A breakfast with Monsieur Foucher

Monsieurs, Madames…
I have come to tell you about our first game of M&M, which we played last Saturday morning with a couple players I met on an online group. As I mentioned in a previous post, I chose The Illumination of Monsieur Foucher by DagaZ here with some minor tweaks, as it looked an easy and interesting way to get into the game. So I set up a simple Roll20 game, with just a few images to get in the mood, and the characters and we went on our Saturday earlyish breakfast sprinkled with a bit of bones and Paris.
As I only had 2 players, I decided to let them choose between 3 pregens and use the third one as NPC to help move things a bit at the beginning. The options were Naxos, a big, strong ex-musketeer with new-found allegiance to Nobility (fallen noble background and so on), Bicarat, another ex-musketeer, this time devout and nimble (ok, Bicarat because Aramis was taken) and loyal to the Mazarin, and, last but not leasts, Fra Piamont, a deformed jesuit with a broken body but a silver tongue, whose track of record for a priest was decent enough for the Frondeur to trust on his unlikely success. I used the insider info and backgrounds pretty much as written, with just a change where only the jesuit knew there was some monkey business with the artist and, anticipating he might be physically overpowered, a secondary mission to recover any items the artist may have, which would earn him a partial reward.
To my surprise, Naxos was the discarded character (I was picturing a cooperative game until the end, which may be ending with a dramatic PvP duel), but the eventual result was decidedly more interesting than that option would probably have allowed.
So we spent perhaps 20 minutes going over the beautiful system and began the game as prompted by DagaZ’s module, also making public a 12-slice clock (not sure if that was the idea, but it worked nicely for me, to add tension and all). The characters went decidedly into the cemetery, heading straight for the church to the North, very convinced they’d find the artist there. On the way, they heard a noise (three grave robbers doing their work), to which they eagerly split the party, where Naxos volunteered to scout into the dark and meet them at the church, although that would not happen, as it seemed way too interesting to make this NPC disappear and get mugged and knocked out.
At the church, after a little round of throw-ups due to the pestilence in the area, the characters began to get a bit nervous and acting up, first trying to kick down the church door (which was obviously beyond their possibilities) and then climbing the wall to a second floor terrace, which end up in a painful fall. Eventually, they could talk through the door with the novices who, upon hearing two voices in the middle of the night demanding the doors to be open and claiming to be all very pious, didn’t quite decide to open, decidedly not when Piamont added the devil was chasing them. Anyhow, this was around turn 4 or so, at some point the characters mentioned Monsieur Foucher, so after the novices ran back to their rooms, one appeared at the 2nd level terrace with dangerous curiousity, and ended up giving them directions to the eastern section graves, where that wicked soul had been seen digging.
Heading to the other end of the cemetery, Bicarat and Piamont saw how the mob reached the doors and started trickling into the holy grounds. Getting over their initial nervousness, the two managed to reach the covered section with the Dance of the Dead relief and spot the chalk marks, thus reaching another section of the wall hosting some niche tombs. Noticing one of them looked manipulated and included some sort of dirty ribbon attached to its center, which could be used to pry it open (and to pull it back in place once inside, as they later discovered), they didn’t hesitate too much to get down with it, especially upon seeing the mob beginning to spread over the grounds and getting closer.
On the way down, the characters suffered quite a bit, and whereas the brave fighter led the way and reached to bottom unscathed, the poor priest got bitten everywhere, losing 2 of his 3 hp and spiraled down to panic. In the underground excavated room, they encountered the artist, whom barely noticed their arrival, as he was in the midst of a conversation with the skull of Vesalius, which gave us a chance to reveal a bit of his motivations. Now, the characters were a bit too shaken to get their attention beyond they could see and touch directly, so they went for a direct approach, inviting the man to accompany them, claiming a mob was after him and that they wanted to take him to a safe place. Shocked by the sudden company and their looks (one with a hand to his sword and the other blood-soaked), a tense scene ensued, where Foucher demanded to know who they were and what were their actual intentions, as he discretely reached for a knife on his altar. Luckily for the artist, Bicarat managed to reassure the terrified priest first, then successfully help the artist get a grasp of the situation and earn his trust.
Thus, the three headed back up, with no further surprised with bones, and emerged into the night, this time very closely surrounded by men holding torches and weapons. With a surprising amount of luck the three scuttled towards some bushes first and then agaian towards a more secluded location, thus moving away from dozen of men searching the area, but still seeing many more between their position and the gate.
After seriously considering tacking a chance and pretend to be part of the mob to quietly escape the place, they finally thought it again and decided to ask the artist, who suggested an alternate escape route he would sometimes use to the west. On their way there, the group sighted again men nearby, led this time by Rovere himself, but again managed to sneak past them, with chance wanting the trio to move just past the place where Naxos would probably have gone… and seeing a pair of legs stretching out behind a tombstone! The three ran to help the big fella, who distressedly explained 10 men had set him an ambush to save face.
Whatever the case, being in the worst place for a chat, the 4 men quietly reached the western wall, where an easy enough to climb tree spanned a branch out to the street in a way that made it possible to climb to another tree in the outside of the cemetery. Not with little tension, the four managed to move from tree to tree, with just Naxos coming to a close fall.
Once outside, the group walked some streets to be safe and began the serious business, where each of the tree intended to take the artist to a different place. Here it was where Naxos, the kind and good-hearted musketeer, had to pull his weight in and make himself heard by hinting it’d have to be his way, while placing a hand on his sword. Whereas I already looking for the dueling rules, the little priest decided to lecture the musketeer like he hadn’t been for a long time, shaming for turning on the ones who had rescued him from a certain death. With an impressive result in the roll for the jesuit, great RP and a frankly bad position for Naxos, the man sunk his face down and decided to retreat to save whatever was left of his honor.
With Naxos out, it was the time for truth, and Bicarat, with nothing but a honorable attitude to defend, was pretty much impervious to the dangerous tongue of the jesuit who, however, managed to insult deeply the generally gentle musketeer, to the point Bicarat was seriously considering shedding his blood. However, a final plea, with a critical result, finally convinced the swordsman to spare Piamont’s life and take pity on the freak, accepting for him to take the artist’s book and skull, who complained to no avail. Later on that night, the Provost of Paris was delighted to receive the musketeer, whereas much later, in the early hours of dawn, Madame Chevreuse demanded her driver to stop as she was beginning to leave, tired of waiting, when she finally saw the oddly-shaped man approach her position. Expecting the confirmation of failure, her hard countenance softened, pleased, as Piamont unexpectedly produced a skull and a bone that would grant her many an interesting evening…
The actual game lasted a bit over two hours and the players were quite happy with the result, feeling they had choices to make and that they mattered. Whereas there wasn’t any actual combat, in the after-game chat they explained they were particularly fond of the Duel of Wits mechanics and mentioned they look forward for a follow-up. So, while I intend to run Homage to Catalonia soonish, I think I will do a follow-up for this session to get a bit more experience with the system and get one or two players more, hopefully.
While it is in Catalan, I recorded the session and uploaded it here, where I intend to publish our sessions.

Special thanks to the author of the module for the great results!


This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.