Welcome to La Belle Époque, the beautiful era, the golden age, the reign of Queen Victoria! The height of the British Empire and peace in western Europe. No longer plagued with war and famine her subjects turn to furthering personal ambition. From the lowliest beggar to the wealthiest exerciser of Carte Blanche. Buildings reach new heights and density creating beautiful architecture and the most treacherous twists of narrow passages and alleyways.
Victoria 1890 is a mystery story that follows three goofy and unlikely investigators Matilda Buchanan, Richard Chamberlin, & Simon Sinclair, peeking into the possible return of Jack the Ripper and a very peculiar ancient urn.
A fresh take on the actual-play formula, Victoria includes stripped back rules that are easy to follow, a catchy score, and a heavy focus on comedy and chemistry.
“What? Sorry I’ve been drinking.”
“My name is Simon Sinclair. I’m a con artist. You have probably met me at some point in your life.”
“I’m plucky, God damnit!!”
A weird blend of upper-classical, whimsical comedy, and brooding suspense. Lots of honky-tonk piano and dulcimer. Heavy solo basses and horns. Super fun.
I approached this soundtrack a little differently than I normally do scores. As opposed to writing directly to the content the music will fit into, I wrote each track separately based on a specific mood and function. So I knew I would need a couple suspense pieces. Couple of chase/action pieces. An emotional motif. And so on.
Over the course of editing there were some exceptions, where the scene needed something fresh. But generally I just adapted what was already written to the scene. This resulted in stronger songwriting overall, and more memorable motifs that stuck with people after listening.
Victoria 1890 has a very streamlined system that anyone can pick up and play. As per 20 Sided Stories fashion, we put story and improv first, with sheets and numbers only there to supplement our imagination and add some element of surprise.
This game uses a single d10.
Pick a Profession. Pick an Origin. Then plug in your Bonuses and fill out your sheet. You’ll want to talk with other players at the table to come up with interesting Origin stories that compliment one another. Discuss with your DM to figure our a balanced Special Skill, and subsequently what ever items you would need for that skill, or that your character would always have on them. For example, in our campaign Simon used disguises. So his Special Skill is doing hidden quick-changes, so he always carries around with him a briefcase of various character outfits.
Every now and again, you and your fellow investigators may come short of clues, or get stuck on a red herring as part of the GM’s mystery. This is where Intuition comes in. If you ever roll a 10 (or higher), mark down one point. If you earn three points and you can cash them into the GM for a helpful clue. You can save your Intuition for as long as you need, but you cannot stack more than three points at a time.