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The people of the 18th Century delighted in Masquerade Balls. Sometimes the revelers would be dressed in fanciful outfits, and sometimes the mask would be their only disguise. The anonymity of the costume and mask seemed to melt away inhibitions, leading to numerous amorous intrigues. Cross-dressing (en travesti) was particularly popular, and many women took the opportunity to wear scandalously revealing clothes they would never dare attempt in ordinary life.

Presenters and Game Masters can use the following tables to randomly determine (or select) the costumes and masks worn by revelers at Masquerade Balls in their games. Players can use the tables as inspiration for the next Masquerade Ball their PC attends!

Male Costumes (roll d20)

  1. Chinese Mandarin
  2. Death
  3. The Devil
  4. Domino (black cloak)
  5. Dragon
  6. Egyptian Pharaoh
  7. En travesti – Laundress / Maid
  8. En travesti – Noblewoman
  9. En travesti – Nun
  10. Harlequin (Motley)
  11. Medieval Knight
  12. Medieval Nobleman
  13. Monk
  14. Native American
  15. Roman Senator
  16. Satyr
  17. South Seas Warrior
  18. Sultan
  19. Tree, or other plant
  20. Wildman

Female Costumes (roll d20)

  1. Bacchante
  2. Chinese Empress
  3. Columbina (the flirty servant girl of the Commedia dell’arte)
  4. Diana, Goddess of the Moon and Hunt
  5. Egyptian Queen or Priestess
  6. En travesti – Highwayman
  7. En travesti – Pageboy
  8. En travesti– Fop / Dandy
  9. Harem Girl
  10. Medieval Damsel
  11. Mermaid
  12. Nun
  13. Nymph
  14. Roman Matron
  15. Shepherdess / Milkmaid
  16. South Seas Woman
  17. Sultana
  18. Swan
  19. Sylph (with butterfly or dragonfly wings)
  20. Venus

Masks (Roll d20)

  1. Bauta (a full mask with a large nose, prominent brows and no mouth, but the triangular lower edge projects far forward and is open underneath. The wearer can therefore eat and drink without removing their disguise. Typically worn with the tricorn hat)
  2. Bird (Dove, Eagle, Hawk, or Owl)
  3. Bull
  4. Canine (Fox, Hound, Jackal, Wolf)
  5. Cat (House-cat, Leopard, Lion, Tiger)
  6. Colombina (a half-mask for women similar to a Domino, but covering the cheeks and ornately decorated)
  7. Devil / Demon
  8. Domino (the classic black oval mask covering the area around the eyes and nose)
  9. Dragon
  10. Equine (Ass, Horse, Unicorn, Zebra)
  11. Greek Comedy Mask
  12. Greek Tragedy Mask
  13. Green Man (or Wildman)
  14. Harlequin (a black half-mask mask with highly arched eyebrows and two horn-like bumps on the forehead)
  15. Larva (a full mask with all the facial features indicated, usually stark white, and possibly decorated)
  16. Moretta (a black oval mask for women, covering the face but without an apparent mouth. The mask is kept on by a peg held between the wearer’s teeth)
  17. Pantalone (a half-mask with a large nose and arched eyebrows, meant to represent a scheming old man)
  18. Plague Doctor (a full face mask with round eye holes and a long beak in place of nose and mouth)
  19. Skull
  20. Zanni (a half-mask with an absurdly long nose and sloping forehead)

Notes:

A costumed reveler at a Masquerade will generally either wear a matching mask, or else a simple Domino-style mask. If an attendee is not costumed, use the table to determine their disguise.

Many of the masks worn at Masquerades throughout Europe in the 18th Century were derived from those used in Venice during Carnival, and in the Italian Commedia dell’arte. In Venice such masks had specific cultural meanings, and the wearing of some (such as the Bauta) was regulated by custom and law. Party-goers elsewhere might freely wear any style of mask, however.

The mask might be worn tied to the face, or just as often be attached to a stick or baton so the disguise can be easily donned and doffed. Sometimes instead of an actual mask, the area around the eyes could be painted with burnt cork in a manner similar to a Domino.

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