This is the starting point for the 6d6 Steampunk setting. Below is the note summary of the setting plan.

Steampunk Setting Summary


The primary campaign world will be on the largest of three landmasses. The largest continent will have multiple islands off the coasts and will extend from equator to northern polar region. The second landmass will be around the southern polar region that is undergoing exploration but not colonisation. The third is only recently discovered and new exploration expeditions are being sent to explore.

Major cultures Cultures

There are three planned active cultures on the primary continent: the Avolan Empire; the Desden Republic; the Channing Dynasty. Each culture employs a different manner of using industrial technology.

The Avolan Empire

A cross between British and Germanic imperial ideas. A royal family rules openly to the empire as figureheads with a group of ministers managing the administrative duties of command – those ministers run the empire’s day to day affairs; the royal family are only involved in large, significant events such as declarations of war & peace, highly political trials and executions, and the granting of titles to citizens.

The ministers each have influences among their specific offices and intelligence agents to spy and update them on the activities of the other ministers. Many of the ministers are controlled by a number of independent and powerful guilds within the empire each pushing their own agenda on how the future of the empire might progress. It is rife with corruption, manipulation and political intrigue – the lower classes being used as expendable tools in their game to rule from the shadows.

Steam power is used to operate the public train system between cities and towns as well as a commerce service to the Desden Republic and the Channing Dynasty. Industrial areas are over a mile from most towns and significant distances from cities where possible to keep the pollution away from its more important citizens. The militaristic use of this technology were focused on producing heavily armoured foot soldiers as frontline troops with firearm support, with the results being the Iron Knights – soldiers encased in hydraulic & clockwork suits of armour with complex pulleys to bring large, heavily armoured knights onto the streets of cities and the battlefields. Gunpowder weapons are prominent to the public, but basic forms of fixed/ammunition firearms are in development with simple breach-loading rifles and handguns. Melee is still a strong part of the culture.

The Desden Republic

Loosely on the US political system. A Chancellor runs the republic with a large variety of advisors to give professional suggestions on how to improve and grow the republic without seeming weak or creating vulnerabilities. Two additional political offices exist to help keep the Chancellor in check – the House of Principles and the Senate of Counties. The Republic House of Principles is effectively the House of Representatives. Republic County Senate is the US Senate. The two groups together form the Republic Forum (US Congress).

The members of the House and Senate each represent the people and the legislation of law in their counties. Some are manipulated by those who support them during campaigns and through donations of wealth, as well as blackmail and temptation. With freedom being a highly valued commodity, it is used as a banner to promote free choice to work where they want for whom they want where work is available, leading to large companies handling most of the work force training and recruitment – each of whom support, donate and manipulate their local Senators and Principles to bend public opinion and laws for their benefit.

With a strong emphasis on personal freedom and protection, the industry of the republic evolved at a faster pace than the traditionalist nature of the Empire, allowing them to create primitive steam-driven vehicles and develop simple repeating firearms – which quickly got dispersed among the population, especially the wealthier citizens. They have the more advanced trains, longer ranged weapons and more flexible military.

The Channing Dynasty

Based loosely on Chinese and Japanese culture. A large family-driven society that teaches the idea that a single person, with all their experience and skill, is as valuable as any tool or machine; that they should seek to perfect their skill to be the best, teaching that skill to their children and their children’s children. This creates families of specialised artisans that revere dedication to duty, tradition and honouring the family. The dynasty is led by the eldest male of the Channing family, who has several governors who control regions within their land. They each owe fealty to the family and do their best to run their land efficiently to maintain order.

The methods of ruling, however, are deceitful – a strong, open public face where nothing is supposed to be hidden, mixed with the art to withhold knowledge and master subtlety to keep true intentions and plans out of sight. Governors and political figures all have public and political reputations to uphold and family traditions to honour, but are comfortable with using less honourable and respectful means to handle opposition to their own ambitions. Bandits, assassins, mercenaries and similar disreputable persons are used often to enforce change for the betterment of their secretive masters while maintaining as much anonymity as possible.

The use of steam technology took an unusual turn in the dynasty. Instead of focusing on larger weapons or armour, they focused on miniaturisation and efficiency. They experimented how small a device could be without losing durability and usability. The end result came to the discovery of combining mechanical parts with people, replacing lost limbs with mechanical equivilants and, as the technology and skill evolved, superior limbs. Self-evolution through mechanics started to become as much a part of the culture as everything else the Channing family taught.

Minor Cultures/Societies

One of the current ideas for a minor society is the Innovators Institute. They were developing the technologies between all three governments and saw a trend developing – their ideas, innovations and technologies being twisted into their machinations for warfare, skulduggery and political ploys. A group of them from each nation came to an agreement to separate themselves from these self-destructive governments and form a society where they could take technology to great heights – literally. They created the first floating city; The Megalith.

Nine hundred metres long, three hundred wide and eighteen floors deep, airship started out as a massive achievement of modern technology. Driven by the most advanced steam powered propellers science could amass with a large balloon for extra lift, it floated roughly central of the three great nations. They declared independence from all politics and their devotion to bring innovation to the foremost of mankind’s future. They have since extended and enlarged the city to over fifteen hundred metres long, five hundred wide and twenty floors deep. They have added repeater weapons to defend themselves from aerial and ground attacks.

They trade their innovations with the nations in exchange for supplies, spending no more than three days at each capital before moving on to the next. They only trade minor, non destructive objects with them, though in some cases they have inspired inventions of war.

The leaders of the Innovators are scientists of different fields, all proclaiming that all advancements shall be seen equally and fairly. However, change is not always something that comes easy even to them, and the latest trend of developing technology – electricity – has taken a back seat to the improvement and miniaturisation of steam pistons and turbines time and time again. Politics seems to have snuck into the intellectual city, conspiracies being crafted to replace the leadership with more open minded people, merchants wanting to sell the more profitable innovations pushing for new trade laws. Not all is peaceful on board The Megalith.

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open/settings/steampunk.txt · Last modified: 2013/08/11 15:00 by kieranflux
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