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  • #31
    Question: is steampunk like cyberpunk in Victorian times? Someone once tried to explain it to me and I still don’t entirely get it.


    “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her (I saw the Chief Technology Officer for a big company do this so I guess I’ll do it too).

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    • #32
      Another fun potential Victorian era resource is Stygian Fox's Hudson & Brand, Inquiry Agents of the Obscure sourcebook. It's designed for Victorian/Gaslight era Call of Cthulhu but is pretty easily adaptable to the World of Darkness. It's a fairly sizable book, giving a complete history of the private detective agency and its place in Victorian London, as well as their home base/office (complete with layouts and maps), and can easily serve as the basis for a Victorian era Mage chantry. (Also as a period Hunters Hunted group if you want.) It's not that difficult to move the building to another location (New York City, San Fransisco, Paris, etc.). It also includes a bunch of NPCs you can use, as well as artifacts and curios.
      In addition, they have a smaller sourcebook, The Spirits of London, which gives a really good overview of Victorian British spiritualism, seances, and potentially haunted places in London. It also details the Chester House Society, a spiritualist group that can easily be adapted to work as a Chantry/Cabal, a sorcery sect, or a front group for the awakened. If you are at all interested in Victorian spiritualist mages of the Hollower, Dreamspeaker, or Thanatoic stripe, it's definitely worth a look.
      SF have also done Thorston: The Shunned Town on the Dee, about a fictional nearly abandoned ruin of a town near 19th century Liverpool, and The Thirteen, about a secret society of ancient British immortals that can act as potential allies, rivals or antagonists.




      What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
      Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Penelope View Post
        Question: is steampunk like cyberpunk in Victorian times? Someone once tried to explain it to me and I still don’t entirely get it.
        Steampunk's relationship to cyberpunk is mostly just in a joke. Authors writing stories inspired by H.G Wells and Jules Verne around the time when cyberpunk became a term, were labeled as steampunk as a reference. And this kinda kicked off referring to things as [something]-punk as an aesthetic rather than a real commitment to punk philosophies in media.

        Steampunk is basically taking the science-fiction of the steam era, and then treating it as if technology hadn't advanced with the prominence of things like the internal combustion engine in new works.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

          Steampunk's relationship to cyberpunk is mostly just in a joke. Authors writing stories inspired by H.G Wells and Jules Verne around the time when cyberpunk became a term, were labeled as steampunk as a reference. And this kinda kicked off referring to things as [something]-punk as an aesthetic rather than a real commitment to punk philosophies in media.

          Steampunk is basically taking the science-fiction of the steam era, and then treating it as if technology hadn't advanced with the prominence of things like the internal combustion engine in new works.
          GURPS Steampunk (and its companion book Steam-Tech) being one of the more famous generic gaming sourcebooks about it. Also aspects of Castle Falkenstein (more scientific romance/fantasy) and Deadlands (more weird western/horror). The cool thing about Mage being that it can do all three of those, as well as historical mystery/thriller, gothic horror, etc., depending on what you want to highlight and focus on.


          What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
          Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by Penelope View Post
            Question: is steampunk like cyberpunk in Victorian times? Someone once tried to explain it to me and I still don’t entirely get it.
            Its most basic definition is "any modern science fiction - and some fantasy - set in the 19th century". The single biggest trope tends to be trying to recreate (pre-create?) modern technology and some sci-fi technologies using theoretical 19th century technology. The main one being computers based on Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace's work with computing machines, but also the cybernetics and robotics based on clockwork technology, and steam powered vehicles similar to modern cars or aircraft. Often this requires handwaving certain real world physics or inventing fictional materials as a work around.

            More fantastic examples also incorporate magic or supernatural creatures such as vampires or faeries. There's also an alternate history influence in a lot of it.

