I have been toying around with 2 different ways for implementing steam power into my world and I believe that I want to pursue both of them. I think this presents the possibility to build more interesting and varied characters. I will explain both of these options below.
Steam Weapons – Re-flavoring Magic Items
The first, and by far the easiest way, of dealing with steam powered items is to simply re-flavor existing magic items to fit into the Steam flavored world. Of course this does cause some problems, especially with anti-magic zones, but I haven’t really come across many of those as of yet in 4e. Maybe this is safe. Some items of course simply wouldn’t be able to make the change into steam power, but it is safe to say that most magical weapons and many magic armors could easily be converted using a flavor shift.
Steam Attachments – Just a little something something
I have been toying with the idea of adding weapon attachments into 4e Dungeons and Dragons. I feel like attachments are vastly lacking in the game, up until this point, but really shouldn’t be. So I guess I should first explain what an attachment is, in my mind.
To me, an attachment is a non-magical item, of low level, which can be attached to either a weapon or armor in order to gain some static, permanent, benefit. These benefits may be small or highly situational, but they would add flavor and character to a person’s fighting style.
I’ll give a fairly obvious example of a weapon attachment from past versions of D&D: The Armor Spike – this is something that can be attached to a suit of armor and really adds flavor to both that suit of armor and to the character that is wielding it. I love this little spikey bits. Who doesn’t? They make for a great addition to a menacing character in order to really give the look that one is trying to accomplish.
Now, as for my game, what kind of attachments am I thinking of adding to make the game more interesting? One example of a requested attachment came up from one of my player’s in our last session. He is new to the game, but is very much enjoying it. He is one of the few players which is really taking advantage of my homebrew setting. He is playing a Revenant Half-Elf Ranger styling himself after a Sniper of sorts. We often compare his character to a prettier zombier version of Irvine from Final Fantasy VIII.
As I mentioned earlier, black powder weapons are available in this setting for purchase and use, so, our sniper is using a long-rifle for his weapon of choice. But, getting back to the point, in our last game, he asked if he could get a bi-pod for his rife that he could use when he is prone. I thought this was a great idea. Why not? Being prone has its downsides, but it would be interesting to have a character who lies in the bushes with a rifle shooting at combatants from the sidelines. So, I thought I would make him a bi-pod (rules for this will be coming soon).
So, with the idea of attachments now firmly in your mind, I will continue this post in part 2 and explain how Steam Attachment will work in 4e D&D and the link they have to psionics. Have I got your attention now?