Gaming Steampunk TTRPG

Dev Diary – The setting for The Aether Throne

An excerpt from the ‘introduction’ section of my ttrpg-in-progress:

There are many different settings for tabletop roleplaying games. Some feature brave adventurers in a fantasy world filled with monsters and magic, others cast players as space-faring voyagers amongst the stars of a far-flung future. It’s fair to say if you can imagine a world, there’s very likely to be a tabletop roleplaying game that allows you to play in it.

The Aether Throne has a pulp steampunk setting. It takes place in an ‘alt-history’ version of our own world, in a time period resembling the late 19th century: the Victorian Age.

In The Aether Throne, a detached but powerful Queen rules over a vast Empire, her prosperous reign paving the way for huge advances in science and technology. The wonders of steam, clockwork, arclight and magnetism have been harnessed, allowing wondrous inventions to be deployed across the whole Empire.

Not everyone supports the Queen and her rule however. Across the poisoned seas of the English Channel lies the Republic, a confederation of countries and city states that view the Empire as an aggressive and expansionist threat. Though the Republic has also discovered the marvels of science, it has an equal if not greater reliance on Aether, a mysterious source of power that allows those who understand it to carry out things that would previously have been thought of as miraculous.

Though the Empire and Republic are not formally at war, tensions between the two could escalate at any point. Threats also exist elsewhere, both inside and beyond the Empire’s borders. Sky pirates, rebellious dominions and fell creatures of nightmare exist, harrying the Empire’s resources and creating a constant state of alertness.

One tool of many that the Empire has employed to combat the threats facing it is The Ministry. A hierarchical organisation with judicial and martial powers, it exists to monitor, infiltrate and ultimately eradicate all who oppose the Empire.

One small operation within The Ministry is its most clandestine. A secretive department which employs renegades, criminals and those desperate enough to seek the chance of redemption it offers. Here, lost souls have a chance of becoming saved, working on secret missions and clandestine operations that the Empire do not wish to be seen to be associated with.

And it is here, behind The Hidden Door, that the player characters find themselves. With a promise of pardon, riches and redemption, they each have their own reasons for being here, and together have a chance of returning to what they once held so dear: their freedom.

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