Steampunk Playing Card Deck

Playing cards were invented during in ancient China have been around since the Tang Dynasty. Which means Steampunk and the Victorian age can claim no particular right to playing cards other than their prevalence saloons and gambling dens of the American West.

This historical heritage, however, is more than enough to inspire people to create Steampunk versions of a playing card deck featuring steamy versions of the standard deck. Lance T. Miller is designing a set after a wildly successful kickstarter for the project.

The deck is planned to print sometime this month and is, at present, still available for pre-order at Lance’s online store. Perfect for Steampunk gamblers, soothsayers, and magicians as well as the casual card player, this deck will likely appeal to your sense of anachronistic style. Be sure to check back to Lance’s website often to see when this deck goes in to print!

Playing with Steam

Steampunk and gaming is something that goes well together. Both cater to a largely geeky, intelligent, and creative fanbase that loves being immersed in a fictional world and narrative. And gamers are always looking for that next grand adventure.

To me, what is particularly interesting about the tabletop aspect of gaming is the ability for that world and narrative to bring people together for a common goal in a way that is so rare and unique. I’ve met and made so many friends simply by sitting down and deciding to play with them.

While Abney Park’s new RPG’s presales underway and expected to be back from printing and in the mail soon, it doesn’t immediately address the need for a tabletop game right now. So, to tide you over until your new copy of Airship Pirates arrives, I found a list published by  Growing Up Gamers that features tabletop games with a Steampunk twist entitled Playing with Steam. There’s a great assortment of games featured on this blogpost, from card games and board games to different RPGs. There’s something here for every gamer, so be sure to check out the entire list.

And, if you happened to miss the post from a few days ago about Abney Park’s new RPG, Airship Pirates, you can learn all about the book and put in a pre-order here.

Airship Pirates and the Wrath Of Fate

The crew of the H.M.S. Ophelia has been hard at work creating a wealth of new goodies for their fans. In addition to plans for both an acoustic and electric album in the works, there’s also a tabletop RPG and a novel planned for the near future.

The tabletop RPG is entitled Airship Pirates and is set in the post-apocalyptic Steampunk world that Abney Park lives in. If you enjoy the alternative reality that Abney Park’s songs have created for you, you are sure to enjoy reading about the expanded vision of this world.

Airship Pirates is in its last week of production before being sent off to the presses, so its likely that you’ll be able to pick up your own copy and start kick off your own campaign soon enough!

Also due out soon is the Abney Park novel, The Wrath of Fate, which takes the snippets of narrative found in each Abney Park song and cobbles them together to form the overarching narrative of the band. The novel is expected to be released some time in August, and would be a great compliment to the RPG.

As soon as I hear about release dates and methods for acquisition on either of these new books, I’ll be sure to let you know here.

Deadlands Comic to Hit Bookselves in June

This June, a new comic featuring the Role Playing world of Deadlands will be published by Image Comics. For those of you unfamiliar with the Deadlands world, imagine a mix of weird west, fantasy, horror, and Steampunk all thrown together for a gritty world set in the United States in the last quarter of the 19th century.

The original tabletop RPG was written by Shane Hensley and published by Pinnacle Entertainment Group. The comic is a collaborative effort by Ron Marz, Bart Sears, Steve Niles, Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and others to write stories in the Deadlands comic world.

Click here to learn more about Deadlands in its original tabletop RPG incarnation. And this article from Amazon does a wonderful job of guiding you through the process of finding material for the game so you can run your own Deadlands campaign.

Abney Park’s Airship Pirates

One of the many things I love about Abney Park’s music is the escape from modern times and histories. The alternate universe that inspires their music is one of adventure, and you can’t help but get the sense that whatever you are doing is entirely more badass if Abney Park is playing in the background.

And perhaps you’re at a point where you need more adventure and badassery in your life. Lets say too that you love tabletop RPGs. Perhaps you even recently procured some Steampunk dice and are looking for the perfect event in which to start using them.

That event is coming in August of 2011.

Airship Pirates is an RPG based off the music of Abney Park by Peter Cakebread and Ken Walton. Check out the RPG’s description below:

Someone screwed the timeline up
It’s 2150. The Earth’s recovering from the Great Apocalypse of 1906.

From the steampunk sky-cities of Isla Aether and High Tortuga come the airship pirates.You hoist the Jolly Roger, spin your propellers and take to the skies. Yours is a life of adventure, plunder and infamy.

The American wilderness lies below. Beast-haunted wastelands are criss-crossed by the tracks of the freedom-loving Neobedouins. Armoured railroads connect the Emperor’s widely scattered domains.

