About Steamscapes

Steamscapes is a new game setting for Savage Worlds. It is a realistic alternative historical approach to steampunk. As such, it contains many of the things you would expect in a steampunk setting - airships, automatons, electricity gone wild - but places them in a real-world context. The world of Steamscapes is recognizable but changed. You will find many familiar faces and places, but their roles are not always what you expect.

Gunslinger's Guide Teaser 3 - Choctaw Lighthorsemen

When we discuss Gunslingers and their professions, we must also discuss the places where they gather. Law enforcement organizations commonly collect Gunslingers from around the region. Many nations employ the most elite to police the widest jurisdictions with a federal mandate. In the Plains Tribal Federation, those Gunslingers comprise the Choctaw Lighthorsemen.

Gunslinger's Guide Teaser 2 - Tiburcio Vasquez

The term "Gunslinger" of course covers many different professions, and we would be guilty of serious omission if we failed to mention the outlaws as well as the lawful Gunslingers. However, not every wanted criminal is as despised by the public as by the law. Some figures are more romantic, more storied, and more controversial. One such man is Tiburcio Vasquez, a horse rustler who many consider to be a 19th-century Robin Hood.

Gunslinger's Guide Teaser 1 - Stagecoach Mary Fields

In the upcoming Gunslinger's Guide, we are including a number of prominent historical examples of gunslingers from 1871 North America. In doing so, we hope to accomplish a number of things. We want to offer some examples of NPCs for gamemasters and players to use in their own campaigns, we want to give players who are choosing the Gunslinger profession a variety of choices as to how their character might interact with the Steamscapes world, and we want to invite readers to explore the real history surrounding some figures who are not well known but very much worth spotlighting.

 

Dev Notes 11 - Why Make a Splatbook?

For the last month or so we have been ramping up our development of what we hope will be the first of several rules and background supplements for Steamscapes. If you have been watching carefully, you will know that we are writing a PDF-only release that will be a guide specifically for the Gunslinger profession. We will soon begin posting teaser information about that book, but in the meantime we thought it would be useful to discuss why we would even want to make such a thing in the first place.

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Rivalry Plot Point Campaign - Chapter 4

The latest episode of our Rivalry Plot Point Campaign is now available at Studio 2 and DriveThruRPG! Things become much more dangerous as our heroes travel towards the mysterious Weaverville...

Dev Notes 10 - Lessons From My First Year as a Small Game Publisher

This month marks the 1-year anniversary of the existence of Four-in-Hand Games. I have learned so much this year about so many aspects of game writing and publishing, and I would like to humbly offer some of the lessons that I have picked up along the way. I hope that they may be helpful to someone out there.

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Dev Notes 9 - What is a Roleplaying Game?

Thanks to Enworld forum user Evenglare for reminding everyone of this XKCD comic.

Because our last pair of Dev Notes weren't sufficiently controversial, I thought I'd tackle one of the most contentious and frenzy-inducing questions within the gamer community: "What is a roleplaying game?" This is a question that really does not seem to have a right answer, but it definitely has plenty of wrong answers. Just try to assert your opinion on this topic in any RPG-related forum and you had better be wearing your fireproof pants. In classic internet parlance, it's flamebait. Nevertheless, I believe it is time we address it.

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Rivalry Plot Point Campaign - Chapter 3

After a short December break, we are releasing the next chapter of our ongoing plot point campaign! In this episode, our adventures find themselves immersed in the local politics of San Francisco. Of course, politics can get very personal and bloody out on the frontier that is the Rocky Mountain Republic. This episode also offers a glimpse at the larger forces at play in what has up to now seemed to be a simple corporate rivalry.

Download the latest adventure here:

Dev Notes 8 - Sexism and Power in Steampunk (Part II)

"You're in Victorian garb? Where's your corset?"
"Under my dress. Where it's SUPPOSED TO BE."
-Actual conversation reported to me by a costume enthusiast

 

In our last Dev Note, we addressed some of the problems games face in developing a Victorian setting with regard to realistic representations specifically of women. It is important to note that we acknowledge the value of choosing to present an unrealistic and artificial equality. But we hope that we have presented some reasonable argument that realism (or at least quasi-realism) can be valuable in creating interesting and even important female characters for your game.

However, there is a more thorny issue in the steampunk genre, and particularly in steampunk games. Today we will tackle the subtle inherent sexism of the steampunk aesthetic, and it largely has to do with one particular article of clothing: the corset. In many ways, the corset has become the steampunk version of the "bikini armor" problem in fantasy settings.

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