Ann Arbor Game Day
Clockwork - Dominion
Elevator Pitch: Steampunk Call of Cthulu, with the supernatural elements being largely based on actual Victorian mysticism.
Core Resolution Mechanic: Aptitude + Skill – Defense + Card Draw = Margin of Success
Dice Used None; the game uses a special deck of cards.
It’s 1896, and the Empire is beginning to show signs of weakness. And as its edges begin to fray, that allows chaos to begin to appear even at its heart; with its resources spread thin, those who wish to use the power of chaos for their own ends can flourish again at last.
When the Creator made the world, he did so by molding the primordial chaos known as the Pontus into shape, creating the mechanisms allowing for order; this is why he is often called the Clockmaker. With the forces of order on the wane, the primal chaos has begun to reassert itself, releasing strange monstrous creatures or warping the world around it.
Players take on the roles of Victorian persons of various standing, who may or may not possess ancient blood rights as descendants of fairies or angels, who become wrapped up in this rising, and seek to protect the world from the rising chaos. Keep a stiff upper lip and get ready to face some horrors!
Clockwork: Dominion uses a card-based resolution system, for both physical and social resolution. Characters have a Guard value which represents their resiliency; it comes back with each new conflict, but can be worn down with both words and attacks. Actions that penetrate your guard either improve your disposition along a track (social) or inflict wounds or subdue (physical). Additionally, particularly strong hits can impose conditions even if your guard remains up; these conditions are also generated by drawing from the same deck.
In addition to their Aptitudes and Skills, characters can also benefit from Affinities, talents or interests which can also hurt them under the wrong circumstances. They also possess one of a number of bloodlines, from Pureblooded humans, who have particularly well developed skills, to those with a bit of Changeling blood, who possess glamors inherited from their fae ancestors. And they have two pools of spendable points representing their Potential: Purpose, which represents the fate that the Clockwork has in store for them and can allow them to either stay the course against an otherwise dangerous attack or have something useful on hand, and Ether, which denies fate by forcing redraws.
Idle Hands (Quickstart)
A routine investigation of a suspicious person sets a set of constables and their associates on the trail of a ring of body thieves, which leads to something even more sinister beneath . . .
Getting the Game
The final version of the game hasn’t been released yet, but the quickstart is available from publisher Reliquary Game Studios’ Website.