false witness against those accused of capital crimes – even your enemies.
·         The Path of Peace – Even as he was dragged away to his death, the Pariah preached that men should be brothers.  You have vowed to preserve peace even at great cost to yourself.  Minor: standing idly by when violence is threatened against others; Major: inciting violence between enemies of Sathaniel; Mortal: killing a fellow human being.

NEW EDGES
A selection of new Edges for use in The King is Dead

Blood Immunity
Weird, Novice
You are immune to the effects of drinking vampire and dunpeal blood.  You cannot gain any boost to Strength and Vigor from drinking it, but you also cannot become addicted to it as is the fate of most moroi.

Eureka!
Professional, Legendary, AB: Weird Science, Knowledge (Science) d10+, Weird Science d10+.
Your experiments in harnessing the powers of science have tamed one of your wild experiments into a practical, replicable form.  One of your inventions can now be manufactured as a mundane device.  Building such devices costs $500 for each power point of the invention; how much you choose to sell them for is entirely up to you.

No Scent
Weird, Novice
You produce no body odor, no matter how odiferous your diet.  This allows you to consume garlic – making the taste of your blood repellant to vampires -- without giving away your intent. Not having any body odor, however, is actually subtly off-putting to most people; you suffer a -1 to Charisma.

Persuasive
Social, Heroic, Charismatic
You can charm even your enemies.  The standard Persuasion rules limit moving an NPC’s reaction by a maximum of two steps in a single encounter; you can move it up to three steps. GMs should apply situational modifiers to the roll as appropriate and adjudicate results sensibly; a vampire discovering a character deflowering his virgin bride might be amused by the character’s daring and adopt him as a “pet,” but if you’ve just tried to stake a vampire, then the best you can hope for is that the vampire will decide to take you alive in order to hand you over to the authorities.

Poison Resistance
Weird, Novice
You have an innate or trained tolerance for poisons.  This is reflected as either a +2 bonus to rolls to resist all poisons or a +4 bonus against a specific poison.  Particularly daring rebels will deliberately dose themselves with deadly wolfsbane, knowing that this preternatural plant will actually poison any vampire that feeds on them. 

ARCANE BACKGROUNDS
All five core Savage Worlds Deluxe Arcane Backgrounds are available in The King is Dead.  If you have the Savage Worlds Fantasy Companion and you really, really want to use the new ones in there, then by all means do so.  I'm not going to stop you; I just think we don't need them.  By the same token, characters made with the Super Powers Companion are on a completely different scale than "normal" Savage Worlds PCs, so only use that if everyone in the party is making a Super Powers character.

I think that using Power Points really balances characters with Arcane Backgrounds versus those without them.  ABs eat up a lot of Advances when you use Power Points -- you not only have to buy the Arcane Background Edge and the corresponding Arcane Skill, but you also have to decide whether you want more Power Points with that Edge or if you're going to get the New Power Edge -- so players have to judge whether they want to be merely Arcane powerhouses or if they want to be better-rounded.  You can't raise a mob with Damage Field, and you really, really might want a nice rampaging mob on your side if you storm the Hammerturm.

Magic
My initial reaction to Magic is that it's the one Arcane Background I would like to ban, but that's dumb.  Kabbalism and other forms of occultism were actually pretty popular in the 18th century; there was a huge fad for it in Venice, which Casanova exploited to his advantage.  Le Chevalier d'Eon has freakin' Robespierre tracing magic glowing spells in the air!  So, yeah, magic works the same as always.

Miracles
The Church is in cahoots with the vampires, supporting their reign by preaching the doctrine of Sathaniel, King of the World.

Sathaniel looked out upon the troubled world, and saw that man needed stern guidance and judgement.  "Oh Lord, hast thou forsaken them?" he cried.  Then he appeared to the daughter of the king and offered her his blood...
Hordos 3:16 

Good guy miracle workers either worship the Pariah (a mysterious apocryphal demigod of peace and equality), foreign and pagan gods, or simply dedicate themselves D&D 3.x style to a cause or principle.  I see no danged reason to not have adepts in The King is Dead; heck, it's practically required by the source material.

Example Character:
Cruthin Spirit Warrior
Novice
Attributes:
Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d8, Faith d8, Notice d6, Stealth d6, Survival d6, Throwing d4, Tracking d6
Charisma: -2  Pace: 6  Parry: 6  Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Vow/Major (Rid the Colonies of rule by the vampires), Illiterate, Loyal
Edges: Adept (punches & kicks are Str+d4), Arcane Background (Miracles)
Gear: Axe (Str+d6, Range 3/6/12), pair of daggers (Str+d4), ₤250
Special Abilities:

  • Power Points: 10
  • Powers: Boost/Lower Trait (a confident smile or intimidating stare), Deflection (blinding speed and agility; self only)
Isn't Boost/Lower Trait awesome?  Whenever he needs to be better at something, this Novice Mani clone can just give himself a boost, and when he's fighting a gang of thugs he can drop their Fighting Skill (and thereby their Parry scores) down with a sneer.

Psionics
I don't yet know if fairies actually exist in this setting yet, but people born with the Second Sight certainly believe they have fairy blood.

Super Powers
Why not?  Call it exposure to the Newtown Weald meteorite, fairy blood again, vampire heritage, or just don't explain it at all.  Whatever you choose, the core AB: Super Powers is pretty well balanced... except maybe when you have Boost/Lower Trait as your power.  20 Power Points to toss into that whenever you want?  Sick!

Example Character:
Gifted Adventuress
Novice
Attributes:
Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills:* Climbing d4, Boost/Lower Trait d6, Fighting d4, Gambling d4, Healing d4, Investigation d4, Lockpicking d4, Notice d6, Persuasion d4, Riding d4, Stealth d6, Streetwise d4, Taunt d4
Charisma: +4  Pace:Parry:Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Curious, Greedy/Minor, Poverty
Edges: Arcane Background (Super Powers), Attractive, Very Attractive
Gear: Dagger (Str+d4), lockpicks, ₤25
Special Abilities:
·         Power Points: 20
·         Powers: Boost/Lower Trait
* You can't Boost a trait unless you have it, so it's better to have as many as you can get.

Weird Science
I think we can all agree we need this in The King is Dead.  Also, why don't we just use Weird Science for alchemy?  They basically work the same.

***
SETTING RULES
The following setting rules from Savage Worlds Deluxe are in effect in The King is Dead: Blood & Guts, Born a Hero, and Joker’s Wild.  (In duet games, it can also be assumed Heroes Never Die is as well.)

The following Wine and Savages setting rules are in effect:  Anguish, Cooperative Skills, and Mobs.  (In duet games, Too Many Cooks is also in effect.)

***

ENEMIES AND ALLIES

In ancient times, during the height of the Remulan Empire, a king called Hordos ruled the land of Tzion as an ally of the Remulans.  The king was an unhappy man. His people rebelled against the Remulan presence and his own enlightened rule; they did not recognize the natural order of the world -- that the strong should rule the weak, that the will to power is the right to power.  Street preachers and rabble rousers emerged in Tzion’s great cities crying out that all men were equal in the eyes of God, that even the scum of the earth were worthy of love and respect. King Hordos looked upon his kingdom and feared rebellion came.

The king had married his brother’s sister, and his wife had a daughter named Salome.  This devout girl prayed nightly to the darkness for the happiness of the king and the safety of the land.  A filthy itinerant called Yohanon preached at the palace gates against her step-father, and Salome knew that if she could make an example of Yohanon then King Hordos’ rule would be secure.  She prayed and prayed and the King of the World answered her.

Sathaniel the Advocate, First and Greatest Child of the Unseen Maker, King of the World and Lord of the Darkness, came to Salome as a black-winged angel and bestowed upon her the gift of unlife.  He made her the vessel of His blood, the vehicle of His deliverance, and sent her to her step-father.  She came to King Hordos and nursed him with her blood – with Sathaniel’s blood in her – and Hordos became a vampire.  Together they drank Yohanon’s blood and together they reigned.

Alas, Yohanon was not alone in his heresy.  The Pariah, He Who Shall Not Be Named, lurked yet in the streets and gardens of Tzion and gathered to him the base and the poor.  The eyes of Saint Kerioth were opened by Sathaniel and he gave the Pariah over to execution; only Shimon the Swordsman escaped King Hordos’ justice.  The prefect of the Remulans, Pilatus, beheld the rising forces of anarchy and accepted the gift of unlife from Hordos.  It seemed that the world was ready to embrace the true teachings of Sathaniel, but it was not be.  Mankind was not yet ready for His word.

