d20roller
 member, 6 posts
Sun 27 Jun 2021
at 20:11
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm thinking of starting a Dieselpunk superhero game.  I know what the end result looks like:

1940's or 50's timeline.
Nazis and Hitler are still a thing.
Advanced tech gleaned from a crashed alien spacecraft.  Think lots of zeppelins and advanced aircraft, military battlesuits and such.
Lots of gritty, noir elements.
PC's are tough, two-fisted crime fighters
Lovecraft elements.

So that's the aesthetics.  Maybe you folks can help me flesh out the fine details?  Such as...

Who are the main movers and shakers of this world?
How are costumed crime fighters viewed?
Important NPC's and organizations

Fleshing out the fine details has always been my Achilles heel, so I thought - maybe try marshaling the rp community?
Anachronist
 member, 59 posts
Sun 27 Jun 2021
at 20:25
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
First thing that comes to my mind is the Allies efforts to counteract the growing celebrity of the Nazi "Ubermensch", set on a pedestal by Goebbels, Riefenstahl, etc.

These would be the Axis equivalent of Captain America types, in the field, causing havoc in a way that boosts moral and recruitment while terrorizing the Allied forces. Rumors of Alien tech, ancient secrets and and hybrids or DNA manipulation abound of course.

Cue the Allied efforts to compete, hence the costumes, public followings, media coverage, etc. The Allied forces don't just need more talented figures for the cause, they need heros that can restore some hope to a worried and anxious public.

This message was last edited by the user at 21:00, Sun 27 June.

d20roller
 member, 7 posts
Sun 27 Jun 2021
at 20:58
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
In reply to Anachronist (msg # 2):

Indeed - that's not a bad way to justify the emergence of costumed crime fighters.  For my own personal campaign, I need to decide if the man/organization behind the PC team is the government or a private institution.

Watching Hunters on Amazon last year, I feel as if I want to create a version of Al Pacino's character as the backer if the team
Anachronist
 member, 60 posts
Sun 27 Jun 2021
at 21:09
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
I think a lot is going to depend on your level of seriousness. If this were Cyberpunk, this would be the Black Trenchcoat vs Pink Mohawk crowd.

Same basic premise, very different writing styles.

We're you looking for catch phrases, characters plowing through crowds of of faceless mooks in feld grau, and explosions?

Or is this a world where the Axis powers are clearly winning, where the Allied populations are losing hope, and where your characters tragic death is a real possibility?

I'm not planning on applying, my plate is already full, just throwing ideas out there for your pitch and system.
Alcuin
 member, 28 posts
 Retired Bureaucrat
 RPGing since 1974
Sun 27 Jun 2021
at 21:27
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
In reply to Anachronist (msg # 2):

Even with the Nazis surviving, odds are this is going to be a three cornered cold war with Axis, Comintern and the West as the sides and with Japan hopping between Axis and the West while China hops between Comintern and the West and some minor states like Finland, Austria, Yugoslavia, and Turkey, play off against all three sides to try to find ways to survive.

It follows from that the interesting places to play are Helsinki, Vienna, Istanbul or Belgrade.
Kasuga_Kage
 member, 8 posts
Sun 27 Jun 2021
at 21:32
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
It depends very heavily if there are actual "superpowers" in your setting or if its all superscience and extraordinary but otherwise normal individuals. If there are powers, do they all come from the same place? Or the same sources?

For example, you could have the alien craft crash in occupied France. The Resistance is working furiously to ship samples of alien technology across the English Channel before it is all carted away to Berlin where it could prove decisive in the war effort.

One source of powers of course is the Alien Vessel itself. There could be a book or document within that, upon decryption, details certain serums. When used on humans, it creates enhanced humans. Superhumans. Hitler tipped his hand by revealing his new "Ubermensch". French Resistance had made a copy and now that they know what they are looking for, Bletchley Park decodes their own formulas for Augmented Humans.

