"Imagine it... The Victorian Age accelerated. Starships and missiles, fueled by coal and driven by steam. Leaving history devastated in its wake."Retro-style Speculative Fiction set in periods where steam power is king. Very often this will be in an Alternate Universe where the internal combustion engine never displaced the steam engine, and as a result all manner of cool steam-driven technologies have emerged, ranging from Airships to submarines; the plausible counterpart to magitek, with a Hollywood Science Hand Wave or The Spark of Genius. Largely, steampunk runs on Rule of Cool, with some supposedly "steam-powered" technology being more advanced than modern electronics. Sometimes combined with the work of Charles Babbage on mechanical computers to produce a kind of retro cyberpunk set entirely in the Victorian era or a close analogue, with Dickensian exploitation. Steampunk may be a modern reflection of the 1930s40s trope of The Gay Nineties, an idealized version of the 1890s. While various works may be more chronologically specific, any time from around 1860, through to the 1910's, can be considered fair game. Think of The American Civil War and the World War I as acceptable bookends: the former is when the technological revolution really started to take off, and the latter when it first started edging into Diesel Punk. The term "steampunk" was coined by K. W. Jeter to describe the speculative fiction stories in a Victorian setting that he, Tim Powers, and James Blaylock were writing in the early 1980s in contrast to the cyberpunk stories like Neuromancer that were saturating media. Steampunk's modern incarnation may be considered a reaction to the popular dystopias of that time: the positive power of the imagination and subversion of the New Technology Is Evil trope are common steampunk themes, although recent steampunk is increasingly likely to deal with dystopian societies, sometimes even drawing upon the works of Charles Babbage to theorize humans with mechanical brains and other things rendering them cyberpunk in all but backdrop and visual trappings. Elements of steampunk that are set in the American frontier are usually referred to as "cattlepunk". Some writers and fans refer to the "shiny happy" version as "Victorian Fantasy", "Gaslamp Fantasy" or "Victorian Futurism". Supernatural or paranormal tropes are more frequently included in this approach, in which case the Encyclopedia of Fantasy favours "Gaslight Romance". The more Victorian branch of steampunk sometimes also incorporates vaguely Lovecraftian elements, as shown here. Another good example of the Lovecraftian/antediluvian influence on steampunk would be the design of the Nautilus, Captain Nemo's submarine, in the film adaptation of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Expect to also see a strong, visible Irish influence, in terms of such features as stained wood, brass, and American frontier-style blown glass oil lamps. You will occasionally encounter some minor overlap with the post-Victorian Art Deco movement as well, particularly in terms of typography. The Zeppelin or rigid airship could also be considered one of the major icons of steampunk, due to the major public enthusiasm for the craft pre-1937. This is despite them being much more commonplace in the Diesel Punk era. To be fair, though, the first airship flew in 1852, predating both the Lincoln Administration and radio- and yes, it was powered by a steam engine. Jules Verne, the first Speculative Fiction writer, is the king of this trope. He and H. G. Wells are often mentioned as the foundation of a literary steampunk's reading list. For added style, however, knowledge of the New Thought movement can help, as can Spiritualism, as both of those were very popular among the Victorians, and very influential on their thinking. In addition to being a science fiction writer, Jules Verne was also a Naturalist. The steampunk Naturalist, as exemplified by Verne and others such as William Beebe, is one of steampunk's most important subtropes. If instead of industrial era technology, the setting has pre-industrial technology, see clockpunk, and if it includes internal combustion engines in place of steam, see dieselpunk, though there can be crossover between them if used purely asthetically. Many examples of steampunk mix in a few mutated monsters (probably in homage to Charles Darwin living roughly in the era depicted), thereby bordering upon biopunk. If it assumes the truth of Victorian-era science, it may also become an example of All Theories Are True. Visual media (and the real life steampunk subculture) will never miss a chance to showcase some seriously Awesome Anachronistic Apparel, and for fanservice's sake a woman in a corset must be involved at some point. As might be expected, steampunk fashion/costuming has a certain amount of overlap with the Gothic subculture, although the Goth look tends to be somewhat darker, and not as heavily focused on machinery as such. Of course, the difference in values between the Victorian era and the present are rarely mentioned, unless the work is emphasising the 'punk' side of things more than most of them do, or consciously attempting Deconstruction. However, any Victorian-era society which actually tried to create steampunk technology would soon find itself in stark trouble. Barring magical intervention, the power requirements necessary to make real-world versions of steampunk devices (or at least Victorian-era versions of 20th century technology) would be enormous, and would soon exhaust all available supplies of coal and wood. A real steampunk society would have to either immediately transform into a fully modern society (with oil, gas, and nuclear power driving devices made of modern, lighter materials) or would quickly become, in all probability, a technological dead end. With this said, the recent development of a number of designs of rocket stoves beginning in the 1980s, have demonstrated that a highly fuel efficient steam boiler may in fact not be quite so impractical after all, at least on a small scale. On this point, it is also worth mentioning that the average contemporary power station still runs primarily on large coal-fired steam turbines, and that nuclear power still actually involves running a steam turbine as well, but simply uses the heat from (ideally) contained nuclear reactions to generate steam, rather than a wood or coal-fed fire. To a large extent, it seems like the fantasy genre is quickly moving away from traditional medieval Heroic Fantasy settings and more towards settings inspired by steampunk. Some modern fantasy authors even combine the two. Not to be confused with Goth, although the two subcultures do share a similar fashion sense and there is some crossover. Should also be noted that steampunk is not rooted from the Punk subculture. Compare with cyberpunk, which shares some similarities with steampunk. Compare Low Culture, High Tech, especially if the story takes place in a real-life historical period. Also compare Zeerust. For a list of tropes common to steampunk, check out the Steampunk Index. Oh, and glueing some gears on it doesn't make it steampunk. As far as hardware hacking or Makerism specifically are concerned, (as opposed to the purely fictional stuff) the steampunk aesthetic exists on the basis of the idea that something looks good because it is good; i.e., a thing's image is an outgrowth of its (effective) fundamental design. This can be achieved in practice, by adhering to a proven engineering tradition, such as the UNIX design philosophy. This video may also help to explain further. There is also a steampunk genre of music (see Music, below), an element of cosplay, and the intersection with the Maker movement as described above (with designers such as Jake von Slatt receiving some mainstream attention). The Other Wiki also has an article about steampunk as well.
