Steampunk grows in mechanical leaps and piston-charged bounds every year. While the sub-genre of fantasy literature has been around for decades, new fans are won over every day, due in no small part to the exciting possibilities of tabletop steampunk role-playing games (RPGs) and LARPS (live action role-playing games). If you’d like to explore the world of cyberpunk and steampunk RPGs, check out these great games.
Space 1889 – One of the first steampunk-themed RPGs on the market, it’s enjoying a renaissance of sorts. You can still find used versions of the game online and at specialty gaming shops. A successful
Space 1889 Kickstarter campaign page offers loads of game goodies.
Castle Falkenstein – If you love Victorian-era steampunk, this is your game. An old game, it still commands a healthy following. Instead of dice, the game uses cards for game play. It was later adapted by Steve Jackson Games, where it’s still available for purchase as a PDF or softcover.
GURPS Steampunk – GURPS is a universal playing system designed to be used in a number of environments, including steampunk worlds. Created by Steve Jackson Games in the 1980s, it’s still available in PDF, hardcover and softcover editions.
Über RPG : Steampunk – Crack out your miniatures or your steampunk kit: this system can be played as either a tabletop RPG or a LARP.
Tephra: – This game system, developed by Cracked Monocle, focuses on a Victorian-esque world called Tephra, and includes races you’d expect to find in an epic fantasy: gnomes, elves and humans, to name a few.
Clockwork – Beautiful website describes it as “a steampunk-fantasy roleplay which takes place atop a floating island”. Over 600 members participate in forum discussions, descriptions of playable and non-playable species, and registration for guilds and crews.
SteamCraft – This system is not based on Earth and players are encouraged to forego the Victorian-flavored steampunk staples inherent to most genre games.
Iron Kingdoms – This rich, complex world encourages the use of miniatures. The site offers fantastic downloads and character worksheets, so be sure to browse through anything that piques your interest. It’s available at gaming stores, so ask for a review of the game if you’d like to check it out.
Steampunk is, without a doubt, inventive, creative, and engaging. Role playing games allow fans a way to explore the skies and streets of fantastic worlds powered by human ingenuity. If you’re curious about the genre, don your best airship goggles and give steampunk role-playing games a try.