"May Contain Nuts"
A Flintloque Scenario by Matthew Hartley
During an afternoon ridiculing the sick over a bottle of grog at Bedlum a group of Londinium's over privileged upper class must fight for their lives and try and escape as they get caught in a breakout of Albion's madder citizens.
Orcish society during the period of the Mordredian Wars confined those deemed mentally ill either to the armed services, or in cases where behaviours were too extreme for the forces, to Mayhem Halls.
Mayhem Halls were so-called as it was popularly believed insanity derived from the smoking of sisal extracted by the desperate from discarded dockside hemp rope, the frequently spoken diagnosis of “Maybe hemp?” being shorted to “Mayhem”.
Opened in every major settlement, Mayhem Halls attempted respectability in the way that all institutes of variable worth have done over the years, by adopting a motto in a foreign language that no-one could understand. So duly “Possono Contenere Dei Dadi” was forged in iron over the doorway of every establishment across Albion, roughly translated as “May Contain Nuts”.
As the afflicted were usually cast out by their families, financial support for Mayhem Halls had to come from elsewhere. With the war in Urop taking nearmost all of the taxes raised by the Crown the bulk of the finance required came from the exposure of inmates to the public for a fee. Although claimants maintained this was nominally in the interests of scientific enquiry and drug awareness, such exposures attracted a prurient audience. The main intent of their visits being picnicking, whilst hurling abuse and objects - rocks for the nobs, rotten fruit for the ladies, dung for the lower orders – at the unfortunates within.
Extract from “Before the Electric Chair – Mental Health Provision in Old Albion”
Lord G’Astly Fouracre and his party were enjoying a pleasant afternoon with some chums ridiculing the sick over a fine bottle of grog at the most famous of the Albion Mayhem Halls, St Mariorc of Barfleham Hospital, or as it better known, Bedlum. Suddenly his repast was interrupted by the arrival of several off-duty soldiers intent on visiting their former comrade-in-arms, who it seems had been incarcerated due to eating a Todoroni ambassador. Feet first at that ! Before Lord G’Astly could see off the fellows, a horrible scream reverberated throughout the hall, closely followed by the bouncing head of the chief warder who had earlier afforded them entrance. My word, the lunatics have taken over the asylum! Will the visitors escape? Or will their boiled brains be eaten with a spoon?
Set up and Gameplay Sequence
This game requires two decks of playing cards.
The playing cards from one deck should be shuffled and placed face up in a grid of ten rows each of five columns. The third playing card in the top and bottom row should be replaced with a Joker
The card grid represents the rooms and corridors the party will hav6e to move through to escape from Bedlum. The players start at one end of the grid on the Joker card and must move to the other Joker to escape. Once a figure has landed on the Joker at the opposite side of the grid that figure has escaped and is removed from the game.
At the beginning of each turn draw two cards from the other, shuffled, deck. Any black cards drawn are simply discarded. However, if a red card is drawn then inmates appear on the corresponding red card on the grid. Roll D6+2 to find out how many Orcs appear. If the red card does not have a match then simply discard it.
Once new inmates have been placed, each escapee figure may move one card on the grid, either up, down, left or right. The figures cannot move diagonally.
The inmates movement is determined randomly (they are, after all, insane). Once all escapee figures have moved roll a dice for each card which contains inmates. Move all the inmates on that card as directed below:
1: Up one card
2: Down one card
3: Left one card
4: Right one card
5: Stay on current card
6: Move one card towards nearest escapee
If the inmates cannot move because they are at the edge of the grid, their movement order becomes stay on current card.
If the inmates are on the same card as escapees after all movement is completed you fight one round of combat as per normal Flintloque rules. If there are more escapees than inmates in a location, the escapees can choose which figures fight and which do not.
The game continues until all the escapees have either lived up to their name and escaped or have been defeated and in turn eaten by the inmates.
Lord G’Astly Fouracre is an experienced swordsman who goes no-where without his trusty blade.
Sir Percy Gawdoffel is an average swordsman. He too is armed with a sword
Sleeves is an ex-soldier turned butler. A veteran warrior he is a devil with a cake slice (dagger).
Lady Fouracre is somewhat raw but can have an eye out with her knitting needles (daggers, a pair).
Lady Gawdoffel is also raw, unarmed but has a piecing scream which distracts one insane Orc.
The 3 soldiers (Hobs, Nobs, and Bobs) are all average and carry knives.
All the inmates are average (unskilled but with the strength of mad orcs) and are armed with a wide variety of improvised weapons. They are best represented on the table by unarmoured “wild Orcs” from various fantasy ranges.
The game plays best with different players, each taking on the role of one or two of the escapees and taking it in turns to roll the combat dice for the inmates, it can of course also be played solo.
An Orcs in the Webbe Original!
Originally published on Orcs in the Webbe on the 1st December 2009 as part the 2009 Advent Calendar.
It was absent for several years due to a prior regeneration of the website not transferring everything over correctly, the wrong has now been righted and it returned on the 17th November 2014 as part of Orcs in the Webbe's ongoing Flintloque Archive Project.