Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Excelsior: A Steampunk role-playing game kickstarter in progress

A quick shout-out to Excelsior, one of the many Steampunk RPGs currently seeking funding on Kickstarter.

In a nutshell, they describe it as "...a Steampunk Pen and Paper RPG set in the Victorian era in the midst of the rapid population growth brought on by the advances in technology and medicine during that age. The leaders of the world realize that exploring the remaining uncharted areas of the world are their only hope to deal with this population explosion. The governments of the world have pooled their resources to create the three largest exploration and colonization ships in history in order to find a new part of the world that man can colonize and harvest resources. Things don't go exactly as planned when the explorers find themselves in a completely unexplored part of the world and having to deal with the internal and external dangers that are found within it."

There are a number of great rewards. Even at $25, for example, where you can submit the name of someone who recounts tales from the world of Excelsior.

I appreciate the low-cost of entry to back this game while taking a meaningful part in shaping it. It's old-school pen and paper, which I think is an important aspect of role-playing games, where one can develop adventures limited only by one's imagination.

I'd personally like to see more multicultural perspectives incorporated into the setting, which has been a shortcoming of many Steampunk roleplaying games of late, where the characters of color are typically air-pirates or underhanded denizens of the underworld, propping up Yellow Horde cliches or some such nonsense.

But there's enough opportunity here that many Lao steampunkers could have a say in some of the direction it takes, even if it's only something as modest as, say, a journal entry from Dr. Kouanchao or Inspector Ratsabout. Many of you may recall my disappointment that Ken Bowen's Pulp! was not successfully funded, although it had a fine sense of progressive values and adventure. Hopefully, this one will take off, and we'll all go full steam ahead!

Check it out and see if it's for you.

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