Steampunk Society

The Cooperative Roleplaying Game

Copyright 2017 by Michael E. Brines

Version 1.0

Changes from the previous edition are indicated in red.

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, businessmen, 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 prestige, recruit more members, and while pushing their own agendas, they 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.

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.

Joining Steampunk Society

Since the game is more about choices, role-playing and using what you have than vanquishing your rivals, there is no disadvantage to entering the game late. To join Steampunk Society, choose an non-player character (NPC) from the social register. This becomes the head of your particular faction. A player's faction has an influence rating representing their public reputation that assists in recruiting new characters and winning elections. Influence begins at zero.

Contact the GM at son@cox.net and tell him your choice and the name of your faction. This might be a political party (The Peasants and Worker's Party or the Technocrats), a club or society of some kind like the Thule Society or the Imperial Geographical Society, a corporation, guild or anything else you like. The GM will send you a turn packet listing any possessions the character owns. Submit your first orders by the next weekly deadline. Feel free to ask the GM questions.

Be sure to join the game forum @ Google Groups "Fantasy Nations" forum. This is a new game, requiring extensive testing. As such players play for free in exchange for putting up with necessary rules changes from time to time. The GM encourages helpful discussion of the rules on the forum with the intent of perfecting them. Wantonly spewing unbridled negativity is neither helpful nor encouraged.

Characters are male or female, have names, and possess one or more talents and/or properties. They may also own wealth, resources, supplies, stacks of rifles or other possessions.

Talents are defined by level, +1, +2 etc. Each level provides a +1 modifier toward accomplishing a related endeavor every turn.

Properties are located in a particular location and take the form of coal mines, oil fields, spice plantations, iron works, estates, factories, or shipyards. Properties have a capacity, +1, +2, +3 etc. representing their size and the extent of their production.

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. During wartime, borders are closed. Trade and travel cannot proceed through hostile territory. 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.

Overseas territories are considered “adjacent” to any port. Ports are cities lying along a coast. During wartime, units, equipment and characters that travel overseas (or return from there) can be intercepted by enemy warships and only proceed if victorious. If one side has a superior fleet they can establish a blockade, preventing trade and travel.

Talents

Talents allow actions to be performed and modify the success of endeavors. Talents can only be used to perform a number of actions or modify endeavors up to the level of the talent every turn, so a level+3 Charisma talent could provide a +3 to one endeavor that turn, or +1 each to three endeavors or a +1 to one and a +2 to a second endeavor. Talents do not change.

Air combat modifies combat involving aircraft.

Assassination modifies assassination attempts.

Army Tactics modifies army combat, both sieges (attacks against fortified locations) and field battles.

Charisma represents a character's strength of personality and ability to influence others. It is useful recruiting new characters and in campaigning for election.

Dueling represents a character's ability to prevail in a duel.

Mysticism has to do with occult powers.

Naval tactics modifies naval battles.

Prestige is used to recruit new characters into a faction and to campaign for office. It represents a character's reputation and personal influence in society.

Science! is helpful when researching or developing new ideas and technologies.

Stealth & Stealing modify nefarious activities and are best employed in the dark of the moon.

Playing the Game

Playing the game is as easy as 1-2-3: (1) take actions (2) attempt endeavors, and (3) submit your orders.

Your turn packet is sent to you every turn by the GM. A simple document listing your possessions, at the top there are boxes indicating the total resources, consumer goods and wealth you have stockpiled. This may differ from what you had at the end of last turn due to game events beyond your control. Below that is a listing of the equipment you have stockpiled and armies you command with their location. Underneath that is a section for notes to you from the GM. Beneath that is a series of asterisks above two sections where you list your orders for the turn. Take as much space here as you need. At the very bottom is another series of boxes to indicate your ending resources, consumer goods, wealth and equipment after you've done everything. All you have to do is list your actions and endeavors, adjust the ending totals of resources and submit your orders to the GM by the turn deadline each week—easy peasy!

Actions include simple tasks where the outcome is not in doubt, such as construction, giving gifts, increasing prestige, producing resources and manufacturing items, or buying from or selling to the open market. Note that supplying military regiments is a required action. If you control large formations of soldiers, be sure to supply them every turn.

Endeavors are tasks where the outcome is uncertain, such as campaigning for election, defending a location, dueling, reconnaissance, research & development, launching an attack, or trying to recruit a character into your faction.

Communicating with other players (or with NPCs through the Game Master) is neither an action, nor an endeavor. It's not part of your turn orders. You can do it any time. Just contact the person directly using e-mail. To contact the players en masse, use the forum. Please keep your posts in character.