— The Doctor, Doctor Who, "Tooth and Claw"
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- In this commercial for the California Lottery, a man is being asked about his dog just as he wins the Lotto. He and his dog transform into steampunks, and fly away in a hot air balloon airship.
"His name... is Cornelius! And he invented long division!"
- In this commercial for Intel Ultrabook, a woman uses one of the laptops in a London Metro station. As she closes it and it converts to a tablet, the scene around her transforms into a Victorian train station and as a steam engine pulls into the station, a curious Victorian crowd gathers.
Chimney Sweep: Is it powered by coal and steam?Woman: No... it's powered by Intel.
Anime and Manga
- Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water is easily the best known example in anime, being loosely inspired by Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea". Everything fom the setting (1889 France), characters and costume designs, to oceanic travel aboard phlebotinum powered submarines, and Zeppelins from Another World, adheres to a 'Golden Age' aesthetic.
- It's hard not draw comparisons between Secret of Cerulean Sand and The Secret of Blue Water, due to the sheer number of similarities, including the titles of both series. Likewise, each is based off a work of Jules Vernenote and has a pervasive steampunk aesthetic. The key differences being, that Cerulean Sand is set in London and the desert is presented as if it were an ocean.
- The feature-length anime Steamboy is required watching for any steampunk affectionado.
- Much of Studio Ghibli's work is like steampunk... without the punk. In particular, Hayao Miyazaki is incredibly fond of Zeppelins from Another World.
- The version of Professor Moriarty from Sherlock Hound uses a variety of steam-powered contraptions. Some of them are fairly reasonable (a particularly large automobile, a steam-powered press for minting counterfeit coins), but others fall squarely into this (an airplane modeled on a Pterosaur or an amphibious paddle-boat with robotic arms).
- Fullmetal Alchemist, like Last Exile above, combines steampunk and Diesel Punk and adds a healthy dose of Magitek.
- Transformers Cybertron gives us Vector Prime, a clockpunk example.
- Although the tech is not the main focus of the series, D.Gray-Man happens to have a relatively good Science Division where everyone there operates by multiple flat screen television and massive steel plants. In the Victorian Era! And the chief of the Science Division creates enormous robots on a seemingly daily basis.
- Ergo Proxy A majority of the series is set around a wind machine called the 400 Rabbits.
- Steam Detectives. Steam-powered cars, robots, etc, set against the backdrop of a city constantly fogged up; with villains using the dense clouds of steam as cover for their nefarious deeds. Machine Baron's motivation is collecting at least one of each kind of steam-powered robot. His episodes revolve around his attempts to steal the hero's Robot Buddy Goriki.
- Forbidden Desert, a cooperative game based on the crew and passengers of a crashed airship trying to repair their ship and escape the title desert.
- The Transformers comic miniseries Hearts of Steel was set in the 1800's with the giant robots turning into Steam Punk equivalents of their regular forms. It also had Mark Twain as a badass action hero who saves the town from a coal powered Ravage.
- Atomic Robo has a steampunk brainwashed cyborg supersoldier, and more bizarrely a moving pyramid with steam powered robot mummies that is operated by a steam-based mechanical computer.
- The Chris Bachalo drawn series Steampunk featuring a cyborg Action Girl version of Queen Victoria.
- The Amazing Screw-On Head and its Animated Adaptation.
- The 2000 AD series Defoe and The Red Seas contain elements of this style, typically leaning towards the clockpunk variant, given the Restoration and Age of Piracy settings, respectively. Defoe actually include primitive automatons explicitly referred to as "Clock Punks", presumably in reference to the term.
- The Nemesis the Warlock storyline "The Gothic Empire" featured a far-future empire which modeled its technology with a heavy steampunk aesthetic. We are introduced to a rebel faction known as the "Young Goths," who, inspired by mid-20th century television broadcasts, wish to remodel their culture along dieselpunk lines.
- There is a 1989 Alternate Universe comic of Batman, titled Gotham by Gaslight, in which the world's greatest detective has to do battle with Jack the Ripper. While it's mostly a straight period piece, the sequel is very steampunky, with dirigibles, automatons, and Death Rays.
- The first two volumes of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neil's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. (Later volumes are set in the 20th century).
