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Re: (TFT) Help Requested --> Marvelous Marrette's Traveling Troupe.
Marvelous Marrette's Traveling Troupe.
(C) 2004 Richard W. Smith
Party of adventurers is hired to provide
guards to a band of players who are going around
and putting on plays.
The GM needs to invent 4 or 5 NPC's to
act as the actors. They should be about 40
attribute characters on average. (Tho they will
not seem this good at first.)
In addition to their guard duties, they
are expected to help as roadies, in set up and pull
down, act as bit actors and generally help out.
Magic Users are encouraged to cast images, etc. as
special effects. The group is fairly wealthy with
a couple of oxen for pulling the two wagons and
Marrette having a fine horse. (A war horse in
The stage is formed by laying planks &
tying ropes between the two wagons, which act as
dressing rooms and the wings.
Once hired the encourage the PC's to take
talents like Poet, Acting, Storytelling and other
abilities that would help a traveling group of
entertainers. If the PC's DO take such talents
they should get a bonus to their salary.
Things go well at first. The peasants
(and the local lords) are starved for entertainment
and even with wooden acting, blown lines etc. every
one has a fine time. Encourage the PC's to over
act and really ham it up when doing their lines.
Everyone will love it.
Typically three or four plays are put on,
one for the lords, and the rest done for the poorer
people. The play to the lords is high brow, where
as the play for the peasants is much more slapstick
While traveling about, the PC's are asked
to solve problems for the villages. A wyvern is
attacking sheep in the high fields. Timmy has
fallen into a pit in the local limestone cave,
etc. One theme is that the local lords are not
much interested in helping the peasants. If the
PC's like fighting, play this part up, with
regular fights and adventures as they travel about.
Any local thieves love to steal valuables
while the players are in town, then cast blame on
the 'travelling thieves'. Marrette is no thief and
he will allow NO pilfering of the towns they pass
thru. If a PC is a thief this may bring him into
conflict with the leader of the troop.
One of the shyer PC's is supposed to have
a scene where he is a rogue stealing the heart of
the young maiden. The cad (the PC), lies to her &
manipulates her heart in order to kiss her, & cop
a feel while spreading slanders about the hero of
the play. At the end of the play the hero will
'kill' the PC in a sword fight. (And ends up with
the girl, hurrah!)
However, the PC and the young actress start
falling in love (or at least in serious lust) with
each other off stage, while the actor who plays
the hero (who is very self centered and a bit of
an empty bag) becomes increasingly jealous.
This potential triangle should hide the
main plot. Marvelous Marrette's Traveling
Troupe is part of a rebel group that is working
towards the overthrow of the local tyrant.
The plays have themes that will increase
the discontent of the peasantry. Some phrases in
the play are changed for no reason from one town
to the next. These code phrases are to pass
orders to the local rebels. Money is passed via
the troupe. The collection at the end of each
play is surprisingly good for a bunch of peasants.
The GM should gradually drop hints that something
strange is up. Marrette often 'goes drinking'
with 'an old buddy' but if any PC's go the the
local tavern, they never see him.
The troupe is attacked a few times on the
road by unusually capable bandits. ALL of the
players turn out to be quite capable fighters but
the PC's save the day. The troupe is VERY grateful
(if suitable for your group, the PC's could get
laid as a hero's reward).
For the most part the local lords DO NOT
know what is going on. The 'low brow'
entertainment is beneath their notice. However
some men at arms are not amused and try to make
trouble at the shows. The PC's are encouraged to
stop a riot, between running on stage and saying
After a while, the authorities become
aware of the political slant given by the players
and will try to shut things down. When things
get hot, the troupe will move elsewhere using a
very good knowledge of back roads and isolated
barns to hide the wagons.
Eventually the PC's discover what is going
on. They will be invited to join the group as
active members of the rebellion.
The tyrant is a cruel bastard, but if you
like placing your PC's in morally ambiguous
positions, you can give hints that the rebel
leadership are not such wonderful people either.
(The troupe should be sympathetic characters who
after many adventures are close friends with the
After putting on plays is getting to be
old hat, the campaign turns into the traveling
spies campaign. The thief who has not had much
to do for some time now becomes a very important
character as the rebellion heats up.
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