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Good sources for Victorian adventures?

Kafkonia

Villager
It looks like I may be about to start a new campaign using The Masque of the Red Death d20, and I'm looking for a good source for Victorian adventures and adventure ideas. The game will likely be set in the 1890s, but I'm not going to be a stickler about the exact date right now. I'm intending to build it around a "cursed antiques" shop, kind of like the Friday the 13th tv series, but obviously set in the latter days of the 19th century.

In addition to TMotRD, I have GURPS Screampunk and the Etherscope adventure Just a Delivery (with the core rulebook on order.) Of course, Etherscope isn't quite Victorian, per se, and is a bit further removed than I'm looking for.

Some books I've considered:

GURPS Steampunk -- it can be had relatively cheaply on eBay, and I've only rarely been let down by SJG's books; on the downside, I'm not really looking for steampunk for this game.

Cthulhu by Gaslight -- it tends to fetch high prices on eBay, but every so often an inexpensive copy turns up; I'm debating using BRP instead of d20 for the game, but I don't want it to turn into a Mythos campaign.

Victoriana -- like the GURPS book, it's a little further afield than what I'd like, but it has the benefit of actually being available at my FLGS; of course, I also remember the bitterness over the Fuzion system engendered by Champions: The New Millenium, and I'm not really looking for a new ruleset.

What other RPGs or RPG supplements would you suggest? I'd prefer ones that are more heavily weighted towards the real world, which is why I've not looked too closely at Castle Falkenstein, but I can probably pull useful bits out from most things. Right now I'm thinking I may adapt bits of the Tatters of the King and Masks of Nyarlothotep adventures for Call of Cthulhu, removing the Mythos elements and backing things off by four decades or so. :)

And what non-RPG books would you recommend? And are there any websites I should check out?
 

HalWhitewyrm

Villager
For sure you need to check out Adamant's line


The Imperial Age


I have the subscription and so far the releases have been excellent.

I'm also gonna be running a Victorian era campaign (Vampire for me, though), so if you find some more resources, I would really appreciate it if you share them here as well.
 

Klaus

Villager
Masque of The Red Death for 2e.
Gothic Earth Gazeteer for 2e MotRD.
Guide to Transylvania for 2e MotRD.
Caleb Carr's novel "The Alienist".
 

kenobi65

Villager
The RPGA's Living Death campaign uses rules very similar to the MotRD d20 rules. While the campaign is ending (it's 1899 in the campaign world, leading up to the final showdown vs. the Red Death), and most of the adventures are retired (and no longer available for ordering), the final year's modules are still available for RPGA events.

Unfortunately, you do need to be an RPGA Herald-level DM to order Living Death modules...and when you order them, you're agreeing that you'll run them as-is for official RPGA play. So, that may not be a great source for what you're looking for.
 

JRR_Talking

Villager
I currently run an 'as real as possible' Victorian Campaign set in 1865. It is non-d20

This is an excellent resource http://www.victorianlondon.org/

So much stuff happened around this time i find it very easy to come up with plots. Wiki is very useful too.
I have quite lot notes on stuff i could email you, though my timeline is a bit behind what you are looking for. (Prices pretty much double in the 30 year difference and weapons come on leaps n bounds too).
Always looking for other inspiration so am very happy to exchange.

http://archivemaps.com/mapco/whit1865/whit.htm excellent map of 1865 london

There is also a victorian library collection near where i live so have photocopies of punch magazine and such for ultra authenticty

good luck with your endeavours

John
 

Wraith Form

Explorer
Klaus said:
Caleb Carr's novel "The Alienist".
Absolutely. And all of A.C. Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories.

Kid Charlemagne did an amazing story hour mixing D&D with a Victorian setting:
http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=140875
It's a very interesting adaptation of Mad God's Key from Dungeon #114.

I mentioned before that Vampire By Gaslight (a White Wolf book) can certainly be cannibalized, especially in its GMing section, for very very good ideas about running Victorian / Gothic games.

And the CRPG Arcanum for the PC.
 
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Wraith Form

Explorer
Kafkonia said:
It looks like I may be about to start a new campaign using The Masque of the Red Death d20, and I'm looking for a good source for Victorian adventures and adventure ideas.
What tone or genre or flavor are you looking for? League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (comic book version) high adventure? Holmesian detection? Horror, a la Poe's Rue Morgue? Dickens?
 

Kafkonia

Villager
Wraith Form said:
What tone or genre or flavor are you looking for? League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (comic book version) high adventure? Holmesian detection? Horror, a la Poe's Rue Morgue? Dickens?
If things go according to plan, I hope it to be a moody, CoC-esque horror game -- but a steady diet of the same will deaden its effect, so I'd be open to any resources or suggestions.

