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Author Topic: Assorted Wizardry: Steampunk magic in 1889 NYC  (Read 766 times)
Stormcat
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« on: April 16, 2015, 10:56:15 pm »

so I've developed these lovely characters, a setting, and a conflict, but I need a little help researching what was going on in the world that year.

I want to focus mostly on New York City, because I feel there aren't enough historical stories set there. But if something exciting happens in another part of the world (the exhibition in paris for instance) I might have my merry pranksters travel. I want to know, where did the enclaves of immigrants live, where were the city limits, and what sort of inventions were available at that time.

Here are my Characters so far:

Victor Highclastle: A young wizard who works at a pharmacy to support his widowed mother. He has dreams of using his magic for the good of humanity, but the Wizard elders forbid it. Still, he tries to make friends with everyone he meets.

Widow (Fanny) Highcastle: Victor's mother, her husband died of pneumonia in the great blizzard of 1888. Fanny knows how to use her "helpless old woman" act to her advantage. Carries around a cane, even though she doesn't need it because she is a master bartitsu practitioner as well as being a witch. She is considered "A bit crazy" for her outspoken views on Women's suffrage and equality for immigrants. Still, She loves and supports her son however she can.

Shamus Highcastle: Fanny Highcastle's scottish terrier. Despite the magical concept of "Familiars", this dog has no special powers nor does he aid anyone else's. He is simply a dog who is good at digging things up.

Joey Voltini: An Italian immigrant who works the soda fountain at the Pharmacy where Victor works. He is considered an "Informed one" because he knows of the highcastle's powers, but he is sworn to secrecy. He has to adopt an "american" name and accent when talking with customers, but because he's good friends with Victor, he can let his facade drop around him. Has numerous cousins working all sorts of jobs, they can provide him and victor with whatever they need.

Emma Kowalski: A sweet young Polish migrant. Her parents operate a small dry goods store, where she helps out on occasion. She loves to paint and sculpt and has recently discovered photography. Victor seems taken by her.

James Brown: A former wizard who had his magic taken away. As a black man, he can only find work on the city's elevated railway, but he really wants to combine magic and technology to benefit all humanity. Victor sympathizes with James, and they work togeather to develop new inventions which are operated by magic.

The Coven Elders: Mysterious figures who have a staunch Luddite policy.
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pakled
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2015, 01:47:13 am »

sounds good so far. I'm sure Britain was dealing with the Empire around then. Unfortunately, nothing comes to mind. Things happened before and afterwards...

To be honest, I just entered '1889 That was the year that was,' and came up with the details...Wink
Here's details by day - http://www.historyorb.com/date/1889

Thing would be, with magic, you're going to have a different history, so you can invent your own...Wink Blavatsky, Crowley, et al...I think. Maybe even Sir Richard Burton?




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Stormcat
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2015, 03:56:13 am »

sounds good so far. I'm sure Britain was dealing with the Empire around then. Unfortunately, nothing comes to mind. Things happened before and afterwards...

To be honest, I just entered '1889 That was the year that was,' and came up with the details...Wink
Here's details by day - http://www.historyorb.com/date/1889

Thing would be, with magic, you're going to have a different history, so you can invent your own...Wink Blavatsky, Crowley, et al...I think. Maybe even Sir Richard Burton?







Actually, I've decided to forgo "Traditional" magic and just make magic a form of energy humans can control. I've even made a list of things it can and cannot do.
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2015, 06:24:59 pm »

Have a look at anime's like Chica the Coffin princess.
Steampower used to control magic.
Drawing on pagen/wiccan idea's assorted crystals have different effects on controlling magic and through certain combinations, crystals can be used to boost a persons magic or to hinder a person magic.
Clear Quartz could be used in rifle scopes to help clean up and focus.
A birthstone to match the character can be used to enhance the characters abilitys.
Not sure if this conflicts with whats printed elsewhere but can be used as a guide!
http://www.astroawareness.com/crystals/table.html
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Stormcat
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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2015, 09:44:04 pm »

Have a look at anime's like Chica the Coffin princess.
Steampower used to control magic.
Drawing on pagen/wiccan idea's assorted crystals have different effects on controlling magic and through certain combinations, crystals can be used to boost a persons magic or to hinder a person magic.
Clear Quartz could be used in rifle scopes to help clean up and focus.
A birthstone to match the character can be used to enhance the characters abilitys.
Not sure if this conflicts with whats printed elsewhere but can be used as a guide!
http://www.astroawareness.com/crystals/table.html


