Hello all! Jacob Snow here, bringing a classic question: just how far can technology go in a fantasy setting.
Well, we know that Sci-Fi usually has space travel and laser guns like Star Trek or Star Wars, and usually involves weird beings from other planets. However, take out space travel and pew-pew guns and you have a fantasy setting: weird beings from other lands instead of from other planets.
The problem then begins with how far we can take tech in our settings and still call them “fantasy”. Obviously, we can have muskets and cannons and stuff: while our world changed with their introduction, I keep Albadyn real and not moving out of the swords and sorcery phase by making firearms in Albadyn prohibitively expensive.
So, classical firearms are totally acceptable for a Fantasy setting, though it would be wise to not carry it too far for fear of landing yourself in a Steampunk world! While those are cool, and the idea of a steampunk elf is incredibly cool, that might not be the vibe you’re looking for.
So, can you carry weaponry one step forward, into the Wild West era of weapons. Winch-action rifles and revolvers galore, my friends. Albadyn teeters on the edge of this weaponry, with a firearm called The Gorgon having seven rotating barrels each holding a single shot. The Gorgon is reloaded with a seven-point spindle that inserts the Blast Cartridges down each barrel. My Rook, Archaemon, uses The Gorgon.
As Rex from Skullkickers proves, however, such weapons can be dangerously bad for balancing. Muskets and Flintlocks fire spherical shot, which if it doesn’t pierce tends to ineffectively bounce off. Revolvers and Winchesters use conical cartridges, and the pointy design make them really good at piercing through armor.
I counter this with two things in Albadyn. Firstly, ammo is stupid expensive for weapons like The Gorgon or The Drake, a rifle of similar effect. as Blast Cartridges are only makable by Dwarves with a certain brand of magic, this little tradesmen association can set its own price. Secondly, the weapons themselves are not only extremely expensive, but take a really long time to make. So, while it is a Fantasy form of Western weaponry, it does still exist to an extent in Albadyn.
Carrying one step further, we get to the modern age. With one notable exception that will be associated with a Boss and the Item Shop, I keep M16s and AKs where they belong: in the real world.
The reason being is that the Gorgon only has seven shots, and the Drake only has 3. A clip-fed weapon is capable of holding in surplus of 50 rounds with the right clip/magazine, depending on the weapon. While a single guy with seven bullets is tough to take down, a guy with a Fantasy version of the Tommy Gun could wipe out a small army with little to no trouble at all. So, I personally believe that, with this in mind, you can have firearms that are teetering just below the threshold of modern firearms, but it would be smart to keep it down there.
As touching on something special to my heart, however: I love sci-fi speeder bikes and Mechs. I built my own Action Figure scale Mech. It’s awesome. So, how can Mechs or speeders be included?
Well, for one thing I find it is incredibly useful to blame the Dwarves for such technology. Secondly, borrowing a bit from Fairy Tail, the vehicle is powered by magic, like the Magic Mobile from the first group of episodes. Not only does this make them feasible, but it also gives spellcasters and additional role.
Mechs, however, take around 200+ Dwarves to make, as well as the better part of five years. The materials cost in surplus of 1,000,000 Gold, and the enchantments required to make it operable require an additional two years to set properly. Don’t worry about Albadyn turning into Battletech any time soon, the Dwarves don’t seem to want to make too awful many of them.
One final part here is Robots. How far can we go with that? Well, in Albadyn we have Golems, which are usually made by the Dwarves for work or for guard duty. They aren’t the brightest bunch around, but they usually do their job pretty well.
Can you have an Android-esque Golem? Well, that would depend on two things: firstly, the amount of magic the enchanter had to give movement to the materials would have to be through the roof: most Golems don’t have fluid movement, they are really stiff and unarticulated, like a Star Wars action figure from the 70s, or from the Force Awakens (which is a rant for another day). An Android would have to be fluid and human-like in movement, so that’s that.
In Albadyn, sentience is given by the Great Creator to creatures that have the ability to choose. If a Golem made a choice, it would gain sentience, making it essentially and Android.
Hope you enjoyed reading this post!
(Copyright Jacob Snow, 2016)