Castle Falkenstein / Lucus Palosaari
The invention of house rules predate the invention of Dungeons and Dragons by quite a bit. Nor are they exclusive to our universe and that is the driving force behind our Variations line.
Perhaps I'd better let Captain Thomas Olam explain...
"Honestly, Mike, I should have seen it coming. Back in your world there’s a tendency to associate house rules with roleplaying games but the concept is as old as gaming itself. Just look at whist! There’s bid whist, Boston whist, hearts whist, knock-out whist, and more! Travel to fives different cities and chances are you’ll end up playing five different variations of whist. Heck, duels have been fought over the right to decide which rules to play with!
So, it should come as no surprise that as soon as I published the Great Game over here people began developing their own house rules. In my travels around the world as part of my job as an Agent of the Second Compact I’ve run into hundreds of these variations. Some made sense and some didn’t and at least one required the assistance of a Babbage Engine to implement! I’ve collected some of my favorites and sent them over to you via Faerie Express. I hope you enjoy."
We've already seen some variations, of course. There's the popular "Fearful Harm & Greater Danger" rules from Comme il Faut, for instance. However, the material already published represents just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to alternate rules for the Great Game. Hidden in Captain Olam's notes from Across the Faerie Veil are a wealth of good ideas Hosts and Players can use to customize their game to their exact style of play.
With The Tarot Variation and The Second Tarot Variation already out and offering new rules for Sorcery and Fortune Decks, we move onto The Ability Variations. This compact document will provide three new rules options for Castle Falkenstein:
- Rules for Specializations which allow Players to excel in specific areas of study in otherwise broad Abilities.
- Alternate rules for pairing cards of non-governing Suits to Abilities when performing Feats.
- A new system for Ability improvement which matches simple precision with storytelling potential.
I finished transcription of The Ability Variations and sent it on to my editor, the amazing Lucus Polasaari, today. Once he's given the document a thorough scrubbing it will continue onward to the Greatest of Goblins for layout and artistic flourish, to Mike Pondsmith himself for approval, and then to you, Friends of Falkenstein, for your enjoyment.
Your humble servant,
Greetings! On this Friday, I thought I would spend a moment updating the Friends of Falkenstein on the status of the line's various ongoing projects.
Firearms and Margarine, the first stand-alone adventure for Castle Falkenstein has been picked over by the Allies of the Second Compact and given to Lord Palosaari and Captain Daniels for a final editing before layout.
The Second Tarot Variation, being a set of rules for using a tarot deck in place of a standard Fortune Deck, has also been given to Lord Palosaari and Captain Daniels for a final edit before layout.
Once these two products have been polished and shined they will be sent to R. Talsorian for final approval and then released.
The Journal of Science Obscura: Railed Vehicles, is in the process of transcription. Captain Olam's notes are being picked over and entered into my personal Babbage Engine. This volume will provide history, insight, and statistics for eight different and unusual railed vehicles, as well as a collection of new Host Characters, and optional rules for judging vehicle speed and maneuverability.
Other projects are, of course, on the horizon but need not be spoken of now. In other news, let me take a moment to remind you of The Tarot Variation: An Alternative Sorcery Deck for Castle Falkenstein. This optional rule uses tarot cards to create a Sorcery Deck which gives Magick itself life and a say in the spell being cast through the use of the Major Arcana.
The reason I mention this particular product is due to it receiving its first professional review courtesy of Endzeitgeist, a German reviewer who has chosen to add Castle Falkenstein to the list of RPG systems he puts under his intense microscope.
And the verdict is...
Phenomenal! Endzeitgeist favored The Tarot Variation with 5 stars, his seal of approval, named it an essential buy for Castle Falkenstein, and added it to his short list for "Top 10 RPG Picks of the Year".
In his own words, "This is, in short, perhaps the best buck you can spend to vastly improve a single system, to breathe fresh air and versatility into a game, that I have seen in a long, long time. The simplicity is genius, the price can’t be beaten, the results of using this and the joy it brings go far beyond what the humble price tag would make you think. This is a true gem of RPG-design and bespeaks the author’s palpable love for the system. if you’re playing Castle Falkenstein, then this is very much an absolute no-brainer."
If you would like to read the review in detail, you can find it here.
If you would like to purchase The Tarot Variation, it can be found here.
I think I speak for the entire Fat Goblin team when I say how honored we are that one of our first Castle Falkenstein products received an absolutely glowing review.
Your humble servant,
Hello my friends and welcome to Falkenstein Friday! In a previous post, I mentioned Curious Creatures, the first book in our revival of the Castle Falkenstein line has moved from the writing stage to the editing stage. I'm quite happy to report Lord Lucus Palosaari and Captain Troy E. Daniels have finished their editing efforts and passed the book along to the Fattest of All Goblins, Admiral Rick Hershey! He has made swift progress and I am ecstatic to have to chance to share with you two spreads from the book as laid out thus far. Mind you, what you see here today is not the final product and changes may yet be made. Still, I hope you will find the spreads as gorgeous as I do. Rick has worked hard to create a style which is up to date and beautiful while still retaining the character of Castle Falkenstein and the Victorian era.
The first of the two spreads serves as the introduction to the book and gives a glimpse into the narrative of Mister Thomas Stubbins which has been woven throughout the first half of the book. There's also a note from Captain Olam introducing the more rules oriented portion of Curious Creatures.
The second spread I included because I absolutely love this sidebar, which introduces Beth-Ann, the giant bear. You also get a glimpse into the beginning of the rules detailing how creatures and Magick interact.
Once Admiral Hershey finishes layout we will inspect it one more time, fix any errors and the manuscript will be sent via electronic express to the amazing talent at R. Talsorian game for approval. As soon as the word is given, Curious Creatures will go on sale.
Your humble servant.