Steampunk Inspiration

south2012

New Member
Shattered Core Backer
#1
When I GM, I look for stories in all media that inspire me, that make me want to give players the same feelings that a great story gave me. I don't know if this is how everybody GMs, but I truly believe that the most sincere form of flattery is imitation. I love to take the best, leave the rest and allow my stories to become a beautiful patchwork of original and inspired ideas.

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That is why I would like to start a thread where we all can document great sources of inspiration for GMing Shattered.а

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For starters, the video games in the Bioshock trilogy are dark and deliciously steampunk, yetаdoes not rely on overused tropes (some people think steampunk is all about putting useless gears on things). аIf anyone reading this has not played them, would you kindly go and find a copy of Bioshock at a nearby gaming store and play it through? You won't regret it.а

While I have not played much, what I have seen of the Fallout games is full of great alternate history and ostentatious weapons like the crank operatedаlaser rifle. A good source for weapon and creature descriptions, at the very least.а

Clearly, a massive influence on the Stitch system is what some consider the first steampunk story ever, Frankenstein. The movie Victor Frankenstein is a fun inspiration as well. а

The movie with Will Smith called Wild Wild West has a hilariously tacky coal-powered villain named Lovelace who travels in style in a giant mechanical spider, who could make an interesting Mastermind.а

In the anime Fullmetal Alchemist, they use a complex system of runes and equivalent exchangeаfor a magic-esque force that they channel through the scientific process called alchemy, that is how I plan on describing Arkфna in Shattered. I won't change the mechanics, simply the fluff. This gives the game a different vibe than D&D, where it is hard to throw a rock without hitting something magical. Also, the prosthetics in FMA are really freaking awesome

Lastly, I recently listened to a story from the podcast Escape Pod that I found very inspiring. Here is episode 466: Checkmate. This story is one of the best short stories I have heard in a while, and it really stuck with me. I am currently toying with the idea of having the countries in my world for Shattered conduct their battles using 16 specialized combatants on each side. "A civilized age requires civilized warfare!"

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I would love to see posts from the you people reading this about what has inspired you and what might inspire youаfor a future campaigns!
 

Tex

Lore Master
Staff member
INDE Staff
#2
I can actually say that FMA/FMA:B was a bit inspirational to me in how we decided to do magic with geometric shapes. Or at the very least, that is how I drew similarities to describe how the magic would function if it were drawn on a larger scale. It was also a mild bit of inspiration for prosthetics because yeah, they have kick ass prosthetics. As for Frankenstein's Monster, yeah that's basically what you're creating, just generally far more grotesque.

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I love the idea of this thread and can't wait to see what others post.
 
#3
I suppose the game Dishonoured is quite topical for getting a feel of the the more dingy cities of Shattered and the abilities granted by the 'outsider' are how I imagine the shadow arts to work.а

From the anime side I believe there is a new film which will soon be subbed called 'Empire of Corpses' which would similarly relate to dingy cities and possibly be very relatable to stitches.

A lot of media outlets, literature and history would also be applicable to the world of Shattered that are not of a steam-punk persuasion. I might try giving Wretched a Mad Max feel, have a Romeo and Juliet plot between different races, adapt the colonial settlers interactions with the Native-Americans to entrepreneurial colonists and the Shades. а
 

south2012

New Member
Shattered Core Backer
#4
Everyone reading this, check out The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello here:аhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vORsKyopHyM

I will certainly be doing a Shattered adventure heavily based on it. It is about half an hour long, totally worth it.а
 

Konrad

Administrator
Staff member
INDE Staff
#5
When I think of Arkфna I think of Patrick Rothfuss's Kingkiller Chronicles (another fantastic fantasy read if you haven't already begun the epic journey). There are irrevokable laws, a flow to the energy, and means of increasing efficiency. It is a study that anyone with enough grit can pick up, though it is fair to say some will take to it more naturally than others, as is the case with all endeavors. Unlike Mr. Rothfuss's universe, though, these rules have not been perfectly ironed out, and even the greatest primalists and necromancers still have a thing or two to learn.

The laws, flow, and efficiency are mechanically represented by improving one's rank in a given school: your time (experience!) spent poring over these books, under the tutelage of a superior arkфnist, or testing your raw talent in moments of crisis are how students build a foundation of understanding for these theories of magic. As they progress, they learn greater efficiency, memorize rote laws, and ken the feeling-- the kinesthesia, if you will-- of the magic.а

As for the steampunk, I'veаalways considered it more "magepunk." It was the arkфnik drive, the ring that symbolizes a marriage of man's machinations and presumed mastery of magic, that really set into overdrive this vast industrialization. It is most readily visible in аthe city-state of Pulse, the Great Forge, but it is pervasive from Neroth to Lanis. Man is pushing his limits in all directions and is aided by this seemingly overwhelming urge to create and succeed and thrive. The occasional discovery of his ancestor's artifacts has also played a small, but important role.
 

south2012

New Member
Shattered Core Backer
#6
One great source of inspiration for me is the Hyperion series, which is classic and iconic SciFi. It creates a huge complex universe, many aspects of which I am adapting for my Shattered campaign.

For example, I am including The Shrike, a being that can can distort the laws of physics, and "speaks only in death". It is more of a force of nature than a creature to kill. It has its own mysterious purposes, and if you are left alive it was intentional, though you may never understand why.

Dan Simmons created organisms called "Resurrection Parasites" that bind to your genetics and force you to come back ~24 hours after you die, even if you don't want to come back. It can cause endless amounts of pain and these parasites are somehow related to The Shrike. Each death causes a small amount of genetic degradation, resulting in immortal beings who are bald, gender-less and mentally simple, slaves to the parasites. One of my players will be getting a parasite placed on them during the next session, and it will be interesting to see how they handle it.

Another story that I am implementing into Shattered is The People of the Shell which has massive, huge, gigantic creatures that eat the cracked, burned ground after a comet destroyed the Earth. Seriously, these things are really big, larger than cities. You could probably see them from orbit, looking down at the planet. I am going to have these creatures existing near the original site of the Reckoning for a later adventure.
 

south2012

New Member
Shattered Core Backer
#7
I wanted to add a clearly Grimdark story here that would make for a great first adventure for a new campaign of Shattered. One character could easily be chained as a sacrifice, waiting to be devoured by the demon when they are rescued by the rest of the party.
 
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