Saturday, September 12, 2009

Castle Falkenstein

I've been to Bavaria and toured Neuschvanstein, the magnificent castle built by King Ludvig "the Mad."  I've seen the sketches of his beautifully designed, never built opus Castle Falkenstein (is it just me or does that gate look like a gaping mouth?) my old house, I kept a postcard of the image on my fridge for awhile.

What I've NEVER done, though, is played R. Talsorian's Castle Falkenstein RPG. Long out-o-print, I missed it when it was first published (I was probably too busy playing Vampire the Masquerade at the time); years later I regret never getting it, as I've read many excellent things about it, both from a design perspective (cards instead of dice? cool!) and from a game/entertainment perspective (I LOVE "steam-punk"). 

Oh, wait...did I say "out-of-print" for years? Um...apparently not anymore!

I was in the local game store, "checking things out" (as I am wont to do), and was greeted by the prominently displayed Castle Falkenstein RPG on their front shelf.

"What's all this about?" I asked the shopkeep.

"They're printing it again."

Now this is what HE says...I found no news of this on the R. Talsorian web site, nor was I given the option to purchase it from their on-line store (not that I would anyway...I like my books pre-printed, thank you very much).  But the shop manager assures me the game is in distribution again, he has three copies and he has pledged to "stock it as long as they continue to publish." 

Wow, I don't know. I didn't pick it up yesterday, but I'm thinking maybe I should snatch it while it's still on the shelf, seeing as how I've been looking for this RPG for the last couple years in the used book shops. Ugh. Money's tight right now a little tight right now to be investing in theory-craft right when I'm in the middle of my own writing projects.

But FALKENSTEIN...I must possess it! Shoot.

Maybe I can get them to hold a copy till next Friday. Not only is there another household paycheck coming in on the 15th, I've had a couple games on the shelf in desperate need of being sold back for "store credit" (including another R. Talsorian game: Cybergenerations. Man, I have no idea how/where I acquired THAT turkey!).
: )


  1. I'd definitely recommend picking it up if you can spare the ducats. The system is very...Nineties, if you get my drift. Quite enjoyable if not a little pretentious; sort of proto-indie.

    If you can, you should also pick up the supplement Comme Il Faut. It's a two-fer. The first half is a great condensation of Victorian society, fashion, daily life, all sorts of wonderful tidbits. The second half is optional bits to add to the game, including a super-simplified system that basically allows you to play with just a deck of cards--no pencil and paper necessary!

  2. If you can transform Cybergenerations into Castle Falkenstein that would be true alchemy.

    And I'm glad they're printing it again... but RTal gets nothing but stick from me for their website and PR.

  3. "...nothing but stick..."

    What the hell does that mean?! Is it good or bad?

    Please enlighten this ol' geezer 'cause I want to use the idea. (these days, RTal gets nothing but "boot" from in "up the ass")

    ; )