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Petike the Taffer

Inventing a Cugnot-style steam wagon (and then losing the invention)

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I've been wondering about this as a sideplot (or even a part of the main plot) in a potential mission:

If some individual inventor or Inventor's Guild member worked on creating a primitive steam-powered wagon (not really a "car" yet), could it fit TDM's setting ? Provided the invention would not actually take off, because the outcome of the mission would prohibit it ?

 

By steam wagon, I mean something in the vein of the famous Cugnot wagon from the 1760s. Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot's 1769 "Fardier à vapeur", to be precise. Nothing elegant, an extremely cumbersome wagon (perhaps equally three-wheeled), with a bulky and similarly non-elegant early steam engine mounted at the drive wheel in the front.

 

The narrative role of the invention would consist of our thief protagonist infiltrating an inventor's workplace and finding out about the plans to further develop or perfect the vehicle... Only to discover shortly afterward that the inventor is either on his last leg due to severe health problems, or was already killed by some mob that blackmailed him, or even a rival inventor.

 

Ultimately, the player wouldn't be able to prevent the inventor's death and this sideplot in the story would end on a downer note, with the implication that no one will invent a similar invention anytime soon in the TDM setting.

 

Does this make any sort of sense as a narrative element ? I've thought about it as a sort of handwave to underline how, in the setting, technological progress isn't all that rapid, despite the presence of steam engines and whatnot.

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Sure! Make it. Make anything. Make a steampunk car. Make a modern car. Fuck it, make a spaceship mission! I'm serious. Nothing's off the table as far as I'm concerned. The Dark Mod needs more missions, no matter how well they "fit" into the narrative or not. In my opinion TDM also needs to have some crazy off the wall missions that deliberately stray far outside the canon. The dark and gritty mansion/city/crypt/cathedral/sewer mission types have been done to death across the Thief FM/TDM universes, in my opinion.

 

Anyone that liked Thief FM's like "Escape from the Planet of The Robots," "Rebellion of the Builder," "Captain of the Guard", "Fables of the Penitent Thief", "Upside Down", "Trouble Under the Sea," or "The Chain Project" can appreciate my sentiment, I think.

Edited by Morat
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I'm open to "wacky missions", but as the TDM library is still only growing and I've yet to build a mission, I'd prefer to try something conventional for a first try. :-)

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Fuck it, make a spaceship mission!

 

 

Actually I think that would make for a really interesting plot. Maybe not even a spaceship from aliens; what if, with all the technological knowledge of TDM's time, someone greedy tries to launch a huge thing into space and our thief has to stop the whole city from exploding, because technology's not ready? With all the metal floors of the spaceship this would also be a rather complicated mission.

 

Someone please use this theme as the final mission in a campaign. ^_^

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I was doing a blender tutorial where you build and animate a steam train, a very early one called "the rocket". I didnt quite finish it yet but I completed the whole wheel and pump mechanism (the chain connections and rigging that was needed for animation), so I could give you that if you want it. If nothing else the rest could be built in DR, like Shadowhide's train.

Edited by RPGista

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