Well, to start off, I’m very fascinated by the responses I got to my poll on power sources and technology.
On the poll itself there were only three votes; arcane won (as I was expecting) with two votes, while divine was the only other power source to get a vote. Other than that, I also received several comments, both on the poll itself and through Google+. Responses in the comments where quite varied, but general opinions about which classes where the most “techy” included artificers, some bards and rogues, and a general slant towards martial and arcane classes. Where divine classes fell seemed the most unclear.
So, now for my analysis and my own opinion: It seems clear that the arcane power source is very heavily associated with technology, with the martial power source falling very close behind. It’s very easy to see why each of those where chosen. Fantasy games are filled with connections between the arcane and science – Saruman’s forges, the artificers of Eberron, the Izzet Guild from Magic: the Gathering, and so on. Martial classes also make a lot of sense. They’re about getting by out of your own ability, which is exactly what invention and innovation are all about in a fantasy setting.
What really interests me is the divine. Where does it fall? In one comment the divine was touted as the most “techy” of the power sources, while in another it was cast down practically to the level of the primal power source. Very interesting . . .
Personally, I don’t feel that the divine power source is slanted one way or another. If one examines actual history, you find that religion has often stood in the way of scientific progress. However, one must also note that during the middle ages it was the monasteries where knowledge was stored (and occasionally elaborated upon). Meanwhile, in the middle east during the early middle ages, while Europe was in turmoil, mathematics, medicine, alchemy, and astrology flourished under the mantle of the Islamic empires.*
And that’s all very well, but the D&D universe is not (in most settings) a monotheistic world. In D&D there are separate deities for death, the sun, chaos, justice, war, madness, and (back in the 3.5 days) kobolds. It is entirely reasonable to assume that some of the deities (Erathis and Bane perhaps) might welcome new progressions in technology, giving their Clerics a “techy” slant, while others (such as Melora and Gruumsh) would have a much different view (I’m sure that Gruumsh wouldn’t mind machine guns though).
In the end, it really depends on the campaign setting, but while arcane, martial, primal, and some of the other power sources seem to easily fall into place on one side or the other, the divine power source can really fit in anywhere the campaign world needs.
I would like to thank everyone who commented and /or voted; your feedback was very fascinating and thought-provoking. I feel that this was a very interesting discourse / experiment. And don’t worry, there’s a new batch of homebrew coming up soon!
* Yes, astrology and alchemy where both very unscientific, but it must be noted that they where the precursors of both astronomy and modern chemistry, respectively.