Old School Roleplaying in McKinney, Texas

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Flashing Blades: Character Sheets

Hot off the presses! Here are two new custom Flashing Blades character sheets in PDF format. You can fill them out and save them. The first page is similar to the standard  Flashing Blades character sheet that comes with the manual. A second page has additional space for gear and other information.

There are two versions: a plain (printer friendly) version, and an elegant parchment version for those willing to use a bit of color ink for more pizzazz.

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Flashing Blades: Play Report (Oct. 14, 2011)

Spring, In the Year of Our Lord 1623

The 13th Year of the Reign of His Most Christian Majesty, Louis XIII

A few months have passed since the party went out carousing and learned, among other things, of a villa near Paris long-abandoned and rumored to be haunted.

In News of the World, a campaign for the summer was announced. The forces of His Most Christian Majesty will co-ordinate with the House of Savoy and the Most Serene Republic of Venice to dislodge the Spanish from the Valtelline Pass in Lombardy.

Our Intrepid Heroes have been busy doing their day-jobs while gathering information.

  • A rapier of exceptional quality fell into the possession of our gambling theology student, Jacques Adamo, who is a member of The Black Cross club. It turned out to contain a coded message in the hollow grip. The coded message contained clues to the treasure of the last Viscount de Gabriel.
  • Guy Brest, a gentleman bureaucrat, learned that the property was abandoned after the last Viscount was arrested and executed for treason. Taxes are unpaid, as no one, not even the Crown, lays claim to the land.
  • Jules Aubert is relieved to learn that his company of the Gendarmerie will not be called up for this campaign action, relieving him of the expense of equipping himself for campaign.
  • Gaston, an unctuous and unsavory fellow with a line in perfumes, mouchoirs (scented handkerchiefs), and snuff, after finding that several parties of treasure seekers from the Paris underworld had gone to the villa but never returned, was called away to the south on business.
  • Francois, a grenadier and drinking companion of Jules, decided to join the group (for an equal share of any spoils). His unit has been called up and he is not “in funds”.
  • As various pieces of information came together, Jacques pored over the Ecclesiastical records to discover that there in only one living descendant, a great-nephew, of the last Viscount. That descendant, Victor, escaped from a sanitarium where he was committed after preaching regicide and atheism several years ago.

Setting off at dawn from Paris early one crisp spring morning, Jacques, Guy, Jules, and Francois ride the couple of hours down the road NE of Paris, following, generally, the curve of the Seine. Read the rest of this page »

Flashing Blades: Play Report (Sept. 23, 2011)

Paris, Winter of 1623
A miserable, blustery night

Slogging their way through the streets of Paris amidst the sleet and ice in search of a warm tavern and some gambling action, the party made their way to Le Beverage Noir. They hadn’t been there too long, barely long enough to get drinks, before the Rogue decided that heckling a small Italian tout at the cockfighting ring was the best way to improve their odds.

The bouncers didn’t take kindly to this and, before the rest of the Rogue’s companions could act, he took several blows in his sassy mouth. He was summarily deposited in the filthy slush outside where his companions, beating a hasty retreat lest a barfight turn into a slaughter, found and revived him.

The stumbled across the way to another skeevy dive where, somewhat better mannered, the actually engaged in gambling with both dice and cards. The soldier was so good at cards, he was was accused by the other players of cheating and a brawl erupted. Read the rest of this page »

Flashing Blades: An 80’s Game Still Fun Today

Flashing Blades is a 1980s adventure which can be purchased in either PDF or Hardcopy form.

The setting is 17th century France, the time of the Three Musketeers, Cyrano de Bergerac and numerous other swashbucklers.

Musketeers, Cavaliers & Roundheads, court intrigue, social climbing, swashbuckling…that sort of thing.

Flashing Blades does a good job of remaining faithful to the genre, with an emphasis on the history and adventure of the setting.

As is typical of many other RPGs, Flashing Blades uses broad character classes (Rogues, Gentlemen, Soldiers and Nobles), each with their own list of skills. It also uses advantages (such as ‘wealth’, ‘contacts’ and ‘gentlemans lackey’ – a sort of loyal servant) and secrets (disadvantages, such as ‘duelist’, ‘compulsive gambler’ and ‘don juan’).

The area in which Flashing Blades comes into its’ own is combat. They do a good job of recreating the feel of duelling and swashbuckling. Combatants choose attack methods (such as sword thrusts and lunges, or dirty fighting techniques like tripping a foe and then stomping on him), along with defensive actions such as parries, sidesteps and dodges. When your character scores a hit, you choose a body location (such as the chest or an arm) and roll twice on a hit location table. The closest result to your chosen area is where your character actually hits. These mechanics really do make a change from the usual roll-to-hit, roll-for-damage variety of many other RPGs.

The game also includes mechanics for gaining positions within the clergy, military, bureacracy and various orders. These concepts add depth to the ‘downtime’ of the game, but are fairly useless for those players who just want the occasional swashbuckling adventure.