Inspired by a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Mike Pondsmith (Cyberpunk, Mekton) created a splendid frappe of a rulebook. Unusually, it’s told as the narrative adventure of one Tom Olam, a computer game artist unwillingly transported to New Europa by a powerful sorcerer and the King of the Fae. There Tom creates (in collaboration with the Prince of Wales) a “Great Game” that brings roleplaying to the salons of Europa.
The Great Game, and the Castle Falkenstein game itself, are high-spirited endeavors in unabashed melodrama, where adventures feature a Fiendish Plot, an Insidious Peril, Imprisonment in Durance Vile, and a Fate Worse Than Death, along with hairsbreadth escapes, deathtraps, and perilous battles. Players not only fill out characters sheets for their Dramatic Characters; they also keep a diary of the character’s life and times in the Steam Age. Start a session of “the Great Game,” and soon you’ll be speaking and writing like Captain Fortune himself: “I’ve a loaded reciprocator in one hand, a saber in the other, and a deucedly good Helical Rotor Ornithopter to get me where it’s needful. What say we take a flight over the Channel and beard the unscrupulous bounder in his very lair?”
This offer collected R. Talsorian’s entire Castle Falkenstein line for an unbeatable bargain price. There were three titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $40), all presented as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:
- Castle Falkenstein corebook (retail price $20): The complete 226-page rulebook as a beautiful full-color .PDF.
- Comme Il Faut (retail $10): The player’s essential guide to “all things right and proper” in the aristocratic courts of New Europa and beyond.
- Six-Guns & Sorcery (retail $10): Adventures in the Steam Age version of North America, a high-weirdness patchwork of bizarre nations.
- The Book of Sigils (retail $10): A new magick system, many new Sorcerous Orders and lorebooks, and rules for the animated dead, ghosts, and spirits.
- Steam Age (retail $8): A comprehensive equipment guide and interviews with many notable mad scientists and masterminds, like Captain Nemo and Lady Ada, the Enchantress of Numbers.
- The Lost Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci (retail $10): Retrieved from beyond the Faerie Veil, this codex presents sorcerous devices and rules for the construction of magickal engines.
- The Memoirs of Auberon of Faerie (retail $10): The High Lord of the Seelie Court reveals the secrets of the enigmatic Fae. By Jeff Grubb (Marvel Super Heroes, Spelljammer).