Thursday, November 17, 2016

Reviews: New Castle Falkenstein Supplements

During October I reviewed a ton of new (and old) Victorian Era games and supplements.  I didn't get to everything I wanted so I going to fix that now.

Fist up are a couple of new books for the venerable Castle Falkenstein.

Full Disclosure: I received free copies of these PDFs in exchange for a review and also because the author knew I would like them. He was right.

Castle Falkenstein: Curious Creatures
Author J Gray, Artist Rick Hershey, Fat Goblin Games, 146 pages
Ok, we all know I love monster books. Like all Castle Falkenstein books, new and old, this book is gorgeous.  The art is fantastic.  The book is a nice mix of travel guide, creature catalog, and journal.  This is a fairly common feel to all CF books and it is served well here.  The first 50 or so pages cover some new rules and some various stories.  The central conceit of the book has notes from the very Doctor Doolittle. I have to admit this is really awesome.  I wish I had thought of it, to be honest.
The next 100 or so pages cover the Bestiary proper. This includes about three dozen monsters, as many normal creatures and a little more than 20 or so unique characters and intelligent animals.  This includes Doctor Doolittle, Gregor Mendel, Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde.  The surprises include Mowgli, Riki-Tikki-Tavi and Fantomah.   The mere fact that Fantomah is here really increases the value of this book in my mind.
The writing is very fluid and is a pleasure to read.  The CF stats are, well CF stats, you either like that game or you don't.  The bonus here is that this also makes the book extremely flexible for use with any number of systems.  In fact, this book is a very fine supplement to be used with any number of other game's monster books.  The art, is for the most part, Public Domain, but that is something I REALLY like in my Victorian books and here it flows seamlessly in with the text.
I don't have the softcover book, but I am considering picking it up now.  It is really that good looking and really that useful.
Do you all remember the old "Enchanted World" books from Time-Life books?  Well, this book reminds me of reading those.  It is less like a game book and more of a coffee table book of monsters.
This is a very, very fun book and I am so pleased to have it.

Castle Falkenstein: The Tarot Variation
Author J Gray, Artist Rick Hershey, Fat Goblin Games, 6 pages
Now this is a fun little book.  It's not long, only six pages, but it packs a punch.
This guide allows gamemasters of Castle Falkenstein to use a standard tarot deck instead of playing cards for the game.  There are additional rules to cover the Major Arcana.  If you play CF then I would easily say this is a must have.  If you play other games that have a playing card mechanic then is also a useful resource.  I am considering using this with Victoriana. I think it would work fantastically.

Both books are so much fun. I am really pleased to have them.

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