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Old 11-21-2016, 11:22 AM   #81
Daigoro
 
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Default Re: [Game] Work Up a Steampunk Setting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerald Cat View Post
I edited my post and toned that down a little. Mainly, I made it so that religious figures wielded their magic in secret. And I mean that they are truly keeping it a secret from the general public. That should be far less disruptive to the setting.
Good work, I think the aristocratic monster hunters division is a nice touch too.

Also, I think it might be easier when recapping questions just to use the same numbering on them, and just add a "standing" label if they call for multiple entries from different posters.

So the current open questions list appears as:
Quote:
Question 34
What are popular tourist destinations?

Question 38- Standing
What are the top 5-10 Global Trouble Spots, and which side are the British or other powers supporting?
1 entry of 5-10

Question 39
Who built the North Sea Pyramid, and why?

Question 41- Standing
What are some of the Chinese or Western Pacific indigenous resistance groups who fight the brutally oppressive occupations by the Japanese Empire?
1 entry

Question 42
What types of weaponry are commonly available for various country's troops? And what advanced options are there? Who has the superior armaments?
Finally, I think we may need a couple more "fact-finding" questions, as much as I'm enjoying the "colour" questions.

How about-
Question 43
What is the state of flying technology? It's 8 years after OTL's flight of the Wright Bros at Kitty Hawk. Do we have prop-driven planes, gliders, ornithopters, personal parachutes, helicopters, rockets or jets? What are the limits of airship design?

Question 44
What everyday contraptions, devices or technology do denizens of the setting enjoy that we were deprived of in OTL, or deprived of today even? How is life different for the average, middle to upper class member of modern industrialised society?

Question 45
Are there Gadgeteers, or just pretty good inventors?
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Old 11-21-2016, 12:24 PM   #82
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Default Re: [Game] Work Up a Steampunk Setting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post

(SNIP)

How about-
Question 43
What is the state of flying technology? It's 8 years after OTL's flight of the Wright Bros at Kitty Hawk. Do we have prop-driven planes, gliders, ornithopters, personal parachutes, helicopters, rockets or jets? What are the limits of airship design?

(SNIP)
Powerful internal-combustion engines are key to winged flight, but if a setting has internal combustion, then it's not steampunk, any longer.

It may be dieselpunk, but steam engines gave way to internal combustion because internal combustion is so much more powerful, for any given mass of engine.

While liquid petrochemicals can be made from petrol coral, the assumption is that it's just not economical to do so. Petrol coral is processed into liquid hydrocarbons, but only to create lubricants, or very specialized applications. I think this should be expensive enough that most people travel by some sort of mass transportation -- trains, or airships, or riverboats or ocean steamers -- because of lubricant costs.

Local travel and transportation would rely on delivery companies that use steam trucks/lorries, streetcars, or bicycle technology (including cargo bikes and bicycle rickshaws), although a horse-drawn carriage remains a favorite for lots of reasons.

The main exception in this setting would be the presence of large amounts of hydrogen sulfide gas, which is a bit of a game-changer. However, that's heavier than air, very poisonous, corrosive, flammable, and explosive. The slurries -- a great idea, by the way -- is the term used for the lung disease caused by prolonged exposure to the trace amounts of hydrogen sulfide that make it through the gas-masks that petrol-miners must wear.

(I perceive that most petrol coral gets used in fist-sized chunks, the same as coal. However, it can get ground down into an oily, fine powder that tends to clump. Aerosolized, this stuff is bad to breathe, too, and results in "slurries" that look a lot like black lung disease. Still, I'd think "petrol powder" would be the "premium" fuel of choice in the hoppers for smaller vehicles, because it minimizes the amount of wasted space.)

That said, the fact that hydrogen sulfide is so energy-dense, and can be pressurized in a way that tar coral can't, means it's the primary choice for uses already seen as rather risky, or for which no other means really exists.

So, airships use high-efficiency Stirling engines (with military research into Stoddard engines ongoing) fueled by pressurized hydrogen sulfide, the fumes from which get vented to the outside of the vehicle. Ground-crews probably also wear gas-masks until the engines get shut down, and maintenance crews probably have them handy.

