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Author Topic: Lacepunk/Clockpunk/Weird 1600–1700s  (Read 18247 times)
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Smith
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« on: March 08, 2013, 01:26:34 PM »

As the Osprey Wargames (OWG; Dux Bellorum, A World Aflame, In Her Majesty's Name etc.) series develops, I keep thinking about one of the key elements in the design philosophy behind it: the ability to cover really small or marginal genres and topics without the same level of risk associated with larger publications. While most of the OWG titles come in as proposals from wargamers and authors, and while the majority of submissions are for what I would call 'mainstream' gaming topics (WWII, Zombies, Ancients etc.), once in a while a genre will randomly crop up that makes me think "that would be cool... would it work, and who could write it?"

I recently read 2000AD's excellent Defoe series (art samples below), and my immediate reaction was "I'd love to see figures like that", followed swiftly by "what would I use them for?". I know there are a few games of this type out there – Witchfinder General, Pike and Shot and Zombies, Carnevale – but I wonder if there'd be an interest for a skirmish game based around the kind of mash-up of anachronistic technology and things that go bump in the night that, if set a couple of centuries later, would be called Steampunk or VSF, and which would allow players to build whatever factions they wanted?

I hasten to add that I don't have a system or author in mind – this is a general query about the genre for the most eclectic wargaming forum I know! I've noticed a few posts here along similar themes, but do people really want to add werewolves to the '45, zombies to the F&IW, or clockwork tanks to the ECW? Of course, although there are plenty of historical figures that would work for this, more specialist concepts may require specialist figures – but first things first!




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v_lazy_dragon
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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2013, 01:39:38 PM »

This definitely isn't my period (the closest I get is 1830's old west...) but I have often toyed with 'werid' or 'pulpy' skirmishes in the slightly later 1700's: Highway men, pirates, smugglers,  the beast of gevaudan, bizarre inventions, witch-craft, etc etc. Perhaps the best description would be 'Tricorn & lace pulp' or Empire of the Dead:1700's....  Certainly a slightly earlier version could tempt me, and given the new 3 Musketeers and it's mash-up of technology, there could well be a market for it.
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robh
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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2013, 02:40:06 PM »

It is a fascinating idea, I have Carnevale and Witchfinder General and think they are both great. I much prefer Histo Fantasy or Histo Horror genres than the more common VSF/Steampunk trend stuff.
A Defoe based game would be on my "must have" list.

I have heard rumours that a specially commissioned range of figures suitable for Lacepunk may be hitting Kickstarter soon. I have not got any details yet as it was apparently discussed on TMP but I have not found the thread.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 07:20:42 PM by robh » Logged
workerBee
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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2013, 04:28:04 PM »

Does New Spain (North America, Spanish claimed territory, 1500 - 1840,) come close? 

I have rules (CiC) and figures for that in my collection.  Trying to stay away from anachronistic technology issues so it's not terribly Clock/Steam/Coal-punk flavored and actual "magic" is stuff that can be explained by "spiritual" or "psionic" or "delusion/deception" based power.

Gracias,

Glenn
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Smith
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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2013, 05:08:44 PM »

I have heard rumours that a specially commissioned range of figures suitable for Lacepunk may be hitting Kickstarter soon. I have not got any details yet as it was apparently discussed on TMP but I have not found the thread.

This (http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=288177) is the only one I've heard of...

Does New Spain (North America, Spanish claimed territory, 1500 - 1840,) come close? 

I have rules (CiC) and figures for that in my collection.  Trying to stay away from anachronistic technology issues so it's not terribly Clock/Steam/Coal-punk flavored and actual "magic" is stuff that can be explained by "spiritual" or "psionic" or "delusion/deception" based power

The earlier period, sure, why not? In fact, it'd probably stretch towards the 1830 end as well, especially if you're avoiding technology. Like I say, there is no game (at present) – this is more a gauge of potential interest. In an ideal world, the same system would work for the occultism of the Hellfire Club as for the advanced tech of the Royal Engineers, allowing weird games, 'wired' games or a combination of the two!
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 05:12:47 PM by Smith » Logged
robh
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2013, 07:13:24 PM »

This (http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=288177) is the only one I've heard of...

