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Thread: Gnomes: Adding Steampunk Themes to Worlds of Magic

  1. #1

    Gnomes: Adding Steampunk Themes to Worlds of Magic


    Since we’re talking pie-in-the-sky ideas, I thought I’d share mine. I always felt that gnomes were under appreciated in fantasy. Either they’re too cute or too tricky. I like the idea of inventor gnomes who are bent on advancing technology and stripping the land of its resources. I think some of this motif was infringed upon by the dwarves in MoM- who I always picture more as craftsmen and traders who build more conventional war engines (catapults, battering rams, trebuchets). Since it looks like the steam-tech motif is being taken from the dwarves in WoM (which is a good thing!!!), I think there’s room for a steampunk race down the road in some DLC or expansion for the game unless people just fall in love with the idea.

    If WoM were to someday do a gnome faction, here is what I’d like to see:

    Race-unique Buildings:

    Steam Mill- industrializes food production, helping population growth.
    Clocktower- improves production by increasing worker efficiency.
    Workshop- allows production of clockwork units.
    Advanced Workshop- allows production of advanced clockwork units.
    Steel Wall- upgrades stone walls.
    Scrapyard- allows a sorcerer lord to recycle a clockwork unit to recover gold/boost production of a unit
    Alchemist Shop- use unknown at this point.

    Blunderbuss Brigade (was Swordsman)
    Bard (was Spearman)
    Engineer (can heal clockwork units)
    Illusionist (was Magician)
    Clockwork Soldier
    Clockwork Beast (cavalry unit)
    Gnomish Spitfire (was Steam Cannon)
    Gnomish Airship (was Clockwork Avian)
    Steamrod (steam powered battering ram for attacking walls)
    Clockwork Dragon

    Racial Bonuses:
    Fast population growth (with steam mill)
    Fast production (with clocktower)
    Clockwork units start out at a higher level than other races' equivilent units.
    Increased resistance to Poison and Disease attacks

    Racial Drawbacks:
    Lower defense in fleshy units like bards and illusionists (was fewer hit points)
    Clockwork units have high gold upkeep.
    Clockwork units do not gain XP.
    Buildings have high gold upkeep.

    I really believe that a tech-based gnome faction would add a great dimension to the game and give users a unique play experience. I could even see their cities getting a bonus for being built near a volcano since they could tap it for energy.

    What do you guys think? Does steampunk fantasy intrigue any of you?


    Last edited by Troy_Costisick; 04-29-2013 at 06:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Mage of the Lesser Tower Rybon's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
    I could see it as a DLC. Something along the lines of as the world of magic see advances the World of Magic Clashes with the World of Steam.

    I guess I would not want something like this in the normal game.

  3. #3
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
    Fredericksburg, VA (USA)
    Gnomes are pretty far down the DLC list for me (though I put them above Halflings) but I too like the general idea of a steampunk theme for them if/when they are added.
    I'm not sure Swordsman and Spearmen fit gnomes that well though. I'd like to see a unit with gnome, hooked hammers that trips.
    Likewise I'd like to see the "Magicians" as "Illusionists" with a focus on illusion spells.
    It would also be nice to bring Bards in in some way still though if rogueish skills aren't implemented in the game I'm not sure how that would work.
    Likewise I think if some sort of alchemy system is in the game they should excel as that as it's another area where Gnome typically do well but again I don't know if such things will make an appearance in any meaningful way in WoM.
    I do like the idea of a steamship for their sea unit and I'd like to see a flying steam and magic powered balloon unit for them.
    The steam cannon is too close to the rune cannon the dwarves have in my opinion (which is inspired by the dwarven steam cannon from MoM) so I'd prefer if it was something like a steam tank.
    I also think it would be cool if it were a bit quirky so that it has a chance to break down and lose a turn every now and then to offset the massive armor (most for a siege engine) and firepower (2nd only to the dwarven rune cannon) a tank would have.
    I'd definitely like to see the art style with brass and gears and units with goggles and such.

    Gnomes aren't limited hit points though, they have a bonus to Constitution so they're MORE resilient than say humans and certainly elves.

    For buildings I really do like the idea of a clocktower and the a gnomish workshop but I'm not convinced on exactly what they should do.

    Anyway like you said it's pie in the sky for now because I don't think there are enough gnome fans out there to push them above the other races suggested in the short term. It is a fun thing to think about for down the road though and since I've bought all future DLC I'm hoping they do make it in... eventually.