I'd think most airships go for size and power, rather than speed, and good airship pilots have a feel for finding helpful winds. Most passenger craft handle up to 200 (well-heeled) passengers in sumptuous comfort, during transatlantic flights that take up to four days, or transpacific flights that can take up to 10 days (New Orleans to Shimla, by direct flight of the famous Himalaya Clipper). Large cargo airships carry up to 40 tons of high-value cargo (luxury items are the usual manifest), and can deliver it from point-to-point, without multiple changes in modes (truck to train or riverboat, then to ship, back to train or riverboat, back to truck for final delivery).

Cargo airships take deliveries from trucks or trains, transport the goods in a tenth the time of surface transport, and either drop it directly where its needed, or hand it off to the recipients' vehicles. This costs a lot of money, which means only high-end goods or commodities make the trip -- which, in turn, makes them prime targets for air pirates. Passenger liners, on the other hand, are usually pretty safe. Usually.

As a comparison, a single large C-130 cargo plane with an extended fuselage can carry up to 20 tons, by itself, and make the trip in a quarter of the time, including stops to refuel, if needed. A C-5B Galaxy carries up to 190 tons, and takes about as long as a C-130. That's what propellers driven by internal combustion engines do, for you. Jets are even faster, but are also fuel-hogs.

(Also note: high winds are a problem. If a day is even slightly blustery, airships don't bother to try to land. They just remain at altitude and ride it out until conditions calm. Stirling engines are highly efficient, but not spectacularly powerful, which is why most dirigibles have at least six of them, and large cargo airships may have up to 12.)

Exceptions to the "size over speed" rule would be for military pursuit dirigibles, designed specifically to destroy other airships. These feature small crews on dirigibles with multiple powerful engines, and turret-mounted weapons (Maxim guns are favorites, since armoring dirigibles is counter-productive) mostly slung beneath.

The Black Manta's airship is probably based on military pursuit dirigibles, with the additional refinement of a fairly aerodynamic lifting-body design. Assuming the airship doesn't get destroyed by those charged with hunting her down, the military will be highly interested in its design (and His Majesty's Royal Navy may already have savants knocking around some ideas along those lines).

Most modern airships follow the "Hindenberg" model of placing the bulk of the crew, as well as cargo and/or passengers, within the airframe rather than in a gondola slung beneath. However, most dirigibles have at least a small gondola, used to direct landing operations, and many of the older models still fly, as well.

Following a couple of very public accidents, most countries forbid the use of hydrogen as a lifting gas. This usually presents no problems, as the widespread distribution of petrol coral mining and processing means helium is readily available as a by-product. That said, some particularly crazed science-pirates have been known to use hydrogen, which has better lifting power, as compared to the same mass of helium. Usually, those villains die spectacularly.

Another use of hydrogen sulfide appears in military submersibles, and the service is considered highly hazardous. However, even military submersibles spend most of their time on the surface, and the engines vent the fumes to the outside of the vessel. Once the vehicle submerges, it switches to battery operations, although some successful experiments have seen the use of main engines, with venting through snorkels at periscope depth.

Still, it remains a very dangerous duty, and submariners are both rare and well-paid. There is no such thing as "non-combat pay" for military submersible sailors.

Addendum: The Himalaya Clipper charges 100 pounds sterling for each of the 150 "Standard Fare" tickets. This comes with double-occupancy in a well-appointed pullman-style compartment, cleaned daily. The 40 tickets for "Luxury Class" include a single-occupancy compartment, and cost 200 pounds sterling, for the 10-day trip. The 10 "First Class" accommodations have single-occupancy compartments twice the size of the other accommodations, 24 hour service by hot-and-cold running stewards, two bathrooms for use by First Class passengers, only, and guarantee at least one dinner at the commander's table. Those cost 500 pounds sterling.

