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Author Topic: Possible idea I've had... well, not exactly mine, an offspring of other ideas  (Read 941 times)
19th Century Space Pilot
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Cererean
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« on: January 01, 2010, 05:27:46 pm »

How should I describe it... it's a sort of steampunk offspring of this and this. In other words, hard science using 19th century level of advancement, so no electronics. To paraphrase Clarke's third law - 'Any sufficiently developed technology is indistinguishable from magic.' It wouldn't just be steam, of course - plenty of biological modification and messing around with electromagnetism.

Oh, and an electromagnetic shield put in by Tesla himself...
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 - Aetheric Aviatrix
Sebastian Greyfield
Gunner
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United Kingdom United Kingdom


The apparently chinless wonder


« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2010, 07:20:16 pm »

there have been a few similar ideas bouncing around in my head for the past week or so, in regards to steampunk and magic. I would be interested to see how you do it Smiley
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Atterton
Time Traveler
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Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2010, 07:42:55 pm »

I don´t see what´s new about it, it seems more or less the definition of steampunk.
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Resurrectionist and freelance surgeon.
19th Century Space Pilot
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Cererean
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2010, 09:03:19 pm »

Did you follow the links? It's a sort of school - those seem to be in vogue at the moment - where students mess around - I mean, learn how to operate - steampunk technology taken to the limit. Hogwarts with Hard Science, almost.
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Sebastian Greyfield
Gunner
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The apparently chinless wonder


« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2010, 09:36:22 pm »

how about rather than linking to show your idea you give a more detailed explanation? it may clear a few things up Smiley
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Atterton
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Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2010, 09:56:33 pm »

A bit like the school in Girl Genius I guess. I don´t find the idea that interesting, but I don´t like Harry Potter either.
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19th Century Space Pilot
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Cererean
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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2010, 10:02:09 pm »

Haven't read Girl Genius. Sounds interesting, what is it?
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Atterton
Time Traveler
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Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2010, 10:26:03 pm »

I haven´t read that much of it. A Baron has gathered smart kids from around Europe, and is teaching them stuff about technology on his airship-castle. The main character ends up getting pressganged into it.
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19th Century Space Pilot
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Cererean
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« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2010, 11:16:38 pm »

Not quite that, but similar.
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2010, 08:48:30 am »

Here's a link to the Girl Genius Site. the "comic" is the main attraction, in my view :

http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php
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Walk softly and carry a big banjo...

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Arkwright
Zeppelin Captain
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2010, 01:39:16 pm »

Hi

When it comes to developing ideas, I found this site very useful:
http://screenwriting.4filmmaking.com/test-the-idea.html

Schools are a good location because the provide a familiar locale and a finite number of characters. Mixing technology and thaumaturgy is also very popular (The man who could work miracles, His dark materials, Dracula, Babylon 5, Dr Who etc...).

This is, however, a background. What is the actual story?

TTFN

Arkwright
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"I devote my life to two worthy goals: unmasking Dorian the Anarchist and ensuring absolute victory over the Fish People!"
19th Century Space Pilot
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Cererean
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« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2010, 02:49:19 pm »

I don't know yet Roll Eyes I like to have a background, then I come up with a story for it.

General dossing around, like most people do at schools, listening with one ear before getting A*'s. Or is that only me? Cheesy

There's no thaumaturgy involved, though. All technology.
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phang
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United States United States



« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2010, 03:05:46 pm »

A while back I put together the following for an online Steampunk/Cuthulu RPG. Never did much with it. You're welcome to it. (I want 5% of any sales.)

