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As you may have noticed, I have been largely absent from this blog (or any social media) in recent days. That’s because I’ve been focusing on editing together a PDF-only, “Rough-hewn Edition” of the long-promised “A Ghastly Companion to Castle, Mansions, & Estates”. This “Rough-hewn Edition” will be a pre-release “ashcan” version containing all the essential text of the final book, but without the final illustrations. It utilizes some public-domain art resources, but areas of the layout that will be eventually filled with actual illustrations are left obvious. Also, the “Rough-hewn Edition” will not be indexed (besides the Bookmarks in the PDF), it will not be as extensively hyper-linked as the final PDF version, nor will it include the example floor-plans that will feature in the full release. Since I need to create about 100 illustrations to finish the book, and the final proofing process for a print book can easily take an entire month, a realistic time-frame for the fully finished version is no sooner than early Summer 2019. Therefore, in order to get the book into the hands of people who would like to actually use it, I’ll be releasing the low-priced “Rough-hewn Edition” shortly. It won’t be perfect, but it will still give you all the tools you need to create plausible Grand Houses for any game set in the late-Georgian / Napoleonic / Regency era (not just Ghastly Affair).

HERE’S WHAT’S IN IT:

PLACES ARE CHARACTERS

HOW TO USE THIS BOOK

AN OVERVIEW OF GRAND HOUSES AND ESTATES

REGARDING CASTLES
REGARDING MANSIONS
REGARDING ESTATE HOUSES
CASTLES, MANSIONS, AND ESTATES BY REGION
The British Isles (including Ireland)
France
German States
(Holy Roman Empire, Habsburg Austria, and Kingdom of Prussia)
Kingdom of Hungary (including Transylvania)
Italian States
Poland-Lithuania
Russia
Spain and Portugal
THE RHYTHM OF LIFE IN A GRAND HOUSE
Morning
Afternoon
Evening
Night