- The origin of Alan Moore's science hero Tom Strong involves a steam-powered pneumatic automaton and a gravity chamber at the birth of the 20th Century.
- Bryan Talbot wrote and drew TheAdventuresOfLutherArkwright in 1978, proving that Steam Punk is Older Than They Think. Also the sequel Heart of Empire, and a separate graphic novel called Grandville featuring a Steam Punk world inhabited by anthropomorphic animals.
- The title character of Neil Gaiman's Mr Hero: The Newmatic Man is a steam-powered automaton from the Victorian era.
- The second part of El Eternauta, a long time classic Argentine comic, features Humongous Steam-Propelled Tanks made of timber. Quite cool and original, considering it was released in 1976.
- Marvel 1602 features Lord Iron, a steampunk version of Iron Man in an otherwise Clock Punk world. Because Tony is just that good.
- The Batman miniseries Gates of Gotham features the Architect, a Mad Bomber in steampunk Powered Armor. Red Robin even calls it "steam-punk-ish."
- Arcana Studios' steampunk Originals anthology, and other titles in the steampunk Originals imprint including The Steam Engines of Oz and John Henry: The Steam Age. The steampunk Originals mission statement says "Goggles, gadgets, and gears: considering steampunk on those terms is no less absurd then imagining our reality populated solely by electricians, hackers, and astronauts".
- In February 2014, DC Comics released 20 books with steampunk alternate covers. Some of them are more steampunk than others. (The Green Lanterns in ruffs seem to be about 300 years out...)
- Legenderry: A steampunk Adventure is a Dynamite Comics Elseworld with steampunk versions of assorted Dynamite properties: Red Sonja, The Green Hornet, The Phantom, Vampirella, Captain Victory, Silver Star, The Six Million Dollar Man, Zorro and Flash Gordon. Dynamite followed this up with Battlestar Galactica 1880.
- The Five Fists of Science depicts Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla as action heroes... and gives Thomas Edison an Historical Villain Upgrade.
- Lady Mechanika is set in a steampunk version of England circa 1900. The heroine is steampunk cyborg detective.
- Antarctic Press really went full throttle with this as a number of their comics in The New Tens focus on steampunk including Steam Wars, Steampunk Fairy Tales (which has included Cinderella, Goldilocks, Red Riding Hood and Snow Queen), and Steam Busters to name a few.
- In the NCIS fanfic Shards To a Whole, Tim and Abby decided to go with a Steampunk themed wedding. When Tim explained the concept to the others, Tony was initially less than impressed, since he thought Wild Wild West was one of the worst movies made in the last twenty years. Tim gave the others a primer in Steampunk aesthetic, using the Firefly episode "Shindig" as an visual aid.
- An Alternate Universe My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic, The Mare Who Once Lived on the Moon, takes place in such a place; the first four sentences are 'Lacquered wood. Polished brass. Vented steam. These three things represented the pinnacle of the modern era, an era that shaped and defined Twilight Sparkle's library.' Notably, in this fic, the canon magic is significantly nerfed; Twilight's still one of the most powerful unicorns around, in that she can exert as much force with magic as she can with her own four legs. Almost.
- Treasure Planet features a really interesting fusion of steampunk and cyberpunk, merging steampunk-style culture, aesthetics, and physics with cyberpunk-level technology.
- Atlantis The Lost Empire has some aspects of steampunk in the beginning, considering that in 1914 the characters travel to Atlantis in a submarine so technologically advanced at least in design and features that it hasn't been made 95 years on. Oh, and, the giant drill truck. Then again, this is the film that contains flying fish-like craft powered by crystals full of Applied Phlebotinum, so...
- The Boxtrolls features the rickety car driven by Snatcher and his men and the contraptions built by the titular boxtrolls. Not to mention the massive Spider Tank Snatcher operates in the finale.
- In the The Great Mouse Detective, Ratigan uses a pedal-powered zeppelin and a robotic decoy of the mouse Queen Victoria in his Evil Plan.
Film (Live Action)
- The 1954 film adaptation of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is widely considered a Trope Codifier thanks to Harper Goff's stunning design for the Nautilus.
- The 1960 and 2002 adaptations of The Time Machine. Especially the 2002 version—its "star" has a Difference Engine under the readout dials.
- The movie version of Wild Wild West was definite steampunk, including a steam powered giant mechanical spider.
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, especially Captain Nemo's inventions.
- In the Casper feature film, the mansion's secret laboratory.
- Doc Brown's time-locomotive at the end of Back to the Future Part III: "It runs on steam!". Another example earlier in the movie was his steam-powered refrigerator (which was big enough to take up a garage by itself).
- The film Mutant Chronicles is firmly entrenched in the steampunk genre, though it forgoes zeppelins in favour of flying trains. It actually looks more plausible than it sounds.
- Van Helsing.
- Christopher Nolan's film The Prestige crosses over into this when Real Life "wizard" Nikola Tesla enters the story.
- The 2009 film version of Sherlock Holmes can be fairly safely placed in the (soft) steampunk category, what with the few somewhat unrealistic electricity-, steam- and clockwork-based technologies that show up for their sheer coolness, and the quite accurately dark and gritty vision of Victorian London.
- The movie version of A Series of Unfortunate Events
- Young Einstein.
