Artwork Preview: NPC Face Cards

This is a preview of new artwork that will be appearing in The Queen’s Cavaliers.

Success Reference Deck face cards, with art by Eleanor Ferron

Success Reference Deck face cards, with art by Eleanor Ferron

Click on the image above for a more detailed view of the artwork.

The success reference deck contains all of the success charts needed to play The Queen’s Cavaliers for quick reference, and also features pictures of important NPCs in the setting as the face cards.

Each of the rows in the picture above is one suit, representing a country or major religion. The pictures in each row share a common background color.

Unlike real-world European cards, the face-card ranks in Gallinean playing cards are not Jack, Queen, and King, but Cavalier, Prince(ss), and Monarch.

The blue suit (clubs) is Albiarepresented by Lord-Ambassador Bedyngford, ambassador to Gallinea, Queen Fionna, and King Edgar II. The latter two are the parents of Carolus, pictured in the next row.

The purple suit (spades) is Gallinea, home of the Queen’s Cavaliers. Gabriana Secouriste is the cavalier of this suit, with Prince-Consort Carolus as the prince and Queen Mariana II herself as the monarch.

The red suit (diamonds) is Ondala, Gallinea’s neighbor and rival to the southwest. The cavalier card is comodora Ginevra de Hiedra y Obispo, commander of the New Corderan Colonial Fleet. Instead of a prince or princess, this suit has Don Rodolfo, the royal mayordomo and power behind the Ondalan throne. Queen Ximena IV rounds out the suit as the monarch.

The yellow suit (hearts) is the Asrian church. Mercenary, spy, and former cavalier Martine Deveaux is the cavalier card, as she frequently is hired by Guardian Farrazin, the cardinal of Lutetia and the prince card for this suit. Matriarch Isabene de la Justicia, head of the Asrian church, is the monarch card.

 

Character “levels” in The Queen’s Cavaliers

In The Queen’s Cavaliers, a character’s “level” is primarily represented by her competency die, which starts at D6 and increases to D8, D10, and finally D12 as she spends experience, as shown on the following table:

XP Spent Competency Die Maximum Specialty Ranks
0 XP D6 +2
20 XP D8 +3
50 XP D10 +4
100 XP D12 +5

However, just looking at the competency die doesn’t tell the whole picture.
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Budget Report: Early August

This is an update to a post written in June, detailing how the money from the kickstarter for The Queen’s Cavaliers was being spent. These are the updated August figures.

Here are the original estimates, from the kickstarter page:

Editing and Layout $1,000 25.00%
Artwork and Cartography $1,350 33.75%
Printing and Shipping $1,250 31.25%
Fees $400 10.00%

This is how things stand now, including money from add-ons via Backerkit:

Editing and Layout $1,960.00 9.99%
Artwork and Cartography $5,670.00 28.91%
Stretch Goals $1,476.07 7.50%
Printing and Shipping $6,605.34 33.98%
Fees $2,501.37 12.75%
Other $1,401.90 7.15%

$6,847.87 has already been paid out, leaving $13,401.48 in the TQC account. (Actually, a little more than that — the account has earned $0.93 in dividends.)

Random Backstory Generator

The following is an optional system that allows you to roll randomly on a series of tables (or, with your MJ’s permission, pick from the lists) to determine your character’s backstory and starting stats.

This system replaces entirely step 2 of standard character creation, where you choose two classes for your character. It also partially replaces step 4: you still get bonus languages based on your Education (Society) ranks, but your initial languages are determined by your backstory.

Likewise, step 5 is also partially replaced, as you are assigned your passions randomly. If a duplicate passion results – meaning that you roll one which you already have listed – you can reroll on that table until you get a passion that does not match. This is the only case you can reroll – you don’t get to reroll if you get duplicate skills, prowess, or equipment.

When you gain a specialty, you also gain competency in the appropriate skill. For example, if a result reads “Education (Science +1),” you gain competency in the Education skill if you didn’t have it before, and you gain one rank in the Science specialty.

As a starting character, you are limited to a maximum of +2 ranks in any specialty. If a random roll would increase your ranks to +3 or higher, the additional points are added to your customizations which you can spend in step 6.