Ah, that explains why I couldn't find it. Great idea but very limited scope. Could be wonderful figures if they are done well (true 28mm human proportions not wargame bobblehead style)
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fastolfrus
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2013, 07:29:24 PM »

Baron Munchausen, possibly the new Hansel & Gretel (only seen the trailers) or actual 17CSF - Simplicius Simplicissimus:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_Abenteuerliche_Simplicissimus_Teutsch

Add in Leonardo da Vinci tanks etc, or even Leonard of Quirm.

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abdul666lw
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« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2013, 09:25:34 PM »

What are currently missing are mostly specialized miniatures (the TMP thread refers only to 18th C. female soldiers to supplement the hard-to-obtain Eureka 'Sandras') with 'Lacepunk' look and weapons. A *lot* of rules are already available -I doubt that facing vampires, werewolves, Greek Fire-throwers, Franklin's galvanic weapons and dirigibles armed with multi-barrelled 'Puckle' machine guns differences between '3 Musketeers' matchlocks and 'Barry Lyndon' firelocks are significant.

Rules don't have to be perceived as restricted to a narrow period or peculiar setting: coming from historical gaming (well, almost historical: Hyboria-like Ancients-Medievals and 'The War Game'-type 18th C. Imagi-Nations) I have difficulty to understand that some could believe that a given system can be used only in the 'official'©®™ setting with 'official'©®™ miniatures (preferably painted with 'official'©®™ brushes dipped in 'official'©®™ paints). The GW©®™ ("a complete hobby") 'enslaving' of consumers kills creativity and promotes passive, 'lazy' consumption of ready-made, predigested games. As a marketing trick it proves efficient and many other firms tend to copy it (WW EotD comes to mind) but fortunately these companies are not big enough to enforce brainwashing. They offer rules, they offer minis yet many buyers still have the independence of mind to use other minis or other rules; a few indeed are intellectually free enough to use rules in other periods and settings, e.g. Strange Aeons in the 18th C.. Actually not to *encourage* the use of proxy minis could be well a mistake for a company trying to launch a new game (Carnevale...); symmetrically  Shocked epiphany!: a GW fanboy knows Illumination when he realizes he can play in the WH40K universe with Khurasan miniatures and Stargrunt II rules  Hypno
Rules, precise location & time and figurines manufacturer are basically independent.

Inspiration is not restricted to 17th - 18th c. models: the 'Witcher', the professional monster hunter of video games, was introduced in a traditional 'med-fan' background, but such a character can well appear in a 'Lacepulp' setting. The Japanese anime Hellsing Ultimate could easily be adapted to an 'alternate' 18th C.... I dream someone younger than me would play 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' by the time of Fontenoy and Culloden <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/S1JdPvyy93I&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/S1JdPvyy93I&rel=1</a>

For rules, the most flexible and 'personal' solution is probably to choose a period and place one likes, to start from a (quasi) historical set of rules -Flashing blades, Cutlass, Gloire, Musket and tomahawks, even Sharpe's practice- and to add exactly the 'level' of 'weird science' and / or 'supernatural' according to personal taste.
Of course any such 'alternate history' setting can differ significantly from 'our' historical one: to play swashbuckler adventures in the mid-18th C. I set them in an 'alternate' France where the Fronde des Nobles had triumphed, thus in 1745 the central power exerted no more control than by the time of D'Artagnan.

As for minis, there is already a cornucopia of 'historical', 'pirates' and 'swashbuckling' ranges, at most requiring minor conversions if one wants to field unconventional 'Lacepunk' weapons. A few minis obviously inspired from 'Brotherhood of the Wolf' and a few 'adventurers' in tricorne scattered in unexpected ranges look specially suitable; of course a few more would be welcome.

A few good minis would do much to promote the genre.

Ideally -as was almost the tradition for 'fantasy adventurers' minis in the old 'Dungeons & Dragons' days- each 'character' should be available on foot and riding.


Imagine...




But with *creativity* great 'Lacepulp' games and campaigns can be played with what is currently available: see bogdanwaz' 'A Devil in Jersey' excellent 'Clockwork punk' RPG campaign, not to mention his tremendous 'Ben Franklin's War' game.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 09:12:05 PM by abdul666lw » Logged

ducat
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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2013, 09:54:43 PM »

you may want to keep an eye on Red Knight Wargames as he is working on something that would seem to fit this era- check out his first green pic at the top of his page -

http://www.redknightwargames.co.uk/
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robh
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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2013, 10:16:11 PM »

you may want to keep an eye on Red Knight Wargames as he is working on something that would seem to fit this era- check out his first green pic at the top of his page -

http://www.redknightwargames.co.uk/

I had a look at the site for the game she is from earlier, not much to see yet.

http://vampireslayersclub.simplesite.com/160233494

Unfortunately Vampire Slayers Club looks to be 1880s London again. The characters all look fairly standard, nicely done, but nothing unusual or different. Maybe some gems worth picking up though, the Brides concept looks good.

