Monday, June 25, 2012

Victoriana 1st Edition

Back when I was working on Ghosts of Albion I became aware of the game Victoriana.

I picked up the game, but since I was deep into playing Ghosts at the time I didn't look at it much.  Finally I did and then learned a 2nd Ed was going to come out.  Of course I did eventually get the 2nd edition (and signed no less!) and know I hear there is a 3rd Edition on the way.

I spent some time reading the 1st Edition rules and thought it was interesting, if odd.  For starters I am not sure why there was no U.S. Civil War. I was also not a fan of the Fuzion system.  I liked all the odd races for the game (even if it did lead to the infamous Orc from Africa debate) and felt like it was, as it has been later described, Victorian Age Steampunk.

The thing that struck me though is how similar that cover is to the Ghosts of Albion BBC logo.  In particular the silhouettes of  William and Tamara.   I am sure it is nothing but coincidence,  but I could not help but notice it all the same.  Save for the pointy ears on the Victoriana cover that *could* be Tamara and William.

I still like this game though.  It has a soft spot in my heart really.  It is like Ghosts of Albion gone all gonzo and turned up to 11.  Plus it is one of the few games I always try to play at Gen Con; well it or 2nd Ed.

Here are the books I own.   What I feel they lack in system, they make up for in style. They can be used with the 2nd Edition of the game with the conversion guide in the back of the 2nd Ed core book.

Victoriana: 1867 Edition
This is the core book of the "1867" or 1st edition rules.

The Hounds of Fate

What if "Hounds of the Baskervilles" was a true story?  Well in the world of Victoriana, it can be!
This is a "Penny Dreadful" or an adventure for Victoriana 1st Edition (aka 1867 Edition).
This adventure though is based more on the old legends of the Black Dog or Old Shuck on the English countryside.  As such it is a good adventure for any Victorian era game with a heavy emphasis on magic or the supernatural. One could easily run this under Ghosts of Albion or Cthulhu by Gaslight.

The Smoke: 1867 Edition

This is one of the best Victoriana 1st Ed products.  At 128 pages it is a very comprehensive guide to London in 1867.
Granted there is the Victoriana-universe spin on everything, but otherwise it is perfect for use with ANY Victorian era game.  It especially works well with the 2nd Edition of the Victoriana game.   The book is sans-game stats, so there is no system conversion to worry about, just thematic conversions.

The maps are fantastic and I especially enjoyed the descriptions of all the neighborhoods.
Very good resource indeed.

The Dragon in the Smoke

Another adventure for Victoriana 1st Ed.  The set up is very nice and it captures the feel of the game right away.
The adventure itself deals with strange eastern magic and mysticism, missing children and a cursed statute.   Plenty of really good plot elements to keep your players guessing.
This adventure also includes some rules on using martial arts.

While I am not likely to play Victoriana 1st Ed these days, it still holds a special place for me.  Though these products listed here are my favorite.


Anonymous said...

Give Unhallowed Metropolis a shot if Victoriana is your cup of tea. I prefer the system, and as long as you don't mind the fact that the setting is a bit more horror based, it should be great for you.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

@shorty. I have played UM many times. In truth I prefer my Victorian games to cleave a little closer to history in as much as they can.

AS to be expected my favorite is still Ghosts of Albion.