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Old 11-11-2016, 11:05 AM   #3
tshiggins
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Denver, Colorado
Default Re: [Game] Work Up a Steampunk Setting

Quote:
Originally Posted by TGLS View Post
Question 1
What's the setting for this setting, i.e. where is it and when is it?

Answer to Q1
It's on an alternative earth, current year 1911. It diverged about 100-200 years ago.

Question 2
Why is steamtech dominant?
Answer to Q2

A fluke of local evolution resulted in a family of invertebrates that thrives in liquid fossil fuels. The various subspecies actually feed on the suspended sulfur, rather than the hydrocarbons themselves, but form intricate arrays of interconnected polyps that absorb the liquid fuels in small hollows, thus creating very dense, solid "reefs." As a byproduct, the polyps produce hydrogen sulfide, which makes mining dangerous and horribly malodorous, but (with careful planning) also provides a source of gaseous fuel.

As such, liquid fossil fuels can't be drilled and pumped, but hydrocarbon reefs can be mined, and form a source of reasonably clean, high-value, solid fuel, as well as quantities of hydrogen sulfide gas large enough to be economically valuable. Coal remains just as useful as in our world, and actually tends to be a bit cleaner, as a subspecies of "reef" invertebrates that leaches some of the sulfur lives in the water that permeates many coal seams.

"Gawd! What's that awful smell?!"
"Money!"


While coal gasification and other chemical matters can make hydrocarbon fuel available in different forms for certain needs, the effort and expense required to convert massive amounts into liquid form renders internal combustion unable to compete, economically.

Question 3

What is the distribution of hydrocarbon reefs? Is the high-value fuel reasonably available everywhere, or does it appear in irregular concentrations?
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Last edited by tshiggins; 11-11-2016 at 11:26 AM.
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