Pilatus and Hordos turned their armies to Remula to spread the word of Sathaniel. Mighty was their struggle, but they had not learned the greatest strength of the unloving – they had not learned patience.  Sathaniel does not help fools; Pilatus was slain by an ash wood spear and Hordos was overthrown.  The king and Salome, his daughter and mother, fled into the wilderness.  Tzion was torn down and its people scattered and slain. 

Four centuries passed as Hordos and Salome wandered the wilderness.  Many lands they visited and many times they tried to bend the rulers of men to the King of the World, but always the ungrateful mob rejected them.  The wife of Pilatus and other disciples of the blood gathered in the catacombs of Remula and there the Church of Sathaniel grew in secret, but the hedonists and degenerates of Remula – so enamored of the pleasures of the body – hunted them out when they could. These were terrible times.

At last, Hordos found a son who deserving of the blood of Sathaniel, a man of ambition and violence who reveled in bloodshed: Etzel, king of the Hunnoi. Embracing unlife, Etzel and his army sacked Remula and conquered the mother of cities.  Etzel proved his worthiness as the Scourge of Sathaniel at Hordos’ coronation; he struck his blood-father down and became emperor in his stead. Sathaniel does not reward failure, and Hordos had failed once too often.

The wealth of fallen Remula belonged to the Church of Sathaniel and the Emperor Etzel and mankind grew jealous.  Even as the Hunnoi embraced the working of stone and the cultivation of their human flock, untamed men conspired against them.  Centuries passed as war consumed Incus.  The Ashmen of the far north raided Malleus and the continent; despite their natural affinity to the way of Sathaniel, it was many generations before they threw off the yoke of their heathen werewolf god Wotan and accepted His word.  At last they put away their poison ash wood and became civilized.  Their nobles accepted Sathaniel and became vampires.

One of these nobles was your own ancestor, Wilhelm the Everlasting.  Wilhelm knew of a pagan land, an island that still worshipped the sun and knew not the blessings of peace, the rulership of a sure, strong hand.  Anarchy ruled this island for the king had died and left no proper heir.  Wilhelm gathered his sons – the Blood Princes Ruprecht, Rickard, and Wilhelm the Red – and his army and sailed to Malleus in the year 1066.
from A History of the Island of Malleus Suitable for Young Noblemen
by Tomas Bowdler

ARISTOCRATS
The nobles of Malleus are obsessed with the purity of their bloodlines – in terms of both literal genetic inheritance from parent to child and in metaphorical inheritance from master vampire to servitor.  It is not enough to simply be a vampire; one must also be physically descended from the right people.  

Noblewomen live practically cloistered lives before their marriages; many actually are placed in nunneries where they are taught nothing but prayer and music.  Even as the Illuminated champion for equal rights for women and middle-class maids and matrons debate the latest in philosophy and science, the daughters of the vampires are used as pretty pawns to secure allegiances amongst the king’s sons and their descendants.  Rare is the lady of the blood who is given the blessing of unlife before she has whelped and reared a half-dozen aristocratic brats.     

Gentlewomen
Life for the women of the aristocracy is circumscribed by the need to preserve their virginity in hopes of breeding dunpeals.  Only after a woman has borne children can she hope to develop her own independent life. 

Ingenue (Novice)
This young lady may still be cloistered or may have just been introduced to society; she would be somewhere between 15 and 18 years old. She is inexperienced in the world at large but well-educated in the arts and practical knowledge a Mallean lady should possess. 
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d6 Spirit d6 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Skills: Gambling d6, Healing d4, Intimidation d4, Investigation d4, Knowledge (Occult) d6,* Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Repair d4, Riding d4, Stealth d4, Taunt d4. 
Charisma: +2 (+4)** Pace:6 Parry:2 Toughness:5 
Hindrances: Code of Honor (tries to live by the standards of decorum of Mallean society), Outsider** (it’s a man’s world), Pacifist (Minor) (has not been taught even the basics of self-defense)
Edges: Attractive, Noble
*Knowledge (Occult) fulfills the same function in Malleus that Knowledge (Religion) would in the real world.
*The Outsider Hindrance reduces effective Charisma.

Debutante (Seasoned)
Between 18 and 23 years of age, this young lady is now out in society or may even be a young bride. She has strengthened a bit -- sharpening her mind and her social skills –but she is still vulnerable.
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d8 Spirit d6 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Skills: Gambling d6, Healing d4, Intimidation d4, Investigation d4, Knowledge (Occult) d6, Notice d6, Persuasion d8, Repair d4, Riding d4, Stealth d4, Streetwise d4, Taunt d6. 
Charisma: +2 (+4) Pace:6 Parry:2 Toughness:5 
Hindrances: Code of Honor (tries to live by the standards of decorum of Mallean society), Outsider (it’s a man’s world), Pacifist (Minor) (has not been taught even the basics of self-defense)
Edges: Attractive, Noble

Socialite (Veteran)
Mallean society is competitive and brutal, as the living nobles strive to win the prize of immortality from their vampire elders. This Mallean noblewoman may be as young as twenty or as old as late middle age. She has trained herself for the war of words in the salons and boudoirs, becoming both more outwardly charming and more inwardly steely. 
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d8 Spirit d8 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Skills: Gambling d6, Healing d4, Intimidation d6, Investigation d4, Knowledge (Occult) d6, Notice d6, Persuasion d8, Repair d4, Riding d4, Stealth d4, Streetwise d4, Taunt d8. 
Charisma: +2 (+4) Pace: 6 Parry: 2 Toughness:5 
Hindrances: Code of Honor (tries to live by the standards of decorum of Mallean society), Outsider (it’s a man’s world), Pacifist (Minor) (has not been taught even the basics of self-defense)
Edges: Attractive, Charismatic, Noble, Strong Willed

Adventuress (Heroic)
This lady has responded to the battle of the sexes by making herself a seductress and spy. She may use her talents to forward her husband’s political career or for her own gain; she may even be a member of the Illuminated or Sorority of Belquis.
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d8 Spirit d8 Strength d6 Vigor d8
Skills: Gambling d6, Healing d4, Intimidation d6, Investigation d4, Knowledge (Occult) d6, Notice d6, Persuasion d8, Repair d4, Riding d4, Stealth d6, Streetwise d6, Taunt d8. 
Charisma: +2 (+4) Pace:6 Parry:4 Toughness:6 
Hindrances: Curious or Greedy (Major) (motivated by either searching for freedom or grasping for power), Outsider (it’s a man’s world), Vengeful (Minor) or Wanted (Minor) (dangerous to cross or her crimes have caught the attention of authorities)
Edges: Attractive, Charismatic, Noble, Persuasive, Strong Willed

Mistress (Heroic)
This lady wields power either domestically or through her husband. She has found her place in the world and will defend it by wielding her pawns.
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d8 Spirit d10 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Skills: Gambling d6, Healing d4, Intimidation d10, Investigation d4, Knowledge (Occult) d6, Notice d8, Persuasion d8, Repair d4, Riding d4, Stealth d4, Streetwise d6, Taunt d8. 
Charisma: +2 (+4) Pace:6 Parry:2 Toughness:5 
Hindrances: Vengeful (Major) (cross her at your peril), Outsider (it’s a man’s world), Pacifist (Minor) (has not been taught even the basics of self-defense)
Edges: Attractive, Charismatic, Command, Noble, Strong Willed

Sorceress (Heroic)
This lady has chosen to turn to forbidden magic to make her mark on society. She may court the favor of the Old Gods or Faerie (and be a member of the Baelfire Club or the Sorority of Belquis), or she might have learned her arts from one of Sathaniel’s angels (who seem to be awfully eager to bend His laws and lead people into temptation).
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d8 Spirit d10 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Skills: Gambling d6, Healing d4, Intimidation d6, Investigation d4, Knowledge (Occult) d6, Notice d6, Persuasion d8, Repair d4, Riding d4, Spellcasting d8, Stealth d4, Streetwise d4, Taunt d8. 
Charisma: +2 (+4) Pace:6 Parry:2 Toughness:5 
Hindrances: Curious or Greedy (Major) (motivated by either searching for knowledge or grasping for power), Outsider (it’s a man’s world), Vengeful (Minor) or Wanted (Minor) (dangerous to cross or her crimes have caught the attention of authorities)
Edges: AB: Magic, Attractive, Charismatic, Noble, Strong Willed
Powers: banish entity, bind entity, summon demonor summon spirit
Aristocratic Mallean society allows for far more flexibility in men’s career paths than women.  The following examples trace the careers of a military man, a politician, and a wastrel.  More information on the religious life is forthcoming.

