Steampunk RPGS? Any reccomendations?

Wakshaani

Cheesey Goodness
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#1
My brother's in the market and, for once, I've got nothing really up in my arsenal for this one.

He's looking for something set in London or Paris, circa 1880, with nice detective stuff, airships, clockwork pistols, and high adventure, and I ... wound up having no really solid suggestions.

What have y'all got?
 

BigJackBrass

Two Separate Gorillas
Validated User
#3
Lynne Hardy's Cogs, Cakes and Swordsticks is an excellent light steampunk game, very straightforward rules and nicely written.

Rather different is Forgotten Futures, Marcus L. Rowland's freeware RPG based on the scientific romances of the later 1800s and early 1900s. The numerous setting books included are not a modern interpretation of an advanced Victorian age, but rather visions of imagined futures from a Victorian viewpoint. The game is excellent, but it's worth a look even if you play a different system due to the colossal library of period articles, fiction and images included.
 

Marius B

Euro-Trash
Validated User
#4
I've found nothing that quite fits but here are some of the games that are kind of nearly ...

Space 1889. It's kind of that but a little light on the clockwork pistols and with a lot of focus on Mars. There's a Savage Worlds adaptation and a recent Ubiquity-based version but the original is easily the best.

Leagues of Adventure. Another Ubiquity-based candidate. It tends to assume characters will be at least upper middle class and seems focused more on "exotic" locales than on the grime and grit of the streets of London.

Victoriana. Victoriana brings the grit and grime in spades. It's very conscious of the social injustices and awfulness of the era (especially the earlier editions). It's also unaccountably full of elfs and dwarfs and wizards and what-have-you. And the 3rd ed adds an impressively dreadful and ill-fitting alignment system to the mix. Which is kind of a shame.

Wolsung. Full of elfs, dwarfs, wizards and more, like Victoriana, but with worrying racist undertones and a system that I at least found utterly imprenetrable using d10 dice pools, poker chips and cards. Very attractive and sensibly sized book, though.
 

MechanicalCat

Registered User
Validated User
#5
Second edition Victoriana is pretty good though the game does feel like someone wanted to run Victorian Shadowrun, in many respects. As Marius said, its full of grit, grime and such like.
 

Delgarde

Registered User
Validated User
#7
Second edition Victoriana is pretty good though the game does feel like someone wanted to run Victorian Shadowrun, in many respects. As Marius said, its full of grit, grime and such like.
Yes, it does feel a lot like Victorian Shadowrun... it's got that same element of real-world + magic + fantasy-races..

Though I don't think of it as a strongly steampunk game. The elements are there - both the "steam" and the "punk" - and you could easily emphasize them more, but by default, neither of them strongly colours the setting for me. Maybe that just reflects the campaigns we play, which are more investigation-focused, but it's not a game where characters are regularly loaded down with mad-science gadgetry..
 

Vox Orbis

I've Always Been Here
Validated User
#9
Howdy, Wak!

You might find Clockwork Dominion to your taste? Similar to Marius, I consider it an "almost", but it comes closer than most on his list (Like him, Wolsung feels kinda creepily racist to me).

Heck, you might peruse my Massive Steampunk RPG List! I haven't updated it for a while, but I probably will not that I've thought about it - oh, look at that - there are a total of 63 rpgs in all!
 
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