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Tamburlain
08-22-2009, 09:30 PM
Setting: Alt-Historic, London during the reign of HM Queen Victoria, 1867

Themes: Occult Horror; Mystery; Spiritualism; Secret Societies; Intrigue

Materials


3-pp of handouts, maps (supplied by GM) – per player
Victoriana 2e Preview PDF (http://www.cubicle-7.com/acrobat/vic_preview_2.pdf) – (hard copy supplied by GM, if needed)
10 d6 dice of one color; 10 additional d6 dice of a second color – per player
2 decks of Tarot cards (supplied by GM)
Pencil and paper –per player

Adventure Overview

Despite the disapproval of the Eluminat Church, spiritualism has penetrated each and every echelon of Victorian society. Mediums, clairvoyants, seers, and card-readers of all social stripes are known to devise and host elaborate gatherings wherein they ply their esoteric trade and profit from their clients' potent concoctions of curiosity mixed with a raw need for consolation, or other such pangful motivations in seeking a glimpse beyond the veil of grief. Many mediums have established international reputations and become wealthy by hiring out their services to public spectacles, as well as to private more intimate gatherings...

This is a home-brew steampunk campaign developed in three parts, whose themes are situated halfway between fantasy and horror. Characters may be created by the players, as is always encouraged, or players may use pre-generated PCs supplied by the GM.

Possible Character Vocations

In terms of character creation, Victoriana is a skill-based game. Skills are combined to create vocations. The following listings are examples of the kind of vocations that can be built with the many skills afforded by the character-generation system, but are not nearly exhaustive.


Detective: Corruption is commonplace and investigations are rarely anything near thorough. If you are good at what you do, you may be able to find work as a private detective--especially if you have a useful background in science, magical forensics, or else possess other "talents", perhaps even those which are frowned upon by the civil custodians of law.
Guild Mage: A doctor of Thaumaturgy, chances are that you always had your head in a book growing up. Under the watchful eye of the Guild, your magical talents have blossomed. You are well aware of the Guild's duty to seek and quash the vile arts of Necromancy and Daemonology, but sometimes you wonder what it would be like to wield such power...
Adventuress: Merchant's daughter or salon fashionista, she is one who seeks danger and excitement for its own reward. Possessing skills exotic to her station, she may have traveled extensively and formed graphic views on the world, it's cultures and politics. However, many people in society, including those in the Aluminat Church, consider her actions scandalous and may seek her downfall.
Bounty Hunter or Mercenary: The world may seem civilized to those of privilege, but the Hunter lives underneath that veneer, chasing the most dangerous criminals, rogues, and other unspeakable quarry. Some do it in the name of civilization, some for money or Holy Mother Church. Others have their own... personal reasons.
Hedge Witch: Or herbalist, or healer, as you may present yourself to customers. You look with equal contempt upon the faiths of Angels and Demons, as your kind were here before the Aluminat, the Romans, even before the Eldren. And Nuada as witness, you are confident that the Old Ways shall outlive this current age of unbalance.
Petty Conjurer: You are a magic user, but not an academic of the Guild. Rather, you are one of those the guild would suppress--one accused, rightly or wrongly, of magical anarchy. Perhaps you are self-taught, or perhaps a special mentor sent you down your path. Like the Hedge Witch, you often find it to your advantage not to make your expertise public as it often causes mistrust.
Adventurer or Soldier: You are or were a soldier in on of Her Majesty's regimental orders. You probably fought in the first Boer rebellions or in the conquests of India and Africa. If you are still in the army, then you could be shipped to the Crimea any day to meet your death at the hands of the Russian Matriarch's armies.
Dodger: A cunning thief, rapscallion, or other adventuring street-urchin, you have been raised with an indomitable instinct to improve your lot, through legal means or otherwise. You consort with prostitutes, opium dealers, and other denizens of the underworld. It could be that, despite your rough exterior, there is a heart of gold beating under your breast. Or, perhaps it is a heart of lead.
Professional Thief: You lead a secret life, perhaps as a dilettante antiquarian by day and a cat burglar or thief by night. Maybe you are hired for a considerable fee, or you just do it for the thrill. You are educated and cultured, a master of disguise, and this makes you very different from the common footpad of the slums, or so you keep telling yourself.
Medium: You make a living by organizing seances or other demonstrations for those with an interest in the uncanny. Of course, your seances are merely acted out. Not because you are a powerless charlatan, but because you would never debase your authentic connection to the spirit realm just to satisfy the whims of some overstuffed Mrs. Pumfrey, desperate to make contact with the ghost of dearest Tricky-Woo, her long-deceased Pomeranian. Unless, that is, you really needed the cash.
Necromancer or Daemonologist: The dark arts, aside from the mere fact that they are expressly illegal to practice, are dangerous in far worse ways. Of course, you reason, there should be no real danger, as long as one takes precautions, right? Perhaps you are an excommunicated Aluminat Priest with an ax to grind against the Church; perhaps you are a Guild Mage whose curiosity has brought you a little too close to the Fallen Ones, their terrible beauty; or else you find yourself seduced by Paline, Lady of Subversion, Goddess of Entropy. In the end it's no matter. You are destined for the Pale.
Gadgeteer: You are a struggling student, a renowned scientist, or engineer. You are, in a real sense, the hero of the present age. Your ideas have fueled an industrial revolution and the expansion of the British Empire, upon which now the sun never sets. You are also, in a sense, the anti-hero of the present age. Your ideas have fueled urban poverty and the subjugation of the weak, put undreamed of power into the hands of madmen, or perhaps you are a bit mad yourself.

