The Cathedral and the Bizarre

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Game The Cathedral and the Bizarre
Storyguide Andrew Oakley
Length 2 hours
Players 2-6
Suitability Any
Prerequisities None
Pre-rolled characters available? Yes. You can also bring your own beginner-to-mid level character if you wish.


Oh, Doctor Bi Sheng! -or- The Cathedral And The Bizarre‏

A short 2-hour investigative thriller campaign for Ars Magica 5th Edition, that revolves around a huge historical "What if..?"

Once a provincial capital, Quimper is now just another nondescript estuary port of no particular note in the newly unified Dutchy of Brittany (north-western France). It isn't near any great fields of megaliths. It's cathedral is so-so. And there certainly haven't been any particularly remarkable magi from the area.

So why is a breathless redcap panicking about a plethora of cheap magical books? On sale in the fish market, no less! More importantly, if the rumours are true, how can you stop the spread of these secrets before the mundanes do something stupid? More to the point, you'd better nip this in the bud before your hard-earned power is completely devalued.

You start at breakfast in the Taverne de Rohan, a large inn in Quimper known to be friendly to magi, just as a redcap rushes in with some urgent news. Ideally you should come up with a one-sentence reason as to why your character is in Brittany. For example, you might be on your way to the megaliths seventy miles further south; or this might be a convenient stop-over before or after an Atlantic voyage; or maybe you're visiting a friend - or is it business? - in the local Covenant of Cournaille.


Pre-rolled characters are available, but you are also welcome to bring along your own beginner to medium level character.

This is primarily a political / investigative thriller so don't worry too much about magical or combat skills. If you have them, you will probably get an opportunity to use them; but if you don't, you're unlikely to miss out. There are lots of ways through locked doors, and many ways to find secrets.

Your character must be able to converse in basic Breton or Norman French in order to make the game playable. If you already have any of the Gaelic languages then you can take Breton at two-thirds of that skill (round up). If you don't have, or qualify for, Breton, you may take Norman French at level I for free. Alternatively, the local Covenant of Cournaille will provide a grog to translate for you, if your character can't quite bear the thought of bringing herself down to the common level.

Campaign PDF

This scenario was written specifically for Grand Tribunal by Andrew Oakley. A PDF of the storyguide's campaign pamphlet and player handouts will be made available as a download after the weekend.

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