I want to create a world that combines both magic and steampunkish technology melding them into two different branches. With a school for each. What would be a good starting point?
closed as primarily opinion-based by Renan, Logan R. Kearsley, elemtilas, RonJohn, Vincent Sep 16 '18 at 3:20
Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.
To make it work, keep your magic clear of the tech things that characterize steampunk: energy tech, weapons and transportation.
Steampunk and technology follow the rules of physics. A steam powered world is internally consistent and you do not have to make up stuff, just explore aspects of it.
Magic is by definition outside conventional explanations for the natural world. If you have a world with loads of magic you need to make it from scratch and explain how it works. For example if you have magic power do you need a big steam boiler? Why?
To stay out of the way of the tech, magic can be of a sort completely separate from things involving energy, weapons, power and the like - magic might be charms and interpersonal things, necromancy etc.
First you would have to decide what kind of magic you would use and the rules. Then you would need to ask if everyone has magic(but a few are taught) or is it a skill of some minority. This would most likely the ruling class as the presence of magic would retard scientific innovation hence the steampunk tech. Also,does the steampunk tech enable the use of magic.
Its hard to give you a good answer as your question is a bit vague. Additionally, the steampunk tech or magic would have to rise to meet each other (or out pace the other) to generate the conflict for your story.