Part 1: The Three Charms of Polly Charms

How do the players come together as a party?

This is the question that will be addressed in part one, a relatively short mini-adventure (3-5 hrs.) whose outcome hinges upon the characters' attendance at a sideshow exhibit.

A hint, clipped from the Daily Intelligencer:
New Interesting Little Scientific Exhibit!—April 23, 1867—We found our curiosity well repaid for having traveled south to visit a little scientific exhibit at the old Gold-Beaters' Arcade in Brighton where we saw the already famous Miss Polly Charms, the young lady who fell into a profound sleep over thirty years ago and has not since awakened. In fact, she slept entirely through the raging cannon-shot of the Siege of Paris. The beautiful tragic Miss Charms has not seemingly aged a day, and in her condition of deep mesmerism she is said to be able to understand questions put to her by means of the principle of animal magnetism, to foretell events personal and public, and to answer all questions put to her without waking up; also for a small sum in addition to the small price of admission, she sings deeply affecting songs in French.
Depending on the players' individual visions of their characters (i.e., their goals, their social class, their vocation, etc.), the protagonists of this adventure may each hold different motivations for their setting out... on a gray September morning, by train, or carriage, or perhaps via public sky-rail to the dingy seaside arcades of Brighton.

Of no mean talent as individuals, our intrepid adventurers nevertheless may find need to pool their fortitude as a party--especially if prepared to take an investigative stance toward the condition of the petite figure sleeping in the adult-sized cradle, her pale hair arrayed in two side-drawn tresses, or else pull back the curtains behind the curtains, the delicate hooded lids which guard the secret dreams of Polly Charms.

Part 2: Little Lamb, Who Made Thee?

Unbeknownst to our protagonists, one Lord Elgar Montrose Highgate, a well-esteemed philanthropist and collector of artefacts, was ensconced among the many souls in rapt attendance, and was shocked--as were all--to witness the grotesque denouement to the performance given by Miss Polly Charms and her handlers. Later, when thinking on the tangle of events that unspooled before his eyes that fated evening, Lord Highgate found himself impressed by certain competencies exhibited by our adventurers, also in attendance. Impervious to any memory of the event's trauma, the cries, the confusion, or the wild shouts for the bucket brigade, he has since taken to conjuring a different memory altogether; an old memory, its taste underneath his tongue like a penny gone to rust. "Ah, my dear Anna... I believe we have found those for whom we have long searched...Perhaps you shall be proud of your Papa, yet."

The following morning, even before The Daily Intelligencer had been unfolded from its silver tray, the inevitably garish detailing of Deaths by Fire at the Brighton Arcades! left yet un-ciphered, the Lord Highgate had already summoned his personal assistant, the elderly family gnome, Duncan, and had tasked him with the time-sensitive labor of sleuthing certain unknown identities and their unknown whereabouts, such that invitations may be extended to them on behalf of himself and the Lady Highgate.

"Duncan?" Asks Lord Highgate, before clearing his throat of copper.

"Yes, m' Lord."

"We do understand the importance of their attendance, and the discretion with which it must be assured, do we not?"

"Of course, m' Lord. Assured."

