the Fairgame Archive

2006-09-01: Ow, my brain.
by Meguey

So, this cool thing has effectively eaten my brain for the next two weeks. Take a character sheet designed by someone else (in this case Eva Schiffer's lovely Belle Epoch-esque sheet), and make a game that uses the sheet.


This is awesome. Weird stuff is happening, and it's all cool. What's *not* cool is having, again, the suck of an idea.


The name of the game is Miss Schiffer's School for Young Ladies of Quality. All PCs are women between the ages of 17 and 35. There's a whole great list of sciences and semi-sciences (Zoetroscopy! Electronogy!), each with *16* little blanks after it, in dark and light chunks. What to do with that????

My print-out of the character sheet is full of scribbles, figuring that if I can fill it out and have a solid character I'd like to play, I can continue to reverse engineer from there.

Stay tuned, fellow adventures.

2006-09-03 12:15:52 Matt Wilson

This is only slightly related, but when Meredith and I were in your neck of the woods, we stopped at Vassar, her old stomping grounds, and she showed me one of the original buildings from when it was a finishing school, or whatever that sort of thing was called.

I bet they didn't offer Electronogy, though. It would have been way cooler.

2006-09-03 13:59:38 Meguey

I really love the layout and graphic design of the sheet, which probably has more time invested than my own. My sheet was designed in Photoshop, and took around an hour, max. I wanted to get all the important elements, but still leave room for the game designer to add art or the name of the game, or a cool border, or whatever was needed to tie it into the whole game. I'll be taking my design cues pretty heavily from the sheet, which is cool too.

2006-09-05 16:44:05 Emily

It looks awesome, as does your sheet. What kinds of ideas are you having for the game so far?

2006-09-07 20:35:21 Meguey

Ok, here's some stuff I'm working on. Bold stuff=ideas welcome! Most of this is just filling out the character sheet.

What you do:

All PCs are young women of quality, between the ages of 17 and 35

Choose a name from the list, or select one yourself.


You may be American, British, French, German, Swiss, or Italian.

American girls get some benefit when attempting rash, bold, or dangerous things

British girls get some benefit in withstanding hardship or enduring duress

French girls get some benefit in dissembling and social exchanges

German girls get some benefit in physical exertion and weathering illness

Swiss girls get some benefit in making and using mechanical equipment

Italian girls get some benefit in languages and history

Marital Status

You may be single, engaged, or married

Single girls must travel in company. This restricts their movement, but they may assist each other in their work.

Engaged girls may call on their fianc?? and his resources to rescue them, but they may also be called back to marriage before their work is complete.

Married girls have the help of their husband, and any wealth he may have, but they are understood to publish under his name.

Scientific Specialty - ????? I think it should relate to one of the Courses

Obsession ??? write down a thing that you, the player, know much about and find fascinating. For me, it would be mummies.


Roll 4 d8 and assign them to the four Graces ??? Wealth, Social Standing, Sanity, and Brilliance.

Wealth ??? this is how you are able to fund your work, your basic resources in dress, housing, etc., and your family connections and holdings

Social Standing ??? this is your access to culture, your regard in the eyes of others, and your obligations as part of the social scene

Sanity ??? this is your reason, your level-headedness, your cool wit

Brilliance ??? this is your scientific spark, the drive to discover, the insight for experimentation

These will be starting resources, and change over play.

The courses of study

How to put marks here??


Roll 4 d4 and assign one to each. Mark off eight plus the die roll on the spaces given.

Speak/Read Languages ??? useful for doing what it says, and extrapolating to unfamiliar tongues

Recall History ??? useful to recall useful bits of information

Practice Social Grace ??? useful to avoid insults, grasp local customs, and

Dissemble ??? useful to talk oneself out of situations or gain access to things of interest

Now, notice the color shifts across the courses of study ??? those break into marking periods. When your marks in any course cross a marking period, you may add to your Land & Estates, your Mechanical Marvels, or your Personal Loyalties.

Any time after you have added your second marking period, you may write ???How you will show them all???. Keep this secret.

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