            If can be "Victorian cyberpunk". Two of the bigger early cyberpunk writers, William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, collaborated on a book, The Difference Engine, set in an alternate Victorian Britain where huge steam powered computers (like the ones from the 1960s) exist. Exactly what "cyberpunk" means is debatable. Gibson's work, for example, tends to focus on the impact new technology has on society, and some of the people who sometimes get left behind by the technology and its changes. That sort of theme is easily adaptable to the 19th century, especially in terms of various class, gender, racial/ethnic, and political issues of the period.


            What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
            Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

            Comment


            • #36
              It should be noted that the Victorians were the targets of massive propoganda campaigns. There are tons of evidence of practical tolerance of homosexual activity in both Britain and the USA. Lesbians were often known to be in "Boston Marriages" and "Bachelor Marriages" were commonplace in the old West. The reason old Hollywood Westerns almost never had two young handsome men as "partners" traveling together is that everyone with gray hairs in the 1930s and 40s knew most of those "partners" in the old West were lovers. "Messing Around" was the standard euphemism for gay sex between underage boys until at least the 1940s. In the early Victorian period everybody knew that public school boys in Britain were having sex with each other.

              On race issues, the Church of England fought to promote anti-Chinese racism. Why? Because most British people in the 1780s thought the Chinese probably had at least as good morals as themselves and maybe better. They saw no reason to offend the Chinese with obnoxious missionaries. In America White Anti-racism was constantly being attacked by both the Southern slave interests and Northern Industrialists and business interests. The tri-racial isolates (which weren't really all that isolated until the early 20th century) were loathed and despised by the wealthy across the continent. Anytime Whites teamed up with Blacks or Native Americans the powers that were acted to crush a threat to elite power.

              In 19th century America communist and socialist ideas were widespread and popular. Which is why they were constantly under attack. Anti-Monarchist and republican movements were strong in Victoria's reign. This is why the official story of the British state stressed worship of the monarch.

              Our view of the Victorians is always through a lens of their elite propoganda. Even today, the British Left assumes the nostalgia of the British people is for Victoria and the Empire, when all acedemic research shows that the British people are nostalgic for post WWII socialism. Similarly, American nostalgia for the 1950s is presumed to be for racism, sexism, and homophobia, when all research shows that the nostalgia is for a stable economy and a vibrant pop culture.

              The real Victorians weren't monsters. But many people fought to make them into monsters.
              Last edited by Astromancer; 02-21-2021, 08:22 PM.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Astromancer View Post
                It should be noted that the Victorians were the targets of massive propoganda campaigns. There are tons of evidence of practical tolerance of homosexual activity in both Britain and the USA. Lesbians were often known to be in "Boston Marriages" and "Bachelor Marriages" were commonplace in the old West. The reason old Hollywood Westerns almost never had two young handsome men as "partners" traveling together is that everyone with gray hairs in the 1930s and 40s knew most of those "partners" in the old West were lovers. "Messing Around" was the standard euphemism for gay sex between underage boys until at least the 1940s. In the early Victorian period everybody knew that public school boys in Britain were having sex with each other.

                On race issues, the Church of England fought to promote anti-Chinese racism. Why? Because most British people in the 1780s thought the Chinese probably had at least as good morals as themselves and maybe better. They saw no reason to offend the Chinese with obnoxious missionaries. In America White Anti-racism was constantly being attacked by both the Southern slave interests and Northern Industrialists and business interests. The tri-racial isolates (which weren't really all that isolated until the early 20th century) were loathed and despised by the wealthy across the continent. Anytime Whites teamed up with Blacks or Native Americans the powers that were acted to crush a threat to elite power.

                In 19th century America communist and socialist ideas were widespread and popular. Which is why they were constantly under attack. Anti-Monarchist and republican movements were strong in Victoria's reign. This is why the official story of the British state stressed worship of the monarch.

                Our view of the Victorians is always through a lens of their elite propoganda. Even today, the British Left assumes the nostalgia of the British people is for Victoria and the Empire, when all acedemic research shows that the British people are nostalgic for post WWII socialism. Similarly, American nostalgia for the 1950s is presumed to be for racism, sexism, and homophobia, when all research shows that the nostalgia is for a stable economy and a vibrant pop culture.

