Tag Archives: courtesans

[Update] Time to Get back into the game!

Too Damn High!
I know, I know damnit!

I’ve been really tardy in getting on with things lately. Though the networking amongst the local gaming community has been useful I’ve been so knackered recently that I haven’t really had the time to get on with things.

However I intend to prioritise the following…

CID: This really needs finishing but I’m kind of stuck on the boring bit (Combat.) It should prove to be a winner and once done it will get me back in the game with a core game that’s NOTHING like anything I’ve done before.

Novel: Again stuck though strangely not on a boring bit. I’ll be sure to give Hattie the utterly insane story she deserves as soon as I can though.

Supplements: I may work on the Courtesans “Monster Manuals” (Eligible Gentlemen and Scandalous Ladies) as having a book chock full of pre-made admirers has obvious advantages.

Card Support: DriveThru Cards has been up for over a year and I still haven’t got round to doing something for it. Currently I’m thinking a “monopoly money” type thing for Courtesans or Doxy with a one use special ability on the filp-side much how the 2GMs 1Mic Crew use cards.

Miniatures: They exist !!!! Seriously though please consider getting one even if only a one off purchase. What I really should do is a new set of painted ones using my new and improved skills.

So once again sorry for my screwed up headspace and all it has done but I hope to be back on form soon.

[Courtesans] First Time for Everything

Court Cov FINAL

I’ve been reading the 18th Century Classic Fanny Hill again recently and it occurred to me that there is a way I could improve the Courtesans rules set slightly…

No its not necessarily to do with sex scenes you delightful perves you…

Instead it is about in-experience. The number of actions the Courtesans system could incorporate is almost limitless and it is somewhat easy to see a situation arising where a Player Character is trying out something for the first time. She’s no mere slip of a girl at 18 but she may not have ever, for example, ridden a horse, or shot a bow or danced around in a giant cream pie

Okay scrap that last one that was weird… but the point is the charmingly awkward first time is both a hindrance and potentially an additional delight for an admirer. As such I present the following optional rule.

First Time for Everything
If she wishes to attempt a Pleasing Action that involves an activity she has never tried before a Courtesan is at a -1 penalty to her Dice Roll. However if she overcomes this penalty and succeeds her Margin of success counts as 1 better than it actually is.

Example: Hazel the Upstart has never ridden a horse before, being a City Girl with everywhere being in walking distance so she’s a little nervous when her Admirer Lord Prescott suggests a ride round his estate. Her initial Prowess roll is at a -1 Penalty however as she still manages to pass the roll by 2 she counts as having Succeeded by 3 taking an additional point of wealth from her lover’s giggling at her tangling herself up in the reins

Click the picture to get yourself a copy of Courtesans: Sex and Society in glorious paperpack goodness!

[Opinion Piece] Princesses vs Courtesans

This is an old article from the Courtesans Blog I think has added relevance in the current climate of antipathy toward the horrific injustice of inherited privilege. This is Dedicated to the Republic Campaign for a fairer United Kingdom


I’ve seen a lot of posts on here recently about Princesses being a good archetype for young women. I respect these posters enough to keep them on my friends list but I feel I must make the effort to provide the counter argument.

Or more accurately completely and utterly destroy this total fairy tale fallacy that far from being positive, I consider toxic to modern society and the cause of women’s equality.

Now in my responses to these posts I put forward that a Courtesan is a better role model than a Princess. “OMFG” you cry “how can you rate a whore higher than a princess?”

Simple, Courtesans are independent, intelligent, socially savvy and brutally honest. Contrast that with an airheaded, naive Princess who claims to be in love with some random stranger just so that she has access to his power and fortune once they are married. Happily ever after? Yeah right!

I think its best we illustrate with a couple of examples. Two women roughly a century apart: Both named Catherine both involved with a future King (well assuming we don’t dump the Royals any time soon) one a Courtesan the other… well Duchess but a de facto Princess really.

So let us have a look shall we?

Kate Middleton
We’ll start with the modern Princess.


Oh dear what an unfortunate picture. Surely there is something that better reflects her true nature? From the wedding perhaps?

Edit Fail


Anyway she is supposedly the “legitimate” Royal squeeze and after that parade of pomposity called her wedding she is idolised across the world by poor deluded little idiots.

This is complete bullshit.

Okay let’s start by debunking her supposed virtues…

She is hailed as “common Kate” the daughter of a pair of “small business people.”

I’m sorry but multi million pound turnover is not a small business and millionaire heiresses are not common. Hell I reckon all the negative press about her being “common” was engineered by the Prince’s PR people to generate sympathy.

Now let’s look at her other trump card the “romance of the century.”

More bullshit I’m afraid. That infamous Canadian made for TV Movie is probably the least subtle parody in the history of hitting people over the head with metaphorical sarcasm hammers.


Yet some people are stupid enough to buy it hook line and sinker.

Back in the build up to the wedding I posted a parody article on the Postmortem Studios Website that suggested the whole thing was a fix.