Feeling confident in his servant, his friend, who has never failed him (or his father before him), Lord Elgar Highgate turns to the window behind his great oak desk and exhales. Patches of sunlight are now visible, just barely, climbing the trellised gardens of Eaton Square. He speaks with unmodulated tone, as if under his breath, "The Equinox approaches. You see now that her belly hangs low as a sow's, gravid. Such ripeness will not be delayed.. Go now, Duncan. Prepare the invitations for her honored midwifes."

Arriving by Royal Post approximately three weeks subsequent to the incidents which led to the complete ruination of the Brighton Arcades Theater, a series of red wax-sealed invitations have made their way, one-by-one, to our unsuspecting adventurers' abodes. In impeccable gnomish calligraphy, each one reads:


You are cordially invited to Tea And Séance

The latter conducted by the esteemed Dr. Emil Novotony, Adept of the Guild of Prague
For the pleasure of his Lord and Lady Elgar Montrose Highgate and guests


At Highgate Manor, Eaton Square, Belgravia
Midday through Evening, Saturday, October 26
RSVP
Your welcome is prepared at the southern entrance



...

Elguapo72
08-23-2009, 02:55 AM
Sounds intriguing but a bit farther than I can currently travel

Good luck!:cool:

Tamburlain
08-23-2009, 10:19 AM
Fair enough. :) It's a difficult genre sometimes to attract players to... But I thank you for your vote of confidence.

Nexus_01
08-23-2009, 11:59 AM
Sounds really interesting. Who doesn't love magic and the British Empire?

Shonin
08-23-2009, 05:48 PM
That sounds most interesting. I would be up for trying it.

Tamburlain
08-24-2009, 01:56 AM
Excellent! Thank you, both of you. So now we await only two more individuals...

Tamburlain
08-24-2009, 07:54 PM
That sounds most interesting. I would be up for trying it.

Shonin, any chance you might be able to play every other week on Saturdays, say from 5 on?

Shonin
08-25-2009, 05:39 PM
Any other day but Saturday, unfortunately. My schedule on those isn't standard enough to commit the day to gaming.

Tamburlain
08-26-2009, 09:20 AM
Ah. Bummer. To play this particular game, given its subject matter, we are going to be meeting at my home. At least so far, Saturday is the more popular choice between the two weekend evenings. If opinions change among potential players, though, and it's quite possible that they may do just that, I will definitely let you know.

Don't you hate it when life gets in the way of play? Cheers.

Nexus_01
08-26-2009, 07:10 PM
I would also vote for Friday before Saturday. But it's not a deal breaker.

Tamburlain
08-26-2009, 08:29 PM
I would also vote for Friday before Saturday. But it's not a deal breaker.

You know what? Friday would work better for me, too. If Shonin can do Fridays, then the three of us would tip the balance. (Not to mention, Oct. 30 falls on a Friday.) Would everyone be okay with a 7 to 11-ish time for playing?

Nexus_01
08-26-2009, 09:31 PM
Great. When might we start? I assume that the first time will be mostly character generation and "getting to know you," stuff.

Shonin
08-27-2009, 05:07 PM
Works for me.

Tamburlain
08-27-2009, 06:46 PM
Excellent! We're 3/4ths there. We do need one more player, but there is no reason why we cannot meet informally before we actually start playing; and meeting to create characters would be a great idea. As for the game itself, Friday, September 11, is the earliest evening that we could begin. Is that too early?

Also, since we're on the subject of meeting to create characters, would it be okay to meet out sometime next weekend, maybe Sat. the 8th, or Sun the 9th. In the past, meeting in the cafe of one of the local Barnes and Noble or Border's Books stores has worked.

What do you guys think?

Arkhemedes
08-27-2009, 10:29 PM
Hey Tamburlain, just wanted to say I've been watching this thread since you started it. And were I not so busy with other things I'd be interested too. However, I just recently accepted a position at a property in southwest Fort Worth, and I'll be moving there next week, which, unfortunately, will make it tough for me to do anything with the Dallas group from now on. The property was such a nice one though that I couldn't turn it down. Anyway, good luck with the game - wish I could join you.

Tamburlain
08-28-2009, 09:41 PM
Hey Tamburlain, just wanted to say I've been watching this thread since you started it. And were I not so busy with other things I'd be interested too. However, I just recently accepted a position at a property in southwest Fort Worth, and I'll be moving there next week, which, unfortunately, will make it tough for me to do anything with the Dallas group from now on. The property was such a nice one though that I couldn't turn it down. Anyway, good luck with the game - wish I could join you.

Hi, Ark. First of all, major congrats to you and your move! It sounds like a good one! No explanations necessary. Of course, your company will be missed in Dallas, and I should add that, should you ever find yourself in these parts, you are always welcome at my game table.

