The Crossroads of the Aether
As a newcomer to the Steampunk Lifestyle, I am rather curious. Friends (Non Steamer) have called it a LARP type situation, which seems to be rather apt, but as with most LARPs, I have yet to find any information other than Eras, and if you will, classes. IE: My fiancee and I are to become a Vampyre and her kowtowing lackey/minion.
Are there certain names of lands? Where can one read more about the various genres of Steampunkers?
I am VERY eager to learn more.
Thanks in advance.... (and so sorry if I irk the Clown by confiding that we're portraying a vampyre/Minion Duo...DOES that bother anyone else?).
Greetings Lord Drachen,
I think something to consider is that Steampunk and its derivitives are not so much a LARP or game, but actually an asthetic. Fashions, styles, contraptions, furnishings, all can be steampunk and I'm sure there are a ton of other categories as well. That said, there is obviously room for and often groups involved in Steampunk LARP's, table-top RPG's, and other forums of story telling or role-playing. Often those who are into steampunk cosplay attend events and conventions in costume and sometimes in a persona that gives themselves some fun and helps explain their costume or equipment. Often they are not really role-playing or LARPing, but just hanging out socially. Now, with all that said, there is nothing wrong with persuing a persona that is a vampire or lycanthrope, or any other creature of the night. I say, go for it and if anyone get's their knickers in a knot, it's no skin off your teeth. (Pun intended)
Now in answer to some of your other points, there are tons of sub-genres or sub categories and arguably near-categories that aren't neccessarily steampunk, but are somewhat close and often closer in the spirit of things, such as DieselPunk and Clockpunk, etc... Steampunk is a rough victorian-era sci-fi/fantasy genre. Dieselpunk is more of that WW-II style. The online web comic, "Girl Genius" or "The Shadowbinders" are good examples of Steampunk. The movie "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" kinda blends Steampunk and Dieselpunk. I tend to lump the newest set of Sherlock Holmes movies into the Steampunk genre, though others may argue that it isn't really all that much. "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" definitely fits in the Dieselpunk genre along with movies like Mad Max, Beyond Thunderdome.
About the names of certain lands, there are actually some places that have names more commonly know by the Steampunk community, such as the area I live in, Atlanta, GA, is often referred to as "Terminus" for the following reasons: In 1836, the Georgia General Assembly voted to build the Western and Atlantic Railroad in order to provide a link between the port of Savannah and the Midwest. The initial route was to run southward from Chattanooga to a terminus east of the Chattahoochee River, which would then be linked Savannah. After engineers surveyed various possible locations for the terminus, the "zero milepost" was driven into the ground in what is now Five Points. A year later, the area around the milepost had developed into a settlement, first known as “Terminus,” and later as “Thrasherville” after a local merchant who built homes and a general store in the area. This information according to wikipedia. Therefore, to everyone here in Atlanta, the lands are known as Terminus. Many other places also have names for their areas or regions that corespond to some older reference.
Anyway, I hope that helps some.
Yes indeed it does shed some light into the situation quite well, and I heartily thank you for the answers provided.
Since you would call your lands "terminus" I would venture a guess that our lands, being Pittsburgh area, might be called "Steelton". *shurgs unknowningly.*
Thank you again for the answers and I shall definately look into this!
Steampunk is what you make it. I came into it thinking it was actual really people returning to steam technologies! I have since well discovered it is a fictional aesthetic movement, based on the Victorian era of steam and clockwork, as stated above. However that is a fairly loose basis, as some of the technology people use goes into ray guns and cybernetics, but ensure they stay with the look of the era, i.e girl robots, but in corsets and bustles with those funny tiny top hats.
Don't try to define steampunk too much, certain members get annoyed by this, in fact i am nervous writing this as i am sure someone will take offense to my writings. But i have also learnt that your version of steampunk is your own, let others come up with theirs.
How far you want to go into steampunk, it is up to you. Personally, it kindled an intrest in Victorian lifestyle and dress, and i know go to work in pinstripes, vests, frock coats and hats, carry a cane, peruse antiques, and am embarking on the great journey of straight razor shaving. As to the tech side of things, i wear little of that, but some folk like to wear it everyday, and spend much time constructing it into great detail. I am constantly amazed by it and the skill involved, but it is not my thing. However, I do like writing and imagining the technical side of steam punk, and take part in some roleplaying here on the Empire to allow this.