It was definitely a parody in terms of the idea that extremists or the security services may have been involved (very Mohammed Al Fayed) but the idea of the Tory PR machine manufacturing the Wedding is hilariously plausible in an obscene Yes Minister/Thick of It way. After all the whole farcical event was the perfect smokescreen for killing AV and beginning the process of killing the Welfare State.

There may well have been some affection in the past but the on off nature of their relationship, the way the wedding was timed and the string of former boyfriends and girlfriends of both makes it doubtful this is really “the love story of the century.” A love story at all is possible but nothing special if it is.

So what good can I say about not so common Kate? Not a lot. Seeing as she is a millionaire it wasn’t too hard for her to get the qualifications she does have and she doesn’t seem to have done anything momentous or contributed to society in any meaningful way.

Looking pretty and having good PR is not a qualification for the kind of idolatry she’s getting at all.

Now on to a Catherine more worthy of our respect…

Catherine “Skittles” Walters
Catherine Walters or “Skittles” as she was affectionately known by her friends was also associated with a king in waiting. Prince Bertie would eventually become Edward VII. However she obviously never married him and by some accounts never even slept with him. There’s was a truly respectful relationship between good friends.

Of course this relationship was, in contrast to that between Kate and Wills, reviled, despised then forgotten by all but historians and history buffs like me.

I don’t think this is just because Skittles was a Courtesan connected to most of the British establishment (including 4 time Prime Minister William Gladstone) I think when it comes down to it the real reason she was hated and has been airbrushed from popular memory is because unlike Kate she was A PROPER COMMONER.

The illegitimate daughter of a dock worker and a washerwoman from Liverpool: How can you possibly get more common than that?

Anyway the point is she made her way up from nothing. You may not agree with her methods (even if they are somewhat obfuscated by the prudishness of the age) but this is nonetheless admirable.

What’s more she may have disguised her accent and learnt the ways of the upper classes including horse riding which she is renowned for…

Skittles Riding

However she never converted from the still unpopular Catholicism and was an active supporter of the radical wing of the Liberal Party including the Suffragist movement (non violent women’s suffrage campaigns in stark contrast to the more famous Suffragettes whose methods bordered on terrorism. In fact it was them who invented suicide bombing. Fortunately the exploding handbag failed to go off.)

Skittles was a true commoner, remarkably honest and free of spin: she never stopped pushing for other working class women to have the power and wealth she wielded without having to follow her daring path.

She was also far more powerful and influential at her height than any other woman of her age including the Queen the age is named after: Victoria. Personally I’m going to start calling it the Skittles age from now on: Partly because it is more accurate but mostly because it sounds awesome.

Skittles is an exceptional role model of strength of character, intelligence, political activism and above all being her own woman. “Common Kate” on the other hand started with millions, has gained even more millions and her net contribution to society stands at precisely fuck all!

Courtesan beats Princess hands down.

Answering the Obvious FAQ
I know this question is going to come up so I’ll answer it in the article.

“Would you want your daughter to be a Princess or a Courtesan?”

Well leaving aside the fact that I think having children in this grossly overpopulated age is criminally irresponsible (see previous posts) if I was that stupid and I had that choice Courtesan would win out hands down.

Courtesans were strong, intelligent, honest, cultured and above all were not tied to the success of some idiot of a man.

Even idealised Fairy Tale Princesses are royally fucked up in the head. I mean let’s have a look…

*Cinderella: Child abuse victim who threw herself at a stranger purely as an escape route.

*Snow White: Not quite the innocent she’s made out to be in the original story. The relationship with the Dwarfs is positively creepy and you get the impression that the whole thing was a conspiracy by the little madam to kill her poor step mother who, in getting older was losing the looks that unfortunately still seem to dominate women’s perceived worth today.

*Sleeping Beauty: Until the prudish Victorians got their hands on it, it wasn’t a kiss that woke her up. She married a man who sleep raped her.

*Rapunzel: If your hair is really that long and durable tie it to something and abseil down. Don’t rely on a passing prince.

And that’s just the 4 most iconic.

You do get the odd Royal Bride worthy of respect. Shahrazad of Arabian Nights was clever and brave enough to survive an insane homicidal dictatorship and eventually change it for the better.

My artist Mastersilverwolf commented on a photo of me with my book Courtesans: A Roleplaying Game of Sex And Society and said that it was “like a proud father.” Well he’s right…

Me with Courtesans

This is the closest thing I have to a daughter. She’s a Courtesan and I’m very proud of her.

[Release] Courtesans Classic Edition

Classic Edition Front

Kittiwake Classics presents a special Print Edition of Ian Warner’s Courtesans: A Roleplaying Game of Sex and Society.

Packed with new art, re-edited text and less soap-boxing the Classic Edition of Courtesans will be hitting the wider market with a bang.

Click the picture to go to the purchase page.

You can also download a special pack of character sheets HERE