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J Gray

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Greetings, Friends of Falkenstein! The Fattest of all Goblins is currently in the process of relocating our old website to a shining, new one! Thus, for the time being, Falkenstein Friday will be posted only here and on Google Plus. So, let us get right to the matter at hand!

While work proceeds on new material for Castle Falkenstein, specifically Council of Oddities: Automatons at the moment, we have recently taken a moment to design something new and exciting based upon an item sent to us by Captain Thomas Olam from Beyond the Faerie Veil.

To whit! May I introduce the official Castle Falkenstein Fortune Deck!

While you could certainly play the Great Game with just any deck of playing cards, this Deck was created especially for Hosts and Players of Castle Falkenstein. Each of the four suits represents a great power in New Europa (hearts being Bayern, diamonds being the United Kingdom, spades being France, and clubs being Prussia) and the face cards display the visages of iconic locations (Castle Falkenstein and Eiffel's Tower, for example) and individuals (King Ludwig II, Queen Victoria, Chancellor von Bismark, Auberon and the Adversary).

We add more value to the purchase by including Ability Cards, ranked Poor, Average, Good, Great, Exceptional, and Extraordinary. Lay these cards down next to those you are playing for a Feat and you will have an easy to read, visual representation of the value of your Ability. Each Ability card also displays a full listing of Abilities from every currently published supplement, along with their Suits, so Players can easily discern which cards are best played on a Feat without the aid of the rulebook.

Finally! The deck will also include two sets of Dueling Cards: black attacks, red defenses, and white rests. With special cards set aside specifically for the task, Duelists can move straight into the action without the need to tear apart the Fortune Deck, searching for appropriate cards.

Currently, we are awaiting a printed proof of the deck to ensure all is well. Once we have it in hand and verify the quality of the printing, we will offer it for sale to the public. In the meanwhile, we offer the following images of the cards to wet the appetite!
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Hello to every Friend of Falkenstein!

Thus far, 2018 has been quite a year for the Great Game.

RetroPunk Publications has begun crowdfunding a new Portuguese edition of Castle Falkenstein. They surpassed their initial goal quickly and have been using stretch goals to fund the original R. Talsorian supplements. As of my writing this posting, their campaign stands at 331 backers and R$71.294 and still has 20 days remaining! They are only a few thousand reals (the currency of Brazil) away from unlocking the final of the original books, Sixguns and Sorcery.

Equally exciting, R. Talsorian has officially announced a 25th anniversary edition of Castle Falkenstein, to be released in 2019! As of yet, no details have been released but a seminar about all things Falkenstein, including this new edition, has been scheduled for GenCon 2018.

In fact, GenCon will see quite a bit of Castle Falkenstein. In addition to the seminar, I will be running several sessions of the Great Game and the amazing Mister David Robbins will be adjudicating another year of his ongoing Castle Falkenstein LARP, Paris in the Spring! Of course, R. Talsorian will have a booth at the convention where interested parties can purchase the original Castle Falkenstein books as well as print copies of Curious Creatures, Firearms and Margarine, and perhaps a few more surprises as well!

Which, of course, leads to Fat Goblin Games and our plans for the remaining first half of this year. Currently, we are hard at work on three specific projects to be released during the time period.

First is Council of Oddities: Automatons. This supplement, which will likely be available in digital and print formats, will detail a number of artificially created beings, both Technological and Magickal, and offer new rules to add them to the Great Game as both Dramatic and Host Characters.

Secondly, as previously announced, we have acquired To Keep a Secret, an Adventure Entertainment written by Lady Nicole Lindroos of Green Ronin Publishing. It was originally published in Adventures Unlimited magazine and we are thrilled to be updating it for release as our third small Adventure Entertainment in digital format, after Babbage's Engine and The Black Lady of Brodick Castle.

Finally, a new announced product. After some discussion with the Fattest of all Goblins, we have decided to change the Variations line production schedule and move ahead with The Dueling Variation. This new set of optional rulings for Castle Falkenstein will allow for more dynamic dueling by introducing styles of dueling (Do you rely on technique? Sheer power? Dazzling wit?) and codifying rules for how actions taken between exchanges (maneuvering for better position, slinging insults, playing dirty tricks, and so forth) affect the exchanges themselves. Our hope is to provide The Dueling Variation in two different formats. The first will be a simple page by page digital format, similar to the already published Variations. The second, more exciting option, will be as a print on demand, poster sized dueling mat which contains both the rules for dueling and spaces for placing one's dueling hand and exchange choices.

