Space 1889: The Deathless Hordes of Mars

GDW Space 1889 RPG CoverAs previously threatened, I’m writing a roleplaying convention game again. I’ll be running a Space 1889 scenario called The Deathless Hordes of Mars at AusCon II in Brisbane, Australia, in October. This post has the advertising blurb for the adventure and a little about the Space 1889 game.

Space 1889 is the original steampunk roleplaying game. It sets itself in an alternative history in which Thomas Edison (who else?) has invented a device which can be used to propel ships through the luminiferous ether between the planets. This has opened up the way for colonisation of Mars and Venus and highlighted the contributions science can make to society. In short, it’s an excuse for weird science inventions, the Royal Navy in space, dealing with dinosaurs (on Venus) and decadent savages and their lost technology (on Mars) and the continuation of the Great Game in locations other than Europe and Central Asia.

So, here’s the blurd for my scenario:

The Deathless Hordes of Mars

A Space 1889 adventure by Chris Slee
Science-fiction Roleplaying in a More Civilised Age

Professor Ogilvie is missing! Kidnapped by Martian raiders from right under our noses! How is this possible? What could those superstitious savages want with a reknown man of science? And why is that Russian Count lurking about?

A scenario for four to five players:

  • identical twin girls with a taste for trouble searching for their father
  • the dashing commander of the local garrison with something to prove
  • a shady Foreign Office type plotting shady Foreign Office plots and
  • his long-suffering Martian servant trying to regain lost honour

No rules knowledge required. Stiff upper lips mandatory.

When thinking of Mars in the Space 1889 universe, picture India under the British Raj, Rudyard Kipling stories, the White Man’s Burden and an indescribably ancient decayed into barbarism. Once upon a time, Mars represented a mighty civilisation with proud galleys plying the network of canals across the planet. Knowledge of how to operate the technology which made these feats possible has been lost in the mists of time. Just before the arrival of the British colonists, Martians farmed the aquifers surrounding the canals while fending off raids from marauding hill tribes. All of that changed when the British arrived little more than ten years ago.

Now that your appetite for the world has been whetted, here’s some links to further hook you into the world and the game.

  • Frank Chadwick’s Blog: words of the man who wrote the game way back when and still charts its development.
  • Heliograph has become the de facto home of Space 1889 since the demise of GDW.
  • Colonel Blimp on Mars provides one of the best introductions to the game and the setting you can find.