1879 Players Companion Introduction
The 1879 Players Companion has passed through editorial and is in layout as of the time of this writing. Forthwith, the Introduction from the book, to give you a preview as to what’s in it.
This book expands on the materials presented in the 1879 Players Guide. It provides the Warden and Master Tiers for the Players Guide Professions, and shows how to build new Professions, with new ones provided as examples. New Skills extend the abilities of the Professions. Skill Knacks, specializations that enable characters to use their Skills to create specific effects, augment the existing and newly introduced Skills. By widening the scope of what Skills allow characters to do, Knacks expand the types of actions adventurers can perform, and create greater opportunity to make each character unique.
New Equipment is introduced, from weapons to armor to everyday traveling kit. Weird Science Devices get their own chapter, with items produced by Herons, Newtonians, and Prometheans. The Magic section shows how to create both new KAVs and new Base Spells, and provides a large number of each. Fetishes and foci, that absorb Strain or provide Spellcasting or Summoning bonuses, are introduced, with mechanics for building and using them. New Orders, Faiths, and Schools are described. Non-magical Secret Societies also exist, with the socialist Levellers and the scientific atheists calling themselves the Reasonable Men being described.
The Analytical and Differential Engines receive considerable attention. The system for creating new cardware is provided, with a demonstration of how this works, allowing Byron and Lovelace characters to write their own code. Finance is discussed, with details on how banking worked in the Victorian era, a topic of vital interest to the Byron (and the Fiddler). Integration of Engines with the retail world is explained, with game stats for point of sale cardpunches and Differential Engine-driven cash registers. Opportunities for Byron adventures get explored in extensive sidebars and in-character annotations.
Finally, political conspiracy creates new conflicts and story possibilities for both player characters and GMCs. Social Level receives much deeper consideration, with its effects on how finances are handled, the British Empire’s Honours system, and a game mechanic for Connections, because it’s not what you know but whom.
The 1879 Players Companionconcludes with an Index for ease of reference.