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Role Play Game: Clockwork Pace, A Steampunk Mysterious Adventure

Posted by Sian, Jan, 2016. Clockwork  Pace is an adaption of the Lasers and Feelings RPG which has a Creative Commons License  (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US)

Clockwork Pace is a RPG where players take on the role of a character inspired by the Victorian age of steam where everything is but black and white. The wonders of science and technology are in their creative beginnings and are in your hands to toy with. Clockwork is a highly fashionable technology which plays into the industrialists’ obsession with time and efficiency. Electricity sees its sparks from time to time and in a primitive state. 

The concept is simple, players create a character with an objective and rating orientated towards Wit or Charm. Players role play and roll dice as they set about solving the mystery which is set by the games master. The game can be played within an hour and can accomodate at least 2 player characters and a Games Master. 

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Create your Character

While one person takes on the role of the Games Master, other players take on the role of a main character. Follow the steps below to create a character.

Name your Character

It is said that a good name should be a memorable but unusual name...

Choose your Profession

Describe your profession in one word. Remember short and sweet for a simple game!

Set your Personal Objective

Here are some examples:
-To build a clockwork robot
-To drive a steam powered something or rather
-To discover something new to science
-To charm the ladies
-To solve a mystery

Choose 'Wit' or 'Charm'

Select a number between 2 and 5; this is your character's rating. Higher the number, the more witty your character is. Lower the number, the more charming your character is.

The Games Master sets a Secret Plot

The Games Master (GM) roles a 6-sided dice to determine the mystery for player characters to solve. This concerns what the antagonist wants to achieve.


1.  A Lady of High Society
2. A Misguided Professor
3. The Station Master
4. The Mystery Man
5. The Governor
6. A Leading Industrialist

Wants to

1. Bankrupt/Con
2. Blow up/Vanquish
3. Steal from
4. Convert/Salvage
5. Create
6. Optimise


1. The Bank
2. The Lovable Tank Engine
3. The Factories
4. Clockwork robots
5. Smoot Sweets Ltd.
6. The Fairground


Planning by Games Master 

Once players have created their characters and the GM has secretly determined the plot, you are nearly ready to role play. The GM will also need to decide the setting for the rendez-vous for player charatcers in the beginning. See bottom of page for examples of how the story may start. 

The GM would also need to plan how the plot may thicken and how this may be resolved by player characters in the end game. The GM may also consider that player characters have objectives which may well play a part in the role play session. 

Setting Challenges

During the role play session, the GM may set challenges for player characters when they attempt a task where the outcome is uncertain. These challenges may well be key for solving the mystery. Players will need to work together to solve these.

The GM should determine whether the challenge can be overcome by wit or charm. If the challenge demands wit, then any character attempting this needs to roll lower than their rating on a 6-sided dice - that means characters with a higher rating are better at wit challenges. If the challenge demands charm, then any character attempting this needs to roll higher than their rating on a 6-sided dice - that means characters with a lower rating are better at charm challenges. Now you may have noticed that wit needs a result below the character's rating, and charm above, so what about if you roll the dice and get your character's rating? See the following section.

Achieving Witty Charm

People can be both witty and charming. Player characters can achieve 'Witty Charm' for challenges if they are lucky and roll their rating for wit or charm. 

Witty Charm describes the situation where a player character has performed exceptionally well with a challenge. The GM may choose to award this, for example by dropping more hints or clues for the story and mystery to progress and unfold.  

End Game

Ideally, player characters need to be in a position where they have an idea of who the key antagonsist is and what they intend to do. They may confront and foil the plan of the antgaonist before time truly runs out! However, players must be warned that such pursuits demand Witty Charm.

Just for fun, the GM may go over whether player characters were successful with achieving their objectives as the credits roll.

Commonalties and Differences with Lasers and Feelings

- The way that the GM roles dice for the storyline and the way player charcters have a rating and role for wit and charm is similar to that used in the Lasers and Feelings RPG

- 'Witty Charm' is the Clockwork Pace version of 'Laser Feelings' which is used in the Lasers and Feelings RPG

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