Sunday, 13 May 2018

The Fifth Variation - The Six-Sided Variation

The Six-sided Variations

The fifth in Mr J Gray’s series on Castle Falkenstein rules variations, a shocking move for purist players as it involves the use of DICE!

In brief, there is a pot of chits representing the four card suits and jokers. Players draw four chits and then play a chit (or more) to carry out a Feat (action). If the chit is the same suit as the Ability it provides 2D6 and if it doesn’t match, it provides one point. Jokers are wild and automatically give a score of twelve! The dice are rolled and the score added to the Ability score as in normal play. There are, as in all of the Falkenstein Variations, a range of additional tweaks included in the booklet. These allow you to adapt the Six-sided variations to your own campaign style.

We decided to try it out in our group. I will admit that I was a little concerned that it might change the flavour of the game slightly.

It did not.

The Variation was quickly understood and actually speeded up play. Those who were less confident with the game’s card system made chit & dice roll decisions more quickly than they did with cards, allowing us to get on with the action.

The Six-sided Variation has been well thought out to produce similar results to the existing card rules, making them fully interchangeable. So in future games, I, as Host (GM), will allow each of my players to choose to use cards or dice according to their own preference (as long as they stick to their choice for the whole adventure).

Another useful and clearly explained set of optional rules for Castle Falkenstein. It can speed up your game and will be of particular use with existing gamers who are trying Falkenstein for the first time. As it has enhanced our game playing experience, I have to give it a full five stars.

Monday, 30 April 2018

The Fouth Variation book - THE FEAT VARIATIONS

The Feat Variations


The Fourth in Mr J Gray’s series on Castle Falkenstein rules variations, this booklet deals with both the use of the cards in your hand to achieve success in Feats (actions) and the range of difficulty that can be set for any particular Feat.

“The Hard Limit Variation” which helps stop “Hand Dumping” where some players always use all of their cards on one Feat.

“The Half-Off Variation” which allows more cards in your hand to give more points towards a Feat. Over use of this variation can be countered by the “Ability Harmonics Option” in which the Host (GM) can apply slightly negative effects on players who use unaligned cards

Finally, “The Dwarfish Requirement Variation” increases the range of difficulty levels the Host has available to assign to a Feat. This means that the Host can get away without having to play cards from their hand purely to make a Feat trickier. The most useful part of this section of the booklet is a list of all the Abilities with examples of the sort of result that might be achieved at each level.

As always, there are options within each Variation to adapt the new rules should you wish to.

We are using all three of these variations. The “Ability Harmonics Option” has led to some enjoyable, random sub-plots appearing based upon the results. With “The Dwarfish Requirement Variation”, I have found that as I no longer need to use my Host hand on general Feats, I now keep it purely to apply to Host Characters (NPCs) who can think about where to apply their actions. This has sped up the play. The list of examples by Ability is really helpful and the table provided makes quick reference easy.

Yet another handy addition to Castle Falkenstein and as we use all three Variations, it’s a five out of five, thank you, Mister Gray.


Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Gathering web links for Castle Falkenstein.

Gathering web links for Castle Falkenstein.


Over the years, I have gathered many links for Castle Falkenstein and related topics. I have been through a lot of them and discarded all those no longer working.

I have added the remaining links plus some new ones  to a new blog page:

This page is a work in progress and it will grow as I find more interesting sites to add. 

If you know of any good Castle Falkenstein links, please put them in a comment and I will check them out. Thanks.