I've found a few good websites, although to my intense annoyance I can't find one I was just looking at the other day that talked about the attitudes of the Governors General of Canada at the time (since we're in Ottawa, I figure I might as well set the game there.) It had good bits about social life and such, and I can't find it.

Of course, after all this my players will probably decide to go for Feng Shui or something instead. :)
 

Hanuman47

Villager
You need to check out a little shareware RPG called Forgotten Futures. It's based on Victorian Scientific Romances and to date has 10(!) supplements, most covering a specific genre or setting, such as the adventures of Professor Challenger or the outer space tales of George Griffith.

There was a print version of the basic game, but it's out of print. You can probably still find copies of it at Amazon. However, it's all available at www.forgottenfutures.com. Also lots of fiction from the era and tons of historical background info.

I can't recommend it highly enough.
 
Please check out my Passages rpg, which has a ton of suggestions for creating and building adventures in the Victorian era. I'll also soon be posting a free adventure for download, though it may be too fantastical for your purposes, in that the PCs chase Professor Moriarty into Wonderland to keep him from recovering the vorpal blade.
 

Kafkonia

Villager
Justin D. Jacobson said:
Please check out my Passages rpg, which has a ton of suggestions for creating and building adventures in the Victorian era. I'll also soon be posting a free adventure for download, though it may be too fantastical for your purposes, in that the PCs chase Professor Moriarty into Wonderland to keep him from recovering the vorpal blade.
Yes, that might be a bit more fantastic than I need -- but who says characters won't occasionally dream/hallucinate rather outlandish tales of their own? :) I'll check it and Forgotten Futures out, although they may not be accessible from work (where I am now.)

Thanks folks!
 

BluSponge

Villager
Come Il Faut for Castle Falkenstein
What Jane Austen ATE and Charles Dickens KNEW, Daniel Pool
Writers Guide to Everyday Life in the 1800's
The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana, by Jess Nivens

I'd also look into Chaosium's Cthuhlu by Gaslight (Call of Cthulhu) book, as well as Pinnacle's Rippers (Savage Worlds).

Tom
 

bento

Villager
Check out Terra Incognita. It was created for the FUDGE rule set and features a semi-realistic setting ranging from 1860s to 1930s.

In addition to the free download of the abbreviated rule set, the site itself is a blog for all things of interest in that era.

You can also splurge for the larger setting book, which I purchased and enjoy!
 

Kafkonia

Villager
der_kluge said:
All the above is crap.

This is what you really need.

"The 786 - page reprint of the 1897 Sears, Roebuck & Co. Catalogue"
That's great. I may actually order it. I checked for a Hudson's Bay Company catalogue (being the Canadian equivalent) but the one available is from 1910-11, a couple of decades later than I'd like. Ah well.
 
Kafkonia said:
If things go according to plan, I hope it to be a moody, CoC-esque horror game -- but a steady diet of the same will deaden its effect, so I'd be open to any resources or suggestions.

I've found a few good websites, although to my intense annoyance I can't find one I was just looking at the other day that talked about the attitudes of the Governors General of Canada at the time (since we're in Ottawa, I figure I might as well set the game there.) It had good bits about social life and such, and I can't find it.

Of course, after all this my players will probably decide to go for Feng Shui or something instead. :)

If you really want to have some fun, why not mesh plots and styles? Dr. Doyle came up with some very strange goings-on in his Holmes stories, but they turned out not to be supernatural. Maybe you could try fixing it so the supernatural really was real?

What if, instead of a hound daubed with chemical paint, the Hound of the Baskervilles was an actual phantom hound?

Check out these other weird and unusual cases. Make their causes actually supernatural:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventure_of_the_Devil's_Foot

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventure_of_the_Lion's_Mane

Also, if you want to lighten the mood, and decide to set the game in Canada, have your players meet Sir John A. Macdonald during one of his many, many pub crawls. For maximum laughs, see if they'll challenge him to a drinking contest.

Games can be both educational and fun!
 
Sources for Victorian-era roleplaying

der_kluge hit it on the head. You must have a catalog for your players. I would also recommend (if you can find it) the 1895 Montgomery Ward catalog, which is out-of-print.

I used to have a series of travel books dated 1896, which were incredible. The photos alone were worth it. Of course, I gave them all away as gifts.

Another good resource is the Victorian Encyclopedia. I might be able to dig up ISBNs and such so you can check on their availability.
 
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