BUILDING YOUR GRAND HOUSE

Representational Maps
Schematic Maps
PART I – THE MOST NOTABLE FEATURE
Which Tables to Use:
Table 1a: Most Notable Feature of a Castle or Country Estate
Table 1b: Most Notable Feature of an Urban Mansion
Table 1c: Animals
Table 1d: Architecture
Table 1e: Art Collection
Table 1f: Attractive Residents
Table 1g: Cabinet of Curiosities
Table 1h: Cursed Family
Table 1i: Entertainment
Table 1j: Follies
Table 1k: Food
Table 1L: Games, Sports, and Contests
Table 1m: Gaming Room
Table 1n: Gardens
Table 1O: Haunting
Table 1p: Horrible History
Table 1q: Hunting
Table 1r: Library
Table 1s: Literary or Philosophical Salon
Table 1t: Notable Former Resident
Table 1u: Secret Passages/Rooms
Table 1v: Unsolved Mystery
Table 1w: Water Features
PART II – APPROACHING THE GROUNDS
Which Tables to Use
Table 2a: First Impression of the Greater Estate
Table 2b: Primary Produce of the Greater Estate
Table 3: Barrier of the Enclosed Parkland
Table 4: Parkland Barrier Height
Table 5: Urban Mansion Barrier
Table 6a: Main Gate to the Enclosed Parkland of a Castle or Estate
Table 6b: Front Gate of an Urban Mansion
Table 7: Castle and Estate House Parkland Size
Table 8 Urban Mansion Lot Shape and Size
Table 9: Setback of a Castle or Estate House Within its Parkland
Table 10: Path to a Castle or Estate House from the Parkland Gate
PART III – THE EXTERIOR
Which Tables to Use
Table 11a: The Architectural Style of a Castle
Table 11b: The Architectural Style of an Urban Mansion or Estate House
Table 12: Basic Plan of a Castle
Table 13: Castle Situation
Table 14: The Curtain Walls of a Concentric Castle
Table 15: General Plan of a Castle Keep
Table 16: Size of a Castle Keep
Table 17a: Basic Plan of an Urban Mansion
Table 17b: Basic Plan of an Estate House
Table 18: Size of an Estate House
Table 19: Building Material of a Mansion or Estate House
Table 20: The Height (in Stories) of a Mansion or Estate House
Table 21: The Height of a Story
Table 22: The Roof Style of a Castle, Tower, or Keep
Table 23: The Roof Style of a Mansion or Estate House
Table 24: Keep, Compact Castle, Courtyard Castle, & Fortified House Door
Table 25: The Servants’ Quarters
Table 26a: Castle Gatehouse
Table 26b: Gatehouse Entrance
Table 27: Distinctive Architectural Features of a Mansion or Estate House
Table 28: The Front Courtyard of a Mansion or Estate House
Table 29: The Shape and Size of Castle Towers
Table 30: The Roofing Material of a Mansion or Estate House
Table 31a: The Front Stairs of a Mansion or Estate House
Table 31b: The Portico (or Porte-Cochère) of a Mansion or Estate House
Table 32: Avant-Corps Projecting From the Facade
Table 33: The Main Door of a Mansion or Estate House
PART IV – THE RESIDENTS
Which Tables to Use
Table 34: The Family of the House
Table 35: The Family Wealth
Table 36: Servants and Retainers of the Household
Table 37: Overall Impression of the Servants
Table 38: Pets Living in the House
Table 39: Strange Customs of the Household
Table 40: The Lord and Lady’s Relation
Table 41: The Formal Livery of Male Servants
Table 42: Vermin in the House
Table 43: The Family’s Dark Secret
PART V – THE INTERIOR ROOMS
Which Tables to Use
Table 44a: The Entrance Hall of a Castle
Table 44b: The Entry Room of a Mansion or Estate House
Table 45a: The Main Staircase of a Castle (or Castle Keep)
Table 45b: Stairs in a Tower
Table 45c: The Grand Staircase of a Mansion or Estate House
Table 46: Rooms on the Ground Floor
Table 47: Rooms on the Upper Floors
Table 48: Rooms in the Basement
Table 49: Rooms in the Attic
Table 50: Rooms in the Servants’ Section
Table 51: Distinctive Features of Rooms
Table 52a: Remarkable Floors
Table 52b: Remarkable Walls
Table 52c: Remarkable Ceilings
Table 52d: Remarkable Furniture
Table 52e: Remarkable Images
Table 52f: Remarkable Sculptures
Table 52g: Remarkable Fireplaces
Table 52h: Remarkable Heating Stoves
Table 52i: Remarkable Doors
Table 52j: Remarkable Objects
Table 52k: Remarkable Windows
Table 52L: Remarkable Room Shapes
Table 52m: Remarkable Atmospheres
Table 53a: Ordinary Castle Walls
Table 53b: Ordinary Mansion and Estate House Walls
Table 54: Ordinary Paint Colors
Table 55: Ordinary Wallpapers
Table 56: Ordinary Doors
Table 57: Ordinary Windows in Castles
Table 58a: Ordinary Windows in Mansions and Estate Houses
Table 58b Ordinary Windows in Mansion and Estate House Basements
Table 58c Ordinary Windows in Mansion and Estate House Attics
Table 59: Ordinary Curtains, Drapes, and Wall Hangings
Table 60: Ordinary Ceilings
Table 61: Ordinary Floors
Table 62: Ordinary Heating Sources
Table 63: Ordinary Lighting
Table 64: Number of Doors in a Room
Table 65: Secret Passages, Concealed Doors, and Hidden Areas
Table 67: Beds
Table 68: Furnishings for Bedrooms, Boudoirs, and Cabinets
Table 69: Furnishings for Salons, Drawing Rooms, and Ballrooms
Table 70: Furnishings and Fixtures for Dining Rooms
Table 71: Furnishings and Fixtures for Libraries
Table 72: Furnishings and Fixtures for Kitchens
Table 73: Valuable Serving Ware in the Butlery or Office
Table 74: Personal Items in a Man’s Bedchamber or Cabinet
Table 75: Personal Items in a Woman’s Bedchamber or Boudoir
Table 76: Men’s Clothing (and Items in a Wardrobe)
Table 77: Women’s Clothing (and Items in a Wardrobe)
Table 78: Items in a Cabinet of Curiosities
PART VI – THE PARKLAND AND GARDENS
Which Tables to Use
Table 79: Water Supply of a Castle or Estate House
Table 80: Stables and Carriage House of a Castle or Estate House
Table 81a: Castle and Estate Parkland Areas
Table 81b: Urban Mansion Gardens
Table 82: Deerpark Features
Table 83: English Landscape Garden Features
Table 84: Farmyard or Basse-Cour Features
Table 85: Flower Garden Features
Table 86: French Formal Garden Features
Table 87: Hamlet Features
Table 88: Italian Garden Features
Table 89: Kitchen Garden Features
Table 90: Lawn / Meadow Features
Table 91: Paddock Features
Table 92: Pond and Lake Features
Table 93: Walled Garden Features
Table 94: Wooded Area Features
Table 95: Animals Living in the Parkland
Table 96: Vermin Plaguing the Estate
Table 97: Animals in a Menagerie
PART VII – CURRENT HAPPENINGS
Which Tables to Use
Table 98: Upcoming Scheduled Events
Table 99: Unexpected Events and Catastrophes
Table 100: Mysteries, Disasters, and Secret Intrigues Among the Servants
Table 101a: Castle and Estate Daily Schedule – Morning & Early Afternoon
Table 101b: Castle and Estate Daily Schedule – Later Afternoon
Table 101c: Castle and Estate Daily Schedule – Evening
Table 101d: Castle and Estate Daily Schedule – Night
Table 102a: Urban Mansion Daily Schedule – Morning & Early Afternoon
Table 102b: Urban Mansion Daily Schedule – Later Afternoon
Table 102c: Urban Mansion Daily Schedule – Evening
Table 102d: Urban Mansion Daily Schedule – Night