Nexus_01
08-29-2009, 11:12 PM
I think you have the days of the week and the dates a little mixed up. What days were you trying to suggest we meet? And I might be in Austin next weekend. I'll update you if I am definitely going to be out of town. Otherwise, when and which specific bookstores were you proposing? Perhaps one a little closer to Dallas?

Tamburlain
08-30-2009, 07:18 PM
I could have very well been mixed up. Let me try again.

I can meet this weekend, Sat. 9/5 or Sun. 9/6, at any time during the afternoon or evening. Also, I can meet next weekend, Sat. 9/12 or Sun. 9/13; however, during these days I am limited to the early afternoons.

Places to meet would include:

1. Borders Books and Music (http://www.pegasusnews.com/places/borders-books-preston-hollow/) at Preston and Royal

2. Barnes and Noble (http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/store/2239) at Preston/Royal Center

3. Barnes and Noble (http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/store/2268) at Prestonwood, N. Dallas

4. Barnes and Noble (http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/store/2586) at Creekwalk Village

These are certainly not the only places I can meet. They happen to be the stores closest to me. If another location would be easier for you and Shonin, then I'm sure I can make the distance--as long as it's in the metroplex.
--- Merged from Double Post ---
Oh, and for anyone and everyone's entertainment, here is a trailer for a new Victorian-era horror film that really captures the mood:

I Sell the Dead. (http://www.isellthedead.com/ISTD_TRAILERS/Trailer_compressed.mov)

Nexus_01
08-31-2009, 07:08 PM
I vote for

616 Preston Royal Shopping Center Dallas, TX 75230

This Weekend I will either be in Austin, or at AnimeFest. We could meet there, if you are going to go, or next weekend.

Tamburlain
09-01-2009, 10:45 PM
Sounds good to me. Next weekend, that is. I'll spend the time between then trying to round up one more player.

Shonin
09-01-2009, 11:37 PM
If Friday's a no-go, then next weekend works for me, as well.

Nexus_01
09-02-2009, 05:29 PM
How many players do we have right now anyway?

And next weekend it is.

Tamburlain
09-02-2009, 06:25 PM
The two of you make three. We need one more, ideally.

Nexus_01
09-09-2009, 06:57 PM
So. ..... we still on for Friday? Do I need to bring anything? Are we still meeting at the Barnes and Noble? 616 Preston Royal Shopping Center Dallas, TX 75230.

Tamburlain
09-09-2009, 09:26 PM
We're on.
To meet at the store cafe, that is. How about 12 noon this Saturday, Sept. 12? The store you've chosen is perfectly okay with me. We can discuss characters, and if I know who among us is going to show up, then I will bring hard-copies of the free Player's PDF.

Nexus_01
09-10-2009, 04:03 PM
I thought we were shooting for Friday. I can make Saturday, but not till around 5.

Shonin
09-10-2009, 09:00 PM
Either day works for me. Just let me know the time that works best.

Nexus_01
09-11-2009, 05:55 PM
Well? tonight? as in Friday? Time?

Tamburlain
09-11-2009, 07:13 PM
No, I was speaking of Saturday, tomorrow. Fridays will be reserved for playing. I just sent you guys a pm with the details. (Nexus suggested 5 PM, and we all seem okay with the B&N location at: 616 Preston Royal Shopping Center.)

We're still down at least one player. But if no one else responds in the next week, my suggestion is that I make some slight adjustments to accommodate three players, just one fewer than planned.

Tamburlain
09-12-2009, 08:05 PM
Hey, I just wanted to say it was really nice to meet both of you. And I'm looking forward to the game.

Cheers,

P

Tamburlain
09-13-2009, 01:04 PM
I made a social group (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/group.php?groupid=198) for us to keep notes about the game as it progresses, post links, keep up-to-date on our Friday night schedule, and also for general chit-chat. If you are a player in the Victoriana game, or are considering joining us, please consider reviewing/joining the social gaming group here on P&PG (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/group.php) called: Little Lamb, Who Made Thee? - Victoriana RPG Advenure.

Shakehandsman
06-08-2011, 03:22 PM
Hello, I am in Richardson off of Belt Line and Plano Rd and am currently in the market for a good gaming group. I have played various systems including DnD 3.5 & 4e, PF, CoC, DH and SwS. Although I would be interested in anything really, except DnD 4E.
Please let me know if you are still looking for more players.