Airship travel is for the wealthy, or for those with high-end government or corporate expense accounts. Everybody else takes a steamer and trains, and the trips take two to four times as long.
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Last edited by tshiggins; 11-25-2016 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 11-21-2016, 01:58 PM   #83
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Default Re: [Game] Work Up a Steampunk Setting

Question 42 armaments, partial answer.
The Junker-Becker theories on phlogiston in energetic vapours have eventually led to two fully realized military developments. The first is the vortex cannon, favoured as a defense against airship attacks. This weapon ignites an explosive blend of gas in an ignition chamber and launches a stable air vortex at it's target. While the range is short, the effects on an airship can be devastating.

The second development is known as the "Devil's mist" or worse by soldiers and military men the world over. It is a complicated and fragile device that emits a vapourous compound that explodes is a most energetic fashion when ignited. While the militaries of the world have yet to develop a version that can be fired in a shell or dropped from an airship the weapon has seen some use in naval combat, unfortunately the design has become known to various anarchist groups and it has been used on two occasions as a weapon of terror.

Note these may not be particularly effective weapons but they are ones that have captured the public's attention
Vortex cannon clip
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:40 PM   #84
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Default Re: [Game] Work Up a Steampunk Setting

Question 34
What are popular tourist destinations?

Question 38 - Standing
What are the top 5-10 Global Trouble Spots, and which side are the British or other powers supporting?
1 entry of 5-10

Question 39
Who built the North Sea Pyramid, and why?

Question 41 - Standing
What are some of the Chinese or Western Pacific indigenous resistance groups who fight the brutally oppressive occupations by the Japanese Empire?
1 entry

Question 42
What types of weaponry are commonly available for various country's troops? And what advanced options are there? Who has the superior armaments?
Partially answered on advanced options.

Question 44
What everyday contraptions, devices or technology do denizens of the setting enjoy that we were deprived of in OTL, or deprived of today even? How is life different for the average, middle to upper class member of modern industrialised society?

Question 45
Are there Gadgeteers, or just pretty good inventors?
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:27 PM   #85
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Default Re: [Game] Work Up a Steampunk Setting

Question 44 - Standing
The automated tailor - the advancement in fabric technology brought about by the rise of the airship resulted in a civilian product known as the Automated tailor or bespokamatic. This device uses shears, automatic sewing mechanisms and templates to quickly create clothes for the well to do. Fashion has begun to move very quickly as a result in certain circles.

Power cart. This is a simple and cheap powered cart that is pushed by the operator. The internal engine provides enough power to overcome friction and it's typical load. In well develped urban areas examples exist that get recharged from the local steam grid. This is popular with food vendors as the surplus heat is used to keep their product warm.

The production car.
Unlike in the otl a production car here means a small factory that operates out of 1 or more railway carriages. A common sight in the industrial parts of the world these production cars serve as the first stage of processing for primary industry. Examples include sawmills, bottling plants, slaughter houses, shearing plants, dairy factories and many more. The factory goes to the resource.
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:39 PM   #86
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Default Re: [Game] Work Up a Steampunk Setting

Forgive my breach of protocol by posting a question and immediately answering it, but it's a standing question and the first 2 groups have already been mentioned.

Question 46- Standing question on Adventurer Groups
What organisations, groups, agencies, departments, corporations or security forces have teams, units or detachments of 3-6 operatives, agents, investigators or representatives ready to solve problems, dive into adventure or trounce rump, or otherwise to execute diabolical plans of immoral purpose?

Answer 46a)
London Metropolitan Police Force's Informal Working Unit on Witchcraft

A group of noble dilettantes appointed to investigate cases of witchcraft as a public relations and political exercise, but who have actually discovered the real existence of witchcraft. Have now tasked themselves with dealing with it without seeming to deal with it.

Answer 46b)
Lydia Florence Watford's Academy of Mechanical Studies for Young Ladies

- front for the Kingfisher and her Black Manta flight crew and ground team
- mechanical laboratory producing small-scale high-tech weaponry, airship, optics and mechanical computing advances
- directs intelligence teams to uncover cases of mistreatment of labourers and criminal exploitation of the working class
- based in Wales and operating in the West Country, but looking further afield across Britain and her colonies

Answer 46c)
Sir Adrian's Discretionary Parties

Operating under the Chancellor of State for Foreign Affairs discretionary spending purse, sent around the globe to discretely deal with issues of delicacy or embarrassment for the Empire and to maintain her interests. Proto-spies in the 007 mould.
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Old 11-22-2016, 10:57 AM   #87
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Default Re: [Game] Work Up a Steampunk Setting

Question 34
What are popular tourist destinations?