My hope at the moment is that Vesper-On will expand the Carnevale game to other themed cities in the same time frame.  Horror gaming the streets of Revolutionary era Paris or Prague, Budapest and Istanbul masses of myths and legends to play with.
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Conquistador
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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2013, 10:44:09 PM »


<snip> Horror gaming the streets of Revolutionary era Paris or Prague, Budapest and Istanbul masses of myths and legends to play with.

Enough real life horror in the first alone to carry more than a few scenarios!

Gracias,

Glenn
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thebinmann
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« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2013, 11:18:17 PM »

I'm pretty sure someone man minis for Brotherhood of the Wolf (Pactes Des Loups), laughing monk rings a bell....
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Hildred Castaigne
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2013, 11:44:58 PM »

For a while I was pretty keen to start dabbling in Georgian Science Fiction.
But then I sat back and realised that 'science fiction' does not fit the period for me.
It is easy to see the 18th century as the Age of Enlightenment, but for most people life had not moved on since the Middle Ages.
Life was mostly rural, with subsistence farming and the old superstition was still rife.

I would still think about, but treat it more as fantasy with muskets and powdered wigs.

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abdul666lw
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« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2013, 10:22:47 PM »

In Europe and its colonies the 18th C. is indeed a period of transition. Most people, specially in the lower classes and in the countryside, still are as superstitious as in the British Isles during the 'witch finding' / ECW age or in Salem at the age of the witch trials. But for a minority it is already the age of the Encyclopedia, of Enlightenment and emerging science. Thus for gaming purposes it can be treated as the time when declining magic is challenged by rational science still in its infancy. In the same way as  magic is 'dying' in the 'Dragonslayer' movie (and somehow in Middle-Earth at the end of the Third Age); and the Old Faith (& magic) is fading and Christianity triumphing in 'Excalibur and 'Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King / The Ring of the Nibelungs.


Thus, while I'm generally reluctant to have 'real' magic and 'weird' science in the same setting -they are largely redundant in game terms, and are rival interpretations of what the uneducated sees as 'miraculous'- I'd make an exception for the 18th C., making the period all the more interesting - 'Lacepulp' (Fantasy) coexisting with 'Lacepunk' (Sci-Fi).



(Foundry female 'Revenant Elves' do have a 18th C. 'look':
their ears 'normalized' they could make convincing 'Lacepulp' witches -of the 'big foot' coven Smiley)



Fantasy: Witches, of course, and nor only in backwater countryside (the Black Masses were nor so old, the French Court was ready to believe in the 'immortal' Saint-Germain and in Cagliostro, Mesmer's 'cures' were largely perceived as 'magical'). But of course witches do NOT have to wear the Disney™ Halloween regulation uniform. Besides, witches are *beautiful*: they look like old hags only when wanting to pass unnoticed.

Werewolves are part of the European folk lore since Antiquity (of a kinder nature Norwegian tradition had Huldras and a wider diversity of 'trolls' than modern tourists would believe).

Vampires of the 'romantic / Victorian' type à la Carmilla / Dracula (unharmed by sunlight, btw) appeared in Western European literature at by the mid-18th C. even if the first' successful' one dates from 1816.

Voodoo Zombies were by then mostly restricted to Haiti but a crazy explorer could have brought back a Voodoo witch-doctor from his travel oversea, just like another one brought back a lion (?) in 'Brotherhood of the Wolf' or drugs with 'Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde' side effects in the French TV 'Bête du Gévaudan'  -and then his mysterious 'exotic' wife could be a Shambleau. Alternatively if one subscribes to the 'modern' (Resident evil, [rec]...) interpretation of zombies as diseased persons, the plague could have arrived with a ship, so one can play 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' in Georgian England.


