OOC: Gossip and Shenanigans!   Posted by Mastermind.Group: 0
Mastermind
 GM, 1 post
 Sometimes Bad Guys
 Make The Best Good Guys
Sun 17 Sep 2017
at 19:41
OOC: Gossip and Shenanigans!
The usual rules apply. Play nicely, and you shall have a muffin!
Mastermind
 GM, 2 posts
 Sometimes Bad Guys
 Make The Best Good Guys
Sun 17 Sep 2017
at 20:01
OOC: Gossip and Shenanigans!
I shall start working on some game files and so forth. However, the game is going to be almost entirely free-form and statless. There will be a couple of things you will need to set to give me things to work with. If you know FATE, you know about how aspects work. This is nothing like as complex or as detailed as that. Just need to know what you consider your greatest strengths, and your Achilles Heel.
Mastermind
 GM, 3 posts
 Sometimes Bad Guys
 Make The Best Good Guys
Sun 17 Sep 2017
at 20:11
OOC: Gossip and Shenanigans!
Welcoming FoxChild and LadyFox. Both very fine names! And you might well be known to one another over in the Wild West...
FoxChild
 player, 1 post
Sun 17 Sep 2017
at 20:15
OOC: Gossip and Shenanigans!
A thread full of foxes! :D
LadyFox
 player, 1 post
Sun 17 Sep 2017
at 20:19
OOC: Gossip and Shenanigans!
Oh?  Who in the Wild West?
Mastermind
 GM, 4 posts
 Sometimes Bad Guys
 Make The Best Good Guys
Sun 17 Sep 2017
at 20:28
OOC: Gossip and Shenanigans!
*rolls about in the floofy-tailed atmosphere*
Mastermind
 GM, 6 posts
 Sometimes Bad Guys
 Make The Best Good Guys
Sun 17 Sep 2017
at 20:48
OOC: Gossip and Shenanigans!
GAME DATE: Currently aiming at the late 1860s. More will be revealed as I narrow down plot and things!
Mastermind
 GM, 7 posts
 Sometimes Bad Guys
 Make The Best Good Guys
Mon 18 Sep 2017
at 16:49
OOC: Gossip and Shenanigans!
I suspect that, of the character classes, Boffin is most likely to give people a little trouble to imagine. I think if you take a look at The Murdoch Mysteries, and look at Murdoch and their version of Nikola Tesla, you might get some ideas. Also, HG Wells in Warehouse 13 is something that I feel absolutely captures the Boffin mindset.

Cracksman should be very simple to grasp. You could be wealthy and from a noble background, or an ill-educated street rat. You could be Raffles. Or you could be Jack Sheppard. Sheppard is probably the very best real life example of a Cracksman. While he had a knack for getting caught - a lot - he is probably the most incredible jailbreaker in history. Some of you know my passion for Sheppard, he is one of my anti-heroes. No cell could hold him. After a series of increasingly daring escapes, by which time he was the most famous man in England, and a hero for the poor in the same way that Robin Hood was idolised, he was finally caught and placed into a cell in Newgate Prison. The cell was absolutely escape proof. Jack did not like it, so he promptly escaped, in the most mind-boggling display of tenacity, physical strength, and cocky impishness imaginable. Having done so, he promptly stole a very expensive suit from a nearby shop, hired two prostitutes (both called Kate) and went on a riotous pub crawl. He was the Jack after which the term Jack the Lad was named. He was not at liberty long, as the price put on his head was so large that even his friends were tempted by it. I strongly advise going to read about him, or try to find the documentary "An Invitation to a Hanging" shown on Channel 4 in the UK. (I think FoxChild might have been exposed to this already on one of her visits to me in reality...)

Pugilists? Well, you have an almost unlimited type of character to draw on. But remember, while the noble ladies were unlikely to be good at fisticuffs, the same is not true of the poor. Female prizefighters were common, and matches between men and women did occur - and the women were more than capable of ripping apart the men in the boxing ring. For the slightly more respectable types, the lower middle classes or the gentry, female boxing was a comedic, novelty act, a rare sight. For the lower classes, they were very serious competitions. Boxing was a truly respectable sport, and a very much encouraged gentleman's activity in the Regency period. It start to lose popularity in the Victorian years, as violence of that sort was seen as uncouth and inappropriate for a true gentleman of sensitive manners. But the women were not dissuaded, and the underground bare-knuckle prize fights continued. Aside from those semi-professional fighters, there were plenty of violent women in Newgate Prison. The Newgate Calender, the short biographies of those hanged there, is replete with tales of very violent women. Only a fool underestimated the tenacity and strength of a woman who spent her days hauling around barrels of beer, or walking twenty miles a day selling hot potatoes out of a large brass stove she carried herself.

