Basically DungeonPunk applies the gritty, cynical aesthetic of CyberPunk to heroic fantasy, usually with magic as tech. Sometimes this is just a surface gloss: long coats & mirror shades on your dual-pistol wielding dwarf warrior. What I’m looking to do is emphasize some of the things that I see as making the “Punk” part:
- The street finds its own uses for magic (tech)
- Criticism of conformity: you can have a comfortable life, or freedom, but not both. Opting for freedom drops you into the seamy underbelly of society, scrabbling for a living. You’re not really a punk, imo, if the Establishment is universally hated and despised. Fighting against alien invaders who want to eat you isn’t punk; fighting against alien invaders who want to give you boring 9-5 jobs with health and dental in alien call centers is.
- The protagonists are society’s outcasts and losers, not the movers and shakers. Being a high-level adventurer doesn’t get you an audience with the king and the hand of the prince/princess, it gets you an unpleasant interview with the head of the secret police where he offers to drop the charges if you do a little job for him…
Here’s the TV Tropes link: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DungeonPunk