Rough Magic

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Magic, mystery, and guns in 1960s Europe.

Setting

Camaret-sur-Mer is the setting of Rough Magic, a film noir role-playing game of magic, mystery, and guns. Fog enshrouded cobblestone streets wind between Camaret-sur-Mer's tall art deco and gothic skyscrapers, and mysterious figures skulk beneath gargoyles, ornate ledges, and other architectural flourishes. Disreputable characters on streetcorners sell cheap amulets and potions to those who want love, protection, or success. In the sky above, grand passenger zeppelins carry the well-to-do to far off ports like St. Petersburg, Istanbul, and New York. In the city below, the monorail connects Camaret-sur-Mer to the rest of the Empire, from Berlin to Rome, from Paris to London.

Rough Magic RPG

Characters

Game Sessions

2017-01-12

Johnny Diamond's buddy Raphael clues him into an easy score: hand off a package and get paid. Simple! Unfortunately, the package wound up being a stolen Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire courier bag.

  • Raphaël Franck, friendly con artist
  • Carl Lutz, head waiter at the Cafe Azure Americain
  • Detective Inspector Matthieu Segol

2017-01-19

The gang finds out who stole the bag, and who wants it now (almost everyone).

YouTube recording of game session

  • Anna Petronevich, Deputy Director, Société Impériale de Thaumaturgie
  • Gilles Saint-Paul, Chief Of Diversion Control, Société Impériale de Thaumaturgie *

* The mission of SIT's Diversion Control Division is to prevent, detect, and investigate the diversion of controlled thaumaturgical items from legitimate sources while ensuring an adequate and uninterrupted supply for legitimate medical, commercial, and scientific needs.

2017-02-02

More people want the bag, and things are starting to get dangerous. A demon breaks down Father Leal's door, looking for the bag. A psychotic gangster gives Johnny Diamond 24 hours to find the bag and give it to him. Meanwhile, a wealthy Spaniard hires Doc Celyddon to open an illegal portal to the Shadowlands so he can retrieve an emerald the size of a house.

YouTube recording of game session

  • Sahar Kian Afshar, investigator for Bailey, Dykstra, Ehrlich, and Vega
  • Bernard "The Count" Gerard, psychotic Maghrebi gangster
  • Agustín Velasco, amoral Spanish millionaire

2017-02-09

Leosliath ("Leslie") asks Carole, Johnny, and Father Leal to help him investigate the arson/murder of the caretakers of a pathway between the fair realm and grim world. Special guest star, Winterberry!

YouTube recording of game session

  • Loosestrife, Knight of the Summer Court
  • Winterberry, minor fae of the Winter Court

2017-02-16

Agustín Velasco's scheme comes to fruition, and he gets what is coming to him. Also, Father Leal has tea with the Egyptian.

YouTube recording of game session

  • Luc Charles, head thug for Agustín Velasco
  • Monsieur Thomas (Ptahmose), "The Egyptian", reclusive Parrains gangster
  • Jean-Jacques Verchère, Pieds-Noir gangster

2017-02-23

Interested parties are converging on the DST courier bag, and things are probably going to get violent. Meanwhile, Yuri Nikulin, a former colleague of Doc Celyddon's, asks him for help with his... rabbit problem.

YouTube recording of game session

  • Yves Dupont, head thug for Jean-Jacques Verchère
  • Yuri Nikulin, careless black market magician
  • Simone, former advisor to Agustín Velasco, now assistant to Yuri Nikulin

2017-03-02

It's a memorial service for Patrice Bonnaire, and everyone's invited. Two new characters (Sergio, played by Craig, and Wilhelm von Kortzfleisch, played by Udo Kier) make their debut. Johnny Diamond trades bon mots with Sabine Bonnaire. Carol leans that investigator Racheboeuf of the DST has the Deputy Director of the SIT in his sights. Doc Celyddon and Sergio overhear Sabine getting the bad news that her father has a second will that cuts her out of his fortune. The next morning, Johnny Diamond learns that investigator Racheboeuf of the DST has been cut into ten thousand pieces and dumped in the Place de l'Espérance, a pedestrian square located in Camaret-sur-Mer's Prefecture district.

