Is Shattered really about Steampunk?

bear

Grunt
Shattered Core Backer
#1
This question was brought up during the last gaming session of KublaCon and it is one that I think is very poignant;

Why is Shattered called a 'Steampunk' game?

Sure, Shattered has steampunk elements in it. It also has tesla-like tech, also magical engineering with airships, vehicles, weapons and all that good stuff. But the question is not does Shattered have Steampunk stuff in it, but is that the main focus?

Honestly, I say it is not.

Now granted, I am making this claim off of the game system as it stands, and much of my GMТing style is based around the characters and not the technology they use. Frankly I am more interested in the bio-reactor side of things over the old workhorse of the world. No, for me the focus of Shattered is in the title. The world is a nightmare, broken, fragmented and trying desperately to rebuild. It is a game about struggle and racial differences, brought about by a cataclysmic event of planet-stripping power. Technology is but a foothold in the progress, already outdated by newer, more dangerous creations.

Perhaps that is the point; Steampunk games usually base their setting around steam power being the latest thing, able to do wonders well into a time that should not have them. It is the revolution that the world is just discovering, not something already outdated and old.

If I were to put a title of Shattered, I would have to say the following;

Shattered: A Post-Cataclysmic RPG of Horror and Survival.
 

NKdotzip

Administrator
Staff member
INDE Staff
#2
I've been thinking about over the last couple of months as well. I think that we started out with Steampunk being the goal, but over the years it just organicallyаabsorbed tidbits of other genres like biopunk and even cyberpunk. I think you're right though Bear, Shattered really isn't about steampunk anymore, at least not in the traditional sense.

These days I'm personally calling it a horrific industrial fantasy more than I'm calling it steampunk.
 

Konrad

Administrator
Staff member
INDE Staff
#3
This is an excellent point. And I think Zip pretty much covered it. The starting point was by and large steampunk, but through its evolutions and many iterations Shattered has become something much larger and grown well beyond steampunk as a definition. It was our personal failing that we didn't update our description as it changed. I'm quite a fan of your sub-title, though, it succinctly describes what Feneryss is.
 

bear

Grunt
Shattered Core Backer
#6
Good job I didn't go with my Original idea;

Shattered; A game of Sparkly Vampires and Brooding Teens
 
#7
BEAR said

Shattered; A game of Sparkly Vampires and Brooding Teens
Yes, now that would have been a horror.

From my point of view as a drone in a human's world with magic bits flying around, post-apocalyptic steampunk doesn't capture what I experienced in the session. аPost-industrial gothic horror is closer. аI almost feel like this is Captain America 1940's vs. Red Skull only without the internal combustion engines and more Lovecraft. аRegardless of whether we find a great descriptor I am already fascinated with the history, culture, and story of this Place, regardless of what it took to get here.
 

fnar777

Grunt
Shattered Core Backer
#8
There's of course nothing wrong with pulling from many source materials. All things are derived from something, and all stories are the same 7 told in different ways. I love the direction this system has gone in. :)
 

Tex

Lore Master
Staff member
INDE Staff
#9
I would agree that it started out more steampunk but has since drifted a bit. Not to say we don't have steampunk elements, but I would agree that a rebranding in terms of genre may help a bit.
 
Top Bottom