Mountebank ... I think there are so many stories about clever con-artists in the Victorian period, that it is probable that those considering playing one have already got a lot of ideas. Some cons were yet to be invented, as they relied on technology that was yet to be perfected - and yet, cons like The Wire could be pulled, provided decent backup was present to sell the con. Victorian Law was also a very strange, and to our eyes, idiotic place. There are cases where a man was found not guilty of bigamy, as his first marriage was to a girl aged seventeen, and he forged the permission from her father. As such, the marriage was illegal, and the seven or eight subsequent marriages he enacted (all of which were to grab the dowry and inheritance of the poor unsuspecting brides) were also invalid, and as such, he could not have commited bigamy as he had never actually been married in the first place. Another example: a fairly common problem was the lack of continuity and accuracy on legal documents. By the 1860s, this was a law that had been modified to close the loophole, but occasionally, a guilty party could use it successfully, if their counsel was crafty. Put simply: if the name on the arrest warrant, the name on court documents, and the name of the prisoner were not all exactly the same, the law stated there was reasonable doubt that the prisoner had been arrested by mistake. Let us say that John Smith was arrested for some crime or other. The warrant and court documents state the name: John Smith. However, the prisoner is called John Robert Smith. He has openly admitted in court to being guilty, and the evidence and witnesses show without a doubt that he is indeed guilty. It matters not. By the loophole in the law, the case can be dismissed as the defendant does not have the same name as the paperwork, and any admission of guilt is invalid, as he is possibly taking the fall for someone else, probably a relative. Yes - the law was really that much of an ass.

Svengali... A difficult one to really demonstrate, as there are not too many examples in literature. However, Fagin is an excellent example, his crew being all the little boys who steal for him. (And The Artful Dodger is the archetypal child Cracksman, so respected that when he is in prison, he is treated like a king by the other villains.) In real life, Jonathan Wild is the prime example. Again, I find him fascinating, and he and Jack Sheppard were one another's nemesis. Wild set himself up as thief-taker general, hunting down thieves, and returning the property they stole, for a small fee. Of course, through a regime of staggering brutality, Wild gained control of most of the criminal activity in London, and eventually across the whole country. Any thief who did not play his game was slaughtered, or sent to the gallows. Jonathan Wild was the most successful criminal in history. In modern equivalent, in his lifetime he was able to amass three trillion pounds worth of profit from his criminal actions. In the 18th Century, his criminal empire extended to the Americas, across Europe, and beyond. Decades after his death, hidden caches of his stolen goods would turn up, stacked with valuables and crates of banknotes. Eventually, after bringing in most of the laws in the UK about theft by finding and receiving stolen goods, specifically to get at Wild (none of which succeeded) he was brought low by his own arrogance, and hanged for stealing a bolt of lace. He was directly responsible for the execution of Jack Sheppard, the beloved hero of the common people. At his own execution, it took some effort to keep the crowd from ripping him apart before they could hang him. But in his heyday, Jonathan Wild was the epitome of a Svengali.

So, fun ideas to play with there! :D

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:55, Mon 18 Sept 2017.

FaeWitch
 player, 1 post
Mon 18 Sep 2017
at 17:28
OOC: Gossip and Shenanigans!
I am here! I am not functional but I exist!
LadyFox
 player, 2 posts
Mon 18 Sep 2017
at 20:12
OOC: Gossip and Shenanigans!
Professor Moriarty.  Epic Svengali.  Level 30.
Mastermind
 GM, 10 posts
 Sometimes Bad Guys
 Make The Best Good Guys
Mon 18 Sep 2017
at 20:15
OOC: Gossip and Shenanigans!
And Holmes, of course. The quintessential pair!
LadyFox
 player, 3 posts
Mon 18 Sep 2017
at 21:01
OOC: Gossip and Shenanigans!
Even if they're a tad later than the time frame.  Still excellent examples.
Mastermind
 GM, 11 posts
 Sometimes Bad Guys
 Make The Best Good Guys
Mon 18 Sep 2017
at 21:13
OOC: Gossip and Shenanigans!
Indeed they are!

I do love me a good heist caper!
LadyFox
 player, 4 posts
Mon 18 Sep 2017
at 21:19
OOC: Gossip and Shenanigans!
http://mentalfloss.com/article...r-female-con-artists
Mastermind
 GM, 12 posts
 Sometimes Bad Guys
 Make The Best Good Guys
Mon 18 Sep 2017
at 21:24
OOC: Gossip and Shenanigans!
I read that earlier today. Great minds leak alike!
LadyFox
 player, 5 posts
Mon 18 Sep 2017
at 21:30
OOC: Gossip and Shenanigans!
*vixen barks*

Oh yeah.  Such shenanigans we can get into!
Mastermind
 GM, 13 posts
 Sometimes Bad Guys
 Make The Best Good Guys
Tue 26 Sep 2017
at 15:13
OOC: Gossip and Shenanigans!
Not forgotten you! I started university this week and I am absolutely *buried* under reading and rushing about!