- The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
- ''Vynález zkázy'' a.k.a. ''A Deadly Invention'' a.k.a. ''The Fabulous World of Jules Verne'', a 1958 Czech masterpiece by Karel Zeman. Enjoy this montage.
- Zeman's The Stolen Airship and On the Comet also qualify, and even his Baron Munchausen has elements of the trope.
- In one of the adventure sequences of Sucker Punch the girls fight in the trenches of World War I against Germans reanimated from the dead by a combination of steam tech and clockwork.
- Master's post-Blaster attire in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome could be considered steampunk.
- In Terry Gilliams' The Brothers Grimm the brothers wear steampunk-esque uniforms and use steampunky scientific instruments which really don't do anything, as they are con men.
- The 1970s Czechoslovak detective comedy Adele Hasn't Had Her Dinner Yet features a lot of steampunky gadgets and esthetics both on the side of the protagonists and the bad guys, given that it's an Affectionate Parody of turn-of-the-century pulp novels and penny dreadfuls.
- The 2012 film Tai Chi Zero is a fictional retelling of how Tai-Chi first got taught to the outside world. The antagonist of the film wants to bring modern (19th century) ways to the village - including a giant steam-powered railway-laying machine. The sequel, Tai-Chi Hero, continues the tale.
- The Geographer's Guild in Paddington with its pneumatic archive tube system.
Live Action TV
- Castle: Had an episode set in a steampunk-themed club, and Castle went all-out getting into the part. The episode in question is held up as one of the few mainstream shows who got steampunk right, and was the result of an open challenge after the... less than stellar use of it in NCIS:LA mentioned below.
- Doctor Who:
- The Christmas special episode "The Next Doctor" (set in 1851) had elements of this, including a hundred-foot high steampunk Cyber-King.
- "Deep Breath", set in Victorian England some time after "The Next Doctor", had steampunk clockwork cyborgs.
- "The Girl In The Fireplace" had clockwork robots in Gorgeous Period Dress. Beautiful and Nightmare Fuel in one package.
- The Eighth Doctor's ridiculously sexy new steampunk TARDIS interior from the 1996 TV movie.
- Also the design of Eleven's TARDIS has a few steam punk nods.
- The wooden Victorian-style TARDIS console room used in Season 14 of the original show looks pretty steampunk nowadays as well.
- The 2010 Christmas Special, "A Christmas Carol," had strong steampunk elements as well.
- "The Evil of the Daleks" had a definite steampunk feel. Or would have done, if the 1967 audience had known about steampunk.
- The Christmas special episode "The Next Doctor" (set in 1851) had elements of this, including a hundred-foot high steampunk Cyber-King.
- Firefly: While not strictly steampunk, the series does contain a lot of steampunk themes (mixing 19th century aesthetics with sci-fi elements and storylines) as well as steampunk character types such as the Wrench Wench, and went a long way toward popularizing the genre.
- Fringe: The episode "Brown Betty" has steampunk and Schizo Tech designs throughout the episode. Although the episode was more Diesel Punk as a whole.
- Lantern City: Bruce Boxleitner is working on a new series, which will take place in an entirely steampunk parallel world.
- Legend: Richard Dean Anderson's series had a genius inventor character who created all manner of steampunk gear, but the world at large didn't have it.
- NCIS: Los Angeles: In one episode, Abby goes to a "steampunk bar." But the steampunks are really just goths wearing brown, they all act rude like punks are expected to act and their vocabulary is laced with words borrowed from Harry Potter.
- Revolution: The Georgia Federation has reverted to this full-stop, converting buses and agricultural machinery to steam power in response to the loss of electricity. Miles notes that their standard of living is substantially higher than that of the Monroe Republic at least partly as a result ("The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia").
- The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne: This show is a Steam Punk series on the Sci-Fi Channel set in the Victorian era.
- Stargate Atlantis:
- In one episode, Col. Sheppard and Dr. McKay had been playing an RTS game they had found on the station, where they each built up and controlled neighboring countries. At least, they thought it was a game, until they found a planet with countries built up exactly like they had specified. Dr. McKay's country was fully steampunk, with leather and brass, goggles, steam power and dirigibles.
- While this is probably the only episode to invoke the trope intentionally, many other planets of the week in both Atlantis and Stargate SG-1 had cultures that were clearly at an 1890s level, from tech to fashion, though it bore little, if any, relevance to the plot. Many establishing shots of smoke-filled cities with skies full of airships, science labs full of brass tubing and smoked glass. The show's artists/costumers, at least, were clearly fans of the genre.
- Tin Man: Sci-Fi Channel's 3-part 6-hour mini-series, a re-interpretation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, has a distinctly steampunk feel to at least the architecture and machinery, with just a tiny bit of cyberpunk thrown in for higher tech purposes. Appropriate to the setting. See "Literature." The Oz books were loaded with steam-tech.
- Torchwood: Captain Jack, captured by Torchwood agents in the 19th century, is interrogated by means of a Patent Electric Torture Device, with the inventors' faces on the lid.
- Warehouse 13: Plays with this, especially in terms of aesthetics, although it's a bit closer to Diesel Punk in terms of the artifacts being handled (like the Farnsworth). The field agents, however, use fairly standard modern tech aside from the aforementioned Farnsworthsnote and Tesla guns. Although when Helena is a field agent, she prefers her own steampunk equipment.