In the walled, fog-shrouded cities, people huddle in forced Victorian squalor, lorded over by the upper classes. The Emperor’s clockwork policemen patrol the streets and the ultimate threat of the Change Cage hangs over those who would rebel. Rising from the dockyards, the frigates of the Imperial Air Navy patrol the clouds, hunting pirates and threatening the sky-cities.

You’ve got an airship. You’ve got a crew. You’ve got one of Doctor Calgori’s fancy chronominautilus devices. All you need now is a good swig of rum (trust us, you’ll need it), and you’re ready to set sail on the winds of time and plunder history itself!

Who knows, maybe you’ll even screw up the timeline some more?

Sounds like fun! I’ll be sure to update you on this RPG more as the publication time nears and a date is set for it to hit the presses!

Steampunk Dice

This one time in college, I played an awesome D&D campaign. I was a Doppelganger Rogue and went around pwning everything. My character had a reputation for being ridiculously epic, because I always seemed to roll ungodly well. I knew why, though.

I had blessed dice.

It’s true! An ancient game master in Indianapolis who owned the store where my dice were purchased blessed them so they would always roll in my favor. And with those dice I proceeded to do all sorts of unimaginably awesome things because 1. I was a Doppelganger and no one in my party knew it (in and out game) and 2. I could get away with anything because my dice let me.

I’ll never give up those dice. Even in the fury of last week’s sale of all my worldly possessions, they were saved and will be making the trip up to Seattle with me in just two weeks.

But that’s not to say I couldn’t add to my collection of sacred dice… and I’ve already got my next set picked out:


These dice are almost as epic as my D&D skillz. But unfortunately, it seems they only come in D6s and D20s right now. How am I supposed to play a short sword wielding rogue without some D8s?

Game Giveaway – Mechanism 3

In an effort to help you pinch the most out of those pennies this holiday season, I’d like to bring to your attention two free download websites, Give Away Of the Day, and Game Give Away Of the Day. These websites offer a new piece of software or game that can be downloaded for free on the particular day to which it is posted.

Today’s Game Give Away Of the Day is a Steampunk inspired physics based game called Mechanism 3.

The following is the developers introduction to the game (edited):

Mechanism 3 is the third instalment in the Mechanism physics-based puzzle series inspired by Splitter, which is available for the PC,Mac and soon the iPad, where players cut an incredible variety of shapes to save the world from time collapse. Immersed in a steampunk world with stunning visual design, Mechanism is pure eye candy. And with 80 unique levels and level-editor, we’ve packed in hours of entertaining and addictive fun.

So today, enjoy some Steampunk gaming freebies from Game Give Away of the Day, and be sure to check back often. They seem to have a decent offering of Steampunk influenced games for your daily entertainment.

Much Haste to Igford!

After yesterday’s penny farthing racer, I decided to see if I could find more Steampunk racing vehicles. While I didn’t immediately find any more Steampunk races going on (hmm… a Steampunk only bicycle-type race might be a really cool event) I did find a video game that is currently in development by Rich Morgan, a student at Swansea Metropolitan University.

Below is a video of Much Haste to Igford!, Mr. Morgan’s final project for his BA Creative Computer Design.

I think we can all see why this project earned him First Class Honors in his degree.

If you are interested in learning more about this project, do consider heading over to Mr. Morgan’s blog here. It’s a bit technical at times, but for those interested in Animation and Design, I think you will find it informative.

I hope this game finds a platform and is released for general public enjoyment. It looks like it would be fun!

Gameplay Trailer for BioShock Infinite

Last month, I was very happy to announce the creation of a new BioShock game, BioShock Infinite. The third installment of the immensely popular video game series is set in jingoistic Columbia, a Steampunk city of floating buildings.

The preview trailer was impressive enough, but I got more from Irrational Games, the makers of BioShock Infinite which is sure to make you demand Infinite’s immediate release. It’s nearly ten minutes of game-play video, our first real dive into the story and mechanics of Infinite and, like it’s predecessors, it’s breathtakingly immersive.

Note: The gameplay video, just like the game itself, is not for kids.

BioShock Infinite still does not have a release date, but as soon as it does, rest assured I’ll be sure to let you all know.

The Victorian Futurist’s Monorail

For all of you with young Steampunks in the home, or for those (like me) who never really grew out of Legos and K’Nex, today’s post is indeed squee-worthy.

Hammacher Schlemmer has put out a Victorian Futurist’s Monorail, a 550 piece train set for your assembly and enjoyment. Putting it together would be fun in and of itself, but it comes with a length of track for it to go buzzing about on. This would be a very impressive addition around the walls of a Steampunk’s study. I imagine it chugging along across the tops of book shelves and cabinets.

The elevated track can run as long as 20 looping feet over a 25′ sq. area, with the included traction tape enabling cars to climb up to 30º grades. Predictably, batteries are not included.

You can order your set of the Victorian Futurist’s Monorail here.