Talents, influence, equipment and wealth provide modifiers that make actions possible and improve your chances of successfully completing endeavors. A particular modifier can only be used to undertake one action or modify one endeavor per turn. Every action or endeavor undertaken requires the use of at least one modifier. The same modifier cannot be used to modify more than one action or endeavor the same turn. You cannot, for example, have the same regiment defend a particular town and also attack an enemy castle the same turn, nor could a character with only one wealth use that to increase the capacity of two businesses the same turn.

A player might attempt multiple actions and endeavors if they have multiple talents, but the number of actions and endeavors possible each turn are limited to the number of modifiers available. For example a player with Duelling+4, Army Tactics+2 and Charisma+1 with an infantry regiment and three wealth could attempt a maximum of eleven endeavors, although with his resources spread across that many, he has a very poor chance of succeeding at any. It'd probably be better to attempt just one or two. The endeavors attempted would also have to be relevant to the modifier used, so our example character isn't going to be fighting any naval battles this turn as he has no warships.

Some items are reusable, while others are expended if used. Talents and influence can be used every turn. Ammunition, resources and wealth are expended if used, regardless if the endeavor they modify was successful.

1. Take Actions

You want to start issuing orders by managing your production. Each property has a capacity representing the amount of resources or production available. Coal mines produce coal. Estates produce food. Iron works produce iron. Oil fields produce oil. Plantations produce spice.

In the action section of your orders write “Produce”, then the resource and whatever the total capacity you have is. If you had a coal mine with capacity six and another with four, you'd write “+10 coal.” Keep a running total, adding the production to your starting totals, writing it into the ending totals boxes at the bottom of the packet. If you sell or expend wealth or resources, make a note in your actions (such as “sell 10 coal”) and subtract from the totals. Do not submit orders where your ending resource or wealth totals are less than zero.

Factories only produce if supplied with coal and iron, one each per capacity. Every such capacity supplied with both produces 3 production points (PP) of any non-ship items off the standard production list or any technological items you possess the plans for. (So a factory+3 requires 3 iron and 3 coal to make 9 PP.) Production points (PP) cannot be saved or accumulated and have no value other than determining the items produced. Be sure to indicate what you used the PP for. Any not turned into items are lost. Add the items to your equipment totals at the bottom of the packet. Anything you sell should be subtracted. When producing consumer goods (CG) for game flavor you can specify what it is you're making: barrels of booze, commemorative plates, spatulas, left-handed typewriters, clockwork corsets, canned fruitcake, dehydrated water etc.

Shipyards are simply factories located in a port. They are treated as factories for all purposes except their production points can also be used to produce ships.


Standard Items

Combat modifier

PP Cost

Resistance

Notes

Artillery park

0

10

0

Used to mobilize artillery regiments.

Consumer goods

0

1

0

Household items of the sort typically found in department stores

Gatling Gun

0

1

(=1)

-

Stack of bombs

0

1

0

Ammunition

Stack of rifles

0

2

0

Used to mobilize infantry or cavalry regiments.

Stack of shells

0

1

0

Ammunition

Stack of tools

0

1

0

Used to mobilize pioneer regiments.

Steam ship-of-the-line

4

20

(=20)

A wooden warship with auxiliary steam power. Requires shells & coal

Merchant Ship

0

10

(=10)

Requires coal

Ironclad battleship

8

40

(=40)

Requires 2 coal and 2 shells.

Gas masks

0

20

0

Protects one regiment against loss from poison gas or cancels 2 losses from gas each turn.


Other Actions

Build a factory, shipyard or plantation is an action requiring ten wealth for 1 point of capacity. The order should be written in the format: “Build factory,” then list the location and how much was spent. (Build factory the capital, $10) Shipyards have to be built in a port. Plantations can only be built in the colonies. You cannot build coal mines, estates, iron works, oil fields and such, although you may purchase existing ones from their owners.

Buying resources from the open market costs wealth. Write the orders as “Buy”, then the amount followed by the type and how much you paid: “Buy 3 iron $3.” The price of all resources is listed at the top of the Social Register on the game web site and remains constant until next turn. Any resources you buy can be used the same turn. You may buy as much of any resource as you have wealth for. Add the resources to your totals at the bottom of the packet. To buy from players or NPCs contact them directly, make a deal, and then use the “give” order to send the money. They will use a give order to send you the resources. Unlike buying from the open market, the price is up to mutual agreement and the resources won't be available for your use until the following turn.

Disbanding regiments is a better alternative than having them desert. Specify the regiments you can't/won't supply, then change your ending equipment totals. The soldiers are discharged and their equipment stored. Cavalry and infantry regiments become stacks of rifles. Pioneers become stacks of tools. Artillery regiments become artillery parks. On a later turn the equipment can be mobilized and become a new military regiment if supplies are provided.

Fortifying a location costs one wealth per +1 fortification. The order is written as “Fortify” then indicate the location and the amount spent. Fortifications represent permanent and immobile trenches, barbed wire, bunkers, and fighting positions. Battle losses destroy one fortification but only when defending. If you attack out of a fortification it provides no protection.