- The Wild Wild West : One of the earliest examples of steampunk on television. Practically every other episode featured a mad scientist outfitted with Verne-style tech.
- The band Abney Park's whole image is based on steampunk, more now than it used to be. Worth noting that part of their image involves their own Cool Airship. They are drunk airship pirates, after all.
- Thomas Dolby exemplifies this trope and has since the early 80's.
- Doctor Steel plays rather heavily into the Mad Scientist end of the genre, and was perhaps the first to bring Hip Hop into steampunk music.
- Unextraordinary Gentlemen crossed over from Goth, and still skirt the line rather heavily, playing to steampunk's dark side.
- The Clockwork Quartet (Also found here) are entirely based around steampunk, have a steampunk synthesizer, dress in steampunk clothing, and one member has a business on the side selling little clockwork devices.
- The band The Cog Is Dead thrives on being mercilessly steampunk.
- The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing have a very intentionally steampunk aesthetic. Their influences (as listed on their myspace) are "exploding boilers, Bethlehem Royal Hospital and her hilarious inmates, working class revolutionaries, [and] mad bombers with ink-stained cuffs." They even released a wax cylinder edition of some of their songs. The first wax cylinder recording made since 1922.
- Voltaire has crossed over from Goth to steampunk (but is still pretty Goth).
- Panic! at the Disco's third album, Vices & Virtues, seems to be vaguely influenced by Steam Punk, which is most clearly exemplified in their music video for "The Ballad of Mona Lisa".
- Professor Elemental and Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer represent a new genre of steampunk music called Chap Hop.
- Steam Powered Giraffe perform as steam-driven robots.
- Rush's latest tour is heavily steampunk-influenced.
- The video for "Turn Me On" by David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj. Minaj as a clockwork robot in a corset and Guetta as her brass-goggles-wearing creator.
- Ladies and gentlemen, The Dolls of New Albion A steampunk Opera. It can be listened to here.
- And there's this song, complaining about misuse of the term: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFCuE5rHbPA
- "Just glue some gears on it, and call it steampunk."
- The Incredible Machine by Sugarland. The title track was steampunk-inspired, as was the corresponding tour.
- German band Drachenflug has heavy steampunk and Fantasy influences in their work and style. Also, they're the organizers of Germany's biggest steampunk convention "Aethercircus".
- Lindsey Stirling incorporated a steampunk aesthetic in her video for "Roundtable Rival", including goggles, late 19th century fashions and an electric violin fitted with a trumpet bell.
- The Iron Kingdoms RPG published by Privateer Press is built on steampunk. Steampunk and awesome.
- Also by Privateer Press, tabletop wargame Warmachine is also heavily based on steampunk tropes; with substantial magic and supernatural elements added in.
- No surprise when it's also set in the Iron Kingdoms. Why make a whole new steampunk setting when you've already got a great one in-hand?
- The Role-Playing Game Space 1889 (Space: 1889), as well as the even obscurer licensed audio dramas based on it.
- The Role-Playing Game game Mutant Chronicles (along with its tie-ins, collectible card game Doom Trooper, battle game War Zone and the 2008 feature film), although it takes place somewhere in the XXVIIIth century, is actually steampunk, as the Mutants and Dark Symmetry (a kind of evil power field) rendered all electronic devices unreliable and therefore practically unusable, so humanity was forced to rely on steam-powered ones. This was averted in later editions of War Zone, where the universe turned more to Diesel Punk and Cybertronic remained straight cyberpunk.
- Warhammer's Dwarves and Chaos Dwarves have loads of steampunk contraptions, including a chopper and for one character, body armour which helps him move. The Empire also has a steam-powered tank.
- The Alchemical Exalted are heroes of a clockwork world who are implanted with steam (and other weird materials) powered devices that make them more effective as hero figures.
- The D20 roleplaying game Etherscope is set in a Victorian, steampunk world complete with the usual paraphernalia. The main difference being the existence of the titular 'etherscope' which allows for the creation of computer-like mechanisms, amongst other things...
- While Dungeons & Dragons is generally a High Fantasy RPG, Gnomes tend to border on, or full-out jump into, steampunk. The Spelljammer setting in particular uses this, where Gnomes even have "rocket ships."
- In the Mystara setting, they've got biplanes.
- 3.5 even features several Prestige Classes made for Gnomes which feature them as steampunk or Clockpunk mad scientists.
- Eberron invokes this trope, along with Magitek, but is more magic-based technology than steampunk. Actual technology is rare and often not worth it, due to magic being so readily available and easy to learn.
- Some of the more advanced realms in Ravenloft feature steampunk elements.
- None does more in this regard than DragonMech, which incorporates After the End and Alien Invasion elements with its steam-driven Humongous Mecha and Steamborgs
- GURPS 3rd Edition had a steampunk sourcebook, which included various steampunk devices, details of Victoriana, and contained three steampunk settings: Etheria (Planetary Romance); Iron ("conventional" dystopian steampunk) and Qabala (a weird variant, essentially "Golempunk"). This was followed by Steam-Tech, with further gadgets including an automaton detective (which was not intended to resemble Mr Holmes of Baker Street in any way). In GURPS Tech Level terms, steampunk is considered TL5+ 1 (that is, as far advanced as TL6, but different).
- The Mage Knight "Black Powder Rebels" faction was highly steampunk, including steam golems and a steam tank.
