"Magic" in a Steampunk game

Games with combat, inventory, crafting and more beside a story and dating/life sim gameplay
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jack1974
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Re: "Magic" in a Steampunk game

Post by jack1974 »

Thanks for the link, will be useful to me and Fen as research for the game :)
P_Tigras
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Re: "Magic" in a Steampunk game

Post by P_Tigras »

Others have hit on it already, but magic shouldn't be "magic" in a steampunk game, it should be "weird science". In the 19th and early 20th centuries numerous scientific hypotheses and theories such as phlogistan, the four humours, luminiferous ether, and the mysterious planet Vulcan were discarded. But what if the universe worked a little differently and those theories and others turned out to be true, and supported by numerous peer-reviewed scientific journal articles published by the eminent scholars of the Royal Society of London? Basically you can extrapolate on these sorts of scientific developments to justify all sorts of otherwise unexplainable and downright strange phenomena, ie. magic. Potions would be a hold-over from unenlightened times, but an elixir or a tonic, now those would be in keeping with the spirit of the age of reason, even if they may be effectively the same thing.
Last edited by P_Tigras on Tue May 14, 2013 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Franka
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Re: "Magic" in a Steampunk game

Post by Franka »

And phlogiston is just awesome.
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jack1974
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Re: "Magic" in a Steampunk game

Post by jack1974 »

Thanks. Looks like Fen will have a bit of world building to do :wink: but this stuff seems really fun!
DunKalar
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Re: "Magic" in a Steampunk game

Post by DunKalar »

If you think about the certain smog problem, maybe the world launched some sort of satelite or built a gigantic wind turbine to use the rising smog as a giant steam source for energy ;-)

Maybe the Neuromancer Trilogy can offer some hints about a nice background world although it is a sci-fi novel. but the mood and the environment would fit into a steam-punk world as well.

If you want to build a depressive/dark world (i.E. because the world drowns in poverage because of the pure capitalism who left only a handfull of people who own, rule (and fight for) the city) you can even think about a scenario where the majority of the world is addicted to alchemy/drugs to get through the day. This could be combined with a billionaire who controlls the city by producing those drugs to keep the people under control.

Maybe there is even a clinic where people "disappear" to be used as guinea pigs for the first invented steam driven "cyberware".

Or the city/country is so heavy polluted that your character tries to set up an expedition to move away. There can be plenty of funny happenings when you try to get along with your fancy steam punk stuff in the wilderness where there is no technology around to fix broken equipment :-D
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Miakoda
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Re: "Magic" in a Steampunk game

Post by Miakoda »

A bit late to the discussion, but there are some other things one can certainly do with Steampunk, even if one doesn't use 'magic' as most fantasy games portray it.

Heck, you could even make other 'races' if you wish. I'm thinking Island of Dr. Moreau here. Experiments on animals, humans, etc. Maybe an underclass of beastfolk used to do the heavy labor, and viewed as disposable.

This also leads to the influence of Frankenstein. I admit, when I first saw 'Undead Lily' I thought it might have been a Steampunk inspired world :)

And depending just how far off the beaten path one gets, you could have clockwork automata. Instead of golems (fantasy) or robots (heavy sci-fi)...

However, if you do decide to have magic, definitely make it more subtle. However, 'magic' wouldn't be unknown...after all, some Steampunks idolize the Victorian era, and it was during this time frame which saw the explosion of the spiritualist movement (and could allow for ghosts, etc.) Heck, Kirlian photography could be a new, breaking science :

I admit, the idea of a corseted female 'adventurer' scandalizing society mores by romancing the daughter of a wealthy industrialist seems fun ;)
Madance
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Re: "Magic" in a Steampunk game

Post by Madance »

Fantastic ideas, Miakoda. I think "magic" could always be a new science/technology or as you suggested, a spiritual thing... Maybe even something considered as a sickness! ^________^ The things that could be done are simply INFINITE.
Mutants could also be those that had "special abilities". They could cast spells and everything, but would suffer A LOT of prejudice(since they were all "aberrations of science").
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Miakoda
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Re: "Magic" in a Steampunk game

Post by Miakoda »

Madance wrote:Fantastic ideas, Miakoda. I think "magic" could always be a new science/technology or as you suggested, a spiritual thing... Maybe even something considered as a sickness! ^________^ The things that could be done are simply INFINITE.
And in real life, there were those people who did believe what would become spiritualism, etc. would eventually be explainable by the laws of science.

Ultimately, it depends on what sort of Steampunk you want. You could have the marvels of Captain Nemo and the Nautilus...to the decadence and horror of Aleister Crowley and Jack the Ripper.

Something else to bear in mind is a lot of movements, beliefs, also came about as a reaction to real world events, and could be included in a game world.

Some of the work that led to Communism was as a result to the rampant greed and corruption of certain industrialists.

For that matter, the Luddite movement (anti-technology) also arose to technological innovation, as well as people who lost their jobs, etc.

(Admittedly, there were a lot more factors to the formation of the Luddites, Communists, etc. as well)
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