Giving gifts requires a piece of property, equipment, resources, or wealth. Gifts have to be something you actually possess and the recipient can't use the gift until next turn. Players can use gift-giving to pay for things “bought” from other players or to deliver items other players have bought from them. However, gifts are unconditional. You can't specify what you're supposed to get in return. Issue give orders by writing “Give”, followed by the faction name and the things given. Be sure to adjust your ending totals to reflect your orders.

Growing the capacity of a property costs ten wealth per +1 capacity. Mysticism modifiers decrease cost by one for each one used. Specify “Grow”, then the business and the amount spent and modifiers used. (“Grow Spee shipyard $10”) The increased capacity is not available for production until the following turn.

Increasing influence by one requires any combination of ten charisma, influence, mysticism, prestige, or wealth. Increasing influence might consist of making speeches, writing books or newspaper articles, charitable donations, overseas expeditions. lavish parties for the “movers and shakers” of society, patronizing the arts, attending the opera, etc. For a more interesting game specify the details and the GM will write it up in the newsletter.

Mobilize militia. Militia are groups of civilians armed with their own weapons. They require no supplies. Militia fights poorly, having a military modifier of +1 but no resistance. They are lost if they engage in combat, suffering heavy losses with the survivors deserting afterwards. They can support “real” soldiers, but having few weapons and no training are fairly useless for most military purposes. Any faction can create ten militia “battalions” by reducing their influence by one permanently. Either form a new army in a specific location or add them to an existing army you control. Surviving battalions can be demobilized to restore the faction's influence. Depending on who mobilized them, militia might be government volunteers, a private army, political storm troopers, a noble's retainers, or even just angry mobs of workers or peasants.

Mobilizing new military regiments requires equipment of a particular type depending on the type of regiment desired. Indicate the type and quantity of regiments mobilized. Units mobilized also require supplies the same turn. A stack of rifles mobilizes an infantry regiment. A stack of rifles, plus 1 wealth for horses mobilizes one cavalry regiment. A pile of tools is required for a pioneer regiment. An artillery park is required to mobilize an artillery regiment. Be sure to adjust your ending totals to reflect your orders.

Selling resources to the open market is at whatever the current price is. Money received can be used immediately. You may sell to other players for any agreed upon price. Selling to players is handled using a “give” order. Be sure to adjust your ending totals to reflect your orders.

Smear campaigns reduce a selected opposing faction's influence by one, but never to less than zero, for every ten charisma, influence, mysticism, prestige, or wealth used.

Supplying military regiments is a required action. Every regiment you control must be supplied every turn. Every regiment (including police regiments) requires one food per turn as supplies except cavalry units, which require two. Unsupplied units desert (taking their equipment with them) unless you order the unit disbanded as an action. Mobs of disgruntled hungry deserters wandering around armed is a bad idea, so if you can't feed them, order the units disbanded and put their weapons into storage. Be sure to adjust your ending totals to reflect your orders.

Travel. Characters are considered in imperial territory during a turn unless they travel. Traveling to a foreign country is an action requiring the expenditure of one wealth. The character is considered in the foreign country that turn, returning home at the end of the turn unless otherwise specified. If they remain abroad, another travel action is required to return home or change the country in which they are located. Characters abroad cannot command an army, serve as a government minister, use their talents to campaign or duel an opponent not in the same country. They also can't be arrested by the Imperial Minister of the Interior. Characters who travel can recon a location in that country as part of their travels, determining the foreign forces stationed there. Characters cannot travel to a country at war with the empire. If the country they are in goes to war against the empire, they must leave that turn or be imprisoned until the end of the war.

2. Attempt Endeavors

Endeavors are more complicated than mere actions, may be opposed, and have an uncertain chance of success. Non-military endeavors typically have a 10% chance of success per +1 modifier used, if the modifier applies to the situation, so a +4 total means a 40% chance of success, a +10 being 100%. Total modifiers greater than +10 can result in multiple successes. But remember, endeavors are affected by hostile activity, so an anticipated +10 total may not always result in automatic success.

Modifiers only count if they are relevant to the endeavor. (Naval tactics are useless if you're trying to duel an opponent.)

Be complete when issuing orders, listing all the modifiers you're using. The important thing is to make clear to the GM your desired goal and the modifiers you're employing to achieve it.

Endeavors

Assassination is modified by the talent only. List the assassin, his talent and the target. “Garvo+9 assassinates the emperor.” Killing someone is not that difficult. It's the getting away afterwards that's hard, and for well-protected targets almost impossible. Characters with assassination talents are fanatics willing to perish for the cause. Whether they succeed or not, they are either killed in the attempt or taken into custody. Either way you lose the character.

