Steamfortress Victory – Mini-review of a Steampunk themed RPG

Posted by 6th April 2011

Newcomers Industrial Dream Mills have released the prequel, introductory adventure to their new Steampunk system Steamfortress Victory on PDF. This adventure is fully playable and includes the necessary game rules, preset characters and scenarios for an “instant” gaming adventure, in the Steampunk vein.

“The year is 1895 and the discovery of a new alloy has sent an infant Industrial America into utter chaos. The Great Steam War has begun…
Our country has been shattered into five hostile nations! The river and skies are being raided by airship privateers while clockwork illusionists bedazzle the masses with their own brand of trickery. And, as a monument to the rampant civil unrest, the steam fortress known as Victory rests on top of the ruins of the Columbian Exposition! Now, is the time to ask yourself…
When the FUTURE is under pressure, what KIND of Steam American will you be?”

That’s the intro tagline, and a fitting one it is.

This RPG is very much in the Steampunk style. One of the more interesting aspects is the adaptation of the traditional RPG rules to add a definite Steampunk touch. As an example, character attributes are expressed in Steampunk terms. for example, “Iron” is a characters toughness,and fortitude, bonus points accumulated through winning rolls are called ‘Boiler Points”, and the combat cycle is termed  a “Cog”.

The RPG comes with several well defined preset characters, namely “Douglas “Old hat” Jackson, Captain of the Privateer airship “Impossible”” and his crew. All are firmly Steampunk, from backgrounds to ability and equipment. Well thought out, and all very playable, as well as easy to get “into character” with.

The prequel game comes with starting scenarios, that when played in sequence, outline the storyline. Rest assured, there is plenty of leeway in these scenarios, and while they may seem short, they can provide a fair bit of extended gameplay, in that there are any number of ways to play them out. I’ll not give any  of it away, save to say there are 7 well done “chapters” to run through, all including plenty of action, and opportunities for steamy heroics.

As a test, I turned some friends, who are hard core D&D gamers, and who are not Steampunks. After a few question,s they dug out their dice pouches and got on with it.. Once midnight rolled around… Suffice to say they were hooked, and enjoying the game. They found it easy to get right into, and the scenarios well written. Not much more needs to be said, I think? Especially seeing as how they want to run through it again, with some ideas on where to take it in terms of playing out the chapters. Not a bad endorsement, especially from die-hard gamers.

The artwork is also well done, from the cover, through to the character sketches.These add to the overall Steampunk feel of the game, and are a pleasant change from the run of the mill graphics one finds in too many of the “usual sort” of RPG games..
All in all, an excellent and very playable prequel, One only hopes there is more to come down the road. Check it out over at Steamfortress Victory ! Well worth your time.

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