YMMV / Castle Falkenstein

  • Anvilicious: Technology is dangerous and naturally bad, used to create dystopias, mad science, destroy nature and by the Unseelie to wipe out humanity. It must be tightly controlled and slowed down for the sake of the world.
  • Accidental Aesop: For a steampunk setting, the "novel" constantly implies that the greater good is in the rustic, down-to earth, magic loving, faery dwellers Lord of the Rings-esque people from Bayern and the spirit-touched from the Twenty Nation Confederation and constantly warns us that technology is, ultimately, suspicious, unreliable and dangerous.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Tom really doesn't seem to suffer any anxiety after being separated from his family, friends, way of life and even home country or the fact that his sudden disappearance would cause them any grief, only sending a package for a tabletop game to his old job as his only goodbye note.
  • Chaotic Evil: According to Auberon all Faeries were like this in the beginning. As of now, only the Unseelie seem to apply for the job. Oh and your run of the mill Mad Scientist.
  • Crazy Awesome: New Europa technology works as such : "As long it sounds plausible and it's cool enough, it works. No questions asked".
  • Crowning Moment of Funny: When the author learned of genteel Victorian opinion of a certain staple of modern pen and paper roleplaying gaming equipment.
    Then I mentioned the dice.
    I distinctly recall that one of the ladies fainted.
  • Gameplay Derailment: Combat mechanics. It's almost universally agreed that it's better to use other models. In its time it was Lace & Steel. Now you can get from Eberron to Victoriana and anything in between.
  • Values Dissonance: Curiously, you get it not from 19th Century people but from the protagonist Tom. Firmly a kid from Generation X and fed with Cyberpunk literature, his constant complaints during the book and his cynical views of technology as a tool for oppression, massive corporations and the fatalistic nature of advancement are at odds with the generation of 2000, for whom Technology is freedom and its advancing is as important (if more commercial) a tool for the benefit of humanity as to the people of New Europa.
    • What's more, is that in New Europa Auberon wanted to avoid WWII, and created a new sea to halt German expansion, thus stopping "future blitzkrieg" in France. He did nothing to save Poland and Russia; where the majority of WWII was fought.