Registrations for the third game will open July 3rd at 7pm. All returning players will have a space held for them until end of August 3rd. After that, the GM team will assess if there are any spaces for new characters. There will be 45 spaces for crew and registration for crew will close a week before the game, or when spaces fill.
Previously, registration entailed filling in a form, submitting a character sheet (if you were a player) and making game payment via direct deposit - three separate actions. Chasing up payments, maintaining lists of who has paid, sending reminders are all significant administative tasks that took away from time writing the game. Additionally, a large number of people filled in the registration form and never paid, defaulting from the game. There is a lot of organisation and planning that goes into an event like Musketeers, and it significantly affects our planning if X people register but only Y people pay (and we spend hours trying to get in touch with the people who have registered, don't pay, and don't let us know with a short email that they can no longer make it.)
Last event, trialled a payment-up-front system via an external ticketing service (Eventbrite). This was a success for us, and we will be continuing it going forward. We're asking participants to pay up front for the event as you would for any other event such as a conference, or a concert. This way, we're asking people to register-by-paying only when they are sure of their intentions to attend rather than register and hold a 'maybe' space. In addition, now there is no separate registration form to fill out, the Eventbrite system will collect all registration information for each attendee. It's now a one-step process.
Our refund policy is changing, please watch this space for more detail.
As an advantage, the ticketing service offers to ability to pay with credit card which we did not previously support.
At this point, we are not accepting new characters. We want to deliver a really excellent game experience, and if we expand too much more, we are not going to be able to do that. We welcome crew, however.
Please limit your update to 500 words or less.
Your character update should include any important events that happened to your character, and specifically, any major changes in goals/priorities/personality. If your character has abandoned Catholicism, and embraced the Protestant cause, that's the thing we need to know (not necessarily a detailed write up of why). It's also a good idea to let us know about any items you ended up with and any arrangements/bargains you arranged especially with the crew, but also anything of significance between PCs.
We encourage you to update the question section of your character sheet as well, but to do so in a different colour so we know that something has changed for your character. Please make sure your character sheet clearly indicates which specific major NPC your character takes orders from (i.e. the King, the Queen, the Cardinal, Captain Treville etc.)
We would also encourage you, as part of your update, to include up to three things your character is investigating or really wants to find out. It helps us to write a game if we know what mysteries your characters are interested in exploring
We want to do our best to ensure your character's experience is a cohesive story line with no weird continuity blips but we need your help to make it happen: you provide our omniscience!
We'll need your updated character sheet by July 31st, but preferably sooner. Any updates after that are unlikely to be incorporated into our story for the weekend.
Player Registration: Registrations open July 3rd. Returning players have until August 3rd to purchase their ticket.
Crew Registration: Registrations open July 3rd. Crew may purchase tickets until a week before the game, or until cap is reached. Crew early bird discount ends August 15th.
Returning Character Updates: July 31st.
Musketeers: All for One took place in early April, 1625.
Musketeers: Second Coming took place in early July, 1625, three months after the events of All for One.
Musketeers: Buckingham's Ball took place in early August, 1625, a month after the events of Second Coming.
Joining the crew and playing non-player characters means you will be given a variety of interesting roles over the weekend from the game master team. Before the game, you'll need to learn as much of the rulebook as you can, and watch of a few of the movies/TV shows that inspire the tone of the game. You won't need to bring any costume (unless you want to) or weapons, we'll provide it all on the weekend. On the weekend, you'll be working with the GM team and the rest of the crew to portray a variety of characters and situations to bring the world to life around the player characters, both combat and non-combat. The players might be the 'main characters', but the crew are the story that they're in.
If you'd like to play directed characters where you have a set role in the story, and interact with heaps of different people, then the crew is for you. The crew is a fun, supportive group dedicated to helping tell an awesome story. It doesn't matter if you've played no larps or a thousand larps, you have something great to bring to the game!
Please be aware that crewing is reasonably physically intensive, and while we endevour to have plenty of roleplay heavy roles available, physically limited crew participants may have less to do as the game is heavily live action.
And if you're still unsure, you can drop us a line and we can help you find what you want to do!
“This is a swashbuckling larp of espionage, romance and bold heroics. The game will focus primarily around covert and overt adventures in service of the French Crown and Church; players should keep this in mind when creating characters.”
We recommend you give your character an “in” for mainstream plot by attaching yourself to the King (as a musketeer or courtier), the Queen (as a lady in waiting or courtier) or the Cardinal (as a red guard or ecclesiastic figure).
