Yes, the long-promised GM’s Guide for 1879 is finally being released! Friday, April 28th, the PDF goes live on our shop, just click the link. The proofs go to the printer at the same time, with an expected one month turnaround to get the completed books to the distributor, put them up on the shop, and start sending them out to the Kickstarter backers.
The same day, Andrew Ragland, line developer for 1879, will be at the Steampunk Symposium in Cincinnati, Ohio. He will be running demos of 1879 in the gaming room in the evenings, and wherever else he can find tablespace when the gaming room is closed. You can also find him, and Tiffany Ragland, senior editor for FASA Games, Inc., at the FASA table in the dealer room.
What’s in it? Well, here’s the chapter titles, with some commentary.
What are the portals? Wait, there’s more than one? And let’s talk about the protective gear required by the Rabbit Patrol.
An Extensive Tour of the Gruv
The Players Guide gave you an overview. Here’s the in-depth guide to the settlements. Each location is described, and includes two Adventure Hooks and three GMCs, so you’ve got encounters ready to use.
A Guide to Earth
Of course we’re also going into some depth about the nations of Earth. Serious exploration will be done in later sourcebooks (London: The Haunted City, Paris: The Fallen City, Berlin: The Electric City, and so forth), but this chapter gives you the current social and political situation, as well as some ideas for adventures involving Russia, the Ottoman Empire, and China, among other lands.
How do you pick the Target Number for a Test? How do you keep track of all those GMCs? How do you create the experience the players are at your table to have? How do you reward the players and their characters, not just in Adventure Points (and how do you determine the numbers for those?) but with loot, social advantage, and other goodies appropriate to the situation and the party? Experienced GMs will find some useful rules here specific to 1879. Novices will find explanations and guidance to help them grow into masterful storytellers.
Not all GMCs need more than a name. Some don’t even need that. Others need full back stories, and will be encountered repeatedly. This chapter goes into how to manage the cast and keep all the non player characters straight.
Adventures & Campaigns
How do you built an adventure? How do you link adventures into a campaign? What sort of stories can you tell with this system?
The Perils of Adventuring
Sometimes things blow up. Sometimes characters fall off cliffs or out of airships. How do you handle these? And what about the bureaucrat at the border?
Fatigue, Illness, Injury, & Poison
And here we deal with the aftermath. This chapter also goes into detail about how prosthetics work in the game world, you know, just in case you need to know that.
Trains. Ships. Submarines. Serious steam and vehicular rules and stats.
Not all of these are ones the players get to know about straight away. Here’s a few that your players may run afoul of, or get pulled into, or otherwise tangle with.
Creatures of Earth, creatures of the Gruv.
A Treatise Regarding the Astral Plane
Spirits, astral travel, full stats and example entities, and how to deal with Great-great-grandma Agnes who just won’t move on.