Gentlemen
The lives of aristocratic men follow somewhat more varied patterns than those of women.  It invariably begins at the Oxbridge universities of Hammerstadt, where the course of their studies leads them to choose their paths in life.

Bully (Novice)
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d4 Spirit d6 Strength d8 Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d8, Gambling d4, Intimidation d8, Knowledge (Occult) d4, Lockpicking d4, Notice d4, Persuasion d4, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d4, Streetwise d4, Taunt d4, Throwing d4.
Charisma +2  Pace 6  Parry 6 Toughness 6
Hindrances: Arrogant, Stubborn, Vengeful (Minor).
Edges: Brawny, Noble.

Student (Novice)
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d8 Spirit d6 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d4, Gambling d4, Intimidation d4, Investigation d6, Knowledge (Occult) d4, Notice d4, Persuasion d6, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d4, Streetwise d4, Taunt d6.
Charisma +2  Pace 6  Parry 4 Toughness 5
Hindrances: Cautious, Code of Honor, Greedy (Minor).
Edges: Alertness, Noble.

Toady (Novice)
Attributes: Agility d8 Smarts d6 Spirit d4 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Skills: Driving d4, Fighting d4, Gambling d6, Intimidation d4, Investigation d4, Knowledge (Occult) d4, Lockpicking d4, Notice d4, Persuasion d4, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d6, Streetwise d6, Taunt d6, Throwing d4.
Charisma +2  Pace 6  Parry 4 Toughness 5
Hindrances: Poverty, Vengeful (Minor), Yellow.
Edges: Noble

Junior Officer (Seasoned)
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d4 Spirit d6 Strength d8 Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d8, Gambling d4, Intimidation d8, Knowledge (Battle) d4, Knowledge (Occult) d4, Lockpicking d4, Notice d4, Persuasion d4, Riding d6,* Shooting d6, Stealth d4, Streetwise d4, Taunt d4, Throwing d4.
Charisma +2  Pace 6  Parry 6 Toughness 6
Hindrances: Arrogant, Stubborn, Vengeful (Minor).
Edges: Brawny, Command, Noble.
* or Boating, depending on whether he is Army or Navy.

Junior Politician (Seasoned)
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d8 Spirit d8 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d4, Gambling d4, Intimidation d6, Investigation d6, Knowledge (Occult) d4, Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d4, Streetwise d4, Taunt d6.
Charisma +2  Pace 6  Parry 4 Toughness 5
Hindrances: Cautious, Code of Honor, Greedy (Minor).
Edges: Alertness, Noble, Strong Willed.

Junior Sycophant (Seasoned)
Attributes: Agility d8 Smarts d6 Spirit d6 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Skills: Driving d4, Fighting d6, Gambling d6, Intimidation d4, Investigation d4, Knowledge (Occult) d4, Lockpicking d4, Notice d4, Persuasion d6, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d6, Streetwise d6, Taunt d6, Throwing d4.
Charisma +4  Pace 6  Parry 5 Toughness 5
Hindrances: Poverty, Vengeful (Minor), Yellow.
Edges: Attractive, Noble

Senior Officer (Veteran)
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d6 Spirit d6 Strength d8 Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d8, Gambling d4, Intimidation d8, Knowledge (Battle) d6, Knowledge (Occult) d4, Lockpicking d4, Notice d6, Persuasion d4, Riding d6,* Shooting d6, Stealth d4, Streetwise d4, Taunt d4, Throwing d4.
Charisma +2  Pace 6  Parry 6 Toughness 6
Hindrances: Arrogant, Stubborn, Vengeful (Minor).
Edges: Brawny, Command, Inspire, Leader of Men, Noble.
* or Boating, depending on whether he is Army or Navy

Senior Politician (Veteran)
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d10 Spirit d8 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d4, Gambling d4, Intimidation d8, Investigation d6, Knowledge (Occult) d4, Notice d8, Persuasion d8, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d4, Streetwise d4, Taunt d8.
Charisma +4  Pace 6  Parry 4 Toughness 5
Hindrances: Cautious, Code of Honor, Greedy (Minor).
Edges: Alertness, Charismatic, Noble, Strong Willed.

Senior Sycophant (Veteran)
Attributes: Agility d8 Smarts d8 Spirit d6 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Skills: Driving d4, Fighting d6, Gambling d6, Intimidation d6, Investigation d4, Knowledge (Occult) d4, Lockpicking d4, Notice d4, Persuasion d8, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d8, Streetwise d8, Taunt d6, Throwing d4.
Charisma +4  Pace 6  Parry 5 Toughness 5
Hindrances: Poverty, Vengeful (Minor), Yellow.
Edges: Attractive, Noble, Quick

Admiral/General (Heroic)
This savvy commander has risen to hold one of the top ranks in the Mallean military.  Now he must choose between serving his bloodthirsty overlords or leading his troops against their own country.
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d8 Spirit d6 Strength d8 Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d8, Gambling d4, Intimidation d8, Knowledge (Battle) d10, Knowledge (Occult) d4, Lockpicking d4, Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Riding d6,* Shooting d6, Stealth d4, Streetwise d4, Taunt d4, Throwing d4.
Charisma +2  Pace 6  Parry 6 Toughness 6
Hindrances: Arrogant, Stubborn, and Vengeful (Minor) OR Heroic, Loyal, and Stubborn.
Edges: Brawny, Command, Inspire, Leader of Men, Noble, Tactician.
* or Boating, depending on whether he is Army or Navy

Statesman (Heroic)
This canny politician has risen high in the Mallean Diet or the colonial government.  He has parlayed his success into material gain as well as political power.  Now he either tries to persuade his vampire ancestors that he deserves to join their ranks or plots their downfall so all men can be free of such tyranny.
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d10 Spirit d8 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d4, Gambling d4, Intimidation d8, Investigation d6, Knowledge (Occult) d4, Notice d10, Persuasion d10, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d4, Streetwise d4, Taunt d8.
Charisma +4  Pace 6  Parry 4 Toughness 5
Hindrances: Cautious, Code of Honor, and Greedy (Minor) OR Enemy (Minor), Heroic, and Wanted (Minor).
Edges: Alertness, Charismatic, Filthy Rich, Level Headed, Noble, Persuasive, Strong Willed.

Rakehell (Heroic)
This gentleman of leisure is so debauched that he has begun to study the art of sorcery.  He may be a devout Sathanielist bent on a path of vengeance against those who snubbed him in his youth, or he might be a member of the Baelfire Club convinced he can resurrect the old pagan gods through orgiastic rites.  
Attributes: Agility d8 Smarts d8 Spirit d6 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Skills: Driving d4, Fighting d6, Gambling d6, Intimidation d6, Investigation d4, Knowledge (Occult) d8, Lockpicking d4, Notice d4, Persuasion d8, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Spellcasting d8, Stealth d8, Streetwise d8, Taunt d6, Throwing d4.
Charisma +4  Pace 6  Parry 5 Toughness 5
Hindrances: Greedy (Minor), Habit (Minor – dropping veiled allusions to his dark deeds)Vengeful (Major) OR Curious, Delusional (Minor), and Wanted (Minor).
Edges: Arcane Background: Magic, Attractive, Noble, Quick
Power Points: 10
Powers: banish entitybind entitysummon demon or summon spirit

The Church of Sathaniel
The Church of Sathaniel of Malleus combines the worst qualities of the Anglican and Catholic Churches of the 18th Century.  The Church is seen by most nobles as merely a socially-acceptable career for younger sons, while the common folk view priests with a superstitious reverence.  Positions within the Church hierarchy are bought and sold as readily as indulgences; rich fathers buy their sons spiritual power over susceptible rustics and social-climbing deacons woo patronage from vampire lords.  Ambitious vicars make Faustian pacts with Sathaniel’s “angels” while decadent bishops turn nunneries into private harems.  The horror is that this considered a true spiritual model of the world under Sathaniel.

Initiate (Novice)
The typical seminary student is practically indistinguishable from a typical Student.
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d6 Spirit d8 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d4, Gambling d4, Intimidation d4, Investigation d6, Knowledge (Occult) d4, Notice d4, Persuasion d6, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d4, Streetwise d4, Taunt d6.
Charisma +2 Pace Parry 4 Toughness 5
Hindrances: Code of Honor, Vow (Minor) (to the Church), Greedy (Minor).
Edges: Connections (Church of Sathaniel), Noble.

