Scenario doctors: "The Matter of Britain"

Rugby should do. There’s plenty of commonality in culture between the various schools.

Incidentally both High and Low Church tendencies regard themselves as Protestant.

I suspect the few armed police have Webley revolvers, probably relatively old ones since there’s been desperate rearmament in the last few months.

Marginal, but they didn’t join up to be safe.

Ooh, if they have some sympathisers in southern Ireland, that might be a good place to aim for, by air or by fishing boat.

  1. I didn’t go to that posh a school so I dunno.
  2. It isn’t a wrong college: I’m getting the impression Urban was fairly Low Church before his unwelcome miracle which fits Wadham.
  3. Pass.
  4. A Freudian is more mainstream but a Jungian is liable to be cooler with and more knowledgeable of the mythical and mystical stuff.
  5. Does your chewing gum lose its flavour on the bedpost overnight?

All right. I was going to ask where she gets the gall to think she qualifies for the sacred rulership but you’ve got that covered.

1 Like

Yup, they’ll have old gate-loading revolvers in .442 Webley.

Boat to and from Ireland seems a lot more viable than aircraft, for that location. If they’re being creative about their cover, they’ll use a horse-drawn cart rather than a lorry, given the state of petrol rationing.

1 Like

There is no hint of how she had the means to send her son to an expensive school, or to go to medical school herself. Nurses were not well-paid at the time, and there were no university grants.

Inherited money. Keswick did wartime service in the military nursing service out of a sense of patriotic duty, not because she needed the salary.

Fine, although it’s worth mentioning in her character description.

Should I mention Jardine Matheson explicitly, or just allude to family wealth?

I’d mention “Her family co-owns one of Hong Kong’s major trading companies.” or something like that. They aren’t so famous that one can assume people have heard of them, and they might conceivably object to their name being used for something fictional.

I doubt that they will have an informant in my friend Frank’s house on the Australia Day long weekend, but I suppose that it is in poor taste. I shall have to change Dr Charette’s maiden name. On the same grounds I suppose I ought to make Lady Alice the sister of some fictional duke and a descendant of a fictional branch of the Plantagenets.

It’s easier to get these things clean at the start than to have to revise them when they go up on the web.


Would it be alright if I made Lady Alice sister of the Duke of Barchester, but still made her a Beaufort? I don’t think any of my players have read Trollope, but I know they have played Kingmaker.

1 Like

Sounds good to me; the fictional infrastructure of England is always worth adding to.

If in doubt, there are plenty of nonexistent titles in Georgette Heyer…

Yes, but at least two and probably three of my players have read quite a bit of Georgette Heyer, and would recognise them.

The attraction of using famous surnames such as “Beaufort”, “Somerset”, and “Keswick” is that they automatically invoke the Ken Hite advantages of setting your game in the real world. If a character’s name is “Keswick” and she can afford to send her son to Winchester College then with two tiny details you have defined her place in the world. Likewise, if an NPC can say “My name is Lady Alice Somerset. I am a Beaufort” in withering tones then you can get five centuries of snobbishness and dynastic pride into two short sentences, with a myriad of connections and allusions. But if you fictionalise her dynasty you borrow half a page of exposition and a certain insult to the suspension of disbelief. Whereas if you try it on with “Alastair” and “Avon” you risk a chuckle.

Eton and Harrow are posh schools. Rugby is a railway junction.

Indeed. I found it quite tricky to place Urban so that his sin and miracle would work out right. He is of course an echo of Pope Urban IV in the legend of Tännhauser, so he had to refuse absolution saying “I can no more absolve X than Y can happen”, Y being both clearly miraculous and connected with his priesthood. Which means of course him being of a denomination and faction for whom individual confession is possible, and he had to be (a) unreasonably cross at the time and (b) not used to people making some very strange confessions. Low church Anglican was the only solution I could think of. And it cost me quite some thought to get the circumstances of Arthur’s confession and the miracle just right. If, that is to say, that is what I’ve done.


Who is going to deal better with betraying her fiancé with his own father?

Who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp?

Ought I to account for Captain Gonville’s wealth? Sir Edwin’s? Or does it go without saying that male officers are wealthy?

You’ve accounted for Sir Edwin’s wealth in his biography; a line about Captain Godwin’s or the Rev Urban’s would not go amiss, but it’s not so necessary as that for a widow.

Fortunately the plan now is only to run it for some friends at the long weekend. I could if I need to take a couple of five-hour sessions.

I still don’t have a solution to this problem, and still haven’t run the adventure. I hope that perhaps one of our numerous and ingenious new members might have a suggestion to make.

Start your stethoscopes, scenario-doctors!