Character Inspirations Part III: The Libertine


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A archetype of the Libertine is the mirror image of the True Innocent. At best, he (or she) is a free spirit willing to throw aside repressive moral convention and proclaim the primacy of pleasure. At worst, the Libertine is a deceitful seducer, a profligate gambler, a shameless fraud, or even a heartless murderer. Unlike the desperate Bandit forced to exist as an outlaw, the Libertine has typically chosen to be bad. Naturally, the Libertine is fated to pursue the True Innocent (and often be redeemed by their love). The following lists will help inspire Players and Presenters when creating their own Libertine characters for Ghastly Affair.

Some Historical Libertines:
Julie d’Aubigny
Paul Barras
William Beckford
Jeanne Bécu (Madame du Barry)
Lord Byron
Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire
Sir Francis Dashwood
William Douglas, Duke of Queensberry (“Old Q”)
Françoise-Athénaïs, marquise de Montespan
Grace Elliot (née Dalrymple)
George, Prince of Wales (later King George IV)
Lady Emma Hamilton
Gilbert Imlay
Lady Caroline Lamb
Louis-Philippe II, Duc d’Orléans
Marquis de Sade
Thérésa Tallien
Jeanne de Valois-Saint-Rémy (Jeanne de la Motte)
John Wilkes
John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

Some Literary Inspirations:
Mr. B (Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded – Samuel Richardson)
Juliette de Bertole (Juliette; or, Vice Amply Rewarded – Marquis de Sade)
Don Juan (or Don Giovanni) (The Trickster of Seville and the Stone Guest – Tirso de Molina; Dom Juan or The Feast with the Statue – Moliere; Don Giovanni – Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte and music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Don Juan – Lord Byron; others)
Victoria de Loredani (Zofloya; or, The Moor: A Romance of the Fifteenth Century – Charlotte Dacre)
Barry Lyndon (The Luck of Barry Lyndon – William Makepeace Thackeray)
Queen Marie-Antoinette (as depicted in the French libelles)
Marquise de Merteuil (The Dangerous Liaisons – Pierre Choderlos de Laclos)
Lord Ruthven (Glenarvon – Lady Caroline Lamb, The Vampyre – Dr. John Polidori)
Becky Sharpe (Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray)
Vicomte de Valmont (The Dangerous Liaisons – Pierre Pierre Choderlos de Laclos)
Caliph Vathek (Vathek – William Beckford)
George Wickham (Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen)

Some Libertines from Movies and Television:
Edmund Blackadder (Blackadder the Third)
Lord Byron (Gothic)
Darla (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel)
Liam (Angelus) (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel)
Barry Lyndon (Barry Lyndon)
Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil (Dangerous Liaisons, Valmont)
John Wilmot (The Libertine)
Lord Rochester (Plunkett & Macleane)
Vicomte de Valmont (Dangerous Liaisons,Valmont)

A Few Inspirational Songs:
Big Balls – AC/DC
Chelsea Dagger – Fratellis
Cherry Bomb – The Runaways
Chick Habit – April March (also the original Laisse Tomber les Filles by France Gall)
The Duelists – Iron Maiden
Ex’s and Oh’s – Elle King
The French Song – Joan Jett
Gold Dust Woman – Fleetwood Mac (also the cover by Hole)
Lovegame – Lady Gaga
Mother – Danzig
The Only Time – Nine Inch Nails
Sadeness – Enigma
Sex on Wheels – My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult

Gallery of Images:

William Hogarth 027


Thomas Rowlandson - A Sketch from Nature


'Interrupted Supper', by Louis-Léopold Boilly, Norton Simon Museum

Pietro Longhi The Lover of a Venetian Lady.The Bowes Museum

The Influence of the Marquis de Sade on the Gothic Novel

Sade’s “Justine” (and it’s sequel “Juliette”) were enormously popular books in their day, even (and especially) in those places where they were banned. Both works were issued in lavishly illustrated editions furtively perused by men and women alike. The Marquis’ scandalous stories of perverse (and murderous) libertines also exerted a massive influence on contemporary Gothic novels. The more shocking episodes in Lewis’ “The Monk”, for example, can be seen in light of an appetite for literary savagery that had been stoked by “Justine”. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Sade himself disliked his books being classified as “Gothics”, because he felt the label demeaned their serious philosophical content. “Justine”, for example, seems meant to expose the absurdity of 18th century literary conventions, such as the virtuous “damsel-in-distress”, and the gallant highwayman (viciously deconstructed in the person of Ironheart). Nonetheless, Sade’s influence on the Gothic genre is undeniable, especially in light of such incidents as the unjust trial of the allusively named Justine in Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein”. Thus, despite his own protestation, Sade is inseparably part of the Gothic tradition, just as his catalogs of depravity have their modern reflections in the “slasher” and “torture-porn” movies of recent years.

Character Inspirations Part II: The True Innocent


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Like those in “Character Inspirations Part I: The Bandit”, the following lists are meant to aid Players and Presenters in creating True Innocent characters for the Ghastly Affair RPG. Since the class is intended to portray the typical heroine of a classic Gothic novel, True Innocents tend to become central to any game of Ghastly Affair. Remember that a True Innocent can be as active and strong as any other character. They need not be just damsels (or lads) to be rescued. Here then are some examples from history, literature, and the media to help inspire your portrayals of True Innocents.

If you have any additions you’d like to share, just indicate them in the comments.

Some Historical True Innocents:
Lady Anne Isabella Byron (wife of Lord Byron)
Saint Joan of Arc
Virginie de Lafayette (daughter of the Marquis de Lafayette)
Juliette Récamier

Some Literary Inspirations:
Pamela Andrews (Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded – Samuel Richardson)
Antonia (The Monk: A Romance – Matthew Lewis)
Justine de Bertole (Justine; or, The Misfortunes of Virtue – de Sade)
Candide (Candide – Voltaire)
Gulchenrouz (Vathek – William Beckford)
Mina Harker (née Murray) (Dracula – Bram Stoker)
Clarissa Harlowe (Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady – Samuel Richardson)
Immalee / Isidore de Aliaga (Melmoth the Wanderer – Charles Maturin)
Agnes de Medina (The Monk: A Romance – Matthew Lewis)
Catherine Morland (Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen)
Laura (Carmilla – Sheridan Le Fanu)
Matilda of Otranto (The Castle of Otranto – Horace Walpole)
Emily St. Aubert (The Mysteries of Udolpho – Ann Radcliffe)
Charlotte Sophia (The Hapless Child – Edward Gorey)
Virginia de Villa-Franca (The Monk: A Romance – Matthew Lewis)
Isabella of Vicenza (The Castle of Otranto – Horace Walpole)
Cécile de Volanges (The Dangerous Liaisons – Pierre Choderlos de Laclos)

Some True Innocents from Movies and Television:
Edith Cushing (Crimson Peak)
Emma (The Vampire Lovers)
Letha Godfrey (Hemlock Grove)
Marianne de Morangias (Brotherhood of the Wolf)
Rosaleen (The Company of Wolves)
Katia Vajda (Black Sunday)

A Few Inspirational Songs:
Edge of the World – Faith No More
Enter Sandman – Metallica
Goody Two Shoes – Adam and the Ants
Little Sister – Siouxsie and the Banshees
Lullaby – The Cure
Rainbow in the Dark – Dio
Sister Christian – Night Ranger
Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses
Tales of Innocence – Christian Death
You’re Lost, Little Girl – The Doors, covered by Siouxsie and the Banshees

Gallery of Images
Greuze-La prière du Matin

Radcliffe Chastenay - Les Mysteres d Udolphe frontispice T2

Pietro Longhi 027

Museo del Prado - Goya - Caprichos - No. 14 - Que sacrificio!