If you don’t want a direct open relationship with these key people you could create a more secret relationship with them as a spy, informant, assassin or as part of Paris’ shady underworld. Or, you could create an indirect relationship with a character in their service as a confidant, lover, guard or servant. The King, Queen and Cardinal will initiate lots of mission-based plot. Characters who have direct or indirect relationships with them will get strong plotlines at every game.
Characters outside this structure are welcome but if they wish to attach their character to these main plot lines then the onus is on them to do so.
We want to see a character crafted for the Musketeers campaign!
There are a bunch of questions on the character sheet that we’d like players to consider because they’ll encourage players to create characters with depth. Who do you owe allegiance to? Who are you devoted to? Who are you pursuing? Who owes you a favor? Who do you owe a favor to? Is anyone after you?
We want to know what they care about, their strengths and their weaknesses. We want to know who they’ve touched in the world. What they fear and what they would die for. We don’t really need a list of heroic deeds, unless you’ve taken Notorious, in which case cover what you’re notorious for. If you’ve lost your faith, tell us why.
We recommend that the player consider being part of a character group so that they get strong plot at every game. The Royal Court, The Musketeers, The Queen's Ladies in Waiting, The Cardinal’s Red Guard and The Court of Miracles are all good groups to join. Or if none of these appeal, get together with some other players and talk to the GMs about forming another group.
You may also want to have up to half a dozen character connections outside your group. It’s not necessary to have more than that, we’d like you to develop the bulk of your relationships in game, and see where they take you. It is more than a tad unrealistic to know every, or even most, of the PCs in the game!
We've got some more details on how to write us an effective backstory here. If you want help writing a character that will rock in the Musketeers campaign then the GMs are very happy offer suggestions.
In general, not very much. And if you do get some, don’t expect it to last.
This isn’t a game where characters are movers and shakers. A lot of plot will be presented as problems that need to be solved by the characters getting their own hands dirty, not by delegating it to off-stage minions. We’re really wanting the “live action” part of larping to be the big thing in this campaign.
So if you want to play a Prince of the Blood (a remote, legitimate male-line descendant of a king of France) or an Archbishop (responsible for a million Catholic souls) then you’ll also need to provide some kind of reason why you’re a bit toothless. A reason why you don’t have the expected power and resources for your rank.
Most of the people your character calls on in game will need to be part of the player base. If you want to have a couple of loyal bodyguards you need to find players to fill these roles. We’ll provide back-story characters to make the world feel right but they won’t typically be a resource to solve in-game problems your character is faced with and they won’t always be on call when the character needs them.
When another character asks “Can’t you just get a hundred men from your estates to come sort this out?” the reason why this won’t happen needs to come from you.
While the different factions and group in the setting may not get on, they all share the same general broad goal of furthering France’s interests. In many ways the competing groups are like siblings: they’ll fight each other tooth and nail, but will band together to fight an external threat. For example, the Red Guard and the Musketeers are traditionally at loggerheads, but neither group can conceive of a world without the other.
Over the course of the game, groups will win some and lose some. None of these losses or wins are styled as definitive, there will always be another day to try and even the score. It’s best to see the group rivalries as rises and falls in fortune, rather than attempts to secure complete defeat/victory. Securing these rises and falls in fortunes is a big part of the game narrative.
Most of the media listed in the inspiration section depict this quite well. The BBC Musketeers TV series shows the regular change in fortune and favour of various groups.
Part of this game genre revolves around the balance of power between church and state.
The GMs will endeavour to portray faith and religion in a positive way; but individuals within the Church may still be antagonists. Where symbols of faith are part of the plot they will be portrayed in a way that we hope is consistent with the belief of the religion of the time and/or the genre we’re portraying.
Given the Church is a big a part of everyone's life all characters, even the Really Foreign ones, will have contact with Christianity on a daily basis. For the most part it’s likely that even characters who have lost their faith will believe in God; they just probably feel that He has somehow forsaken them.
If you’re serving the Cardinal, or a courtier to the King or Queen, then you’ll need to at least pay lip service to the Catholic church. Openly being a Protestant is a disadvantage and openly challenging the Catholic church is a quick way down the social ladder. Visibly being a pagan, or openly following foreign gods might get you chased by peasants with burning brands and pitchforks.
The modern world is a small place. On a whim, you could buy a plane ticket now and be pretty much anywhere in the world by this time tomorrow. We can communicate with anyone anywhere in the world instantly.
