Welcome to our Third phase of recruitment! We have reached Big Game status and moved the time line up to 1870. The city has been shaken, but not toppled. It is the perfect time to jump in with new plots and new characters.
The British Invasion of 1863 took the Americas by surprise and while the North and South pitted brother against brother and all eyes turned towards each other the British launched an unexpected invasion that battered the Union forces on the brink of victory. Union forces were pushed out of their traditional stronghold in the Northeast and forced West. Some of the Union forces were forced to ally with the Confederacy in the South when they were cut off from the Union. Ironically the south would have fallen if not for these soldiers. When confronted with a foreign invader they chose to stand side by side with their southern brethren and stall the British for a time on the southern front.
None of this would matter if Germany hadn’t chosen to attack British holdings in Europe in 1868. England was forced to pull troops back to Europe to defend their territories leaving the British advance stalled along the Colorado State lines. Now the Midwest is contested territory, a land dotted with homesteads and military encampments. The Union holds the West, England the Northeast and The Confederacy the South and all parties have agents in San Francisco where cloak and dagger activities have reached a fevered pitch as the war has moved into the shadows. San Francisco
Welcome to San Francisco 1870. Shanghai of the West and Gateway to California. The city has survived the Gold and Aether Rush of 1849, the Civil War, the British Invasion of 1863 and continues to prosper, even thrive in the shattered states of America. Much has changed for the port city of the West in the past twenty years. The population has increased ten-fold to nearly a million people if you count visitors that flood out meandering streets daily. The docks remain full of fishing vessels, but the skies are now filled with airships of all shapes and sizes and steam powered trollies chug up and down the steep city hills. The south of the city is a city in its own right, Chinatown. Filled with the masses of Chinese laborers that came looking for gold, coolies that worked the rails and the Manchurian dynasts that fled their homeland Chinatown is as exotic as the Orient with its own rules and politics.
San Francisco is a bustling trade city that has profited through its designation as a free port on the west coast. While California became a state in 1850, San Francisco was able to remain independent do too much of the wealth already pouring into it. It sided with the rest of Californian and the Union during the Civil War, but its mercantile nature allowed for business as usual when it came to trade and currency of the North and South were accepted readily in the markets of San Francisco. While the West was far behind the Chinese and the British in harnessing Aether and the resulting steam technological boom that it produced San Francisco has made great strides in catching up and boasts some of the best airship factories in the world.
Underneath its prosperous exterior, trouble bubbles. Tensions are growing between the European California’s and the Manchurian led Chinese, both influential in business, politics and crime. The covert games between the North, South and Britain leak violence into the streets while agents of Mexico, Germany and mainland China stir the pot. Victorian Spiritualism, Chinese Daoism, American puritanism and other darker things clash in the shadows over the rights to human souls.
In April of 1869 a devastating earthquake rocked the jewel of the west. The ensuing fires gutted portions of the city creating power vacuums in the political and criminal landscape that have yet to settle. Spiritualists are reporting an increase in paranormal activity and strange disappearances are occurring around the city. Tensions between San Francisco and the North have resulted in a cold war between the city and the Northern Ports of Oakland and Seattle. Air and Sea Pirates feed of the shipping lanes and one another when the pickings get slim. It seems San Francisco’s tradition neutrality is being tested and its alliance is up for the highest bidder. Spies are everywhere and back alley deals are commonplace. Among the working class and poor gangs seek to establish themselves or protect what is theirs through bloody turf wars to expand influence.What is this game?
This is a Freeform Steampunk game within the existing Aetherpunk world we have created! You and your friends will navigate the web of intrigue and destruction that the Great Quake of 1869 has left in its wake. Are you a cunning spy, a brutal gang boss, a patriotic privateer, a dashing sky pirate or a speedy smuggler? Any of these and more are possible. There are some fantasy elements, but nothing over the top like wizards throwing fireballs, elves or dragons. It uses an alternate history of the United States and will combine Victorian and Chinese styling for the look and feel that we going for. This game is a sandbox and very much what you the players make of it. San Francisco is a huge port city and (currently) neutral to the political factions of the world with a thriving black market. What is Aether and how does it work?