Pastor (Seasoned)
The pastor has graduated from his studies and assumed his duties; the next few years will determine the course of his life.
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d6 Spirit d8 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Skills: Faith d4, Fighting d4, Gambling d4, Intimidation d6, Investigation d6, Knowledge (Occult) d6, Notice d4, Persuasion d6, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d4, Streetwise d4, Taunt d6.
Charisma +2 Pace Parry 4 Toughness 5
Hindrances: Code of Honor, Vow (Minor) (to the Church), Greedy (Minor).
Edges: AB: Miracles, Connections (Church of Sathaniel), Noble.
Power Points: 10
Powers: banish entity, consecrate ground (reversed).

Pact-Maker (Veteran)
This man of the cloth (most likely a deacon or vicar) has decided his best path to worldly success is with supernatural aid and so he has turned to summoning tempting “angels.”
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d6 Spirit d8 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Skills: Faith d8, Fighting d4, Gambling d4, Intimidation d6, Investigation d6, Knowledge (Occult) d6, Notice d4, Persuasion d6, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d4, Streetwise d4, Taunt d6.
Charisma +2 Pace Parry 4 Toughness 5
Hindrances: Code of Honor, Vow (Minor) (to the Church), Greedy (Minor).
Edges: AB: Miracles, Connections (Church of Sathaniel), New Power (x2), Noble, Power Points.
Power Points: 15
Powers: banish entity, bind entity, consecrate ground (reversed), summon demon.
The pact-maker may also have several Dark Gifts (as per the Seducer Demon in Savage Worlds Horror Companion p. 74)

Preacher (Veteran)
This man of the cloth (most likely a deacon or vicar) has instead decided that patronage and clients are his key to success.  He preaches hellfire sermons to the masses and flattering masses for the nobility.
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d8 Spirit d8 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Skills: Faith d4, Fighting d4, Gambling d4, Intimidation d8, Investigation d6, Knowledge (Occult) d6, Notice d4, Persuasion d8, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d4, Streetwise d4, Taunt d6.
Charisma +4 Pace Parry 4 Toughness 5
Hindrances: Code of Honor, Vow (Minor) (to the Church), Greedy (Minor).
Edges: AB: Miracles, Connections x2 (Church of Sathaniel, a prominent vampire patron), Charismatic, Noble.
Power Points: 10
Powers: banish entity, consecrate ground (reversed)

Miracle-Worker (Heroic)
This man of the cloth (most likely a vicar or bishop) has become a powerful wielder of magic.  He might spend his time in dark and terrible excesses, or he might (possibly and extremely rarely) have realized the emptiness of his pursuits and turned for spiritual enlightenment to the Pariah or the ancient gods (likely joining the Balefire Club or Bloodstained Blade).
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d6 Spirit d10 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Skills: Faith d10, Fighting d4, Gambling d4, Intimidation d6, Investigation d6, Knowledge (Occult) d8, Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d6, Streetwise d4, Taunt d6.
Charisma +2 Pace Parry 4 Toughness 5
Hindrances: Code of Honor, Vow (Minor) (to the Church), Greedy (Minor) OR Heroic, Vow (Minor) (to secret society), Wanted (Minor).
Edges: AB: Miracles, Connections (Church of Sathaniel or a secret society), New Power (x4), Noble, Power Points.
Power Points: 15
Powers: banish entity, bind entity, consecrate ground (reversed), summon demon, andzombie OR banish entity, bind entity, consecrate ground, greater healing, and summon spirit.
The pact-maker may also have several Dark Gifts (as per the Seducer Demon in Savage Worlds Horror Companion p. 74)

Presbyter (Heroic)
This man of the cloth (most likely a bishop or archbishop) has found great success playing the games of politics in the Church of Sathaniel -- or perhaps his pursuit of power has opened his eyes to the plight of the poor and he now rights sacrilegious tracts supporting the cause of the Illuminated, the Bloodstained Blade, or possibly even the Balefire Club.
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d10 Spirit d8 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Skills: Faith d4, Fighting d4, Gambling d4, Intimidation d8, Investigation d6, Knowledge (Occult) d6, Notice d4, Persuasion d10, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d4, Streetwise d6, Taunt d6.
Charisma +4 Pace Parry 4 Toughness 5
Hindrances: Code of Honor, Vow (Minor) (to the Church OR his secret society), Greedy (Minor).
Edges: AB: Miracles, Connections x2 (Church of Sathaniel, a prominent vampire patron OR his secret society), Charismatic, Filthy Rich, Noble, Strong Willed.
Power Points: 10
Powers: banish entity, consecrate ground OR consecrate ground (reversed)

CHAINS OF BLOOD
The blessed of Sathaniel watch over mankind as shepherds watch over their flocks, but sometimes shepherds must use sheep dogs to guard the lambs from wolves.  To this end, vampires employ their still-living children -- the dunpeals -- and their blood-bonded servants -- the moroi,

Moroi
The power of Sathaniel that flows through the veins of vampires and dunpeals can bestow their inhuman strength and vitality upon mortals who drink it.  Old men feel young again and young men feel immortal when they drink the blood.  When offered such temptations, few can resist agreeing to any service the vampire commands and become the instruments of their own oppression -- sheep trained to be sheep dogs.

Moroi exist in many levels of society.  The Glorious Revolt worries most about those used as assassins and double-agents to infiltrate the secret societies, but the majority are the aldermen, bailiffs, and burgomasters that enforce the law in the hamlets and towns of Malleus.  These willing dupes ensure that their inhuman lords receive the blood tax and that the population remains compliant.

It is rare for vampires and dunpeals to waste their blood on human lovers, unless they have particularly athletic tastes.

Rules
Moroi are normal humans who have been fed the blood of a vampire or dunpeal and given some of its strength.  An ancient vampire may maintain up to its natural Toughness x 3 moroi, a young vampire may maintain up to its natural Toughness x 2 moroi, and a dunpeal may maintain a number of moroi equal to its natural Toughness.

Any NPC archetype may be converted to a moroi by adding the following template:
·                     Enslaved: The will of the moroi is suborned to the master vampire.  This functions in most ways as the Vow (Major) Hindrance.
·                     Feed: The moroi must drink at least a pint of blood fresh from its master once a month.  This is otherwise treated like the Habit (Major) Hindrance. 
·                     Strength of the Damned: Strength +1d and Vigor +1d.  Since this effectively offsets the Elderly Hindrance, there's some surprisingly spry old men watching out for the vampires' interests.

Archetypes

Moroi Assassins
Unpleasant, unctuous men of decidedly average appearance, they report in secret to a politician or church leader and (literally) execute his orders.
Attributes: Agility d8 Smarts d6 Spirit d6 Strength d8 Vigor d8
Skills: Driving d4, Fighting d8, Initimidation d4, Lockpicking d4, Notice d4, Riding d4, Shooting d6, Stealth d8, Streetwise d6, Throwing d6.
Charisma -6 Pace 6 Parry 6 Toughness 6
Hindrances: Bloodthirsty, Greedy, Outsider (mere servants)
Edges: Assassin
Equipment: Stiletto (Str+d4, AP 2)
Special Abilities:
·                     Enslaved: The will of the moroi is suborned to the master vampire.  This functions in most ways as the Vow (Major) Hindrance.
·                     Feed: The moroi must drink at least a pint of blood fresh from its master once a month. This is otherwise treated like the Habit (Major) Hindrance.
·                     Strength of the Damned: Strength +1d and Vigor +1d. Since this effectively offsets the Elderly Hindrance, there are some surprisingly spry old men watching out for the vampires' interests.

Moroi Cavalrymen
Vicious, devil-may-care younger sons of the Von Rickard line within nothing to lose and everything to gain by covering themselves in blood and glory.
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d4 Spirit d6 Strength d10 Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d8, Gambling d4, Intimidation d8, Knowledge (Occult) d4, Notice d4, Persuasion d4, Riding d6, Shooting d6, Stealth d4, Streetwise d4, Taunt d4.
Charisma +2 Pace Parry 6 Toughness 9 (6)
Hindrances: Arrogant, Stubborn, Vengeful (Minor).
Edges: Noble, Steady Hands.
Equipment: cavalry saber (Str+d6), cuirass (+3)
Special Abilities:
·                     Enslaved: The will of the moroi is suborned to the master vampire.  This functions in most ways as the Vow (Major) Hindrance.
·                     Feed: The moroi must drink at least a pint of blood fresh from its master once a month. This is otherwise treated like the Habit (Major) Hindrance.
·                     Strength of the Damned: Strength +1d and Vigor +1d.

