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Questions about a world in a steampunk setting

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Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:00 am
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Alkimia says...

I've decided to make this thread so I could ask questions about worlds in a steampunk setting, which is more or less what I'm going to be writing about in my short stories and later on, my novel.

First question, would people use swords in a steampunk setting? I know traditionally guns exist in this type of setting, but could swords work in this setting? Maybe the culture or country where my stories will take place don't have access to gunpowder?

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Tue May 18, 2021 8:18 pm
mellifera says...

Hey Alkimia!

This is a SUPER late response to your thread (sorry about that!), but I saw it didn't have any responses so I wanted to give it some attention in case you were still looking for responses or if anyone else was wondering the same thing!

I'm not an ~expert~ on the steampunk genre and I usually use it loosely in my novels when I have it, but I think the answer to these questions are really up to what the author wants and the way they build their world! You can certainly include swords in any story even where there is access to guns! You could, of course, go with your suggestion of the place having limited or no access to gunpowder and therefore make guns either non-existent in that specific place, or a rare commodity that only the privileged/wealthy/smuggler types would have access to them! You can also have them intermixed, with certain professions or places emphasising the use of one over the other. You could also design specific places where a sword might be more useful (like close quarters, if you bring a gun to a really tight space where someone is hacking at you with a sword, that may not be ideal for the gun-wielder). You can also have downsides to using guns! Old flintlock pistols misfired all the time, or if they were handled incorrectly, could burn the one holding them. So maybe some people use guns, but others prefer not having the potential danger and use a more reliable sword instead.

Also, don't feel like you have to include guns in a steampunk setting! Guns aren't a necessity to have a steampunk setting in your world, so if you want them to be completely out of the picture so you don't have to come up with a way to harmonise different types of weapons, that's ok to! Ultimately, these kinds of decisions are up to you as the one who is creating the world or the setting of your story!
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