Murder by Gaslight: A Victorian Era Campaign
Equipment of the 1890's
Arcane Implement: This group includes orbs, rods, staffs, and wands. They are used as focus items by the magically inclined. Staff implements also function as a quarterstaff.
Binoculars: These viewing aides are popular among explorers and adventurers. Binoculars offer a magnification power of 10.
Blacksmith’s Tool Set: The art of the blacksmith is not entirely dead in the Victorian age. This large, heavy kit contains an assortment of metalworking tools, including hammers, chisels, tongs, and fine tools for decorative work. To effectively use this set, a character needs access to a forge or anvil and some type of metal.
Bunsen burner: This heat source is primarily used in scientific laboratories. It produces high intensity flames that are neither smokey, nor flicker excessively. A Bunsen burner typically requires a gas feed, which limits its use outside of urban areas.
Button hook: This tool consists of a handle with a small metal hook attached. It is used to assist in buttoning ladies’ blouses and men’s tall boots.
Cabinet bag: This bag has stiff leather sides, which hold its shape, and a hinged top made of soft leather. It is common among the middle class.
Calling cards: Calling cards are a required convention of the upper and middle classes. A card typically contains an individual’s name, title, and address (women’s cards usually contain only her name). They are presented when visiting a residence so that the visitor may be properly introduced or as a reminder of the visit.
Camera, box: One of the most common cameras of the era, it is primarily used to photograph landscapes and in studios. The camera is cumbersome and fragile. Before a picture can be taken, a photographic plate must be inserted into the camera. Once exposed, the plate is developed.
Camera, folding: The folding camera is similar in operation to the box camera. It has a soft body with accordion folds for ease of transportation and storage.
Camera, stereo: The stereo camera is similar in size and appearance to the box camera, however, the stereo camera produces two slightly different images of a subject. These can be developed and viewed in a stereoscope.
Carpentry Tool Set: This kit contains a selection of carving tools, hammers, and other items that allow a character to make repairs to or fashion new wooden objects.
Climber’s Kit: This kit includes a grappling hook, a small hammer, and ten pitons.
Club bag: This bag is a cross between a duffel bag and a briefcase. It is commonly made from canvas and leather, although bags produced from more exotic materials are often used by the upper class. The club bag has soft sides and a metal frame, closing with a metal clasp.
Cobbler’s Tools: This kit contains knives, punches, awls, shoe polish, saddle soap, and leather cream. It can be used to care for and repair nearly any leather item.
Compass, magnetic: This small navigation device contains a lodestone in a metal casing. The lodestone rotates a directional display, typically toward north when properly steadied and barring interference.
Flask: This ceramic, glass, or metal container is usually fitted with a water-tight cap or stopper and can hold around one pint of liquid.
Gunsmith’s Kit: This kit contains a selection of equipment used in the maintenance and repair of firearms, including cleaning rods, brushes, gun oil, cloth, and several small screwdrivers. It is advised to thoroughly clean all firearms after protracted use (several dozen rounds).
Handcuffs: This steel restraining device is made with double locks (each cuff has a separate lock), and is used primarily by law enforcement. Handcuffs are difficult for civilians to obtain legally.
Holy symbol: This item represents a small religious token. They include the Christian cross, Jewish Star of David, Islamic Star and Crescent, Buddhist Wheel of Dharma, Hindu Aumkar, Shinto Torii, etc. Holy symbols can be purchased by anyone, but religious characters use them as a focus item.
Lantern, bull’s-eye: This illumination source is commonly carried by police officers. It has an outer shell of tin, with a large glass “eye”. This eye concentrates the light into a single wide beam. The lantern also gives off considerable heat, necessitating carrying handles. The wick inside can be raised or lowered to adjust the light intensity.
Lantern, harness: The harness lantern resembles a smaller version of the bull’s-eye lantern. It sheds far less light than a full sized lantern, but can be easily clipped to a belt or backpack to free a character’s hands. Like a bull’s-eye lantern, the harness lantern becomes hot with prolonged use. The harness lantern has an oil capacity for two hours of light.
Magic lantern: This entertainment device projects an image onto a screen using a lens to enlarge and focus the image. Images are usually painted onto glass slides that are inserted into the machine.
Microscope: The microscope is a magnifying device used to view minute objects. With great care, the microscope can be transported, but it is extremely fragile. Like the Bunsen burner, it is typically found in urban academic institutions.
Opera glasses: These glasses are essentially ornate, less powerful versions of binoculars. Opera glasses generally magnify at a power of two or three. They are common among the upper class.
Pipe, Meerschaum: In German, meerschaum means “sea foam”. This smoking pipe is so named because the stone carved in its creation is light in weight and white in color. These pipes are popular with gentlemen of the era.
Sewing Kit: This small, lightweight set contains sewing needles, various thread, several buttons, and a miniature pair of scissors. This kit is intended for repairs and light alteration work.
Stereoscope: This is a novelty viewing device that uses optical principles to make an image appear three-dimensional. The stereoscope is constructed mostly of wood, and they are common among the upper and middle classes.
Thieves’ Tools: This kit includes one or more skeleton keys, long metal picks and pries, a long-nosed clamp, small hand saw, and a small wedge and hammer.
Watchmaker’s Tools: These fine tools are used to maintain and repair the delicate inner workings of pocket watches and other chronometric devices. Watchmaker’s tools typically include a magnifying lens, miniature pliers, tweezers, polishers, and fine brushes.
Whistle, police: These thin metal whistles are standard issue to the constables of the era who use them to summon aid. They are difficult for a civilian to obtain legally.