                The real Victorians weren't monsters. But many people fought to make them into monsters.
                I must say, that comes as something of a relief. My assumption was that playing a white Victorian of even moderate means would be automatically as viscerally distasteful as playing a nazi or a conquistador. It's good to know that there were less despicable elements in their society, even if the worse aspects ended up swallowing them whole.


                Shameless Technocratic shill.

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                • #38
                  I think OPP will do a good job in depicting the Victorian period without giving into racist, sexist and anti-LGBTQ stereotypes, which is why I’m still backing it even though I was originally annoyed at having to create a whole new account just for this.


                  “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her (I saw the Chief Technology Officer for a big company do this so I guess I’ll do it too).

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by The Nilbog View Post

                    I must say, that comes as something of a relief. My assumption was that playing a white Victorian of even moderate means would be automatically as viscerally distasteful as playing a nazi or a conquistador. It's good to know that there were less despicable elements in their society, even if the worse aspects ended up swallowing them whole.
                    There's sort of a historical constant of various eras of humanity wanting to paint past eras with a very broad brush, usually for the purpose of reinforcing the current era's self image of how much better they are. A lot of popular misconceptions about the Middle Ages, for example, come from Renaissance and Enlightenment era revisionism or propaganda designed to show off how much more enlightened and refined those eras were than their predecessors. Even certain popular stereotypes about the Victorians are more 20th century inventions or exaggerations. The flip side of this is the equally bothersome trend to lionize previous eras the current one is trying to emulate or declare itself the inheritor for. The Victorians tended to over-idealize the Roman Empire, for example.
                    The painful truth is that history, as is anything involving real people, tends to be complicated and multifaceted. I'm of the opinion that reducing things to a simple dualistic "good vs evil" morality play tends to do a disservice to modern audiences and their ability to understand the complexity of current events (or worse, to empathize with those different from themselves), as well as serving to dehumanize people of the past, regardless of what side of various conflicts or movements they were on. A perfectly sainted victim is ultimately as dehumanized as their perfectly monstrous oppressor. Real human beings are imperfect and flawed, which is why we are capable of committing great evil; But we are also idealistic and empathic, which is why we are capable of striving for great good.



                    What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                    Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Astromancer View Post
                      Our view of the Victorians is always through a lens of their elite propoganda.
                      Pushing back against myths about historical eras is important, but trying to white-wash an era is just more propaganda. For example, Boston Marriages weren't some common acceptance of lesbian couples. It was the product of newly financially independent women in highly educated careers creating a life style separate from being reliant on a man in the areas of home ownership, credit, and so on. The more they became publicly associated with a way for lesbians to live together, the less tolerance there was for them until the practice disappeared and independent women were pressured to either live alone or in larger group homes.

                      The Victorian era was one where most of Europe was decriminalizing or legalizing homosexual relationships, while the UK and the US were strengthening their laws on the subject.

                      Even today, the British Left assumes the nostalgia of the British people is for Victoria and the Empire, when all acedemic research shows that the British people are nostalgic for post WWII socialism. Similarly, American nostalgia for the 1950s is presumed to be for racism, sexism, and homophobia, when all research shows that the nostalgia is for a stable economy and a vibrant pop culture.
                      The critique from the left isn't that people are nostalgic for the bad parts of history, but that their nostalgia for the good parts of history are unrealistically decoupled from those bad parts. You don't have the rise of Marxism without the failures of European monarchies. You don't have the stable economy and vibrant pop culture of US in the 50s without the racism, sexism, and homophobia that bought that stability for some off the oppression others, and a pop culture built on appropriating art instead of elevating those that created it.

