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Castle Falkenstein (May 2016)

Castle Falkenstein (May 2016)

by Monday 17 February 2020
In February 2020 we revived the May 2016 Castle Falkenstein Bundle featuring Mike Pondsmith‘s RPG of steampunk science, magick, and high adventure, Castle Falkenstein. And for this revival, we added three new Falkenstein supplements, originally published by Fat Goblin Games and newly acquired by R. Talsorian, that debuted in .PDF in this offer. (And if you purchased this bundle during its original May 2016 run, you automatically received the new additions on your Wizard’s Cabinet download page and in your DriveThruRPG Library.)

Published in 1994 by R. Talsorian Games, Falkenstein conjures a New Europa where the forces of wizardry battle on the gaslit streets of an alternate Victorian Age — where The Lord of the Rings meets The Prisoner of Zenda. Inspired by a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Mike Pondsmith (Cyberpunk, Mekton) created a splendid frappe of a rulebook. 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 he 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 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?”

There were four titles in this revived offer’s Starter Collection (retail value $48) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:
  • The full-color 226-page Castle Falkenstein core rulebook in a beautiful recent scan with corrected errata.
  • Comme Il Faut: The player’s essential guide to “all things right and proper” in the aristocratic courts of New Europa and beyond.
  • Steam Age: A comprehensive equipment guide and interviews with many notable mad scientists and masterminds, like Captain Nemo and Lady Ada, the Enchantress of Numbers.
  • Six-Guns & Sorcery: Adventures in the Steam Age version of North America, a high-weirdness patchwork of bizarre nations.
Those who paid more than the threshold (average) price¬†also got this revival’s entire Bonus Collection with six more supplements worth an additional $54 — the first three were new to this revival:
  • Curious Creatures: The comprehensive Falkenstein monster manual.
  • Firearms & Margarine: A full-length Adventure Entertainment set in Paris, where a mystery surrounds the assassination of a Brownie labor leader.
  • Variations on the Great Game: Optional rules that let you customize Falkenstein to your exact taste.
  • The Book of Sigils: A new magick system, many new Sorcerous Orders and lorebooks, and rules for the animated dead, ghosts, and spirits.
  • The Lost Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci: 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: The High Lord of the Seelie Court reveals the secrets of the enigmatic Fae. By Jeff Grubb (Marvel Super Heroes, Spelljammer).
Ten percent of each payment (after gateway fees) went to this offer’s designated charity, Reading is Fundamental.