- A Polish RPG now released in English - Wolsung Steam Pulp Fantasy. It's more Steam than Punk and the authors themselves call it Victorian Fantasy. The setting is something similiar to our world on the brink of the XXth century, but filtered through pulp fiction from the time, with a little bit of classic fantasy and lots of pop culture inspirations.
- Airship Pirates is an RPG based on the songs of Abney Park (see Music), with all the steampunkery that implies - indeed, the world it describes is arguably even more steampunk than the songs, since the band describe themselves as "the only Airship Pirates" which the game understandably... changes.
- Unhallowed Metropolis is set in the 22nd century, after a Zombie Apocalypse wiped out human civilization around 1900. Humanity has finally regained control of a few areas, and is going back to the last golden age of civilization, resulting in a "Neo-Victorian" culture with many elements of this.
- The French Ecryme RPG is set in an alien world with strong Victorian-era aesthetics and classical steampunk technology.
- Castle Falkenstein uses an essentially steampunk setting with some supernatural elements (including Engine Magick) added for a good measure.
- Victoriana, an Alternate History RPG set near the mid-XIX century, has a definite steampunk element to it.
- Deadlands is essentially steampunk of the Weird West variety. It handwaves typical technological limitation of steampunk technology by introduction of 'ghostrock', a kind of coal imbued with spiritual force that can give off tremendous amounts of energy and has other properties very useful to any Mad Scientist. Also, Manitous.
- In Genius: The Transgression steampunk is the latest fashion fad among mad scientists. Humorously the actual Victorian mad scientists didn't create much in the steampunk style but many of them did use Baroque styles based on idealised 17th century fashions (which was also not actually used by 17th century mad scientists).
- From Ravnica, in Magic: The Gathering, the Izzet are a mix of this and Magitek.
- In Mage: The Ascension the Sons of Ether, the Magick tradition who tend the sphere of matter, have a largely steampunk aesthetic mixed with Raygun Gothic.
- One of the precursor races in The Splinter designed technology to run on steam because they just enjoyed the aesthetic. Because of this, steam punk settings and tech can often be found in The Realm.
- Dystopian Wars which features steam powered tanks, massive airships, huge landships, and Humongous Mecha.
- The FATE Jadepunk setting is Wuxia-toned steampunk that closely resembles the Asian-inspired Diesel Punk of The Legend of Korra, only minus the diesel. The book makes it clear several times that the core idea the writers worked to was to play up the 'punk' side and have the PC's go out to fight the corrupt authorities of Kausao City.
- Tephra is a customizable steampunk RPG created by Cracked Monocle. Set in a unique world populated by elves, satyrs, and gnomes, it utilizes a single twelve-sided die.
- Wicked: The Musical has the Clock of the Time Dragon, which is part steampunk and part Clock Punk; the Japanese version cranked it up to ten on the steampunk scale.
- The Mrs Hawking play series, in as much as it is more fantastical than your straight-up Victorian historical fiction. Mrs. Hawking's abilities are somewhat exaggerated beyond what a real human would be able to do, perhaps to the point of superheroism.
- Following the 198-something revamp of Disneyland California, Tomorrowland was whole-heartedly turned into this, described as something "straight out of Jules Verne's works." Walt Disney World's Tomorrowland followed suit in the early '90s.
- Also, the Tomorrowland in Disneyland Paris still is something "straight out of Jules Verne's works."
- Tokyo Disneysea has a VERY steampunk section known as the Mysterious Island, also based on the works of Jules Verne.
- Alton Towers, a popular English theme park, has lots of steampunk influences, mainly focusing on the theme of Victorian travel and discovery. One in-park hotel is steampunk themed, complete with a giant airship and pith-hated gent in the lobby, and one of the park monorails is painted to appear as a locomotive carriage, full of exotic contraptions and the like.
- Fans of Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights nerdgasmed when they discovered that one of the scarezones in 2010 was Saws n' Steam; fissures opening in the ground cause the oceans to dry up, forcing the homicidal citizens of New Yorkshire to take up steam-powered chainsaws and carve up passerby to extract the water from their bodies. The zone notably features a MASSIVE amount of fog in a small alley, as well as chainsaw-wielding maniacs with goggles and leather on each end and a stage with a steampunk police officer monologuing about how they plan on rebuilding their city; one section of the stage has a tank full of body parts that occasionally fires streams of water at the crowd.
- Said scarezone was so popular that the next year, a haunted house tie in was made. Saws n' Steam: Into The Machine actually brings the audience into one of the processing plants, though most of the steampunk design was lost in favor of a more traditional Industrial Revolution aesthetic (except for the facade and costumes).
- Parc d'Asterix in France has L'Oxygenarium. Its backstory is that an inventor named Ferdinand de Teffélé has created in 1900 a machine to purify air.
- Monster High has Robecca Steam, a robot daughter of a mad scientist. Her fashion style is somewhat outdated, but because it evokes steampunk aesthetics, it is quite chic.
- During the final arc of Casey and Andy, the titular duo are back in the time of Grover Cleveland and lacking their usual gadgets to work with for their upcoming plan. When Jenn points out anything they make with the current supplies would technically fall under this, they perk up and get right to it.
- Annyseed: Welcome to the delightful home of professor Tripadiculous! Page 49 - 64. Also, Count Tarrorviene's blood machine in other pages.