                      The real Victorians weren't monsters. But many people fought to make them into monsters.
                      Like most of history, the vast majority of people weren't monsters regardless of what was done in their names. Lots of really horrible things were done during the Victorian era, and even if people weren't active participants, they were still passive beneficiaries.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

                        Pushing back against myths about historical eras is important, but trying to white-wash an era is just more propaganda. For example, Boston Marriages weren't some common acceptance of lesbian couples. It was the product of newly financially independent women in highly educated careers creating a life style separate from being reliant on a man in the areas of home ownership, credit, and so on. The more they became publicly associated with a way for lesbians to live together, the less tolerance there was for them until the practice disappeared and independent women were pressured to either live alone or in larger group homes.

                        The Victorian era was one where most of Europe was decriminalizing or legalizing homosexual relationships, while the UK and the US were strengthening their laws on the subject.



                        The critique from the left isn't that people are nostalgic for the bad parts of history, but that their nostalgia for the good parts of history are unrealistically decoupled from those bad parts. You don't have the rise of Marxism without the failures of European monarchies. You don't have the stable economy and vibrant pop culture of US in the 50s without the racism, sexism, and homophobia that bought that stability for some off the oppression others, and a pop culture built on appropriating art instead of elevating those that created it.



                        Like most of history, the vast majority of people weren't monsters regardless of what was done in their names. Lots of really horrible things were done during the Victorian era, and even if people weren't active participants, they were still passive beneficiaries.
                        Thank you. This really clarifies things.


                        “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her (I saw the Chief Technology Officer for a big company do this so I guess I’ll do it too).

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Heavy Arms, like The Nilbog and No One of Consequence, my point is that the real Victorians were complex. We are presented with different stereotypes in popular media and school textbooks. "Boston Marriages" were real, the wider society didn't respect lesbians, but if they were members of an "in" group they were often left alone. This is not tolerance as we know it, or would want it. But neither is it a Nazi style pogrom.

                          The national states of the 19th century, including non Western ones, pushed intolerance of all types as a means to define and purify the nation. This led to both bigoted intolerance and rejection of bigotry being written out of the history books. As the book "Lies my Teacher Told Me" makes clear, including anti-racist views by Whites both calls attention to the Racism the elites want ignored and to the fact racism isn't the eternal unchangeable norm.

                          By the way, I am on the Left.

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                          • #43
                            Nobody was arguing that they weren't complicated. You just sorta jumped into the thread and starting acting like people were going on about the horrors of Victorian life.

                            Boston Marriages were real, but they weren't rooted in any sort of lesbian tolerance. That's my point about white-washing things. Institutions that homosexual couples found safety in isn't tolerance. It was an implicit social norm that if women and men not married to an opposite sex partner, they had to put on enough of a show that they were straight but not interested in marriage, and people would (generally) leave them alone. Everyone might "know" but as long as everyone can turn a blind eye they wouldn't pry. The Victorian period wasn't one of hunts to find all the gays and kill them/toss them in jail (depending when we're talking), but that doesn't mean society was actually tolerant of them. A lack of active persecution isn't tolerance if the threat of persecution is still hanging over your head.

                            Not being full on Nazism is a low bar, but there's still plenty of parallels to all of the low level pogroms that happened before that, just like Jim Crow wasn't chattel slavery, but it wasn't good either.

                            But yeah, high school history books and media period pieces are unsurprisingly inaccurate.

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                            • #44
                              Guys. The campaign is tommorow!

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                              • #45
                                Hmm... While I'd like to pledge right away, I'm afraid I'm going to have to hold off for a bit. Right now I'm in the middle of a financial crisis (as in, I'm trying to figure out if I'll have enough money for food to get me through the next few days). With Kickstarter, that wouldn't be a problem; I'll definitely be back on my feet in a month from now; and if the worst happens and I'm not, I could easily cancel my pledge before the deadline. But with Indie Gogo's pay up front policy, I can't do that.

                                Still, I'm going to be following with interest. And if the cheapest buy-in gets me manuscript access and doesn't lock me out of a later upgrade to PDF access, I might p pledge anyway; I'll just have to find a way to stretch my food out a bit further.


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