Fragonard, The Reader

100 Inherited Peculiarities of Inbred Noble Families


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Francesco Hayez 047

Odd-looking aristocrats were a staple of Gothic fiction because they were a reality of the 18th and 19th centuries. Inbreeding over many generations had filled the palaces of Europe with deranged families marked by physical peculiarities. The royal portraits of Goya, which look like harsh caricatures now, were actually considered to be flattering in their time! The ill-effects of inbreeding were ameliorated among the non-royal aristocrats of Britain (whose female members were known to actively refresh the bloodlines from time-to-time), and in those parts of Italy where aristocratic women were expected to openly take lovers (a practice ended in the repressive climate that followed the Napoleonic wars). In fact, the British upper class (aside from the royal family) had a reputation for being generally attractive. The astonishingly incestuous nobility of Central Europe, however, were manically obsessed with the purity of their blood (and with preventing land from leaving the family). Consequentially, they could be quite strange in appearance, and wracked with genetic disorders.

What Makes This Family Peculiar? (d100, 1d4 times)

1. Aged appearance, even when young
2. Albinism (ignore further results relating to eye or hair color)
3. Amber or yellow eyes
4. Androgynous appearance
5. Animalistic features (toad-like, lupine, aquiline, leonine, etc.)
6. Aniridic eyes (no irises; ignore further results relating to eye color)
7. Bald head
8. Bizarre taste in food
9. Bulging eyes
10. Bushy eyebrows
11. Can’t stand high-pitched sounds and voices
12. Can’t stand low-pitched sounds and voices
13. Can’t stand music
14. Cannot abide warm temperatures
15. Cannot stand bright light
16. Cannot stand cool temperatures
17. Club foot
18. Colorblindness
19. Craving for pain
20. Cruel nature
21. Cylindrical head
22. Deformed hand
23. Disproportionately long legs
24. Distinctive voice
25. Double-jointed
26. Dwarfish stature
27. Empathy with animals (horse whisperers)
28. Enlarged canine teeth
29. Extremely long-lived
30. Extremely pale complexion
31. Extremely tall
32. Farsighted
33. Flaming red hair
34. Freakish strength
35. Grotesquely prominent chin
36. Hairless body
37. Hearing problems
38. Heightened hearing (and can’t stand loud sounds)
39. Heightened sense of smell (and can’t abide bad odors)
40. Heightened sense of taste (and can only eat the finest food)
41. Hemophilia
42. Horrible body odor
43. Hunchback
44. Insensitive to cold
45. Insensitive to heat
46. Insensitive to pain
47. Intoxicating natural perfume
48. Jade green eyes
49. Large chin
50. Long arms
51. Long nose
52. Long tongue
53. Mania
54. Melancholy disposition
55. Men of the family are very well endowed (or are poorly endowed)
56. Morbid sensitivity
57. Narrow eyes
58. Nearsighted
59. Nervous twitch
60. Night-black hair
61. Noticeably small hands
62. Oddly-shaped ears
63. One eye larger than the other
64. Pear-shaped head
65. Piercing, dark blue eyes
66. Platinum blonde hair
67. Prodigious artistic talent
68. Prominent cheekbones
69. Prone to addiction
70. Protruding lower lip
71. Protruding teeth
72. Resistant to poison (and intoxication)
73. See visions / hallucinations
74. Sensitive to touch
75. Sexually insatiable
76. Sharply arched eyebrows
77. Shockingly thin
78. Short life span
79. Six fingers on each hand
80. Spheroid head
81. Squarish head
82. Staring eyes that never seem to blink
83. Sunken cheeks
84. Tail
85. Teeth tend to fall out
86. Tendency to be twins
87. Tendency to full hermaphroditism
88. Two different color eyes
89. Unable to properly pronounce a common phoneme.
90. Uncannily beautiful (all members of the family look like idealized statues come  to life; ignore any other result that indicates unattractive physical deformities)
91. Unique birthmark (shaped like a weapon, shaped like an animal, raised, etc.)
92. Unusually large hands
93. Very high hairline
94. Very weak chin
95. Very widely-spaced eyes
96. Violet eyes
97. Webbed fingers
98. Webbed toes
99. Women of the family have exceptionally large bosoms (or are without breasts entirely)
100. Youthful appearance, even when old

Of course, individual members (whose true paternity will no doubt be questioned) might not posses the peculiar qualities for which their family is known. Note also that the table excludes any supernatural Curses of the type endemic to noble houses in Gothic stories. See Table 6 of Remarkable Features of Estates and Manors for some suggestions regarding possible family Curses.

Character Inspirations Part I: The Bandit


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The following lists are meant to help Players and Presenters of the Ghastly Affair RPG conceptualize their Bandit characters, but will be useful for any game featuring brigands and outlaws. The suggested music might be used directly as Character Inspirations by Players (as per Chapter 2 of the Ghastly Affair Player’s Manual), or be played by the Presenters during scenes that focus on Bandit characters.

The fetishization of bandits in early Gothic and Romantic literature may remind many people of the prominence of outlaws of the later American Western genre. In fact, vampires and werewolves, today thought of as defining features of the Gothic, are scarce in the original stories. However, desperate bandits lurked everywhere, to terrify and arouse both the heroine and reader.

Obviously, the lists are limited by my own knowledge and preferences. If you have additional suggestions you’d like to share, indicate them in the comments. Also note that the art and entertainment on the list is not universally dark in tone, or drawn from the Horror genre. That’s because, in my opinion, a good Gothic story should feature as much beauty and joy as horror and fear. Classic Gothic novels (such as “Frankenstein” and “The Mysteries of Udolpho”) are filled with passages describing sublimely beautiful landscapes. If the whole world is only ugliness and despair, then characters have nothing to fear losing.