Given that they were likely not engineered for humans, the formulas are unpredictable. Sometimes they result in catastrophic failure resulting in death. Most of the time, it does nothing (apparently). For a precious few, it results in powers and abilities beyond that of mortal men.

If you want occult powers, the Thule Society on the Nazi side is an obvious choice. Perhaps the Freemasons for the Allies? You could set up a brewing rivalry between Augmented Humans, Superscience Heroes and Occultists. On each side they are controlled and championed by different factions, interservice rivalry at its finest.

If you want Lovecraftian elements, anyone using powers risk their sanity. The superscience? It belongs to the Great Old Ones. Magic? Great Old Ones. Augmented Humans? Mainlining Great Old One mutagens. The ship was sent by a friendly civilization to warn us, with samples of the kind of things Great Old Ones can do. That they were shot down means that the Great Old Ones sleep lightly....
Jobe00
 member, 315 posts
 Role-Playing
 Game Mechanic
Sun 27 Jun 2021
at 21:50
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
If you watch Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, that's your dieselpunk aesthetic right there. To get the Nazi dieselpunk aesthetic, watch Iron Sky. Even though it takes place in the modern day, the Nazis in it have been cut off from the rest of the world since the 1940s, so their tech went a different way.
Ramidel
 member, 1387 posts
 Err on the side
 of awesome.
Sun 27 Jun 2021
at 22:49
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
In reply to Alcuin (msg # 5):

Just as easily, the settings could be places such as Tibet and Egypt, where our heroes race Nazi archaeologists to find Great Old One relics. Bullwhips are optional but recommended.
d20roller
 member, 8 posts
Sun 27 Jun 2021
at 23:53
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
Awesome stuff guys, this is exactly what I wanted!

I don't have time to thoroughly answer all the ideas or questions, but I will expound a bit.

Yes there will be legit superpowers, as well as super science and occult stuff.

I want the setting to focus more on US soil, rather than an actual war scenario.  So essentially I need to engineer a scenario where the cold war happened - but the Nazis are still around.

Perhaps the discovery of alien tech caused a cease fire, as the various world powers cope with their new tech?  But the situation is a powder keg that could explode again at any moment.

I really like the idea that the aliens were attempting to prepare the world against the Lovecraftian horrors, but were shot down, or crashed somehow.  Nazis obtained most of the tech, but some was smuggled to the Allies as well.

So the game itself would be superhero noir, with the threat of another world war hanging in the ballance

This message was last edited by the user at 23:54, Sun 27 June.

Alyse
 member, 753 posts
 Pretty, witty, and gay
 [married since 2011!]
Sun 27 Jun 2021
at 23:59
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
In reply to d20roller (msg # 1):

CAPERS Noir would be a decent fit, you could borrow from Age Of Steel, plus mine just about anything noir or pulp for additional gold. Sky Captain. The Rocketeer. Sin City. The Spirit. Hugo. Indiana Jones. Iron Sky.
Exwrestler
 member, 61 posts
 Literally every
 kind of wrestling
Mon 28 Jun 2021
at 00:37
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
Streets of Fire
Ramidel
 member, 1388 posts
 Err on the side
 of awesome.
Mon 28 Jun 2021
at 01:23
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
In reply to d20roller (msg # 9):

The new wunderwaffen and ubermenschen allowed Nazi Germany to fight Eisenhower and Zhukov to a stalemate, and Hitler's subordinates forced him to agree to a cease-fire? (Decide what territory is held by whom in France, Italy and Eastern Europe.)
Cubist
 member, 94 posts
Mon 28 Jun 2021
at 21:06
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
In reply to Ramidel (msg # 12):

Hitler would never have agreed to a cease-fire. Suggest, instead, that the bastard was assassinated by his own team (something which nearly happened in the RealWorld…), and a saner, cooler head took charge of Nazi Germany. Or maybe Hitler decided he needs to be super, and he died from an overdose of unobtanium poisoning?