Some people use magic, some are robots, some are scullery maids, some are generals. There are mermaids, Zombies, Immortals, cybernetics, and god forbid, just some normal folks. Me, I am a bartender in a time bubble bar in one story, a half man half mechaical spider in another, a steampunk Dr claw in another. In real life i know no other steampunkers, but here on the Empire i have many new friends, and learned many new skills and abilities. My creative juices flow to excess, and i never have a boring minute where i can sit and think nothing, it is always on the next story addition, the next photo manipulation, the next op shop purchase.
As to places and names, use real ones, use historical ones, use fictional ones. Reside in Fantasia if you wish, no-one here can or should ever tell you that is wrong. The main thing is, enjoy it, create with it, and flow with it.
Oh and browse it. All your questions have been answered elsewhere in the multiple forums available. Find the brown link to all discussions, and choose a category that takes your fancy.
And if anyone reading this does not like what i said, bad luck, that is my steampunk.
Bravo, I think you followed up wonderfully on several points that I completely missed indeed! Whether steampunk, dieselpunk, cyberpunk, etc make it whatever you want to make it and wherever you want to make it be at. Though much of this has been argued before. I think some folks argue the minutiae simply because they're bored more than anything.
Thank you as well, James, for your wonderful insight! It would seem to me, in a nutshell, and I think it fair to say, that Steampunk is what you make of it!
My fiancee has been a Goth since way before I met her, and it seems that Steampunk may be a round about way for her to embrace the Victorian Aspect of the Goth lifestyle, in a more socially acceptable means. Myself? I'd be more about the technical aspect of the Steamer Lifestyle.
You two have been a wonderful aide in understanding!
Someone awesome once said to me (Shahbanoo Pantea, one of my original guides and muses) Steampunk is the goths discovering colour. Check out the group Steampunk Goths.
For yourself, there is a Maker (the technical aspect) section of discussions.
Ah, I remember that! Seems so long ago, you've really come quite a ways, I'm still impressed.
May I suggest to you Lord Drachen that your Lady and you stop by the Accepted Cog Saloon to take a gander at the many types of personas and people that make it through there. Obviously it's a large post, I don't expect you to read it all, but it'd be nice if you two would join us there to maybe give your personas a nice test drive and so on.
It's always 5pm on Friday there. :)
Shahbanoo, I will certainly do just that! Thank you for the advice!
I AM SO OFFENDED JAMES!
No, just kidding, I had to mess with you there. :)
Oh my. Sounds as if you are looking for a very organized central authority. Sorry, we don't have one.
We are all making this up as we go along, with an overriding shared interest in the look-and-feel of Victorian adventure stories.
I have not played any games in 30 years, and so I honetly have no idea what "Eras" or "classes" may define, or why. Names of lands? Such as England, Nippon, the Confederacy, the African Commonwealth, or Leng? Could you expand on your question for the old folks?
We have few rules. Be splendid to each other. Be respectful to other's efforts and imaginations. Don't oppress the native populace if anyone is watching. Borrow the best from the past to build a better future. And if you are not having fun, you are doing it wrong.
Hello Mr. Leadbetter,
It may also be helpful for you to look-up the local Pittsburgh steampunk community if you are looking to actually interact with other steampunks. Not sure if they are "larping" but I do know they get together and folks like AirMarshal Harlan Cornelias Cain have posted looking for like-minded folks in your area.
Steampunk isn't like the SCA, with set kingdoms, roles, titles and a common fiction. You will find a certain amount of "persona play" at conventions but it certainly isn't universal nor shared by all attendees. If you are looking for this kind of situation you are going to have to hunt up a group of folks (or form one) who share that particular "take" on steampunk.
...of course the Imperial Amerikan Air Corp has been known to recruit...:P
LOL My Dear Major... Thank you for the advice as well! I had sent a friend request to the Good Air Marshall just a few days ago, a he and I reside in the same town. And I certainly shall bear your offer in mind as well!