YouTube recording of game session

  • Patrice Bonnaire, City Treasurer of Camaret-sur-Mer (deceased)
  • Sabine Bonnaire, socialite
  • Yuri Nikulin, cunning black market magician
  • Samuel Racheboeuf, Investigator for the DST
  • Wilhelm von Kortzfleisch, Special Investigator for the DST

2017-03-16

Johnny Diamond is approached by Benjamin Bonnaire, who wants to prove that his father's "new" will is a fraud. Doc Celyddon is invited to a meeting with Kemal Reis, who demands recompense for the death of Bernard Gerard ("the Count"). Carol is apprehended by the Imperial Eye, and interrogated by Wilhelm von Kortzfleisch, who appears to believe that Johnny Diamond had something to do with the theft of the DST courier bag and the death of Samuel Racheboeuf, Investigator for the DST. However, she is released from custody due to the intervention of the Deputy Director of the SIT, Anna Petronevich. Johnny is accosted by an unkempt man (Pierre Naville), who demands that Johnny not investigate the "new" will of Patrice Bonnaire. Finally, Johnny and Carole have an early dinner with Sabine Bonnaire and her new friend, "Marcel" (Raphael).

YouTube recording of game session

  • Benjamin Bonnaire, black sheep of the Bonnaire family
  • Raphaël Franck, friendly con artist
  • Pierre Naville, French Communist
  • Anna Petronevich, Deputy Director, Société Impériale de Thaumaturgie
  • Kemal Reis, head of the Maghrebi gangsters in Bretagne

2017-03-23

Johnny Diamond is approached by Sahar Kian Afshar, an investigator for attorneys Bailey, Dykstra, Ehrlich, and Vega. She (on behalf of her employers) wants him to cease investigation into the wills. The PCs discover that the new will was found in the files of Serge Favarel, founder of Favarel & Associés. Serge Favarel has since passed away, leaving the firm to his partner, Stéphane Maupard, and his daughter, Marie Favarel. Later, Johnny Diamond is abducted by the DST, questioned, and thrown into a small stone room with no windows, lights, or furniture. Finally, Doc Celyddon and Carole go to check on Carl, who left some urgent messages for Johnny Diamond, and arrive at Carl's house just after he is killed by a necromantic apparition.

YouTube recording of game session

  • Sahar Kian Afshar, investigator for Bailey, Dykstra, Ehrlich, and Vega
  • Carl Lutz, head waiter at the Cafe Azure Americain, deceased
  • Wilhelm von Kortzfleisch, Special Investigator for the DST

2017-03-30

Flashback: Sebastien is approached by Yves Dupont, a Pied-noir gangster, and hired to plant a will in a law office. Sebastien does the job flawlessly.

The present: Johnny Diamond is still a guest of the Imperial Eye in Tour Vauban, but Winterberry keeps him company. Doc Celyddon and Sebastien investigate the death of Carl Lutz, former head waiter at the Cafe Azure Americain. The trail leads to the chairman of the Camaret-sur-Mer chapter of the French Section of the Communist International (SFIC), Pierre Naville. They learn that Naville hired a necromancer to pressure Diamond into not investigating the Bonnaire will, but that something went wrong. They head to the palatial estate of the necromancer himself, Morten Grunwald, who is currently performing a magic show for a group of children. Afterward, Grunwald is surprisingly forthcoming about his role in the death of Carl Lutz. Diamond and Sebastien are then visited by Anna Petronevich, Deputy Director of the Société Impériale de Thaumaturgie, who asks them to find a way to get Johnny Diamond released from the DST. Sebastien wants to stay off of the Imperial Eye's radar, but Doc Celyddon is already a person of interest, so he has nothing to lose. Doc Celyddon visits Wilhelm von Kortzfleisch and suggests that Diamond may give away more information if he is freed. Von Kortzfleisch agrees, and releases Diamond.

YouTube recording of game session

  • Yves Dupont, Pied-noir gangster
  • Marie Favarel, attorney, Favarel & Associés
  • Morten Grunwald, Danish necromancer
  • Stéphane Maupard, attorney, Favarel & Associés
  • Pierre Naville, French Communist
  • Anna Petronevich, Deputy Director, Société Impériale de Thaumaturgie

2017-04-06

  • Arlene Bellefleur, Maître d'hôtel* of the Cafe Azure Americain
  • Gaston Ghrenassia, Pied-noir notaire **

YouTube recording of game session

Johnny Diamond is released from Tour Vauban. Heading back to the Cafe Azure Americain, he makes two discoveries: Carl is dead, and a redhead whom Johnny has never met has taken over management of the cafe. The redhead introduces herself as Arlene Bellefleur, from Louisiana, and reassures Johnny that the cafe is running smoothly -- now that she has made some changes in how the staff is managed. She also tells him when the memorial service and funeral for Carl will be held: she has made all of the arrangements.

