[RPG Review] Victoriana RPG 2nd Edition Core Rulebook

I love the idea of steampunk in the Victorian era. And with Cubicle 7, they bring the goods to the table with their Victoriana RPG. The fluff found in their releases is enough to make me ecstatic. The authors behind the line really know how to hook their audience and offer literary inserts that makes you feel like you’re reading an actual novella, rather than being nose-deep in a rules book.

Victoriana RPG 2nd Edition Core RulebookTheir Victoriana RPG 2nd Edition Core Rulebook is no exception. Opening with a chapter involving an exorcism in the their version of London, England. Anyone that knows me know I move on to the next thing quickly. I’m distracted by shiny things. It’s a problem. But, because of that, it takes a lot for me to be “I love this!” And, this product in particular, I can say that very thing. Whether or not I’ll every actually play the setting using their own rules (more on that later), I don’t know. But, I do know that this is a book that any gaming should have on their shelves, if for no other reason than the fluff alone!

The world they have created is simply marvelous! They essentially mirrored history of our own, with some slight fudging of times and dates to fit their own timeline. They use legit historical figures and events and make then their own, using their own characters. They make sure to through in enough steam and magic to make anyone with a hint of appreciation for fantasy-based RPGs to swoon over.

The first thing I felt when I picked this up and read through it’s pages was it’s a mid 1800’s version of Shadowrun. Humans, elves, dwarves, etc. all living side-by-side in a magical world of steam-powered machinery and supernatural critters. There have been other companies and other systems that have attempted to delve into this realm of storytelling, and I don’t feel they have done it quite so well as Cubicle 7.

The single-most downside to this is their rules system. Not horrid in it’s own right. It is dice pool (which I personally hate in any setting). For run-of-the-mill playing, their version isn’t so bad…it even made me take a look at why I actually don’t like dice pool systems. Where things start to get bogged down is in combat. Here, the rolls and black dice rolls and counter rolls…it all adds up and until a group gets accustomed with the rules can slow things down to a near stand-still. But, with determination and a little grit, if you can make it through a few sessions using the rules system, it’ll be well worth it as the mechanics begin to smooth themselves out.

Rating: 7/10 Gingered Digits.

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