I think we should make this also a standing question.

34a) Auyan Tepui Resort

Maybe the world most exclusive hotel is located on a high mesa in the border area of Venezuela and British Guyana. It can only be reached by airship. The honeymoon suite has to be booked in advance for at least four years. This is not only because of the exquisite and discreet service, the soft silken beds or the finest champagne money can buy - it is mainly because of the unforgettable view of the world's highest waterfall, the Queen-Charlotte-Cascade.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auy%C3%A1n-tepui

Question 47: Who are the five most famous living heroes, be them soldiers, explorers, scientists or police men?

Last edited by Dr. Beckenstein; 11-23-2016 at 01:05 PM. Reason: changed greatest to most famous for clarification
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Old 11-22-2016, 11:19 AM   #88
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Answer 46d

Sonderueberpruefungsgruppe 4 (SUG 4)

This group, whose name can simply be translated as "special audit group 4" is a sub-division of the Royal Prussian Tar Coral Society's accounting department. SUG 4 consists of experts in financial, technological and intelligence matters. Most of it's members have a military background, and on missions abroad they are usually escorted by local experts and interpretors, if necessary - each member of the SUG 4 speaks at least three languages.

Whenever a problem in one of the many branches of the society cannot be handled by the local staff, the society sends SUG 4. Be it a burning tar coral mine, native uprising, mysterious thefts or simple embezzlement - the specialists from SUG 4 can handle it.

Last edited by Dr. Beckenstein; 11-23-2016 at 01:06 PM. Reason: corrected mistake
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:38 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Dr. Beckenstein View Post
Answer 46c
That should be 46d.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Beckenstein View Post
Question 34
What are popular tourist destinations?

I think we should make this also a standing question.
I think it's fair to say any of the "list" questions are standing questions, and 5 is a good target number. That means that we can keep the question open in the question pool until it gains 5 replies, then we can retire it from the pool. However, if other people still want to add entries, say if there are more Wanted Criminals or Technological Wonders, that's fine.

I started qn 46 with 3 entries, so we can aim for 5 more to make 8.
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:47 PM   #90
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Answer to Question 39- The North Sea Pyramid
Responding to the sound of loud, repeating blows, Sir Adrian came rushing into His Lordship's office to find Lord Buggsbury in a rather agitated state. He was clutching a willow bokken and wearing his white kendo armour, which was embroidered excessively with gold brocade and his Earldom of Devon coat of arms.* At his feet were the remnants of the pneumaphone, now a battered, splintered mess, while a thin whine of steam emitted from the adjacent wall panel.

"Allow me to be so brazen, m'lord, but Your Lordship appears to be in somewhat of a dander. Is there anything with which I may assist?" ventured Sir Adrian.

"This wretched contraption was making an infernal racket, Sir Adrian. It was all I could do to stop it!"

"By racket, m'lord, would that perhaps be its whistle, like a kettle on the stove?"

"'Twas more akin to a Siren's wail, good man, than a kettle!"

"Ah, my apologies, m'lord. That was merely one of the pneumaphone's modalities of operation. It was drawing attention to the presence of a remote caller desiring to speak, m'lord."

"In my day, Sir Adrian, speakers wishing to speak would speak! With their mouths! Not by coded tin-whistles!"

"Indeed, m'lord. Yet society changes apace…"

"Now who was it then desiring to speak?"

"As the connection was redirected to my quarters, I can state unequivocally that the speaker was the Swedo-Norwegian Ambassador."

"Gustav's man?"

"Yes, m'lord."

"Calling to apologise, I should well expect."

"Erm… apologise, m'lord?"

"Of course! Over this North Sea debacle. It's all over the daily lithograms. Have you not seen them? Skirmishing over this pyramid of the ages, my word! Why am I the last to hear of such foreign conflict?"

