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Getting to Know Each Other = July Edition

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7 hours ago, TGP said:

Question for July 15: Does Warmachine count as Science Fiction?

Warmachine seems to be more magitech than steampunk, so I don't count as science fiction.

 

4 hours ago, TGP said:

...for July 15: Does all Steam Punk count as a subset of Science Fiction?

I consider steampunk to be a subset of fantasy rather than science fiction.

 

But I'm not sure why.  I've been trying to answer the question "Why are steampunk or magitech fantasy rather than sci-fi?", and, more generally, "What separates fantasy from science fiction?"  The only rational answer I've come up with so far is "science or technology beyond our current capabilities is an essential element of science fiction."  (Which itself raises interesting questions, e.g. "Has the progress of science and technology caused works previously classified as science fiction to be reclassified as fantasy or speculative fiction?")

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3 hours ago, Grayfax said:

 

My biggest gripe with that universe isn't the science aspect, it is the fiction aspect.  There seems to be very little information behind it... unless there is a bunch in the rulebook (but I doubt it).  Compared to some other companies that produce lines of figures where you can tell there is a lot of story and background behind the figures... this seems to be lacking from this company and is probably one of the chief reasons I do not own any of them.

 

Historically, their source books did contain a fair amount of fiction/story/background/fluff/whathaveyou in them.  However, with the advent of their latest edition, they have gone away from including the fiction in their source books, and now are going away from source books altogether. There are also a fair number of novels, novellas, and short story collections that have been published over the years, but nowhere on the scale of Warhammer.  I think their greatest problem in that area is that their publisher, Skull Island Expeditions, generally isn't carried in book stores from what I can see and so you have to either get the electronic versions, or order the physical books online. As for the quality of said books/fiction, that is of course subjective but based on both personal experience and talking to other fans, their books tend to be a bit hit or miss. Additionally, you can also usually find a decent amount of fiction in their magazine No Quarter (which is becoming No Quarter Prime I belive).

 

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8 hours ago, TGP said:

...for July 15: Does Warmachine count as Fantasy rather than pure Steam Punk?

 

...for July 15: Does all Steam Punk count as a subset of Science Fiction?

 

 

 

The little bit I've read about Warmachine leaves me thinking it is in no way Steampunk. I could be glaringly wrong about that, though, because the universe didn't hold my attention for very long. Anyway, I believe magic and fantasy are bigger themes than ingenuity and a "Manifest Destiny" ideal within the Warmachine/Hordes setting(s).

 

I would say some Steampunk is a subset of Science Fiction. That can't be said for all of the genre(s) because there's always an outlier somewhere. How many varieties of Steampunk are there now? Of course, I'm using Steampunk as an umbrella term for the stereotypical Victorian-era romp with mechanical technology based on outdated science. I would say that, yes, most of the subtypes found in the genre count as Science Fiction. That they're based on older thoughts about how the universe works makes no difference.

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9 hours ago, TGP said:

...for July 15: Does Warmachine count as Fantasy rather than pure Steam Punk?

 

...for July 15: Does all Steam Punk count as a subset of Science Fiction?

Way too much magic in Warmachine for me to think of it as pure Steam Punk. I think magitek is the appropriate term for it. It gives rise to very interesting speculative technology, but still more fantasy than science.

 

And I do usually consider Steam Punk to be "pre-20th century technology" science fiction. Be it coal powered steam or clockworks as the epitome of reasonable science, and anything making electricity (i.e. Tesla coils) as the upper limit of the genre.

Edited by Cranky Dog
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I tend to think of Warmahordes as "You got Magic in my Steampunk, no, you got your Steampunk in my Fantasy." In short: Magitech. Hey, whatever sells miniatures.

I do tend to think of "steampunk" as "science fiction," in that I tend to think of "alternative history" as "science fiction." Sterling and Gibson's The Difference Engine, about a computer revolution at the same time as the Steam Era, due to Babbage's computer work getting funding from Parliament? That's both SF and AH, and to some extent, steampunk. The graphic novel Scarlet Traces, about how H.G. Wells' Martian invasion of 1890 provided Britain with Martian tech and cemented the Victorian Colonialism? Steampunk, in its purest form.

Stuff like Space 1889, on the other hand, with aether flyers and aeronefs that were possible using an obsolete scientific paradigm? That, I tend to think of as falling more into Magitech. As well as ANY setting that openly incorporates magic.

Edited by Dr.Bedlam
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44 minutes ago, Dr.Bedlam said:

Stuff like Space 1889, on the other hand, with aether flyers and aeronefs that were possible using an obsolete scientific paradigm? That, I tend to think of as falling more into Magitech. As well as ANY setting that openly incorporates magic.

 

Fair enough, though as noted, I draw the lines differently. For me, nearly any handwave at a scientish explanation pushes things over the line into SF. Mostly this is because without that, almost everything breaks down on our current understanding of natural laws. 

 

The rocket equation is a cold, cold mistress. And so is the speed of light. Anything that takes both of those seriously without handwaves at "warp drives", "wormhole jumps", inexpensive orbital shuttles, whatever, is certainly SF, but it's only a tiny percentage of what's being written. And much of it really isn't very good because the overlap between people who understand those things, people who can write, and people who can write an interesting story where those things are adhered to carefully is so small. But I understand where you're coming from.