Mountainous areas of 18th C. Europe were as backward and in winter as isolated as remote settlements in Nouvelle France: hence the plot of Le poil de la bête (a kind of Anthony Quinn's 'Battle of San Sebastian' with werewolves instead of half-breed bandidos, set in late 17th C. French Canada) could be relocated there. As could the action of Ginger Snaps Back, Werewolf: the Beast among Us and of that movie (the title of which I forgot) set after the ACW and featuring cannibals; 'generic' ghouls such as produced by Heresy, Mantic and Taban are perfect for totally degenerated inbred (and kuru-afflicted?) villagers of Lovecraft's 'Lurking Fear' type.
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/VAlMJTbeI6g&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/VAlMJTbeI6g&rel=1</a>
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/rKJK_-Vler0&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/rKJK_-Vler0&rel=1</a>
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/K1aoUUqErnU&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/K1aoUUqErnU&rel=1</a>
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/qVTPx8vl-4A&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/qVTPx8vl-4A&rel=1</a>




Half-way between fantasy and weird science, what about complementing the Phlogiston, the Aether and the animal magnetism with orgone and the Vril?




'Advanced' science and technology: while the first functional steam-powered carriage (Cugnot's fardier) and boat (Jouffroy's pyroscaphe) appeared late in the 18th C., steam engines were used since the beginning of the century to power pumps draining mines: thus steam-powered vehicles could have appeared earlier -an 'enlightened' ruler may even have ordered a steam version of Da Vinci's tank!

Similarly hot air balloons and the 'Turtle' pocked submarine of the AWI could have be built far earlier in the century.
Da Vinci 'birdman' flying device was actually a directional parachute / hang glider and could be used as a 'Jamesbondesque' device used by the hero as in Assassin's Creed II
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/-3RTx5fowAw&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/-3RTx5fowAw&rel=1</a>)

The old 'Wild Wild West' TV series offered other inspirational gadgets such as a primitive gramophone.


As for weapons <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/m-uj_t--tEE&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/m-uj_t--tEE&rel=1</a>

both Puckle's 'machine gun' and Philip V of Spain experimental musket were breech-loaders using pre-loaded cartridges; a 'handgun' version of the Puckle would have be equivalent to the Remington 1858, in heavier and more cumbersome.
The Girandoni Air Rifle entered service in 1780, but implied no recent technological breakthrough, only individual 'audacity' and ingenuity in design, so could have be produced far earlier; the same for the Ferguson rifle -Marshall de Saxe in his 'Rêveries' describes an advanced breech-loading mechanism for his 'amusette' very light cannon, infantry musket and cavalry carbine.
The secret of Byzantine 'Greek Fire' were lost in Europe, but naphta-based weapons were constantly in use in the East (from the Levant to China) since the Crusades: in the same way as rockets were historically 'imported' from India, a primitive flame-thrower would not be unlikely.

Thus, even without the addition of 'quasi-steampunk' weird weaponry, major characters could be well equipped to face any threat in a 18th C. 'Empire of the Dead'.
But such 'advanced' weapons are to be kept few and far between, otherwise one would be merely playing VSF with figurines bearing wigs and tricornes.
I confess that the weapons in the drawings of the original post look more 'steampunk' than 'lacepunk' to my eyes: for instance the repeating musket seems to be provided with a very 'modern', if weird, revolving magazine {NOT a revolting magazine ^-^} rather than with a 'period' cylinder like the Puckle gun; and imho this 'armored' version of the fardier is 'too much' for the 17th -18th C., even very 'enlightened' -and how does this monstrosity *turn*?Besides, oil lamps would look more 'enlightened' than candles:




For the really *daring*, cavorite and then liftwood could have already be discovered, allowing a 'Space 1745' campaign; if space travel is 'too much', then have cavorite and liftwood on a yet-to-be-discovered small continent in the Pacific Ocean.
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/RPjggN-KByI&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/RPjggN-KByI&rel=1</a>





(from)

Lacepulp / lacepunk games are already played by an active minority (some 20 links: scroll down to the O1.04 post).
While a special set of rules would promote the genre, a few good miniatures would suffice and be far more effective.
Suitable rules already abound, and sets intended for a later 'Horse & Musket' period such as 'Chaos in Carpathia' can be used as they are to play
« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 02:00:38 PM by abdul666lw » Logged
Franz_Josef
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« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2013, 11:57:18 PM »

There's also Clockwork & Chivalry, a ruleset in which Prince Ruprecht's Cavlier-alchemists do battle with Cromwell's clockwork war machines.
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