Man. Life can be full of disappointments. The curry you made is too spicy, you win a free t-shirt but it’s the wrong size, your wife abandons you at the altar, you drive to Disneyland but when you get there it’s just a vacant lot filled knee-high with mouse corpses. DISAPPOINTING.
But nothing quite matches the disappointment of have a good title for your steampunk RPG, only to discover that, not only is it in use elsewhere, it’s being used for another steampunk RPG. And not only is that hedging in on your territory, it’s also hitting all of the bases you want to avoid (which is to say, whether it is good or not–and I haven’t played it and cannot say–it is very nearly the opposite of the game I wish to create, and so I have no wish to allow these titles to be confused).
Sorry, Steamcraft, looks like SteamCraft got there ahead of you. And it brought elves. Which means I need a new title.
Titling things is difficult. A title has so many jobs, after all. It has to tell you what the game/story/movie/whatever is about, it has to tell you what the tone will be, it has to suggest who will enjoy it, and it has to do all of this over the course of one to ten words. That’s a lot of load to place on so few words! That’s the sort of load which reeks of poetry, which I am not adept at.
So. What is this game about? Steampunk adventurers.
What’s the tone? Cheery, pulpy, emphasis on building things. Hence why steam + craft was such a nice duality.
Who is it for? Well, RPG folks, skewing somewhere between D&D and FATE in terms of how much we like crunchy bits in the rules and how much we like empowering players. None of this hyper-realist shit with tables and supplements and a hundred resources to track, none of this wiggly-woggly talking-stick story game aesthetic, just some folks who can screw around in a world which is controlled by a GM. Classic, man.
What does this tell me? I need some words that suggest crafting, suggest steam, are empowering, positive… like Steamcraft, but you know. Not that. Steam-Powered seems like a good concept to start with. Oh, or, steamfitter! The Steamfitter’s Guild. Conveys a sense of time (guilds seem old-timey, except when they write or screen-act), a sense of steam, a bit of construction (for people who know what a steamfitter is, at any rate) and of course a sense of camaraderie amongst the players.
Only problem is that there is no such guild within the game world. But, I guess that’s a minor problem?
Stuff to think on, at any rate.