Moroi Steeds
War horses fed dunpeal or vampire blood to increase their ferocity and inure them to undead riders.
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d4(A) Spirit d6 Strength d12+3 Vigor d12
Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d6.
Pace 8 Parry 6 Toughness 11
Special Abilities:
·                     Enslaved: The will of the moroi is suborned to the master vampire.  This functions in most ways as the Vow (Major) Hindrance.
·                     Feed: The moroi must drink at least a pint of blood fresh from its master once a month. This is otherwise treated like the Habit (Major) Hindrance.
·                     Fleet-Footed: War horses roll a d8 when running instead of a d6.
·                     Kick: Str+d4.
·                     Size: +3; Warhorses are large creatures bred for their power and stature.
·                     Strength of the Damned: Strength +1d and Vigor +1d.

Dunpeals
The heart beats and the heart yearns.  The blessing of Sathaniel does not make vampires immune to the temptations of the flesh, though it does reduce their capacity to enjoy and participate in such pleasures.  Arousing oneself for fornication, for example, is a great labor for the male vampire (though admittedly a labor many readily undertake); distressingly, it appears the female is more easily ready (though less readily satisfied).

Dunpeals are the rare children of unions between vampire males and mortal virgins.  (While it is possible for a female vampire to conceive, there is no recorded case of a pregnancy coming to term; the female’s body feeds off the child’s blood and leads to miscarriage.)  Why precisely vampires can only impregnate virgins is a matter of speculation, but it is believed it has something to do with the mingling of hymenal blood and semen.

Carrying a dunpeal to term is difficult and dangerous.  The most successful methods require the mother to drink vampire blood (preferably the father’s) on a daily basis and to supplement her diet with fresh animal blood.  The process seems to be eased somewhat if the mother is a blood relation of the father; the vast majority of Mallean dunpeals are bred within the princely blood lines, and the vast majority of dunpeal parents are grandparent and grandchild.

Raising a dunpeal child is also difficult and dangerous.  They usually spend their early lives on country estates where the deaths of servants can be more easily ignored. The murder of a nanny and several footmen by a hungry dunpeal toddler in residence at a townhome in May Fair scandalized Hammerstadt several years ago; seditionists who trumpeted this accident in their newspapers were executed after a mob burned the home to the ground.    

The benefits of having dunpeals to guard the nobility and execute their orders by daylight far outweigh the difficulties in raising them.  Like vampires, they can also use their blood to maintain moroi servants.  They are free to come and go without a homeowner’s permission, making them capable of espionage and acts of theft that their vampire parents simply cannot do.  While sunlight stings their eyes, the blight of day does not burn dunpeals.  It is far, far safer to send dunpeals to maintain peace in the Colonies than to risk a vampire on the months-long crossing.

Of course, dunpeals are as vulnerable to ash wood as any vampire, and they lack the vampires’ immunity to steel and lead.  It is only at great risk to their lives that dunpeals accept missions to the Colonies – it’s far safer to accept a commission in the Polizei and hunt rebels in Malleus – but the rewards are great for the bold and ambitious.

Dunpeals can live for hundreds of years; like humans, they can also be given the gift of unlife and made vampires.  This is, in fact, the reward for which they are willing to risk their lives to thwart the Glorious Revolt.  No one knows the siren song of immortality as much as those who have lived for centuries.

Rules
Dunpeals are trained to a variety of roles.  Since they are nobility, it is not expected that they will work for a living, but they must still serve their sires in some capacity.  Dunpeal archetypes include: assassin, courtier, duelist, military officer, privateer, and thief.  Dunpeals have a lifespan of 150 + 2d100 years.

Any NPC archetype may be converted to a dunpeal by adding the following template:
·                     Feed: The dunpeal must drink at least a pint of fresh blood (which need not be human) every day.  This is treated like the Habit (Major) Hindrance.
·                     Royal Blood: Each of the four princely bloodlines has its own unique gift.
1.                  von Ruprecht -- Rats in the Walls: The dunpeal has the ability to summon and control swarms of vermin (cockroaches, fleas, and rats are typical choices). This requires an action and a Smarts roll at –2. If successful, 1d4 swarms of crawling vermin (Savage Worlds Deluxe p. 141) come scurrying out of the walls or earth in 1d6+2 rounds.
2.                  von Rickard -- Change Form:  With a Smarts roll at -2, the dunpeal may change into a wolf or bat.
3.                  von Rot (Wilhelm the Red) -- Charm: The dunpeal can use the puppet power on someone who finds him or her sexually attractive using his or her Smarts as the arcane skill.  This can be maintained indefinitely, but can only affect one target at a time.
4.                  von Heinrich -- Wall Walker: The dunpeal can move at its full Pace (and even run) along any surface.
·                     Strength of the Damned: Dunpeals start with a d6 in Strength and Vigor instead of a d4.
·                     Weakness (Ash Wood): Dunpeals take +4 damage from weapons made of the wood of the ash tree,
·                     Weakness (Sunlight): All physical tasks made in direct sunlight are made at a -2.
It is believed that dunpeals sired directly by the king may have greater abilities, but no known living dunpeal claims to be a child of Wilhelm the Everlasting.

Archetypes
The upper ranks of society are the domain of the blood-drinkers.  The following are some examples of highly-placed dunpeals (the living children of vampires and humans).

Von Ruprecht Necromancer Abbot (Legendary)
Though his face is now a skull-like mask and he cannot feed without killing his victims, this dunpeal churchman has achieved his ambition of ruling a remote monastery.  Within its confines, he conducts repulsive rites to sate the demands of his “angelic” patron.
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d8 Spirit d8 Strength d8 Vigor d8
Skills: Faith d10, Fighting d4, Gambling d4, Intimidation d6, Investigation d6, Knowledge (Occult) d6, Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d6, Streetwise d4, Taunt d6.
Charisma -4 Corruption 3 Pace Parry 4 Toughness 6
Hindrances: Bloodthirsty, Code of Honor, Vow (Minor) (to the Church), Greedy (Minor), Ugly.
Edges: AB: Miracles, Connections (Church of Sathaniel), Dunpeal, Necromancer, New Power (x3), Noble, Power Points x2.
Power Points: 20
Powers: banish entity, bind entity, consecrate ground (reversed), corpse senses, summon demon, zombie.
Dark Gifts: Trait Increase (Faith +1), Power +2 (to become a significant figure within a powerful organization); see the Seducer Demon in Savage Worlds Horror Companion p. 74.
Special Abilities:
·                     Feed: The dunpeal must drink at least a pint of fresh blood (which need not be human) every day. This is treated like the Habit (Major) Hindrance.
·                     Royal Blood: von Ruprecht -- Rats in the Walls: The dunpeal has the ability to summon and control swarms of vermin (cockroaches, fleas, and rats are typical choices). This requires an action and a Smarts roll at –2. If successful, 1d4 swarms of crawling vermin (Savage Worlds Deluxe p. 141) come scurrying out of the walls or earth in 1d6+2 rounds.
·                     Strength of the Damned: Add one die each to Strength and Vigor.
·                     Weakness (Ash Wood): Dunpeals take +4 damage from weapons made of the wood of the ash tree,
·                     Weakness (Sunlight): All physical tasks made in direct sunlight are made at a -2.

Von Rot Bishop or Cardinal (Legendary)
This dunpeal has risen far in the church hierarchy through personal charm and dominating the wills of the weaker.  
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d10 Spirit d10 Strength d8 Vigor d8
Skills: Faith d4, Fighting d4, Gambling d4, Intimidation d8, Investigation d6, Knowledge (Occult) d6, Notice d6, Persuasion d10, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d4, Streetwise d8, Taunt d6.
Charisma +4 Pace Parry 4 Toughness 6
Hindrances: Code of Honor, Vow (Minor) (to the Church), Greedy (Minor).
Edges: AB: Miracles, Charismatic, Connections x2 (Church of Sathaniel, a prominent vampire patron), Dunpeal, Filthy Rich, Followers, Noble, Tower of Will.
Power Points: 10
Powers: banish entity, consecrate ground (reversed)
Special Abilities:
·                     Feed: The dunpeal must drink at least a pint of fresh blood (which need not be human) every day. This is treated like the Habit (Major) Hindrance.
·                     Royal Blood: von Rot -- Charm: The dunpeal can use the puppet power on someone who finds him or her sexually attractive using his or her Smarts as the arcane skill. This can be maintained indefinitely, but can only affect one target at a time.
·                     Strength of the Damned: Add one die each to Strength and Vigor.
·                     Weakness (Ash Wood): Dunpeals take +4 damage from weapons made of the wood of the ash tree, Weakness (Sunlight): All physical tasks made in direct sunlight are made at a -2.

