All For One: Regime Diabolique

[Gaming 101] Games to Start With Part 4: Alternate History and Pulp

Right, I know I said I’d do Alternate History and Pulp today. Then I realized what kind of trouble I got myself into. There’s an awful lot of this stuff out there right now! Okay, so no preamble, let’s just do this:

Hollow Earth Expedition from Exile Games
Fast, pulpy fun matched with an easy to grasp system that can use any size of die makes Hollow Earth Expedition (or HEX) a definite crowd pleaser. Add some top-notch art, compelling plot hooks for a hollow earth campaign and all sorts of crazy threats from Dinosaurs to Nazis to tribes of cannibals, the game practically runs itself. Add the fact that the supplements and expansions for the game are all aimed at targeting all other forms of pulp (Secrets of the Surface World covers urban pulp, for example) and an upcoming expansion set in MARS, what’s not to love about this game?

All For One: Regime Diabolique from Triple Ace Games
Musketeers fighting the forces of Hell itself! Swashbuckling action against the threats of the supernatural! Add a well-researched history and a very strong series of supplements to fill out everything from War to Fashion, this game presents itself extremely well and has a freeform magic system that is quick and easy to learn without having to trawl through massive spell lists. Imaginative and unique, All For One: Regime Diabolique also uses the Ubiquity system from Hollow Earth Expedition, but for fans of Savage Worlds, they’ve just recently released a version for that rule set as well.

Leagues of Adventure from Triple Ace Games
Another Ubiquity system game, Leagues of Adventure takes the Triple Ace Games level of research to pulling off steampunk and mashing it up with the adventure-seeking high of the pulps. Fans of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen will find themselves right at home in this game, with strange devices, mysterious ruins and the call of adventure. Go out and heed the call for adventure!

Dark Harvest: Legacy of Frankenstein from Iain Lowson
Perhaps one of the creepiest alternate history games I’ve ever had the good fortune to read, Dark Harvest: Legacy of Frankenstein is a dystopian steampunk setting where Dr. Victor Frankenstein uses his discoveries to establish his nation of Promethea. Commoners huddle away from the Dark Harvest, while the decadent nobility harvest body parts to live forever. Take up arms as part of the resistance, and fight the good fight in hopes for a brighter tomorrow.

Qin: the Warring States from Cubicle 7
I’m actually reading this book right now, and I have to say that it’s a blast to read. Low-powered wuxia action in a time before the Three Kingdoms Era, with plenty of room for adventure and kung fu action. If you’re interested in following along, just check out my Let’s Study articles.

Yggdrasill from Cubicle 7
Here’s another favorite of mine. Well researched and carefully presented, Yggdrasill gives an awesome look at the Scandian lands and the lives of the Norsemen Heroes that live there. Politics (?!) Magic, and Frost Giants abound, leaving players with more than a number of different avenues to get into trouble.

Spirit of the Century from Evil Hat Productions
These days I can’t mention Pulp without mentioning SotC lest the FATE fans cry foul. :p Seriously though, I’ve heard a lot of good things about this game, and I’m just waiting for someone to run it for me and show me the error of my heathen ways.

Deadlands Reloaded! from Pinnacle Entertainment Group
Welcome to the Weird West. If you’re even remotely interested in Westerns, grab this game (and the Marshall’s guide too.) Deadlands is one of the longer running game lines and is one of the most loved horror-western settings around. Strange card-slinging hucksters and eagle-eyed sharpshooters are just two of the kinds of characters you can play, not to mention miracle wielding preachers and Ghostrock-powered weird gadgetry!

This is by no means exhaustive, and I’m pretty sure I’ve missed more than a few titles here, but I think this is a good enough place to start if you’re looking for adventure and pulps. At this point I’m still thinking of what other areas to cover… anyone got suggestions? Just add them on the comments below!

If you’re interested in picking up any of these in hardcover, you can order them directly from Gaming Library.

To place an order, please go to Gaming Library’s special order express page :

Take note that placing an order there doesn’t mean you’re committed, rather the Gaming Library team will be giving a quote and you can now choose whether to push through with the purchase or not.

All For One: Regime Diabolique Now for Savage Worlds!

The year is 1636 and France is a troubled nation. A great and terrible evil gnaws at its core and darkness stalks the land.

All that stands between chaos and order are the King’s Musketeers.