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18 hours ago, Sergeant_Crunch said:

Ok, so mass painting didn't happen but I did finish the test figure for all the Space Marines I just finished assembling. I haven't sealed it yet nor have I decided on how I want to do the base.  Here it is though in it's almost finished state.

 

20170717_003201.jpg

Crimson fists, huh? Looks good.:winkthumbs:

 

15 hours ago, TGP said:

Question for July 15: Does Warmachine count as Science Fiction?

I have no idea, but some of the figures for the game are pretty cool.

 

12 hours ago, TGP said:

That would (or might) be a more General form of the question. So related questions:

 

...for July 15: Does Warmachine count as Fantasy rather than pure Steam Punk?

 

...for July 15: Does all Steam Punk count as a subset of Science Fiction?

 

 

Definitely.....

No...

Maybe....

 

CHICKEN!

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1 hour ago, Chaoswolf said:

Crimson fists, huh? Looks good.:winkthumbs:

Yeah, I've always liked their color scheme since the first book cover.  Don't know why I didn't go with them during my first involvement in the game.

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3 hours ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

Fair enough, though as noted, I draw the lines differently. For me, nearly any handwave at a scientish explanation pushes things over the line into SF. Mostly this is because without that, almost everything breaks down on our current understanding of natural laws. 

 

The rocket equation is a cold, cold mistress. And so is the speed of light. Anything that takes both of those seriously without handwaves at "warp drives", "wormhole jumps", inexpensive orbital shuttles, whatever, is certainly SF, but it's only a tiny percentage of what's being written. And much of it really isn't very good because the overlap between people who understand those things, people who can write, and people who can write an interesting story where those things are adhered to carefully is so small. But I understand where you're coming from.

 

I should also have mentioned that the line can be sorta fuzzy at times.

Aether flyers were considered possible at one point, so a story about them would have been science fiction... until it became fantasy; the luminiferous aether ain't a thang.

FTL travel is currently considered theoretically possible; some forms (warp drive through normal space) isn't looking as good as it once did, but others (the use of Planck's Constant to exit normal space in favor of some other space) ain't debunked yet. So perhaps the phrase "speculative fiction" is a better term. As opposed to "hard science fiction" and "soft science fiction."

Amusingly enough, I'd call WH40K "science fiction," despite its plethora of space elves, space orks, and traveling through space hell in order to get from one planet to the next. Hell, I'm still trying to figure out how space hulks hold atmosphere...

 

Matter of opinion, really; among my few hard and fast rules is "If someone waves his hand and makes magic stuff happen, it's FANTASY, durnit." Which means Star Wars is fantasy; it ain't ESP or techology, it's the Force and the Midichlorians, durnit, which makes the whole show about space wizards from the future past, no matter how many spaceships, planets, and zapulator guns you insert.

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23 hours ago, TGP said:

...for July 15: Does Warmachine count as Fantasy rather than pure Steam Punk?

I think, No. 

 

23 hours ago, TGP said:

...for July 15: Does all Steam Punk count as a subset of Science Fiction?

Usually.

 

On 7/17/2017 at 3:44 AM, TGP said:

Question for July 15: Does Warmachine count as Science Fiction?

The game no; some of the clanky robots, sure, why not?

 

It was interesting to see where everyone landed trying to parse genres. Thanks for an excellent question @Gargs  

 

I think Warmachine & Hordes intentionally tried to be steampunk & fantasy & alternate reality all at once — and thus unclassifiable.  And; all credit to Privateer Press for achieving that. 

 

::: wanders off to consult the list of questions :::

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Question for July 18: Is gameverse "fluff" important to you, an irrelevancy, or does it annoy and irritate?

 

(If the answer varies by game do elaborate...)

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21 minutes ago, TGP said:

Question for July 18: Is gameverse "fluff" important to you, an irrelevancy, or does it annoy and irritate?

 

(If the answer varies by game do elaborate...)

If it's immersive yes. If the fluff sucks I tend to ignore it.  Most of the rules I have didn't come with fluff.

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Define "Fluff"

Verse fiction: depends on how good it is. But it is never important to the game.

Background to the verse: Yes it helps understand the background.

Art: No, it is generally bad art and does nothing for the game.  (sorry to those that enjoy/create the art, but more than 90% of it is bad beating the odds of normal)  (takes off my curmudgeon cap)

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It is very important to me. I hate it when GM's just hand wave the details. That being said, if something need to be changed from canon to better fit the DM's view, by all means have at it.

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41 minutes ago, TGP said:

Question for July 18: Is gameverse "fluff" important to you, an irrelevancy, or does it annoy and irritate?

 

(If the answer varies by game do elaborate...)

 

I both treasure and ignore the fluff.  When I was actively playing, our campaigns were mostly homebrew, so the rule specific fluff was ignored in favor of the campaign specific. 

 

However, I always read and loved most of the game specific fluff (both text and art words) because it sets the feel for the game and spurs the imagination. 

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