Sunday, January 29, 2012
Age of Empire, Gaze Reflection
Age of Empire is a game I picked up somewhere but for the life of me I can not remember where. I know I have been fascinated with the Victorian setting for games. I thought that the era with it being one of exploration and discovery made it ripe with ideas for adventure. I had thought of it as strictly in a "modern" setting though.
Age of Empire and Castle Falkenstine before it opened up whole new avenues of adventure for me to consider. I am afraid that there has only been avenues for me to explore in my head to this point with Age of Empire. The groups I have been able to play with since discovering these were interested in strictly fantasy or science fiction gaming. I have to make a point of finding a pick up game of this at a convention some time.
Not having played this I can't give it the proper review that it deserves but I wanted to write a little about it. This sets itself apart from Castle Falkenstine by being a game that adds fantasy the Victorian world and not adding Victorian elements to a fantasy setting. The differences may seem small but in game terms it will make a difference in the way the games play.
The system seems fairly straight forward and lean. I think it is a game that would be easy for players and the DM to pick up and be playing fairly quickly. I have said before that I favor less complex games as I think that rules often inhibit role playing. The game uses dice as opposed to the card based mechanics of Castle Falkenstine which will help make it seem less foreign.
I understand that the game may be harder to find than others though. To begin with it was released by a smaller company who was later bought and then that company discontinued the line. There was apparently also some issues with the name and it being thought to infringe on the Microsoft Age of Empires computer games. In the end though I know I see this periodically on eBay and have seen it in used book stores. I would say that if you are a fan of Castle Falkenstine but have found yourself thinking why not just make it set in the Victorian era this is the answer for you.
From the back cover:
In the Age of Empire, the players take part in creating tales of adventure and fantasy in the Victorian Age. From the gas-lit, fog enshrouded streets of London to the wilds of the American west, from the depths of Africa to the hidden treasures of the Orient, the world of the late 1800's teemed with the intrigue and excitement of the real world. Age of Empire takes the Victorian setting and turns it on it's ear. Adding to the mix all manner of fantasy trappings, secret societies, bizarre technology, alien invasion, criminal masterminds etc.
Duration: 1 Round/Level
Area of Effect: 1 Creature/Level
Casting Time: 3 Segments
Saving Throw: None
When cast by the magic user this spell will bestow a immunity to attacks that are based on gaze. In addition to this the spell will also allow the attack to be reflected back on the attacker.
While under this spell gaze based attacks such as that of a Medusa will not affect the intended victim. The intended target should still make a saving throw versus the attack though. If the saving throw fails then nothing will happen other than the intended victim being unaffected. If the save is made then the attack is reflected and the attacker will need to make a save, albeit at a +2, or be affected by the spell.
The material component of this spell is a small silvered mirror. The mirror is not consumed with the casting of the spell and may be reused.
Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the write ups last, were all written up or conceived of back in the 80's so the terminology may not appropriate for anything other than 1e and depending on how well I did back then it may be slightly off for that as well. If there is any duplication of spells that exist now it is most likely I wrote mine first :) Please feel free to comment on them but try not to be too hard on me. If anyone wishes to use these in anything they print please let me know in advance and all I ask is proper credit.
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