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,