View Full Version : steampunk and you.

2007-11-09, 02:14 PM
I am currently brewing a steampunk larp game, which apparently could get organized by a local group. But, I was wondering, what do people expect from a steampunk game, what do you think there should be, what should not? What would you like, what wouldnít you like and any wacky ideas? Your opinion is very appreciated, and might just be used. Iím not going to post exactly what I do have right now because I donít want to influence ideaís right now.

2007-11-09, 02:26 PM
I expect things from a steampunk game that no LARP will ever provide. :P Steamjacks are at the top of the list. Take Will Smith's Wild Wild West movie, and mix in magic. :)

2007-11-09, 02:30 PM
I expect things from a steampunk game that no LARP will ever provide. :P Steamjacks are at the top of the list. Take Will Smith's Wild Wild West movie, and mix in magic. :)

I know this will be a point of interest, but then again, wasnít it any more in normal fantasy? Of course we cant psy-rep a giant mechanical spider, but then again were we able to do it with giant dragons, nope. So, please share, even if its never going to appear it could still make some real killer fluff.

2007-11-09, 05:21 PM
If you can, take a look at the Steamboy anime.

2007-11-12, 03:12 AM
yea, still looking for it.

anybody who has some cool idea's, not necesarily linked to a film or serie.

The Glyphstone
2007-11-12, 06:58 AM
Privateer Press's Iron Kingdoms setting is the fifty-ton gorilla of steampunk RPG settings...steamjacks, weapons, magic, and magical weapons (Arcane Tempest Gunmage FTW!) - check it out if you haven't already, it's got a lot of good ideas you could implement...

hm, now I'm wondering what a trained ATGM would be able to do with an Airsoft rifle...

2007-11-12, 09:48 AM
I think there are two big issues you need to think about when organising a steampunk LARP: visuals and theme.

Visuals - "accoutrements", if you will - is vital to the steampunk genre. Without analogue machines, steam-powered tanks, ether propellers and whatnot it's just simply not steampunk. What this means for a LARP is that you'll need to supply high-quality props evocative of the style.
This is not normally a problem in D&D-style fantasy LARPs or with White Wolf games. The latter take place in "our present-day world", so the visual style is a given. The former does need some gear, but not much. For us Europeans (and by extension, the American colonials over the pond :P), quasi-medieval imagery is deeply ingrained in our cultural consciousness; therefore, we have no problem seeing the polearm behind a boffer weapon or a medieval warrior's outfit behind a cardboard cuirass and a corny green cape. Steampunk visual style, however, is not such an integral part of our visual culture, so our imagination cannot bear the same amount of burden. Therefore, you need higher quality physical props to help players jump the mental gap from "corny items" to "part of the setting". I imagine that good period costumes would be very useful; and you should probably also provide a number of visually pleasing macguffins as well.

The other issue is theme. While it possibly means slightly different things to different people, steampunk as a whole still has a highly specific thematic focus. Personally, I could best describe it as a reenactment of late 19th, early 20th century (largely) European culture, politics and history. For me, steampunk is centrally about the European Imperial Spirit - white man going to other continents (or planets) to civilise the natives and build his empires, the politics and schemes in the worldwide game for power, the indomitable spirit of inventors, explorers, traders and conquerors furthering the progress of mankind.
If you want to retain the feeling of steampunk, the game's premise and plot should conform to these genre themes. Which I guess will probably require a great deal of thinking, preparation and whatnot, but if you really want to run a stempunk game, you have your job cut out for you.

2007-11-12, 12:55 PM
when it comes to props I have a great deal of luck, the group that is willing to run my system is one which has a few very experienced and skilled prop builders. Also, as I indeed figured I didnít want to go prop a whole city is that the setting will be a frontier town, steam punk is there, just not much. Building a few boilers and chimneys, using a lot of copper paint and buying a large amount of smoke-prop seems to works far better then one would think. Also, I myself have found that while magic is something people have come to expect and you cant keep out explosions are a pain to call as GM and very bad for the suspension of disbelieve. Also, we will be using nerf guns, which have to be at least painted black, but preferably a bit more then that. I am aware that this does not go far enough to emulate black powder weapons. Keeping both of these things into account I have decided that most weapons work on air pressure and springs, the real equivalent would be a nerf gun on speed. also there are strict laws on any experimenting when it comes to explosives, in the past there have been huge catastrophes because of the invention of explosives, still I fear some player will try to make things that go boom, ah well perhaps he will just go with it. the knowledge to make explosives is considered taboo within the scientific as well. And iron heroes rocs, I just donít see warjacks getting in.
but perhaps cibernatic limbs, how do you people feel about that? remember that in this world healing magic could be used to connect ciber limbs to human arms. People should still have a prop for gas storage and the like. Photography also is a interesting new option.