|Go Back to||Versailles|
The roleplaying game of intrigue and betrayal in the court of King Louis XV. As minor nobles of lesser families, players contend in witty repartee with the the residents of the Palace of Versailles in hopes of winning their confidences or swaying them to their causes. Tarot cards determine the success or failure of every verbal encounter.
Welcome to the Palace of Versailles, the seat of court intrigue and predominant fashion centre for all of Europe. Marvel at the lace finery, the Chinese silks, the floral and pastel patterns. The sheer extravagance and luxury advertising that this, is what nobility is all about. The King has taken a new mistress of extraordinary intelligence and skill, the great wooer of women, Giacomo Casanova wanders the lands causing joy for many and hatred for husbands. A war in Austria has everyone's attention.
Forget your grandiose visions of endless antechambers and gilded salons. As a novice courtier you'll be assigned–if you're lucky–to a nasty little attic with barely enough room to cut a curtsy. In the remoter reaches of the godforsaken garrets of Versailles, duchesses have been known to waste away slowly from starvation, completely forgotten, and obscure princesses to die of cold on long winter nights. Meanwhile, you'll find yourself bereft of useful employment–every possible government position has already been assigned to someone else, almost always based on heredity. (The royal valets de chambre are all members of the Bontemps family; royal mole catchers are always Liards.) Don't give up hope, though–social eminence can still be yours, provided you push the right buttons.
From Adam Goodheart's How to Succeed at Versailles.
How will you be remembered at court? What impact will you have on the politics of France? How can you make lots and lots and lots of money? In these decadent times, nobility is beginning to take second place to currency. Everything can be bought and sold. The courtiers will respect the rich over some poor titled peer.
Things you will need to play:- 1 GM 1+ Players Two decks of Tarot cards, preferably the 18th century Marseilles deck. One deck for the players, and one deck for the GM.
A number of counters to represent Favours and Reputation. About 20 per player should be more than enough. Preferably wooden or metal coins. Writing gear Character sheets
Many thanks to these people for their online and printed resources that have been ruthlessly exploited:-
I have not been able to incorporate the complete history of the 18th century in France, and some simplifications and shortcuts of the social structure have been made to facilitate a roleplaying game (in other words, don't base any history homework on this game). But if you would like to know more or incorporate further details, I highly recommend the above quoted links. This game was written for the http://www.game-chef.com/ Game Chef contest of 2007. The text is printed in Baskerville, an eighteenth-century font created by John Baskerville (1706–1775).