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Topic: Imperialism and Immutable Truths from the Rulebook
mmkatz
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Imperialism and Immutable Truths from the Rulebook
on: March 24, 2016, 11:30

I've been reading the setting description in the rulebook for a few months now, ever since I purchased it at Gen Con 2015, and I've been frankly unable to see how we can combine the ideas of steampunk, with its emphasis on combating injustice and questioning the status quo, with the feeling I get from the book that it is an undeniable truth that only the societal system in place (with its injustice, imperialism, misogyny, racism, and everything else) is the only way to prevent the rise of the pontus.


The writing seems to imply that, yeah, sure there are other belief systems out there, but really they're just wrong, and only the alt-history Christianity is correct.


Can anyone elaborate on how we're supposed to read the setting in a way that allows for the beneficial nature of social change in the real world, or how criticizing the Empire can lead to anything other than destruction?


zeke023
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Re: Imperialism and Immutable Truths from the Rulebook
on: April 16, 2016, 06:05

How a character deals with the Pontus in the world is encapsulated by their chosen pursuit. The Core Rulebook is written from perspective of the Imperial Status quo, which is largely like reading the ideas of a character with the Dominion pursuit. That viewpoint truly believes that the world can only be saved through stable and time tested societal structures. However, there are four other pursuits for characters to choose from (three of them actually caring about what happens with the Pontus). I'd recommend reading the descriptions and narratives of al the pursuits to get an idea of how different ideologies work out in the world.


However, there is an intentional moral ambiguity to the way this plays out. None of the pursuits are actually "right," and any one of them left unchecked would certainly lead to disaster. Perhaps they are all destined to fail… or perhaps saving reality can only happen through a balance of all five of them. The game does not supply the answers. They are left up to play groups to explore. As a Narrator, you can either make your own call, or leave it ambiguous throughout your stories.


There is some talk about writing supplements from other pursuit perspectives to balance this.


As for your final question: From a different viewpoint, the Empire is a crumbling bulwark. It creates as much disorder as it does order. How can oppression be a part of the divine plan? If we cannot replace the current social systems with ones that are fair and just, the Empire that is held up to be our savior may very well be the vanguard of our destruction.


Originator of the Clockwork, and one of the main developers.

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