Dev Notes 2 - RPG Archetypes in Historical Gaming

Warrior, Thief, Wizard, Priest.

They are the four classic archetypes of tabletop roleplaying, so iconic that they have been rendered into one form or another in nearly every class-based RPG since the dawn of gaming. When MMOs entered the scene, they took slightly different names: Tank, Melee DPS, Ranged DPS, and Healer. The MMO has also added the concept of "crowd control," which has in turn made its way back into tabletop gaming. But essentially we can still find places for most roleplaying characters that correlate to those four original archetypes. Certainly, systems and players have added layers of complexity on top of these paradigms, but we fall back into these patterns for a reason. They are powerful in their ability to inspire us and yet clearly understandable in their depictions of role and identity.


Teaser 3 - Weapon Traits

Steamscapes introduces a number of new mechanics for weapons. Some of these are specific to professions - Gunslingers, for example, often use heavily customized weapons that require constant maintenance and preparation to prevent their failure on the battlefield. Some of them are more generic and may apply to more common weapons. As you can see, however, these traits may prevent such weapons from being used too commonly.

Teaser 2 - Map of North America

Our second teaser gives a sense of how the Steamscapes alternative history has reshaped the continent of North America. Our historical background focuses on four primary nations, with some small space given to the other nations and territories. This map was created by Robert Altbauer of

Dev Notes 1 - Another Steampunk Game?

Almost three years ago, the core concept behind Steamscapes was born in long conversations on the drive back from GenCon. At the time, we would be forgiven for presuming that the genre of "steampunk RPG" was largely unrepresented. Frankly, it was. In the intervening time, a number of games have appeared to try to fill this gap with varied success. However, our commitment to bringing Steamscapes to completion has not wavered, largely because those offerings have failed to provide what we think Steamscapes provides.

So to answer the question we have posed ourselves rhetorically, we believe we can confidently say, "No. Steamscapes is not just another steampunk game."


Teaser 1 - The Gearsmith

Our first teaser presents a profession that is iconic to the Steamscapes world: The Gearsmith. From the book:

Gearsmiths are the programmers of the mechanical revolution. They are responsible for all devices that require delicate and complicated clockwork, including automatons. Master Gearsmiths always have their own personal workshops, though some workshops can be fairly large with multiple apprentices. 


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