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Champions by Gaslight


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Over in RPGnet a Superseed column proposed an idea of supers in a steampunk world.

I'd like to make a few examples of this but I would like a few ideas to prime my creative pump to get started .  I am thinking to using Mr. Bennie's Gestalt to get a few ideas.  Also what power level would you suggest (I am thinking 40 AP with up to 1/4 advantages for attacks, 15/15 defenses OCV/DCV 7 w/ up to +2 skill and spd 4 for average)

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Digital Hero #39 includes "War of the Worlds: Champions," a 30-page campaign mini-book (for Hero 5E) building on the concepts and events from H.G. Wells's classic novel, but without the deus ex machina of Terrestrial microbes wiping out the Martians. It's 1902, and the Martian invaders have landed in Britain. Their war machines wield devastating heat rays, and "black smoke" which is lethal to the vast majority of human beings. However, in a very small percentage the black smoke isn't lethal, but instead triggers the development of superhuman powers. These new superheroes lead the fight against the invaders, along with regular troops sometimes armed with advanced (steampunk) weapons and equipment designed by the rare black smoke mutates who develop superhuman intelligence.

 

The DH article includes a timeline of events leading up to the default start date for a campaign; several Package Deal templates for common backgrounds from that era in Britain; write-ups for several steampunk weapons and gadgets, and one vehicle; full write-ups for the Martians and four of their war machines; and four sample British superheroes.

 

 

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The art in that article is by our own D.T. "Sketchpad" Butchino. In the book it's B&W/greyscale, but here's a colored version of one of the superheroes, the mighty Britannic. BTW that "cape" is a Union Jack flag recovered from the ruins of London after attack by the Martians.

 

 

 

Britannic_by_Sketchpad.jpg

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One could imagine steam powered power armor.  It would be big, heavy, can't jump well, can't stand being tipped, must be careful the water doesn't run out or the fire doesn't go out...

 

Or you can hand wave that stuff and just have a steam powered power armor. 

 

And it would fit better if I called it armour...

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   For inspiration you may want to know that DC comics had a universe of their heroes set in Victorian times. It sprang from the mini-series Gotham by Gaslight.  It shouldn’t be too hard to find some examples on the DC Fandom .com site.
  If you need help finding the right site let me know.

EDIT   I found the spot.  Go to DC Fandom.com   Earth 19

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11 hours ago, steriaca said:

One could imagine steam powered power armor.  It would be big, heavy, can't jump well, can't stand being tipped, must be careful the water doesn't run out or the fire doesn't go out...

 

Or you can hand wave that stuff and just have a steam powered power armor. 

 

And it would fit better if I called it armour...

The Juggernaut or later editions Dreadnought!

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I'm sure that Ken Hite outlined a Victorian/steampunk superhero setting in one of his Suppressed Transmissions columns for Pyramid magazine.  After all, he pulled off an Elizabethan "Diamond Age" cyberpunk setting with nanites conjured by Dr. John Dee; compared to that, steampunk supers is easy.

 

Dean Shomshak

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39 minutes ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Perhaps Steampunk tech works better? 😂 


   With all respect to whoever wrote him up for the Big Blue Book,  a rusty wheel powered by a three legged hamster with a heart murmur would work better.
                                          ———————————————————————————————————————————————

   One of the meanest tricks I ever pulled on my players was to go through the Asesinos with a big black marker and cross out most of their disads, up their damage and run them at the group. 
   Some (most) of the players had all the Enemies books and couldn’t keep from using that knowledge in-game.  Getting their butts handed to them by a team they thought they’d blow thru taught them to  keep their minds on the game and out of the books.

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Back to the OP.

All my suggestions are 5th or 4th edition based.

I'd suggest taking a look at the Western Hero for rules info and equipment since that takes place in the same time period.  Pulp Hero is also a great resource, it may be set in 1935. But it still contains equipment and material unchanged from the late 1800's. 

 

For flavor there are a lot of RPG and source books out there.

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4 minutes ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Spence I wasn’t joking about Dreadnought. It would be perfect for steampunk just change its radioactive source to something more steampunky and really the Maine too can be steampunk both based on their respective art work.

 

I agree with you.  There are more than a few villains that could steampunked.  Black Harlequin with clockwork toys.

 

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8 hours ago, Mr. R said:

After all this I have a few ideas

 

A proper young lady  and her spirit/genie friend

A young clairvoyant who must meddle in what she sees

A young man who can summon fire

A mysterious master of HTH fighting

 

A young man who is a master of disguise. 

A gentleman thief with a heart of gold and a sense of justice. Not law, justice. (Think Lupin the 1st).

A young woman unsure of her past and carries a semi-magical doodad which allows her to ignore physics in one area, and who is being chased by villains. (Think Nadia and the Secret of Blue Water).

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