What's Next for Steamscapes

The last couple of weeks at Four-in-Hand Games have been filled with news of Rockalypse, our first non-Savage Worlds product. But that doesn't mean we're done with Steamscapes! We're continuing to work on our historical steampunk world even as we develop other things. Let's talk a little bit about what's next for Steamscapes.

 

The most immediate new Steamscapes project is the Gearsmith's Guide. In considering what direction to go for our next profession guide, I realized that the art and fiction of Steamscapes: Asia suggested the existence of both powered braces and even clockwork prosthetics...but we have no rules for them! The Gearsmith's Guide will correct that gap, and it will also provide rules (even racial templates) for non-humanoid automatons and for dealing with multiple automaton companions in play. There will also be plenty of setting flavor for fleshing out your gearsmith characters, including descriptions of the five major universities offering formal curricula, laws and customs affecting automatons, and a philosophical discussion on the personhood of thinking machines. Like the Gunslinger's Guide, this release will be PDF-only.

Steam Horse by Freya Horn (Vermin-Star on DeviantArt)

 

On the even more immediate horizon, last Saturday I recorded a session with the One Shot Podcast. I ran an original adventure set in Singapore, using many of the rules and historical notes from Steamscapes: Asia. I'll post more details as episodes appear, which should be in the next few weeks. In the meantime, you should definitely check out One Shot and its entire family of gaming podcasts. They're quite excellent!

 

Our next book after the Gearsmith's Guide is likely to be another profession guide - we'd like to get those moving a little more quickly. However, I know that many folks have been curious about our next continent book. At this point, the official plan is for our next setting book to focus on South and Central America. There is plenty of important history to cover, and lots of opportunity for us to explore how the technological advances of the Steamscapes world affect these countries. In terms of new rules, a South America book is a great place to focus on travel and transportation. Expect to see lots of vehicles for land, sea, and air!

 

Anything further out is speculation at this point, but some of you may be interested in such things. Here's some of what we're currently thinking about:

  • A Steamscapes Player's Guide, compiling just the rules from the continent books (but not the profession guides). If we release this sooner (perhaps after South America), then it would be released initially as PDF-only, and it would become a living document that would grow as more continent books are released. But you'd only need to buy it once, and simply redownload the PDF when it updates!
  • Stealth play for the eventual Saboteur's Guide. Few RPGs are well-suited to stealth gaming right out of the box, so we are considering whether to attempt a full-on stealth hack of Savage Worlds or to provide optional rules from another system that is specifically designed for it.
  • A mini-continent book for Australia/Pacific Rim. It would be difficult to fill a print book with historical background, but we'd still like to have something for the region. This may end up being PDF-only, and may focus almost exclusively on the historical flavor.
  • Two more continent books after that - Africa and Europe (in that order). Each of those will extend slightly beyond their geographic boundaries to discuss portions of Asia that were not included in Steamscapes: Asia. Africa will include the segments of the Arabian Peninsula that are not controlled by the Ottoman Empire, and Europe will include Russia, the Ottoman Empire (which actually extends well into Africa at this time), and probably Persia. We have always intended Europe to be the last major setting book for Steamscapes, partially because it usually gets to be first (or only) in other steampunk games. However, you will continue to see more and more hints of what's going on in Europe throughout the other continent books and profession guides, starting with the Gearsmith's Guide.

 

Keep an eye out here for more updates as we progress, and feel free to pester me with questions wherever you saw this posted (or Facebook if you're not sure).

-Fairman Rogers

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