|#1havardMay 27, 2007 13:39:14||Im currently running a little Blackmoor campaign using the assumptions that this world will one day become Mystara. |
Im using Beastmen in the place of Orcs and goblins and also making other modifications to the setting to make it consistant with Mystara.
One of the aspects I am struggling with is the slow building up of technology that will one day lead to a society that is able to accidentally set off the Great Rain of Fire.
My assumption here is that Blackmoor technology stems, not only from the discovery of the FSS Beagle, but from older technomagical research that will eventually be strengthened by such discoveries.
What I a looking for are ideas for every day devices that already could exist in Blackmoor society to convey the feel of a technomantic society without neccesarily being stuff that can be used by PCs.
I am considering things like:
* Steam powered wagons (light ones)
* street lights
* primitive one-manned ornithopter
All of these things will be in the style of proto-types. Blackmoor isnt even a renaissance society. I portray it as clearly medieval, but with the Wizards of Blackmoor University constantly coming up with new inventions (Frankenstein style) that shock and surprise the inhabitants of Blackmoor city.
Outside that city, most of the world is still stuck in the dark ages....
|#2jakob_pawlowiczMay 27, 2007 17:44:02||Hi Havard |
You make early Blackmoor sound almost like the world of "Girl Genius" by Phil & Kaja Foglio.
The Wizard University sounds like a place is being run by wizards, three mad hatters and a couple of priests of Korotiku. A place of madness, magic, and uncontrolled creativity.
If that is the case, I would suggest:
Hotairballons, primitive bicycles, contraptions with waaay to many cogs, ect.
Just my 2 cents
|#3happylarryMay 28, 2007 4:35:32||There are probably a number of directions you could take this.|
Presumably the technological edge that Blackmoor received was founded on weaponry - see the picture on the front of DA1 - so things of that type might feature highly.
Also, I've always thought of Blackmoor technology as being successful, rather than the slightly comic gnomish type - successful and with a dark edge
So - initially - presuming gunpowder is off limits - then steam powered catapults, ballista etc - perhaps a steam powered 'repeater' crossbow / ballista - and steam powered battle juggernauts. That kind of thing
My thoughts for the moment
|#4havardMay 30, 2007 12:57:14|
I might very well steal some ideas from Girl Genius Jakob, thanks for the link! I guess the biggest difference though is that Blackmoor as I envision it is a much more serious place. Also, Girl Genious seems to be more of a 19th C setting with weird steam tech. Blackmoor more resembles Europe around ca 1000 AD (Again my interpretation).
I like your ideas for various contraptions though
|#5havardMay 30, 2007 13:04:14|
There are probably a number of directions you could take this.
Yeah, the D20 sourcebook also has the Dwarven Steambore, which from what I understand is based on the thing from the DA1 cover. Other similar kinds of battle juggernauts could indeed be around. Maybe they will take the place of the Iron Kingdom Steamjacks (Mechs).
I think I actually might allow gunpowder. Perhaps instead of making elegant wheel lock pistols though, I'll keep them as the kind of primitive hand cannons from Bruce Heard's article in Dragon. I also like the idea of steam powered balistae though, especially if they are shooting huge metallic spikes, like the ones the Reavers use in Firefly (This would be something the Egg of Coot uses I think...)
I think your observation about Blackmoors tech being serious (as opposed to Gnome tech) and even with a dark edge is spot on for what I want for this setting. The darkness might foreshadow the fact that technology is indeed what will one day destroy that civilization.
The idea for my campaign now, is that the PCs will find out that Blackmoor has no choice. They need to develop technology to defeat their enemies and not be wiped out. Once the technology is there though.... tragic really... :evillaugh
|#6culture20May 30, 2007 21:01:38||The computer game Arcanum might give a few ideas, including the idea that magic & tech don't mix well (tech relies on physics, and grounds physics like a barge on a lake stills the ripples; magic relies on bending physics, and acts like the wind, or sometimes a large rock, making waves).|
Arcanum had trains, but mages had to ride in the caboose (and powerful mages were restricted altogether). It also had telegraphs, printing presses, gunpowder, zepplins (you start the game in a zepplin crash), steam heat in the cities...
|#7havardJun 01, 2007 14:27:24|
The computer game Arcanum might give a few ideas, including the idea that magic & tech don't mix well (tech relies on physics, and grounds physics like a barge on a lake stills the ripples; magic relies on bending physics, and acts like the wind, or sometimes a large rock, making waves).
Thanks for the links! I even manage to find (and download) the pretty impressve soundtrack for the game.
I have never actually played Arcanum, but I have heard of it. Arcanum is interesting both for stealing ideas from and for deciding in what ways Blackmoor should be different from that game.
Blackmoor is not yet a world run by technology. There are a few sources of technology in the North, but in most parts of the world, steam tech is unknown. Trains may exist, but likely only underground ones used by the Dwarves. Flying vessels might also exist, though Id like to limit them to personal (one man) vehicles. Giant Hawks are sometimes used to carry groups of people for military purposes. Most people travel overland or even better using the waterways of the Black Sea or the rivers crossing the Great Dismal Swamp.
In Blackmoor, magic and technology might cause problems, but the mages are actually the ones developing it (along with the Dwarves) so the two are not mutually exclusive.
Im not sure how Id feel about the printing press and steam heated cities since that would change society too much at this point. Most of Mystara's civilizations are still very much in the Dark Ages in this era...