Due to a number of blog and forum posts, mostly by Black Vulmea, I got turned on to the Mythic Game Master Emulator (GME) for my gaming. I use Mythic in two ways. One way is for running RPG scenes solo. Mythic works well for helping to generate interesting situations, twists, and turns for free form solo play. However, I more often use Mythic as a GM to help determine uncertain outcomes. Some GM decisions are easy. The outcome is straightforward, the NPC’s action or reaction is obvious. But sometimes the outcome is not easy, straightforward, or obvious. And sometimes, I like the NPCs to surprise me. So I use Mythic to help figure out what NPCs do and think.
In one fairly recent session, the PCs tricked a troublesome NPC who had been complaining about and following one of the PCs, Father Signoret, the swashbuckling Jesuit priest. The NPC is Friar Fitellus di Canem. Friar Fitellus is a member of the Roman Inquisition who came to Paris as a delegate from Rome accompanied by a squad of Swiss Guards and an Inquisitorial Bodyguard. For various reasons Fitellus and Signoret dislike and mistrust each other. For other unrelated reasons, Father Signoret had in his possession a holy relic (or maybe a magic item) the PCs and the players aren’t really too sure. The item is known as the Piege a Loup or Wolf Cage and it is rumored to have some power over the loup garou. Several PCs saw a lantern called the Der Kooi van de Wolf (the Wolf Cage) in the Wudderkammer room in Amsterdam.
Later while doing research on werewolves, Father Signoret found a similar lantern depicted in a woodcut describing the death of Courtaud, a loup garou who ran rampant in Paris in the 15th century. The woodcut was contained in Les Chroniques de Paris (English: The Chronicles of Paris) by Bernard Guenée, published in Paris in 1560. The Wolves of Paris were a man-eating wolf pack that killed forty people in Paris in 1450. Courtaud, or Bobtail, was the leader of the Wolves. After further research Father Signoret found the Wolf Cage in the basement of Notre Dame Cathedral. He “borrowed” the Wolf Cage for a couple of missions to Soissons. When he returned to Paris, he realized that Friar Fitellus had people following Signoret. He was worried that Fitellus would catch him with the borrowed relic which would reopen the allegation that Signoret had stolen a Saint’s Relic that the Inquisitor was sent from Rome to investigate (long story).
Father Signoret’s cousin, Guy de Bourges is a master of disguise. He pretended to be Father Signoret and led the watchers a stray. Meanwhile Father Signoret took an indirect route back to Notre Dame. On the steps of the Cathedral Friar Fitellus tried to apprehend Guy in his guise as Signoret. When they did, their friend Gaston Thibeault, the Captain-Lieutenant of the Cardinal’s Guards, along with a squad of his men, countered the Friar and his Swiss. This resulted in a public confrontation that ended in embarrassment for the Friar since the man he tried to arrest was not the Priest (Guy dramatically removed his cloak and disguise) and did not have anything other than ordinary religious books in the large box he was carrying.
So the first use of the Game Master Emulator was to find out what were the ancilliary affects of the Friar’s debacle. As a change of pace I involved the players in the process. They helped determine the odds of success and did the die rolling. The GME requires you to ask a series of (usually) yes or no questions.
Since his disgrace was public, embarrassing, made him look stupid, involved his bodyguard attacking the Gaston (and losing), and put him in contention with two other important French religious authorities (Cardinal Richelieu and Archbishop Gondi) we decided it was likely that he would be sent back in disgrace. An additional factor was that Richelieu didn’t want to have the delegation recognized nor did the King who had been “not at home” to the delegation for at least two months.
Q: Is Friar Fitellus sent back to Rome in disgrace? (Likely), rolled 36, YES. One of the King’s Ministers informs Fitellus and His Majesty, Louis XIII, has refused to see Fitellus or to recognize him. He is told to return to Rome. Which means Fitellus has failed in his primary mission to Paris.
Fitellus still has one chance to redeem himself with a Hail Mary play. Since the event took place on the steps of Notre Dame Cathedral he can try to persuade Archbishop Gondi to convene an ecclesiastical court to investigate. Given the rejection of Fitellus’ embassy and given that the Archbishop doesn’t want an Inquisition in France the archbishop is very unlikely to help.
Q: Does the Archbishop Gondi convene an ecclesiastical court of inquiry? (Very Unlikely), rolled 93, EXCEPTIONAL YES. Not only does the archbishop not refuse to convene a court, but Gondi ends up very hostile to Fitellus, more hostile to the Roman Inquistion, and somewhat disapproving of the Dominican Order in general (of whom Fitellus is a member). Fitellus’ reception back in Rome is looking particularly unwelcoming.
Q: Does the Body Guard want revenge for the thrashing he received from Gaston? (Unlikely), rolled 15, YES. Despite his zealotry and devotion to the Inquisition, the bodyguard is still a man and prone to the sins of pride and vengeance.
Q: Does the Body Guard act to gain his revenge before leaving? (50/50), roll 02, EXCEPTIONAL YES. Not only does he want revenge, but he challenges Gaston to a duel. (A separate roll* determines he wants a duel to the Second Blood i.e. one or both combatants are incapacitated or unable to continue the duel.) Gaston is flush with his recent triumph in an unfair duel against Baron Villemorin, so Gaston easily agrees to the Body Guard’s request for a duel in the old style, with shields and armor. This somewhat favors the Body Guard who wears heavy armor every day, but Gaston is both Arrogant and a Master of Old Style dueling.
Next week I’ll run through a similar process used to determine the consequences of Gaston’s duel with the Baron Villemorin.
* I used the normal H+I roll of 2d6 with 2-5: First Blood, 6-8: Second Blood, and 9-12: Third Blood or to the Death. The roll was (6) so the duel, like many duels, is to the Second Blood. I’ll want to remember this mechanic as it might come in handy for other duels.