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Author Topic: Various Steampunk RPG Settings, Or "What sort of game interests you?"  (Read 1614 times)
Alain Raethorne
Zeppelin Captain
United States United States

Browncoat and Firefly Flan

« on: December 27, 2009, 07:33:39 am »

So, starting next semester, my gaming group will be looking for a new DM/campaign, and I thought that maybe I'd step up to the challenge. I've DMed before, but I haven't in a while, so I figured it was my turn again.

We usually run a pretty standard fantasy campaign (3.5 D&D, usually Faerun, Eberron a few times), so I thought maybe for this game I'd go with a steampunk sort of setting. A couple players in the group are into steampunk, and the rest are familiar with the term, so introducing it shouldn't be hard at all.

I've had several ideas for various settings sitting around in my notebooks for a few years, including a psuedo-steampunk fantasy world which draws a lot from Eberron(high-magic, lots of tech), one setting that is based on more Renaissance-era tech (low-magic, and a decent amount of technology), and one setting that is set on Earth, although with an alternate timeline, and of course, crazy steampunk things throughout it (some magic, all sorts of mythical beasties, and all sort of machinery).

My question, my fellow BrassGogglers, is what sort of setting would you be interested in playing? I'm trying to get an idea for what the people at large would like to see. All three are in similar development stages, so I could continue to work on any one of them without wasting time between games.

I have a large library of RPG resources to pull ideas from, from D20 stuff, GURPS, Savage Worlds, Castle Falkenstein, my resources are vast, and my time, slightly less vast.

And hey, maybe we could get this thread to be the sort of place for any and all the campaigns and settings the the forumgoers have created, and we can use it to help each other work on or flesh out our games.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2009, 05:56:34 pm by Alain Raethorne » Logged

Navigator aboard the AAV Raziel.

Gold is for the mistress-silver for the maid-
Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade
"Good" said the Baron, sitting in his hall
"But Iron-Cold Iron-is master of them all."
Dr. Oliver Cross
Zeppelin Captain
United States United States

As stable as a house of cards on the San Andreas.

« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2009, 12:46:24 pm »

I for one would LOVE to play a straight game of Castle Falkenstein, but that's just me.  I would also very strongly suggest you look at the Iron Kingdoms books for ideas.  I would love to play a straight IK game as well....

If I have´╗┐ to choose between loving you or breathing, I will use my last breath to say "I love you."  --  Estevan Shu
Alain Raethorne
Zeppelin Captain
United States United States

Browncoat and Firefly Flan

« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2009, 06:11:09 pm »

Over the past couple of days, I've been looking at Castle Falkenstein, as well as the GURPS version of it, and I must say that I was impressed.

My only problem with it, while I do like the concept of "cards-instead-of-dice", and how it plays down game mechanics and number crunching in favor of storytelling, is that it would be difficult to introduce it to the group.

I'm thinking perhaps that I could modify the d20 character creation to fit more within the way that Castle Falkenstein does it.

And I actually have the Iron Kingdoms books, and let me tell you, they are fun. I had a chance to play a short IK game, and it was a blast.
John Pierce
United States United States

« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2009, 11:08:17 pm »

I have said it before and I will say it again. I love Deadlands. Make mad science more prominent and pull some tech for Hell on earth and you got a pretty good steampunk game. Im running one right now where the characters are the crew of an airship slowly uncovering some earth shattering truths about their world. I named the campaign "False Gods". One of the players is writing a journal/story of the adventures that I hope to put up here in the next month or two when we are done with it.

Ambitious but rubbish.
Alain Raethorne
Zeppelin Captain
United States United States

Browncoat and Firefly Flan

« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2009, 12:00:21 am »

Oh man! Deadlands! I can't believe I forgot about that! That is a damn good setting.

So, here's a brief rundown of some of the basics for the setting I plan to use:

I decided to go with the one set on an alternate Earth, and here's how the world looks around the turn of the century:

America- About as large as it was at the time in our world. Still recovering from the Civil War, which lasted into the 1870, and only ended when the Union unleashed some sort of magical assault on several key Confederate cities. What exactly thee attacks were, I haven't decided on yet, but I have some ideas.

