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SteamCraft - Wake the Dead Part 1 $4.99
Publisher: Perilous Journeys Publishing
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/06/2013 15:05:41

In fine steampunk/pulp style, this adventure sweeps the party into the seedy underbelly of New Arcadia as they investigate strange disappearances...

It's all very atmospheric, and to enhance this there are plenty of handy notes for novice GMs to help them create the right atmosphere and keep the game moving along. Several key NPCs are introduced, with not only pen portraits (and, for that matter, illustrations) but notes on how to make best use of them.

The start of the adventure sees the party hired by the New Arcadia Constabulary to investigate the disappearances. Assuming they take the job on (there's no real alternative given, and if you have characters that are unlikely to work for officialdom, you will have to invent your own hook), they are led to a back alley in a shady part of town and the game is afoot. It does rather have the air of a Sherlockian investigation, albeit one which draws in the fantasy and steampunk elements of this particular ruleset.

Each scene is well laid out, with sections presenting the scene ('Full Steam Ahead') then elaborating on it based on likely character actions ('This Just In'), along with 'Behind the Curtain' (notes on what's really going on), 'Spanners in the Works' (various hazards that can be thrown in to impede the party) and 'Further Exploration' which suggests ways in which the scene can be expanded. It's a neat and clear presentation, making it easy to follow even in the heat of play.

The adventure is mostly investigation and interaction, and while there's always scope for violence the one necessary fight comes at the end... and that's quite spectacular and cinematic. The adventure closes neatly, but there is at least some possibility for a follow up, and of course the party is now known to the Constabulary as (we hope) reliable investigators worthy of further hiring...

A nice introduction to this ruleset, and with good GM support, including simple clear floorplans of significant locations. Worth a try...



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SteamCraft - Wake the Dead Part 1
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