Steamscapes in Savage Insider #8

Steamscapes: North America is teasing several pieces of equipment in the current issue of Savage Insider. It's a free magazine, so check it out! Direct download link here:


Teaser 10 - The Gunslinger

Although firearms are prevalent in 19th-century North America, there are a small number of individuals who make their living and their names through their skill with guns. These individuals are known by various titles, but the Profession they all share is Gunslinger. A Gunslinger might be hired to clean up the streets of the cities of the ACU, or to ride shotgun on a Wells Fargo coach or airship, or even to protect the saboteurs of the PTF as they assault a mine filled with automatons. The Gunslinger is the consummate mercenary, prizing skill and reputation over borders and countries.

Teaser 9 - Spark Wrangler Edge Tree

Three of the new Professions in Steamscapes: North America have advancement paths built into the Profession itself. There is still a great deal of flexibility in how players may prioritize their characters' progressions, but these new Edge Trees offer a way to think about advancement as a slow build over time rather than a simple question of what to buy next. This teaser examines the Spark Wrangler Edge Tree.

Dev Notes 4 - RPG Archetypes and Combat Variety

As a follow-up to our second Dev Notes, we wanted to focus more specifically on how the Steamscapes Professions can provide a rich and varied gameplay in terms of combat roles. The archetypes we mentioned in that previous article are often useful in their descriptions of how a particular character responds to a crisis, especially combat. A Warrior in many cases is expected to go toe-to-toe with the enemy, often in melee, while a Wizard-style archetype suggests applying arcane powers from a distance. Obviously, there are variations of all these archetypes that blur the lines, but a game that fails to provide at least the option for a traditional archetype may often give the impression that it is missing something.


Teaser 8 - The Spark Wrangler

When science is ever-present and steampower and clockwork can be found around every corner, there has to be some area of practice considered too dangerous for common scholarship. In the Steamscapes world, that field is electricity. Although it powers all automatons human-sized or smaller, electricity is still thought by many to be wild and untamed. This impression is fostered by the eccentric individuals who are its most public users: the Spark Wranglers.

Teaser 7 - Clockwork Pigeon

Of course a proper steampunk world must be filled with gadgets and devices. Of all the uses that a semi-intelligent construct might have, the one we imagine would be most prevalent in Victorian society would be that of carrying messages. Getting information quickly from one place to another within a city was still a tedious business in the 1870s, so we introduce the clockwork pigeon. 

Teaser 6 - The Saboteur

The Steamscapes world is not a harmonious one. The technological advances that are praised by one nation may be spurned or even attacked by another. This teaser introduces the Saboteur, a Profession dedicated to the dismantling and destruction of all machines.

Dev Notes 3 – Alternative History as Social Justice

Regardless of genre, role-playing is ultimately an exercise in fantasy. We want to imagine that we are knights, or wizards, or vampires, or space marines. There is a cathartic release that comes from pretending to be something we are not, in a world unlike ours. That world may have drawbacks as well as advantages, but even the drawbacks are things that we enjoy imagining. We are intrigued by how different they are from the challenges of our own daily lives, and we rest in the knowledge that those drawbacks will disappear as soon as we step away from the table (or out of character, in the case of a LARP).

Teaser 5 - History of the Plains Tribal Federation

This teaser provides a sample of what is the largest portion of the Steamscapes: North America book: the alternative history. Most alternative historical fiction begins with a single premise that can normally be summarized by the question, "What would happen if...?"  The rest of the setting and its key events are then extrapolated as cascading effects of that initial change. Our key changes happen beginning in 1773, and we describe in detail all of the events that result over the next century. We focus on four nations - the American Consolidated Union, the Confederation of Texas, the Plains Tribal Federation, and the Rocky Mountain Republic. We also briefly cover the other major North American territories.

This sample is from the last section of the history of the Plains Tribal Federation.


Teaser 4 - The Aviator

What would a steampunk setting be without airships? This teaser brings an introduction to another important Profession in the world of Steamscapes: the Aviator. 


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