Our new friends over at SteampunkGoggles.com have posted an eloquent review of the Clockwork: Empire Roleplaying Game. I highly recommend you check out both their products and their review. I’ve been a longtime fan of Steampunk Goggles, and own a couple of their products myself. I have a real soft spot in my heart for artisans who are both skilled and passionate about what they do – so I love these people. We were floored when they agreed to review the game, and all the more when they reviewed it so well. This is a great opportunity for me to talk up a company in our genre that really deserves to be talked-up, and seems like a good time to explain about the use of goggles in the Clockwork world.
To be honest, in the very early stages of development, we were opposed to a heavy use of goggles. It can sometimes seem like the steampunk genre can be defined by slapping gears and goggles onto objects that in no way require them; and that seemed forced to us. Why would someone put goggles on a top hat at a dinner party? What purpose did that serve? The truth is that for most of the inhabitants of the Clockwork, goggles serve no more purpose than they do for people in our own world. Thus, most people don’t own or wear them. However, we quickly realized there would be a minority of people whose activities would require eye-protection: air-shipmen and airship pirates, scientists (mad or otherwise), those experimenting with electricity or alchemy, the explorers of harsh climates, inventors, people who use any sort of volatile experimental technology, pilots and drivers, and dozens of other endeavors where eye-safety is a matter of concern. Not only this, but the invention of advanced optics added doctors, and perhaps even some soldiers and investigators to the list. We quickly realized that, depending on your campaign style, this group of people can make up a disproportional percentage of player characters. So while the majority of people within the Clockwork don’t walk around with goggles on their hats, a fair percentage of player characters will have some on hand. So as we’ve moved from the beginning stages of development to nearing its completion, our stance on goggles has opened up considerably. If your character is involved in any of these optically dangerous activities, you might want to invest in some.
Wait? Why would anyone need a physical set of goggles for a tabletop roleplaying game? Could it be that there is a Live Action Role-Playing version of Clockwork: Empire on the horizon? Could it be that these LARP rules might even make it into the Core Rule Book as a brief appendix? Could it be that we’re actually planning to test these rules at upcoming conventions before we decide to make their existence known to the general public? Well, right now, there’s no real way to be sure (unless you’re us). So, I’ll not comment on that anymore.
In the meantime, let some of the artistic creations over at www.SteampunkGoggles.com inspire you to try something truly dangerous to your peepers.