Explore a France of swashbuckling action, powerful magic, daring deeds, courtly intrigue, witty repartee, and vile monsters! The characters are France’s bravest and proudest defenders, the King’s Musketeers. Pitted against them is a plethora of corrupt nobles, black magicians, fell demons, and twisted secret societies. Set at the height of power of Cardinal Richelieu and Louis XIII, All for One: Régime Diabolique mixes the action of literary works such as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers with horror and intrigue to create a unique, vibrant setting.

Strap on your sword, salute the King, and prepare to cross swords with the creatures of darkness!

This version of All for One: Régime Diabolique is a musketeer roleplaying setting for Savage Worlds RPG.

Paul “Wiggy” Wade-Williams’ awesome swashbuckling game of Musketeers fighting the Supernatural has finally made it to Savage Worlds! All For One: Regime Diabolique is by far one of the most interesting games to have come out as of late, and while the original version was definitely good, I think the setting is still a perfect fit for the kind of gameplay encouraged by the Savage Worlds rules.

If you’re a fan of Savage Worlds, there’s no reason why you should deprive yourself of being able to play in this remarkable setting.

The Savage Worlds version of All For One: Regime Diabolique is available from DriveThruRPG for $14.99 or roughly Php 630.00

Missions vs Sandbox, What’s Your Preference?

RPGs come in all kinds, but one particular distinction that bears paying attention to is if the game lends itself better towards mission-based play, or a more sandbox style approach.

Mission-based games are those that often have the player characters taking on a specific role relating to a group of PC types that are meant to achieve X goals via Y means.  Games like these often invest a lot of time and effort playing up the group that the players are meant to be a part of, to instill a clear range of acceptable behaviors and actions.  Some examples are:

  • In Flames by Greg Saunders – Features the Player Characters as the Exiles, a group of individuals working for a being calling itself Ghede to fight against abusive individuals known as “Barons.”
  • Eclipse Phase – At its default level assumes that the player characters are part of Firewall, a secret organization created to combat extinction-level threats.
  • All For One: Regime Diabolique – Assumes that the player characters are all part of the Musketeers, fighting against the darkness that is sweeping over France.
The advantage of Mission-based games is that it forms a common element that ties the group together.  This is excellent for games that rely on heavy teamwork and for groups that don’t care for that much player vs. player conflict.  Rather than spending time with keeping secrets from each other and otherwise politicking, the group can focus on a given objective.
Conflicts in this setup tend to be focused on external threats, and don’t leave a lot of room for introspective plot hooks.  This setup is also great for large numbers of players as everyone gets a chance to do something.
Sandbox style games are less specific about their arrangements.  Often, these games focus more on a situation rather than a mission.  While there are exceptions, one of the most common questions Sandbox games tend to offer is “Congratulations, you’ve just become a Vampire/Werewolf/Mage/Exalt/Godling/etc.  Now what do you do?”
White Wolf is notorious for catering to this form of game, but they’re definitely not the only ones:
  • Part-Time Gods – Has various factions, but certainly no unifying group and “mission” behind their existence.  The Player characters find themselves blessed (or cursed) with the divine spark of godhood and have to find out how to live in this strange new world of godhood.
  • Legend of the Five Rings – Is a game that is definitely broad enough to accommodate various sandbox themes.  While one could argue that a game about Duty, Honor and Sacrifice is bound to be mission-based, there’s arguably plenty of room for sandbox style play where one can track the life and significant events of the lives of the various Samurai.
Sandbox play is great for those who enjoy the concept of immersion.  Rather than having set goals and allegiances, the players are free to explore the social landscape of a game and make these decisions for themselves.  These decisions in turn, have consequences that manifest in various ways but always change the dynamic of the game.  Siding with one group will influence the world in one way, while siding with another will have other effects.
Between the two my personal preference falls towards Sandbox style.  Mission style stuff is convenient and fun, but I find Sandbox style games to be more rewarding from the point of view of a GM.  Mission based games are like a string of one-offs to me, barring a few recurring villains and NPCs, once a mission is done, it’s pretty much over.
Sandbox games appeal to me since it also involves the player characters in the act of changing the setting.  Everything they do and achieve alters the setting somewhat for better or worse.  While this means that some of the more wanton player types tend to make a mess of things, it also means that conscientious players can achieve far greater things with the right contacts and plans.
That said, neither style is “superior” over the other, and it’s purely a matter of preference.  I’m very curious to find out what people prefer to play though, and why.  Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!

Games I Wish I Was Playing Right Now

In a little fit of pique from my selfish Id, I figured that I might as well make a list of games that I wish I was playing in right now.  Take note that my Id is neither realistic, nor patient, nor does it give a damn as to how I could possibly play all 5 games right now at the same time.  This list represents the desires of my basest of minds, the angry, petulant 5-year old that shrieks and breaks things when denied.