A GUIDE TO SERVANTS AND RETAINERS

LIFE IN SERVICE
A Servant’s Day
The Clothing of Servants and Retainers
The Wages of Servants and Retainers
A Note on Creating a Servant (or Retainer) Characters for Ghastly Affair
TYPES OF SERVANTS AND RETAINERS
Blacksmith [Grounds Servant]
Butler (Maître d’Hôtel, or Majordomo) [House Servant]
Cavalier Servente [Retainer]
Chaperone [Retainer]
Chaplain (Aumônier) [Retainer]
Coachman [Grounds Servant]
Concierge
Cook (Cuisinière or Cuisinier) [House Servant]
Dance Master [Retainer]
Drawing Master [Retainer]
Dairy Maid [Grounds and House Servant]
Estate Manager (Intendant) [Retainer]
Footman (Laquais) [House Servant]
Forester [Grounds Servant]
Gamekeeper [Grounds Servant]
Gardener [Grounds Servant]
Gardener, Assistant [Grounds Servant]
Governess (Gouvernante) [Retainer]
Groom [Grounds Servant]
Guard [House and Grounds Servants]
Hall Boy [House Servant]
Hall Maid [House Servant]
Handyman or Laborer
[House and Grounds Servant]
Hairdresser [Servant or Retainer]
Hermit [Retainer]
Housekeeper (Gouvernante)
Housemaid [House Servant]
House Steward [Retainer]
Huntsman [Grounds Servant]
Kennel Master [Grounds Servant]
Kitchen Boy (Garçon de Cuisine) [House Servant]
Kitchen Maid [House Servant]
Lady’s Companion
(Demoiselle de Compagnie) [Retainer]
Lady’s Maid (Femme de Chambre) [House Servant]
Laundry Maid [House Servant]
Librarian [Retainer]
Maid-of-all-Work (Servante) [House Servant]
Manservant [House Servant]
Maître d’Hôtel [House Servant]
Mistress [Retainer]
Music Master [Retainer]
Nurse [House Servant]
Nursery Maid [House Servant]
Occultist [Retainer]
Page [House Servant]
Physician [Retainer]
Porter (Concierge, or Suisse)
[House Servant]
Postilion [Grounds Servant]
Reader (Lectrice) [Retainer or Servant]
Scullery Maid [House Servant]
Secretary [Retainer]
Shepherd(ess) or Pastor [Grounds Servant]
Sick Nurse [House Servant]
Still Maid [House Servant]
Swineherd [Grounds Servant]
Underbutler (or Officier) [House Servant]
Under Housemaid [House Servant]
Upper Housemaid [House Servant]
Tutor [Retainer]
Valet [House Servant]
Whipper-in [Grounds Servant]
THE IDEAL (AND ACTUAL) HOUSEHOLD

THE OPEN (OR SANDBOX) SAGA

PREPARING AN OPEN SAGA
Choose a Starting Date
Determine the Starting Region
Create Characters That Have a Plausible Reason to Travel Frequently
Decide on the First Location
Prepare the First Location and Expected Challenge(s)
Ready a Side Location and Challenge(s)
RUNNING AN OPEN SAGA
Starting with the Journey
Spending a Day at the House
Introducing Challenges and Conflicts
When to Conclude an Affair
Down-time in an Open Saga
Sometimes the Journey is More Important than the Destination
Revisiting a House
Using Recurring NPCs and SPCs
Creating Locations on the Fly
Ending an Open Saga

