Author Topic: Steampunk RPGs  (Read 3803 times)

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Offline Kwisatz Haderach

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Steampunk RPGs
« on: February 26, 2015, 05:50:07 AM »
I am looking for a good tabletop RPG system for a steampunk setting.  Does anyone know what the kids are using for that these days?

Offline DoktorBob

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Re: Steampunk RPGs
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2015, 06:27:53 AM »
Come over my place and we can play some D&D. 


Offline Kwisatz Haderach

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Re: Steampunk RPGs
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2015, 09:05:16 AM »
Come over my place and we can play some D&D.

Steampunk D&D?
 

Offline DoktorBob

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Re: Steampunk RPGs
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2015, 09:33:41 AM »
I'm not sure what steampunk is, but if a steampunk d&d doesn't exist, we should create one.

Offline Kwisatz Haderach

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Re: Steampunk RPGs
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2015, 09:38:18 AM »

Offline PANTS!

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Re: Steampunk RPGs
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2015, 05:38:57 PM »
Of the one's I have played, in order of preference:

Deadlands (classic is best, savage worlds less so, and d20 blows) is a great game, but it is a western with Steampunk elements.  Think Wild Wild West.
Space 1889 is a great game.  There is also a fantastic 80s era computer RPG based off this property - so look that up.
The Ebberon setting is literally Steampunk D&D.  Not sure if we will get an update for 5th ed.

Of the one's I have not played, I hear good things about:
Castle Faulkenstein
I love the Hero System, but I have not played the Steampunk Version, so no idea how the system translates or how much campaign material exists.  Still Hero system is great!
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Offline Kwisatz Haderach

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Re: Steampunk RPGs
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2015, 05:51:16 PM »
Of the one's I have played, in order of preference:

Deadlands (classic is best, savage worlds less so, and d20 blows) is a great game, but it is a western with Steampunk elements.  Think Wild Wild West.
Space 1889 is a great game.  There is also a fantastic 80s era computer RPG based off this property - so look that up.
The Ebberon setting is literally Steampunk D&D.  Not sure if we will get an update for 5th ed.

Of the one's I have not played, I hear good things about:
Castle Faulkenstein
I love the Hero System, but I have not played the Steampunk Version, so no idea how the system translates or how much campaign material exists.  Still Hero system is great!

I played Space: 1889 back in the 90s when I was at University.  Judging form the link you provided, I take it it has not been updated since then?

Online arthwollipot

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Re: Steampunk RPGs
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2015, 06:07:30 PM »
The Ebberon setting is literally Steampunk D&D.  Not sure if we will get an update for 5th ed.

There is an update for 5th edition. It's not complete, but it helps.

Also, there is the Airship Pirates roleplaying game - based on the music of Abney Park. I haven't played it but it looks interesting.
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Offline Johnny Slick

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Re: Steampunk RPGs
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2015, 01:10:37 PM »
I wouldn't *quite* call Eberron Steampunk DnD but it has steampunky elements for sure. Space 1889 definitely is (by the way, there's a Fate Accelerated Edition version of that). If you're looking for CRPGs there's an older game called Arcanum which is exactly this as well.
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Offline Captain Video

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Re: Steampunk RPGs
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2015, 12:34:08 AM »
G.U.R.P.S. The system can be adapted for any kind of game.
Even if you dont like the system these source books mite prove useful for other games.

http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/steampunk/
http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/steamtech/

I also found this from Hero games another universal system but I have only played Champions with Hero.  http://www.herogames.com/forums/store/category/20-steampunk/

edit (this is the same link Pants posted that I didnt catch earlier)



« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 12:37:30 AM by Simon Jester »
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Offline Johnny Slick

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Re: Steampunk RPGs
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2015, 01:39:08 AM »
This is maybe not the GREATEST place to put this but my issue with GURPS, the HERO system, and point buy systems in general is in the way they treat weaknesses. My experience with the games is that people will take on some kind of weakness - Overconfidence, for example, or if you want a ton of points, Deafness - that in turn allows them to get extra skills. This works in a "fairness" sense and even makes a bit of realistic sense - a person who isn't able to hear has to try a little bit harder at everything else just to be as good, and that work ethic might put them ahead in some areas. However, once you get into actually playing a game, the players just seem to go out of their way to avoid those weaknesses like the plague. They go from being a major part of why the character is as powerful as they are to being not much more than an avenue where the GM can screw them.

Which is why I prefer the way a game like FATE or Burning Wheel handles weaknesses and idiosyncracies. Basically, in those games, if the *player* does something in character (and generally speaking in tune with what's on their character sheet) that also either makes life more complicated for the party or introduces some interesting character development, their *character* actually gets pretty substantial bonuses. In Burning Wheel in particular you basically need those bonuses in order to advance your character with any speed at all, because part of advancing beyond a certain point involves attempting actions which would normally be impossible without those boosts. With FATE everybody "levels up" at the same time because the game goes out of its way not to be complicated, but if you want your character to be the hero of the party and otherwise look like a boss, you're engaging in a lot of self compels which sometimes serve to create a memorable conflict out of almost nothing.

As such, in those games you don't get "points" back just for having weaknesses because instead you get points for, essentially, roleplaying them. That also means that when the going gets tough your character can concentrate on being a hero rather than not exposing their flaws to an adversarial GM. And then the story arc itself, including failure, becomes the fun thing rather than you "beating" the opposition.

But I digress... that's only tangentially related to steampunk RPGs. The HERO system and GURPS tend to have wonderfully well researched game books; my experience is that even if you're going to wind up playing, say, FATE Core, it's not the worst thing in the world to pick up the GURPS/HERO books anyway just to mine them for ideas.
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Online arthwollipot

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Re: Steampunk RPGs
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2015, 01:57:52 AM »
Yes, this was also my problem with GURPS. Players would munchkin together a crippled character just so that they could be the best x-er in the multiverse. The system of traits and flaws was really hard to avoid the temptation to minmax.
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Offline Captain Video

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Re: Steampunk RPGs
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2015, 03:14:44 AM »
What you are describing I find true with the Hero system but that kind of building feels correct when making a Super Hero, not so much in other settings.

 I like GURPS because of its similarity to a gaming system my friends played on the 80s called UGM. They tried to publish unsuccessfully, in part due to GURPS coming out in the first place. By my recollection it was the perfect game system and I wish I retained a copy. I agree GURPS is nice because of the available source material, they were not afraid to print odd genres and licensed material, play a rabbit in Watership down, visit Ankh-Morpork, toss one in the fireplace at Callahans cross-time saloon, great stuff.

I had never heard of Fate but i'm interested in checking it out.

Anyway The steam punk in those source books is excellent. It should be easy to convert that stuff into any system.
I think the key here is to pick whatever system best fits your style of gameplay then adapt your own Steampunk mythos rather than going with some games specific storyline. At least that is how I would approach it.
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Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Steampunk RPGs
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2015, 10:15:41 AM »
adversarial GM

ie. the only way I wanted to play when I was 17, and the only way I don't want to play when I'm 39.
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Offline Johnny Slick

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Re: Steampunk RPGs
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2015, 10:55:34 AM »
adversarial GM

ie. the only way I wanted to play when I was 17, and the only way I don't want to play when I'm 39.
Yeah, there's definitely a big part of that lurking behind a lot of these game mechanics, too, and it is sometimes *really* hard to train players out of that mindset (in fact, a lot of people seem to only enjoy that kind of game, which, yuk, but to each their own I guess). The idea that failure can be fun because good RPGing is about creating a neat narrative, not "winning" is a real paradigm shift.
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