Machinations – Dead Simple Steampunk RPG

Welcome to the Eternal City, the home of the Machinations RPG.

Take on the role of an Adventurer, an Alchemist, an Artificer or even a deathless Automaton. Band together with others to form a Free Company and then  hire yourselves out to perform acts of sabotage, espionage, assassination, extortion, blackmail or plain old robbery.

All in a world a short step from our own, where reason has been lost, empires exist to be built and strange technology dominates all walks of life. It is a world of  sinister intrigue, awful power, terrible events and dark portents. There is also beer, song and glory 🙂

Below are the main rules you will need to play in this Steampunk RPG:

Machinations – One Page Steampunk RPG Rules

Machinations – The Eternal City Setting

Machinations – Tools of the Trade

Machinations – Adversaries

As with all Dead Simple RPG’s the main rules cover but a single side of A4 leaving you to roleplay, not ruleplay.

More supplements are in construction.



Blaster! One Page SciFi RPG Rules.

For those of you who have taken some interest in my one page roleplaying/skirmish rules you now have a new set to browse through.

Blaster is a generic SciFi RPG in the 26th century where mankind’s unity has been sundered by war and where a few good men can still make a difference.

More like Firefly and Buck Rogers (the 1930’s version) than Star Trek you will form a team of adventurers who have a small starship which they can use to explore, travel, trade and fight against the dying of the light.

As usual both the core rules and the setting are single page affairs and are completely compatible with other titles in the Dead Simple RPG series.

 Blaster – Simple Generic SciFi Roleplaying

The Dying of the Light – A setting for the Blaster RPG

Blaster Supplement 1 – Adversaries

Carbon City – Superhero RPG

October 20th- Fame and Notoriety in Carbon City

For those of you following the development of my 1930’s Superhero rules here is the latest supplement.

It covers the sources and effects of being famous or notorious. From the Newspapers, Radio Stations and the Newsreels, to the Police Commissioners’ Public Enemy listing it shows how these can be manipulated to favour or destroy your heroes.

It also covers ADRA for the first time…

Fame & Notoriety in Carbon City

October 13th – Ordinary Villains in Carbon City

Our Heroes will often have to face determined men without superpowers. Here is a selection of off the peg ‘ordinary’ folk:

Masters, Minions and Mooks – Ordinary Villains

October 12th – The Mad, the Bad and the Ugly.

Here’s the first proper supplement for Carbon City, a selection of opponents for your heroes:

The Mad, the Bad and the Ugly – Super Villains in Carbon City

October 9th – Carbon City released!

Thanks to Pete Jones, who’s Super Simples RPG rules (available from the blog on Free Wargames Rules), set my little grey cells salivating, I have now produced my own version.

Unlike Pete’s, which is set in the modern era, mine cover the 1930’s – the so-called Golden Age of Comic Books. It runs on my Dead Simple engine, and in line with my current policy the main character creation, advancement and action rules cover just one side of A4.

Carbon City – 1930s One Page Superhero RPG Rules

I have also uploaded the setting, again in just one page:
“It is 1933. Prohibition is in full swing & Carbon City is slowly collapsing under the weight of corruption & a massive crime wave.
From this pressure cooker comes a band of costumed heroes to save the good people of the city from a fate worse than death.”

Black Days for Carbon City – Setting for CC Superhero RPG

The setting also has rules for Secret and Public Identities and Allies.

I am currently putting together a couple of one page supplements:
– Moguls, Minions and Mooks: Ordinary NPC’s for Carbon City.
– The Mad, the Bad and the Ugly: Super Villains in Carbon City.

I look forward to reading your feedback on these 🙂


Blaster D20 RPG

Blaster! is an attempt to recreate the magic once held by Traveller. It is a hard science fiction game with a simple and internally consistent set of core rules and game mechanics. Although it is supported by a detailed background these rules can be quickly adapted to any SF universe you could want to devise (or borrow).

This game’s focus is on the extraordinary Heroes that the players create. You will quickly discover that the characters this system encourages are larger than life and almost cinematic in quality. Hey, if you want to play a down-on-his-luck, droid service engineer that’s up to you. Personally I’d prefer to play a High-G World, former Corporate Marine on the run from the Southern Cross Organisation, who’s battling to prevent Ancient Technology from falling into the hands of rogue AI Terminators. Or perhaps a gorgeous Belter Star-pilot trying to break the bank at an Orbital Casino while her crew ambush an alien courier. Or even a veteran Farsider Trader leading his men into the desperate pursuit of Rim Pirates who have his patron’s daughter in their evil clutches.

This game is much more Flash Gordon than Star Trek. A universe where small starships abound (for reasons explained below) and a handful of good men can still play a major part in the future.

Game Philosophy

This is an abridged version of the D20 rules that has been designed to be quick and easy to play. The goal was to create a simpler game, but one where all of the resources of core D20 could be used without any serious conversion.

The full Rules are here: Blaster D20 Microlite

Stargate 1895

In November of 1893 the renowned Egyptologist Lord Conway made an amazing discovery in the Qattara Depression. It was in a previously unsurveyed temple complex, buried beneath the floor of what appeared to be a great tomb. In his journal he described the artefact as ‘a giant quoit of an unknown metal, some 8 yards across. Accompanying it were a number of other artefacts also of great antiquity.’

Lord Conway arranged for the artefacts to be taken secretly to his estate in Yorkshire via Tobruk, to avoid the attentions of the antiquarian community until he could decipher its purpose. He quickly came to the conclusion that it pre-dated any previously known Egyptian finds and that it was a machine of some description. In order to further his research he engaged the brilliant young Scottish engineer John Macfarlane. Over the next year Macfarlane laboured day and night until he worked out how to power the quoit up. Conway meanwhile, with the help of his daughter Felicity, had set about deciphering the many inscriptions upon the quoit and ancillary equipment.

From here on in the story is somewhat confusing and is based on the somewhat unreliable evidence of a surviving footman, one Joseph Higgins, and Macfarlane’s hurried notes. Late in the evening of 19th December 1894 Macfarlane powered up the gate and Lord Conway pressed several of the panels on the circular control device. A ‘pool’ appeared vertically in the quoit and after a few seconds the generators overloaded and the quoit went dark.

The following evening, after Macfarlane had repaired the generators, Lord Conway prepared to make a second attempt. Before he was able to press any panels the quoit lit up on its own and after that there was chaos. Apparently a number of large men in ancient armour, with the heads of Jackals, came through the quoit. They blew a hole clean through Macfarlane and took Lord Conway, Felicity and several of the staff captive, departing to whence they came.

Baffled the police alerted the Government who in turn handed the situation to a Special Under Secretary at the Foreign Office, one Mycroft Holmes. He has seized control of the estate and has summoned a number of eminent scientists and others to his aid.

The newly formed Office of Exploratory Studies has recruited the players as an exploratory team. Their first mission will be to follow the Jackal-headed men, and to attempt to recover Lord Conway and his daughter.

Stargate 1895 is a roleplaying game where the emphasis has been placed upon simplicity and ease of use. Characters are intentionally two-dimensional yet allow you to develop them into old friends. The Game Engine upon which is based is the D20 Microlite system.

The game is set in height of the Victorian era. When the British Empire was the world’s only superpower, but as yet unprepared for the extraordinary conflict to come. An era subtly different from our own history where the tales of H.G. Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling and Jules Verne were closer to reality than the average person would like to admit.

The rules can be found here: Stargate 1895

Feel free to comment on them. Further episodes, campaigns and other supplements are planned.