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Castle Falkenstein

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Game material

Castle Falkenstein rules and sourcebooks, marked by our host on a 1-5 scale.

The most recent sourcebooks are reviewed on my blog (only in French, sorry).

Château Falkenstein (Castle Falkenstein, French edition by Jeux Descartes)

Château Falkenstein

This game is great. GREAT! The background, nicely mixing the historical Victorian era, anachro-technology, and magic, the card-based rules (duels and magic are particularly well thought)... Everything is great! And the book is superb! Wether you like high adventure or dark plots, Falkenstein is for you! Don't miss it...

*****

L'Ère de la Vapeur (Steam Age, French edition by Jeux Descartes)

L'Ère de la Vapeur

This technology catalog is not really exciting... Maybe not excentric enough? The scenario is nice, but railroading a lot and players feel it (some railroad scenarios are good, some even say these are the best scenarios, but players mustn't feel it...).

***

Comme il Faut (R. Talsorian Games)

Comme Il Faut

Almost indispensable, though sometimes a little academic (read boring).

****

The Book of Sigils (R. Talsorian Games)

The Book of Sigils

This fiction interleaved with rules is so much fun to read! Everything is in there to set up a great "secret societies and dark plots" atmosphere. A must-have! And the additional rules are very interesting too.

*****

Six-guns & Sorcery (R. Talsorian Games)

Six-guns and Sorcery

One could think this sourcebook was written by americans who are annoyed Falkenstein is set-up in New Europa. That's probably not completely wrong... But anyway, Six-Gun & Sorcery is a jewel for uchronias and the Wild Wild West amateurs!

*****

The Memoirs of Auberon of Faerie (R. Talsorian Games)

The Memoirs of Auberon of Faerie

The origins of faes are a bit silly. Probably too "power-great" for me, I guess. The faerie bestiary looks like a souless catalog. Only if you host a lot of faerie characters in your game.

***

The Lost Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci (R. Talsorian Games)

The Lost Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci

Visually superb, rather boring to read... Too bad!

**

From Prussia With Love (Novel)

From Prussia With Love (Novel)

Very, very bad. The author is very far from the Falkenstein style (heroes fart and belch, for instance). The story is nothing but scenes added together. It wouldn't even be a good RPG scenario.

*

Masterminds of Falkenstein (Novel)

Masterminds of Falkenstein (Novel)

In two words, it is very bad: the style is not at all victorian, the story makes no sense, the characters are dull and stupid. A real mess!

*

GURPS Castle Falkenstein - The Ottoman Empire (Steve Jackson Games)

GURPS Castle Falkenstein - The Ottoman Empire

Designed for both GURPS and Castle Falkenstein (game stats are provided for both systems), this sourcebook is almost as good as Six Guns & Sorcery. It is much thinner than Six Guns & Sorcery, and probably more historical than Falkensteinian, but it is still an excellent sourcebook.

*****


Material designed for other games, but nonetheless useful

GURPS Castle Falkenstein (Steve Jackson Games)

GURPS Castle Falkenstein

A good synthesis of existing CF books with the GURPS rules, this sourcebook also introduces some new information about South America, Africa and Asia. Certainly not indispensable, but I'd advise it warmly to GURPS players.

****

GURPS Steampunk (Steve Jackson Games)

GURPS Steampunk

Very beautiful sourcebook, well done, visually great, complete. It's only missing the tiny little thing that makes Castle Falkenstein a great game, in my opinion. Lots of things to pick-up for countries outside Europe, in a Falkenstein perspective.

****

For Faeries, Queen, and Country (TSR)

For Faeries, Queen, and Country

Far to be indispensable, this antique is however pleasant and useful, expecially regarding the faes and England. The colour map is superb.

***

Space: 1889

Space: 1889

A game of victorian sci-fi, Space: 1889 is closer to the real XIXth Century history, and more centered on the British colonial Empire than Castle Falkenstein, but it is largely compatible. Its basic idea is that Thomas Edison discovered an engine that propels vessels in the ether, opening the colonization of the inner planets of the Solar system (mainly Mars and Venus, actually). The basic system is simple and elegant, but suffers from flaws that are very 80's (e.g., different rules and dice rolls for different cases). The background is mainly dedicated to Mars the decadent, and it is the main point of interest in the book (Venus the prehistoric is described in a couple of pages and a pretty bad scenario helps in discovering the Moon -- adventure ideas dot the book, but they are all ridiculous, e.g., after the description of a creature or area: "the PCs travel in this area and encounter this creature"). The whole game has nevertheless a lot of charm and many elements (the technology, the background...) are exploitable in Falkenstein.

****


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Last update: 09/09/2017

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