Some Historical Bandits:
Anne Bonny
William Brennan
Mary Bryant
Moll Cutpurse
Claude Du Vall
Lady Katherine Ferrers
Fra Diavolo
James Freney
Captain Gallagher
Charles Gibbs
Xaver Hohenleiter
Rahmah ibn Jabir al-Jalahimah
Juraj Jánošík
Jean Lafitte
James MacLaine
Louis Mandrin
William Plunkett
John Rann
Sándor Rózsa
Mary Read
Dick Turpin
Eugène François Vidocq

Some Literary Inspirations:
Baptiste (The Monk – Matthew Lewis)
Captain Macheath (The Beggar’s Opera, Polly – John Gay)
Conrad (The Corsair – Lord Byron)
Ironheart (Justine; or, the Misfortunes of Virtue – Marquis de Sade)
Montoni (The Mysteries of Udolpho – Ann Radcliffe)
Karl Moor (The Robbers – Friedrich Schiller)
Zoto (The Manuscipt Found in Saragossa – Jan Potocki)

Some Bandits from Movies and Television:
Captain James Macleane (Plunkett and Macleane)
Will Plunkett (Plunkett and Macleane)
The Shadow (Blackadder the Third)
Captain Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean)

A Few Inspirational Songs:
Bad Company – Bad Company, covered by Five Finger Death Punch
Blaze of Glory – Jon Bon Jovi
Breaking the Law – Judas Priest
Desperado – The Eagles
Gallow’s Pole – Led Zeppelin (also the original The Gallis Pole by Leadbelly)
I Fought the Law – Bobby Fuller, covered by The Clash
Knocking on Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan, covered by Guns n’ Roses
Mack the Knife (Die Moritat von Mackie Messer) – From The Threepenny Opera. Versions by Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Elle Fitzgerald, Bobby Darin, Dee Snyder etc.
Midnight Rider – The Allman Brothers band
Renegade – Styx
Robbers – The 1975
Scum of the Earth – Rob Zombie
Stand and Deliver – Adam Ant
Whiskey in the Jar – Traditional. Versions by Thin Lizzy, The Dubliners, Metallica, & many, many more.

(Remember, if you like a song you can support the artist by buying a copy)

Gallery of Images:
Asalto al coche

Pflug - Schwarzer Veri

Gibbs shooting a comrade

General History of the Pyrates - Ann Bonny and Mary Read (coloured)

Dr. Syntax stopped by highwaymen Engraving

A Note on Using Modern Music in Historical Games

Some people might consider it jarring to hear modern music used as the soundtrack for entertainment set in the past. However, the music of the past was heard differently by its contemporary audiences than modern people hear the same music. What modern people contextualize as stuffy “classical music”, audiences of the time simply regarded as “modern” music. They had a whole different set of associations than modern people about the same sounds. Their emotional reaction to the music of their time was the same as our reaction to contemporary songs. The same music that today demands that its listeners sit down and be quiet in an auditorium, often made its original audiences want to get up and dance. In fact, the original performances of most symphonies of the period where as loud and rowdy as any rock n’ roll concert. The idea that music was supposed to be enjoyed in a quiet and restrained atmosphere (along with the concept of “classical” music itself) is a much later innovation of the 19th century. The music that a time-traveler would hear if he was transported to the the 1790s does not usually produce the same response in modern brains as it did during the 1790s. For that, you will often have to use more modern songs.

Happenings in the Ghastly Affair Community


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Creative things are happening in the nascent Ghastly Affair community!

Watch members of the Facebook Tabletop RPG One Shot Group discover Ghastly Affair aboard “The Lady Lovibond”. Thank you to all the players, and to the members of the One Shot Group in general, for your embrace and support of the game. Naturally, the video is marked as age-restricted, and you will need to sign in with your Google account to watch it.

New author William Rutter has put up an excerpt from his novel “Hunter’s Song” on Kindle Scout. If you have an Amazon account you can nominate “Hunter’s Song” to be published by Kindle Press. His novel tells the story of Lila Davenport, an heiress in Georgian England whose world is turned upside down when supernatural evil intrudes into her life. William is a player in the Ghastly Affair forum of the Play@YSDC boards.

Leave a comment if you’re doing something with Ghastly Affair that you’d like to share. I’d love to hear about it!

The Ghastly Affair Player’s Manual – Now Available on DriveThruRPG and RPGNow!


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ga-players-manual-cover-illustrated-pdf-300The long-awaited Illustrated PDF Version of the Ghastly Affair Player’s Manual is now available for download on DriveThruRPG and RPGNow. Designed for on-screen viewing and usability, it’s fully bookmarked, indexed, and extensively hyperlinked throughout. The Ghastly Affair Player’s Manual (Illustrated PDF Version) includes the historical sidebars and illustrations of the print edition, including the full-page images by artist Stacey Kaelin. Now you can have the FULL Ghastly Affair experience in PDF!

Coming Soon: The Illustrated PDF Version of the Ghastly Affair Presenter’s Manual.

Purchase on DriveThuRPG:

Purchase on RPGNow:

Coming Soon for the Ghastly Affair RPG: Illustrated PDFs and More!


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Both the “Ghastly Affair Player’s Manual” and “Ghastly Affair Presenter’s Manual” are now being prepared for commercial release as illustrated PDFs. These will NOT simply be PDFs of the print books, but fully bookmarked, hyperlinked, and indexed versions designed for on-screen readability and use. Both PDFs will include the pictures from their print versions, including the gorgeous full-page illustrations by Stacey Kaelin!

But the news doesn’t stop there! TWO new releases for Ghastly Affair are also currently in the works:

“The Ghastly Companion to High Society”
Your guide to life, love, and horror among the powerful, rich, and wicked.

“The Ghastly Companion to Castles, Mansions, and Estates”
A complete guide to grand homes and ancient fortresses – their structure, contents, and terrible secrets.

Keep checking the The Engine of Oracles for more Ghastly Affair news and previews!

Random Aristocrats and Noble Titles, Part II: German and Hungarian


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Wenceslaus Werlin 001

See also “Random Aristocrats and Noble Titles, Part I: French and British”.

There was technically no nation called “Germany” during the Ghastly Age (1765 – 1820). The area of modern Germany very roughly corresponds to that of the Holy Roman Empire, a feudal patchwork of some 1,800 (!) states nominally subject to an Emperor elected by the most powerful nobility. However, it had already become common by the end of the 18th century to refer to the Holy Roman Empire as Germany, or the German Empire, even though portions of it were neither German-speaking, nor ethnically German. Because there were so many small states (many of which could be walked across in an afternoon or less), the Holy Roman Empire makes a particularly good place to situate fictional countries created by the Presenter. Therefore, the table of Random German Aristocrats includes some sovereign, as well as non-sovereign titles. Because of the unique setup of the Empire, the German system of nobility is especially complicated, with holders of nominally lower titles often outranking holders of seemingly higher titles.

The territories that constituted the German-speaking Kingdom of Prussia were situated both inside and outside the formal borders of the Holy Roman Empire. The great rival to Prussia for leadership of the German-speaking states was the House of Habsburg (later Habsburg-Lorraine), who ruled a vast network of territories including the Archduchy of Austria. The Archdukes of Austria had also been elected Emperors since the 15th Century, and it was the Habsburg Emperor Francis II who formally dissolved the Holy Roman Empire as a political entity in 1806. Prussia eventually became the state that would impress its culture and values upon the future nation of Germany.