Johnny decides to hire her.

At Carl's funeral, Johnny and Carole Desjardin meet Morten Grunwald, who wanted to pay his respects. As before, Grunwald is remarkably forthcoming about his role in Carl's death, and he seems genuinely remorseful.

Johnny and Carole follow up on the leads that Sebastien and Doc Celyddon found. The trail leads from Favarel & Associés to Gaston Ghrenassia, a notaire. When confronted, Ghrenassia admits everything: he was behind the forged will of Patrice Bonnaire. Ghrenassia had done extensive work for the Bonnaire family, and had thought that he was a family friend. When Ghrenassia announced his intention to run for the office of City Clerk of Camaret-sur-Mer, he expected Patrice Bonnaire to back his election -- but that didn't happen. Patrice Bonnaire put him off and put him off, never really giving him a solid answer. Even Sabine Bonnaire disappointed him. She promised to speak at a fundraiser for his campaign, but she never showed up (she simply forgot about it, and went to Athens, instead). As revenge on the Bonnaire family, Ghrenassia created a forged will and had it planted in the offices of Favarel & Associés, who had been the attorneys for the Bonnaires until there was a falling out between Patrice Bonnaire and Serge Favarel (now deceased). The signature on the will is actually Patrice Bonnaire's signature -- it was from a contract for pine straw that Ghrenassia drew up for Bonnaire years ago. However, the original contract has been chemically erased, and Ghrenassia used the paper to write the new will, dating it to six months before Bonnaire's death -- the date the city elections were held (which is always on a Sunday in France).

Having admitted everything, Ghrenassia puts a revolver under his chin and pulls the trigger.

* A Maître d'hôtel is responsible for all front-of-the-house operations, manages staff who give services to customers, and allocate the duties of opening and closing the restaurant.
** A French notaire is a self-employed legal specialist with a public authority mission, who draws up authenticated contracts on behalf of his clients.

2017-04-13

The PCs get to the bottom of what killed Samuel Racheboeuf, Investigator for the DST. Apparently, it was a dragon. So now what? Better to let sleeping dragons lie. Meanwhile, Carole scatters Pierre Naville's name through the "person of interest" sections of various SIT reports, while Doc Celyddon misleads Wilhelm von Kortzfleisch, Special Investigator for the DST, about who was behind the theft of the DST courier bag.

YouTube recording of game session

  • Alexandre Blanchard, upper circle Parrains gangster
  • Pierre Naville, French Communist
  • Anna Petronevich, Deputy Director, Société Impériale de Thaumaturgie
  • Detective Inspector Matthieu Segol
  • Wilhelm von Kortzfleisch, Special Investigator for the DST

Epilogue

The Société Impériale de Thaumaturgie starts investigating the activities of the Camaret-sur-Mer branch of the Communist Party of France, and the Imperial Eye starts nosing around in the business of the Milieu, particularly the Parrains.

Shortly thereafter, Pierre Naville is found hung in his apartment, along with a typed suicide note. In the note, he confesses to the murder of Samuel Racheboeuf (Investigator for the DST), a restaurant manager named Lutz, and a number of other people. They were killed with the assistance of a Russian sorcerer, who has since abandoned Naville and fled France. Realizing that he has failed the working people of Camaret-sur-Mer, he has decided to take his own life, rather than be forced by the police to reveal which of his comrades in the Communist Party were accomplices in his crimes.

Over the next few days, the other members of the Camaret-sur-Mer branch of the Communist Party of France either flee the city or are arrested. The one exception is Benjamin Bonnaire, who is questioned briefly and then released. The official report states that he was a pawn who knew nothing of Naville's many illegal activities.

Benjamin Bonnaire and his sister Sabine reconcile, and with her patronage, he begins writing the first of what will be many books: I Believed: The Autobiography Of A Former French Communist.

Useful Links



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