So, as the title says.
The options in the poll refer to the two setting notions that I'm currently playing with:Fusion!
This is a modern world look-alike setting. With, of course, a difference: In 1981, Doctor Hammond constructed the world's first working fusion reactor. At game start (fall of 2008), it remains the world's only
working fusion reactor. Pheonix Power, Inc., who owns the reactor, sponsored the creation of Hammond Memorial Technical Institute, which is where most of the game is expected to take place - PCs can be students, or teachers, or in fact anyone else who'd have a good excuse to be hanging around campus. (Or even a bad excuse. Doesn't matter to me; as long as you can convince campus security to let you be there...)
There is a second college in town, Shaelblun University, an ancient liberal arts school. There is a good deal of student rivalry between the two institutions, though most of it is good natured - and the two colleges have a course exchange program, where a tech student seeking a minor in "applied mythology" can take courses at SU, or an art history major can find courses in digital design at HMTI.
The presence of essentially unlimited electrical power has opened the door to scientific advances beyond what's extant in the real world: maglev systems are in wide use, electric cars are slowly gaining popularity despite their still all-too-limited range, and other, more fantastic, forms of technology remain still in the testing and prototype stages.
And, somehow still in the background despite the best efforts of a few nosy reporters, there is magic. Sorcery is uncommon, but real, and a minor in "applied mythology" may actually mean something more than just a padded GPA...
It is assumed that all PCs in this game will have some degree of magical power - whether they know it or not. It is further assumed that they'll have some means of at least pretending to be a normal human. Either or both of these assumptions may be waived if necessary, but they're probably good starting points.Genius!
Step one: Read Girl Genius
Step two: Read the Chronicles of Amber.
Step three: Apply blender.
Or, roughly speaking: take Girl Genius, and add multiple universes and chaotic temporal fluctuations. The power that makes this world go 'round is the Spark of imagination, tempered by forge of Science. Magic exists - maybe? As Agatha mentions in one of the GG side comics, any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from technology. Which, of course, leads to the corollary: any magic that's distinguishable from technology, is insufficiently analyzed.
No, I don't have any particular setting details for this yet - as an amber-ish game, you'd be perfectly within your rights to invent your own home universe*. Some kind of Great War that left only wreckage of the most advanced worlds, seems like a very probable history point. Some kind of evil Power, thematically similar to the Other from Girl Genius, seems like a very probable history point. And, of course, the wise world-traveler should remember: What is ancient history, here, might be raw and bloody recent past over there - and just past that hill, it might even be a very real and dangerous present...
* Universe, in this instance, being limited to a single planet. While there might be rumors of space travel, attributed to unknown ancients or even just worlds that fell in the Great War, it is not a reality in any current realm.