The 18th century Kingdom of Hungary was a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual state that includes the area corresponding to the modern Magyar-speaking nation of Hungary, but also Transylvania, and parts of modern Croatia, Slovakia, and Serbia. It was a possession of the Austrian Habsburgs, and the Archduke of Austria was also the King of Hungary (as well as being Holy Roman Emperor). The official language of State was Latin, but German was widely spoken in the towns. The higher titled nobility, like their fellow titled aristocrats elsewhere in Europe, spoke French as their preferred language. The lesser nobility spoke Magyar (Hungarian). The Habsburg royalty (who generally stayed in Vienna) spoke German. While the Archduchy of Austria was a part of the Holy Roman Empire, the Kingdom of Hungary was not. The Kingdom was incorporated as a constituent part of the Austrian Empire in 1804.

Random German Aristocrats, in Ascending Precedence (d100)

1 – 20 | Junker (Otherwise untitled aristocrat)
21 – 30 | Edler (Lowest hereditary title) (Style: “High Well-Born”)
31 – 40 | Ritter (Hereditary Knighthood) (Niederer Adel) (Style: “High Well-Born”)
41 – 45| Reichsritter (Imperial Knight) (Niederer Adel) (Style: “High Well-Born”)
46 | Knight of the Royal Order of Saint George for the Defense of the Immaculate Conception (Conferred by the Elector of Bavaria)
47 | Knight of the Order of the Red Eagle (Conferred by the King of Prussia) [Roll again for additional title, if any]
48 | Knight of the Order of the Black Eagle (Conferred by the King of Prussia)[Roll again for additional title]
49 | Knight of the Order of Saint John (Protestant Bailiwick) [Roll again for additional title]
50 – 51| Teutonic Knight (Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem)
52 – 53 | Knight of the Golden Spur (Non-hereditary, conferred by the Emperor)[Roll again for additional title]
54 – 56 | Herr (Lord) (Niederer Adel) (Style: “High Well-Born”)
57 – 62 | Freiherr or Freifrau (Baron or Baroness) (Non-sovereign, and/or “Niederer Adel”) (Style: “High Well-Born”)
63 – 64 | Burggraf or Burggräfin (Viscount or Viscountess) (Non-sovereign, and/or “Niederer Adel”) (Style: “High-Born”)
65 – 66 | Graf or Gräfin (Count or Countess) (Non-sovereign, and/or “Niederer Adel”) (Style: “High-Born”)
67 – 68 | Landgraf or Landgräfin (Landgrave or Landgravine) (Non-sovereign, and/or “Niederer Adel”) (Style: “High-Born”)
69 – 70 | Markgraf or Markgräfin (Marquis or Marquise) (Non-sovereign, and/or “Niederer Adel”) (Style: “High-Born”)
71 – 72 | Prinz or Prinzessin (Son or Daughter of a reigning Prince) (Hochedel or “Niederer Adel”) (Style: “High-Born”)
73 – 74 | Fürst or Fürstin (Prince or Princess) (Non-sovereign, and/or “Niederer Adel”) (Style: “Princely Grace”)
75 – 76 | Herzog or Herzogin (Duke or Duchess) (Non-sovereign, and/or “Niederer Adel”) (Style: “Ducal Grace”)
77 – 78 | Herr (Lord) (Lord) (Sovereign “Hochadel”) (Style: “Illustrious Highness”)
79 – 80 | Reichsfreiherr or Reichsfreifrau (Imperial Baron or Imperial Baroness) (Sovereign “Hochadel”) (Style: “Illustrious Highness”)
81 – 82 | Reichsgraf or Reichsgräfin (Imperial Count or Imperial Countess) (Sovereign “Hochadel”) (Style: “Illustrious Highness”)
83 – 84 | Landgraf or Landgräfin (Landgrave or Landgravine) (Sovereign “Hochadel”) (Style: “Illustrious Highness”)
85 – 86 | Markgraf or Markgräfin (Marquis or Marquise) (Sovereign “Hochadel”) (Style: “Illustrious Highness”)
87 – 88 | Pfalzgraf or Pfalzgräfin (Count Palantine or Countess Palantine) (Sovereign “Hochadel”) (Style: “Illustrious Highness”)
89 – 90 | Reichsfürst or Reichsfürstin (Prince or Princess) (Sovereign “Hochadel”) (Style: “Illustrious Highness”)
91 – 92 | Herzog or Herzogin (Duke or Duchess) (Sovereign “Hochadel”) (Style: “Serene Highness”)
93 – 94 | Grossfürst or Grossfürstin (Grand Prince or Grand Princess) (Sovereign “Hochadel”) (Style: “Serene Highness”)
95 – 96 | Grossherzog or Grossherzogin (Grand Duke or Grand Duchess) (Sovereign “Hochadel”) (Style: “Ducal Serene Highness”)
97 – 98 | Erzherzog or Erzherzogin (Archduke or Archduchess) (Sovereign “Hochadel”) (Style: “Most Serene Highness”)
99 – 100 | Kurfürst or Kurfürin (Prince-elector or Princess-elector) (Sovereign “Hochadel”) (Style: “Most Serene Highness”)

Notes about German titles:

  • The particles “von” (“of” [a family name]) and “zu” (“at” [a castle or territory possessed by the family]) generally indicate nobility. When the family name is the same as their castle or territory, the form is “von und zu”.
  • The term “Hochedel” indicates high nobility that rules a state of the Empire, or that formerly ruled a state subsequently incorporated into another. “Niederer Adel” indicates lesser nobility that never ruled a state in their own right. A Reichsfreiherr (Imperial Baron) who rules a sovereign state of the Empire is Hochedel, and outranks an ordinary Graf (Count) who is Niederer Adel.
  • The children of a titled noblemen are both noble and titled. The titles borne by non-reigning members of noble families are always the lesser equivalent titles employed by the Niederer Adel, even if their family is Hochedel. For example, the sons of a Pfalzgraf (Count Palatine) bear the lesser title Graf (Count). The son or daughter of a reigning Fürst or Reichsfürst bears the special title Prinz or Prinzessin.
  • Some titles (such as “Graf”) can be either Hochedel or Niederer Adel, depending on whether or not the holder is also sovereign over a state of the Empire.
  • Around the time of the French Revolution the German nobility begins to further distinguish between the “Uradel” (families ennobled before the 14th century) and the “Briefadel” (families ennobled by letters-patent after the 14th century). The former naturally look down upon the latter.
  • Both the Uradel and Briefedel look down on everyone else. The least-important Junker is considered the social superior of the wealthiest non-noble financier.
  • King George III of Great Britain is also the hereditary Prince-Elector of Hanover.
  • The Holy Roman Empire is dissolved by Emperor Francis II in 1806, after the western states succeed to form the pro-French “Confederation of the Rhine”.
  • The sheer number of German states and titles invites the assumption of false titles by impostors; for all the average person outside the Empire knows, there might actually be a “Fürst of Stierscheisseland”!