Because you don’t have a class, you can’t spend your customizations on additional style maneuvers in step 6.

Download the Random Backstories playtest document here.

 

Budget Report: Late June

I had promised this during the kickstarter and didn’t get around to it because the budget kept changing dynamically with new backers and new stretch goals. But now that I am getting solid information from the BackerKit surveys (currently 69% completed), I can actually plug hard figures into my spreadsheet.

I believe in transparent accountability of kickstarter projects, and that’s why I’m sharing this with you. I won’t be sharing what specific artists or freelancers are making, however.

Here are the original estimates, from the kickstarter page:

Editing and Layout $1,000 25.00%
Artwork and Cartography $1,350 33.75%
Printing and Shipping $1,250 31.25%
Fees $400 10.00%

And here’s how things are looking now, based on my current data from BackerKit:

Editing and Layout $2,100.00 10.58%
Artwork and Cartography $5,570.00 28.06%
Stretch Goals $1,317.50 6.64%
Printing and Shipping $7,590.87 38.24%
Fees $2,389.30 12.04%
Other $881.69 4.44%

Note that this also includes an extra $659 in money received from BackerKit.

 

New Weapon Properties

In the last post, we examined the different ways to mechanically distinguish weapons from each other in TQC, and constructed this new weapon table (including some updates such as feinting with a pike, riposting with a dagger, and the club as a separate weapon).

Weapon

Cost

Hands

Prowess

Weapon Die

Specialties
Bow

D6

Two

Bow

D6

Aim
Cannon

D12

Two

Cannon

D12

Aim
Club

D0

One

Cudgel

D6

Parry, Lunge
Crossbow

D8

Two

Bow

D8

Aim
Knife

D0

One (Main, Off)

Knife

D6

Parry, Lunge, Riposte, Feint, Aim
Musket

D8

Two

Musket

D10

Aim
Pike

D8

Two

Pike

D10

Lunge, Feint
Pistol

D6

One (Main, Off)

Pistol

D6

Aim
Quarterstaff

D0

Two

Cudgel

D6

Parry, Lunge, Riposte, Feint
Sword

D6

One (Main)

Sword

D8

Parry, Lunge, Riposte, Feint

In this post we’ll go further and add special abilities for specific weapons.

Continue reading

Differentiating Weapons in TQC

What’s the mechanical difference between a sword and a knife? How does TQC distinguish between a crossbow and a pistol?

First, we’ll look at a few existing tables of weapons and see what’s going on under the hood. Then we’ll look at how we can add new weapons that do interesting things.

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Setting Q & A, Part Two: East of Gallinea

Lin Liren wrote to us last week to ask some questions about the setting, and with Liren’s permission here are the questions and answers. Liren’s questions and comments are in bold, mine are in non-bold.

Is “The Queen’s Cavaliers” an “Egalitarian Feminist Text” like “Aliens” and recent Smash-Hit Animes like “A Certain Magical Index” where women are powerful while still maternal and men can be equally as brave, honorable and noble as women. Or are we mostly cackling Mostache-Twirling “Cal from Titanic” and Bumbling Homer Simpsons?

More the first than the second. This is a world where anyone can be a hero, regardless of gender. In the history of Gallinea, there was some sexism against men — being relegated to soldiering tasks instead of leadership or science roles, for example — but in my opinion players and GMs shouldn’t be focusing on any sort of exclusion of that sort. I just don’t think it’s fun. (I can’t actually stop anyone from playing that way, but I do call it out as not the best practice.) Continue reading

Q & A about Setting Details

On Facebook, TQC backer Arie LaTourette asked a bunch of really interesting questions about the setting, and with their permission I’m sharing both those questions and the responses I gave.

“It mentions that Gallinea is known for its egalitarian views– does that mean that other countries around are less egalitarian?”

Gallinea is more “enlightened” (by 21st century liberal standards) than most of its neighbors, although gender equality is generally a thing since most people in Elara and Ifran worship a goddess and the two monotheistic faiths preach gender equality.

Albia (England expy) is more male-oriented with a king and such instead of a queen. Prince-Consort Carolus, the queen’s husband, is from Albia and is kind of confused by Gallinea – but then he’s confused by a lot. Continue reading