*HELP* Steampunk Homebrew

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So, right now, I'm actually collaborating with another DM. He's writing the story and the world, and I'm designing the gameplay, and when we actually run the  Right now all I have to work with is a general outline from the other DM of the world and a 3.5e sourcebook I found on Scribd. The background is a little bit different. It's set in America at around the time of the Civil War, except the North is warm and humid during the summer and has an economy centered around agriculture, and the South is cold and has an economy centered around manufacturing and fishing. Essentially, the have switched places, if you will. And there are these extradimensional beings that came to this world and introduced different technologies, such as genetic engineering, cybernetics, robotics, etc., but they also experimented on humans and the local wild life, and for some reason there are certain areas in the world that are what you could essentially describe as being haunted. 

For example, the whole session that started this idea was when we went around the room with everybody taking turns DMing the equivalent of a short story. When I DMed, the players started out in a saloon, and there was a vending machine that gave them powers. One was fire, one was bear claws, one was control over wood, and one was really stretchy. Then they had to go to the mayor's office, but they stopped at the gunsmith's shop to get weapons, but instead of revolvers and flintlocks, they found desert eagles and carbines. Not something I wanted to do, but I was improvising and I figured the weapons would have also been more modern. 
 
When it was the other DM's turn, we were in a haunted mansion with different characters entirely. Everything was black and white, and in the sky outside, there were two gentleman dueling over a woman, and there was this weird ink that turned our PCs black and made us really heavy, until eventually it took over our bodies and we turned into a puddle of ink. Then we were in an empty white room and we were normal again, and a giant eye took us back to the mansion. The owner of the mansion, who was omnipresent, was actually engaged to two different men, both of whom fell ill and were preserved within life support tubes, like in Dragon Ball Z. Then we had to destroy the tubes so that they could die and bring peace. 

So, the basic idea is a sort of amalgam of the two. Right now, I'm working on the different races and classes that are going to be present within the game, and all the different weapons and armor types. Eventually, I'll be making the different enemy types as well, and probably designing and running the encounters. Since it's a more modern campaign, I want to add different rules for taking cover and other, more modern warfare tactics. Generally, I want combat to be very strategy oriented, with different power sets working in combination with each other. 

Right now, what I'm having the most trouble with are the basic classes. Traditional melee fighters don't really have a place in this world anymore. Everybody uses guns. So why is there even a strength stat? And when your fighter is hiding behind cover just like the rogue, there's not much difference between the two, so how do I resolve that? I suppose the rogue could be reworked to be more of a swindler and a con artist, but then what's the point of bringing that guy into battle? Making a good base healer class is giving me trouble, too. Instead of a cleric, we decided on a doctor of sorts, but how do you heal without healing magic? Can you perform surgery under extreme conditions, like bullets and fireballs flying over your head? Magic, ironically, is the least of my worries, I think. For the most part, I've reskinned the basic spellcaster class, with more of a necromancy feel because that's what we were going for. 

So how do I as a game designer hammer out these issues to give each class a distinct role in battle? Any advice is welcome. 
You could see if Amazon still had Deadlands D20. Deadlands was set in a magical version of the Wild West. It feature rules and items suitable for the civil war. A lot of combat will still be hand to hand,wands don't supplant swords in normal D+D.

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

I wouldn't really recommend Deadlands D20 (partially as a biased deadlands fan.)  However, I can recommend some good resources
-OGL Steampunk - A pretty good, somewhat balanced resource.
-Dragonmech - Because steampunk magitek mecha
-D20 Iron Kingdoms - One of my favorite settings!  While the original D20 edition may be harder to find, it's worth the search.
-World of Terah - Another Fantasy-Steampunk setting.  While it's for Pathfinder, it's 3.5 compatible.
-Sorcery & Steam - Fantasy Flight Games' kinda wonky steampunk sourcebook.  I wouldn't really recommend this one too much.

As for mostly gun based rules, Pathfinder's Ultimate Combat as well as the Adventure Path module "Rasputin Must Die" would really come in handy for looking at gun heavy D&D games.

An undead spectre occasionally returning to remind the fandom of its grim existence.

 

 

Some good pointers for the fellow hobbyist!:

  • KEEP D&D ALIVE, END EDITION WARS!
  • RESPECT PEOPLES' PREFERENCES
  • JUST ENJOY THE GAME!
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