United Kingdom (Just England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales)- a predominantly Protestant pseudo-theocracy. Ruled by the king, but the power really lies in his advisor's hands, a group of religious leaders form across the country. (They need a really awesome name though....and I've not thought of one yet). The country is technologically advanced, more so than Europe, but less so than America. London continues to be a massive city, both on ground, beneath it, and above it. In this world, England never got too far into the whole imperialism thing, after its two major colonies (America and Australia) revolted and broke away from the UK.

Europe- Still under the control of what is essentially the Holy Roman Empire. Rigid theocracy, and folks of other religions are generally not tolerated, if not downright violently harassed or 'expelled' from the borders of the empire. Over the past century they have fought several civil wars to keep the Empire together, but it seems like it's only a matter of time before the continent falls into an all out war.

Australia- A rather new country, but it is quickly industrializing and becoming a major player in global politics thanks to the US and Japan.

Africa- North Africa is controlled for the most part by the Holy Roman Empire, while the central part is mostly unexplored territory. South Africa has a few small port towns, controlled by the US and Australia.

Asia- Still mostly "unclaimed" territory in the eyes of Europe and other major nations. Russia has been slowly spreading its influence over the land in recent years, which may eventually lead to a war with China, or the even more threatening Empire of Japan.

South America- Still a sort of "Lost Continent". Folks know it's there, but only the coast and some of the interior has been mapped. I'm liking the idea of having the Incan civilization still around, as a mighty nation that has access to some truly advanced "technology", similar to what is in Castle Falkenstein.

Now, as a far as races are concerned, Humans will of course be the dominant species. "Faerie folk" such as gnomes, elves and dwarves do exist, but not in any major number. They are accepted as not being just mythological creatures, but it still draws peoples' curiosity when they see one walking the streets. I also intend on including neanderthals (from the D&D Frostburn book) in this setting. I'm not sure why, but I feel like I could do something cool with them.
John Pierce
United States United States

« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2009, 06:06:57 am »

I used alot of the Deadlands history and changed it about the time of the great quake in California. I did pretty much the same thing with Metahuman races but I like your idea of the neanderthal being a separate race and I may have to steal it. In my world the American civil war spilled into Europe after the discovery of ghost rock in California with France siding with the north and England siding with the south becoming the first world war. Zeppelins and airships changed the face of war and an armistice was signed in 1973.

North America- the U.S.A. and C.S.A. Maintain an uneasy truce after the war and have begun to build diplomatic relations. the Republic of Texas is a sovereign nation. California has become its own nation with the wealth of ghost rock coming out of it but it is still strongly tied to the U.S.A. and C,S,A. for protection from Mexico and other nations. Mexico has become a naval power by advancing in submarine technology with most of the world turning to the skies.

Europe - England and France remain suprisingly unscathed by the war while eastern Europe took the brunt of the fighting and didn't have the economy to rebuild and expand as the large powers did. England continues under the rule of the monarchy and the prime minister and is a up and coming contender in the technolological scene. Because of the amount of technologically disadvantaged countries in eastern Europe there are a few sky cities that float around because there is less risk of artillery attack.

Asia - the far east continues to be a mystery to most yet the middle east has blossomed as a center for trade. The English empire has many colonies in the east notably India.

South America - Riddled with French and English colonies but has yet to truly emerge as a world power.

Africa - the land of strange beast and wild men. Aside from the trade in Egypt and northern Africa and the ports in south Africa most of the continent remains unexplored.

Australia - Most of the world liked the idea of a giant penal colony and Australia fit the bill. The most dangerous criminals get sent to Australia and are left to survive. As of date only 3 men have escaped.

There are 2 super-corporations that have play in the world. Olympia Express trading ran by CEO Zaeus Piter and focuses on military technology. Titan World deals primarily in working class technology for the home and work.

Canada Canada

Adventurer and Scoundrel

« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2010, 02:43:29 am »

I'm actually writing two Steampunk RPG's at the moment, both accurately capture what I like in a Steampunk setting.

One is sort of Indiana Jones meets Jason Bourne meets League of Extraordinary Gentlemen meets BPRD in an Alternate 1910 full of Forgotten Technology, Secret Societies and Ancient Lovecraftian Evil. I'm even chronicling the trials and tribulations of the design process in a blag, Heavily based on real history, myth, folklore, pseudo science and forgotten technology.