No no. I'm not using "Traditional" magic at all. in this series, Magic will be pure energy that can be controlled with a thought.
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pakled
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2015, 05:04:15 am »

focus and will, then. I've been working on something similar, for last year's Nanowrimo (but present day, so there's no conflicts..Wink Look forward to more.
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2015, 05:31:40 pm »

Have a look at anime's like Chica the Coffin princess.
Steampower used to control magic.
Drawing on pagen/wiccan idea's assorted crystals have different effects on controlling magic and through certain combinations, crystals can be used to boost a persons magic or to hinder a person magic.
Clear Quartz could be used in rifle scopes to help clean up and focus.
A birthstone to match the character can be used to enhance the characters abilitys.
Not sure if this conflicts with whats printed elsewhere but can be used as a guide!
http://www.astroawareness.com/crystals/table.html


No no. I'm not using "Traditional" magic at all. in this series, Magic will be pure energy that can be controlled with a thought.

The point I seam to be making badly is how objects can be used to control or assist in that control. Imagine a hallow bullet used to protect and deliver magic into a victim that the controller wants to control. "Magic will be pure energy that can be controlled" in this case is a neutral force no different to electricity without spells (triditional magic) or technology (steampunk)
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Peter Brassbeard
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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2015, 05:42:43 pm »

Actually, I've decided to forgo "Traditional" magic and just make magic a form of energy humans can control. I've even made a list of things it can and cannot do.
Defining limits on what magic can do in your story is good for keeping the story from going totally crazy.  Otherwise you can get an out of control spiral of expanding powers as the hero needs more power to overcome a challenge, then a bigger challenge is needed to keep the story interesting.
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Stormcat
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« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2015, 07:04:04 pm »

Now I need to list "new inventions" that could theoretically be powered by magic. I'm definitely going to have an airship in there, but what other sorts of things?
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2015, 07:36:26 pm »

Actually, I've decided to forgo "Traditional" magic and just make magic a form of energy humans can control. I've even made a list of things it can and cannot do.
Defining limits on what magic can do in your story is good for keeping the story from going totally crazy.  Otherwise you can get an out of control spiral of expanding powers as the hero needs more power to overcome a challenge, then a bigger challenge is needed to keep the story interesting.
[/quote]

A la Anime!


Now I need to list "new inventions" that could theoretically be powered by magic. I'm definitely going to have an airship in there, but what other sorts of things?

That's why I pointed out Chica the coffin princess both for the neutral standing of magic and for the boundless technology used to control it.
Also in the anime, when she runs out of contained magic crystals (containers) she using her own internal magic powered by memories!
Machine controlled magic to make a fly fortress/castle!
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Stormcat
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« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2015, 03:58:55 am »

I'd prefer to have this merry troupe stay in manhattan. Yet I also want them to have an airship. Seems one cancels out the other.

Anyway, I'll re-create these characters in the Sims so I can play around with them and figure out things they can do.
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RJBowman
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« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2015, 05:19:34 am »

What will be the thrust of the game? Combat? Inventing stuff? Building stuff? Did you have a "resolution" system in mind for performing these feats in the game?
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Stormcat
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« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2015, 06:47:39 pm »

What will be the thrust of the game? Combat? Inventing stuff? Building stuff? Did you have a "resolution" system in mind for performing these feats in the game?

I'm just going to see how they play out, interact with people, and maybe have them become the richest sims in town.
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pakled
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« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2015, 09:37:42 am »

Well, if you treat it just like energy, only magic, you can play the energy angle (like aether) or the magical angle (only 'gifted' people can do it). Of course that starts looking like a class society...wait, Victorian age...somehow that would work. You could have Maxwell's incantations (instead of equations), the real Wizard of Menlo Park...Wink and Tesla-like magical generators, creating positive and negative spell potentials.


Something like that?
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walking stick
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« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2015, 09:16:00 pm »

Look up magicians of the 1890s, some fun facts and I think you could legitimately have some of them as magic practitioners in your world.
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Stormcat
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« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2015, 03:52:05 am »

Look up magicians of the 1890s, some fun facts and I think you could legitimately have some of them as magic practitioners in your world.

No, I don't want sleight-of-hand magic either.
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