And, of course, there are other projects which are still in the works for further down the road. Some I have spoken of in the past. Others I have not. The three mentioned above, however, are looming in the most immediate future.

Please remember, community is the lifeblood of Castle Falkenstein and community over the digital networks cannot happen without comments and discussion. Thus, I leave you with this all important question.

What do YOU wish to see in the Castle Falkenstein 25th Anniversary Edition?

Your humble servant,

J Gray

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Curious about Castle Falkenstein in other languages? Crowdfunding for a new Portuguese edition has begun!

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DriveThruRPG, as is its want at this particular time of year, is holding a GM's Day Sale and offering many digital products at a 33% discount.

Every Castle Falkenstein product, with the except of The Six-Sided Variation, from both R. Talsorian and Fat Goblin Games are discounted as mentioned above. This is, I believe, an excellent time to complete your collection and acquire any volumes you do not already possess. Remember, when it comes to the Great Game, you each possess multiple votes. Your support means Castle Falkenstein has a chance of surviving and thriving into the coming years!

Your humble servant,
J Gray

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The dastardly Professor Moriarty, head of the World Crime League, has introduced a variation for Castle Falkenstein using those most devilish of devices, dice! Throwing caution to the wind, we have decided to share these dice rolling rules with Hosts and Players of the Great Game on this side of the Faerie Veil! Rest assured, despite its use of dice, we promise The Six-Sided Variation still captures the spirit and charm of Castle Falkenstein and can only enhance play for those souls who are curious about New Europa but concerned by the lack of polyhedrals to roll.

Now available at this fine Analytical Engine driven marketplace!

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Interested in learning more about the Castle Falkenstein revival, our current products, and what we are working on for the future?

This transcript of an RPGNet chat will help! It contains quite a bit of useful information about the past, present, and future of the Great Game!

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Tonight at 8:30 CST I will be discussing Castle Falkenstein on the RPGNet text chat. Please do join us if you can.

In the world of New Europa, one might look at Sorcerers, Faeries, Dragons, and Dwarfs and conclude their integration into society to be related to their immense power and unusual skills. After all, it would be foolish not to invite someone who could char you to a crisp for dinner or snub someone who could walk through walls and briefly alter the very fabric of reality.

Three beings of power in New Europa, however, studied the place of spellcasters, the Good Neighbors, the underground craftsmen, and the ancient reptiles in society and gleaned something else entirely. Personal power only means so much in the grand scheme of things, they decided. Collective power, as so eloquently explored by Marx and aptly demonstrated throughout history through the potency of guilds, associations, and social clubs, was what truly separated Sorcerers, Faeries, Dragons, and Dwarfs from the equally alien and often equally capable freaks and monsters so often eagerly hunted down and exterminated by humanity.

And so three of these unique individuals came together and founded "The Council of Oddities", a secret society dedicated to providing protection, fellowship, and acceptance to those lonely and strange beings who not only existed outside of human society but who lacked the collective strength to exist beside it.

Tahoser, ancient Queen of Egypt returned to life. Medardus, keeper of the Devil's Elixirs. The Monster, most famous creation of Doctor Victor von Frankenstein*. These three strange wonders of New Europa came together to found the Council of Oddities to work towards a time when the "oddities" of the world could live without fear of humanity's bigotry and wrath. This worthy mission requires inviting those who can benefit from the Council's aid to join, sanctioning those rare "oddities" who jeopardize the Council's mission, and, of course, scholarship to understand the many beings who fall under the Council's banner.

The first of three books in a series, Council of Oddities: Automatons is a compilation of notes by The Monster on beings like himself: creatures created by humanity through artificial means. The Monster uses the word "automaton" to describe himself and others but obviously does not limit himself to the traditional, mechanical definition. Among the beings catalogued in Council of Oddities: Automatons the reader will find:

* Clockwork creations such as the Clockwork Servants and Soldiers from Steam Age as well as the clockwork beetle originally constructed by John Dee.

* The Golem, a being sculpted out of clay and brought to life by Jewish Magick.

* The chess-playing Turk, who might well not be the fraud it was in our world.

* An artificial woman, constructed by none of then Thomas Edison but brought to life by a spiritual entity.

*The Steam Powered Man of the Prairies/Plains, used as a servant by a precocious genius boy.

* Lady Cecily, the enchanted clockwork woman featured in Like Clockwork, the sample Adventure Entertainment in the core rulebook.

* The Raj, a wheeled house pulled by a steam-powered mechanical elephant mentioned by Jules Verne himself.

