Machinations: Sketch One


“The modern ‘technology’ of interstellar society is the result of the mad scramble up from fire and the wheel of a billion civilisations. Every ship, every device that is made away from a core world is a hodge-podge of cobbled together, barely understood principles and mechanics. These things do not come with a manual. A valuable technician places as much trust in their intuition as their training.”
– Oomar Fon Kloot – Zen and the Art of Starship Repair

Machinations/Monster Maidens: Satine’s Art

Have a butchers at these and it’ll give you some idea what to expect, art-wise.

Also…. FUND US

Camelot Cosmos: The Tide of Years RELEASED!

The Camelot Cosmos, a dark age in space struggling towards a new enlightenment.

The Tide of Years expands the background and history of the game world providing new adventure ideas and insight into the past.

Download it HERE

You can get the complete Camelot Cosmos bundle for a steal on PDF HERE.

Machinations: Stretch Goal Number Two!

We hit the 2k mark, which is great! That means MotSP will now be available in full colour as well as a black and white interior version.

The next target is 3k, which will unlock a full colour GM screen of awesome science-fictional Satine art and quick reference stuff to make running the game easier. Maybe even some inspirational haiku and a drinks cup holder (no, I’m kidding). So, are we worth funding to the 3k level?

The more money, the more motivation, the more time can be devoted to making sure everything’s perfect.

I know some people are wary of IndieGoGo for whatever reason but there are two good reasons for using it.

  1. Kickstarter hasn’t, yet, opened access to UK fundraisers.
  2. On an ethical basis IndieGoGo are less censorious and controlling than Kickstarter and I prefer to use them and to have my work sponsored in a more free-speech environment. I think IndieGoGo (and other fundraising groups with a more hands off approach) are better for creators and deserve your patronage as much as the projects that they serve.

Why you should back Satine is obvious. Her art is fabulous, stylish and will give the game a wonderful and unique look.

Why should you back me?

I’m a closer. I get things done. I completed my previous fundraiser project, ImagiNation and that’s sitting at a 4.5 star rating on RPGNOW right now.

I know how to make games that fit genre, like Agents of SWING (four stars) or Blood! (four stars).

I’ve worked for Wizards of the Coast, Mongoose Publishing, Steve Jackson Games, Nightfall and Cubicle Seven as well as a handful of other, smaller companies.

I know what I’m doing, I’ve been doing it for years and doing it well. While I may occasionally be ‘controversial’ I think that is a good thing. It gives you an ability to be freer and more experimental and given that this game derives in attitude and rules from Lamentations of the Flame Princess and Raggi has a famously middle-finger attitude I think that’s a great fit.

You won’t just be buying a fun, kickass Sci-Fantasy game, you’ll also be buying a dose of what I do to make games work and how to bring that attitude to the table. I just hope that’s appealing!



Machinations: Space Pirates! A Monster Sketch

Captain Bringdown and the Lustrous-Less Crew of the Merry Widow

Captain Bringdown
3 Hit Dice (24 hit points – Boss)
Attack: +3 (Cutlass D6, Blaster Pistol D6)
Defence Class: 15
Armour: 1d6
Saves: 6

Captain Bringdown is the captain of The Merry Widow. A pirate starship crewed by robots (he doesn’t trust people – they want to share the loot). His key weapon is an ExoTech device that can channel negative energy through the main gun. This causes a lingering listlessness and depression (Spirit save to resist) that the crew take advantage of in their attacks and raids.

Special: Captain Bringdown can sacrifice one of his robot crew to take a hit for him, once per turn.

1 Hit Dice (8 hit points – Boss)
Attack: +2 (Cutlass D6, Blaster Pistol D6)
Defence Class: 12
Armour: 1d8
Saves: 6

Captain Bringdown’s second in command, PIR-8 is programmed to be the best possible first mate. Obsequious, loyal, butt-kissing and willing to die for his captain. He is all these things but only because he is programmed to be.

Special: PIR-8 can bolt other members of the crew to his chassis to heal hit points of damage or to provide a temporary boost to his hit points.

The Crew
1 Hit Dice (1 hit point – Goon)
Attack: +1 (Robo-Fist D4, Blaster Carbine D8)
Defence Class 12
Armour: D6
Saves: 6

A motley assortment of cobbled-together robots that tend to jerk, spasm and get suck on the letter ‘R’.