Von Rickard Colonel (Legendary)
Dunpeals in the military more often find themselves in the thick of battle than behind the lines. The children of Prince Rickard the Wolf-hearted in particular crave the clash of steel; this berserker leads a daring cavalry squad that rides moroi steeds.
Attributes:Agility d8 Smarts d6 Spirit d6 Strength d10 Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d10, Gambling d4, Intimidation d8, Knowledge (Battle) d6, Knowledge (Occult) d4,  Notice d6, Persuasion d4, Riding d6, Shooting d8, Stealth d4, Streetwise d4, Taunt d6, Throwing d6.
Charisma +2 Pace Parry 7 Toughness 10 (7)
Hindrances: Arrogant, Stubborn, Vengeful (Minor).
Edges: Beast Bond, Berserk, Brawny, Command, Dunpeal, Followers, Inspire, Leader of Men, Steady Hands, Noble.
Equipment: cavalry saber (Str+d6), cuirass (+3)
Special Abilities: 
·                      Feed: The dunpeal must drink at least a pint of fresh blood (which need not be human) every day. This is treated like the Habit (Major) Hindrance. 
·                     Royal Blood: von Rickard -- Change Form: With a Smarts roll at -2, the dunpeal may change into a wolf or bat.
·                     Strength of the Damned: Add one die each to Strength and Vigor.
·                     Weakness (Ash Wood): Dunpeals take +4 damage from weapons made of the wood of the ash tree.
·                     Weakness (Sunlight): All physical tasks made in direct sunlight are made at a -2.

Von Rot Minister (Legendary)
The get of the charming and prolific Prince Wilhelm the Red dominate Mallean politics, allowing only enough of the other bloodlines into the Diet to disguise their overwhelming majority.
Attributes:Agility d6 Smarts d10 Spirit d10 Strength d8 Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d4, Gambling d4, Intimidation d10, Investigation d6, Knowledge (Occult) d4, Notice d8, Persuasion d10, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d4, Streetwise d6, Taunt d10.
Charisma +4 Pace Parry 4 Toughness 6
Hindrances: Cautious, Code of Honor, Greedy (Minor).
Edges: Alertness, Charismatic, Dunpeal, Filthy Rich, Level Headed, Noble, Quick, Strong Willed, Tower of Will.
Special Abilities:
·                     Feed: The dunpeal must drink at least a pint of fresh blood (which need not be human) every day. This is treated like the Habit (Major) Hindrance.
·                     Royal Blood: von Rot -- Charm: The dunpeal can use the puppet power on someone who finds him or her sexually attractive using his or her Smarts as the arcane skill. This can be maintained indefinitely, but can only affect one target at a time.
·                     Strength of the Damned: Add one die each to Strength and Vigor.
·                     Weakness (Ash Wood): Dunpeals take +4 damage from weapons made of the wood of the ash tree,
·                     Weakness (Sunlight): All physical tasks made in direct sunlight are made at a -2.

Von Heinrich Libertine (Legendary)
Some dissolute dunpeals live only for the pleasures of the flesh; pursuing these pleasures, however, bestows them with a wealth of secrets and skills.
Attributes: Agility d10 Smarts d10 Spirit d6 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6, Gambling d8, Intimidation d6, Investigation d4, Knowledge (Occult) d4, Lockpicking d4, Notice d6, Persuasion d10, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d10, Streetwise d10, Taunt d6, Throwing d4.
Charisma +4 Pace Parry 7 Toughness 5
Hindrances: Poverty, Vengeful (Minor), Yellow.
Edges: Attractive, Block, Dodge, Dunpeal, Extraction, Noble, Quick
Equipment: bejeweled rapier or smallsword (Str+d4, +1 Parry), concealing cloak, fine clothes, mask.
Special Abilities: 
·                     Feed: The dunpeal must drink at least a pint of fresh blood (which need not be human) every day. This is treated like the Habit (Major) Hindrance.
·                     Royal Blood: von Heinrich -- Wall Walker: The dunpeal can move at its full Pace (and even run) along any surface.
·                     Strength of the Damned: Add one die each to Strength and Vigor.
·                     Weakness (Ash Wood): Dunpeals take +4 damage from weapons made of the wood of the ash tree,
·                     Weakness (Sunlight): All physical tasks made in direct sunlight are made at a -2.

I NEVER DRINK… WINEVampires can only survive on blood alone, but that does not mean they do not crave some variety in their diet.  While only fresh human blood sates their hunger, the practicalities of constant predation on mortals and the tedium of drinking the same thing night in and night out have led to a profusion of blood-related foods and beverages.  Human and animal blood is an ingredient in black soup, blood pudding, blutwurst, pancakes, schwarzsauer, and other dishes while fresh blood is mixed with beer, honey, milk, tea, and whiskey for extra flavor.
It is never mixed with wine.
The taste of wine is nauseating to the unliving.  It is not poisonous, but it is foul.  For that reason, wine in Malleus and Incus is a peasant’s drink.  The grape is not cultivated on the grand estates of nobles or monasteries; vintages are not collected and stored in grand cellars.  That is not to say it is not made – wine was the drink of choice in the ancient Remulan Empire – but in modern times it is a crafted by unrefined villagers for local consumption.
Except…
The art of winemaking was carried into the deserts by the survivors of Tzion, and now the vast and hostile Ostermann Empire treats the grape as a sacred fruit.  In the Colonies, the untitled, rebellious landowners have begun to grow the grape in quantity; they turn to the surviving works of Remula and Akhaia for secrets of the winemaker’s art.  And in Malleus itself, even the upper-crust members of the Baelfire Club and the Illuminated toast each other with wine before settling down to secret business.
RulesA vampire or moroi (living blood-drinking vampire servant – like a ghoul from Vampire: The Masquerade except with a different name for copyright issues) who drinks even a sip of wine must make a Vigor roll to avoid retching.  Because moroi are still alive, they receive a +2 bonus to the roll.  A roll of 1 on the Vigor die means the blood-drinker is Shaken, a failure means the vampire spits it up, a success means the unliving is able to swallow the drink without ill effect. This roll must be made for every drink the blood-drinker attempts. 
Better quality wines can impose a penalty on the roll; these penalties equal -1 to the Vigor roll per $100 spent on the bottle.  Because wine-making was suppressed in Malleus and western Incus, the best vintages come from the Ostermann Empire’s holdings in Akhaia and the Haemus Mountains (roughly equivalent to Greece and the Balkans). 
VAMPIRES
The gift of undeath is a strange and complicated magic.  There is little in the sacred texts about the powers (or fate) of Salome, but King Hordos is credited with being able to dominate the wills of others, change into a devouring swarm, and become one with his shadow; his spawn, Emperor Etzel, on the other hand was able to become a wolf the size of a horse, regenerate wounds, and command the weather.  The blessings of Sathaniel are surprisingly capricious.

Vampires have learned over the centuries that creating vampires from their own dunpeals and the children of said dunpeals greatly improves the chances of a vampire sharing his sire’s gifts. King Wilhelm’s three sons who were conceived while he yet breathed – Ruprecht, Rickard, and Wilhelm the Red – have gifts of the blood that differ greatly from each other and their father; his youngest son, Heinrich, was conceived after King Wilhelm received the gift from Emperor Etzel and resembles his father far more than his brothers.  It is for this reason that the vampires of Malleus have organized into stratified bloodlines headed by the royal princes, and why the breeding of dunpeals is so important.

The Blood and the Heart
The heart is the seat of life; though anatomists still struggle to understand the mechanism of blood and how it carries life energy, vivisectionists have shown that the heart is a pump that sends blood coursing throughout the body.  Though damage to the brain might impair a body’s function, the body may still live; destroy the heart and it invariably dies.

A vampire must have a way of suffusing his dead body with the life it imbibes with mortal blood and so the heart of a vampire still beats, though its pulse is slow and irregular.  It may not beat for several hours while the vampire rests, as it conserves the vital life force from the vampire’s last meal.  It will beat more regularly when the vampire needs to exert itself, though even then it will never reach the drumming intensity of a mortal heart.  Nevertheless, it beats, and destroying the heart destroys the vampire.

[To avoid abusing fair use guidelines, the following refers extensively to Savage Worlds Deluxe (SWD) and Savage Worlds Horror Companion (SWHC).]

