I find myself caught in a bit of a conundrum when it comes to Victorious setting and detail, particularly when it comes to the less pleasant aspects of Victorian life. Most steampunk writings get around the issues of gender inequality, racism, or colonial imperialism either by ignoring it or regulating it to a ‘bad’ part of the earlier 19th century that is changed by the ‘enlightened’ times of whenever the steampunk writing in question is set.
I can understand this temptation, and to a degree sympathize with it. Yet as a fan of the pre 1990s X-Men, I always found the idea of an outcast group striving to fight not only supervillains but society’s prejudices as very interesting. As such, in my home games I’ve played on the Victorian dismissal of women to provide a societal prejudice for the heroines of my chronicle to battle against. Sometimes they’ve succeeded, other times they’ve failed but the fight goes on. To help, as Professor Xavier put it, “…a world that hates and fears us.”
Yet what I see as a worthwhile and interesting struggle within a chronicle, others might view as uncomfortable to roleplay. Maybe a heroic lady of SuperMankind doesn’t want to deal with the eye-rolling of the policemen and articles in the newspaper questioning their motives; see “A Gentleman’s Opinion” in the Victorious rulebook for an example. Such would make the game not at all fun, and if you’re not having fun then why are you playing a game?
What do YOU think? Which is more important? Should it be based on your group’s preferences, or is there a solution that could apply to most (if not all) chronicles?
Please reply either here or on the Facebook Victorious group with your opinions!