This message was last edited by the user at 21:08, Mon 28 June.

d20roller
 member, 9 posts
Tue 29 Jun 2021
at 03:54
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
In reply to Cubist (msg # 13):

Or maybe Hitler isn't really Hitler anymore...
Bluearrow
 member, 1 post
Tue 29 Jun 2021
at 11:39
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
Have you checked out Paolo Parente's Dust? It has many similarities setting wise and might help you form some ideas
Alyse
 member, 754 posts
 Pretty, witty, and gay
 [married since 2011!]
Tue 29 Jun 2021
at 12:22
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
Merging DUST Adventures and Godlike sounds like a win to me.
jebrick
 member, 8 posts
Tue 29 Jun 2021
at 13:45
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
I send the vote for Godlike.
Bluearrow
 member, 2 posts
Tue 29 Jun 2021
at 16:53
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
Godlike is basically playing 'justice society of america' isn't it?

Another source for Nazi's and Chtulu: Achtung Chtulu.
Alyse
 member, 755 posts
 Pretty, witty, and gay
 [married since 2011!]
Tue 29 Jun 2021
at 16:58
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
In reply to Bluearrow (msg # 18):

Godlike is a gritty alternate-history game about superpowered soldiers in World War 2.
Bluearrow
 member, 3 posts
Tue 29 Jun 2021
at 19:24
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
In reply to Alyse (msg # 19):

Thanks. I googled it at first and saw superpowers and WW2 and it conjured images of the JSA. I'll look more into it.
GreenTongue
 member, 979 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Wed 30 Jun 2021
at 16:37
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
"Rocketship Empires 1936" is perfect for this but you may need to search Trove for it.
jebrick
 member, 9 posts
Wed 30 Jun 2021
at 16:44
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
GreenTongue:
"Rocketship Empires 1936" is perfect for this but you may need to search Trove for it.

Trove is shutdown :-(
jdtucker
 member, 67 posts
Wed 30 Jun 2021
at 23:49
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
If the CIA was formed before 1947 you could have a rivalry with J. Edgar Hoover's FBI.
Alyse
 member, 756 posts
 Pretty, witty, and gay
 [married since 2011!]
Thu 1 Jul 2021
at 06:39
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
In reply to GreenTongue (msg # 21):

Rocketship Empires 1936 is indeed terrific, but how is it perfect for a supers game?
Bluearrow
 member, 4 posts
Fri 2 Jul 2021
at 07:22
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
In reply to jebrick (msg # 22):

You can use the wayback machine.
GreenTongue
 member, 983 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Fri 2 Jul 2021
at 16:55
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
In reply to Alyse (msg # 24):

Supers? I thought Dieselpunk was being looked for.
jdtucker
 member, 68 posts
Sat 3 Jul 2021
at 01:11
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
Adventure! either the d20 version or the Whitr Wolf original would work gor this as a base for characters then adding technology you want.
Alyse
 member, 758 posts
 Pretty, witty, and gay
 [married since 2011!]
Sat 3 Jul 2021
at 02:13
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
In reply to GreenTongue (msg # 26):

d20roller:
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm thinking of starting a Dieselpunk superhero game.

GreenTongue
 member, 984 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Sat 3 Jul 2021
at 13:42
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
In reply to Alyse (msg # 28):

Well, low power "Supers" would be doable. "Ironman" and "Dr. Strange" types for sure, not to mention "Hulk". Even someone like "Batman".  More in genre maybe "The Shadow" or "The Phantom" but upgraded with more gadgets. "Rocketeer" for another example.

This message was last edited by the user at 13:56, Sat 03 July.

Alcuin
 member, 29 posts
 Retired Bureaucrat
 RPGing since 1974
Sun 4 Jul 2021
at 14:10
Brainstorming a Dieselpunk game world
Or from British Comics back in the day, The Spider perhaps or even the original Marvelman.