Green-glowing trains speed past on cold-iron rails. Steam-powered zeppelins drift by on passenger routes. Steam carriages follow pockmarked roads among verdant fields. Lines of semaphore towers march across the country. Most of the old cities are shattered ruins, where nothing will go, or else bare earth salted to ensure that nothing can grow. Anything that uses electricity is dangerous and forbidden. Mass-production, complicated modern technology, computers, nuclear weapons, heavier-than-air flying machines - itís all dangerous, itís all forbidden. If you build it, it becomes intelligent. And then it tries to kill you.

This happened, in 1944. The Allies made a devilís pact to speed victory. Once that war was over, another began: The War of Broken Gears. It killed half of all humanity, ruined most of the worldís cities, and turned even the weather hostile. But we won. Humanity broke the advanced machines. Britain, China and a few other nations endured the apocalypse, while others rebuilt from the rubble.

The year is now 2052.

Welcome to the world of Broken Gears.

Broken Gears is a complete roleplaying core book, including both a unique setting of animistic steampunk, and an easily accessible system designed specifically for the game.

Broken Gears is freely available for download in pdf format, in both US (letter) and International (A4) paper formats for ease of printing, under a Creative Commons license. The game is also available from RPGNow, and in printed form at cost price from, a print-on-demand publisher.

Download Broken Gears (US letter format)
Download Broken Gears (International A4 format)
Buy a printed copy for $6.21 (approx £3.30)
Download from RPGNow
Download from DriveThruRPG
Contact Us


Broken Gears is copyright the Cambridge University Roleplaying Society (CURS).
Broken Gears is made freely available for download and distribution under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License Version 2.5.
The lightning bolt image on this page is derived from an image made available by