* The Monster, most famous of the "created men" brought to life by science.

* And the Brazen Head, a strange, brass head which has appeared at several key moments in history to give prophetic knowledge to those seeking it.

Rules will be included to allow Players and Hosts to construct and play automaton Dramatic Characters! With these rules, Players may create an automaton of flesh like the Monster, a magical automaton like the Golem, a clockwork automaton, or a steam-powered automaton. Construction follows the template system first introduced in The Memoir of Auberon of Faerie, which begins with a set of base Abilities but allows for customization beyond that point. In addition, each of the four types has certain standard special powers as well as at least one power which may be chosen to make each automaton unique.

I will update you on the progress of the book as it continues through transcription, layout, and approval. Thank you for your patience.

Your humble servant,

J Gray

* Those Friends of Falkenstein who wish to know more about these three individuals are encouraged to read The Romance of the Mummy by Pierre Jules Theophile Gautier, The Devil's Elixir by E.T.A. Hoffman, and, of course, Frankenstein; or , the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley.

Hello, Friends of Falkenstein! Today's posting will be short and sweet because, to be honest, I am hoping you will write it for me!

Every Friday, I write a missive detailing the world of Castle Falkenstein from my point of view. Often, this is done to inform you of an upcoming or just released book or just to provide a bit of additional information or rules.

Today, however, I want nothing more than to hear from you. Each of you. I wish to be deluged in responses!

Tell me, please, about your Castle Falkenstein campaigns! Players, regale me with tales about your Dramatic Characters! Hosts, delight me with stories about your Adventure Entertainments!

Please share with everyone what Castle Falkenstein has become at your table and, in doing so, let us inspire each other to new heights of frivolity and adventure! I promise I, at least, will respond. Hopefully, the community will have a conversation.

What is your Castle Falkenstein?

Your humble servant,

J Gray


I admit, this particular entry in the Variations line has me... nervous.


Because, dear Friends of Falkenstein, The Six-Sided Variation adds rules to play the Great Game using, dare I say it? Dice!

How did rules involving such a scandalous form of probability generation end up as part of the Castle Falkenstein revival from Fat Goblin Games?

Perhaps I should allow Captain Olam explain just how he came across this variation during his adventures in New Europa...


So, there I was: captured and tied up. Again.

This time, I was the guest of one Professor James Moriarty, head of the World Crime League and future archnemesis of a certain consulting detective. I had been investigating Prussian attempts to build a self-guided, long range rocket when I stumbled into the clutches of Moriarty’s henchmen beneath the streets of Paris.

Let’s just say the fight didn’t go my way and, as a result, I was now tied to a chair while Moriarty loomed over me with a particularly large hypodermic needle.

“It would be easier for you to just tell me what you know about my operations here in Paris, of course." Moriarty explained in his ever charming way while he scrutinized the liquid in the hypodermic. “I have every faith my new honesty serum will work but I’ve yet to test it. There might be unintended side-effects.”

Always eager to avoid being injected with anything, I cast my gaze around the cavernous underground bunker looking for something, anything really, to use as a distraction. Off in the corner of the room I noticed a group of five henchmen playing some sort of boisterous game with dice and wooden poker chips.

“Don’t look now, Moriarty,” I motioned with my chin towards the game, “But I think your foot soldiers are gambling. That can’t be good for morale.”

Moriarty didn’t even look back.

“Actually, Captain Olam, those five are in training. They are, in fact, doing so with your Great Game. I found it marvelous help in teaching the skills needed to keep a cool and clever head when overcoming unexpected obstacles. Remind me to thank you. After your interrogation, of course.”

“Can’t be my game,” I noted, “My Great Game uses cards, not dice.”

“Yes, well, my followers aren’t all as well bred as those you wrote your game for,” Moriarty admitted, “I’ve found they respond better to the sort of excitement which comes from a random roll of the dice more than to the subtle joy gained from strategic card play.”

I was intrigued. Better yet, I knew if I could keep the Professor talking, I’d buy Marianne time to find and rescue me.

“Please,” I said, giving Moriarty my best smile, “Tell me more.”


I have reviewed and tested these rules thoroughly, perhaps more thoroughly than any other Variation Fat Goblin Games has introduced to Castle Falkenstein during the revival. Let me assure you, although dice are present, Suits matter. Abilities matter. Strategy matters. The Six-Sided Variation may use dice but it is still allows for the elegant, thoughtful gaming experience which makes the Great Game... well, great. We expect it to be available for purchase before this time in February.

Your humble servant,

J Gray
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