All vampires have the following basic racial abilities:
·                     Claws: Str+d6.
·                     Fangs: Str+d4.  Target must be grappled or immobile.
·                     Feed: The vampire must drink at least a pint of fresh blood once per day. This is treated like the Habit (Major) Hindrance.
·                     Gift of the Blood: All vampires start with one vampiric power determined by their bloodline.  Additional powers are gained with age and practice.  (See below.)
·                     Gift of Sathaniel: A vampire may attempt to bestow Sathaniel’s gift on a mortal or dunpeal by drinking the subject’s blood unto the point of death (Incapacitated) and then feeding the subject at least a pint of the vampire’s own blood (inflicting 1 Wound on the vampire).  The subject then makes a Vigor roll with all applicable Wound Modifiers and receives the gift of undeath is he or she survives.  The vampire may aid the subject by feeding him or her additional blood; for every Wound the vampire inflicts on himself, the subject receives a +1 to the Vigor roll.
·                     Invulnerability: Vampires can only be harmed by their Weaknesses. They may be Shaken by other attacks, but never wounded.
·                     Strength of the Damned: Vampires start with a d8 Strength and Vigor rather than a d4.
·                     Undead: +2 Toughness; +2 to recover from being Shaken; no additional damage from Called Shots; immune to disease and poison; does not suffer wound penalties.
·                     Weakness (Ash Wood): Vampires take +4 damage from weapons made of the wood of the ash tree.  The ash has been burned to near-extinction throughout most vampire-controlled lands and is considered contraband in Malleus.  A vampire hit with a called shot to the heart (–4) by an ash wood stake must make a Vigor roll versus the damage total. If successful, it takes damage normally. If it fails, it crumples into a desiccated corpse.  Beheading the staked vampire, stuffing the mouth with garlic, and burning the remains will prevent the vampire from ever rising again.
·                     Weakness (Curse of the Blood): Every vampiric bloodline has a unique weakness.  (See below.)
·                     Weakness (Garlic): Vampires suffer a –2 penalty to Fighting attacks against anyone who carries garlic (or has eaten so much of it that the odor exudes from their skin).  It should also be noted that they cannot cross a threshold or windowsill warded with garlic.
·                     Weakness (Wine):  A vampire who drinks even a sip of wine must make a Vigor roll to avoid retching. A roll of 1 on the Vigor die means the blood-drinker is Shaken, a failure means the vampire spits it up, a success means the unliving is able to swallow the drink without ill effect. This roll must be made for every drink the blood-drinker attempts.
·                     Weakness (Sunlight): Vampires catch fire if any part of their skin is exposed to sunlight. After that they suffer 2d10 damage per round. Armor does not protect, but it is important to note that skin must be exposed directly to sunlight; Mallean fashion has adopted concealing masks and cloaks not dissimilar to Venetian Carnival costumes. All physical tasks made in sunlight are made at –2.
·                     Weakness (Unwelcome Guest): Vampires cannot enter a home unless invited.
·                     Weakness (Wolfsbane): The undead immunity to poison does not apply to wolfsbane, a deadly and eldritch flower that is poisonous to living and undead alike.  (As Lethal Poison, Savage Worlds Deluxe p. 89)

The vampire bloodlines of Malleus are:

Blut von Ruprecht 
Prince Ruprecht is a sinister plotter and strangely inhuman compared to his younger brothers. His bloodline has manifested the ability to control vermin and adopt their forms.
Gift of the Blood

·                      Rats in the Walls: Vampires of the Blut von Ruprecht have the ability to summon and control swarms of vermin (cockroaches, fleas, and rats are typical choices). This requires an action and a Smarts roll at –2. If successful, 1d4 swarms of crawling vermin (Savage Worlds Deluxe p. 141) come scurrying out of the walls or earth in 1d6+2 rounds.
Curse of the Blood

·                      Weakness (Grain or Seeds: As Weakness (Grain, Seeds, or Nets) (SWHC p. 114).
Advanced Abilities

·                      Low Light Vision: The young vampire’s eyes finally adjust to the night.  As the Monstrous Ability (SWD p. 132).
·                     Change Form (Swarm): The vampire can explode into a writhing mass of rats or biting insects (see SWHC p. 112).
·                     Burrowing: Vampires of the Blut von Ruprecht may burrow at their walking pace as per the Monstrous Ability (SWD p. 130).
·                     Shadow: The vampire has lurked so long in darkness that he has become darkness itself (SWHC p. 114).
·                     Fear: As the centuries pass, von Ruprecht vampires bald and their faces take on a fearsome, inhuman cast with beady eyes and projecting fangs.  They gain the Fear Monstrous Ability (SWD p. 131) with a -2 modifier but also gain the Ugly Hindrance.

Blut von Rickard
Prince Rickard the Wolf-hearted is a savage warrior and huntsman who bears a strong resemblance to the late Emperor Etzel.  His whelps echo his savagery.
Gift of the Blood

·                      Change Form: As an action, the vampire can change into a dire wolf (SWD p. 135) with a Smarts roll at –2. Changing back into humanoid form requires a Smarts roll.
Curse of the Blood

·                      Weakness (Blood): See SWHC p. 114.
Advanced Abilities

·                      Low Light Vision: The young vampire’s eyes finally adjust to the night.  As the Monstrous Ability (SWD p. 132).
·                     Children of the Night: Wolves only (SWHC p. 112)
·                     True Predator: The von Rickard’s natural weapons grow more deadly; their fangs now deal Str+d4 damage and their claws Str+d8.
·                     Fast Regeneration: See SWHC p. 113.
·                     Fear: As the centuries pass, von Ruprecht vampires bald even as their faces grow hairier and take on a predatory cast with golden, wolf-like eyes and prominent fangs.  They gain the Fear Monstrous Ability (SWD p. 131) with a -4 modifier but also gain the Bloodthirsty Hindrance as they find themselves unable to feed without killing.

Blut von Rot
Prince Wilhelm the Red is the most charming of King Wilhelm’s sons.  They say his bloodline carries the angelic grace of Sathaniel himself.
Gift of the Blood

·                      Charm: See SWHC p. 112.  It should be understood that “opposite sex” means “compatible sexual orientation.”
Curse of the Blood
·                      Weakness (Herbs): The Blut von Rot is strangely vulnerable to certain plants venerated by the ancient Kimmerians (SWHC p. 114).  It should also be noted that they cannot cross a threshold or windowsill warded with garlic, holly, or juniper.

Advanced Abilities

·                      Low Light Vision: The young vampire’s eyes finally adjust to the night.  As the Monstrous Ability (SWD p. 132).
·                     Seduction: See SWHC p. 114.  Again, this applies to attackers of a compatible sexual orientation.
·                     Flight: With a successful Vigor roll, a von Rot vampire may sprout vast black-feathered or leather wings (see SWHC p. 112).
·                     Resurrection:  As Prince Wilhelm’s brothers and rivals have learned, the Blut von Rot is very hard to kill.
·                     Fear: As the centuries pass, von Rot vampires bald and something monstrous begins to manifest beneath their beauty; they gains the Fear Monstrous Ability with no modifier to the Fear check (SWD p. 131).

Blut von Heinrich
Though considered a pretender by his brothers, Prince Heinrich’s abilities are most like his father’s.  The Blut von Heinrich has an affinity for the air that grows more… diffuse… as they grow in power.
Gift of the Blood
·                      Wall Walker: The vampire may defy gravity and walk on ceiling as easily as floors (see SWHC p. 114).
Curse of the Blood
·                      Weakness (Bells): Tremendous drums are beaten in the clock towers of Malleus (see SWHC p. 114).
Advanced Abilities

·                      Low Light Vision: The young vampire’s eyes finally adjust to the night.  As the Monstrous Ability (SWD p. 132).
·                     Change Form: The vampire takes to the air as a Giant Bat (Giant Bat statistics are found on SHWC p. 56; the ability is detailed on SWHC p. 112).
·                     Change Form (Swarm): Bats only (SWHC p. 112).
·                     Weather Control: Now the vampire can control the wind.  With this power at his command, it is no wonder how King Wilhelm conquered Malleus (SWHC p. 114).
·                     Fear: As the centuries pass, von Ruprecht vampires bald and their faces take on bat-like aspects with splayed ears and rows of needle-like teeth.  They gain the Fear Monstrous Ability (SWD p. 131) with a -2 modifier but also gain the Ugly Hindrance.

APPENDIX N: HOLLYWOOD HISTORY
The King is Dead is a Hollywood (and Hammer Films) version of the 18th century.  I think one of the reasons the various Regency projects burned out is because I was taking it way too seriously.  I’ve got several bookshelves now of Regency romances and history books, and I’m not going to put that strain on my wallet again.  Thankfully, I already own or have watched a boatload of tricorn-bedecked movies.

