Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Northern California
    Gender
    Male

    Default 3.5 Steampunk Alternate Reality Setting

    After reading through the "World-Building Turn-Offs" thread I feel hesitant to post this but I want a repository anyways and somewhere to get freely-thought critique. I recently came across the Sorcery and Steam d20 supplement book and read my way through it, prompting me to start building a world for a steampunk campaign set in the 1920's but an alternate reality that splits from ours after the American Civil War.

    Summary: During the Second Reich, Germany encounters more resistance than they'd expected and build steam tanks decades before the first real ones were made. After they started implementing steam power into their machines, the world took notice and a science think tank of the greatest scientists from each major nation worked together for twenty years or so advancing tech in leaps and bounds before returning with their own advanced projects to their respective countries; American scientists brought back aeroplane technology, Russians had industrial hydraulic environmental suits , Britain developed advanced alchemical medicine, etc. After these boons were brought back to the different nations, WW1 broke out and each was warped into a weapon of its own kind and once the armistice was signed the world settled down a little bit into a fully steampunk setting.

    I'll expand upon this later in sections by nations and times. I know it's very rough but I know a good bit of where I want this to go so I'll post it as it becomes refined. For now, I'll sign off and leave you, the people, to read and write.
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

    Where did you start yours?
    Individual prison cells in Block D of the Imperial Correctional Facility in the Kessel spice mines.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Laserlight's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Virginia Beach VA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 3.5 Steampunk Alternate Reality Setting

    If they're working together, why does each nation only get their own project? There ought to be espionage going on, at the very least.

    Why were they working together in the first place? I can't see England and Russia working together, or France and Germany.

    Do the "major nations" include the Ottomans? Japan? China? Any of the Latin American countries?

    And as a terminology nitpick: if you're going for 1920s, you're past steampunk and on into dieselpunk or something of that sort, unless you have an explanation of why they're still using steam for vehicles at that late date.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Northern California
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 3.5 Steampunk Alternate Reality Setting

    All of what you're questioning will be explained fully, I've got most all of it in my head and it will take me a while to get it written down in my spare time is all.

    Suffice to say history's been (mostly logically) warped a fair bit. I.e. Queen Victoria is still alive in 1920, Russia is happily (yes, actually happily) ruled by the Czar, etc. They only worked together until the 1890's, and after WW1 the tension is very high, espionage is abound, etc.

    The only alliances I see in the current day is the Eastern United States and Britain as well as Germany/Russia (possibly). As I said, it will be explained in due time. This was meant to be a forward.
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

    Where did you start yours?
    Individual prison cells in Block D of the Imperial Correctional Facility in the Kessel spice mines.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Northern California
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 3.5 Steampunk Alternate Reality Setting

    So, on to the first entry... Bear in mind that I'm only writing down the history for Germany right now, and thus many things in the Think Tank section may not make sense until I post the history from other countries as well (primarily Japan).

    GERMANY
    Spoiler
    Show
    The German Second Reich is established when William the First is named Emperor in 1851, 20 years earlier than our history. The Emperor, being 'crowned' on the eve of German industrialization, pushed hard for a heavy industrialization, leading to massive jumps in technology spearheaded by the extremely effective steam engine, recently implemented into German railways and industrial factories. Throughout the 50's, Germany began to surpass even Britain as the leading industry, pumping out ever-more efficient trains, manufacturing plants, ships, etc, greatly improving their economic standing.

    In 1859, the Emperor declared that the Reich would reclaim what had once been the Holy Roman Empire, and the military began expanding east. Unfortunately, for all the great advances in technology they'd been making, little to none of it allowed their military to hold any power over that of the rest of the world due to the previous focus on economic growth. The Reich immediately was stopped at the borders of Poland, whose cavaliers were backed up by the powers of the Slavic states and Russia. Thus, William commissioned a team of scientists to take the new-found technologies and shape them into a military form. The most prominent of the recent advances had been the steam engine, what was seen as an undeterrable behemoth of metal and locomotive power. By removing the only restriction of the steam train (its reliance on rails), the team designed the first of what would be known as a tank, able to move straight through enemy territory on its own without giving a second thought to cavalry or musketry.

    With this rather simply complex design, Germany quite literally steamrolled over the hostile nations they conquered, eventually stopping at the borders of Ukraine. In 1867 after assimilating Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Serbia along with the rest of the smaller nations in between, the German Empire was satisfied with its borders, and had established itself as a new world power.


    THE THINK TANK

    Spoiler
    Show
    The handful of scientists, engineers, and technicians who'd developed the empire-forging machines of war were hailed as national heroes, and were thanked personally by the Emperor through the gifts of massive grants to allow them to continue their work in advancing technology for the Empire. Along with this, in 1870, as a sign of goodwill to the world, William announced the beginning of a massive science project, one in which he welcomed and sponsored scientists from around the world to join his own in an international "think tank" hosted in Germany. Inventors and engineers flocked in droves from America, Britain, Russia, Japan, and a myriad of other countries to offer their knowledge for the good of mankind.

