Gothic is the third supplement for the Victorian Science Fiction rules In Her Majesty’s Name, written by Charles Murton and Craig Cartmell, but it is the first published directly by The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare, as opposed to Osprey Publishing.
Whilst the original IHMN rules and supplements viewed the Victorian world through the eye of some of the classic science fiction writers of the period, Gothic takes an altogether darker tone as it explores the Victorian world of Gothic Horror, with a few little twists, as you might expect from the authors.
The book consists of several different sections:
- New rules, specifically aimed at flying
- The Armoury, including new weapons and equipment – such things as blessed and silvered weapons, Holy Water and Ornithopters.
- The Bestiary – Stats for IHMN for all manner of new creatures, from Giant Bats and Rats through to Ghosts and Zombies.
- Talents – new Talents available for your companies, including Dark Immortality, Flying, and Spectral Form.
- Mystical Powers – a multitude new powers for your companies, again mirroring abilities that would be seen in Gothic Horror – Bless, Curse, Horrify, Possess, Raise Zombie and much more
- New Companies – the heart of the Gothic Supplement. These include
- Airship Pirates – including Captain Malcolm Reynolds of the Harmony
- Anarchist Cadre
- Baron von Frankenstein
- Carpathian Gypsies
- Carpathian Villagers
- The Carrion Birds
- The Dread Monks of Sucevita
- The Grand Tour of Miss Beaufort Summers – ‘Buffy’ for short – yes, THAT Buffy
- The Illuminati
- Imperial Nightwatch
- Noble Vampires
- The Order of the Bringers of Salvation
- The Peasents Crusade
- Tesla’s Travelling Expedition
- The Unborn
- Van Helsing
- Vlad Tepes, Prince of Wallichia
- Werewolf Pack
- White Slavers
- The book includes 9 new scenarios, such as The Witch Must Burn! and Dead Men Walking, and 4 new complications.
- There are eight new locations, including a Fortified Village, Catacombs, and the Dark Castle
- A campaign – The Luciferian Codex, a series of 6 linked scenarios – is included
- Finally, there are some notes on backwards compatibility with previous IHMN books.
In Her Majesty’s Name is a great set of skirmish rules (we reviewed them in episode 130 of the podcast) and Gothic contains all that you will need to explore encounters and campaigns within a whole new setting for the game. Whether you wish to take your existing companies into this new area, or create whole new adventures of Vampire Hunting, Villagers rising up against Baron von Frankenstein or Airship Captains battling the White Slave market, it’s all here for you in great detail. I must admit that a 19th Century version of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ does have particular appeal!
Whilst stand alone games are all very well, it’s in gaming linked scenarios and campaigns that these type of warband-style skirmish games really come alive, and I have found the The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare, whether in this book, or in their rules such as Daisho or Blood Eagle, are particularly good at writing this aspect of the game. Whilst the game mechanics are solid, it’s this aspect of their rules and supplements that elevates them above the competition.
Gothic is not a stand alone game, and you will need a copy of In Her Majesty’s Name from Osprey publishing in order to play.
The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare provided a copy of these rules for review purposes.