Why Steam Punk Rocks

Steam Punk Rocks.

I have to admit I have never played a steam punk game, but I want to and soon. I was thinking about why my cross genre games slowly migrated to a single genre. The reason is that they all had a intrinsic flaw (Me). One genre was more, better, faster, etc than others. It might have been that technology was more powerful than magic. Or the fantastic was more fun to play in.

Now I am not blaming this on the system or the modules, or at least not entirely. This falls squarely on my shoulders. Steam Punk seems to have built in genre balancing, the technology is more powerful but flakey. It allows the players to have the best of both worlds.

I really do not like the idea of game balance, and cyberpunk seems to have some of the worst examples of game mechanics that make no sense but are in place to uphold game balance. The most blatant of these is the rule that adding cyber components "steals your soul" making it harder to use magic. What crap. I would love to play a mage with a memory module. Imagine storing spells on a sim soft. Memorize hundreds of spells by simply downloading them into a memory chip that you can change on the fly. Need a fireball? Simply insert the correct chip and fire away.

The problem is that when you introduce that you change the nature of the game. Why would a player play a mage WITHOUT this type of memory module? A natural mage can memorize X number of spells, a cyber mage can memorize as many spells as can fit onto a memory chip. There is a clear advantage to playing the cybermage.

The problem is that the players have to be able to see beyond the empirical advantage. The GM (me) has to get the players to see the benefit of playing the disadvantaged character.

This is why my games failed. I could not get the story to supersede the rules.

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