Random Hungarian Aristocrats, in Ascending Precedence

1 – 5 | Impoverished, or “Sandalled”nobility
6 – 10 | “Bene Possessionati” (Wealthy, but otherwise untitled nobility)
11 | Knight of the Order of Saint Stephen of Hungary [Roll again for additional title]
12 | Báró or Báróné (Baron or Baroness. German equivalent: Freiherr or Freifrau) (Magnate)
13 | Vicomte or Vicomtessz (Viscount or Viscountess. German equivalent: Vizegraf or Vizegräfin) (Magnate)
14 | Alispán (Viscount; hereditary deputy-administrator of a megye, or County. German equivalent: Vizegespan) (Magnate)
15 | Gróf or Grófnő (Count or Countess. German equivalent: Graf or Gräfin) (Magnate)
16 | Ispán (Count; hereditary administrator of a megye, or County. German equivalent: Gespan) (Magnate)
17 | Marki or Márkiné (Marquis or Marquise. German equivalent: Markgraf or Markgräfin) (Magnate)
18 | Herceg or Hercegnő (Duke or Duchess. German equivalent: Herzog or Herzogin) (Magnate)
19 | Ban (Croatian and Serbian title) (Magnate)
20 | Fürst or Fürstin (Prince or Princess. German title)

Notes about Hungarian titles:

  • About 5% of the population of the Kingdom of Hungary is considered noble, a relatively high number. Most of those are untitled and relatively poor, however.
  • Theoretically all nobles have the same rights and legal status. In practice, a distinction is made between the poor (or “sandalled”) nobility, the middle nobility (or “Bene Possessionati”), and the Magnates (titled nobility).
  • Magnates have seats in the Upper House of the Hungarian Diet. They tend to not be Magyar in origin, and were mostly granted their titles by the reigning Habsburgs. The titles “Ispán” and “Alispán”, however, date from before the Habsburg period.
  • Ispán and Alispán are also the titles of government officials responsible for the administration of the various Counties of the Kingdom. The two terms are only noble titles in Counties where the positions are hereditary.
  • Many Magnates have German rather than Magyar titles. Since the Magyar word “Herceg” means both Duke and Prince, those who claim the title of “Prince” may bear the German title “Fürst”. Note also that most Magnates are likely to use the French equivalent of their titles at social events.
  • The Magyar (Hungarian) language does not employ an “ennobling particle” between the given and family names. The title is is given first, then the family name, and lastly the given name.
  • Nobles of German descent (or who have German titles) may give their name in the Western manner, however, with “von”, “zu”, or “von und zu” before their family name. Some Magnates may employ the French ennobling particle “de”.
  • The “Bene Possessionati” tend to speak Magyar, wear Hungarian clothing, and otherwise eschew both French and German culture.
  • The title “Voivode” (the title born by Vlad Tepes, or Dracula) is no longer used in the Kingdom of Hungary. Nonetheless, it might still be claimed by an individual whose memories seem to stretch over a longer period than seems logically possible…
  • The historical “Order of the Dragon” (whose most famous member was Vlad Dracula) is extinct. Nobody should claim to still be a member…

Incest and the  House of Habsburg

Much of Europe was once ruled by the House of Habsburg, which maintained a hold in its territories through consanguineous marriages. While the royalty of Europe was inbred in general, the early modern Habsburgs were incest enthusiasts. Marrying your cousin was usual for aristocracy, but the Habsburgs also specialized in such innovations as marrying uncles to nieces. All that breeding from their own stock resulted in the inevitable rise of birth defects and mental retardation. It was easy to discern a pure Habsburg; they tended to have a distinctively long face, and often suffered from a protruding lower jaw that produced the infamous “Habsburg lip”. It’s little wonder that the original male-line Habsburgs died out in the 18th century, victims of their own polluted gene pool. Only the branches of the family that had become amalgamated with other noble houses (such as the House of Habsburg-Lorraine) survived.

Random Aristocrats and Noble Titles, Part I: French and British


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Mr and Mrs William Hallett

The following tables are meant to allow Presenters to quickly determine the title(s) of figures met by Player Characters in High Society. They can also be used by Players to select the status and title(s) of their own characters. As complicated as it all looks, this is actually an extremely basic treatment that greatly simplifies matters. The system of nobility in pre-Revolutionary France was actually much more Byzantine than is practical to depict here, and was seemingly designed to confuse anyone who wasn’t actually raised an aristocrat. Likewise, the outline of the English aristocracy and their titles is sufficient for game purposes, but it would doubtless fail to pass muster with the editors of “Burke’s Peerage”.

The tables exclude actual royalty, whose appearance in a scenario should always be planned beforehand.

The masculine form of a title is given first, followed by the feminine. “Styles” are the honorific expressions that are supposed to be affixed to the name of an individual who holds a title.

When referring to holders of pre-Revolutionary French titles, the name is usually given: [Style][Given Name],[Title][Family Name]. The British form is usually: [Style][Full Name],[Title]. For example:

  • The Very High and Powerful Lord Donatien-Alphonse-François, Comte de Sade
  • Lord George Gordon Byron, Baron Byron
  • His Grace, William Douglass, Duke of Queensberry

When directly addressing the holder of a noble title, the form is usually: [Style of direct address][Name]. For example:

  • “Monsieur de Sade, I am confused as to why you keep such fearsome instruments of correction in your bedchamber.”
  • “Lord Byron, surely you shall not discard me after so passionately demonstrating the firmness of your love!”
  • “Your Grace William, Mademoiselle Parisot inquires if you quite enjoyed yourself while spying on the Gates of Venus.”

Remember that French is the language of High Society across Europe. Aristocrats from Portugal to Russia speak French to each other, and it is common for nobility to not speak the vernacular language of the common people. Aristocrats everywhere regard themselves as having much more in common with each other than with the middle and lower classes of their own countries.