Attacking an enemy-held location requires an army. A character can't just charge the place alone depending on an absurdly high tactics talent to carry the day. Specify “Attack” then the target, which has to be a location adjacent to a friendly location. Then list the regiments and equipment used, any characters who participate (which they must if their talents are used as modifiers.) Attacks against targets overseas depend on control of the sea and might involve a naval battle before the ground attack takes place. Attacks may require shells or fuel. See the combat rules for details. “Attack Riga with 3 infantry regiments from the third army.”

Bombard requires artillery or aircraft. Specify the target, which must be an adjacent enemy controlled location. Airships can bombard any location, adjacent or not. Equipment involved in a bombardment may require bombs, shells or fuel. See the combat rules for details. “Bombard Riga with an airship from the third army, -1 oil and -9 bombs.”

Campaign for election occurs only on turns there is an election. It's modified by charisma, influence, mysticism, prestige, and wealth, specifying in your orders. “Campaign with Alois' charisma+9, influence+4, Shupak's mysticism+1, Baron Boden's prestige+2 and sixteen wealth.” Each faction involved wins a percentage of the vote equivalent to their portion of the total modifiers used by everyone. If for example the Socialist Workers had a total of 10 and the Crypto-Nazis had 20, the Socialist Workers would win one third and the Crypto-Nazis two thirds of the vote.

Defend requires an army and can be modified by fortifications and army tactics. List “Defend”, followed by the location and the regiments, fortifications, equipment and characters assigned. “Defend Riga with fort+6, 1 armored car, General Heinrici's tactics+1, and 2 cavalry regiments.” Forts defending without a army are captured. Be sure to mention any characters involved and which of their talents are being used. See the combat rules for details.

Dueling involves two characters. A character can challenge another to a duel. This is generally done publicly on the forum, usually after a dispute. The challenger “calls out” the other character, who must then respond. If they accept, both must issue orders to participate that turn. The character with the higher dueling talent subtracts that of the other and undertakes a dueling endeavor using the remainder as his modifier. If successful, he is victorious. If he fails, then each participant has an equal chance of success. The winner gains one influence. The loser has a 3% chance of death, which causes the winner to be arrested for manslaughter. If a male character refuses a challenge he loses one influence. Dueling is unladylike, therefore females lose no influence for refusing a challenge.

Reconnaissance requires an army and is undertaken against a specified adjacent enemy-controlled location. If the attacking army's recon force is superior to the defending army's recon assets, they gain information about the defending forces. Only cavalry regiments, armored cars, air cars and aircraft count for recon. “Recon Riga with 2 cavalry regiments.”

Recruiting characters is modified by charisma, influence, mysticism, and prestige. Specify the character, which must be an NPC. “Recruit Peter the Pretender using 47 influence.” The required charisma, influence, or prestige is listed in the social register in (parenthesis) before the NPC's name. The amount utilized is divided by this number to determne the chance of success. If multiple factions attempt to recruit the same character the same turn, the one with the highest modifier has a chance based on the difference between their “bid” and the next lower faction. Once a character joins a faction, they can't be recruited.

Research is modified only by Science! Specify the technology being developed and the amount of science used. “Research airships Science!+1” If successful, the faction gains the “plans” and can produce items associated with that technology. Players who have plans for an item can give copies of the plans to other players.

Riot is modified only by a faction's influence. Specify the city, which can't be in enemy territory. The strength of the riot is equal to the influence used to create it. This is compared to the police and military modifiers protecting the city. Rioters damage businesses in that location equal to the difference at a 10 to 1 ratio. The total damage is divided between all the businesses, reducing their capacity. If the police/army strength is greater, the rioter faction suffers damage to its influence at a 10 to 1 ratio as many of their followers end up in jail, the hospital or the morgue. “Riot in the Capital using 36 influence.”

Spying uses stealth&stealing to obtain knowledge information regarding military dispositions in a particular location.

Stealing is modified only by the talent and only useful against single items. You can't steal an infantry regiment, although you could steal a stack of rifles. Specify the character, the item, and which faction you're stealing it from. “Mata Hari steals the plans for airships from the Technocrats.” Failure may result in capture.

Strike harms a selected business as workers strike and establish picket lines, preventing laborers from working. The striking faction loses one influence (strikers don't get paid) and the business capacity drops by one. A particular business can only be harmed by one strike per turn. Specify the business and location: “Strike the Spee shipyard.”

Subvert is generally only attempted as part of a coup after mobilizing militia. If your influence is greater than that of the target player you can gain control of selected government regiments or military equipment and give them orders this turn, instead of them following their regular orders. You have subversion points equal to the difference in influence. Each regiment or piece of equipment requires subversion points equal to double its equipment cost, plus one if it requires supplies or two for a cavalry regiment. “Subvert 2 cavalry regiments in the Capital using 6 subversion.”

