Developing a new Setting

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I'm working on a new campaign setting for a future game and I'm just looking for some input/collaboration on it. the basics of the setting are that it is a 4th edition D&D system setting set completely underground, but barred off from the Underdark to keep it entierly independant.

The setting is focused around a collection of caverns, and has a pseudo-Neovictorian steampunk style. I intend to include things like flintlock guns, steam engines, zeppelins (the major caverns will have amazingly high ceilings), steamer ships (for underground oceans), and a neovictorian culture for the human civilization living there. I'm developing a new set of playable races which will have humans, but include three new races called the Esper (an FX focused race similar to albino elves), Claymen (a sort of goliath/dwarf inspired race), and Dolls (a race of living automotons similar to warforged). I also intended to limit the power sources avaliable. Martial will be the most common and avaliable, and I'm trying to decide if I want either Arcane or Psionic as the second most prolifant source. I don't have access to the PHB 3 so I'm more inclined to lean toward Arcane. I'm considering primal power as a lesser source, and banning devine power since I don't intend to have the gods being a big influence in the setting, if they are even there at all.

I'm working on new monsters, and more ambiguous resources intended most for story telling purposes such as a newtonian fluid I'm calling Aether which may act as an alternative fuel for steam engines as well as a power source for unique firearms, and a new metal I'm calling Glim, which may give weapons made from it a unique property.

Mostly I just have some fluff right now, and I havn't delved too much into crunchy stuff. I'm hoping to get ideas, inspiration, suggestions, and general help from fellow DMs here. Mostly advice on which power sources should be most prominant in the setting, and what things to include/create to really bring across the feeling of a neovictorian steampunk setting.

Any input is appreciated, and I will provide what fluff I have written so far if requested, though I'm trying not to reveal too much since I have players who frequent these boards and I'd rather they not get too much information before I'm ready to have a session 0 with the group.
Perhaps a Fungle? Bats fly in from holes high in the caverns,they deposit guano,the source of fertilizer and alchemical substances. This Guano allows for a jungle made up of mushrooms,some of which are food,some of which glow with biolumience.Just a random thought.

I will immediately report any Phishers or Lonely Hearts Scam Artists.

I've already considered fungal forests and included them in the plans for the setting, but thanks for contributing.

I'm trying to come up with an alternative for horses right now. Something that would seem common underground. However, I don't want anything as cliche' as giant lizards, or as unusual. I'd prefer something that is similar to a horse in most respects. i'm not sure if there is a creature that would serve this purpose, or if I should create my own. And if I create my own, I'm not sure what to call it.
What about moles? They can move underground quickly and can even dig new tunnels. Maybe base them on the badgermoles from Avatar a bit but make some persoanl touches.


Alternatly, you could use bears. Bears frequently live in caves, it could be possible that the people lured down baby bears and trained them to be beasts of burden or mounts. Plus they cvould be used as defenive guard dog replacements for PCs to fight.  
Could I suggest Primal over Divine? That allows for greater tension between those who favor technology and advancement and those who wish to return to the "old ways", which also provides the basis for an adventure arc. 

Also, could I suggest that you go through the "Underdark" book if you have it? There is plenty of suggestions for terrain and typical encounters in there for you to plunder. Further the "Plane Above" book provides premade vehicles and suggested skill challenges for them for astral navigation which you could probably use for your zepplins and ships with a bit of tweaking. 

In terms of mounts, how about an enourmous bird that re-evolved forlegs (a sort of Dire Dodo). Alternatively, you could have somewhat slightly humorous and have gigantic toads/frogs, the ride may be rough but they could easily ignore terrain that would prove insurmountable by other beasts of burden (cliffs, large boulders, lakes etc.) and they would prove useful in keeping the local giant fly/spder population down.

 
Would a giant 500 lb pig be a suitable mount? Can live off garbage and can serve as a source of food and goods, use everything but the sqeal.

I will immediately report any Phishers or Lonely Hearts Scam Artists.

The idea I have been kicking around for a pseudo-steam punk D and D setting includes many pressurized gas or water turbine driven machines. 

There is a substance(carefully producted by secret chemists), a liquid, when exposed to moisture in the air, produces a gas. The upshoot of this is a fuel used to power machines via pressurized gas. Smaller tanks of the liquid are used to create the high pressure burst needed to fire a gun. In a pinch, a person could throw and break a tank of the liquid to create a concussive blast. 

I don't know if this would fit with your world idea. I just wanted to introduce firearms without the troubles of gunpowder, and to create ways for the characters to find and power up old lost equipment as they explore the now mostly abandoned stream punk aspects of the world.

 
The old Spelljammer setting had some unusual flying ship designs? Spelljammer.org had some downloadable deck plans that could serve as battle mats?

I will immediately report any Phishers or Lonely Hearts Scam Artists.

The idea I have been kicking around for a pseudo-steam punk D and D setting includes many pressurized gas or water turbine driven machines. 

There is a substance(carefully producted by secret chemists), a liquid, when exposed to moisture in the air, produces a gas. The upshoot of this is a fuel used to power machines via pressurized gas. Smaller tanks of the liquid are used to create the high pressure burst needed to fire a gun. In a pinch, a person could throw and break a tank of the liquid to create a concussive blast.



This actually works very well for my purposes. I was already entertaining the idea of a fluid for my setting that would serve a similar purpose. This has actualy helped me move my own idea along. Many thanks. Very inspirational.

Still haven't decided on proper mounts. I'm leaning toward a bird-like creature similar to an ostrich but with four legs. Not sure what to call it though.

I'm also sifting through the various classes and trying to decide which would work best in the setting to maintain the low-magic/victorian aesthetic.

Having  abit of trouble developing statistics for the monsters of the setting. I've come up with a few names and ideas, but stating them out and making the unique is proving difficult.

Working on a 'cybernetics' system that will allow for magic or possibly steam powered prosthetics and enchancments. Basing in on Golem-tech cybernetics from the d20 Modern cyberscape enhancment book and thinking of connecting it to a combination of alchemy and rituals.

Help, suggestions, ideas, ect. for any of these areas would be most appreciated. If requested I can start posting some of the fluff for the setting, though I'm going to try not to reveal too much right now. I may end up creating a wiki for the setting if I can figure out how to.
Use Arcane; pscionics are metaphysics. 


Steampunk means industry; industry means cities and civilizations; a whole different realm and game having to deal with urban-centers and societies.  More social game.


Reminds me of a Changling: the Dreaming game...
Famous Athasian last words: "Hey, you're wrong. I know elves, I've played AD&D for eight years. They're noble, sylvan creatures who will honor their word." In the desert, everything's further than it looks.