    Among the many who attended the conferences, several stood out and were selected to work personally with the Reich's best scientists. These few included the young Wright Brothers of the American Midwest, the professional Dr. Jekyll from her Majesty's England, an aging Victor Frankenstein of Austria, as well as some outstanding representatives of the Empire of Japan. For ten years this renowned team worked closely, making leaps and bounds in technology of all fields, their names plastered on newspaper headlines across the globe as each new discovery was revealed to the world at large. Each nation's representatives shared knowledge of their own areas of expertise which was then magnified by the genius of their compatriots when working together, effectively removing the upward boundary of their progress.

    Of course, every so often a team member would return to their own country, sharing advanced plans of what they'd made the most progress in personally or what they thought would benefit their nation the most. While the think tank's purpose was to improve technology for humanity as a whole, national pride and patriotism often took precedence. This light espionage is what came to shape the world in the years to come:

    Orville and Wilbur Wright together created the first wood and fabric plane during their time with the team, but then afterwards let the rest of the team do as they wished with the designs; they'd already begun work on new, more durable planes able to be outfitted with sturdier frames as well as more accurate controls than their earlier wing-warping design thanks to the clockwork systems they'd garnered from the Victorians.

    Dr. Jekyll worked very closely with the German chemical teams, making many breakthroughs in the medical and chemical fields to both debunk previous methods of inferior treatment as well as develop new medicines through work with chemicals. In his work, he developed an extremely effective injection system which allowed basic chemicals to be combined and then directly injected into a subject's bloodstream. His work also led to potent chemical mixtures he dubbed "mutagens," cocktails which could temporarily (or not so temporarily) warp a drinker's DNA to make them faster, stronger, or otherwise physically changed. These he kept to himself, and personally presented the first non-test batch to the Queen herself, who was becoming frail in her old age.

    Victor Frankenstein, a student of alchemy and other near-occult sciences, made a private discovery which he kept to himself through the entire time with the team, though rumors were spread of an attempt made to reanimate fully a dead body which many said he was successful in... Regardless, his work with the human body was astounding, and with the help of the British managed to blend clockwork and biology to create replacement limbs, organs, and other body parts to help those injured in war, industrial accidents, or the like. Much of this was powered by small steam engine technology, courtesy of the Germans, or complex clockwork as given by the British. His work was accepted and lauded throughout the world, and almost every clinic in a civilized land will offer basic augmentation, though full clockwork limb replacement is the domain of scholastic surgeons. Without a home nation to go home to, however, Frankenstein noticed that the Russians had no representatives, and later in his stay began work with the Japanese before presenting the Czar with the fruits of his labor in both areas.

    The Japanese, hailed as the greatest sword and armor smiths of history, as well as being the only nation to have any semblance of magical power, blended their two most defining features; the figure of the samurai, and the magic of their mystically inclined. Their key development for the world was a vast improvement on the German steam engine design; a magical power source of augmented chemicals donated by Dr. Jekyll which many referred to as Alchemist's Oil. It burned extremely slowly and very hot, meaning that once ignited as the source of heat for a steam engine, the engine could continue for hours or days depending on the size of the source (this is a factor in what allowed the Wright Brothers to create such a lightweight engine for their best planes). Working with the German and British scientists in a mixture of steam engine and clockwork mechanics, the Japanese devised a prototype suit of powered armor, one which increased the strength of a wearer three fold. As it improved, many different variants were created; sealed environment suits for work in extreme cold or other uninhabitable environments, diving suits, industrial working suits, etc. Victor Frankenstein took a prototype of these suits to the czar early in their progress, believing that the ability to industrialize much easier in the harsh Russian winters would allow the nation to stabilize and make progress itself during its near-revolutionary chaos of the previous century. The Japanese eventually continued unhindered development of this powered armor on their own land, leading to the creation of larger armor, primarily very heavy and well-armed clockwork suits able to withstand extremely destructive conditions and withering hails of fire without stalling. They progressed steadily, and soon the apex of these creations were large, golden, steam-powered samurai-shaped monstrosities, up to a hundred feet tall and requiring the skill of a steam cleric or sorcerer or a team of engineers to power and pilot it.


    As always, I'm open to questions, comments, praise, and criticisms of all forms. Don't be shy and have fun!
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

    Where did you start yours?
    Individual prison cells in Block D of the Imperial Correctional Facility in the Kessel spice mines.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Northern California
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 3.5 Steampunk Alternate Reality Setting

    Well my schedule so far seems to have taken mercy on me. Another historical update of America from the 1850's up until WW1. This will become the current standard timeline I'll be posting, as I'll get to WW1 after I've established all the history leading up to that point.

    AMERICA
    Spoiler
    Show

    THE CIVIL WAR
    Spoiler
    Show

    It'd been no secret that the North and South had been drifting apart for many years. The primary effect of Manifest Destiny in the previous decades had been to strain the centralized government's presence in the west and south and create tension over several controversial topics; States' rights to governing themselves, emancipation of slaves, governmental control over taxes and imports, and myriad other topics. With Lincoln's election in 1860, the Southern states seceded to become the Confederate States of America and soon after began to wage war on what had become the federal government's armies, the Union Forces.

