Sometime last year Rob Hemminger of Avalon Games asked me if I’d like to work on their new superhero RPG Heroes Wear Masks, but I declined. It’s based on the Pathfinder RPG system (through the OGL), and I’ve never played Pathfinder, so I had to give that project a pass. Instead I put together a new game set for the Steel & Glory “pseudo-CMG” system (I call it that because it reminds me of D&D Miniatures/Star Wars Miniatures in some of the mechanics, its use of characters cards, and [despite being a “print and play” game] the existence of a sort of proto rarity structure). I finished and submitted Steel & Glory: Dr. Clockwork, a Victorian Steampunk science fiction expansion for S&G; it’s about a secret Prussian-based cabal’s attempt to overthrow the British government through the use of “clockwork men” and a kind of giant super-scientific death cannon called the Kinetic Nullifier.

Rob’s art really enhanced the game; I was especially tickled by the terrain tile for the giant cannon and the portraits he drew for Sir James and Dr. Clockwork (the latter ended up looking a lot like a guy I occasionally play games with). Rob seemed to love the game; I even got a bonus for it. As was the case with my other S&G design, Spaghetti Western, the company ran the game as a series of freebies in Game Geek magazine, with the plan being to offer it later as a separate product.

Meanwhile the Heroes Wear Masks RPG was released and turned out to be a monster; it’s been the hottest-selling item on RPGNow and Drive Thru RPG for the last several weeks. I received a comp copy a short while ago; I haven’t done much with it yet, as it seems to require a working knowledge of some core Pathfinder concepts I’m not familiar with, but what I’ve been able to understand of it is pretty danged cool.

So I have this gut hunch that Dr. Clockwork kind of slipped through the cracks in all of the well-deserved HWM excitement. But I’m really fond of Dr. Clockwork; I like it better than Spaghetti Western, Rob’s art for it was pretty kick-ass, and I hate to see it fade into obscurity.

So if you’d like a look here’s where you can get the “pieces” of Steel & Glory: Dr. Clockwork. If you go to the Game Geek magazine page at RPGNow and download issues #26 through #29, you’ll have all of the components (including the scenarios and the game tile for the Kinetic Nullifier), though you’ll still need one of the Steel & Glory base sets (like Spaghetti Western or Men of Bronze) to get the rules. These PDF magazines are free of charge; even if you don’t play the game, they’re worth a look just for the Dr. Clockwork character portraits that Rob drew.

(A quick word of warning, though: Game Geek often has a fair amount of R-rated content, such as language and nudity, so it’s generally Not Safe for Work).

Meanwhile I’m trying to find the time to put together my next Steel & Glory game which will be an expansion based on 1950’s sci-fi TV shows; since I start a new job for a major corporation on Monday and still have two previous major video projects to complete, gaming’s going to have to wait a while…

Have fun! — Steve

Copyright 2012, Steven A. Lopez. All rights reserved.