The Conspirators


The Conspirators are the player's main characters and are villains: self-serving and ruthless.

  • The group of Conspirators – whether two, three or four in number – are solely and actively responsible for the downfall of The Knife in The Incident.

  • Each player will choose one Conspirator to personalise and play, from a possible four.

  • Conspirators are generally described in a way that allows the players to choose their gender.

  • You will provide a paragraph or two to describe the Conspirator and who they were before The Incident

  • In a similar way to The Choices, you'll offer a single choice about them—each with a sentence explaining something that is true about them, then two options to further specify.


Firstly, it's worth revisiting some guidance from the rules booklet on villainy and 'evil' characters:

The Conspirators are fairly nasty, menacing people. However, there are many ways to be evil, and the player's goal (and yours, writing this playset) is not to be as vile as possible.

As a baseline, you should aim for the kind of dramatic, inflated villains you might see in a family adventure film. If you want to take things in a darker direction, you'll need to be very careful in the ways that you signpost the content and support players during and after play—it can be traumatic to enact and witness truly 'vile' actions, even in fiction.

It is (of course) different for every group that comes together to play games, but in general there are types of evil characters which players can have a fun time with, and types that are distasteful or worse. Make your villains tragic (if not quite relatable), flawed (neurotic, petty, greedy) and proud—you want their inevitable fall to be well-deserved and from a great height. Use true competence sparingly, perhaps in only one of your four characters, so that they can be brought down by the amateurs around them.

Use the introduction paragraphs to describe each Conspirator, efficiently portraying them and covering how they relate to The Knife. Most of the Conspirators will already have a relationship with The Knife that gives them a motiviation to become involved in the The Conspiracy. Through these descriptions, you might also establish additional truths about The Knife themselves—such as the existence of family, relationships and their work.

Then, like the previous choices in the playset, use your choice to define a vital truth about each Conspirator—something core to their motivations and flaws.

Example – Introduction

You and your family were among the first to move to Arcadia. Your name is one of enduring prestige, a dynasty stretching back to antiquity, so naturally you had the means and influence to secure one of the finest residences on the station. From your palatial home, you monitor your investments and, reluctantly, your household affairs.

Your child and sole heir, now a young adult, has always had a rebellious streak. Until recently, their outbursts had been contained to a dreadful haircut or designer drugs: all easy enough to smooth over. But now they say they’ve fallen in love with some upstart called ‘Tesh’—an unrefined immigrant, born into squalor in an Earth slum.

As a matter of urgency, you must spoil this improper affair.

– The Count of Saint-Lazare Playset, Jack Harrison

Example – Choice


One soul, tangled in the mess of two rivals. Choose one:

  • Marion Aubere, the spirited heiress to a sizeable family fortune. She loved Émile’s smile and quick wit.

  • Oscar Comtois, a bookish foreman and talented inventor. He loved Émile’s passion and good heart.

– The Count of Saint-Lazare Playset, Jack Harrison

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