Wolsung: Steam Pulp Fantasy

Fellow Fallen Londoners!

Allow me to introduce you to Wolsung: Steam Pulp Fantasy - a Polish RPG whose design team I’ve recently joined. Wolsung is a roleplaying game of cinematic action set in the daring times of the Magical-Industrial Revolution, that is: an alternative XIX century mixing historical influences, steampunk and high fantasy. the Player Characters are Extraordinary Ladies and Gentlemen - the champions of this age who oppose its many dangers with both courage and style. Their adventures are similar to the new Sherlock Holmes movies by Guy Ritchie, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and other pulpy stories taking place in the Victorian period. This game is a little bit lighter and softer than FL but its gentlemanly, slightly grotesque feel seems something that every Fallen Londoner will love. Personally I sometimes use Fallen London storylets as inspirations for my Wolsung sessions and right now I’m writing a campaign in which one of main tasks for Extraordinary Ladies and Gentlemen will be to compose an opera, just like in the Imperial Artist-In-Residence storyline.
edited by Victourist on 7/31/2013

How very interesting! I’ve heard the Wolsung name batted about in my RPG circles; what sets it apart, besides the setting, from other such games?

In my humble opinion there are two things that set Wolsung apart. First, the rule-set which really helps to play an Extraordinary Ladies and Gentlemen. Players’ Gadgets really matter during the game, higher stats allow to re-roll more dice (and thus have more fun) instead of simply increasing the result and players can even alter the plot a little bit to show their Ladies and Gentlemen’ nature - for example, a player who is a socialite can declare that he meets an old friend even in the middle of the desert.

By the way, in Wolsung there are four Archetypes - &quotclasses&quot showing the way in which a player can influence the storyline - and they match perfectly with four stats in Fallen London: Daredevils are Dangerous, Investigators are Shadowy, Explorers are Watchful and Socialites are Persuasive. A curious coincidence…

The second thing is that Wolsung core rulebook is extremely well-written. This book is this year’s nominee to ENnie Award in Best Writing category and it deserves this honour. Not only the style of writing is lively and elegant, but the authors have decided to reveal their influences, making scenario design much easier. The book begins with a brilliant sources of inspiration list (available online) and every single idea has its origins revealed. For example that’s how Lyonesse - Wolsung’s London - has its roots described:

Behind the Scenes
Lyonesse is designed as the universal, archetypical city. Its siblings are Terry Prattchet’s Ankh-Morpork, Nightcity from Cyberpunk 2020, New York depicted in the Marvel comic books, and, most of all, Victorian London. It is the default setting for steampulp adventures in an urban environment. If you want to play in a city, choose Lyonesse.
We described only some of the districts–the rest is yours to create. If you need unique scenery, some bizarre location, or a secret society, just drop it somewhere. We are sure it has always been there, you’ve just never gotten out of the Tube on this particular station.
Tintagel District is the city of London mixed with pre-War Manhattan. All the major crimes are investigated by inspectors from Alven Yard. And there is the Fog. In Lyonesse, fog is not just a weather, it’s a magical phenomenon; not only do people get lost in it, sometimes even whole houses disappear in this thick pea souper.

Sounds great, does it not?

[li]By the way - the quickest way to check what Wolsung is about is to check what books are recommended as inspirations for the game - and such a list recently appeared on Wolsung website (link). Besides their inspirational quality they are simply brilliant steampunk and victorian classics as well.[/li][li]