18th Century, Ancien Regime, Eighteenth Century, Free RPG, Georgian, Ghastly Affair, gothic game, Gothic Gaming, Gothic Horror, Gothic Romance, Historic Figure, Historic NPC, Louis XV, role-playing game, Romance, Romantic Horror, Secret Societies, Secret Society, Stats
Introducing the initial entry in an ongoing series of NPCs drawn from history and literature, “The Ghastly Salon”. Out first attendee is none other than iconic libertine “Casanova”! Casanova is here presented as he was in October of 1767, when he briefly revisited Paris in search of funds. Master seducer and consummate fraud, he can cause endless trouble for unwary PCs!
Note: All historical NPCs in Ghastly Affair should have maximum Hit Points, representing the “plot protection” of history. As suggested in the “Ghastly Affair Presenter’s Manual”, if PCs actually kill a historical NPC before their recorded death, the Presenter can handle it by ruling that the NPC is replaced by an opportunistic impostor, becomes a Vampyre, or is restored to life as part of a contract with the Devil.
Casanova (October, 1767)
The Supreme Lover, Libertine, and Adventurer of the Eighteenth Century
Full Name: Giacomo Girolamo Casanova
Aliases: Jacques Casanova, The Chevalier de Seingalt, Count de Farussi
Appearance/Most Memorable Characteristic: Well dressed, tall and powerfully built, with an aquiline nose and an olive complexion. Scar from a gunshot wound on left hand.
Charisma: 19 Intelligence: 15 Wisdom: 11
Strength: 14 Dexterity: 13 Constitution: 11
Assets: Highly Educated (Degree in Canon Law), Extremely Persuasive, Musician (Violin)
Afflictions: Compulsive Gambler, Notorious, Superstitious
Hit Points: 60
Attacks: 1 dueling sword or pistol (+1 Bonus if dueling unaided, +3 if a desired lover is watching)
Special Abilities: Disguise (+1) | Dueling (+1/+3) | Fraud (+1) | Sneak (+1) | Seduction (+1)
Weaknesses: Faithless Lover | Fascinated By Innocence
Typical Equipment Carried: A set of fashionable clothes. A light brown wig. A walking stick. Various letters of introduction. Theater tickets. A piece of jewelry to be given to a potential lover. A book of poetry or occult philosophy. A dress sword. A box of condoms (sheepskin, tied with a pink ribbon). 100 Louis cash (2000p), Bills of Exchange totaling up to 8,000 livres (80,000p)
Current Residence: Hôtel de Montmorency, Paris
Background (to October 1767):
- April 2, 1725: Born in Venice.
- 1742: Graduated from University of Padua.
- 1746: Attempted to live as a professional gambler in his native Venice.
- 1746 – 1750: Worked as a violinist. Spent nights playing practical jokes and committing acts of vandalism around Venice. Saved the life (and gained the patronage) of a nobleman, by stopping the man’s doctors from killing him with their treatment! Gained a reputation as a wise doctor with occult knowledge.
- 1750: Traveled to Paris. On the way, he was initiated into Freemasonry in Lyon.
- 1753: Returned to Venice. Lived a flagrantly libertine life which attracted the attention of the authorities.
- 1755: Arrested by the Venetian Inquisition and imprisoned in the Doge’s palace.
- 1756: Escaped imprisonment and fled Venice.
- January 5, 1757: Arrived in Paris, on the day that Robert-François Damiens tried to assassinate King Louis XV.
- 1757 – 1760: Convinced French authorities to put him in charge of a national lottery, from which he grew rich. Passed himself off as an alchemist and occult adept in society salons. Met his patroness and dupe, the occult-obsessed Madame d’Urfé. Vied for patrons with his rival, the Count Saint-Germaine. Became a spy for France. Founded a silk factory. Squandered his fortune and was imprisoned for debt.
- 1760: Fled to Germany. Adopted the aliases “Jacques Casanova de Seingalt”, the “Chevalier de Seingalt” and “Count de Farussi”.
- 1763: Traveled to England to establish a national lottery. Contracted syphilis. Tried to kill himself after being rejected by a courtesan.
- 1763 – 1766: Wandered Europe, hoping (and failing) to convince local rulers to put him in charge of national lotteries.
- 1766: Expelled from Warsaw for a pistol duel over the affections of an Italian actress named Binetta. Wounded in his left hand.
Early October 1767: Returned to Paris. (On November 6th, Louis XV will issue a lettre de cachet expelling him from France for threatening a nobleman. He will leave Paris on November 20).
Personality and Role-Playing Notes: Intense, charming and witty, Casanova prefers to begin his seductions with conversation. He makes every women feel like they are the most beautiful, desirable, and interesting person in the room. He desires the thrill and intense emotions of new love as much as the physical act. He will display apparent knowledge of a dazzling array of subjects, but is careful to compliment the intelligence of whoever is listening to him. He has been almost everywhere in Europe and met almost every important person, and will freely name-drop. He lies easily and convincingly, making the most outrageous statements seem obviously true. He often claims to have magical powers, and be a member of the mystic Rosicrucian Brotherhood. As a 10th Level Libertine, his lies are undetectable even with Preternatural aid. Casanova absolutely cannot resist the opportunity to pursue sex, or gamble. He will always seek to seduce any available females, and has absolutely no scruples or shame regarding his amorous adventures. Despite his libertine amorality, he is quick to resort to prayers when in trouble. While primarily interested in women, he enjoys an occasional homosexual liaison. The greater the risk, the more Casanova likes a situation.
Casanova in Your Game: Characters who are in Paris might encounter Casanova in any of the gambling halls, theaters, or smart salons. He will likely attempt to seduce all the female characters he meets (True Innocents first, of course!). He will be desperate to raise cash, and will likely try to fleece the PCs. He may try to involve them in a fraudulent money-making scheme, offer to induct them into a select secret society (which may or may not actually exist), or tell them that he can make them immortal (if only they can obtain certain rare and expensive items). He may know one or more real Magical Rituals, and for a suitably large fee will use them on the PCs’ behalf. Just as likely, any Magical Rituals he claims to perform will be completely fraudulent. Casanova may be haunted by the ghost of a woman who killed herself after he abandoned her, and ask the PCs to help him lay her soul to rest. He might have sold his soul to the Devil, and wants to find some way to get out of the contract. He is also a good candidate to actually be a Werewolf or Vampyre, should the Presenter wish.
Note that by 1767 he has already has suffered the effects of Second Stage Syphilis, and is in the latency period. At the Presenter’s discretion, anyone who has unprotected sex with him might have to save versus Constitution or contract First Stage Syphilis (see Appendix III: Drugs & Diseases in the Ghastly Affair Presenter’s Manual). Luckily, Casanova will use condoms!