Considering a Diesel Punk setting

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Kodyax
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Considering a Diesel Punk setting

#1 Postby Kodyax » Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:23 am

More or less making one up. I clued into this genre not too long ago after a little google-fu. What I discovered amazed me not so much in what it was but how much thought I have already put into it and speculation into what it would be like to run. Diesel Punk aka Deco Punk for the heavy use/influence of art deco styling, as I understand it is meant to take place between the world wars, like after Kaiser's Gate but before Weird Wars 2; some examples that I remember and/or thought would fit the bill:

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Crimson Skies
Old Time Radio
Movie Serials
Pulps
Last Exile (anime series)
Pumpkin Scissors (anime series)

I will be getting Kaiser's Gate at some point and have both Ravaged Earth from Reality Blurs (the first one as of this writing although what I have heard of the reboot intrigues me) and Thrilling Tales from Adamant Entertainment. Is there anything else out in print for Savage Worlds I should be considering? I say print because with my current situation, I can't download pdfs. Also is there any other Japanese animation you might suggest?

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#2 Postby Sitting Duck » Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:28 am

Here are a few anime titles that might be of interest

Baccano!: Immortal gangsters in early Thirties New York. No dieselpunk, but it's a really awesome series.
Chrono Crusade: Gun-wielding, demon-fighting nuns in the Roaring Twenties. The ending is really terrible though.
Kishin Corps: WWII dieselpunk mecha.
Project Blue Earth S.O.S.: A tribute to Fifties alien invasion SF. More atomicpunk than deiselpunk.
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#3 Postby Kodyax » Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:29 pm

If it's fairly close I can always adapt it, thanks.

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#4 Postby steelbrok » Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:10 pm

I've always thought of Dieselpunk as more 50s than 30s/40s - just an opinion though, can't give any good reason why

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#5 Postby steelbrok » Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:12 pm

Duplicte post
Last edited by steelbrok on Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#6 Postby kronovan » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:02 pm

Kodyax, I can't remember if you already have it, but Thrilling Tales could be very useful for a setting like this. I love Crimson Skies as an alternate reality/history for this genre. I also own and really like the Last Exile and I'd add Studio Gibli's Laputa Castle in the Sky as another good source for the genre.

Some must-haves I can think of for a setting like this:

* Very odd, state of the art dirigibles.
* Weird variations of the top-line 30's autos from the Auburn Motorworks - I've been to the museum, its' awesome!
* Lots of cool/funky rocketeering gear.
* Hulking autamatons - maybe like the slower ones in Sky Captain
* Extremely sexy, but nasty Femme Fatales.

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#7 Postby VonDan » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:49 pm

I had an idea for a diesel punk game influenced by big band, swing and Jazz

History was about the same up until January 8, 1935, On that day new born baby Elvis Aaron Presley died at birth and his twin brother Jessie Garon Presley survived

WW2 dragged on longer and became a ground war between the allies and the Soviet Union and the Atomic Bomb was not discovered. America was stuck in a war footing and now on alternate diesel punk earth in the 1950's is a totalitarian regime and rock and roll was never invented

Jessie Garon Presley is the most popular state approved big band leader in a tuxedo and has a Sean Connery style beard.

Late at night he exchanges his tux tails for a Zoot Suit with top coat and a porkpie hat (worn backwards) and a mask. He peels off his sideburns so he is left with a silly little van dyke goat-t. Asides from being the most popular outlaw Jazz performer he fights injustice with his highly modified trombone with a boxing glove at the end of the slide

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#8 Postby Kodyax » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:56 pm

@Kronovan: I have Thrilling Tales and you are spot on. I have the Savage Worlds version, the D20 Modern version and the Mutants and Masterminds version. I know I saw the Studio Ghibli film at some point but don't remember it. Your suggestions mesh mostly with mine although I can't say I've been to the Auburn Motorworks, it sounds neat though. For what I'm thinking I am allowing Psionics (Mesmerism) and Weird Science but the spandex crowd isn't getting through the front door. Now if that Batmobile from the 90s cartoon was being driven by the Shadow, that's a different story.

