The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences are the Queen’s finest agents. Based in London, beneath the Thames, the Ministry is tasked with protecting the Empire from the paranormal, the occult and the countless secret societies bent on bringing down the United Kingdom. Its agents are the best, brightest and oddest in their field. The cream of the crop (or, at the very least, the ones who get into the most trouble) are New Zealander Eliza D Braun and British Agent Wellington Thornhill Books.(opens in new tab)
The agent in charge of the Ministry’s archives, Books, is responsible for maintaining the countless classified items and files the Ministry owns and running the analytical engine he’s developed for their work. Together the pair have successfully conquered not only villains, but fiction, with novels, short stories and a Ministry podcast all proving highly successful.
Now, the Ministry is stepping across into gaming.
Galileo Games, whose fiction anthology, T he Lost , I covered a little while back, is currently running a two-part Kickstarter for the Ministry. The first part of the project is Ministry Protocol, an anthology of short stories set in the universe of the Ministry and designed to bridge the gap between the second novel The Janus Affair and the third, Dawn’s Early Light . Authors confirmed include Leanna Renee Hieber, Alex White, Tiffany Trent, Delilah S Dawson, Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris among others. The first half of the Kickstarter funds will be dedicated to commissioning these stories, editorial services for them, cover art and interior layout all of which will lead to a digital anthology with a limited print run.
The second half of the funds will cover costs for the Ministry Initiative, the first ever Ministry Of Peculiar Occurrences tabletop RPG. Designed by JR Blackwell, whose Shelter In Place is one of my favourite games of the last few years and with setting work by steampunk author PJ Schnyder, it uses the Fate Core rules. These are an immensely simple, versatile system which was also funded through Kickstarter recently. The game will detail all the characters from the series, include the latest tech from the Ministry’s R&D department and give you the opportunity to face off against enemies like the Phoenix Society and the House Of Usher while your characters travel the world investigating the unexplainable. The book will be a soft cover print run with a digital edition also made available.
The rewards on offer include:
$20: The Big Steampunk Fiction Bundle You get the ebook version of Ministry Protcol, along with ebooks including the Tales From The Archives 1-3 Ministry collections, The Little Clockword Mermaid by Pip Ballantine, Aladdin And His Wonderfully Infernal Device by Tee Morris and Evie’s Gift by PJ Schnyder.
$25: The Big Steampunk Fiction Bundle Plus Gets you all that plus an electronic version of the Ministry Initiative RPG.
$75: The Initiative & Protocol You get print copies of both the Ministry Protocol anthology and the Ministry Initiative RPG as well as the electronic versions.
$150: Advanced plus Audio You get the Ministry Protoco l anthology, the Ministry Initiative RPG, Collections 3-6 of Tales From The Archives and ebooks of Chasing The Bard by Pip Ballantine, T he Case Of The Singing Sword by Tee Morris and Heart’s Sentinel by PJ Schnyder, as well as every book on the Big Steampunk Fiction Bundle reward level.
If you liked the HG Wells episodes of Warehouse 13 , or League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen , Torchwood or even The Avengers (both versions but mostly the Steed and Mrs Peel one) then this is for you. The Ministry series is massive fun, and if you’re looking for somewhere to try before you buy, check out the links below:
• The Ministry homepage: http://www.ministryofpeculiaroccurrences.com/
• Ministry novels: http://www.ministryofpeculiaroccurrences.com/novels/
• The Kickstarter can be found at: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1034531507/the-ministry-initiative-steampunk-role-playing-and
It closes on 15 June so you have until then to join the Ministry. It’s definitely worth it, just don’t mess with Books’ analytical engine…