My Five Favorite Movies:

Brotherhood of the Wolf
Screenplay by Stéphane Cabel and Christophe Gans
Directed by Christophe Gans
Corrupt nobles, martial arts, monsters, roguish heroes, and sexy sexiness – this film has it all!  In 1756 France, the naturalist Chevalier de Fronsac and his kung-fu fighting American Indian pal Mani track a mysterious man-eating wolf that leads them into a supernatural conspiracy. Vaguely based on real events.

The Last of the Mohicans
Screenplay by Christopher Crowe and Michael Mann
Directed by Michael Mann
Freedom, marginalized heroes, sublime landscapes, two-weapon fighting, and war – this film has it all!  In 1757 New York state, tracker Hawkeye and his Native American family Chingachgook and Uncas guide a pair of city girls through the battle lines of the French and Indian War.  Vaguely based on real events and a goof-ass book.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black PearlPirates of the Caribbean: Dead man’s Chest, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Screenplays by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio
Directed by Gore Verbinski
No, seriously, I really, really love all three of the original Pirates… films (and I think Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is pretty decent).  The timeframe’s deliberately vague, but at some point in 18th century when a George is on the throne of England and the East India Company is a major economic power, pirate Captain Jack Sparrow gets his revenge against pirate Captain Barbossa mixed up with the plight of star-crossed lovers and there follows a Byzantine series of double-crosses and triple-crosses that takes the principal players to Hell and back.  Utterly awesome if less straightforwardly inspirational for The King is Dead.

Direct Inspiration
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
Screenplay by Charles McKeown & Terry Gilliam
Directed by Terry Gilliam
Honestly, there's not much to swipe here -- after all, the POV of The King is Dead is pro-Enlightenment -- but who can't enjoy this film?

The Brothers Grimm
Screenplay by Ehren Kruger
Directed by Terry Gilliam
Admittedly, this takes place in 1812, but that why historians speak of the “long 18th century.” In the dark forests of Germany, human ingenuity works feverishly to defeat centuries-old evil. Also, con artists.

Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter
Written and directed by Brian Clemens
Admittedly, this also takes place in and around the Napoleonic Wars, but it’s AWESOME!  A stoic vampire hunter (with a katana!), scholarly hunchback, and sexy gypsy girl not only have to fight a vampire – they’ve got to figure out what the vampire’s weird-ass weakness is because not all vampires are the same.  That’s going to add a wrinkle to life in Malleus.

Casanova (2005 motion picture)
Screenplay by Jeffrey Hatcher and Kimberly Simi
Directed by Lasse Hallström
A romantic comedy retelling of Casanova’s life that gives him a happy ending (get your mind out of the gutter).  Cross-dressing heroines, duels of rapiers and words, hot air balloon escapes, and the pure joy of outwitting the authorities. 

Casanova (2005 television series)
Screenplay by Russell T. Davies
Directed by Sheree Folkson
A much more melancholy version of Casanova’s story that alternates between a young David Tennant and an old Peter O’Toole, it’s not exactly realistic – visually, it’s much more stylized than the film – but it does get across a better sense of the highs and lows of the adventurer’s life.

Dangerous Liasions (1988)
Screenplay by Christopher Hampton
Directed by Stephen Frears
This is what the vampires get up to when they’re not eating people… and also a primer on how social warfare can be used to destroy them.  A much more beautiful film than Valmont (based on the same novel and coming out at the same time) even if I do think San Antonio native Henry Thomas out-acts Keanu Reeves and Colin Firth is sexier than John Malkovitch.   

The Duchess
Screenplay by Jeffrey Hatcher, Andrew thomas Jensen, and Saul Dibb
Directed by Saul Dibb
Keira Knightley plays Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, in a brutal biopic that shows just how terrible life was for women back then, even at the top of the social ladder.  Did you know that the Bavarian Illuminati believed in women's rights? 

Gankutsuo
Story by Natsuko Takahashi
Directed by Mahiro Maeda
The Count of Monte Cristo in SPACE!  With MECHA!  This otherwise off-topic version of the Alexandre Dumas père novel wins because the Count and his crew are just plain menacing. It’s fun to root for bad guys vs. worse guys. 

Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters
Written & Directed by Tommy Wirkola
This movie desperately wants to be in the same league as Army of Darkness and just doesn't quite cut it.  Arguably the wrong period again, but useful for the crazy witch-hunting clockpunk weapons.

Interview with the Vampire
Screenplay by Anne Rice
Directed by Neil Jordan
What?  The majority of it is set in the right period.  And, y’know, vampires.

Jack of All Trades (TV series)
Written by Eric Morris
Produced by Sam Raimi
Bruce Campbell as an American spy/masked highwayman in a crazy, anachronistic setting in the vein of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.  Blackbeard!  Ben Franklin!  Verne Troyer as Napoleon!

Le chevalier D’Eon
Story by Tow Ubukata
Directed by Kazuhiro Furuhashi
A supernatural thriller vaguely inspired by the exploits of a real-life 18th century crossdresser, this anime series gets the details all wrong even as it gets the generality so very right.  Cagliostro, Madame de Pompadour, occult conspiracies, revolution, undead…  If only the Japanese weren’t on the side of the aristos!

Monty Python's Flying Circus
Written by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, and Michael Palin
Specifically Dennis Moore (Episode 11 of Series 3) and The Golden Age of Ballooning (Episode 1 of Series 4).  'Nuff said.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Screenplay by Andrew Birkin, Bernd Eichinger, and Tom Tykwer
Directed by Tom Tykwer
Based on the horror/magical realism/suspense novel by Patrick Süskind, it's the story of a man with no body odor who decides to create the world's greatest perfume by killing beautiful women.  The novel is so popular (amongst a certain set of people, at least) that it's inspired five different songs! 

Quills
Screenplay by Doug Wright
Directed by Philip Kaufman
Was the Marquis de Sade a misunderstood rebel or a sadistic weirdo?  This film never really answers the question (heck, the answer is probably “both”) but it certainly provides an inside look at the creepier side of the 18th century.

Ridicule
Screenplay by Rémi Waterhouse, Michel Fessler, and Eric Vicaut
Directed by Patrice Leconte
A lowly country squire comes to Versailles to plead for funds to save his villagers and gets caught up in the backstabbing games of one-upmanship the nobles play.  A great example of why you should hate the aristocracy.

Rob Roy (1995)
Screenplay by Alan Sharp
Directed by Michael Caton-Jones
A lowly Highland clan leader comes to Edinburgh to plead for funds to save his villagers and gets caught up in the backstabbing games of one-upmanship the nobles play.  A great example of why you should hate the aristocracy that features a truly awesome climactic duel.

Sleepy Hollow
Screenplay by Andrew Kevin Walker
Directed by Tim Burton
Cripes!  I nearly forgot about this despite the fact that I watch it annually on Halloween!
Sleepy Hollow (TV Series)
Created by Phillip Iscove, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Len Wiseman
The surprise hit of 2013 indicates I might be tapping into the zeitgeist here.  If it wasn’t for the modern setting, this gonzo supernatural conspiracy series would practically be The King is Dead: The Series.

Swashbuckler
Screenplay by Jeffrey Bloom and Paul Wheeler
Directed by James Goldstone
Pirates Robert Shaw and James Earl Jones team up with thieves’ guild leader Geoffrey Holder to overthrow evil Jamaican governor Peter Boyle.  Acrobats, creepy lute players, and mysterious women in black add to the fun. 

The Three Musketeers (2011)
Screenplay by Andrew Davies and Alex Litvak
Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson
The wrong period yet again, but it features the kind of clockwork/proto-steampunk tech that I imagine Weird Science will produce in The King is Dead -- which is why this version of The Three Musketeers is on the list and other versions aren't.  Also, Milla Jovovich's Milady is a great inspiration for female PCs in the setting.  

Vatel
Screenplay by Jeanne Labrune and Tom Stoppard
Directed by Roland Joffé
Gérard Depardieu plays François Vatel, chef to the Prince de Condé, who is driven to desperate and dishonourable action to help the Prince appease Louis XIV.  I just watched this over the weekend; it's again the wrong period (I got my Louis mixed up) but it's also again a greate example of why you should hate the aristocracy.  Even though Malleus is pseudo-England mashed with pseudo-Germany, I have to remind myself that's only for linguistic simplicity and that I'm writing about how much I loathe the French aristocracy as much as anything else.

Ω

6 comments:

  1. Can we get this as a full setting and a PDF? of it, cause I would totally play it. I've been looking for some Le Chevalier D'Eon Goodness!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Expect new updates soon!

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    2. The page has been newly updated with the collected info from all of the blog entries.

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  2. I think we're entering into "shut up and take my money" territory here.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very intriguing! An enjoyable read and I am curious to learn more.

    Keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete