Age of Steel is a Tabletop Roleplaying Game in the Diesel Punk genre. The game is set in Neres, a world very similar to our own during the 1920s and 30s except for the presence of diesel-powered mecha, airships being preferred over planes, and Weird Science powered cybernetics.
Six years ago the various nations of Neres became embroiled in a global conflict called the Great War, a mirror of our World War 1. Hundreds of thousands of men and women fought and died in the trenches, as bombs, gas, and Mecha were used by both sides.
Fearing the Great War would lead to the end of the world, genius scientist Johann Ansler created a super-weapon named the Peace Ray and used it to scare both sides of the war into an enforced ceasefire. Ansler subsequently vanished, leaving a fragile peace only maintained out of fear that he was out there, somewhere, watching.
Six years later and the tentative peace is beginning to fray. The various Great Nations have begun plotting against one another again, and in the shadows something even more insidious plots against all of humanity.
Age of Steel games blend occult conspiracy with cold war plotting and a good dose of action adventure.
Tropes found in Age of Steel
- Action Girl: The setting is gender-neutral, so women fought in the Great War. Several specific examples are mentioned in the main book, including Red Molly and Eleanor Greywood.
- Artificial Limbs: Called Mechaugmetics, invented during the Great War and powered by Applied Phlebotinum.
- Anti-Villain: Professor Ansler murdered hundreds of thousands of people in order to save millions.
- Diesel Punk: The core theme of the setting.
- Disintegrator Ray: Anslertech pistols and rifles, both of which leave nothing but dust of their victims.
- Enforced Cold War: The Great War was ended by Professor Ansler using his Peace Ray to destroy a city on each side, and threatening to do so again unless the fighting stopped immediately. He subsequently vanished, leaving the various world governments keeping the peace out of fear of him returning.
- The Federation: the Litvian Empire is somewhere between this and a Hegemonic Empire. Although they are a lot more morally grey than most Federations.
- Gadgeteer Genius: a standard character type
- Mecha: Heavy Battle Rigs are somewhere between mecha and Walking Tanks
- Mini-Mecha: Rigs and Battle Rigs are this.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Professor Ansler is a renowned physicist, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and mathematician. He is responsible for the majority of the Applied Phlebotinum technology in the setting, which is referred to in-universe as 'Anslertech'
- Powered Armour: Anslertech armor are custom-built suits of armour that enhance a wearer's strength and include all manner of gadgets and subsystems.
- Rising Empire: the Free Nations of Kijani. A growing Proud Warrior Race nation.
- Space Cold War: The so-called Silent War currently being waged by the various governments against one another. Not actually an official war.
- State Sec: the Midnight Order of the Theocratic Empire.
- The Republic: the Republic of Kesh.
- The Theocracy: the Theocratic Empire of Prynne, complete with God-Emperor and State Sec.
- Vestigial Empire: the Haldoran Third Kingdom. They once ruled most of the world, but are now in decline.
- Walking Tank: Heavy Battle Rigs are basically this.
- Zeppelins from Another World: Airships in Age of Steel are filled with safe loftium which replaced the more dangerous hydrogen and inefficient helium. Additionally, airplanes never became as popular in Neres.