M.E. Brines' web page
Steampunk Society play-by e-mail role playing game
Current Steampunk Society game map
Steampunk Society is a role-playing political game of collaboration where each player controls a faction of ruling-class notables in a steampunk society based on 19th century imperial Austria and Germany, working together to improve society.
Surrounded by potentially hostile states, the Empire of Reichsland seethes with revolutionary furor as a result of the changes brought about by the industrial revolution. Each faction has a vision for the future of the country: democratic reform, violent revolution, the preservation of the monarchy (under their control, of course), final security through the conquest of Europe, colonial expansion overseas, technological development, etc. All the players live in the same country. If the Empire breaks up or is conquered, everyone loses. The progression and welfare of the Empire benefits them all, although each prefers they control the direction the progression takes. Can YOU guide Reichsland into its rightful place in the modern age?
Players start as members of the imperial family, nobles, wealthy industrialists, duelists, inventors, or other notables in society, recruiting others into their faction, dedicated to leading the Empire into a glorious future. To this end players amass fortunes, improve their influence, recruit more members, and while pushing their own agendas, must cooperate with others in defending the empire from both external and internal threats. Players must deal with diplomatic crises, natural disasters, the introduction of new technologies, as well as the machinations of foreign countries.
Players can develop new technologies, build factories, mines and plantations, harvest resources, make fortunes, win elections, form a government, lead armies, attempt revolutions and coups, and recruit new characters into their faction. Each weekly turn represents the passage of one month in game-time.
The faction (player) receiving the most votes in an election forms the government, generally in alliance with other parties and factions, with one of the characters becoming chancellor. The laws currently in force limit what the players controlling the government can do. The prime minister can propose changes to the laws in parliament with players voting on their passage, but failure to pass a bill leads to loss of confidence in the government and a new election.
Characters not controlled by players are known as non-player characters (NPCs) and are run by the Game Master (GM) whose purpose is to make the game as challenging and fun for the players as possible. As such, the GM throws various obstacles and situations at the players. He also runs the Empire's dastardly foreign opponents. The GM will also introduce new NPCs from time to time.
Each turn, players submit their orders to the GM, who determines the success of the various endeavors attempted. The GM then sends each player an updated character sheet showing all of that player's current resources and possessions with notes on important happenings of interest. Players should also consult the game maps, social register and forum for changes every turn. Unlike most on-line games, in Steampunk Society a player's actions can permanently change the game world.
Players have a week between turns to engage in diplomacy with the other players, decide what they want to do, write up their orders and turn them in to the GM by the deadline. Orders are easy to issue and can be modified any time up to the final deadline. An example of orders is given at the end of these rules.
Resources include coal, iron, food, oil and spices. Resources and consumer goods can be sold to or bought from the open market. Their price is set every turn by the GM based on supply and demand. If a more of a particular type were sold last turn than bought, the price goes down. If more were bought, the price goes up.
Other items can be purchased by inquiry with an industrialist (player or NPC) who sets his own price.
Factories provided with resources can produce consumer goods or rifles, airships, ironclads, motorcars, piles of shells, or other items. Consumer goods can be sold on the open market for cash while weapons can be sold to other characters or governments.
New businesses can be organized based on development of new technologies such as airship lines, or motorcar manufacturers.
Players can receive government appointments, becoming generals commanding armies, or government officials controlling imperial assets. Plots can be hatched, coups attempted, reforms made and the empire preserved and improved. Eventually the old emperor will die (if he isn't overthrown first) and be replaced by the next in line for the throne, which might be YOU.
The object of the game is to maneuver your faction into a position where they can direct the growth and development of the empire into the future you foresee. Will it be a preserved royalist empire ruled over by the ancient nobility? A republic based on social equality? An advanced empire of technology? A world-spanning empire ruled by a mystic master race? A worker's paradise or a capitalist utopia? Or else riven by rivalry and hatred, will it dissolve into chaos and fall to its rapacious foreign enemies? It's all up to the players.
Locations on the map include cities, forests, and mountains. A location is adjacent to another if an imaginary line could be traced between the two names which does not pass closer to the name of another location en route. A particular location may include multiple properties belonging to one or more factions. The map is not exclusive and only shows the lands of the Empire and surrounding territory. It is assumed there are other parts of the world not shown such as Africa, the Orient and the Americas.
Join Steampunk Society today!
Steampunk Society Rules
The Social Register
Join the forum
The Imperial Government
M.E. Brines spent the Cold War assembling atomic artillery shells and preparing to unleash the Apocalypse (and has a medal to prove it.) But when peace broke out, he turned his fevered, paranoid imagination to other pursuits. He spends his spare time scribbling another steampunk romance occult adventure novel, which despite certain rumors absolutely DOES NOT involve time-traveling Nazi vampires!
A former member of the British Society for Psychical Research, he is a long-time student of the occult and a committed Christian who sees himself as a modern-day Professor Van Helsing equipping Believers for battle against the occult Principalities and Powers that rule a world in darkness. (Ephesians 6:12)
The author of three dozen books, e-books, chapbooks and pamphlets on esoteric subjects such as alien abduction, alien hybrids, astrology, the Bible, biblical prophecy, Christian discipleship, conspiracies, esoteric Nazism, the Falun Gong, Knights Templar, magick, and UFOs, his work has also appeared in Challenge magazine, Weird Tales, The Outer Darkness, Tales of the Talisman, and Empirical magazine.
*I'm often asked how I square my Christianity and "messing around" with the occult, as if I'm partial to bestial things with a goat under the amber light of the moon or something. No so. I'm a student, in the same way I used to study Soviet weapons and tactics back when I was a US Army officer. This gives my work a unique perspective no matter what your belief system. I don't judge. I just present the information and let the reader decide.
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·Should Christians understand the occult?
Cultural Posts Philosophical posts Steampunk Posts
Desert Breeze Publishing
Crimson Frost Books
Armstrong Economics Blog
Christian Fiction Online Magazine
Cold Case Christanity
Tales of the Talisman magazine
Weird Tales magazine
Indie Books R Us
Society for Psychical Research
Ghost Hunting Theories (+ Bigfoot)
Gnostalgia (the Esoteric Steampunk Lodge of the Retro-Future)
Where the Map Ends
Why Star Trek is dead. (Postmodernism killed it)
Why "reform" can never "fix" the government.
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All attached documents are Copyright 2015 by Michael E. Brines