Friday, April 19, 2002

New Post

Sorry, everyone, it's been a crazy two weeks at work, so there's been no time to post from my desk, and as such there's been little energy to do anything computer-related after work, so of course all my myriad fans have been SOL for over a week.

That said, I've got some time right now. Ha!

Nerd Alert
I've recently begun researching spiffy things to do if I should ever be given the chance to game-master for this little role-playing group of friends I have in and around the DC area. The Steve Jackson Games system called GURPS has always been a favorite of mine, because you can mix and match genres like fantasy, far future, military, and anything else one can imagine.

The genre through which I most want to put our little group is called "steampunk," and is probably best exemplified by the novel The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. Another (crasser) example is the film Wild Wild West that starred Will Smith, Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh.

If neither the book nor film reference helps, imagine a Victorian-style world and society wherein Charles Babbage had actually built his Analytical Engine (a mechanical general-purpose computer), or perhaps a twentieth century in which electricity and oil power had never risen to ascendancy (for political or other reasons), and that relied on hyper-optimized-but-still-coal-fueled steam engines. A world, perhaps, in which Edison had been killed as a boy, or in which a Great War had never happened, and thus never broken the back of British economic power. Or even a world in which different weird pseudoscientific theories were proven to be fact, like phrenology (the study of skull shapes to determine personality) or the ability to animate corpses with lightning. Fun stuff. :-)

I also want to mix in a fair portion of undead horror. Hey, the characters have to have something to fight with their clockwork needlers, steam-powered automata and swords-in-a-cane. And maybe a mysterious magical artifact from the uncharted jungles of Central America or the still-impassable deserts of the East.

Oh, and here's a little link that covers a lot of great steampunk ground.


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