Steampunk and Magic

Old Nov 5 '12, 11:10pm
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Schilcote Schilcote is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 5,484
Steampunk and Magic

Steampunk and Magic - Forum
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About Me:

Hi, I'm Schilcote, and I've been GMing GURPS for quite a while now- and GMing other systems for even longer! I can generally be counted on for at least a post a day, often more, and I ought not have to drop any games now, since Real Life seems to have evened out for now. So don't be worried that I'll leave after you spent all that time and effort drawing up a sheet.

This Looks Interesting, But I Don't Have GURPS...

Woah, hang on a sec! One of the neatest things about GURPS is that you don't actually need the core rulebooks to play it as long as the GM has them. Instead, you can download the GURPS Lite pamphlet which contains the basic information you'll need to play, though you'll need some assistance setting up your character. The free, open source GURPS Character Sheet program will help as well.

Feel free to ask any questions you may wish.

Game Description:

Full title is "Steampunk and Magic, Mustachioed Mechanics, and Other Exotic Brilliances"

Vital Statistics:

System: GURPS 4th Edition (+Mass Combat, Magic, Space)
TL: 7
Starting Wealth: 15,000
Point Level: 125 (-50)
Estimated Length: Medium (>6 months)
Combat/Social: Balanced, biased towards social.


Since the dawn of time, a a minority of men have had the capacity to control forces far beyond their understanding. These men (and women, on occasion) are known as wizards. For the first seven-hundred years of mankind's development, the greatest wizards were in control. However, the Renaissance and the resultant disruption of the feudal system threw their power into question- many more people could perform feats of magic if they had the education. The magical kings men submitted to were nothing more than normal people who happened to be born into wealthy families. This coincided with the ascendance of King George I to the English throne, who quite frankly didn't care at all. Thus, Parliament became stronger, and soon the monarch was, though still influential, not in direct control of much of anything.

The year is now 1890.

Her Majesty the Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom has summoned a group of adventurers from around the world for an unknown, but urgent reason. You have responded to this summons.


"The most common reason for getting ERROR_INVALID_HANDLE is that you have an invalid handle."
- Ray Chen
Sounds lovely. Is there room for a psionist? I'd be happy to build that ability as a magical one.

Mmhh. I've never really liked the idea of psionics in fantasy settings, magic-based or not.

We don't have a "pure" or "classic" wizard in the party, though.

Yeah, but it's not quite too late...

And I usually accept later arrivals anyway.

If this bit of knowledge helps, the Victorian era was known for a revival in the interest of spirituality and occultism and that their understanding of it was very similar to certain conceptions of psionics. (Arguably much of our modern conception comes from the era.) If he called it "Spirtism" or "Animal Magnetism", all the better.

One possibility would be to split the difference and make a 'normal' wizard focused on Communication and Empathy, Knowledge, certain Mind Control and Necromantic spells (seances were popular), and probably some Protection spells.

Of course, given that it's a Steampunk setting, Technological spells could be quite interesting as well.

Huh. Honestly didn't know that (and I've actually written two papers on John Dee, a rather prominent occultist who also features in the game).

Haha, I knew that name sounded familiar. Or like he has one. Yeah, John Dee and even later, Victorian organizations like the Golden Dawn are more like what we conceptualize as wizards. For things more like we'd think of as psions, I'm thinking of people like Franz Mesmer. In practice there was some overlap, naturally.

Just for info: in my post I assumed the precise year is 1896 or 1897. Either this, or the whole research of radioactivity has to be moved back in time a few years.

Röntgen discovered the X-rays in 1895 and presented them in january 1896. Becquerele discovered the blackening of photographic plates by uran in spring 1896. All real research into radioactivity started thus in 1896. The Curies started their experiments in december 1897. In april 1898 the Curies described radiation, while Gerhard Schmidt described Thorium radiation in february 1898.

Given that Victoria died in 1901, we would have to look at the window 1896-1898.

Ahh. I suspected I was screwing something up. It's pretty close, though- I can push things back just a little bit.

And for some reason I thought Victoria was queen all the way through WWII.

If I came up with a mage specializing in mind control spells (not really psionics) who fitted within the theme of victorian spiritualism (seances, mediums, controlling spirits, fortune telling), would that work?


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