3. Submit Orders

In spite of his reputation, the GM doesn't read minds. You have to actually tell him what you do. Write your orders divided into those three sections, specifying the details of your production, the actions you take, the modifiers used and what you get for it. For example, if you produce 6 coal and pay three food for supplies you write “+6 coal, pay 3 in supplies.” Be sure to specify the ending totals of money and resources you end the turn with, which can never be less than zero.

List your endeavors and the modifiers employed. You won't know if you were successful until the turn results are posted.

At or before the turn deadline, write your orders divided into those three sections and send an e-mail message to the GM at son@cox.net. For the subject put “<the name of your faction> <whichever game turn it is> orders.” You can cut and paste your orders into the body of the message or attach them as a text file and send.

If your orders change before the deadline, send a new e-mail message to the GM using subject “Revised <your faction's name here> orders” and send. The GM will carry out the orders from the most current "revised" packet.

Technological Items

Technological items can only be produced if the player has the “plans” for that particular item. (See R&D)

Technological Items

Combat modifier

PP Cost

Resistance

Notes

Airship

10

5

(=5)

Requires 1 oil and 9 bombs.

Anti-airship gun

1

1

(=1)

Artillery, requires a stack of shells

Motor car

0

1

(=1)

Requires fuel

Auto-giro

1

1

(=1)

A combination airplane/helicopter. Requires oil

Airplane

1

1

(=1)

With two or three sets of wings. Requires oil

Heat ray

11

10

(=10)

Artillery. Requires 10 fuel

Air Car

0

1

(=1)

An air cushioned vehicle requiring oil.

Frankenstein's Legion

1

0

0

A “regiment” of undead soldiers.

Long-range rocket

10

10

0

Ammunition that can damage enemy production capacity.

Mecha

1

2

(=2)

A walking armored fighting machine with a machine gun. Requires coal

Orinthopter

0

1

(=1)

Pedal powered aircraft with flapping wings

Paris Gun

10

10

(=10)

One super-huge artillery piece. Can destroy production capacity in adjacent countries. Requires 9 “stacks” of shells (actually just one really big one)

Poison Gas Cylinder

1

1

0

Ammunition. Attacks first like artillery.

Rocket plane

2

1

(=1)

Aircraft requiring 2 rockets to fly

Rocketeers

1

1

(=1)

Short-range airborne troops. Requires rockets and some volunteers with stylish Art Deco helmets.

Rockets, stack of

1

1

0

Artillery (attacks first) ammunition

Rotating Cannon Battery

11

10

(=10)

Artillery. Requires 5 fuel and 5 stacks of shells

Steam Panzer

5

10

(=10)

Requires 2 coal & 2 stacks of shells

Torpedo

1

1

0

Ammunition. Torpedoes can only be used by ships against other ships.

Undersea Boat

40

400

(=400)

Nautilus-class ship immune to damage from other type ships.

Aircraft carrier

2

10

(=10)

Ship. Requires coal

Power gun

1

1

(=1)

A steam-powered Gatling gun. Requires coal.

Rotor Chair

1

1

(=1)

A single-seat steam-powered helicopter.

Rotorship

11

10

(=10)

A “air” ship using multiple rotors instead of a gas bag. Requires 5 coal and 5 bombs.

Clockwork automaton

0

1

(=1)

Nicknamed “Clockies”

Pneumatic nitroglycerin cannon

3

10

(=10)

Artillery piece. Requires a stack of bombs for ammunition, plus 1 fuel for the compressor.

Difference Engine

0

10

(=10)

A calculating machine that adds +2 to an artillery unit in the same location.


Skyhooks” allow an airship to carry up to 5 aircraft.

Coal oil” allows a pile of coal to be turned into a drum of oil at a cost of one production point.

Flamethrowers” allows oil to be used as ammunition by aircraft, panzers, and mecha, one per. Pioneer regiments can use unlimited amounts.

Air cars can become reconnaissance cars by adding a Gatling gun or small cannon. Reconnaissance cars require fuel and shells, have combat+2 and resistance 2.

Airships and rotorships are immune to damage except from aircraft, heat rays, rockets and AA guns.

Airlines. A player can establish an airship line between any two locations using two airships, generating $3 in income every turn it is provided with two oil. Using a rotorship requires five fuel but generates $6.

Bombs can be employed by aircraft for extra damage versus ground targets. (One stack per)

Clockies can also be made into clockwork butlers or footmen, salable as consumer goods, or as clockwork pilots to employ aircraft as drones. As soldiers, a company of 100 has combat+10 and resistance 100.

Mecha can be employed by civilians as power-assisted stevedores, walking fork-lifts and other heavy-lifting occupations such as iron works, factories and shipyards.

Motorcars can become armored cars by adding a Gatling gun or small cannon. Armored cars require fuel and shells, have combat+2 and resistance 2.

