Recently, we released Sherman3Ds Steampunk Town Tiles!
But that isn’t what this article is about, that is just the thing I’m tying this article to because it fits the topic and the higher-ups like it more when I also mention our products. (As an added bonus, it also makes adding images to the blog article a whole lot easier, but let’s just pretend I’m not lazy…)
Anyway, the thing that this tileset made me think of is, well, why Steampunk? It just suddenly took off all at once. And I’m not gonna lie, I like it a lot myself, too. It has a whole lot of style.
But I think another thing that drives us to Steampunk over the most traditional of RPG settings: Generic Fantasy, is that first word. Generic.
There are a million games out there that with a Generic Fantasy setting. But let’s be honest: We’re getting to that point with Steampunk, too.
I’m not saying don’t use Steampunk (If you do, you know where to go for the tiles…), I’m saying that alone is not going to make your game memorable. You still need that little twist to make it something more. Anyone can do gaslamp fantasy, steampunk with an added side of magic, but what are you doing beyond that.
As much as I like Steampunk, even Generic Fantasy with a twist is better than Generic Steampunk.
How about a gaslamp fantasy that explores the horrors of British Imperialism and the Industrial Revolution, securing England’s foothold throughout the realm with powerful machines, or even replacing the workforce with undead slaves.
Or a steampunk world that explores the pressure cooker of a corrupt society with nowhere to run, a city huddled inside a massive magical barrier protecting it from the horrors beyond.
(First person who can name the above settings, not from video games, gets a no-prize!)
Give your game something special. Don’t settle for just the basic trappings of a setting, come up with something to put a whole new twist on the old tales. Whether you start with Generic Fantasy, or Generic Steampunk or even Generic Scifi, don’t let it stay that way.
Don’t settle for just generic with your game.