Early 17th century Paris was extremely cosmopolitan for the time, but nowhere near the world of the 21st century. Many of the French peasantry still believe Persians have barbed tails like demons.
Players are welcome to make Really Foreign characters but along with that concept you need some kind of hook into French Society. You’ll want a strong relationship with a player group.
When another character asks “Why is a warrior from Far Far Away getting his hands dirty on the Cardinals business?” the reason for this ultimately needs to come from you.
Really Foreign characters need to be compelling, well thought-out characters with strong hooks into the genre. Just because something could technically happen at the time in history, doesn’t mean it is in keeping with the setting. We will not be approving gimmicky characters.
Yes! But we’ve done something slightly different with gender in this game...
As GMs we want female players using swords and we hope nothing in the setting will inhibit this in any way.
The Musketeers setting is inspired by a mix of historical 17th century France and various swashbuckling books and films set in this period. All of these sources have women with swords; but they don’t generally open carry* in polite society.
We could have made the Musketeers setting gender neutral, but that felt inconsistent with the sources we were drawing inspiration from. Many characters in these stories are shaped by how women empowered themselves in a patriarchal society and while taking away that patriarchy would have felt really good it also felt wrong for the genre.
So instead we’ve taken a page from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and decided that if you dress like a man society will treat you like one. This fits really well with the material that inspired the game and there are plenty of examples in the sources that fit this trope.
Check out Julie D'Aubigny if you want an historic example, or Milady de Winter if you want one from Dumas’ Three Musketeers (she’s even better in the movies and TV series). Constance in the TV series also has a few moments of glory with a sword and pistol (she’s stereotypically defending a baby, or the man she loves, but we work with what we have).
Eléna in The Mask of Zorro has a beautiful Spanish style with the rapier in a sword fight that might make you ask “did I really just watch that?”
Also, for what it’s worth, in the original book D'artagnan disguises himself as a woman and someone refuses to believe it is him because he’s in a dress. In Twelfth Night Antonio disguises himself as a woman to evade capture.
So you can put on pants and wear a sword knowing that society will treat you as masculine with the understanding that it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re playing a male character or a character who wants to be male. You’re just doing a job that society considers masculine.
Or you can just hide a pistol and long knife under your skirt* that you can pull out if the going gets tough. French society loves women with spirit, and will always forgive a woman who protects herself or those she loves, especially if she’s a snappy dresser! The setting supports the journey of unconventional women getting the upper hand over society.
If as a player this mechanism doesn’t work for you then talk to the GMs and we’ll bend the world to make something work.
*We’re hoping that hiding a flintlock pistol or long knife under a tear-away skirt becomes a thing.
“Players should use weapons appropriate to a primarily civilian setting within the genre: Rapiers, daggers and flintlock pistols are popular civilian weapons. Capes, cloaks and bucklers up to 30 cm diameter may be used to parry. Matchlock muskets, pikes, halberds and cannon are popular for warfare.”
We’d love to see everyone running around with rapiers, daggers and flintlock pistols. The community standard issue 1m long sword with a dagger should also be absolutely fine.
If you want to play with some different weapons look at maybe a buckler or a cloak in the off hand or maybe some throwing knives.
If players would look less at the weapons of war for the period and more at the civilian weapons that would be appreciated. If you’re playing a fighting type character then being armed with a rapier, main gauche and a pistol and wearing a doublet and gloves then you can be confident that you are very well prepared for the first game.
A lady in waiting might want a flintlock or stiletto if she’s out after dark; Paris can be a rough place when the sun sets.
Musketeers isn’t going to have shield walls and we don’t really want to see players running around with greatswords, maces or battle axes. ‘Epic battles’ in Musketeers are going to look a bit different from the field battles we’ve had so far in larp. Characters wandering around Paris with weapons of war (like pikes, halberds or muskets) are likely to be arrested if they’re not guards on active duty.
Powerful Enemy is certainly less dangerous than taking Condemned Criminal. To a large extent the level of danger of the powerful enemy will be related to who that enemy is. If your powerful enemy is the head of the Assassins Guild then it's likely that the game could be quite risky.
But a powerful enemy doesn't necessarily mean an evil enemy.
If the powerful enemy is a good person, like a musketeer, then the disadvantage might just mean you just can't get into the Palace to see the King when you most need to. Or that you get passed over for special attention by the Crown because your enemy blackballs you.
