I’ve been asked numerous times, “So Mike, what is your world about?” And I typically give the same run down of how I have a world where gods no longer exist, magic and technology mingle and civilization was almost wiped out. But no one wants to hear that. At some point I’ll get asked about the genre and what other games Ave Molech is similar too, which leaves me with the following conundrum. If I say my game is Fantasy, people ask me about the guns, airships and petroxolin, but if I tell them its Steampunk they question me about the swords, magic and psionics. To which I reply, “Well. It’s Steampunk Fantasy.”
Now I know what you’re thinking, “So what in the flying fuck is Steampunk Fantasy?” Good question. Typically we know fantasy as a genre that uses magic among other supernatural aspects as a primary element plot, theme or setting. A common example of this would be some of the more popular books by Tolkien or Margaret Weiss & Tracy Hickman. On the other side we have Steampunk, where the world is set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used. However, when people think of steampunk they often associate it with speculative fiction, a style that explorers the nature of unproven entities or occurrences within a specific time period. Thus, they imagine a Victorian world where everyone is running around in top hats and speaking with English or Scottish accents. While much fiction is written around this particular, it shouldn’t by any means pigeonhole the genre.
So why make up the term Steampunk Fantasy? Simple. It works. I take a world populated by mostly humans, though other races exist to give flavor and let you know you’re not in Kansas anymore. Then we add in the monsters, which can be found in the less populated areas, which in Ave Molech is almost everywhere. Next we make weird technology predominant in the land, but it runs off of gas and steam. But we don’t stop there, for now we have magic, ruins and artifacts that past populace had and still use, though perhaps not as prevalent as the airship taking you across the sea.