"The vernacular press, m'lord? I tend to avoid it."

"Finger on the pulse, Sir Adrian, the pulse of the common man. One likes to keep oneself grounded, in touch with the man on the street."

"I do not doubt that at all, Your Lordship. However, one might find that tales of an ancient pyramid on the bed of the North Sea are somewhat of a… fabrication, m'lord. Penny dreadful stuff, I'm afraid."

Lord Buggsbury almost spluttered as he picked up a sheaf of broadsheet papers from his bureau, "This? All this? A fabrication? It's front page! The Free Times, the Celtic Bugle, the Royal Holdings' Cryer… an entire company of the Scots Guards Specialised Infantry… pitched battles… It's the tomb of a pharaoh's daughter, Scota, they say, exiled from Egypt and first queen of the Gaels..."

"Heady stuff, I'm quite sure, m'lord."

Buggsbury continues to scan for quotes, "… 900 foot tall, sitting all of 100 foot below the sea surface… twice the Great Pyramid of Giza… 8th Wonder of the Ancient World… Norwegian blood spilt…"

"Indeed, m'lord, but all quite impossible. The North Sea is but 300 feet deep, so this pyramid would stand two-thirds of its bulk above the surface. And if it were some 16 fathoms below the surface, this is one of the world's busiest shipping lanes, m'lord. A fishing trawler would be catching their net on it every Tuesday. It could not possibly have just now been discovered. Besides all of which, m'lord, we hardly have a whole company equipped with Holland's Bathyphilic Walkers. I understand there to be a couple of platoons, at the most."

Buggsby suddenly gave Sir Adrian's countenance an uncharacteristically shrewd appraisal, "You seem to be rather well-versed on the obscure topic of North Sea geology, Sir Adrian. Would you perhaps have some… deeper… involvement in this matter?"

Sir Adrian, almost imperceptibly, shifted uncomfortably. "None… that I would care to admit to, m'lord."

"I see, this is intriguing. So there are no Scots Guards?"

"Not quite, m'lord. More of a discretionary group, shall we say, who may have borrowed some equipment. But I am at a loss as to where this pyramid story arose. Nonetheless, m'lord, nothing of consequence occurred in the region. All is quite well."

"A discretionary force, Sir Adrian?"

"Indeed, m'lord, I know nothing more."

Buggsbury banged the point of his bokken into the hardwood floor, startling Sir Adrian ever so slightly. "Jolly good! Wonderful news. Now then, what did he want?"

"Your pardon, m'lord?"

"The ambassador! You came here to inform me of his communiqué! So, proceed! What was its content?"

"Ah, yes, of course, m'lord. His Excellency merely wanted to extend an invitation to suggest some British candidates to the Gustav V Academy, m'lord, for their annual prize ceremony. The Sir Alfred Nobel Prize for Excellence in Machinery Arts and Engineering, m'lord, presented to the greatest such thinkers and artists from around the globe."

"Indeed, the highest calling, think you not? Advancing the common good? Well, the British Empire shan't be seen to be lacking on the world stage, Sir Adrian. Unacceptable. Hence you should form a committee, make a short list, send me a report. And make sure that good fellow John Holland gets a look in, eh? Where would we be without his genius, eh?"

"Indeed, m'lord."

"And perhaps that astute fellow who put together this pneumaphone system. It does seem awfully clever."

"Actually an Italian gentleman, as I understand, m'lord. We just adapted the design. However, I shall make preparations forthwith."

"Very good, very good. Now, if I may, I shan't be late for my lessons with Lord Sensei Cumberland-Furroughs. He's as likely as not to have me in seiza for the whole class, and my knees are quite brittle, if I may say. My thanks, Sir Adrian, dismissed!"

"Yes, m'lord."

*For kendo, as well as a number of other Japanese traditions, had been wholly embraced by British society since discourse between the countries began at the end of the 18th century.

Question 48
Which tinkerers and inventors would we see on the short-list for the Sir Alfred Nobel Prize for Excellence in Machinery Arts and Engineering? Who are five famous gadgeteers and what are they known for?
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Steampunk: Colonial Steam
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