Random French Aristocrats, in Ascending Precedence (Pre-Revolution, or Ancien Régime) (d20)

1 – 4 | Gentilhomme or Gentilfemme (English equivalent: Gentleman or Gentlewoman) (Ordinary untitled aristocracy)
5 – 7 | Écuyer (English equivalent: Esquire) (Indicates an illustrious family, but otherwise untitled)
8| Chevalier (Hereditary knighthood, but not necesarily a member of an actual order) (Style: “Sieur”)
9 | Chevalier de l’ordre royal et militaire de Saint-Louis (Knight of the Royal and Military Order of Saint Louis) [Roll again for additional title, if any] (Style: “Sieur”)
10 | Chevalier de l’ordre de Saint-Michel (Knight of the Order of Saint Michael) [Roll again for additional title, ignoring results below 12]
11 | Chevalier de l’ordre du Saint-Esprit (Knight of the Order of the Holy Spirit) [Roll again for additional title, ignoring results below 12]
12 – 13 | Baron or Baronne (Style: “Very High and Powerful Lord” – “Monsieur” or “Madame” when addressed directly)
14 | Vicomte or Vicomtesse (English equivalent: Viscount) (Style: “Very High and Powerful Lord” – “Monsieur” or “Madame” when addressed directly)
15 – 16 | Comte or Comtesse (English equivalent: Count) (Style: “Very High and Powerful Lord” – “Monsieur” or “Madame” when addressed directly)
17 – 18 | Marquis or Marquise (English equivalent: Marquess) (Style: “Very High and Powerful Lord” – “Monsieur” or “Madame” when addressed directly)
19 | Duc or Duchesse (English equivalent: Duke) (Style: “Very High and Very Powerful Lord” – “Monsieur” or “Madame” when addressed directly)
20 | Prince du Sang or Princesse du Sang (descended from a former king, but not a child, nephew or niece of the current King) (Style: “ Monsieur Prince”, or “Madame Princesse”)

Notes about Ancien Régime titles:

  • The French aristocracy of the Ancien Régime distinguish among themselves between the “noblesse d’épée” (“nobility of the sword”), whose ancestors were ennobled for medieval military in medieval times, and the “noblesse de robe” (“nobility of the robe”), who were ennobled later to hold governmental offices.
  • The titles “Baron”, “Vicomte”, “Comte”, and “Marquis” are socially interchangeably without legal sanction. A Comte will often employ the title “Marquis”, for example.
  • About 40 of the most powerful Comtes, Ducs, and Princes are further distinguished as Peers of France, and entitled to the Style “Monseigneur” (“My Lord”).
  • An aristocratic family’s social status is determined by the length of time it has been ennobled, whether they are “noblesse d’épée” or “noblesse de robe”, the family’s accomplishments, and their current favor with the King, rather than their exact title.
  • Unlike in England, the children of a titled French nobleman are also considered noble. They do not bear his title, however.
  • The particle “de” (“of”) before a name often (but not always) designates nobility. The particles “du” (“of the” [masculine singular]) and “des” (“of the” [plural]) are also often seen before noble family names.
  • Unlike English titles, French noble titles of the Ancien Régime generally indicate ownership and legal responsibilities (“seigneurial” rights) over a particular piece of land. However, a Gentlilhomme might also hold seigneurial rights over a property without possessing any other title.
  • These titles, and their associated rights, are abolished in France in 1790, and replaced by the Napoleonic titles in 1808. The old titles are legally restored in 1814, but without the full seigneurial rights they carried before the Revolution.

Random Napoleonic Titles, in Ascending Precedence (Titles conferred from 1808 – 1814) (d20)

1 – 10 | Chevalier de l’Empire (Conferred upon members of the Légion d’honneur after 1808)
11 – 16 | Baron de l’Empire (Conferred upon wealthy financiers, some mayors, bishops, and army officers)
17 – 18 | Comte de l’Empire (Conferred upon government officials such as senators and ministers)
19 | Duc de l’Empire (Conferred upon high officials and marshals)
20 | Prince de l’Empire (Conferred upon members of the Imperial family, heads of vassal states, and great marshals)

Notes about Napoleonic titles:

  • The Légion d’honneur (“Legion of Honor”) is created by Napoleon in 1802 to honor exceptional service to the state. It is made the lowest rank of the nobility in 1808.
  • Napoleonic titles are conferred only upon men, except for former Empress Josephine, made “Duchesse de Navarre” in 1810.
  • The titles are possessed for life, but are only hereditary if the bearer also has significant property and income of their own to pass to an heir.
  • Napoleonic titles are essentially honorary, and do not confer any seigneurial rights of the kind that existed before the Revolution.
  • The titles of “Chevalier”, “Baron” and “Comte” are stated before their bearer’s name. “Ducs” and “Princes” give their title after their name.
  • Bearers of these titles are recognized as nobility after the Bourbon Restoration. The Légion d’honneur is maintained as a national order of knighthood.

Random British Aristocrats, in Ascending Precedence  (d20)

1 – 6 | Gentleman or Gentlewoman (No legal title, but may be “Lord” or “Lady” “of the Manor” when in their own home)
7 | Esquire (Indicates a Gentleman entitled to armorial bearings, or just one who is very pretentious.) (Style: “Esquire”, after the name)
8 | Knight of the Bath (Non-hereditary, by Royal appointment) Style: “Sir”, or “Lady” for the wife of a Knight) [Roll again for additional title, if any]
9 | Scottish Laird (Style: “The Much Honored”) (No seat in the House of Lords)
10 | Scottish Baron (Style: “Baron”) (No seat in the House of Lords) (Title can be sold)
11 | Baronet or Baronetess (Hereditary title, but no seat in the House of Lords) (Sir “Sir” or “Dame”)
12 | Knight of Saint Patrick (Non-hereditary, by Royal appointment after 1783) (Style: “Sir”) [Roll again for additional title, if any]
13 | Knight of the Thistle (Non-hereditary, by Royal appointment) (Style: “Sir”, or “Lady” for the wife of a Knight) [Roll again for additional title, if any]
14 | Knight of the Garter (Non-hereditary, by Royal appointment) Style: “Sir”, or “Lady” for the wife of a Knight) [Roll again for additional title, if any]
15 – 16 | Baron or Baroness (Scottish Equivalent: Lord of Parliament) (Style: “Lord” or “Lady”) (Peer, with a seat in the House of Lords)
17 | Viscount or Viscountess (Style: “Lord” or “Lady”) (Peer, with a seat in the House of Lords)
18 | Earl or Countess (Style: “Lord” or “Lady”) (Peer, with a seat in the House of Lords)
19 | Marquess or Marchioness (Style: “Lord” or “Lady”) (Peer, with a seat in the House of Lords)
20 | Duke or Duchess (Style: “His Grace,” or “Her Grace,”; “Your Grace” when directly addressed) (Peer, with a seat in the House of Lords)

Notes about British Titles:

  • Only members of the Royal family bear the title Prince or Princess.
  • Note that there is no such thing as a British “Count”. The British title for men is “Earl”. Oddly, the wife of an Earl is a “Countess”.
  • Only Peers who sit in the House of Lords are actually nobility. Everyone else is a technically a commoner, even if their father is a Duke. There are only about 300 Peers in Great Britain at any one time.
  • A woman may only hold a title in her own right only if all male heirs to that title are dead.
  • The geographic indicators attached to English noble titles are essentially meaningless. For example, the Baron of Whigglesbutt does not necessarily own any land in that charming town known for its callipygian maids.

Of Aristocratic Bastards

Note: we’re talking about the illegitimate children of aristocrats here, not the questionable behavior of the upper class. Although the latter often led the former, of course!