It’s very unlikely this disadvantage will just get you ganked in a back alley because the crew won’t be briefed to just kill your character. The intent for Powerful Enemy and many of the other advantages and disadvantages is to drive roleplaying opportunities of a specific type.
What you pick as your advantages and disadvantages will influence what type of role playing that is: Powerful Enemy is likely to get you some angry conflict, Bastard would likely get you more emotional father/child problems, Fraud might get you player vs. player angst when they have to decide if you’re worth saving from yourself.
In general if we haven’t put this kind of thing in the rulebook, we’re really happy for players to own these kinds of decisions. We have a lot of trust in the creativity and artistic skill of the larping community and don’t want to micro-manage people's artistic endeavours.
If as a player group you’re planning to make something like a pile of musketeer or red guard tabards please let us know; it would be good to have a few in the community gear for crew to use and we’d love to discuss how this could happen.
The short answer is, no.
Player Facebook groups are a great way to coordinate with other players, hash out ideas, discuss your experiences, and even just shoot the breeze. It’s a player space.
While historically GMs have had access to player forums and groups, the increased size of player bases means that it’s no longer practical to be privy to all the player chatter. We can’t be omnipresent, and we’d prefer not to try. We trust you guys to come to use with anything that needs our attention. You can always reach us on our email with questions or to discuss concerns, and the main Musketeers group is a great place to discuss your game experiences!
It would be great if, when you set up a Facebook group for a major player group (i.e. “the Musketeers”), you could email the GMs with the URL and the name of the admin. This is so we can list it on our website, so new players can join the appropriate groups to their character.
Sometimes this happens in larps, and it’s more likely to happen the more players there are. As our player base as surpassed 70 people, it’s not unlikely we’ll have double ups along the way. To quote one of the players on Facebook, “It’d even be a little strange if you were the only Jacques in Paris!”
People in the era chose from a limited pool of names - most men were called Pierre. People commonly went by their surnames, titles, rank, or the name of the area they were somehow connected to (for example, the Duke of Normandy might be known as Normandy, or the Bishop of Nimes might be known as Nimes). People also went by middle names (especially if their first name was shared by other members of their family) or nicknames. In short, the GMs are not worried at all if people have double up names or even surnames.
It’s unlikely anyone will have a highly unique job in the game. There’s no single chamberpot emptier for the King, more than one player may be a chamber pot emptier vying to be the chief of such. But, should two people decide they are both the noble of the same estate, or something else that directly conflicts with another back story, we’ll let you both know and it will be up to you to resolve it between you. Remember, your character is more than their occupation - be an interesting, unique character, not a unique job!
Dark back stories - how dark is too dark?
We’ve had a few characters come through with dark backstories involving pedophilia, sexual assault, rape and spousal abuse. These are difficult areas for GMs and we’re wary of including them in a game like Musketeers.
We understand the appeal to playing darker roles. There is a certain edginess that can be lacking from a more upbeat character. We also understand that for some characters the harshness of their past may be what forged them into someone stronger and harder than they might otherwise have been.
We’re happy for your character to have a dark past; but it needs to stay in the past.
As GMs we’ve committed to deliver “a swashbuckling larp of romance, espionage, and heroic adventure where fortune favours the bold”. That’s the game vision we’re aiming for. That’s the game that other players are signing up for.
We very much want players to be emotionally safe at events and need to be mindful that we aren't trained counsellors and we wouldn't be able to provide the appropriate level of care for people significantly affected by these dark themes. We also care that other players haven’t necessarily signed up for this kind of dark story and might not be prepared for someone to unburden themselves during a game.
So we’re asking players who have included darker areas in their back story to please ask themselves some questions:
If you answer “no” to any of these questions it might be best to modify your backstory.
If you elect to keep these elements of your backstory, please understand that it’s hard for us to cast crew into roles as pedophiles, wife beaters and rapists without having a profound effect on their enjoyment of the game. These characters in your backstory will likely remain firmly off-stage.
Thank you for understanding our vision of the game, and why we feel strongly about this. If you need suggestions about reworking your backstory we'll be happy to work with you.
People familiar with the musketeers canon will know the opening of Dumas' story: young D'Artagnan travels to Paris to become a musketeer, just like his father. It turns out Dumas' didn't let the facts stand in the way of a good story because, when you check wikipedia, you'll find that the musketeers didn't exist until a few years prior to 1625.
In our larp, we'll be going by Dumas' canon, and we've set the founding date for the musketeers as 1595. We're treating history not so much as rules, as guidelines.