Thursday, September 12, 2013


Random tables, at their best, inspire, and creating random tables is a way of banking inspiration for a rainy day.

Last weekend one of my non-player characters, the vicomte de Bouvard, hosted a fencing exhibition with the adventurers as his guests. A series of mock duels, with blunted swords and padded doublets, ensued, culminating in a match between Riordan O'Neill, recently appointed fencing master to the King's Musketeers, and Lieutenant Ponceau, fencing master to a company of musketeers in the Picardy Regiment.

I knew the duel between Riordan and Ponceau would be epic; one of the features of the dueling rules in Flashing Blades is that it's very difficult for a pair of master fencers to actually hit one another, and with the constraints of the 'exhibition' - no brawling, no dirty tricks - basically it would come down to fumbles and perhaps fatigue.

But in creating Ponceau, I figured out another tactic, taken from the second entry from annoying habits of duelists random table. Ponceau was given a high Endurance score and the Carousing skill, granting him a considerable capacity for drink. When the duel opened, Ponceau immediately called for a glass of wine for both men, tossing the empty glasses into a nearby fountain. And did so again after a touch by Riordan. And after a particularly elegant exchange of attacks and parries.

In short order, Riordan, the better fencer, was drunk and his advantage reduced. With each subsequent round of toasts, he struggled simply to stay awake and on his feet, eventually winning the contest despite his besotted state and adding to his burgeoning reputation as the best swordsman in France.

The simple act of writing stuff down pays dividends.


  1. That table is one of my favorite things that you've posted on the blog ~~ both funny and useful.

  2. You know, you're really starting to get me looking at Flashing Blades. Besides the core book, are any of the other supplements useful for a newcomer to the game?

    1. The whole 'canon' of FB is just five books: the core rules, the piracy supplement, an 'adventure path,' and two collections of short adventures. The whole collection can be had on .pdf for US$22.00.

      If I absolutely had to winnow it down, I'd say the core rules and Parisian Adventures for just ten bucks.