The other one is a far more ambitious project, it's called Wind Riders and it's about Belief, Heroism, Warfare, Politics, Post-Apocalypticism and Airships. It's a much more complicated project than the first one so it's going to take a little longer. This one will go up on the blag when I have some actual content for it. Basically a Post Apocalyptic Steam Fantasy with a focus on World Shaking rather than plain ol' adventuring.

Oh yeah, that's right.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 02:46:22 am by JackNova » Logged
Zeppelin Admiral
Australia Australia

All ideas should have wings

« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2010, 04:35:28 am »

United Kingdom (Just England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales)- a predominantly Protestant pseudo-theocracy. Ruled by the king, but the power really lies in his advisor's hands, a group of religious leaders form across the country. (They need a really awesome name though....and I've not thought of one yet).

The Canterbury Circle or CC. The Sovereign can't say no to the CC. :^)

In this world, England never got too far into the whole imperialism thing, after its two major colonies (America and Australia) revolted and broke away from the UK.

This is reminds me of the world history of Crimson Skies, though it has Australia in civil war and America in disarray. It is set in the 1930s.


Sorontar, Captain of 'The Aethereal Dancer'
Advisor to HM Engineers on matters aethereal, aeronautic and cosmographic
Zeppelin Captain
United Kingdom United Kingdom

« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2010, 10:27:49 am »

i've been working on writing an Epic (hopefully) Gurps steampunk campaign for some time now, set in an alternate victorian london.

it kind of has a sherlock holmes / LXG (the comics more than the movie) feel to it, inso far it will be heavy on the detective work.

no super powers, although there will be magic. i'm still trying how to work this in the game world as i have a specific idea of how magic came to be in this reality (a dimensional rift to a high mana world leaking magic, but i want people to have to reasurch how to manipulate said magic for desired effects)

the campaig is going to start at the great exhibition at cryastal palace, for two reasons 1) it will be a good way to introduce the PC's to the tech available in this time/reality and 2) the first story arc will center around the theft, and subsiquent hunt for the Koh-i-nur Diamond

Stockton Joans:
Part time Illithid hunter
John Pierce
United States United States

« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2010, 10:35:36 pm »

I dont know how many time I will say it but DEADLANDS. The way magic works and the story behind it is ideal for steampunk campaign.

Its been a slow month for my gameing group between school and holidays. So far we have only had one session of my game. The groups ship landed at one of the cloud cities named Bifrost. They explored around the market getting an idea for the attitude of the setting and the tech. Went to a bar (as airpirates do) and got a mission from a mysterious stranger working for Titan company.
Captain Paradox
Deck Hand
United States United States

Independent Aerial Privateer

« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2010, 05:32:48 am »

I came across Victoriana, 2nd Edition while I was at FairieCon this year and I have to say I really, really dig it. Its set in an alternate Victorian London. D&D-typical races exist, as does magic but I found that is where the similarities to D&D end.

PCs in Victoriana are citizens of London who are commonly called "Gutter Runners." They are characters who are motivated by whatever reason determined in character creation or by consensus with the GM to be fighting against the political and social oppression of the period. They have revolutionary ideas like offering equal rights to women and minorities, or the right to vote being given to all citizens, or a minimum wage and stronger rights for laborers. Basically modern rights that we as 21st century people take for granted. Gutter Runners try to stymie the system by whatever means they find. High Class characters believe in using their gifts and wealth to fight the injustice from within while Middle Class characters and Lower Class characters risk what few resources they have in the fight for the greater good.

It could easily be described as Shadowrun set in the Victorian Era. While it doesn't play a lot on the science fiction technology aspect common to Steampunk, it plays heavily on the punk by offering the characters a chance to play characters who bring modern ideas to the Victorian world - a truly dangerous and revolutionary idea.

Victoriana is published by Cubicle 7 Games and I highly recommend it.

"Illusion is the first of all pleasures." -Oscar Wilde

"Safety Third!" -Sons of Ether motto
Zeppelin Captain
Sweden Sweden

Bastard Man powers, activate! Form of Freud!

« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2010, 01:21:53 am »

Something futuristically steampunk, with touches of dystopia. Think a mixup of Mass Effect and Dark Heresy with Victorian cultural tones.

I'm not big on roleplaying though. Not of the 'gather around a table and throw dice' kind. I'm more into creative writing.

'The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously.'

   - Henry Kissinger
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