Age of Steel

Age of SteelSome interesting ideas are combined in Age of Steel, an RPG being developed by Chris Gardiner.

In it heroes have Drives (which work like Shadow of Yesterday’s Keys). Fulfilling these Drives earns Fortune, which can be spent to activate Tricks (genre-specific special abilities) or buy bonus dice to pull off heroic feats.

At the end of a session the person who spent the most Fortune is considered the actual hero of the story and gets rights over an Epilogue related to the events of play. Whatever fact they state in this Epilogue must be incorporated into the setting for later adventures. So if the adventure featured, as a backdrop, an expansionist empire warring against the northern tribes, the Epilogue could state whether the empire wins its war, whether the tribes repulsed them, or something else.

The character creation system also looks interesting, though not a lot of detail has been given thus far.

Each hero has a descriptor and whenever the descriptor applies to a roll it gives a bonus dice.

The heroes generated in the actual play example at Sons of Kryos are pretty colourful, demonstrating the value of describing a few key characteristics:

Harrow of the Bitter words (once Prince Belisarius of the Thousand Cutting Remarks): A hawk-faced, bitter-tongued deposed philosopher-king, now turned to petty banditry and whoring, pursued by the lackies of the bloodless geometrists that now rule his rightful domain/

Havek: A restless witch-hunter of the Boskii forests, sharp-eyed and uncompromising, an outcast wanderer of the land

Prince Rakir of the Emerald Tower: a hawk-eyed, puissant sorcerer from the lofty towers of Irem, hungry for the power of dead gods of old

Temujin: A dark-eyed swarthy young horsemaster of Pesh, rightful bearer of the weapons of the prophecied Great Khan, yet banished by his deceitful elder half-brother and hounded by his minions and petty magics.

So I’m looking forward to seeing more of Age of Steel when Chris makes it available online for download as he has proposed.

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