So what is a Penny Dreadful? Penny Dreadful is the term for a popular style of Victorian fiction, featuring lurid and sensational stories, usually serialized, and costing a single British penny. Printed on cheap pulp paper, they became incredibly popular in the mid-nineteenth century as a cheaper alternative to more expensive serials featuring authors like Charles Dickens, which commanded the much higher price of twelve pennies (a shilling).
In Brass & Steel we chose to use the name Penny Dreadful to refer to our series of adapted convention scenarios, published as short adventure outlines. Unlike our full-length adventures, such as The Curse of Althan-Ya, the Penny Dreadful series presents the enterprising Game Master with a set of notes for a Brass & Steel adventure in an abbreviated format. The idea is to provide enough information about plot, characters, and locations to relieve much of the creative heavy lifting while simultaneously providing the flexibility to tailor the adventure to suit a gaming group’s personal tastes. We also intend the Penny Dreadful’s to be a source of locations, NPCs and ideas that can be used elsewhere in your games.
The Clockwork Defector will be the first in our new series of Penny Dreadful adventures. We hope you enjoy them!