Machinations: Weapons

It’s always a balance in games between granularity and ease of use. When it comes to weapons you need to balance the desire for different weapons to have advantages and disadvantages with the desire not to have everything become too burdensome.

I want to emphasis the skill of the character over the worth of the weapon, so bonuses will primarily come from character skill and development. A lot will come down to roleplaying, the description of the weapon and how it works.

A silent weapon, for example, may have no game mechanic effect but when used it’s not going to make any noise and so isn’t going to alert any guards (provided you manage to take someone out in one shot).

Standard weaponry is unlikely to stray beyond the -1 to +1 range of bonuses.

A friend of mine, Tim, has long argued that damage ranges on weapons should include a ‘1’, allowing for a full range from glancing blow to deadly hit and that’s been weighing on my mind while I’ve been restructuring my notes for MotSP and I think there’s merit to it. Weapons are, then, likely to have damage ranges from 1d4 to 1d12.

There are exceptions to the above of course. Exotech (pronounced Ex-Oh-Tek) are the relics and leftovers of past, advanced civilisations. They’re the ‘magic items’ of this universe and so they can break all the normal conventions.

Ammo I’m not so sure about. It can be a pain in the arse to keep track of so either ignoring it or abstracting it are options. How do you feel about keeping track of ammunition? Do you like to track it down to the last bullet or would something like an ‘ammo save’ after each combat suit you better? An automatic weapon would have a low ammo save, while more precise, single shot weapons would have higher ammo saves (roll under not to spend a ‘mag’).

I’ll include how weapon saves would work in the weapon lines below:

Example Weapon Line:

Burning Hand-Beamer, Accuracy +1, Damage 1d8 (heat), Range: Short, Ammo Save: 10

Burning Hand-Pulser, Accuracy +0, Damage 1d6 (heat), Range: Short, Ammo Save: 15

Machinations: New video appeal!

Iron Kingdoms RPG – Necromancer

Just a quick, rough, usable (ish) sketch for a character class and magic.

Career: Necromancer
Archetype: Gifted†
Starting Career: Yes.

Starting Abilities/Connections/Skills & Spells:
Ability: Anatomical Precision.
Spells: Dark Mist, Dead Flesh, Necrotic Strike.
Military Skills: Choose One: Hand Weapon, Thrown Weapon, Crossbow.
Occupational Skills: Necrotech 1, Intimidation 1
Starting Assets: 75gc.

Necromancer Abilities: Backstab, Blood Spiller, Camouflage, Dodger, Immunity Corrsion
Necromancer Connections:
Necromancer Military Skills: Archery 3, Crossbow 3, Hand Weapon 3, Thrown Weapon 2, Unarmed Combat 2
Necromancer Occupational Skills: General Skills 4, Sneak 3, Necrotech 3
Necromancer Spells: From Necromancy list.

Necromancy Spells
Cost 1
Dark Mist: As Blizzard
Darkness: Cost 1, Range Self, AOE Ctrl, gain cover of darkness, you are not affected by it.
Dead Flesh: Cost 1, Range 6, target gains +1 ARM
Necrotic Strike: Cost 1, Range 8, Power 8.
Plague: Cost 1, Range 6, Target suffers -3 to resist poison, disease or infection.
Protection from Corrosion: See book.
Raise: Raise a basic Thrall from a corpse for a day.

Cost 2
Bleed: Cost 2, Range 8, Power 10 – Killing a target heals d3 damage.
Caustic Mist: Cost 2, Range CTRL, AOE 3, Models moving into or ending movement in area take 1 damage.
Iron Blight: Cost 2, Range 8, Warjacks/Machines take d6 damage.
Malediction: Cost 2, Range 6, Enemies within melee range of target suffer -2 Arm and Def.
Necrophage: Cost 2, Range 8, Power 8. If it kills the target it explodes in AOE 3 with Power 8.
Scything Touch: Cost 2, Range 6, Target gains +2 STR
Venom: Cost 2, Range Spray, Power 10. Corrosion to those hit.
Resurrect: Raise a warrior thrall from a corpse for a day.

