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So since I’ve recently come off of watching Arcane and reading through Outlaws of Alkenstar (still holding out for a Numeria based campaign in 2e), I’d like to discuss the Alkenstar of 2e, since Outlaws of Alkenstar was our first firsthand view of the place in this edition since like one module in 1e.
To be honest, it’s really disappointing to see that they decided to emphasize the “”Bronze Dead Redemption/cowboys with flintlocks”” thing, instead of really focusing on the steampunk/ pulp-weird tech elements.
Maybe this is just a case of a tremendously good portrayal of something being compared to a merely ok portrayal of something, but every time I look at the worldbuilding and ambience of Piltover/Zaun in Arcane and compare it to Skyside/Smokeside of Alkenstar the latter winds up looking like a poor imitation.
Having said that, I believe a great deal of things could be fixed by giving up the weird obsession with flintlock muzzle-loaders that Pathfinder seems to have and replacing them with simple mechanical revolvers and rifles, and more exotic things like maybe the Golarion/Mana Wastes version of thasteron-powered guns (would add subplots for mining that stuff as well).
A new dedicated clockwork automaton ancestry like Golarion’s version of the warforged would help the flavor as well. Lean into the mad science subplot opportunities (possible interplanetary/interplanar adventures might happen here). And depending on personal preference, maybe replace some of the dusty streets with neon lights?
What are your thoughts on this?
ps: the fact that the main plot character of OoA seems to disappear after book 1 and how the overarching plot about “”pyronite”” simply doesn’t seem to be enough of a high stakes enough plot (and that any mention of the stuff vanishes completely after the AP ends) doesn’t help anything
Personally I think the theme of mad science is a bit more Ustalav than it is Alkenstar.