APPENDIX A: OF COACHING INNS (AND COACHES)

HORSES, AND THEIR LIMITATIONS
ABOUT COACHING INNS AND POST HOUSES
Other Accommodations For Travelers
VISITING A COACHING INN
Arrival
Changing Horses
A Meal at the Inn
Sleeping at an Inn
Some Typical Prices at Coaching Inns
FEATURES OF COACHING INNS
Quick Random Characteristics of Inns and Taverns
Features and areas always present at a Coaching Inn:
Additional Features of a Rural Coaching Inn:
Features and Areas Possibly Present at a Coaching Inn:
Typical Staff of a Coaching Inn:
Some Suggested Encounters
for the Common Room of an Inn
Some Notable Events for the Night
NOTES ON CARRIAGES

APPENDIX B: ENCOUNTERS WHILE TRAVELING

Morning, Afternoon, & Evening – On the Road Between Villages
Morning, Afternoon, & Evening – Passing Through a Village
Night – On the Road Between Villages
Night – Passing Through a Village
Table 1: Morning, Afternoon, and Evening Road Encounters
Table 2: Night Road Encounters
Table 3: Obstacles and Curiosities
Table 4: Daylight Village Encounters

APPENDIX C: RUINS AND ABANDONED BUILDINGS

Table 1: The Original Structure
Table 2: Cause of Abandonment
Table 3: Most Notable Feature
Table 4: Completeness of the Structure
Table 5: State of the Roof
Table 6: State of the Interior Walls
Table 7: State of the Doors
Table 8: State of the Furniture
Table 9a: State of the Standing Exterior Walls (Unroofed)
Table 9b: State of the Standing Exterior Walls (Roofed)
Table 10: State of the Windows
Table 11: State of the Floors
Table 12: Vegetation
Table 13: Current Inhabitant(s)

APPENDIX D: CRYPTS, CAVES, AND SUBTERRANEAN PASSAGES

ARTIFICIAL TUNNELS AND VAULTS
Table 1: Original and Current Purpose of Subterranean Tunnels and Chambers
Table 2: Size of a Subterranean Tunnel Complex
Table 3a: Basic Plan of the Complex
Table 3b: The Entrance
Table 4A: Walls of Subterranean Tunnels and Chambers
Table 4B: Floors of Subterranean Tunnels and Chambers
Table 4C: Ceilings of Subterranean Tunnels and Chambers
Table 4D: Air Quality of Subterranean Tunnels and Chambers
Table 5: Notable Features of a Tunnel Section
Table 6: Subterranean Doorways
Table 7: Beyond a Subterranean Doorway
Table 8: Characteristics of Subterranean Chambers
Table 9: Contents of Subterranean Chambers
Table 10: Supports
Table 11: Hazards in Subterranean Tunnels and Chambers
Table 12: Traps in Subterranean Tunnels and Chambers
Table 13: Mysteries and Enigmas
Table 14A: Areas of an Archive or Library
Table 14B: Areas of a Mine
Table 14C: Areas of a Secret Society Chapter-house
Table 14D: Areas of a Cistern
Table 14E: Areas of a Burial Complex
Table 14F: Areas of a Wine Cellar
Table 14G: Areas in a Larder or Root Cellar
Table 14H: Areas of an Armory
Table 14I: Areas of a Treasury Vault
Table 14J: Areas of a Cheese Cave
Table 14K: Areas of an Ice Storage Vault
Table 14L: Areas of a Dungeon
Table 14M: Areas of an Ancient Temple, Now Buried
Table 14N: Areas of a Counterfeiter’s Workshop
Table 14O: Areas of a Satanic Complex
Table 14P: Areas of a Hermitage
Table 14Q: Areas of a Sanctuary for Religious Dissenters
Table 14R: Areas of a Vault for Smuggled Goods
Table 14S: Areas of a Mass Grave for Murder Victims
Table 14T: Areas of an Escape Route
Table 14U: Areas of a Creature’s Prison
Table 14V: Areas of the Hideaway of a Family Shame
Areas of the Hideaway of a Family Shame
Table 14W: Areas of a Bandit’s Hideout
Table 14X: Areas of an Alchemist’s Laboratory
Table 14Y: Areas of a Magician’s Retreat
Table 14Z: Areas of a Mad Scientist’s Laboratory
NATURAL (AND NATURAL-APPEARING) CAVES
Table 15: Plan of a Cave System
Table 16: Shape and Size of a Cave
Table 17: Air Quality Inside a Cave
Table 18: Ordinary Features of Airy Caves
Table 19: Strange and Unusual Features in Airy Caves
Table 20: Passability of a Cave
Table 21: Cave Connections
Supplementary Table: Random Compass Directions

