Steampunk Mars - Recruitment Thread - Myth-Weavers

Steampunk Mars - Recruitment Thread

Old May 30 '11, 3:08pm
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Steampunk Mars - Recruitment Thread

Steampunk Mars - Forum
GURPS - Alternate History

This is a steampunk game, set on Mars in an alternate 1921. Technology is steam-powered and clockwork; gleaming brass and intricate cogwheels replace plastic and electronics. Space travel is set at TL5+4; the British Empire favours Nikola Tesla's elegant Ethercraft - sealed wooden ships sailing the void under sails crackling with a cold blue energy - while the United States prefers Edison's Electro-Magnetocraft, using pulsed electromagnets to repel the magnetic field of one world while attracting another.

Other technology is lower, averaging TL5+2, while weapons technology is TL5+3.

The general attitude of the world has not really changed in the last forty years; Victorian attitudes still hold, at least for those born and bred in the British Empire. Americans are still brash and loud - not much change there, apparently. Other nations are desperately playing catch-up with begged, borrowed or stolen technology with which to reap the riches of Mars.

I will be accepting about 6 players.

Characters will start with 175 points, with -50 points in disadvantages, and -5 in Quirks.
Specific disadvantages which require dramatic behaviour may (given GM permission) be taken over the -50.

Cinematic advantages will be allowed on a case by case basis.

Direct all questions to the GM.

Game Description:
The year is 1921 - another 1921.

Forty years ago, a young scientist called Nikola Tesla proved the existence of a force he called the 'luminiferous ether', but he had not the funding to do anything about it - then.
Thirty-one years ago, he achieved his dream, launching the first ship designed to sail between the worlds.
Twenty-four years ago, the ethercraft Britannia Ad Astra visited Mars for the first time. The planet was found to be both hospitable to life - and inhabited.
Sixteen years ago, the first wave of explorers, colonists, scientists and prospectors was on the way to Mars. They found wonders and glories beyond belief. They found dangers and perils. Some found death. This deterred few.
Eleven years ago, spiralling national tensions, exacerbated by clashes in orbit and beyond, drove Europe and the world beyond into the Great War, some say years earlier than it would otherwise have happened.
Five years ago, the Great War ended. Even on Mars, officially neutral territory, skirmishes had broken out here and there. For some, the tensions remained. For some, the war never ended.

Colonies dot the surface of Mars; few and far between. Scientific expeditions try to unearth the secrets of this ancient world.
Alongside dried-up canals, fabulous ruined cities and towers of crystal and glass await their long-dead inhabitants.
The landscape is far too rugged for road travel except for short distances, so airships are the only way to travel.
Taciturn natives go about their enigmatic business, acknowledging humans only to warn them away from the ruins.
Untold mineral wealth awaits those who can just dig in the right spot.

Danger, wealth, adventure and romance await you on Mars. Do you dare? Do you dare not?


Last edited by Ack; May 30 '11 at 3:10pm..
I would be interested in playing. I have some questions.

Are you allowing PCs to be other nationalities than American or British? French, Prussian, and Indian come to mind.

Are there any Martians? Venians? Moon-people? Ganymedians? Titanians? If so, can they be PCs?

Just how weird is your weird science? I am thinking of Frankenstein and The Island of Doctor Moreau?

PCs can be any other nationality you wish; note that, due to the mores of the time, an obvious non-Caucasian in white society is likely to suffer some minor level of Social Stigma.

There are both Martians and Venusians (not 'Venereans', because that sounds like a disease ). Venusians are scaly frog-like humanoids with bad attitudes that like to lurk in swamps and ambush outsiders with poisoned spears; Martians are tall, spare humanoids with enigmatic attitudes and dusty-red skin. They carry spears (non-poisoned, but the heads are made of glass and very, very sharp) and strange-looking bows. Neither are available for use as PCs. There are no Venusians on Mars to date; the climate would not agree with them.

There are no indigenous people on the Moon, as it has no air, obviously . Exploration has not yet revealed any other races in the solar system - yet.

Technology, as mentioned above will be set at TL5+x, with x indicating how far science has gone along the steampunk route. Anything to do with high technology will involve brass, steam power and/or clockwork. Biological science has only gone as far as equivalent to TL7, although due to the Great War, clockwork (and possibly steam powered) prosthetics have started to make an appearance.

If there is something specific that you want, you have to ask.

Originally Posted by EvilRoeSlade View Post
So is this going to be like the Wild West on mars?
Wild West characters can probably fit in, but they will not be the focus. This is steampunk on Mars - Victorian attitudes and dress, steam-powered technology (where clockwork isn't doing the job), feats of derring-do and heroism, airships in the skies. Any tech worth the name will have pistons and/or cogwheels. It may be miniaturised and improved from the tech of the 1890s, but the ancestry will still be clear.

Originally Posted by EvilRoeSlade View Post
Are there horses and lassos on Mars?
Nope (no-one thought to import them), but there's gonna be dinosaurs. Some of these work well as meat animals, and some work well as riding animals. Some, of course, are just plain predators.

If you're just looking to get from one place to another, a Triceratops looks about right. If you're after something sportier, you might try something from the raptor family, but it might try to have your leg off if you're not careful. If you can find a dino that fits somewhere in between, feel free to propose it. I'd leave the T-rex well alone - it looks impressive, but one bad day and it will have more than your leg off. And brontos don't shift out of their swamp in the Hellas Basin.

Somehow I doubt a raptor could even carry a human if it wanted to. Can I train a triceratops to do all the things a horse can do?


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