Steampunk Introduction

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This slim supplement is intended as a bolt-on resource for Lote Modern Age campaigns that assume that technological developments followed a different path – some of which require subtle or not so subtle changes to the laws of physics. Nearly all of the wondrous new machines are steam-powered.

This supplement consists of optional R&D Projects and the related units. GMs may adopt any or all of the weird and wonderful machines presented here.

Steampunk is a subgenre of fantasy and speculative fiction which came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. Although many works now considered seminal to the genre were published in the 1960s and 1970s, the term steampunk originated in the late 1980s as a tongue-in-cheek variant of cyberpunk. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H.G. Wells or Jules Verne.

Glossary of Terms

  • Aéronef: Flying Machines using vertical propellers for lift and horizontal propellers for lateral movement. These come in a variety of sizes ranging from Scouts or Gunboats to the gigantic Dreadnaught.
  • Engineering: The ability of Industrialized nations to use Siege Engineer units to assist in the construction of various national projects.
  • Factories and Yards: The facilities that enable Industrialized nations to build modern aéronef and undersea vessels.
  • Industrial Capacities: a limit on the number of certain units and projects that can be built by a nation in any given turn. There are two different types of Industrial Capacity: First, Intrinsic, which is based on cities and trade centers and represents the number of Heavy-type combat units that can be built at that location and apply to all culture types. Railroad Projects by industrial cultures are also counted against this capacity. Dockyards are required to utilize the intrinsic yard capacity of Port Cities to build certain types of Renaissance ships. Second, Specific Yard Capacity which is based on Factories and Yards built by Industrial cultures and apply to the construction of Steamship, Aircraft, Airship and Submarine units.
  • National Force Points (NFP): A representation of the manpower. One NFP roughly equals 400 men.
  • Railroads: A new Megalithic Construction Project for Renaissance (TL 11) and Industrial nations, allowing them to ship units and goods much more quickly.
  • Research Projects A new form of investment for Industrial nations, allowing them to develop new kinds of units, factories and capabilities (once they have achieved certain pre-requisites, particularly minimum tech level). Research projects are measured in numbers of “Advances”, and are governed by an investment die roll, much like Quality Ratings.


  • At the Earth's Core, by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • The Clipper of the Clouds, by Jules Verne
  • The Land Ironclads, by H.G. Wells
  • Landships – British Tanks in the First World War, by David Fletcher, Her Majesty’s Stationary Office
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Lords of the Earth, 6th Edition © 2010 Thomas Harlan
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
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