APPENDIX E: RANDOM GENERATION OF MEALS IN GRAND HOUSES

MENUS
Breakfast (French Style)
Breakfast (English Style)
A Luncheon
A Grand Dinner
An Evening Supper
DISHES AND DECORATIONS
Breakfast Beverages
Breakfast Bread(s)
Breakfast Main Dishes
Breakfast Condiments
Soups
Meat Entrées
Fish Entrées
Poultry Entrées
Roasts and Main Dishes
Sauces
Vegetables and Salads
Entremets
Desserts
Table Decorations and Pièce Montées (Normal)
Table Decorations and Pièce Montées (Gothic and Unusual)

APPENDIX F: EVENTS AT DINNER

APPENDIX G: EVENTS AT THE DANCE

APPENDIX H: EVENTS OF THE MORNING PROMENADE

APPENDIX I: RANDOM ARISTOCRATIC TITLES

British Aristocrats
Notes About British Titles
French Aristocrats (Pre-Revolution, or Ancien Régime)
Notes about Ancien Régime titles
French Napoleonic Titles (Conferred from 1808 – 1814)
Notes About Napoleonic Titles
German Aristocrats
Notes About German Titles
Hungarian Aristocrats
Notes about Hungarian Titles
Italian Aristocrats
Notes About Italian Titles
Spanish Aristocrats
Notes about Spanish titles
OF ARISTOCRATIC BASTARDS

APPENDIX J: TWISTED FAMILY HISTORIES

Length of the Family History
Shocking Historical Facts about the Family

APPENDIX K: RELATIONSHIPS IN THE HOUSEHOLD

The Loves and Hates of Male Family Members
The Loves and Hates of Female Family Members
The Consequences of Forbidden Love
The Consequences of Hate
CONCERNING LGBT RELATIONSHIPS IN THE GHASTLY AGE

APPENDIX L: INHERITED PECULIARITIES OF INBRED NOBLE FAMILIES

APPENDIX M: THE MOST MEMORABLE CHARACTERISTICS OF NPCS

Female Aristocrats
Male Aristocrats
Female Servants
Male Servants

APPENDIX N: THE DESIRES OF RESTLESS HOUSES

What the House Wants
How the House Communicates
How the House will Lash Out
Where is the Heart of the House?
How can the House be Put to Rest?

APPENDIX O: RANDOM SPECTRAL ACTIVITY

The Usual Apparition
The Other Apparition(s)
Further Spectral Activity
The Phantom’s Release

APPENDIX P: CURSED AND HAUNTED BEDS

APPENDIX Q: PAINTINGS IN A GRAND HOUSE

Table 1a: Type of Painting
Table 1b: Dimensions of a Painting
Table 1c: Age of a Painting
Table 1d: The Frame of a Painting
Table 2: Male Portrait
Table 3: Female Portrait
Table 4: Interior Group Portrait
Table 5: Exterior Group Portrait
Table 6: Historical Scene
Table 7: Religious Scene
Table 8: Mythological, Legendary, or Literary Scene
Table 9: Genre Scene
Table 10: Landscape
Table 11: Animal Subject
Table 12: Still Life
Table 13: Allegory
Table 14: Enigmatic Emblems
Table 15: Erotic Scene
NOTES ON ART IN YOUR GAME
Regarding Portraits
Regarding Historical Paintings
Regarding Religious Paintings
Regarding Mythological, Legendary, and Literary Painting
Regarding Genre Paintings
Regarding Landscape Paintings
Regarding Animal Paintings
Regarding Still-lifes
Regarding Allegorical and Emblematic Images
Regarding Erotic Paintings

APPENDIX R: RANDOM NAMES FOR BRITISH COUNTRY HOUSES

APPENDIX S: 100 POETIC NAMES FOR TOWERS

APPENDIX T: TECHNOLOGICAL MARVELS IN GRAND HOUSES

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