@VonDan: Some interesting ideas but I'm thinking of having the Great War drag on, eventually I'll be getting a physical copy of Kaiser's Gate from the kickstarter I paid into so that will fuel some of this, and have things deteriorate to the reality of Crimson Skies comes to pass. One aspect I am considering is what if Disney redid Tail Spin along the lines of Crimson Skies with a possible focus on the exploits of Don Karnage?

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#9 Postby kronovan » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:15 am

Kodyax wrote: know I saw the Studio Ghibli film at some point but don't remember it.

Of note in Castle in the Sky, were the airborne speedsters that the air pirates flew - they'b be great in a diesel punk setting. Another Studio Ghibli anime that had excellent flying craft was Nauzica of the Valley. The aircraft in it were way too cool and I've often thought they'd be excellent in a Crimson Skies type setting. Both of those are considered mainstream anime and easy to rent or find at a public library, just in case you're interested in checking them out.
Your suggestions mesh mostly with mine although I can't say I've been to the Auburn Motorworks, it sounds neat though.

The Auburn Automobile Co's Cord 810 is in Thrilling Tales, here's a link to a picture of the Cord 812 at the Auburn museum
[Eidt] Forgot to mention that the Auburn Speedster is also in Thrilling Tales.
For what I'm thinking I am allowing Psionics (Mesmerism) and Weird Science but the spandex crowd isn't getting through the front door.

Sounds good, if I were to run a Diesel Punk setting I wouldn't allow any more power archetypes than those. I'd probably also restrict the number and type of powers the Mesmerist gets, but off the top of my head I'm not sure which ones.

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#10 Postby Kodyax » Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:53 pm

For mesmerism, I am looking at the Green Llama and the Shadow as models as to what they do as well as the Red Panda from Decoder Ring Theater. Rocket Packs and Ray Guns are Weird Science only. Nauzicaa of the Valley of the Wind is what got me into manga in the first place after I saw the one anime back in the 80s based on it. I have the movie that got later released by Disney I think. I wonder if elements of Howl's Moving Castle or Spirited Away might fit in somehow. Disney's Atlantis cartoon series is more diesel punk or steam punk?

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#11 Postby kronovan » Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:58 pm

Kodyax wrote:For mesmerism, I am looking at the Green Llama and the Shadow as models as to what they do as well as the Red Panda from Decoder Ring Theater.

I‘m only familiar with the Green Lama & the Shadow & I agree that those are good models for that sort of archetype.
I wonder if elements of Howl's Moving Castle or Spirited Away might fit in somehow. Disney's Atlantis cartoon series is more diesel punk or steam punk?

Well Hayao Miyazaki started out as an aeronautical draftsman, so pretty much every Studio Ghibli feature he‘s had a hand in is going to hqave some very interesting aero-tech in it. I really can‘t think of any that didn‘t, albeit sometimes it was very interesting/unusual airborne beasts. ;)

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#12 Postby Kodyax » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:15 pm

If you have iTunes do a search for Red Panda, Decoder Ring Theater has two main shows, Red Panda and Black Jack Justice they release as podcasts. They are based in Canada and especially the earlier episodes of the Red Panda are more or less Diesel Punk. Black Jack Justice is a PI drama. Both are done in the style of old time radio. I know Gregg Taylor, the mad man behind both series has novels for the Red Panda available on Amazon. I hope that helps, and may you find them entertaining.

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#13 Postby CitizenKeen » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:15 pm

What makes Dieselpunk distinct from straight up Pulp? I can't tell.

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#14 Postby VonDan » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:29 pm

CitizenKeen wrote:What makes Dieselpunk distinct from straight up Pulp? I can't tell.


