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Old 01-19-2010, 06:13 AM   #41
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Infinite Worlds, which wordline are we in?

Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
This reminds me of TV shows and films that take place in the modern world, except without any reference to themselves. For instance, every time a Star Trek story takes place in modern times, it must do so in a world without Star Trek.
Well, of course, the worldline of Star Trek being highly divergent from our own anyway (no matter how many times they, for example, move the dates or redefine the nature of the Eugenics Wars), it's not much of a stretch to have it divergent with respect to media franchises as well. It's true of pretty much all fiction that even visits, let alone is primarily set in the present day, including perfectly mundane dramas. After all, the characters of General Hospital logically live in the world where there's no daytime soap by that name just as much as Star Trek time travel eps visit a 20th/21st century without a Star Trek television show or movies.

There are some counterexamples, of course. In the Marvel Universe, Marvel Comics are indeed published, it's just that they're based rather loosely on real characters and events and are rather different from those published in our world, at least in terms of not revealing true secret identities and such. There are also fictions such as the Fraser Flashman novels that have the conceit of being based on true accounts and memoirs, which is at times stretched to things like the Holmes canon and, if you like the Wold Newton hypothesis, even Doc Savage, Tarzan, and many others. So there are worlds in which characters are both active or historical and figures of popular culture, it's just the less common case.

Another interesting feature is that in contemporary settings where the characters are 'removed' from popular culture, there are frequently in-story replacements of sorts. On Smallville, there is of course no Superman franchise dating back to 1938, but there's a fairly similar comic book and movie character by the name of Warrior Angel that plays much the same role.

Then there are cases which combine or split the difference between the two conceits, such as the case where in the Stargate universe there is no Stargate show, but there is a show called Wormhole X-treme that hews fairly closely (with some dramatic license) to the SG-1 teams real adventures. Or Galaxy Quest, where the franchise starts out completely fictional, but becomes 'real' when contact with the Thermians is established.

So, even for fictional parallels where this is not currently the 'in canon' case, a GM could play the same game. Have the PCs come from a world where the Star Trek franchise is just as we know it, for example, and have it turn out that first Roddenberry and then the other writers were in fact privy to details of the actual future, whether through psychic powers or time travelling informants. Of course, if the PCs encounter the 'real' Captain Kirk or travel forward to the 24th century, the Starfleet personnel won't look or act precisely like the actors that portrayed them, so there may well be some surprises...
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:09 AM   #42
Hans Rancke-Madsen
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Default Re: Infinite Worlds, which wordline are we in?

My favorite moment in "Last Action Hero" is when the boy tries to convince the Arnold Swartzenegger character that he is in a movie by dragging him to a video store to show him a copy of "Terminator" -- and the robot turns out to be played by Sylvester Stallone! <-- fnorded.

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Old 01-19-2010, 12:09 PM   #43
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Mountain View, CA
Default Re: Infinite Worlds, which wordline are we in?


On this world, every time a timeline is visited by any entity from another timeline, a writer or artist is suddenly inspired to write or otherwise depict it. Worlds that have never had cross-time contamination are not depicted (as far as Infinity knows).

The Cabal has heavily infiltrated the publishing business, in order to edit out any of their plots that might be revealed by the narrative. The recent explosion of "fan fiction" on their internet made have been caused by Infinity's discovery of cross-time travel, resulting in massive numbers of duplicated and altered worlds. This has left the Cabal overwhelmed, and they may be considering drastic action to silence this planet...

Edit: Each original manuscript, painting, comic book, rough draft, etc. is a weak reality shard.
While I own the entire GURPS 4th edition library, it is also too large for me to remember everything anymore. Please forgive my lapses of memory.
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infinite worlds

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