The year is 1999, or maybe 2000, and I’m having a series of conversations with my friend Zeke about this game he’s designing called Spiral. It includes a card-based mechanic, and some lore that I don’t remember apart from the snakes with robot arms. I only dimly remember the conversation, and I’m surprised Zeke remembers it at all.
Fast-forward 13 or 14 years, and science-fiction Spiral has become Victorian-Steampunk Clockwork, and the card mechanic Zeke was developing is all grown up. He asked me to help out with the RPG project, and my official title eventually became ‘Editor.’ Clockwork became Clockwork: Dominion. We had a highly successful Kickstarter campaign. Many hundreds of hours (or more) of editing, and thousands of hours of writing, design and testing for my friends Zeke and Than later, and our new TRPG Clockwork: Dominion is available for purchase.
The game itself is excellent. The art is excellent. Zeke did a great job with the layout and book design. I have yet to hold a physical copy in my hands, but it probably won’t be long. I went into this project not even a fan of Steampunk and Victorian stories and games, but I’m proud to have helped to make it a game I would recommend to anyone, period. You can pick up Quick Start rules for free to get a feel for things, but for the whole experience you really need to core rulebook and the custom deck of cards. Honestly, I’m not even aware of a close second in terms of Steampunk TRPGs.
I’m really proud of this game, of the whole project, of all the work that went into it over at Reliquary Game Studios (by which I mean, on Google Docs). I wish I could be at GenCon this year because Clockwork will have booth space and books to sell (and sign) and all of our game sessions have long since sold out. It’s going to be awesome, and been awesome, and I expect, will continue to be awesome, as more than just the core rules are coming.
Anyway, check out this game. You’ll be happy you did.