Considering that this particular angry and destructive 5-year old self lives in my brain, I figure I might as well give it an outlet before it decides to throw a tantrum and perhaps decide to smash a folding chair into my pineal gland.

And so onto the list:

All For One: Regime Diabolique

After checking out the corebook and several of the Richelieu’s Guides, I think I’ve finally found the swashbuckling RPG I’ve been looking for.  All For One: Regime Diabolique is probably the only RPG I know of that is in current circulation (sorry, 7th Sea, you don’t count) that handles the swashbuckling action of the Three Musketeers while adding an interesting supernatural twist to the setting.  While some people might find that Musketeers with Magic might be just a little too weird for them to handle, I am giddy with excitement at what I could pull off in this game as a player.


Ah, to play a supers game again.  HERO has always been my go-to for superheroic campaigns, and while I’ve successfully run it, I have yet to play it again under a different GM.  Perhaps the system is too daunting, or nobody has time to make a character with the detailed character creation rules anymore, but it doesn’t stop me from wishing that I was in a supers campaign where I could tweak and build a character to my exact specifications the HERO way.

Fantasy Craft

Fantasy Craft has been quite an obsession of mine, with all the options that the game provides.  I’m constantly hypnotized by the possibilities and I keep telling myself that I’ll finally unleash that mammoth of a custom setting I’ve got brewing in the back of my head.  But wait, I’m supposed to be talking about playing games, and I have to admit that despite it’s relation to the d20 System, I’m very much a fan of Fantasy Craft and would jump at the chance to play in a campaign.

Hollow Earth Expedition

Ahhh… pulp, the genre that keeps on giving.  I’m a big fan of the pulp genre, but it pains me that I’m usually the only GM willing to run a campaign.  That said, Hollow Earth Expedition is one of those games that just sings, getting even the most jaded of players to reconsider the merits of the pulp genre.  I’m all for any sort of campaign, Hollow Earth or not, I’d be just as happy punching Triad gangsters in Shanghai and punching out Thule Society thugs in the ruins of a hidden monastery in Tibet.

Mage: the Awakening

Mage is by far my favorite game in the World of Darkness, and I don’t think I will ever tire of it.  The themes of responsibility, power and hubris are all excellent fodder for all sorts of stories, both hopeful and tragic.  I yearn for the day when I can actually play in a full campaign of Mage with all the dials turned on.  Arcane Archeology? Sure.  Political backstabbing?  Bring it on!  Other-dimensional aberrations that seek to destroy our reality?  I’m there.

The Savage World of Solomon Kane

I would use words to describe why I want to play this game, but it wouldn’t do the setting any justice.  Instead, have a snippet from the Solomon Kane short story, Red Shadows:

“You – who are – you?” her words came in gasps.

“Naught but a wanderer, a landless man, but a friend to all in need.”  The gentle voice sounded somehow incongruous, coming from the man.

The girl sought to prop herself up on her elbow, and instantly he knelt and raised her to a sitting position… His hand touched her breast and came away red and wet.

“Tell me.”  His voice was soft, soothing, as one speaks to a babe.

“Le Loup,” she gasped, her voice swiftly growing weaker.  “He and his men – descended upon our village… They robbed – slew – burned -”

“I ran.  He, the Wolf, pursued me – and – caught me -”  The words died away in a shuddering silence.

“I understand, child.  Then -?”

“Then – he – he stabbed me – with his dagger – oh, blessed saints!  mercy -”

Suddenly the slim form went limp.  The man eased her to the earth, and touched her brow lightly.

“Dead!” he muttered.

Slowly he rose, mechanically, wiping his hands upon his cloak.  A dark scowl had settled on his somber brow.  Yet he made no wild, reckless vow, swore no oath by saints or devils.

“Men shall die for this,” he said coldly.

My excitable 5-year old self is already bouncing off the couch, play sword in hand and hacking at random furniture.

And so there it is, my list of games that I wish I were playing right now, somehow, against all logic.  These are all awesome games, with great systems that support the tone and style of play inspired by the genres that spawned them.  Check them out, give them a whirl, and if you ever decide that this is the game for you, drop me a line, I may just jump at the chance to play in your game.

[Let’s Study] All For One: Regime Diabolique – Richelieu’s Guide to Fencing Schools

This article was written for a review copy that was generously provided by Triple Ace Games.

