I still have this setting on my back burner:
Or I might, eventually, build it into something a bit more original built by Thief inspiration.
Anyhow, I wonder how much ACKS, which is a game inspired by antiquity, would fit a more steampunk universe. Not high-industrial steampunk, mind you, but more akin to the themes presented in Thief: The Dark Project and bits from Arcanum. This means a blend of a lot of medieval and early-modern trappings with some steam technology, such as turbines and pumps, as well as some electric lights and steam-powered elevators, as well as some early industry.
Disclaimer: though i’m loosely aware of Thief and Arcanum, I haven’t played either, so I’m speaking more generally about steampunk.
I think the possible supplemental rules for firearms could help. Similarly, the dwarven machinist is already pretty spot-on steampunk, so making a version of that class for each race could be useful (although the dwarf has some pretty good advantages in that department). Beyond that, I’m not sure you can go much earlier than the renaissance and get that steampunk feel. A lot of the Steampunk aesthetic is individual exceptionalism, which highly stratified feudal systems might not lend themselves to well. I could see a lot of endgame emphasis being pushed from domain management to mercantile ventures, while hi-jinks and arcane research stay pretty similar.
As for divine characters, I see two ways you could go about it. You could mimic renaissance/Victorian era religious conflicts of schisms between the older, gilded religious orders and the more deliberately plain, fearful versions of religion as well as encountering new and strange religions when exploring new lands. Alternatively, you could hit the Lovecraftian notes and have a some cults dedicated to sinister elder gods.
If you’re into video games, go buy all three Thief games (the fourth is coming in a month and a half) from STEAM - they’re all very cheap now. While they have old graphics, they’re some of the best urban stealth/fantasy games, have great stories and even great gameplay, and VERY good AI for games from around the turn of the century.
Yep, checked it now, the first two games are $6.99 each, the third is $8.99. Worth every penny. Plus you have a MASSIVE amount of fan missions for the first two.
Also, check out the Dark Mod - a free, stand-alone Thief-like engine you can run missions on (a few dozen exist, all free):
I’m pushing 350+ games on steam and just bought dishonored on the steam sale, so I’ll have to hold off for now. Thanks for the tip though