Two years ago, I wrote a brief New Treasures post about Clockwork and Cthulhu, an H.P. Lovecraft-inspired supplement for the 17th century alternate history fantasy setting Clockwork & Chivalry. A role playing game where giant clockwork war machines lumber across the land, witches whisper of the old gods and terrorize entire villages, and the Great Old Ones seek entry into our world while their corrupted servants covertly follow their eldritch agendas, was simply too much to resist.
I was enormously impressed with Cakebread and Walton’s creative backdrop for their game, an alternate 17th Century England where Royalists, led by Prince Rupert, attempt to restore an absolute monarch to the throne, and Parliamentarians, led by the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell, defy the kingship and support the rights of parliament. Imagine my surprise when I discovered there actually was an English Civil War from 1642–1651. Apparently, history is not my strong suit.
A few weeks after the first article appeared, co-author Peter Cakebread graciously accepted my invitation and wrote a fascinating follow-up piece for us, “The English Civil War with Clockwork War Machines: an Introduction to Clockwork & Chivalry,” in which he filled in the details on his fascinating setting:
Clockwork & Chivalry is a RPG set in the time of the English Civil War. The English Civil War was fought between the Royalists (the Cavaliers) and Parliament (the Roundheads). We haven’t veered away from most of the real history, it’s simply too interesting, but we have added a couple of rather big twists – in our setting the Royalists use magick, and the Parliamentarians have giant clockwork war machines.
Who says role playing can’t be educational? Over the last few years, I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment (and rewarding history lessons) out of Clockwork and Cthulhu, and in that time Cakebread and Walton have continued to produce top-notch supplements and games. Here’s a quick look at some of their related products.
[Click on any of the images for bigger versions.]
Clockwork and Chivalry, now in its second edition, is now a standalone game with everything you need to play in one book. The second edition features the new Renaissance rules, a fast heroic D100 system geared for play with black-powder weapons and fast combat. Players adventure in a world of alchemists, diggers, dragons, engineers, mercenaries, puritans, ranters, royalists, satanists, thieves, witches, zombies, and much more.
Clockwork & Chivalry 2nd Edition Core Rulebook is 400 pages, available in hardcover for $47.99, and in PDF for just $24.99. You can get more information at the Cakebread and Walton website and order directly at DriveThruRPG.
Rules are all well and good, but I have a lot more fun with the supplements. Cakebread and Walton released the Kingdom and Commonwealth Omnibus 1, a collection of two standalone adventures, on May 2, 2012. Here’s the complete description.
A Rennaisance England Blasted by Magic and War
The first two adventures of the epic Kingdom & Commonwealth Campaign, fully revised and updated for the Renaissance rules for Clockwork & Chivalry 2nd Edition.
Volume I: The Alchemist’s Wife
January 1646, and the land is in the grip of an icy winter. From Prince Rupert’s capital of Oxford, the Adventurers set out on a quest for the missing wife of a high-ranking Alchemist. Ahead of them, a ruthless Parliamentarian agent leaves a trail of destruction; behind them, a mysterious figure dogs their footsteps. They are bound for the tainted lands around Naseby, where the magickal aftermath of alchemical warfare blights the countryside. Beyond lie the clockwork weapon-shops of Cambridge and a deadly climax which could re-ignite the smouldering embers of Civil War.
Volume II: Thou Shalt Not Suffer
There are those who claim that witches don’t exist! They also claim that tales of curses and crop blights, of midnight sabbats and dark conspiracies, are the fevered imaginings of fanatical witch finders. Those people have never been to Cornwall.
In that wild and sea-girt land, the Witch Queen rules through sorcery and fear, and the Royalist majority seem to be in thrall to her evil will.
The Adventurers are sent on a mission to this bleak, remote and sinister place, where they must struggle through a maze of witches, wreckers and pirates, miners, fanatics and superstitious peasants, to find the truth behind a growing evil which could swallow up the whole of England.
Kingdom and Commonwealth Omnibus 1 was published by Cubicle 7 Entertainment. It is 180 pages in trade paperback, priced at $23.99 or $17.99 for the PDF version.
The second volume, Kingdom & Commonwealth Omnibus 2, was released on August 15, 2012; it contains two more full-length adventures.
The third and fourth adventures of the epic Kingdom & Commonwealth Campaign, fully revised and updated for the Renaissance rules for Clockwork & Chivalry 2nd Edition.
Volume III: No Man’s Land
In most of England, an uneasy peace holds – but in the Debatable Lands on the outskirts of Birmingham, the conflict continues. Cavaliers and Roundheads are bogged down in muddy trenches fighting over every inch of blasted ground. Clockwork death machines grind across the landscape; magickally created disease miasmas drift on the breeze and settle in the craters left by the incessant cannon barrages. And in the despoiled wastelands round about, rival gangs on iron horses fight over scarce resources, obscure points of theology and access to the winding stations that they need to keep their vehicles running. Somewhere in this bloody chaos, the renegade clockwork alchemist, Lady Arabella Blackwood is up to no good. Can the adventurers find her before she achieves her nefarious aims?
