As I’ve written before, one of the main conceits of Industrial Might and Magic is that the setting is basically industrialized due to sufficiently advanced magic. Depending on the culture and nation though, the way in which magic is put to use in an industrial context varies greatly:
- As Eberron is an important inspiration, highly advanced vehicles working with bound elementals is definitely a thing. However, different nations might use different kinds of bound creatures: while elementals are the simplest option, some nations make use of demons, ghosts, or even angels.
- The assumption is that most labor is performed by low-level artificers who study at magic polytechnics to learn basic crafting magic. For manual labor magical automatons are used, and the nature of these magical automatons depends on the culture and nation: there’s a nation that utilizes zombies and skeletons for manual labor; there’s a theocratic nation that uses golems for labor (but because they are instruments of the gods the golems never work on national holy days, effectively stopping the nation’s industry for a day at a time).
- Obviously there’s a nation that has made a literal Faustian bargain with devils and now their nation is filled with factories that spew out black smoke that smells distinctly of brimstone.
- One of the more messed up nations has industrialized through their reliance on fey pacts: they get all the benefits of highly advanced magic, but their culture has changed to reflect the capricious nature of fey. Because the fey might only require milk one week and demand to replace a bunch of babies with changelings the next in exchange for their power, this culture has a really strange idea of equivalent exchange. Trade relations with them are bound to change at the drop of a hat.