Avatar: Norman MacAfee
Age: 26, Single
Occupation: Research Scientist
Strength: Moderate (60) [lifting heavy text books]
Coordination: Moderate (60) [Ran Track, Rides Bike to Work]
Physical Appearance: Lacking (40) [Still single at 26, go figure]
   Hair: long, dark, stingy
Eyes: Gray, Nearsighted, Round Glasses (optional loupe attachment)
 General: Perpetually dusty, no eye contact, thin.
Intelligence: Considerable (85) [Self-Taught on base of scholastic work]
Personality: Lacking (60) [Nervous]
Common Sense: Considerable (75) [Of course if he HAD any common sense he would not be in this problem]
Education: College Graduate (85) [Cheated. (See Background)]
Engineering: Miniature clockwork design for non-standard applications (see Spirit Box)
Mysticism: Bio-Magnetic manipulation (see Spirit Box)
Income: Research Grant $750 / year
Possessions:
Tool kit (watchmaker/clockwork)
Clothing (4 outfits and 1 formal)
Pepperbox Revolver (never used)
Cash: $300
Letters of Credit (blank) ($4000 research grant account)
Copy of Research Paper
Spirit Box

Background:

Four years ago Norman was on the verge of failing out of college. (I shall show my laziness here and claim Miskatonic University) Back in the forgotten stacks of the library, between two dusty volumes that had not be disturbed in years he located an unfinished research paper from a former university student. The paper had gotten wet over the years and sections had been destroyed, however he managed to read enough of it to make some sense out of it. It outlined the diagrams of constructing a device capable of holding the spirit of a person a “soul coil”.

Norman filled in the missing pieces with his own work and submitted the paper as his own. Based on the paper he graduated and was offered a position with a medical company that recognized the devise’s potential for long term “death operations” where a patient could be dead for hours to days while surgery is being performed on the body.

The devise did not work. Norman had filled in the missing sections incorrectly. Mostly meaningless formulas and invented data. Setbacks are expected and he was provided a research grant and a small office to complete the work.
Norman started the long work of repeating the previous student’s research in an attempt to decipher both the missing sections and complete the mechanism.  This research forced Norman to work with people he would normally avoid and go places late at night that no sane person would go. His evenings were soon filled with back alley bars and murderous grave robbers that helped provide Norman with the fresh ‘supplies’ he needed for his work. It was after a sale had gone bad that he acquired his pepperbox. It was here that he met Lily.

Lily was a young college student who was studying Astronomy, much to the disappointment of her upper-class father who believed she should get married and get all these crazy notions out of her head of adventure. To that end he cut off her money. Instead of returning home she took to ‘improper’ ways to finance her studies.

Six months after they met, Norman finished the Spirit Box. Eager to showoff his work, and before he could test it properly, he took it down to the Lily’s boarding room to show her. He set the device on the table and wound the key.  The gears started to turn; at first Lily was mesmerized by the device and leaned in close to get a better look at the spinning coils. Then her eyes grew wide. Norman watched in horror as she started to convulse. She tried to scream, only instead of a piercing cry, silvery ether escaped from her mouth and was caught in the glass gar on the Spirit Box. Her dead body collapsed on the table. Norman threw the switches to reverse the process but nothing happened. The faint blue glow of Lily’s spirit remind trapped around the coils.
Norman tried to preserve her body best he could without raising suspicion while he worked on the problem with the coils. After a few days he realized the sad truth; that her body would decompose before he would ever solve the missing pages from the paper. He sent a telegram to her father anonymously notifying him of her fate, accusing him of responsibility before the fact. He then informed his employer that we was needed out of town on a family emergency and would be gone for several weeks but that he was nearing the completion of the coil.

Realizing that the solution to the problem was less about mechanics and more about mysticism, Norman booked passage on a train to a Spiritualist Camp in Ohio.

Spirit Box:
The spirit box is a small square, brass and wood box, with a cylindrical glass jar on top. It would most closely resemble a modern day Coleman Lantern. It is 3 inches by 3 inches at the base and almost 6 inches from top to bottom. It is key wound, and must be wound at least once a day. Norman carries it in a leather holster across his back and under his coat. If anyone asks, it is just a prototype lantern he is working on, and no, did does not work.
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N=R* x f(p) x n(e) x f(l) x f(i) x f(c) x L

So? Where is everyone?
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