Gunslinger's Guide Teaser 1 - Stagecoach Mary Fields

In the upcoming Gunslinger's Guide, we are including a number of prominent historical examples of gunslingers from 1871 North America. In doing so, we hope to accomplish a number of things. We want to offer some examples of NPCs for gamemasters and players to use in their own campaigns, we want to give players who are choosing the Gunslinger profession a variety of choices as to how their character might interact with the Steamscapes world, and we want to invite readers to explore the real history surrounding some figures who are not well known but very much worth spotlighting.

 

Dev Notes 11 - Why Make a Splatbook?

For the last month or so we have been ramping up our development of what we hope will be the first of several rules and background supplements for Steamscapes. If you have been watching carefully, you will know that we are writing a PDF-only release that will be a guide specifically for the Gunslinger profession. We will soon begin posting teaser information about that book, but in the meantime we thought it would be useful to discuss why we would even want to make such a thing in the first place.

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Rivalry Plot Point Campaign - Chapter 4

The latest episode of our Rivalry Plot Point Campaign is now available at Studio 2 and DriveThruRPG! Things become much more dangerous as our heroes travel towards the mysterious Weaverville...

Dev Notes 10 - Lessons From My First Year as a Small Game Publisher

This month marks the 1-year anniversary of the existence of Four-in-Hand Games. I have learned so much this year about so many aspects of game writing and publishing, and I would like to humbly offer some of the lessons that I have picked up along the way. I hope that they may be helpful to someone out there.

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Dev Notes 9 - What is a Roleplaying Game?

Thanks to Enworld forum user Evenglare for reminding everyone of this XKCD comic.

Because our last pair of Dev Notes weren't sufficiently controversial, I thought I'd tackle one of the most contentious and frenzy-inducing questions within the gamer community: "What is a roleplaying game?" This is a question that really does not seem to have a right answer, but it definitely has plenty of wrong answers. Just try to assert your opinion on this topic in any RPG-related forum and you had better be wearing your fireproof pants. In classic internet parlance, it's flamebait. Nevertheless, I believe it is time we address it.

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Rivalry Plot Point Campaign - Chapter 3

After a short December break, we are releasing the next chapter of our ongoing plot point campaign! In this episode, our adventures find themselves immersed in the local politics of San Francisco. Of course, politics can get very personal and bloody out on the frontier that is the Rocky Mountain Republic. This episode also offers a glimpse at the larger forces at play in what has up to now seemed to be a simple corporate rivalry.

Download the latest adventure here:

Dev Notes 8 - Sexism and Power in Steampunk (Part II)

"You're in Victorian garb? Where's your corset?"
"Under my dress. Where it's SUPPOSED TO BE."
-Actual conversation reported to me by a costume enthusiast

 

In our last Dev Note, we addressed some of the problems games face in developing a Victorian setting with regard to realistic representations specifically of women. It is important to note that we acknowledge the value of choosing to present an unrealistic and artificial equality. But we hope that we have presented some reasonable argument that realism (or at least quasi-realism) can be valuable in creating interesting and even important female characters for your game.

However, there is a more thorny issue in the steampunk genre, and particularly in steampunk games. Today we will tackle the subtle inherent sexism of the steampunk aesthetic, and it largely has to do with one particular article of clothing: the corset. In many ways, the corset has become the steampunk version of the "bikini armor" problem in fantasy settings.

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Rivalry Plot Point Campaign - Chapter 2B

Our next new installment of the episodic plot point campaign is now available! This chapter offers the heroes another set of travel options for their journey west to San Francisco. This scenario is intended to be a bit more difficult than the default train option, and also should only be attempted if the party includes a skilled Aviator. Chapter 3 will recombine the plot threads and reveal what happens when the automaton is finally delivered to the Wells Fargo office in San Francisco. Look for it next month!

Dev Notes 7 - Sexism and Power in Steampunk (Part I)

“The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.” 

― Elizabeth Cady Stanton

 

In our third Dev Note, we discussed the overall tendency of historical settings of games and fiction to gloss over and romanticize the more troubling aspects of the age they are presenting. The purpose of that note was to point out the positive conversations that can arise in addressing those issues more directly in your setting. In this installment (presented in two parts), we would like to focus the lens of that question more specifically on steampunk as a genre and steampunk games in particular.

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Rivalry Plot Point Campaign - Chapter 2A

Now that the book is definitely out in all forms and should hopefully be hitting stores soon (poke your Friendly Local Game Store if they don't carry enough Savage Worlds licensed products), we are able to release the first new episode of the ongoing Rivalry Plot Point Campaign. This chapter continues where the adventure in the book leaves off, with our heroes escorting the prototype automaton on its way to San Francisco. This episode is marked "Chapter 2A" because there are two methods the party might choose for traveling west: train or airship.

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