Lantern Light Between the Stars
Menaces are a set of three traits that represent negative aspects of one’s character. It is easy to pick them up and difficult to get rid of them, but such is the nature of these things. The completely blameless are as rare as the completely sane… and finding someone clean of all blemishes is a shocking discovery indeed. The menaces themselves are as follows:
Triggered by nightmares, seeing things that man was not meant to know, and other such occurrences.
Triggered by brazen rudeness, public embarrassment, and damaging rumors. Perhaps the easiest menace to inflict on others.
Triggered by connection to crimes, criminals, and declarations of revolutionary sympathies.
Note: Some events can be considered Menacing Events for more than once menace. For example, a man who is publicly caught stealing a lady’s undergarments will probably have to roll against both Scandal and Suspicion.
Any time a menace might be triggered, make an appropriate Attribute + Skill roll, requiring a number of successes equal to your current score in that menace. The attribute and skills required will depend on the action the player is attempting to avoid the menace.
Critical Success: Menace score reduces by 1
Success: Menace score remains the same
Failure: Increase menace score by 1
Critical Failure: Increase menace score by 1 and the GM rolls on the “something happens” table for that menace.
Menaces can be used offensively by anyone who possesses it. The “attacker” makes a roll against their own menace score, with success meaning that the victim must make an immediate roll against the appropriate menace, as normal for a Menacing Event. Whether the attacker succeeds at forcing this check or not, he must immediately make his own roll against a Menacing Event to avoid being tripped up by his own scheming. Critical failure on the offensive roll increases the relevant menace by 1 point automatically, with no roll to avoid.
Spending time and resources can help to reduce the strength of menaces that one might be laboring under. A scandalous débutante might dedicate sums of wealth to charity; a suspicious thief might turn himself in for a minor crime, paying the fine and raising himself in the eyes of the law; even the utterly mad can calm themselves with peaceful walks along the river, or with various experimental madness cures.
Mechanically, if an individual wishes to reduce a menace, they must specify which menace they are attempting to reduce before spending 1d+2 hours or $1dx10, per point of the specified menace they currently possess. At the end of this time, they make a roll against their menace, much as if a Menacing Event had occurred. However, the results are based on the table below:
Critical Success: Menace score is reduced by 2
Success: Menace score is reduced by 1
Failure: Nothing happens, but the time and resources are lost
Critical Failure: Increase menace score by 1
Example: Madame Tova has been beset by scandal ever since that unfortunate affair with her gardener and that blasted box of turnips several weeks ago. Add to that the case of mistaken identity she became wrapped up in later and the farcical way in which things just spilled completely out of proportion. Honestly, how was she to know that the dashing rake at the viscount’s ball was actually a sneak-thief in disguise who had snuck in? Even worse, he had bragged about it to all his churlish friends the next day!
Now, however, Madame Tova has dedicated herself to clearing her name in high society. After the embarrassing turn of the last few weeks, her Scandal score stands at a shocking 15; she can either choose to spend $15dx10, or 15d+30 hours dedicated to an attempt to reduce her score. In the end, being a busy woman, she decides to spend the cash; throwing a lavish party herself to show society that she is still capable of being an excellent host. Her roll succeeds and she reduces her scandal down to 14.