I have in mind (and recorded on assorted electrons) a very incomplete scenario that I thought of running at a convention but ended up not being able to complete. Perhaps it would make an interesting exercise for the forum to figure out and repair its problems. It’s called
THE QUEEN-EMPRESS’ BIRTHDAY BASH
Genre/Setting: A comic adventure for five misfits in a faux-Victorian Europe where the Scientific Revolution has smashed the State. Each mad scientist rules an area around his castle determined mainly by the range of his death-rays; clockwork automata, reanimated patchworks of human parts, and experimental beast-men roam the airships. Life for ordinary people is too exciting for most tastes; Mary Shelley, Charles Babbage, Jules Verne, and H.G. Wells are being burned in effigy. Phil and Kaja Foglio have been keeping clear of Effigy for years.
Romance! Adventure! MAD SCIENCE!
Situation: Freiherr Dr. Theophrastus von Funke went to England to attend a Great Exhibition. He has been a guest of the Queen-Empress Gloriana at Windsor Castle, and is weeks overdue to return to his own Schloss Tüftler. There is some concern that the Queen-Empress might marry him at any time, and in particular at the Stupendous Gala scheduled for her birthday: Gloriana doesn’t like being a widow on her birthday. If they marry he will never return to his castle and trifling domains at Tüftlerstadt: Gloriana doesn’t like her husbands wandering off.
The staff remaining in the Schloss Tüftler do not themselves have the Spark. and know that they cannot hold the populace in subjection. The folk know it too, and are stockpiling not only torches and pitchforks but tar, feathers, and rails. Obviously Dr. von Funke’s henchmen they have to infiltrate Windsor Castle and rescue the freiherr doktor before it is too late. That is, during Her Royal and Imperial Majesty’s Birthday Bash. They are:
The Freiherr Doktor’s vain and scheming Beautiful Daughter, Pandemonia
His Deformed/Deranged Assistant
His Construct Chief Mechanic, Lohengrin Krimskram, man of parts*
Klirrender von Bolzen, the Clank Captain of his Clockwork Cuirassiers
His latest Abominable Experiment, Julius Tintenfisch, an uplifted octopus in a tank†
⓵ So what’s the adventure? All I’ve got is that Windsor Castle has been mounted on tracks, with excavators at the front and belts to convey spoil to the rear, so that it can steam at seven knots through soft loam (and more slowly through soft rock), leaving a “wake” of churned earth and ruined infrastructure. I think it might already have crossed the Channel, but I don’t know why.
⓶ What’s the rules system? Would Fate Core be perfect if we could wrap our heads around it?
Help me, O Consulting GMs!
* He has the hands of a Swiss watchmaker, the legs of a decathlete, the “package” of a ballet dancer, and the head and torso of two separate statuary’s models….
† The tank is a glass fishtank on top of a steam-powered carriage with tank tracks and waldo arms, like a steam-powered dalek with the motive system of a Renault FT tank.