Cost 3
Blood Rain: Cost 3, Range 8, AOE 3, Power 12. Corrosion.
Breath of Corruption: Cost 3, Range 8, AOE 3, Power 12 – All moving in or ending in area takes 1 damage.
Consumption: Cost 3, Range 10 – Warjack/machine takes d6 damage, roll additional die for each 1-2 rolled.
Crippling Grasp: Cost 3, Range 8, Target suffers -2 move, Strength, Def, Arm.
Ghost Walk: Cost 3, Range 6, Target can move through walls/terrain/obstacles ignoring penalties/attacks.
Hellfire: Cost 3, Range 10, Power 14, causes fear.
Parasite: Cost 3, Range 8. Target reduces ARM by -3, caster increases ARM by +1 and heals 1 damage each turn.
Shadow Wings: Cost 3, Range Self, Move up to 10” ignoring all penalties and attacks.
Return: Raise a basic thrall permanently. You may only maintain double your ARC in thralls.

Cost 4
Cloak of Shadows: Cost 4, Range Caster – Cannot be charged, slammed or targeted/attacked one turn.
Dark Seduction: Cost 4, Range 6, take control of target.
Death Knell: Cost 4, Range 8, SOE 4, Pow 10, +1 Pow for each target (past the first) in the AOE.
Imprison: Cost 4, Range Caster, AOE 5. Nobody may enter or leave this area. It is treate a having ARM 20 and is dissipated if it takes damage.
Scourge: Cost 4, Range 8, AOE 3, Power 13 – All targets hit are knocked down.
Lazarus: Raise a warrior thrall permanently. You may only maintain double your ARC in thralls.

Necrotech Skill (Int)
Can be used as Medicine to repair undead/necrotech creatures and devices.
Constructing Necrotech creatures requires ingredients, time and rolls. Organic parts are destroyed in the making other parts can be recovered.

Necrotech Lab: 500 gc +2 to Necrotech rolls to repair/manufacture necrotech.
Necrotech Field Kit: 50 gc Necessary to work Necrotech in the field.
Human Corpse: 30 gc (black market)
Necrotic Capacitor: 10 gc, enough to animate a creature for a month.
Necrotic Turbine: 500gc, enough to animate a creature indefinitely.
Necrotic Accumulator: 50 gc, enough to animate a creature for a year.
Reanimation Plate: 150 gc.

Machinations: Races – Part Two

So you’ve seen the kind of breadth we’re talking about but there’s a few base assumptions about the races to be taken into account too.

1. Most species are – broadly – humanoid.
2. The more ‘weird’ and unusual the alien the less attractive and charismatic they are.

Making up your race is just as variable and interesting as choosing your skills and other character customisations. You get two ‘free’ choices, but after that you’re leaving the ‘humanoid’ assumption and becoming more alien, taking penalties to Charisma and Comliness.

You can take three choices from ‘humanoid’ but the bonus will mean you’re a socially awkward or otherwise ‘peculiar’ savant.



  • Adaptable: +1 Skill Point. Humanoids can be found everywhere, adapting to every situation and circumstance.
  • Charming: +1 Charisma. Humanoids are gregarious, community builders.
  • Sexy: +1 Comliness. Humanoids are ‘unusual’ in that they are always ‘up for it’ while other species have mating seasons or limited sexual influence.


  • Teeth & Claws: 1d4 damage, 1d6 if taken twice, 1d8 if taken three times.
  • Advanced Hearing: Felines can hear over great distances and wide ranges.
  • Advanced Scent: Felines can sense and track subtle smells. Their skills in Bushcraft etc are considered one higher when this applies.
  • Cat-Like Agility: +1 Dexterity.
  • Nightvision: Felines can see in the night as well as in the day, provided there is even a little light.

So if you were combining these for a felinoid character you might choose…

Teeth & Claws

You can take as many cosmetic things as you like, fur, whiskers, even a tail but they don’t have any game effect.

If you wanted to push it and be more felinoid than humanoid you could choose another trait: Nightvision, but this would impact your Charisma by -4 due to your unsettling appearance.

In the final iteration of the rules you may also be able to take a fourth, with a similar impact to your Comliness.

Machinations: Races

Here’s a rough draft of the list of race-types you’ll be able to pick from. Each type will have race traits that can modify your character. It sounds more complicated than it actually is, it’ll be the odd extra skill point, stat point or access to extra senses, capabilities and so on.

It’s a simple, flexible way of custom-building alien characters and NPCs in a quick, ‘checkbox’ manner.

These lists are all open, so if you don’t see something that you’d want to play, speak up!


Exotic Attack




Metal-Oxide Based