Poison gas cylinders can be used in place of bombs by airships and aircraft. Pioneer regiments can use unlimited amounts (if the wind is right.) Gas attacks are mostly useless if the enemy has gas masks but devastating if they do not.

Rockets can be used by aircraft, panzers, and mecha, one stack per. Infantry regiments can employ unlimited amounts.

Army Command

To create an army at least one regiment or militia battalion is required.

An army consists of all regiments and equipment controlled by a player and assigned to a particular location. Equipment remains in a stockpile until assigned to an army, at which point it must remain attached to an army in a particular location unless moved, transferred to a different army or ordered to “demobilize,” when it's added back to your stockpile again. If part of the army remains behind while another portion advances out of the location, it becomes a new army. Armies that make a successful attack or are forced to retreat change location.

An army must be commanded by a particular character. No character can command armies in more than one location at the same time. An army without a commander just defends its current location.

Government armies are kept separate from private armies even if in the same location and controlled by the same player. While multiple armies can exist in the same location, only one government army can exist in that location, and only one private army belonging to a particular player.

An “Army HQ” may also contain ammunition, piles of coal, drums of oil, and food (supplies) for the use of that army, as well as items of equipment not yet mobilized.

All Imperial warships as well as any ground forces in Safehaven are considered an “army” controlled by the admiral in command of the imperial fleet. Ships can be assigned to convoy troops or supplies overseas, or to blockade the enemy. Different ships can be assigned different missions the same turn, returning to port afterwards. Marines/naval ground troops that capture another location have to be spun off into a new army, commanded by a general (maybe a “Marine” general.)

Before a separate Air Force is organized, any aircraft belong to whatever army they are assigned to. If a separate air force is created, the commander of the Air Force controls all aircraft which are placed into a central pool and ordered every turn to support particular armies, perform reconnaissance or bombard enemy targets within range.



Combat modifier

PP Cost

Resistance

Notes

Artillery regiment*

3

Artillery park

(=10)

Artillery, requires a stack of shells

Cavalry regiment**

2

Rifles + $1

(=2)

Requires double supplies

Infantry regiment*

1

rifles

(=2)

-

Militia battalion

1

0

0

Untrained volunteers.

Pioneer regiment*

1

tools

(=1)

For constructing or demolishing fortifications.

Police regiment*

1

0

0

Mobilize for free if you provide supplies.

*Regiments all require supplies (food) every turn

Combat Rules

Regiments represent large number of soldiers and their equipment. Regiments require upkeep, representing pay, food and supplies. This is one food per regiment per turn (two for cavalry.) Failure to provide supplies means the unit deserts, taking their weapons with them.

Some equipment have combat modifiers and may count for losses even if they aren't “regiments.” Such items represent small numbers of men and equipment, sometimes individual vehicles, often attached to or used by other larger formations. Some equipment requires piles of shells and/or fuel of some kind, which if not provided, reduces their combat modifier to zero.

Combat can take the form of a recon patrol probing enemy defenses for information, an artillery bombardment or a bombardment followed by a full-scale attack.

In a bombardment each side's artillery inflicts losses on the other side based on the total combat modifiers of their artillery. Each +1 inflicts one loss on the enemy. The GM chooses losses.

If an attack is ordered, after a bombardment both side's total their non-artillery combat modifiers. The lower total is subtracted from the higher and then the lower total suffers the difference in losses. If the defending side is reduced to nothing but artillery, militia and police units, they must retreat and the attacker captures the position. If an army captures a location they take control of all production there. Production captured by an imperial army comes under the control of the Imperial Steward.

Reconnaissance is like an attack except there is no bombardment first and only aircraft, cavalry, armored cars and armored cars fight. If the attacker destroys the defending recon-type units he gains details of the defenses without requiring a full-scale attack.

Naval battles occur if one side attempts to attack, bombard or move to a location overseas. The opposing fleets clash, the winner of that battle determining whether the subsequent ground action takes place. A naval battle is just like a bombardment except only ships participate. Aircraft other than air or rotor ships can only participate in naval combat if defending against an invasion unless an aircraft carrier is present.

Ships (including air and rotor ships) can be ordered to blockade an enemy nation, attacking their merchant shipping and intercepting attempts to move by sea. The can also bombard ports, escort troop transports moving forces overseas or patrol against nefarious enemy activities. Ships ordered to do anything must expend fuel even if there is no combat.

Government

The faction controlling the most votes in parliament will be invited to “form a government.” The next turn is held up until that player assembles an alliance of other players/factions controlling a majority of votes (51%.) This is generally accomplished by allying like-minded factions and/or “bribing” them to join by passing out various government offices. (You make this guy Minister of War and he promises to support you with his votes.) If this takes more than a few days, another election will be held and we'll try again.