The 17th, 18th, and very-early 19th centuries were a relatively permissive period for the upper class of Europe, when every self-respecting man of means maintained one or more mistresses, sometimes in his own house. Likewise, only the eldest children of many aristocratic mothers were the actual offspring of their legal husbands. The illegitimate children of noble men were often open secrets – treated as untitled Gentlemen and Gentlewomen, even if not formally acknowledged by the father. It was also common practice for royalty to actually bestow a noble title upon their illegitimate children, whether or not they formally acknowledge parentage. For example, a good portion of the British aristocracy is descended from Nell Gwyn, the mistress of King Charles II. On the other hand, an aristocratic mother who knew her baby would not resemble her husband might go traveling, give birth to the child in some location distant from home, and then place the child in an orphanage. Noble men might turn a blind eye to such behavior, so long as everything was kept relatively discreet, and the actual heir looked passably similar to his presumed father. Of course, the royal houses of Europe had long displayed the disastrous physical and mental effects of continual inbreeding, so quietly preventing the aristocracy from suffering the same fate wasn’t necessarily to be considered a bad thing. In any case, royal and aristocratic bastards, secret or acknowledged, are a Romantic staple that should appear in any game that features interactions in High Society.

Random Interesting Features of Rooms in Grand Houses


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Hampton Court, Queen Mary's State Bedchamber, by Richard Cattermole, 1816 - royal coll 922134 313706 ORI 2

Stately homes and châteaux of the late 18th to early 19th Century (such as Highdark Hall) often contained a hundred or more rooms. Determining the exact contents of every room in such a house before game play is a daunting task for the Presenter. It is more practical to only prepare descriptions of the rooms that will be significant to the story, and then randomly determine (or select) the remarkable features of other chambers as the Player Characters enter them. Thus the Presenter can allow the PCs to wander wherever they want, without wasting valuable preparation time on places they will never see. I suggest writing the most remarkable feature of a room directly on the map, for ease of future reference.

Of course, the tables can also be used to spur your imagination while preparing scenarios. Many results will suggest strange histories and peculiar customs that can be explored in the course of a story. Also, you may wish to only define a single remarkable feature of even the significant rooms, so you don’t confuse the Players with extraneous details.

Note that the tables are intended to describe that portion of the house that would likely be seen by visiting guests. Also, common sense should always be your guide when applying the results of random rolls. For example, it seems unlikely that the maids’ dormitory would have a mosaic floor, or there would be an obscene print in the sewing room. However, there is no accounting for the perverse whimsy of 18th century aristocrats!

(d10) The Most Remarkable Feature of This Room…
| 1 | is the floor. (Roll on Table I)
| 2 | are the walls. (Roll on Table II)
| 3 | is the ceiling. (Roll on Table III)
| 4 | is a piece (or pieces) of furniture. (Roll on Table IV)
| 5 | is an exceptional painting (Roll on Table V) or sculpture (Roll on Table VI).
| 6 | is the fireplace (Roll on Table VII), or heating stove (Roll on Table VIII)
| 7 | is a door (or the doors). (Roll on Table IX)
| 8 | is an unusual object. (Roll on Table X)
| 9 | are the windows. (Roll on table XI)
| 10 | is its peculiar ambiance. (Roll on Table XII)

Table I
(d12) The floor…
| 1 | is exceptionally creaky.
| 2 | shows obvious damage and/or stains.
| 3 | is covered with particularity beautiful carpets (Medieval, Persian, Chinese).
| 4 | is a mosaic. (decorative design, or Roll on Table V)
| 5 | is made of boards that form a repeating pattern.
| 6 | features polychromatic wood inlay.
| 7 | is painted in an intricate design.
| 8 | is covered with an interesting floor cloth (design, or Roll on Table V).
| 9 | is stone.
| 10 | shows obvious signs of vermin (dead bodies, excrement, mouse/rat holes).
| 11 | is obviously meant to be raised and lowered.
| 12 | was obviously damaged, and very badly repaired.

Table II
(d20) The walls…
| 1 | are covered with murals. (Roll on Table V to determine images)
| 2 | feature brilliantly gilded designs.
| 3 | are covered in molded leather (long out of fashion).
| 4 | are painted an odd color (such as black) or particularly expensive hue (such as deep gray-green).
| 5 | are covered with with sea-shells set into mortar (rocaille).
| 6 | features particularly interesting sculptural plasterwork.
| 7 | are covered with a very interesting wallpaper (Chinese designs, strange Arabesques, etc.).
| 8 | are completely mirrored.
| 9 | are covered with tapestries, curtains or drapes. (Roll on Table V to determine images on tapestries)
| 10 | are covered with patterned velvet.
| 11 | are accented with decorative pilasters (gilded, malachite, polychrome marble).
| 12 | are badly damaged or stained (water damage, cracks, peeling paint/wallpaper, mold, a mysterious hand-print).
| 13 | are lined with shelves of curiosities.
| 14 | feature removable panels (of fabric, paintings, etc.).
| 15 | are almost completely covered with framed paintings. (Roll on Table V to determine images)
| 16 | feature many small sculptures in alcoves.
| 17 | are painted with trompe l’oeil (fool-the-eye) designs (architectural elements, an outdoor scene, etc.).
| 18 | feature intricately carved wooden paneling (boiserie).
| 19 | are accented/paneled with an unusual material (amber, polychrome marble, malachite).
| 20 | are completely découpaged.

Table III
(d6) The ceiling is…
| 1 | covered in particularly intricate sculptured plasterwork
| 2 | painted with a trompe l’oeil mural (clouds and sky overhead, a view upwards in a forest, angels and saints looking down from heaven, a night sky with stars).
| 3 | painted with a purely decorative design.
| 4 | hung with a splendid chandelier (or chandeliers).
| 5 | made of intricately carved wood.
| 6 | obviously damaged (cracked, water damaged, moldy, has a hole to the floor above).

Table IV
(d12) The furniture is…
| 1 | grossly out of style.
| 2 | intricately and beautifully wrought.
| 3 | utterly tasteless.
| 4 | badly damaged.
| 5 | made of japanned (hard-varnished) papier-mâché.
| 6 | exotically styled (Chinese, Egyptian, Turkish, Hindu).
| 7 | fancifully decorated (the legs are standing figures, the back of a chair is pastoral scene, etc.)
| 8 | barbarically ostentatious.
| 9 | elegantly understated.
| 10 | very uncomfortable-looking.
| 11 | made of unusual materials (a chair made out of animal horns, etc.).
| 12 | covered with découpage.
The exact piece of furniture will of course vary with the nature of the room; a bed in a bedchamber, a couch in a boudoir or salon, a billiards table in a game room, etc. Remember that 18th century rooms will typically have less furniture in them than was common in the more cluttered homes of the later 19th century.

