Castle Falkenstein

The People of Paris

The People of Paris

Hello, Friends of Falkenstein!

Things continue apace for the Castle Falkenstein line from Fat Goblin Games. The Fattest of Goblins continues to turn knobs and adjust levels in his bid to perfect the layout for Firearms and Margarine. When last I queried him about the subject, he muttered something about "going old school" and "learning to set type on an antique printing press".

Oh dear.

In the meanwhile, Julien Pirou and I have been investigating a rather curious tome sent across the Faerie Veil by Captain Thomas Olam. It seems to be one of a series of popular travel guides written by an American, Miss Pauline Peril. This particular guidebook gives advice for foreigners intending to live in Paris for an extended period of time. While most guides of the period seemed to be interested in dictating walking tours of the city and imparting information about respectable activities, Miss Peril's guide is rather salacious and dips down into the local bohemian and even criminal culture! In other words, it is the perfect book upon which to base our Castle Falkenstein Paris sourcebook!

Included in Miss Peril's guidebook are her observations on a number of personalities in the City of Lights. They are quite fascinating, I assure you... even the ones Miss Peril hasn't personally kissed.

Nana Coupeau, as painted by Edouard Manet.

Included among the personalities written about by Miss Peril...

  • Amélie Bosquet, an expert on folklore and, of course, scholar of the Faerie.
  • Jean Le Fustec, journalist, bard, and druid.
  • Nana Coupeau, a courtesan and actress. 
  • Erik, mysterious composer and muse living beneath the Paris Opera House.
  • George Sand, writer, feminist, and famous "cross dresser".

And quite a few more.

We beg your indulgence as we take the time to properly transcribe, research, and format Miss Peril's Guide to Paris. More updates will be forthcoming, I assure you.

Your humble servant,

J Gray

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A Place to Talk Falkenstein!

A Place to Talk Falkenstein!

Hello Friends of Falkenstein!

While Firearms and Margarine and The Second Tarot Variation are in layout and other projects are being transcribed, I thought I would take a moment's breathing space to create a place where fans of Castle Falkenstein can discuss the game, Victoriana, and gaming in general. Our Facebook group is fantastic but there are times, after all, when more direct interaction is desired.

If you are interested in joining us, you can do so by following this link. It is a Google group, if that makes a difference.

That's all I have to say this week. A short Falkenstein Friday (on Saturday). I hope to see you there!

Your humble servant.

J Gray

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Murder in the City of Lights

Murder in the City of Lights

Greetings! Happy Falkenstein Friday! This week I'm pleased to share with you a preview of the upcoming stand-alone Adventure Entertainment, Firearms and Margarine.

First, let me present the book's planned cover as designed by the Fattest of Goblins himself! I do believe it represents Thomas Olam's first cover credit in the Castle Falkenstein series...

Next, a brief preview of the interior, beginning with the Dramatis Personae in Alphabetical Order by Surname...

  • Monsieur Michel, Brownie and Devoted Assistant of Mademoiselle Bendit
  • Mademoiselle Danielle Bendit, Brownie Leader of the Protest Movement
  • Monsieur Martin Hoog, Factory Owner
  • Madame Anne Jaclard, Newspaper Owner and Commune Sympathizer
  • Docteur Jean Alexandre Le Mat, Physician and Firearms Inventor
  • Monsieur Eugène Varlin, leader of the Paris Commune
  • Docteur Auguste Voisin, Psychiatrist and Mesmerist
  • Préfet Félix Voisin, Prefect of the Paris Police Prefecture

... and concluding with a brief glimpse of the Teuz, a new Brownie kindred type found nearly exclusively in France.

"The Teuz are a form of Brownie most commonly encountered in the Brittany region of France, though some have migrated over time to other parts of the country and beyond. Like Piskies, to whom they bear some resemblance, Teuz are farmyard Brownies who perform chores around a farmstead such as milking cows and churning butter. As with all Brownies, Teuz prefer to perform their Great Works at night when the mortal farmers are sound asleep. Unlike other Brownies, however, Teuz can be extremely sensitive to ingratitude. If a mortal openly shows contempt for their work or demands more labor from a Teuz, these industrious little workers can consider the unspoken contract between farmer and Faerie broken and are free to leave and move on to another farm."

We anticipate Firearms and Margarine being released in late March or early April, though it may occur sooner if the stars align just so.

Your humble servant,

J Gray

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For Love of a Classic

For Love of a Classic

Like so many gamers, I found Castle Falkenstein back in 1994. Specifically, I found it in a comic shop in downtown Albany, New York. I went through that copy fairly quickly and picked up a second copy in a clearance sale years later in Cary, North Carolina. I still have that battered old copy.

My physical copy of Castle Falkenstein has seen better days!

I used to own all the books in hard copy but, alas, after several moves I'm down to Castle FalkensteinSteam Age, and The Lost Notebook of Leonardo da Vinci. Of course, I own all (and reference often!) all the books in PDF form. I'm extremely fortunate R. Talsorian has digitized each of these classics for me to purchase.

I take this walk down memory lane because I want to point out Castle Falkenstein is far from dead. Of course, Fat Goblin Games is supporting the line but every one of the original seven books are still available in one form or another from R. Talsorian. In fact, the entire line can be picked up in digital form for less than $80!

The first question I'm usually asked when I introduce myself as line developer for Castle Falkenstein is "Are you working on a 2nd edition?"

My answer is always: not yet, but I hope to!

If more people buy these old books and show love to the line it will go a long way towards convincing the right people that a second edition should happen!

In other news, both The Second Tarot Variation and Firearms & Margarine an Adventure Entertainment for Castle Falkenstein have passed editorial muster and are now in the layout queue at Fat Goblin Games!

Happy Falkenstein Friday!

Your humble servant,

J Gray

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Castle Falkenstein the Video Series!

Castle Falkenstein the Video Series!

Greetings and salutations, friends of Falkenstein! Welcome to another Falkenstein Friday!

A little over two weeks ago I openly pondered, on my Facebook wall, the concept of running an online Castle Falkenstein campaign. Almost immediately four very talented and dedicated Fans of Falkenstein leaped upon me and demanded I put my money where my mouth is and make it so.

Furthermore, we decided the campaign should be recorded and posted for those gamers out there looking for examples of how the Great Game is played. The campaign came together quickly with four fantastic characters.

  • Adélaïde Bechard, stage magician and member of the Cabinet of Cups and Wands.

  • Doctor George Cannaver, a scholar with a mysterious past.

  • Henri Glass, illegitimate offspring of author George Sand and composer Frederick Chopin.
  • Penneg, Breton brownie and one woman stage crew.

It was decided the campaign would begin in Vienna during the summer of 1872, just a few days before the Emperor's birthday. The four adventurers would be the house guests of the Baron and Baroness von Todesco in their palatial mansion. The campaign, it was decided, would take its name from the tag line for the game. 

An Obsidian Portal site was set up to help chronicle the campaign and keep the information tidy and accessible. Potential rule variations were discussed. And a date was set.

I am pleased to say we met for the first time this past Wednesday. The technology worked perfectly, allowing us to communicate though some players were quite literally on opposite coasts. The recording was excellent and, on the next day, I was able to scrabble it together with an introduction and title cards. The Fattest of Goblins uploaded the video late last night and now, I can share it with you.

For those of you who would prefer the recording in podcast form, we're working on that. I'll post a link to the podcast version as soon as it is available. For now, please enjoy the video of The Clockwork Lady Incident, Part 1.

 

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