    The war would become the bloodiest to be seen on American soil, one of the single most personal wars ever fought as brothers in family became enemies in battle and the nation split violently in two. The war can be followed essentially identically to that of the true American Civil War http://="http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...ican_Civil_War.

    In the end, General Lee surrendered to Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant and the Confederate military was disbanded. Stripped of all but their dignity and their six-shooters, the Confederates elected to band together and, under the lead of their former leader, Robert E. Lee, made an exodus west to the new and free lands of the American Frontier. Lee approved of the now-president Andrew Jackson's ideas of reconstruction, but knew it would take a firm hand to keep the former Confederates in line as well as help bring the new unified government's better ideas to the West. So, his first order of business was to oversee the completion of the Transcontinental railway, so that the nation could be unified east to west as well as north to south.


    RECONSTRUCTION AND THE THINK TANK
    Spoiler
    Show

    Lee's men wound up inhabiting a large belt of land including where the railroad was finished (Promontory, Utah). It stretched in a roughly curved line from the beginning of the west side of the railroad to Promontory and then sweeping down through Arizona and New Mexico to Texas and the Mississippi; the majority of them had split off at opportune moments, individual regiments together populating the areas with small towns centered around mining of iron, gold, or coal, connecting the new frontier with the South as well as North.

    The men of the former Confederacy, for all their loyalty to Lee, could not however hold back their wild tendencies. The pistol became the law of the land, and many of the soldiers still did harbored resentment against the centralized government, taking a leaf from the book of Jesse James and rebelling, winding up outlaws chased down by the more moralistic lawmen who had been their former brothers in arms.

    As for Lee himself, the completion of the railroad was not the end of his career, nor his life. In the open expanse of the American West, his health flourished and his life extended much farther than it would had he kept a desk job at Washington. He personally oversaw much of the "diplomacy" with the Native American tribes remaining in the areas; he sympathized with the Indians being pushed about and out of their lands by the federal government and he is even reputed to have stepped in to stop the hanging of one Captain Jack of the Modoc tribe and later on introduced him to Chief Sitting Bull, a man with which he'd become close personal friends after the defeat of Custer in 1876.


    AMERICA AND THE THINK TANK
    Spoiler
    Show

    With the nation fully focused on Reconstruction at the commencement of the Think Tank project in Germany in 1970, the American government had little to offer the world except for the intelligent, eager, 30-year-old Wright Brothers. Come the next few years and reports came of the brothers' flying machines being developed, tested, and implemented throughout Europe.

    Soon the ripples of their waves reached the States in the form of the brothers returning in 1877 to establish their own company, one in which they developed much, much more advanced designs than the warped-wing wood and fabric biplanes the Germans had been helping produce. With the advanced engines and Alchemist's Oil recipes gleaned from the Japanese and British, they began to produce full tilt. It is of note that Alchemist's Oil requires the use of crude oil to create, of which Texas was in no small supply. America once again experienced a new frontier of expansion, a Manifest Destiny of the skies.

    The planes were so superior and so cost efficient to make and power that they saw widespread distribution throughout the lands of the American West where the lack of congestion in comparison to the rapidly urbanizing east allowed free flight as a primary form of transportation. Not long after followed larger and larger designs of airplanes until finally the apex of the Wright Brother's work was released; the dirigible airship. The single-pilot steam-powered prop planes and luxurious airship workhorses quickly replaced the old horse-and-buggy and stagecoach travel rapidly within a decade. The West, with its plentiful supply of oil, adapted quite naturally; shootouts at high noon became dogfights at dawn, outlaw gangs robbing stagecoaches became air pirates heisting cargo airships for all they were worth; posses to hunt down these pirates became squadrons of lawmen with the Ace Sheriff and his deputy wingmen at his side.

    It is also of note that with the concern of stabilizing itself, America did not focus terribly much on production of advanced weaponry and neither did the rest of the world, whose eyes were turned to Germany as the technological wonders came pouring out of the Think Tank. The most advanced hand-held weapon firearms by the 1900's were advanced revolvers and high-quality repeating carbines, though a blend of sharpshooter rifles and carbines were beginning to be seen in British colonies and the hands of some German infantry by the beginning of WW1. The most feared weapons on the infantryman's battlefield still remained the hand-cranked Gatling gun and field guns utilized since the Civil War. Thus, the majority of the American West's air pirates and lawmen wound up sporting light Gatling guns mounted on their hulls. Difficult to aim and relying on the pilot's ability to crank the handcrank in their cockpits, making them less effective than one may picture a WW2 airplane as being.


    For a reference on what the planes may look and act like, reference the Crimson Skies games (replace the diesel engines with steam and make them much more dependent on clockwork, however).


    This update for now only reaches the 1880's but I will add the rest later. Several hours of typing is taking its toll. Until next time, children!
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

    Where did you start yours?
    Individual prison cells in Block D of the Imperial Correctional Facility in the Kessel spice mines.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •