Here is the report on the second (well, actually third) session that I ran with the Friday night gaming group of the All For One: Régime Diabolique roleplaying game, set against the backdrop of 1630's France with an occult edge to it. You can read about the previous game session in this journal entry. Since this post is quite long, I've put it behind a cut for those who don't want to read about the roleplaying game campaigns that I'm running.
November 17th, 1635
Robert, Antoine, and Gabrielle engage Albert Chamain's minions in battle, and find that while they were skilled, they were no match for the King's and Queen's Musketeers. Forced to kill Chamain's men, they are unable to apprehend Albert Chamain himself, who flees the Jenest home. Examining the bodies of their attackers, Antoine and Gabrielle quickly realised that these men were not any part of the Cardinal's forces. There was another foe at play here. In the aftermath of the attack, Helene Jenest caved in and told the player characters that her daughter was a courier for a man only known as "Le Canard." Robert had heard of this individual, said to be a spy and agent provocateur for King Louis himself, but there was no hard evidence of this anywhere; Le Canard was said to be very good at what he does. The characters told the Jenests of the condition of their daughter, but not to worry - she was safe...
Meanwhile, Eloise and Nicolas were getting along well with Jacqueline, and had managed to convince a patron of the tavern they had frequented the night before, Ronald (using threats of calling the law to see what other things said patrons were concealing from them), to talk. He told them that Marie had met her lover, a man named David Vaillancourt, but that there was more to their relationship. Ronald admitted to knowing where Vaillancourt lived, a small dive along the Rive Gauche. By that time, the characters were due to meet their fellow Musketeers at Henri Courtemanche's small clinic, to see if Marie Jenest was capable of talking to them.
Eloise, Nicolas, Robert, Antoine, and Gabrielle met up several blocks from Courtemanche's clinic, and Jacqueline accompanied them, as she wasn't about to let Marie Jenest get away. The characters entered Courtemanche's dwelling to find that Marie Jenest was indeed awake. While the young woman did not recall the player characters completely, she did recognise Robert as one of her rescuers, and so was willing to talk to the Musketeers. She explained that she is a courier and contact for a man known only as "Le Canard", but that there is more to them that she will not go into. She was carrying a message for Le Canard, but was ambushed and waylaid by the four men who attacked her. She is grateful for the player characters' assistance, and hopes that they can help her one last time. She is to meet with Le Canard later that evening to deliver her message (it's an alternate drop arrangement), and she would appreciate the player characters accompanying her to the meeting.
The characters part from Marie Jenest for several hours, as they go about some of their duties as Musketeers. Jacqueline pays a visit to her mentor/patron, Francois Dupont, and tells him what she has learned about Marie Jenest. Dupont tells her that the Marie must not only be kept alive and well, but that her relationship with Le Canard must be allowed to flourish. They are a valuable weapon in the struggle against Cardinal Richelieu. That said, she must ensure that the Musketeers put an end to Albert Chamain. Back at the Hotel de Treville, Robert, Nicolas, and Antoine have reported to M. de Treville, and are told that they are doing well with the case so far. He is somewhat concerned about Le Canard, and while he has heard of the person, refuses to discuss anything else about him with the characters, other than to tell them that Le Canard must be kept alive at all costs. And at the Hotel de Desmarais, Gabrielle and Eloise tell their maitresse about the potential new recruit to the Queen's Musketeers in Jacqueline D'Ubermand. Captain Desmarais is sufficiently impressed, and tells them to recruit her if they can.
The player characters meet up again after sunset at the medicin, Henri Courtemanche's once more. Marie Jenest is ready to leave, and tells the characters they must take her to a small establishment, La Colombe Noire, in the poor quarter of the Rive Droite. While the Queen's Musketeers don't know of the place, the King's Musketeers know that La Colombre has a foul reputation and the area it is located in is quite dangerous. The player characters, along with Marie Jenest, make their way to the poor quarter and the establishment in question. Given their sheer numbers, and the gleam of their sword hilts, they are not approached or harassed by anyone. The characters wait patiently for the arrival of Marie's contact, and are rewarded when they are approached by a solitary figure wearing a hooded cloak and white and orange clothes. He tells them that he is Le Canard. As he is about to greet Marie, the group are attacked by ten swordsmen being led by none other than Albert Chamain! He tells Marie to hand over the papers that she has for Le Canard, and all will be well, but the player characters do not believe him.
While Le Canard makes straight for Albert Chamain, the player characters have their hands full fighting the ten swordswmen, but they are no match for the Musketeers. Each of the King's Musketeers proves their worth fighting against two of Chamain's swordsmen, and the wide variety of fencing styles serves them well. The Queen's Musketeers prove themselves equally adept, and their four swordsmen opponents underestimate them quite severely, as their primary target appears to be Marie. The player characters manage to defeat Chamain's men, but the villain himself flees to the rooftops of the poor quarter. While Robert and Antoine attempt to catch the villain, he makes good his escape in a fun and somewhat hair raising chase across the rooftops.
Back on the ground once more, the rest of the player characters make the acquaintance of Le Canard, who refuses to reveal his true face (under the hood he is wearing a masque). Marie makes her delivery of the papers to Le Canard, who tells the characters that they deal with sensitive matters pertaining to the King of France. He tells the characters that he knows what they have done for Marie and to safeguard her and that he owes them a debt of gratitude. He tells them they should know they now have another ally in the fight to keep France safe and Cardinal Richelieu at bay.
Once the player characters return Marie Jenest to her home, they are greeted by her grateful parents. After departing the Hotel de Jenest, they return to visit M. de Treville, and he informs them they have done well, and have made a powerful ally in Le Canard. At the player characters' insistence, he tells them that he will assign several members of the Musketeers to keep an eye on Marie Jenest and her family, as it is possible that Albert Chamain will try to take his revenge on the girl. The characters also pay a visit to the Queen's Musketeers' superior, where Eloise Desmarais tells them they have done well, and that the two groups of characters seem to work well and effectively together. Jacqueline D'Ubermand accepts a commission with the Queen's Musketeers, but is told that her life will be somewhat difficult as the "new enfant on the block".
As a sign of good faith among the player characters, they return that evening to the establishment that started it all, Le Garde Ivres.
The game session went extremely well, and the players told me that they really like the way this variant of the Ubiquity system brings alive the swashbuckling and fencing swordplay genre. They loved the sequence where the characters pursued Chamain over the rooftops, and found Athletics skill to be quite useful! Same thing with Acrobatics! :) Overall, it was an overall successful introductory scenario to the All For One: Régime Diabolique game system, and several of the players commented that they liked some of the mysteries and secrets that seem to have been established in the first adventure. A good start to the game.
That was the last session of All For One that I have run, as I couldn't get the Sunday gaming group to play the game (although they have since changed their minds about this, with the exception of Tammy), but the Friday gaming group is quite eager to get back to more of this very good game. I'm looking forward to running it again! All for one, and one for All! :)