Aether is the fifth element, the thing that binds all other elements together. It often defies normal scientific conventions in all of its forms. It is difficult to extract, but incredibly useful in any of its states. As a gas it is remarkably stable and lighter than air making it perfect for airships. As a liquid it burns slow and hot and is used to light many large cities and propel the amazing Airship your crew uses to sail the skies. Aether had not been found in its solid state yet, but liquid Aether is often used to infuse other elements altering their chemical make-up. Aether infused coal has led to huge advancements in steam technology. Spiritualism
Victorian Spiritualism, Chinese Mysticism and Voodoo are real or so people think. The supernatural brushes against the skin of the world and many of the beliefs have incorporated the use of Aether in their practices to frightening effects. That said the supernatural is hidden in the shadows, hiding in the disbelief of the reasoned minds of this industrial age.What can I play?
What can’t you play? Weary Beat Cop, Occult Investigator, Sky Pirate, Air Marine, Dilettante, Gang Boss, Aether Spice Junky, Mad Scientist, Genetic Experiment, Shop Owner, Spiritualist, Voodoo Priest, Private Investigator, Politician…almost any steampunk trope is possible . Submit Characters to Crash and Madame Professor.
1. Magic may be in this game but I want it to stay true to Taoism, Victorian Spirituality or Voodoo. This does actually leave a lot of room. If you want a strange creature in a plot try to give these things a steampunk flare if you can.
2. I am opening this game up to more dastardly characters than I have in the past. Remember the rules of this game however and if you think someone may not like to be the center of your evil intentions talk to them first and talk about what you are thinking.
3. Take a look at the Character Sheet thread
to see what face claims have already been taken.
Created and edited by consortium11 Sample CharacterName:
Captain Nathaniel HarperPlayer:
Captain of the Airship Maria Bella, Swashbuckling Pirate of the open skies!Trouble:
Does rum count? He hardly thinks so! His gambling on the other hand… Sex:
Profit, snarky and strong women, bondage, aerial combat, brunettes… Profit.Off’s:
Being stolen from, being tied up or imprisoned, seemingly frail and dainty women. National Affiliation and Ancestry:
Where every pirate’s allegiances lay… with himself! Nationality and war be damned!Appearance:
Hair: Reddish brown
Eyes: Dark brown
Height: 5’ 11”
Weight: 175 lbsDescription:
Appearances are important, no matter what career you have chosen. Or what career has chosen you. For Nathan, he makes sure to maintain an air of confidence, or more correctly arrogance, about him at all times. He does so by keeping his facial hair tidy but scruffy, his short, curly locks in disarray, and a crooked smile on his lips. While not the tallest or thinnest of blokes, he is athletic and strong, as the free skies do not suffer the weak. Eyes chocolate and hair of rust, both of which hold a reckless abandonment for the world around them. Not usually visible are the tattoos that mark his body. Few have as much meaning to him, though, as the elegant name over his left shoulder, Anna Rose. Personality:
As one would expect of a swashbuckling pirate, Nathaniel is loud, rude, and crude. Snarky and arrogant, Captain Harper fancies himself the best in the business… which differs from day to day depending on what one might need done. But he has a silver tongue and knows how to use it well and had he not found himself in the life of piracy, he would have made an excellent salesmen. Charming to a T, it can often get him into trouble, but where his charms fail him, his skills do not, only fueling his arrogance more. For his clients and his crew, he puts on a strong and carefree face, but when alone in his cabin, he lets the truth show; that he rarely knows what he is doing, that his life style will catch up to him. Few have seen the serious side of Captain Nathaniel, usually only in the most dire of circumstances, and those that have often don’t live long enough to mention it, though rarely by his own hand. Background:
Born and raised in Boston, Nathaniel Harper was the third son of a third son. Which meant when visiting the grandparents, he had to suffer the treatment his wealthier and more ‘to-do’ cousins would put him through. He often found himself in the kitchens, playing with the baker’s son and daughter. They would often pretend to be on grand adventures, going anywhere they wished with no one telling them what they could and could not do. Michael and Anna Rose where is only friends and a shining light in his normal dull life. As they got older, his feelings towards Anna Rose changed and grew into something more than a childhood friend. He would never get to truly tell her how he felt though, as an unfortunate accident would steal her away from him. The runaway carriage trampled the young woman right before him and her brother and they were powerless to stop it. From that moment, Nathaniel decided life was too short not to do as he pleased and through a series of seemingly random events he found himself the captain of an airship, the ultimate symbol of freedom.First Adventure:
“She’s a fine vessel, sir. The best we ‘ave in the yard.” Nathaniel approached the hull of the ship, letting his strong fingers graze lightly against the polished surface. She certainly was beautiful, a fine craft fresh off the line. The price tag, though… dealing in imports and exports would require the best of the best, especially if he wanted to compete with some of the well established vessels in the industry. Well, haggling is what he did best!
