For quite a while now my brother and a few mates have been thinking about a writing a steampunk RPG, but have been struggling with system design.
I've been GM'ing Apocalypse World at every UK convention I've been going to for a few months and really dig how quick the system runs.
Could a hack be the perfect design choice?
Problems I have:
Weird and the psychic mealstrom are pretty integral to AW, there is going to be an etheral aspect in EoS called "Steam" but it's probably not as pervasive as the mealstrom and not accesable to everbody.
Combat in AW is (IMO) pretty lame when it comes to PC vs PC and also against NPC's that the GM may want to have some kind of plot for. Does the AW system totally fall apart if you remove the whole not pre planning plot and putting NPC's in crosshairs aspects? There's no real reason why steampunk requires a GM to pre plot anything any more than post apocalyptic settings but it's just the way I see the game coming together. There's going to be a setting in place already for starters.
I've already come up with some ideas myself about how I want to modify combat and the moves system but I do like the way AW works with the 2d6 + stat, 7-9 success with a little bit of GM fuckery, 10+ success.
As for setting, it's not straightforward Victorian Steampunk, more a mix of post apocalysim and steampunk, with a heady dose of Empirialism thrown in for good measure. The mystical "Steam" is going to allow the building of steampunk style artifacts and get around the whole real science hangups. Setting after a massive apocalypse, instead of in alternative history, also allows us to add whatever stuff we want into the mix, without having to worry about history buffs contradicting us on what real people may have been doing at the time!
As always, the trickiest thing is going to be coming up with iconic archetypes and good moves for them. here's what we've got so far-
Anyway, here's some of the imagery that my bro has come up with so far-
If anybody's got any cool ideas for steampunk architypes then feel free to chip in!
More posts on system changes and setting to follow soon!