- Black Rose, mixed with Dark Fantasy with the main conflict being an corrupt, industrialized steampunk society versus a more rural territory where magic remains a dominant power.
- Girl Geniusthough its creators would rather you call it "Gaslamp Fantasy", as it has as much "luminiferous aether" and "elan vital" as it does steam, and the closest thing it has to "punks" are those gooftastic Jaegermonsters. What it does have is Mad Science. Which rules the world. Badly. From there, the rule is anything goes, as long as some geeky Mad Scientist might possibly consider it Cool, Funny, or Awesome enough. Seen to date are elaborate clockwork robots, Humongous Mecha, Zeppelins from Another World, Frankenstein Monsters, Time Travel, and hand held Death Rays.
- Also a guy who appears to be unhindered by the fact that his head has been replaced by some bizarre contraption that appears to lack all sensory apparatus.
- Sfeer Theory takes place in a Victorian-ish era culture where scientists study the workings of sfeer theory in imperially funded universities. As of yet we haven't seen a lot of steam power itself, but other tropes are present, most notable Awesome Anachronistic Apparel. And unlike other steampunk stories, this series will delve into at least some Values Dissonance in the plot.
- The Continentals: A steampunk murder, mystery, scifi adventure webcomic set in post Jack the Ripper England where Continental Operative Jeffrey Tiffen Smythe and his gender bending partner the adventress Lady Fiona Fiziwigg investigating a series of brutal "mangling" murders uncovers a tangled web of intrigue, adventure—And murder! Read it here.
- Broken Space features cars, starships, and buildings powered by equal parts steampunk boilers, Clock Punk gears, and Magitek glyphs.
- The titular Freakangels rely a lot on steam and Clock Punk devices in their post-apocalyptic London. Why coal is easier to locate than gasoline hasn't been explained yet.
- Britain isn't known for its oil reserves but has plenty of peat and coal.
- The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage is set in an alternate universe where Real Life programming pioneers Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage successfully created the computer in Victorian Britain. They Fight Crime.
- In Jayden and Crusader the character Sir Reginald Derby is a mad scientist of Steam Engines and claims to have a Steam powered time machine.
- Sir Reginald recently appeared piloting an apparently steam powered walking tank.
- The Becoming takes place in a world that relies on steampunk technology and its citizens generally dress in a Victorian fashion.
- The alternate versions / identical ancestors/whatever of the Narbonic characters in The Astonishing Adventures of Helen Narbon & Co. are in a steampunk setting.
- Apparently, in the world of Adventurers, everything is powered by steam. Ardam wonders if electricity wouldn't be better.
- steampunk Soiree, as the name suggests, contains obvious references to steampunk in character costuming, the types of technology used, and the overarching Victorian setting.
- Word of God has said that the sqids, Sam Starfall's race in Freefall, are like this, using zeppelins and exoskeletons similar to the tripods of The War of the Worlds Martians.
- Kate Beaton pokes fun at the sillier aspects of steampunk aesthetic.
- In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, Molly made a steam-powered snowman. He melted :(
- The dreamworld in Honey And The Whirlwind
- One of the main characters of Shadowbinders alternates between our world and a steampunk world.
- Where she ends up on a Cool Ship, that can fly thanks to a magic ring that refuses to leave her finger
- In Our Little Adventure, an airship makes them discuss the prospect.
- Sinfest's steampunk Jesus.
- Unearth which comes across as a mix of Jules Verne and Jane Austen.
- Boston Metaphysical Society: Scientists Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, Granville T. Woods and magician Harry Houdini team up to fight mysterious spiritual forces in 19th century Boston.
- Homestar Runner did a decidedly skewed "old-timey" version of their characters in The Ballad of the Sneak (sung by Da Vinci's Notebook).
- The Ernest Glitch Chronicles (unholy crossbreed with Crypto History). First is about an overclocked horse, second is "Victorian Nitrogen Laser", and so on.
- The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello is a short film about an airship navigator. It was nominated for many awards due to the unique silhouette art-style and the inventive storyline.
- The animation Invention Of Love is a short story set in a steampunk world.
- The League of S.T.E.A.M., a fantastic steampunk comedy troupe. In addition to their live performances, they have a little collection of videos on their youtube channel — including steampunk Ghostbusters parodies.
- In the Chaos Timeline, Germany invents and deploys steam-driven tanks in this timeline's World War One. And wins.
- Tink and Clara of The Guild find a Steam Punk booth at their game convention. Tink dismisses it as "Euro trash for nerds."
- Statless And Tactless takes place in a Steam Punk setting apparently advanced enough to support cars and giant robots.
- The Rise of the Steam Soul from The Wanderer's Library plays it for horror.
- Arms Race: Escalationnote features an alternate version of the Crimean War, fought with steam-driven Humongous Mecha and automatic firearms-including a man-portable, steam-powered minigun.
- While not strictly steampunk, Agamemnon Tiberius Vacuum is a goggle-wearing mad scientist popular in steampunk circles.