If players in the government abandon their alliance and the Chancellor no longer controls a majority of the votes, the government is said to have “fallen” and new elections are held. Players who quit the alliance should post this clearly on the forum as soon as they decide, so the election can be held that turn. If you wait until the last minute to announce, the GM may change the deadline to allow players to issue new orders to campaign for election.

The Chancellor appoints all government ministers. Those appointments take place at the start of the next game turn and remain in force until changed at the beginning of a turn as a result of new orders. He can't fire somebody in mid-turn, only between turns.

Being a government minister grants a player powers and may provide control of certain items including military or police regiments. Those are kept separate from a player's own possessions. If a player loses the government office, all items and units associated with it are transferred automatically to his successor.

An office holder submits separate sets of orders for his personal position and his government office. While his personal orders are secret and only revealed to the GM, the actions taken in his role as government office holder become public knowledge. They'll get mentioned in the news or posted on the forum. This may lead to scandals, his being fired by the Chancellor or perhaps the fall of the government if other members of his coalition don't approve.

A particular character can only hold one office at a time. Baron von Richthofen can't be both Chancellor and Minister of War at the same time. However, a player may control any number of characters holding offices. Theoretically, a player whose faction controls 51% of the vote by himself could form a government run entirely by his own characters, but in practice this is very difficult to accomplish. Normally, it will take an alliance of several factions/players to form a government.

The Chancellor can instruct his ministers to do certain things, but those ministers have complete control over anything associated with their office. If the Chancellor orders something done, it doesn't take place unless that minister issues the orders in his own packet. The Chancellor can fire him later for insubordination or incompetence, of course.

The law specifies how government works and what various ministers are allowed to do. The law can be changed by majority vote. The Chancellor proposes a change and everyone votes on it in their orders. If the change fails, the government falls and new elections are held. Each paragraph of the law is lettered (A1, B1, C1, etc.) A “change” is the substitution of a lettered paragraph in the law by a similarly lettered but different numbered paragraph that changes the wording of that section. You could replace paragraph A1 with paragraph A2. If the options available don't say what the Chancellor would like, he should get with the GM who will work up an appropriate substitute. Keep in mind that chancellors who become despots provoke violence that won't be conducive to the prosperity of the Empire.

COUPS

Before they declare a revolt, potential rebel factions should agree between themselves the laws the “new” government will operate under, which of them is to be the chancellor and who controls the various government ministries. Factions attempting a coup then issue orders to mobilize militia, subvert government forces, incite riots and have their private armies attack to try to take control of as many vital locations as they can, treating government forces as enemies.

When orders are processed and the results revealed, the game halts in limbo as the government has the choice to give up and agree to the change in law and government based on the success of the coup. If they don't think it'd be worthwhile fighting back, the game continues with the rebels forming the new government. If the loyalists refuse to give in, the rebels have the option to surrender. (Maybe things didn't go as well as planned.) If the rebels also decide to carry on, a civil war results with the country splitting in two. All factions must declare for either the rebels or the loyalists. (And factions originally involved in the government or with the coup plotters may switch sides at this point, if desired.)

CIVIL WAR

In the event of civil war the locations controlled by the rebels become a separate country. Any properties in those locations belonging to loyalist factions are considered captured by the rebels. All other locations remain loyal. Any properties in those locations belonging to rebel factions are considered captured by the loyalists.

Both sides have separate governments that follow whatever the laws are for their country. This continues until one side controls all locations in both countries either through military victory or a surrender. “Foreign” influence has no effect, so rebel influence has no effect in loyalist-controlled areas and vice-versa.

SOCIAL PROGRAMS

Social programs include art & music subsidies, child care, orphanages, commerce regulation, consumer protection, disability pensions, disaster relief, environmental protection, forestry, health care, housing, old age pensions, parks & recreation, poverty assistance, public information, propaganda, public works, schools, and unemployment assistance. If the “government” funds social programs all factions involved in the government gain influence equal to 1/10 the the amount spent, divided equally between them. Fractions are ignored. For example, three factions budgeting $30 would gain +1 influence each.

The Law

A1: Upon the emperor's death the next of Royal kin becomes emperor or empress. A coronation should be held within the following year. The emperor can make male characters knights and female characters ladies. The Emperor can veto laws and fire the Chancellor in his orders, calling for a new election. The Emperor can pardon prisoners, releasing them from imprisonment. The Emperor appoints generals commanding armies, an admiral of the fleet and can replace them in his orders.

B1: All nobles other than members of the Imperial family (Dukes, Counts, Barons, knights and ladies) hold seats in parliament. Each has one vote. Commoners do not vote for parliamentary delegates.

C1: The Chancellor is chosen by a majority vote in parliament.

E1: Proposed laws only come into force if a majority in parliament votes to approve them.