The first thing that most people think of at the mention of Musketeers is the art of Fencing.  Therefore it is no surprise then that All For One: Regime Diabolique has a supplement dedicated to further exploring the various Fencing Schools of the setting, as well as offering new player options and rules for creating your own Fencing Schools.


Richelieu’s Guide to Fencing Schools is a 12 page PDF product that doesn’t let page count get in the way of delivering solid content.  After a brief introductory paragraph, the book launches headlong into explaining the benefits of being a member of a Fencing School.  I particularly like how the Guide goes into explaining the less obvious benefits of belonging to a Fencing School, such as emergency board and lodgings, or the access to the school’s library.

The guidelines for creating a Fencing School is presented with a 3-step mechanical summary, and  a short outline of the requirements for a Character to actually put up his own Fencing School.  I’ve met many players who enjoy making a mark on the campaign setting, and enabling them to actually put up a Fencing School of their own is a powerful motivator.  Just the act of trying to put up your own school is a gold mine of plot hooks and adventures for a GM.

What follows after are the details of the games 10 Fencing Schools, going into detail on the School’s history and personality.  A more detailed description of the fighting style helps with visualizing just how a Musketeer with training in these schools might fight, which is very helpful for both the Player and the GM.  Each school also has a list of suggested Talents for students of a given school.

But the highlight of each school writeup lies in the special Talents unique only to members of a given Fencing School.  These talents cannot be obtained without having the Fencing School Resource giving off a “special technique” vibe.  While I won’t go into great detail on these talents in this review, each Talent gives a definite boost to a combatant that reflects the tricks and maneuvers that would be iconic of their respective school.

For those curious, here’s a list of the schools and the talents found within the Guide:

Del Rio
Dirty Blow
Disarming Strike
Wary Fighter

Cloak the Form
Swirl of the Cape
New Gear – Weighted Cape

Trick Rider

Feign Death
Painful Jab
Surgical Precision

Combat Clinch
Deadly Hands
Delayed Blow

The Great Dances
Danse Macabre

Position de Fer
Iron Stance
Static Defense
Yield no Ground

First Strike

Expeditious Retreat
Patient Strike

Berserker Fury
Furious Slash

Art & Layout

Much like in the previous Guide I reviewed, the art and layout of this one matches that of the All For One: Regime Diabolique Corebook.  One thing that I noticed was that each of the schools fit perfectly in one page, making it easy for a player to just print out the page for his school and use it.  That struck me as rather nifty, as it also means that a GM could print out the sheets and pass them around to his players during character generation, letting them make their choices without having to pass the corebook around the table until it breaks (I’ll admit to being rather obsessive about taking care of my RPG books.)

Again, sadly the Guide doesn’t have any artwork in it at all, but I guess that’s part and parcel of the format of these guides.  Given the amount of content stuffed into 12 pages, I’d say it was a decent trade-off.


Richelieu’s Guide to Fencing Schools is an excellent expansion to the core book, addressing the need to explore the Fencing Schools further, going into more detail on just what makes each school different, both in philosophy and technique.  The addition of unique “Members-Only” Talents is a definite plus that Players will enjoy having as an ace in the hole and greatly expands the options that players have when it comes to personalizing their character.  GMs will find the school descriptions to be full of possible plot hooks, and the discussion on how Fencing Schools benefit and influence their members is an eye-opener, especially for players who tend to view things in pure mechanics.

Definitely a solid addition to the All For One: Regime Diabolique line.


Richelieu’s Guide to Fencing Schools is available from DriveThruRPG for $3.99 or roughly Php 172.00

[Let’s Study] All For One: Regime Diabolique – Richelieu’s Guide to Expanded Characters

This article was written for a review copy that was generously provided by Triple Ace Games.

One of the minor concerns that was noted about All For One: Regime Diabolique was the default stance that the Player Characters would all have to be a) Musketeers and b) Male.  I say that this is a minor concern as the system itself, as well as the implied setting, is still wide open to any number of other characters, female or otherwise.

But to address this issue definitively, Triple Ace Games released the Richelieu’s Guide to Expanded Characters, a 12 page PDF product detailing additional character options, including the Queen’s Musketeers, a group of female musketeers that are in every way equal to their male peers.  The guide also goes into further detail into the creation of non-Musketeer characters (female or otherwise) who may find themselves allied with the Musketeers in their fight against the forces that threaten France.