In October 2013 TV Tropes briefly changed its logo to a holiday logo featuring old fashioned lettering and a steampunk jack-o-lantern◊.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the Fire Nation boasts Industrial-Age innovations, such as trains and tanks powered by coal, steam, and firebending. Most of these were commissioned by extorting an expatriate Earth Kingdom inventor, the Mechanist, who dwells within a sanctuary maintained by steam-operated mechanisms and whose prize invention is a large, sophisticated steam-powered telescope. This is unsurprising, since Ghibli's works were one of the things that influenced Avatar's creators. The show got really steampunky in season two, where a colossal drilling machine was introduced. Then in the third there were jet skis, and a previously introduced balloon became zeppelins. Indeed, the original concept set the series in a futuristic environment, but the idea was scrapped in favor of an ancient feel. Nonetheless, some technology was preserved.
- Almost all of the more advanced steampunk devices only work through the natural abilities of benders. The tanks, engines, and weapons are powered either by firebenders (who serve as flamethrowers for tanks that seem to use steam engines) or earthbenders (who control crawler-like machines reminiscent of caterpillars). Submarines are propelled by teams of waterbenders, and the hot air needed for zeppelins and war balloons is provided by more firebenders.
- The Legend of Korra takes place in Republic City, described as a "steampunk metropolis" on the official website. Technology seen so far includes more zeppelins, cameras, cars, and speakers. However, aside from the zeppelins, most of the technology is actually very realistic when compared to tech in our 1920's, the time period that influenced the show. Whether or not the setting is as steampunk as Nickelodeon claims remains to be seen.
- Later in the series we get steam(?) powered battle mechs, at least somewhat justifying the label.
- In Batman: The Animated Series episode "Showdown", Ra's al Ghul describes his attempt to destroy the transcontinental railroad and bomb Washington back in the 1880s with an advanced war dirigible, complete with cannons, turrets and gatling guns. Unfortunately, his son ruins it by getting Jonah Hex involved.
- The villain Mechanicles' shtick in Aladdin: The Series. Improbable-to-impossible mechanical creations of all shapes and sizes. However, they were usually Clock Punk rather than steam-based.
- Brownie points for earning a mention on the Clock King page. His plans were often just as elaborate as his machines, and they relied almost entirely on things running according to schedule.
- The Modifyers is set in an unnamed Victorian-esque city, which features scads of clockwork gadgetry and steampowered transports — from trains, to zepplins. Also, the heroine is a teen spy, who has a trusty robot sidekick, and disguises herself as Perky Goth with a British accent.
- The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello has steam and mechanical zeppelins, and is animated as though it were shadow puppets and a light box.
- Rejected Nickelodeon pilot show The Modifyers featured a ton of cool steampunk-style airships.
- Disney's Gummi Bears is filled with Steam Punk style mechanical oddities such as airships, submarines, massive wind and water generators and the venerable quick car. All of these machines are operated without electricity.
- Yet another rejected Nickelodeon pilot, Constant Payne, was steampunk mixed with some futuristic elements.
- The Grand Finale of Batman: The Brave and the Bold opens with a short of John Wilkes Booth trying to kill Lincoln- and he fails, thanks to a space-time-hopping Batman. Seconds later, Booth whips out brass armor with steam-powered gattling gun arms. This is an alternate universe with a different timeline, as Batman subtly mentions on his way back home at the end of the short- after pounding Booth into submission, with a little help from Honest Abe himself.
- While there is a great deal of Schizo Tech running amok, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has a few elements of this.
- In the Green Lantern: The Animated Series episode "Steam Lantern", this is the hat of the planet Hal Jordan finds himself on when sent to another universe by the Anti-Monitor.
- The Phineas and Ferb episode "Steampunx" revolved around this genre. With special appearance by Professor Elemental.
- The crews of the HMS Chronabelle, HMS Amaranth and MHS Hysteria (led by Captains Mouse, Vincent M. Dantes and Edward Von Arkham, respectively) are but three of the crews of dirigible aviators sailing the skies between their hometowns and conventions.
- Also Captain Z and the crew of the Hatefish (a Nautilus-like submarine).
- The trope of the Airship Pirate has become so overwhelmingly prevalent and predictable that a group of fans rebelled against it by forming the Imperial Anti-Piracy Squadron or IAPS, a delightfully intimidating group who entertain and educate about developing costumes and personae whenever they're not showing off flashy uniforms and shouting in pseudo-Austrian accents.
- Thomas Willeford's Brute Force Studios has made several successful forays into the realm of cosplay:
- Perhaps the most famous is his robotic arm, worn by G. D. Falksen in an iconic photo and by Nathan Fillion in an episode of Castle.
- Most recently, Willeford created a steampunk Iron Man suit, calling it "Iron Man 1889". It won top honors in the Marvel Cosplay contest at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con.
- Sillof's Workshop. Features (among other things) steampunk versions of The Avengers, the Justice League, and the entire cast of the original Star Wars trilogy.
- There are some brilliant fan-created steampunk lego models out there.
- Many of Leonardo Da Vinci's designs were Clock Punk or steampunk. Among his designs were calculators, helicopters, tanks, and a robot terminator.
- Disney's gonna do this with Mickey and friends in the upcoming Mechanical Kingdom pin set storyline
- Subeta has a month-long celebration of steampunk for its forum members/roleplayers in the spring, called the Atebus Revolution Masquerade.
- Steampunk and its general fanbase have been affectionately parodied on a Fun T Shirt: "steampunk: What happens when goths discover brown."
- A good discussion of the genre was done here in What IS Steampunk? by The United Federation of Charles.