Verne is a useful resource for anyone planning a steampunk or Victorian inspired game, especially if you are using the EABA system, but much of the information is just information on the era. It provides a solid framework for Victorian adventuring and worth taking a look at if you are thinking of a campaign in that era.
Verne v 1.0 “not your grandfather’s steampunk . . .” is a 218-page PDF (215-pages if you remove the cover and EABA OGL pages) for the EABA RPG written by Greg Porter and published by BTRC (Blackburn Tactical Research Center). It is nicely book-marked for easy accessibility.
Verne has mostly a traditional two column layout and is easily readable, though it is a very contemporary layout and font which I found slightly distracting considering the subject. The art is mix of black and white and color including many period pieces.
Verne is primarily a sourcebook for a fantastic Victorian era, providing information and tools to run anything from glittering high adventure to darker stories. It is a toolkit providing information on the period, containing good introduction to the politics of 1869 (the default starting point of Verne), conflicts, law and order and much more -nearly 40 pages worth- neatly divided by nation and ending with a timeline that runs from 1800 to 1906. This is useful for anyone thinking of running a Victorian-era game giving a good basic overview of the period and its structure.
It has an extensive technology section (incorporating information from the EABA Stuff supplement) for mad steampunk, clockwork, vril and Martian technology and more. Including designs for cavorite flyer, coal powered battle suits Martian tripods and other such wonderful and weird technology. The statistics are for the EABA systems but adaption should be possible with a little work.
The character creation section is, naturally, for the EABA systems but has useful advice -such as national and religious stereotypes- for creating Victorian characters and includes an interesting discussion of status in the period. Seven example characters, all drawn from Victorian fantastic literature, are included. This is followed by a selection of organizations and non-player character for the Great Game of rivalries between various occult and weird science groups.
Lastly there is campaign advice using historical expeditions for inspiration. Six adventures are presented, ranging from Java to the frozen vastness of Siberia. A collection of brief character sketches, some fictional some historical and recommended sources: books, comics, movies and shows that are good inspiration for the genre.
Lastly, a selection of equipment, of the more normal sort, is provided including short description of things such as the difference between the various horse drawn conveyances (surprisingly useful for this era).
There is also a free character creator program available to aid in character design.
Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
[5 of 5 Stars!]