Cogs. Steam. Cogs and steam. Have the itch to get some steampunk in your fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons life? You’re not alone. Steampunk, and other niche genres derived from it, is a great addition to any fantasy setting. You can start your D&D steampunk experience by simply reskinning equipment and environments with all manner of odd baubles and whirring mechanisms or as deep as to tinker and toil brand new home brew to bring your steamy thoughts into life.
Creating a D&D steampunk fantasy setting
So what does it take to make a fantasy setting full of clanking gears and hissing steam? Firstly, it would help quite a bit to have every player at the table excited for it. Once you have that, then you decide how deeply you want to dive into the soot and grease. Putting up set pieces of goblins turning wrenches on massive constructs ambling along on complex mechanisms could be enough to get your players immersed into the world. Creating an NPC steeped in the steampunk vibe for the players to meet can help a lot with getting that flow going around the table.
You can use one of mine that I created in the past. Jorjin Gimbledoogle is a rock gnome tinkerer. An older gentleman, red haired with a well=kept, pointed beard. Jorjin runs a company that builds and sells auto-mechanisms that help with the labor in his desert border city. My party needed to cross the vast and dangerous desert, but that wasteland had a terrible reputation for not only being generally inhospitable but being infested with purple worms. The only means of getting across safely is by use of a sand ship, invented and constructed by Jorjin. It would allow you to create a high-speed, ship-style encounter that has a very steampunk edge to it.
Are you excited for more steampunk in you life? If so, you could also check out Ironrise, a really cool board game currently seeking pledges on Kickstarter. Check out the video below for more ideas and insights from Nerdarchists Dave and Ted about how to incorporate D&D steampunk elements into your fantasy setting.
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Child of the Midwest, spending his adolescence dreaming of creating joy for gaming between sessions of cattle tending. He holds a fondness for the macabre, humorous and even a dash of grim dark. Aspiring designer spending most of his time writing and speculating on this beautiful hobby when he isn’t separating planes.