Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Steampunk RPG Campaign

Perfidious Albion is a steampunk RPG campaign -- a Scientific Romance for ladies and gentlemen of good breeding (ahem), set in the late 19th Century in a well-developed alternate-history setting in which a peaceful compromise (Ben Franklin's "Albany Plan") prevented the American Revolution, the British Empire is the world's dominant power, and steam-powered supercomputers perform econometric calculations in mere minutes! (For those who really like trivia, there was an earlier point of divergence at the Putney Debates in 1648.)

For Perfidious Albion: A Scientific Romance, I recommend either GURPS Lite or FUDGE. Even more, I recommend any good steampunk fiction, such as The Difference Engine, Girl Genius, The Two Georges, and so forth.

Some good references for steampunk, and for the Victorian period in general, are:
* What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist -- The Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England by Daniel Pool (available for cheap on;
* An Incomplete Education: 3,684 Things You Should Have Learned but Probably Didn't, specifically the section on English Literature, which discusses obscure details of nineteenth-century British life (likewise available for cheap on Amazon);
* GURPS Steampunk by my old friend Bill Stoddard (available for cheap as a PDF at, hands-down the single best reference source for the period, whether realistic historical or steampunk.;
* Forgotten Futures: The Scientific Romance Role Playing Game by the brilliant Phil Masters (available for free as shareware, he asks that you make a donation to charity, God bless him!)
* Comme Il Faut, a supplement for Castle Falkenstein on daily life and manners in the 19th Century.

(For what it's worth, I did graduate work in English literature and specialized in both sf/fantasy and Victorian/industrial revolution fiction.)

I prefer "system" games, because the system helps answer questions like "How far can I jump?" and "How long will it take to fix the engine?" I strongly believe in a good story rather than rolling dice, and I also believe in realism and balance.

Above all, I want to make sure that people who are interested in the genre and/or the setting, and are not familiar with the system, to join and play and learn the system as we go along.

For more information about the game, or if you wish to join, please contact the Management of the game via electronic mail for any questions about the setting, or for the Approval of Characters.

Excerpted from a survey report by the Infinity Corporation:


A libertarian British Empire (including America) vs. the Holy Alliance (France, Spain, Austria, Russia) and Ottoman Caliphate.


1648: The Levellers win the Putney Debates to decide the new government after the English Civil War.
1765: Ben Franklin's "Albany Plan of Union" is accepted by the Whig government of Britain.

Western (multipolar), Chinese (empire), Islamic (empire).

British Empire (feudal technocracy, CR2), France (dictatorship, CR5), Spain (dictatorship, CR5), Austria (dictatorship, CR5), Russia (dictatorship, CR6), Prussia (dictatorship, CR4).

Ottoman Empire (dictatorship, CR5), Manchu Empire (dictatorship, CR5), Sweden (democracy, CR4), Japan (feudal technocracy, CR 5).


Technological Level: 5+2 (except TL5 weapons/armor)
Mana Level: low
Quantum: 7
Infinity Class: P1
Centrum Zone: YELLOW


"A Series of Tubes"
"Can You Get Sound On That Thing?"
"First Contacts"
"Hearts of Steel"
"League of Extraordinary Ladies & Gentlemen"