With a nod and a grin, Nathaniel turned to the boy, “She’s a fine vessel, indeed, though grossly overpriced.” The boy balked at the accusation. “But… I think we can work out--”
“Grossly overpriced is an exaggeration, sir.” Called another voice. Nathaniel turned, his grin faltering only a moment as another gentleman, older but obviously wealthier, approached. “I’d say it’s a fair price indeed for such a ship, a bargain, even!” He turned to the boy, “Sell her to me, boy, and I’ll not cut into your earnings.”
Nathaniel almost cursed out loud. No way was he going to lose his chance for freedom from some hoity toity entrepreneur. So like with any situation, the young man put his grin back on and addressed the other gentleman. “You seem the sort to find opportunity… Care for a wager…?”
[floatright][img height=400 padding=8]<insert image>[/img][/floatright][b]Name:[/b]
[b]Concept:[/b] <A short description about who you are: Captain of the Airship Vixen, Conflicted Member of the Eugenics League, Coolie with a Secret, Tenacious Street Urchin>
[b]Trouble:[/b] <Everyone has a trouble. It could be addiction, troublesome family, owing money to the wrong people, arranged marriage, whatever>
[b]National Affiliation and Ancestry:[/b] <What is your nationality and what Nation are you currently a part of? How do you feel about your country?>
[b]Description:[/b] <Text, Images or Both>
Rules and Regulations
The following are the rules and regulations set for Aetherpunk
. Please read these thoroughly and understand that by applying it is implied that you understand what you have read and commit to it. While we attempt to keep these rules stagnant throughout the course of the game, if something begins to pose a problem we will
make a rule about it and enforce it.Disclaimer : We reserve the right to add rules as necessary.
- Be excellent to one another. Do not fight. Do not squabble. If an altercation between players occurs, please bring the matter to myself or your residential Co-GM who will periodically patrol the thread for me when I cannot. We will be perfectly happy to sort out the discrepancy between the players and arrive to the most fair and just solution allowed. Do not turn us into a broken family.
- Do not God Mod another player's character! Due to the nature of the characters it is easy to accidentally cross into this territory. Please do not control their actions. YOU control YOUR character. On that same tangent please do not make yourself invulnerable to everything. Nothing more boring than a “perfect” character.
- NO PLAYER CHARACTER MAY BE KILLED WITHOUT PLAYER'S EXPLICIT PERMISSION TO DO SO. There is no leeway to this rule. Don't do it.
- Never, EVER do something to a player's character they do not like. Consult with the player before making a decision that you think might be a bother to them, even if they list it as okay in their Ons and Offs. Communication is paramount between players! Please use it.
- Communication is important. If you are going to be gone longer than a day or two, please try to notify the GMs. We are very understanding about outside life – Trust me. I, myself, am a Full-Time Worker, Husband and Dad and I go to school part time. I am busy and sometimes it gets hectic. Everyone has lives. That is okay. But let us know so we're not missing you.
- You are not expected to post once a day. While it isn't expected of you, more posts are undoubtedly appreciated by your fellow players. However, if you know you are getting ready to leave for a week, we ask that you try not to get your character wound up in a plot that is going to change things drastically. That will bog all players and prove to be quite a pain. We ask that all players post, minimum, once a week. A single post within seven days isn't so bad, is it? Quicker is always better and preferred, though.
