Steampunk pt. 2: Revolution

August 6, 2008

Between discussion and random inspiration, here and at Oyceter’s journal, here’s some things that came to mind.

1. Emperor’s Heart has a lot more steampunky elements than I remember to emphasize.

You know, clunky gear robot soldiers. Cyborg Eunuchs. Though, the discussion at Oyceter’s has now inspired ideas for, you know, EH under the Empress Dowager during the Opium Wars, a 1920’s steampunk analogue, which would also be awesome.

2. An idea for Full Light, Full Steam, playing the first ship crewed entirely by members of one of Britain’s Colonies- and the uneasy situation of trying to serve your people while being a collaborator on some level to the colonizer. Whether we’re talking an HK ship fighting chinese space pirates or a ship with Gurka fighters, that’s pretty awesome.

3. And then, from FLFS, thinking about using it for an Avatar game. The Thematic Batteries work really well for highlighting the multiple issues each character faces, plus the Scrips reward mechanics, would work pretty well for the pacing.

To give examples of thematic batteries:

– I’m not ready to save the world
– Just a kid
– Crush on Katara

– Kicking sexism’s ass
– Don’t mess with my friends
– The fraying connections to my heritage, my people, and my mother

– Proving my manhood
– The Clever Buffoon
– Complicated Romances

– I don’t know how to connect with others
– I can take care of myself, I don’t need your help
– Can’t See! Remember?

– My Honor, My Destiny
– Rash and hardheaded
– Scars of my Past

– There for Zuko (because I wasn’t there for my son)
– Hedonistic Philosopher
– Disgraced General

Anyway, more geeking out later.



  1. Ah ha, Emperor’s Heart has caught my eye, now. Yay, steampunk! 😉

    I know the Durham 3 played a FLFS with a ship that had a surprisingly high-ranking indian officer, and that was a thing in the game. Ethnicity makes a fantastic thematic battery, although it can be painting that target close to sensitive places.

    FLFS-for-Avatar sounds pretty cool. You’d probably need to file down the situation creation to account for the simpler plotlines of individual episodes, but I think you’re on track for the scrips hitting the same sort of pacing within an episode. It’s more about who the characters are than if and how they take down this week’s badguy.

  2. Have you had real success with FLFS in play? In my experience, the batteries are tough because taking a penalty now for future badassitude sounds good, but it often doesn’t work in practice. For example, it may make great sense in your story for you to be able to whup someone good right now, but you may not have charged your batteries sufficiently yet. Or you may be willing to take a penalty and then still succeed, which is weird. You end up not really trading a loss for a win, which would seem to be the whole point, thematically.

  3. Hi Josh,

    Did you see the post preceding this one? For my friends and I to even engage with the setting in any way meaningful for us, the issues of imperialism and colonialism are going to be focal. Otherwise, we’re just as good as pulling out Star Wars Saga Edition

  4. Hi Jonathan,

    I haven’t had a chance to play FLFS yet, and as more of my friends are talking about being into steampunk, and the issues with it, I see this as an opportunity to jump in and do the sort of game I’ve been meaning to.

    From a “just guessing” strategy of how to maximize the batteries, it would seem to me, that the best thing to do is get into group conflicts as helpers, and take your Battery hits there. (Probably also leads to a bunch of Scrips getting passed around too).

    That, and, letting the NPCs charge up Batteries by being jerks and badasses and using it against them in climaxes.

    Though, I’d like to try it all in play and see how I feel about it.

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