First impressions: Abney Park’s Airship Pirates

Airship Pirates A couple of days ago I found a mysterious package in mailbox. I opened it and found a copy of Abney park’s Airship Pirates courtesy of Cubicle 7. Some of you may know that I also preordered a copy directly from Abney Park in order to get it signed by Captain Robert Brown himself, but it’s still on its way to Germany. Hopefully the cargo plane carrying my copy didn’t crash into a time-travelling dirigible…

I have read most of it already and I have to admit the wait was worth it. Cakebread & Walton, Cubicle 7 and Abney Park’s Robert Brown did a great job with that game. The setting is quite original and set into a bleak future and not into the Victorian age, as you might expect with a steampunk game.

The back story is that Abney Park’s plane crashed into a time-travelling airship a couple of years back while on the way to a gig. They decided to use the airship to travel into history and fix things that have gone wrong. Alas this lead to unforeseen consequences.

To cut a long story short: the future is messed up. Most people live either encaged in Neovictorian cities controlled by the Emperor Victor Hypocrates III, in the Neobedouin tribes of the North American wastelands or in flying cities always prepared to flee from the Imperial Navy. The players are the crew of a pirate airship travelling the skies and trying to make some profit.

The rules used are based on Victoriana 2nd Edition’s Heresy Engine and are pretty close to the one’s in Dark Harvest, which I reviewed a while back. The book even gives some tips on how to combine the three settings.

Recently I have checked out quite a few steampunk RPGs, but Airship Pirates is definitely my favorite. It has an original setting, pirates, airships, automatons, great artwork and just looks totally awesome in all aspects!

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

2 thoughts on “First impressions: Abney Park’s Airship Pirates”

  1. Really great, I love Abney Park and wanted to get a copy but its just too expensive for me right now. Maybe in a future I’ll be buying me a copy, but with this that you write here, you only make me feel like I must order it soon!

  2. Just finished my part in the steampunk tech rules supplement coming for “Victoriana”…hopefully, should drop in early ’12 and move the Vic setting a bit more toward steamtech and away from the magical focus. A bit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.