F1: The Chancellor appoints the Treasurer, Minister of War, Minister of the Interior (Police), Foreign Minister, and the Imperial Steward. They serve until they resign or the Chancellor appoints a replacement. The Minister of War administers the armed forces, commands military officers, and is responsible for distributing supplies to the various armies including fuel and ammunition. He directly commands the army stationed in the capital. The Minister of the Interior controls the internal security forces, which at this time consist of local criminal police. He supplies them and can organize new police regiments as he deems necessary by spending supplies. Police regiments should be assigned to particular locations, especially towns and reduce crime in those places. The Treasurer collects wealth from taxes and sales of government bonds, must pay interest payments on outstanding bonds and spends the remainder as directed by the chancellor. If necessary to pay for required purchases the treasurer can sell government bonds up to a maximum limit determined by the GM. Bonds raise $20 each but incur a $1 interest charge every subsequent turn unless redeemed. The treasurer can buy back bonds at his discretion. Anything bought by the Treasurer is delivered to a particular government department. Weapons go to the Minister of War, ships to the admiral, supplies to the War or Interior departments, etc. The Foreign Minister is responsible for communicating with foreign governments and may appoint ambassadors to foreign countries. All messages from/to such governments go through him. The Imperial Steward controls any property belonging to the emperor or government, determining production and the sale of resources. He may spend wealth gained by selling resources to buy other resources if needed or to increase capacity but any excess wealth should be transferred to the Treasurer, and any military equipment, ammunition, supplies or fuel to the Minister of War or Interior Minister.

G1: There is a 20% tax on estate harvests each turn, the “emperor's fifth.” Nobles that fail to pay can have assets seized (one estate per turn) by the Treasurer.

H1: The treasurer will pay a set stipend to the State Church every turn of 10 wealth.

J1: The penalty for murder is the guillotine.

K1: Dueling is legal between consenting adults as long as it is to the first blood and not to the death, which is punishable by imprisonment or exile.

Changing the laws

Laws can by changed only by being replaced by a similarly labeled law below. For example, law paragraph A can only be replaced by another numbered paragraph A.

A2: The office of emperor is abolished. Reichsland is now a republic. The Chancellor can appoint generals and grant pardons.

B2: Nobles are not automatically members of parliament. Parliamentary delegates are elected by adult males. Elections are held when the Chancellor no longer controls at least 51% of the votes or every four years, whichever comes first.

B3: Nobles are not automatically members of parliament. Parliamentary delegates are elected by adults. Elections are held when the Chancellor no longer controls at least 51% of the votes or every four years, whichever comes first.

B4: Nobles are not automatically members of parliament. When the Chancellor no longer controls at least 51% of the votes, parliamentary delegates are elected but only by approved factions. The following factions are approved: <insert names here>

C2: <insert name here> is appointed Chancellor-for-life and can nominate his successor.

E2: The Chancellor can make whatever laws are necessary without reference to parliament.

G2: The estate tax is replaced by a property tax of <fill in the percentage>. Every turn all property owners must pay that percentage of their total capacity (rounded down) to the imperial treasury. Factions that fail to pay can have assets seized (one property per turn) by the Treasurer.

H2: The treasurer will not pay a stipend to the Church.

J2: The penalty for murder is hanging.

J3: The death penalty is abolished. Murderers are imprisoned.

K2: Dueling is illegal. There is no longer any penalty for refusing a duel or any benefit to winning one.

L2: In the name of national security, the Minister of the Interior can order the arrest and detainment of any character not in foreign territory.

Miscellaneous rules

Crime is a natural occurrence in human society. If a location doesn't have enough police, crime does damage to property located there. Characters caught stealing, attempting to assassinate someone or guilty of manslaughter are imprisoned. Successful assassins are guillotined.

Elite Regiments can be created by spending a wealth to upgrade a veteran regiment with fancier uniforms, bearskin hats, grenades, a pay bonus and hero badges. Their resistance increases to three. If demobilized any elite benefits are lost.

Fate. There is no fate but that which we make for ourselves. Characters only die from dueling or assassination. This has no effect on possessions as it is assumed the next of kin continues to support the same faction.

Fuel” means the equipment can use either coal or oil.

Imprisoned characters cannot command an army, serve as a government minister, or use their talents until they are ransomed, rescued or released. The imperial prison is located on the outskirts of the capital and is automatically defended by any police regiments assigned to that city. If it is captured by an attacking army, the prisoners are released.

Line of imperial succession: The Crown Prince, Prince Humperdink, Princess Penelope, Archduke Fester, Archduchess Karlotta, Countess Bathory, Peter the Pretender.

Merchant Shipping. Players can establish shipping lines with merchant ships. Every ship assigned and provided with coal generates $2 a turn in revenue. This counts as a capacity of one for tax purposes.

The Church receives a regular stipend from the imperial government with which they operate various orphanages and charities. In return the Archbishop loans his prestige+10 to the Chancellor each turn to support the emperor and his government. If this stipend is cut off, the factions responsible share the loss of ten influence.