Volume IV: Quintessence
…to boldy venture where no gentleman has previously ventured.
It’s the talk of the town in the London coffee houses – how everyone’s buying shares in the Company of Gentleman Adventurers Trading into the Moon! In the London docks a ship is being built, designed by clockwork genius John Wilkins, a ship that can fly. It will be the first vessel ever to leave the shores of Earth and venture to another world – whatever it brings back, the profits will be enormous. Only the Adventurers, their mission aboard the moon-ship a secret at the highest levels, know that they will not be the first to visit the Moon – their nemesis is ahead of them, and up to no good as usual. As the party face ship-board skullduggery, meet wonders between the worlds and face first contact with an ancient civilization, the race is on to find the secret of the fifth element – Quintessence!
Cakebread and Walton have not neglected Lovecraft-inspired gaming, however. Their latest release for the Renaissance game is Dark Streets, published on March 27, 2013, in which players are invited to join the Bow Street Runners as they investigate dark doings in 1749 London.
The Adventures of the Bow Street Runners in their Struggle Against the Minions of the Cthulhu Mythos
London, 1749: A city of vice, crime and misery. Gangs of ruffians rule the streets, unopposed. Brothels proliferate. Child-beggars starve in filthy gutters. Corrupt night-watchmen and thief-takers turn a blind eye to wrong-doing. And dark creatures lurk in back alleys, called from beyond by the desperate with nothing left to lose.
But there is a new force on the streets of London; for the author and magistrate Henry Fielding has teamed up with his brother John to form the city’s first police force – the Bow Street Runners. The Fieldings have persuaded parliament to fund their crime-fighting endeavor, but they know that there is something behind the vice – for John Fielding’s blind eyes can see things that others cannot – things that man was not meant to know.
Dark Streets is a worldbook and adventure for the Renaissance Deluxe RPG, in which players take on the roles of officers in London’s first, desperately small, police force, investigating the dark secrets behind the sordid crimes of eighteenth century London. A mixture of authentic history and the cosmic horror of H.P. Lovecraft, Dark Steets comes to you from the designers of Clockwork & Cthulhu, Clockwork & Chivalry and the Origins Award Nominated Abney Park’s Airship Pirates RPG.
Requires the Renaissance Deluxe RPG core rulebook.
Dark Streets was published by Cubicle 7 Entertainment. It is 180 pages, priced at $29.99 in trade paperback and $17.99 for the PDF version. Order directly from DriveThruRPG.
Peter Cakebread has not limited himself to non-fiction, either. Earlier this year, we were pleased to offer an exclusive excerpt from his first novel, The Alchemist’s Revenge, the first volume in the Companie of Reluctant Heroes series. It was published by Delta14 Publishing on April 3, 2013.
Cakebread and Walton continue to publish delightful games. Their latest release is Pirates & Dragons, a Kickstarter-funded role-playing game featuring cinematic game mechanics once again based on the Renaissance D100 system. Take the role of pirates armed with science, sorcery, steel, and superstition who venture into dragons’ lairs in their ceaseless quest for gold.
Pirates & Dragons is a role-playing game of fantasy swashbuckling in a world of magic and treasure, of fantastical islands inhabited by strange beasts and vile necromancers, of treachery and heroism. Together with a group of friends, you take on the role of pirates, out for adventure and booty – raiding the treasure galleons of Esbania, the merchant fleets of Gaule and Batavia, the dragon-hunting ships of Albion, the ruins of lost Adalantas… and the gold-filled caves of ancient and evil dragons.
Gather your crew. Load your flintlocks. And prepare to plunder!
Existing supplements for Pirates & Dragons include the Dragon Isles Poster Map and Pirate Corvette deck plans. Future releases include Tales of Tortuga, Creatures of the Dragon Isles, and Ships of the Dragon Isles.
Pirates & Dragons was published by Cakebread and Walton in September 2014. It is 348 pages in full color, priced at $59.99 in hardcover and $24.99 for the PDF. You can order directly at DriveThruRPG.
We’ve covered several excellent Cakebread and Walton products over the past few years, including:
Abney Park’s Airship Pirates: A Music-inspired Steampunk Extravaganza
The English Civil War with Clockwork War Machines: An Introduction to Clockwork & Chivalry
Clockwork & Cthulhu
An Excerpt from The Alchemist’s Revenge by Peter Cakebread
Keep up with all of Cakebread and Walton’s latest doings at their website.
See all of our recent Games articles here.