This is a game of social interaction, where a cutting word can cause more damage than the blade of a sword and social banishment is death.
You will have on your character sheets an ‘Etiquette‘ and two ‘Manners‘ cards in your envelope. This is our only mechanic for the game. Your ‘Etiquette‘ is your superpower, and you can use them on a conversation partner in order to get something you want or to get out of a tricky situation.
In order to use your Etiquette you work the defining phrase or something close enough to it into your conversation and present your conversation partner with one of your two ‘Manners‘ cards. Let them read the description of your Etiquette from where will have included it on the back of your name tag, and then act out the rest of your scene. These are designed to be used without GM intervention, but if you find that you need one of us please call us over.
Now, there are two extra things to mention about this. Firstly, only one Etiquette can be used in each conversation. Not one per person, just one. If you hold back too long, someone else may use theirs first. If you get together with the same person for a different conversation or a conversation on a different topic later in the game then that is classified as a new conversation. If you run out of cards, you can’t use your Etiquette.
If you have an Etiquette used against you however, you are given the ‘Manners‘ card from the other player and you keep that card. You can then, later, use that card to power your own Etiquette in a different conversation with anyone. The idea is that the cards never end up with a GM, they stay in circulation the entire game.
A character’s Etiquette is unique to them, and is formed by their personality and position within polite society. Some will be useful in extracting information or promises from people, some will be good for stopping events or getting oneself out of a sticky situation, and others still may be useful in getting people to see things your way.
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to use your Etiquette and have no more Manners cards, you may need to place yourself in a delicate position to tempt someone else to use their Etiquette on you so you get their card. And thus, Drama is born.
Vicar Green is in a conversation with Lady Mary Farthingale. The Vicar is sure that he can get the information that he wants from Lady Farthingale because he is planning on using his etiquette of “Tell me what’s troubling you my child”. (This describes him as the epitome of the trustworthy caring cleric and allows him to get someone to tell him what their biggest real concern or worry is.)
Just before he does this however, Lady Farthingale sees mischief in his eyes and states that she saw the ‘good’ Vicar taking a walk in the park earlier with young Susan Pemberton, unaccompanied, and exclaims “Now is that how we behave?” (This states that she has worked hard to become the acknowledged Queen of the Ton and now she is able to benefit from the position of being the one who determines what is right and proper in society by using this phase to reprimand and correct the behaviour of anyone who is not acting appropriately within her earshot.)
The Vicar is quick to correct the Lady that it was not he she saw walking with young Susan, but the damage is already done, and no more etiquette’s can be played in that conversation. Whether Lady Farthingale actually saw the Vicar and young Susan that morning we may never know.