Tea of the Four Nations

Something silly we thought of to explain the differences between the four major nations of Aes: the relative consumption of tea in Aeneam, Ayaziwa, Zhengqi, and Zahnrad.


If you want tea, you can buy tea. You can buy almost any kind of tea you can think of and a lot more than that. No one will force you to drink tea if you don’t want to, nor will anyone stop you from drinking tea how and when you please. You won’t get tea for free, though – you always have to buy it. The person making the tea has to be able to stay in business, after all. There are folks who’ll donate their tea to you now and then, though, out of genuine kindness.

Enjoy your tea however you like! Hot, warm, iced, or from dispensed by a turngear – there’s no wrong way to get your tea. There are even folks who go out of their way to find entirely new ways to enjoy tea, such as new rooms, tables, and teacups. You’re sure to find the way of having tea that suits you. And if not, invent it!


if you want tea, you’ll need to make it yourself. First you have to find something that can be used for tea. There are a lot of poisonous plants, so that’s harder than it sounds. if you can brew a tea worth drinking that won’t kill you, you’ll also need to keep others from taking your tea. There are plenty who only get their tea by taking it after someone else makes it. If you kill them, no one will mind.

You can have your tea whenever you’re not being attacked, because drinking tea while defending yourself isn’t advisable. Your tea is very likely to get cold. But don’t light a fire – that attracts a bad kind of attention from wild life and bandits alike. And if you’re in the north, there are Zahnrad invaders trying to steal your tea, too.


If you want tea, take a trip to the tea district. What are you seeking to use the tea for? The tea seller comes from a family that has sold tea for thousands of years. They can tell you exactly what sort of tea will work best for you based on your mood, age, and life style. (And your pocket book.) You can buy tea that will deal with any number of ailments or with dozens of different flavors. The quality of the tea will also be topnotch. However, the selection of tea overall hasn’t changed much for centuries. New brands of tea have to prove themselves before they gain acceptance and that takes a few generations.

When it’s time to drink the tea, make sure you observe proper decorum. Tea drinking is a matter of much import and not to be done sloppily. Sloppy tea drinking is a sign that you lack self-respect. It also disrespects the tea seller and your ancestors. Brew the tea perfectly, pour it without losing a drop, and savor every mouthful.


If you want tea, you must first consider which tea will have the best social implications. You don’t want to buy tea from a shop owner with the wrong way of doing things or be seen drinking tea that has a reputation for encouraging social injustice. When in doubt, buy the tea Chairwoman Sestra drinks. Her tea is always good tea. Most tea is based on her tea, since we don’t want people to start thinking their tea is better than the tea someone else has. So everyone gets the same, everyone is equal – and the Chairwoman determines the best kind of equality.

You should always drink tea together, because everything is better in groups. If you don’t like drinking with others, you need to question your values. If you want tea, but can’t afford it, it is the duty of the tea maker to do whatever they can to get you that tea. Tea is a human right and making money is a crude act that should never be used as an excuse to deny someone tea. There’s also state run charities that everyone contributes to whether they want to or not that will help provide you with tea. However, that tea will only be what the Chairwoman drinks, since that’s the only tea worth providing.


Version 6 “Unit Cohesion” – By the Numbers

Aes: Brass Revolution Version 6, “Unit Cohesion,” has been created! This version represents an advance on several fronts, but not in obvious ways. Version 6’s name derives from one of the key pieces of new content – units – and the overall effort to tighten the game’s system.

The first major overhaul was new software: this is the first version assembled using InDesign rather than Page Maker. This presented some interesting challenges, such as with the Table of Contents, which InDesign is much less flexible about. Page Maker’s “check this box to include it” was much better for a TOC overall. Sizing images was also initially tricky.

The biggest improvement is that InDesign handles tables natively! This has allowed us to organize much of the content of the book much more consistently. Now instead of reserving tables for faculties and mods with more than one line, we’ve used it for all. This has given version 6 a nice visual consistency.

Here are the vital stats:

  • Pages: 226
  • Faculties: 160
  • Modifications: 294
  • Number of testing sessions before release: 6+

There are only 16 additional pages, the second lowest increase since version 1 became version 2. This is because version 6 focused more on revising what was there more than adding new content. For example, responsive actions have been clarified, as have surprise attacks. Lock picking is now possible.

The new pages were largely from units, locobustions, loot tables for the Invisible Hand, and some new mods for concoctions and range weapons. Balms got a few new mods, making healing potions are now purchasable for explorers. Equalizers also received more mods. Dozens more are written, but time did not allow them to be typed up. Likewise, roughly 40 new faculties have been written, but weren’t typed for this edition.

One thing version 5 had more than any other was testing. There were 3 normal days of testing with the usual players. This testing phase also included two major events: RealmsCon and GamExpo, both 3 days events with multiple game sessions. These two conventions yielded rich and detailed feedback from dozens of participants in Corpus Christi and San Antonio. The testing cycle for version 5 was the most robust to date and revealed a number of cracks and gaps in Aes‘s system – the Metric Steam Engine – that have been patched for version 6. It was this feedback that showed us we needed to solidify what was there rather than focus on content expansion as originally planned.

There are still some new rules that need to be written, such as how fire and floods spread, light sources, and coordinated attacks. These will be added eventually. Now with a better system, content expansion is the right course.

Version 6’s testing cycle began with the Extra Life event on 11/7 and 11/8. It’ll continue until Ikkicon and/or PAX South in January. With a longer cycle (~2 months) than previous versions, this will give time for the creation of new content and its testing. Range weapon mods, haberdashery, and turngears are all priority items. Another item is a short story set in the world of Aes, which has been solicited for an anthology and is due in December.

Extra Life 2015

Aes: Brass Revolution will be part of the 24-hour Tabletop Game Day event for Extra Life this year! Hosted at Wonko’s, this will be the biggest tabletop event in Austin on that day. We’re honored to be taking part and helping to raise money for Dell Children’s in Austin. They’re looking to get ROSA, a robotic surgery tool to perform complex operations on young kids.

We’ll be running a series of one-shots for Extra Life for the entire 24-hour period (or as long as we can stay awake). The event is all ages, so stop on by and bring the family along. There won’t be a tabletop event this big until next year!


Where: Wonko’s Toys and Games, 13776 N Highway 183, Ste 116, Austin, Texas 78750

When: 11/7 Saturday 8 AM – 11/8 Sunday 8 AM

Who: HavenCon, Wonko’s, Extra Life, Steve Jackson Games, the Communi-cast, and more!

HavenCon’s Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1651126975144497/

Aes’s Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1049597945090915/