Table V
(d10) The image is…
| 1 | an erotic scene (a courtesan lies on her stomach to display her lovely buttocks, a woman and her absurdly well-endowed lover, three lovers, an odalisque in a harem, two nude women in bed, nude bathers, a lady lifting her skirts to a man with a magnifying glass, a man looks up the skirts of a woman on a swing, etc.) (Note: some links are NSFW historical artworks).
| 2 | a mythological figure or scene (Hades and Persephone, Danaë and the shower of gold, Perseus and Andromeda, Venus at her toilette, Theseus killing the Minotaur, Saturn eating his Children).
| 3 | a historical event (Egyptian, Roman, Medieval, Biblical).
| 4 | a portrait (a former inhabitant of the house, a historical figure, a famous poet, a mythological figure, etc.).
| 5 | a landscape (stark mountains, an ice field, Greek ruins, a graveyard at night, a forest near a waterfall, the rocky seashore with ships in the distance).
| 6 | a religious figure (an obscure saint, a heretical preacher, a grisly crucifixion scene, a saint combating the Devil, etc.).
| 7 | a monster (dragon, woodwose, sea serpent, ogre, demon, walking corpse).
| 8 | an exotic scene (Chinese courtiers, A South Seas village, African wildlife, American wilderness).
| 9 | a still life (exotic food, tropical flowers, hunting equipment, a vanitas with a skull).
| 10 | an enigmatic (or allegorical) scene with possible occult significance (masked figures holding scrolls with encrypted words, Death and the Maiden, the Four Seasons portrayed as women, The Danse Macabre, an alchemical emblem).
(d10) Image medium: 1 – 5 = Oil painting, 6= Watercolor, 7,8 = Pastel, 9 = Trois Crayons, 10 = Print

Table VI
(d6) The sculpture is…
| 1 | a portrait bust (a former inhabitant of the house, a historical figure, a famous poet, a mythological figure, etc.).
| 2 | a free standing portrait figure (a former inhabitant of the house, a historical figure, a famous poet, a mythological figure, etc.).
| 3 | a mythological figure or scene.
| 4 | an animal (dog, cat, horse, lion, tiger, raven, etc.).
| 5 | a monster (satyr, demon, dragon, griffin, giant snake etc.).
| 6 | an erotic or obscene image (a suggestively posed nude, two or more lovers entwined, an aroused satyr, human genitalia, etc.).
(d12) Sculpture medium: 1 – 3 = Bronze, 4 – 6 = White Marble, 7 = Black Marble, 8 = Copper, 9 = Chryselephantine (ivory and gold), 10 = Papier-mâché, 11 = Wax (often with actual hair and clothing), 12 = Wood

Table VII
(d6) The fireplace is…
| 1 | an innovative new design (such as the Rumford fireplace or Franklin stove) that is more efficient, but less charming in appearance than a traditional one.
| 2 | fashioned to resemble an open mouth.
| 3 | made of fancifully carved stone.
| 4 | made of a striking material (black marble, malachite, polychrome marble, porphyry, etc.).
| 5 | crowded with curiosities atop the mantle.
| 6 | shielded by a floor or pole screen painted with an interesting image. (Roll on Table V)

Table VIII
(d8) The heating stove is…
| 1 | like a large iron box.
| 2 | a ceramic neoclassical column topped with an urn.
| 3 | an asymmetrical Rococo design made of gilded ceramic.
| 4 | a ceramic cylinder taller than a person.
| 5 | intricately decorated faience, with a design like a clothes-press.
| 6 | fancifully sculpted iron (person, dragon, phoenix, sun with rays).
| 7 | fancifully sculpted ceramic (person, dragon, phoenix, sun with rays).
| 8 | covered with decorative square tiles. (Roll on Table V to determine images on tiles)

Table IX
(d10) The door…
| 1 | is flanked by pilasters.
| 2 | is painted with images. (Roll on Table V)
| 3 | is flanked by statues. (Roll on Table VI)
| 4 | is carved in intricate bas-reliefs. (Roll on Table V)
| 5 | is made of an unusual wood.
| 6 | features peculiar knob.
| 7 | has a window (or is a French door).
| 8 | is made to blend with the wall, and is only noticeable for its knob.
| 9 | slides aside, rather than opens.
| 10 | is curved.

Table X
(d20) Your eyes are drawn to…
| 1 | a gilded birdcage with a nightingale (or other songbird) inside.
| 2 | an automaton (young man with a flute, singing bird, automatic orchestra, animated diorama of a historical event, dancing figures).
| 3 | a strikingly painted room screen. (Roll on Table V)
| 4 | an iron maiden.
| 5 | a taxidermied animal (mounted deer head, mounted boar head, beloved family dog, mounted birds under glass).
| 6 | a human skeleton (or skull).
| 7 | a flayed and embalmed human body, artistically posed.
| 8 | numerous curiosities arranged in artistic patterns on tables and shelves.
| 9 | a full suit of antique plate armor, standing as if someone was inside.
| 10 | a puppet or marionette on a table.
| 11 | a weapon (or weapons) mounted to the wall (sword, pistol, musket, axe, halberd).
| 12 | a pack of Tarot cards spread over a table.
| 13 | an antique book with strange diagrams and undecipherable writing on its opened pages.
| 14 | a pianoforte.
| 15 | numerous small ceramic statues. (Roll on Table VI)
| 16 | a model ship.
| 17 | a hanging witch ball.
| 18 | a large hookah.
| 19 | a peculiar clock (an intricately carved longcase, has figures that animate every hour, plays music on the hour).
| 20 | an unusual floor candelabrum (completely gilt, wrought to resemble a tree entwined with snakes, bearing black candles, etc.).

Table XI
(d12) The remarkable thing about the windows is…
| 1 | there are none.
| 2 | they have been boarded up.
| 3 | they are barred with iron.
| 4 | they have badly cracked panes.
| 5 | the glass is colored (stained glass [Roll on Table V for images], solid red, solid blue, solid green).
| 6 | the peculiar curtains (change colors according to the angle they are seen from, Chinese, Turkish, painted [Roll on Table V for images], tapestries [Roll on Table V for images]).
| 7 | the gorgeously decorated window seats.
| 8 | that the curtains seem to never be drawn, even during the day.
| 9 | that curtains seem to never be closed, even at night.
| 10 | the beautiful vista they frame.
| 11 | they are obviously leaky, because there is water damage all around the frame.
| 12 | they seem to never be opened, and the room feels very stuffy.

Table XII
(d20) The room…
| 1 | has a musty/moldy odor.
| 2 | is oddly sweet smelling.
| 3 | smells of exotic spices.
| 4 | stinks of sweat.
| 5 | smells of fresh wood.
| 6 | is particularly clean and fresh smelling.
| 7 | is permeated with the harsh smell of smoke (firewood, coal, tobacco).
| 8 | seems to remain dimly lit despite all attempts to illuminate it.
| 9 | is very brightly lit.
| 10 | is very dusty.
| 11 | is particularly drafty.
| 12 | is very damp and/or leaky.
| 13 | seems bare and deserted.
| 14 | is filled with inexplicable noises.
| 15 | is befouled by the rank smell of urine.
| 16 | has an unaccountably oppressive atmosphere.
| 17 | is polluted by strange fumes.
| 18 | is oddly cold.
| 19 | is strangely warm.
| 20 | is chokingly dry.