I often think of it as the tech style is like Russian Industrial propaganda art taken to the extreme sort of like big clunky steam punk but more oily and there is no Atomics. And the world is a little darker than pulp as the war(s) lasted a long time forcing governments to a repressive state

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#15 Postby ValhallaGH » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:22 am

CitizenKeen wrote:What makes Dieselpunk distinct from straight up Pulp? I can't tell.

As VD highlights, the difference is largely in the difference between Punk and Pulp.
Punk settings focus on the dystopian aspects: societal inequalities, dealing with a corrupt and unfriendly government, wealth disparities, nearly continuous morally 'grey' choices, few opportunities for a small group of individuals to generate meaningful change, protagonists that are not necessarily any better than the antagonists, and a grittier or deadlier tone to the stories.
Pulp settings tend to be more up-beat, with lots of chances to change things, stark divides between good and evil, recurring major characters (especially heroes), very little attention given to class and wealth distinctions, and heroic protagonists who genuinely do the right thing often despite a gruff and hostile demeanor.

I found a good essay on that about a year and a half ago, and if I find it again I'll try to link it for you.
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#16 Postby xxlgeeklord » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:43 am

I heard Nausica up there, but as far as I can tell that is after a nuclear war and the release of biological superweapon giants that breathe laser. I must agree on the aircraft thing though.
Castle in the Sky is cool, but mainly because of the castle. If you where to take a Last Exile-ish setting and add several huge flying mystery castles(and perhaps laser-breathing giants...)I think the result would be epic. And if that isn't weird enough you could add in some ancient Japanese spirit creatures like in Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro and Ponyo(although then maybe with the water running out instead of rising).
At this point cool stories can be filled in, like how humans discovered Japanese spirits hiding out in giant floating castles during WWII, and then after awakening ancient machines giant insects and laser-breathing giants are set upon the world, forcing the players to go to the spirit bathhouse to make peace with the spirits.

Ps: any setting inspired by anime is bound to work, no matter how weird it is.

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Diesel fuel and its alternatives

#17 Postby Utgardloki » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:27 am

I'm not sure what advice I can give. I once thought about doing a kind of dieselpunk setting, and one thought I had was that if petroleum was kind of scarce, it might only be used for high-performance applications like military vehicles.

Those who did not have need of petroleum would drive vehicles powered by electric batteries or coal (for local trips) or by alchohol/ethenol (for intercity trips).

This might be apropos if The War dragged on, requiring rationing to be extended, or even requiring supplies of petroleum fuels to be cut off to civilians who could not demonstrate a need for them.

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Re: Diesel fuel and its alternatives

#18 Postby VonDan » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:02 am

Utgardloki wrote:I'm not sure what advice I can give. I once thought about doing a kind of dieselpunk setting, and one thought I had was that if petroleum was kind of scarce, it might only be used for high-performance applications like military vehicles.

Those who did not have need of petroleum would drive vehicles powered by electric batteries or coal (for local trips) or by alchohol/ethenol (for intercity trips).

This might be apropos if The War dragged on, requiring rationing to be extended, or even requiring supplies of petroleum fuels to be cut off to civilians who could not demonstrate a need for them.


Both Germania and the US used wood powered trucks in ww2


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_gas

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#19 Postby Kodyax » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:41 am

If I thought I could get away with it, I might have some vehicles be solar powered. But I'm iffy on that as the idea for that sort of tech might be a little too far ahead of the genre I'm planning on simulating. Although explaining it as part of some Weird Science doohickie might work...

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#20 Postby Utgardloki » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:00 am

Kodyax wrote:If I thought I could get away with it, I might have some vehicles be solar powered. But I'm iffy on that as the idea for that sort of tech might be a little too far ahead of the genre I'm planning on simulating. Although explaining it as part of some Weird Science doohickie might work...


I suppose your setting is whatever you want to make of it.

If you want, perhaps there is the technology to synthesize deisel fuel our of water and air, thereby making vehicles that can refuel themselves (as long as they have water).

I'm sure in the real world this would never work, but as I understand it, deiselpunk is not about living in the real world.


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