- Please have a good grasp of the English Language and Grammar Structure before applying. We fancy individuals that use complete sentences, full thought, and detail their posts with enough for another character to react to. I am not tying certain post lengths to this game, but I beg you not to use one to three line posts. That would be VERY difficult for another player to react to. Use your best judgment, but give enough for the players to respond to. Multi-Paragraph is best. Remember, a paragraph is a construction of thought usually ranging between three to five sentences.
- Please use tags in the header of your post.All posts should have tags noting who your character is talking too, about or noticing. This will help people find conversations that involve their characters in threads that may hold multiple conversations. Acceptable tags are: another character’s name, OPEN or CLOSED. Open means anyone can join the conversation or scene. CLOSED means that player does not want the scene interrupted by other players.
- Players are responsible for not creating Paradoxes. Players are allowed to create multiple scenes for their characters at different times of the day or week simultaneously. It is the players responsibility of they choose to do this to not create paradoxes by playing multiple scenes that occur at the same time.
Thank you Faustus
and Broken Bonds
for letting me pilfer much of their rules.
1823 – Aether refinement in China used mostly in religious practices and magical rituals.
1837 – Aether discovered in England, ushering in a technological revolution for the British Empire.
1840 – Refinement of Aether in England and the steam era explodes. Airships invented in China and England. California Annexed
1849 - Aether rich coal and gold deposits found at Sutter Mill and the Aether rush is on in California.
1861 – Abraham Lincoln becomes the 16th President of the United States. American Civil War starts
1863 - England attacks during the middle of the Civil War pushing the North farther and farther west keeping the south pinned into Texas, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi.
1865 – Abraham Lincoln survives a British assassination attempt and remains for a second term by an act of the remaining congress.
1866 – The remnants of the North moves its capital to Nevada as it continues to get pushed West by the British War Machine slowly losing ground to the technologically advanced forces. California succeeds from the Union.
1865 - Empress Dowager Cixi of the Manchu Qing Dynasty, after continued defeats to the Taiping Army’s appoints a Han General Zeng Guofan fighting back the rebellion only to have the General stage his own coup with the assistance of England. Empress Dowager Cixi and the Manchu nobility along with the remaining military and supporters unable to defeat the combined might of the Han and British forces depart China for the West.
1865-1867 - Caught between the Superior equipped British Army and the quickly approaching Chinese exiles, the Empress Dowager Cixi and President Lincoln negotiated a truce between their forces or face mutual destruction fighting a war on multiple fronts. The Manchu nobility settle in San Francisco and the city is divided between the two powers. The Manchurian scholars assisted General Ulysses S. Grant in the use of the Manchu war machines to great effect. The intellectuals of the North, given access to the advanced Aether-steam technology, began a new wave of steam inventions. The Chinese population gains their own representation in congress which is surprisingly large do to the influx of Chinese.
1867 – General Grant killed at the Battle of Denver.
1868 - Germany attacks British territories in Europe while American and Chinese forces stall British forces in the Midwest. Racial tensions remain high in San Francisco as many are displaced by the Manchurians and the Chinese that flock to their banners.
1869 - The North continues to have significant influence on San Francisco as they are still the majority of the population. The Empress however has family members in all aspects of the city government including a spot on the Council of Seven (the governing body of San Francisco). She is not a foolish woman however and has done much to keep the status quo outside of the Manchurian district, known to westerners as Chinatown.
1869 (April) – The big Quake of 1869 destroys large sections of San Francisco killing thousands including one of the Council of Seven (the ruling body of San Francisco).
1869 (August) - 1870 – Gang violence erupts in the aftermath of the quake as some gangs and/or their territory have been wiped out. The power void has yet to settle and many violence is not uncommon in any portion of the city not occupied by the ultra-rich.
1869 (October) – For the first time in San Francisco history the City Council and popular vote hold sway in determining a member of the Council of Seven. Yuri Kozlovsky is offered a seat on the council after his humanitarian and rebuilding efforts force the Council’s hand. Rumors swirl about back alley deals, blackmail and extortion, but nothing has been proven.
1869 (December) - 1870 – Piracy is at an all-time high as treaties between the local pirates and San Francisco are ignored and the cities vital aether rock supplies are being targeted along with trade vessels heading to and from the trade city.
1870 (February) – Restart of game. Amid the gang violence, pirate attacks and political instability rumors of supernatural and ghostly activity are on the rise.