Richelieu’s Guide to Expanded Characters may be only 12 pages long, but it wastes no time in handing out useful information for any Regime Diabolique campaign.  Just to give an idea of what can be found in this particular guide:

  • The History, Organization and Roles of the Queen’s Musketeers
  • New Archetypes – Guardian, Patron and Outcast
  • New Motivations – Glory, Preservation and Wisdom
  • A new Talent and accompanying combat Maneuver
  • Character Creation Guidelines for non-Musketeer characters
  • Five sample female characters that show off the wide range of character options encouraged by the new rules
  • Eight new Lackey types
  • Two new Secret Societies for the GM’s eyes only

The last portion in particular was very interesting to me as I imagine that many of the players I knew would be more than willing to play non-musketeers, and having the necessary guidelines for creating a varied cast of characters was definitely a way to expand the scope of All For One: Regime Diabolique.

Art & Layout

The layout of the PDF should be familiar to anyone who has a copy of All For One: Regime Diabolique as it maintains the style and layout of the corebook.  The new character creation options are presented in sidebars and callout boxes, making them easy enough to spot, and each of the sample characters are presented on one page character sheets, making it easy for someone who needs a quick character to just print that page, write down a name and run with it.

Unfortunately, the guide is devoid of any artwork, something that is not a deal-breaker to me by any means, but I do feel that it would have been nice to get some portraits for the Sample Characters at least.

The PDF is mostly in black and white (save for the All For One: Regime Diabolique title, and the Triple Age Games and Ubiquity Logos on the front page) making it kind to your printer should you choose to print it out.


Richelieu’s Guide to Expanded Characters is a perfect example of what a supplement ought to be.  It expands the scope of the core game, adding a wealth of mechanical and fluff options that give All For One: Regime Diabolique the ability to tackle more than just Musketeer-centric games.

That said, I’d highly recommend Richelieu’s Guide to Expanded Characters as the first purchase after the Corebook as expanding the core setting to accommodate a greater cast of characters cannot possibly be a bad thing for any Regime Diabolique campaign and for a price that is definitely easy on the wallet and well within the impulse-buy zone.


Richelieu’s Guide to Expanded Characters is available from DriveThruRPG for $3.99 or roughly Php 172.00

[Let’s Study] All For One: Regime Diabolique – Part 5, Conclusion

I have to say that All For One: Regime Diabolique is one of the few games that has gotten me excited over the idea of running it.  The Ubiquity System is easy to learn, requires no fancy dice (a great thing here in the Philippines, where getting polyhedral dice is a pain,) and works great for the high-action swashbuckling that the game has as a default.

Much of the game’s GM chapter goes into the various ways one can run the game, which I find to be an interesting and refreshing take to gaming as opposed to the “one true way” that tends to be common nowadays.  All For One doesn’t label itself as a toolkit, but it is still remarkably flexible in being able to run with a variety of different tones, from low fantasy with no magic, to a high magic setting with over-the-top heroes.  The chapter also goes into detail to explain the genre, and present the little elements and devices that a storyteller could use, like Cliffhangers (definitely a must!)

The other chapters details the various secret societies and allies and antagonists for the player characters in the setting.  This is rather helpful since I have to confess that I only have a rudimentary knowledge of the setting beyond what I know about it from watching the various Musketeer movies and maybe what I can dig up from Wikipedia.  This is definitely going to be helpful.


However, one thing that I did realize early on was the fact that the ruleset itself could be easily used to work for nearly -any- game with a similar time period.  One could, for example run a campaign set in the world of Capital Alatriste, or perhaps even Zorro with All For One: Regime Diabolique.  Almost no mechanical tinkering is necessary, and as Tallgeese mentioned in his comment at the start of this series, it could very well be used to run a game set in the Philippines during the Spanish Occupation, complete with the Theurgical Tradition for the Spanish while the Filipino natives resorted to the Natural Tradition.  And as a nod to my own heritage, a Ceremonial Tradition for the Chinese community of the time.

Heck, perhaps if I don’t find someone who tried this already, I could start trying to hack the Ubiquity System implementation of Regime Diabolique into the setting of 7th Sea…


Overall, I would definitely rate All For One: Regime Diabolique as a must buy.  It makes for an excellent entry-level rpg, meaty enough for people who like rules, and cinematic enough for people who like flair.  The setting is near and dear to many people’s hearts, and who doesn’t love the idea of swinging from a chandelier and kicking a ruffian in the face?

For those curious to check it out, All For One: Regime Diabolique is available in PDF format over at DriveThruRPG for $24.99 or about Php 1078.00
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