  4. #4

    You are definately right about illusionists. That's a way better idea than magicians. And yeah, gnomes are way above halflings for me too.

    As for alchemists, I have no idea what an Alchemist unit would do. Alchemist shop? Sure. But I imagine that will be in the base game anyway. Would alchemists kind of be like mages? I realize gnomes get a CON bonus, the that's mostly for saves vs. poison and disease. They are little people who can be squished easily, IMHO. I like the idea of bard units a lot! I included sword/spearmen because I figured they'd be the base units for races (maybe they aren't). But bards would make a much better base unit. In addition, I think it would be neat if gnomish engineers could "heal" mechanical units like clockwork soldiers. That would add an extra dimension to their faction.



  5. #5
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
    Fredericksburg, VA (USA)
    I was thinking of making potions for alchemists. I think Aaron mentioned in passing somewhere that they wanted to expand item creation beyond the spell in MoM and were considering even alchemy. I don't think such a system should be EXCLUSIVE to gnomes but IF they do decide to implement such a system then I think it would be fitting for gnomes to get some kind of bonus to it. All of this is iffy though because we don't even know if or in what form alchemy will take in the game. I don't really see alchemists as battlefield units though, sorry if I implied that, it's not what I meant.

    Sword/spearman aren't base units like they were in MoM. The elves base unit is actually archers and the dwarves have axe warriors only the high men have sword and spearmen. Skeletons are the base unit for undead and I think Draconians just use their natural claws and scales for weapons and armor on the bottom tier units. That's kind of the thing with WoM, while it will launch with far less races than MoM had (though this will be expanded later through DLC) the differences between the races will be far more profound. In MoM there were like a set of basic units that just about everyone had and each race just added like 1-3 unique ones. In WoM there really isn't a common core set of unit, though sometimes they may have similar name such as Dwarven and High Men Crossbowmen.

  6. #6
    That makes sense, and I like it a lot. Thanks for clearning that up for me!

    Bards would be a much better base unit then. What might a good secondary unit for gnomes be?

  7. #7
    Moderator Aldaron's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    This is a cool class for Gnomes: Artificers!

    Although I don't know how easily it could be implemented in the game.

    I love all things steampunk so I like Troys list of units. But I agree with Asmodai, the list needs illusionists (while artificers/alchemists could work like buff/healing units).
    “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

    George Bernard Shaw

  8. #8
    Original post updated to reflect the discussions in this thread. It's a good start!

    Aldaron, I'm a fan of Steampunk too! It's been growing in popularity as a genre for the last decade or so. More and more fantasy games are taking advantage of that. I'd hope somewhere down the line, WoM would want to also. I'm hopeful!



  9. #9
    Archmage of the Central Tower Happerry's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
    Alchemists could throw bombs...

    I'd advise against a steam cannon, as the dwarves already have a Rune Cannon, which is kinda taking up the thematic cannon slot. A gnome siege weapon should be more whacky anyway, like a device which throws red hot giant gears at things to crush them and then run over anything behind it.

    Honestly, though, if I was designing the Gnomes I'd run a less focus on the "Mad Science!" and more on their sneakyness and illusions.

  10. #10

    Personally, I think there's room in a fantasy world for there to be both a magical cannon and a mechanical cannon. BUT, these forums are all about exchanging ideas and coming to a consensus. So the steam cannon is out In another board, AquaRegia mentioned Greek Fire. I've replaced the Steam Cannon with a Gnomish Spitfire. Basically, I envision the spitfire are a huge bellows that belches out Greek fire. This unit can attack other units as a siege engine or anti-siege engine. The unique thing about it would be any unit hit by a spitfire would continue to burn for X damage at the beginning of each round. This would separate it from almost anything else in the game- which is an important thing to do when adding new races an units IMO.

    I've done some more thinking about how to replace swordsmen. One of the more humorous images I've seen with gnomes is a bunch of the little guys holding blunderbusses. A blunderbuss is a very old tech gun that resembles a horn. You load it with nails, stones, or almost anything and shoot it in the general direction of your enemy hoping to hit something (it's the guns the Pilgrims used in colonial America). A Gnomish blunderbuss would hit hard, but have a very short range. This would be really different from elvish archers who have a much longer range. Just throwing the idea out. How does it sound?



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