31 Mar 2013

NaNo Prep 2013 - Steampunk Superhero

Previously in this series, I expanded an idea for a Traveller story to work on in November.  This time around, I look at a possible expansion to the Subject 13 setting.

One of the commentaries I made for Subject 13 detailed some of the ideas for the S13-verse, including the ideas that Nasty's world is full of superheroes and that heroes pass along their code names.  If you've been following the series, so far, neither of that has occurred.  Thus, The Clockwork Avenger.

What I want to do with the story is have it be told over two different eras.  Part of the story would be set in the Victorian era, modified to allow for mystery men and men of magic, and part would be set in the now.  Two main characters are needed, one for each setting.  Also needed, a villain worth thwarting in both time periods.

For the Victorian era, I have the idea of the Clockwork Avenger, a scientist and inventor who has designed himself a suit of steam-powered powered armour.  The idea for this came from a Marvel Universe RPG session set in Victorian times.  I mucked about with the rules for inventing and power armour and came up with the only normal person (as opposed to being a metahuman) of the group.  The steam-powered powered armour was large, cumbersome, well armoured, and carried a cannister launcher with a mix of lethal (fragmentation rounds) and non-lethal* (ether rounds) ammunition.  I can easily divorce the game mechanics from the character, leaving the concept in tact and a little more pliable.  (Not to mention, I canèt find the character sheet. *^_^*)

In the modern era, a descendant of the Clockwork Avenger would receive the plans for the armour.  The descendant would then create a new set of armour, this time, high tech with modern alloys far lighter than the original design's iron, with electronic feedback controls.  The descendant will still take the name "Clockwork Avenger", but, this time, the clockwork is digital.

Still leaves me needing a villain.  The only idea I've had so far is have the Clockwork Avenger take on an occultist, leading to a technology vs supernatural theme.  I also need to have the plot occur in two time frames, but I still have a few months to work on that.  "That which slumbers" might be a nice underlying idea and a tag for the title (ie, The Clockwork Avenger: That Which Slumbers).

And looking back at the Traveller idea, I perused the Mongoose Traveller Sword Worlds book.  I found the menace - Ubermannennir.

* Allegedly non-lethal.  I fired an ether round into a room filled with cannisters to stop the villainous being from escaping.  After the explosion, no villainous being and no room.  Oops.


  1. Regarding a plot in two time frames, one framing device might be someone in the later time finding a journal of what happened in the earlier. Doesn't need to be the hero either, can be the villain, or a secondary character who provides the info at a key time.

    Another might be hitting key events in parallel, such as the main characters birthday/wedding/etc. And there's always time travel. Also, when I see "Clockwork" I think "Clockwork Orange" even though I've never read or seen it; not sure if that's a good thing or not?

  2. I was thinking about that. The descendant needs to know what the plot is and he or she can do to stop the villain/villain's descendant/villain's timebomb. I do want to see if I can write in parallel, and this is one way to give it a shot.

    "A Clockwork Orange" does seem to have a lock onf the word "clockwork". I'm hoping that steampunk and the workings of clocks are better known when the story is done.