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Old 03-28-2006, 09:40 PM   #31
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: Alternate Earths 3, What Worlds? (hypothetical)

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Originally Posted by Almafeta
Actually, it turned out that smallpox and other European diseases weren't what killed most of the south americans when the Spanish arived -- archaeological pathologists have discovered that it was a disease that came from South America that did the damage.
Not to be rude, but do you have a citation for this? It pretty much contradicts everything I've ever heard about the American disease environment. For one thing, if such a plague killed so many Mesoamericans, why didn't it do a similar number to the Europeans? Second, where did the disease originate? Generally, new diseases come either from a mutation of a current human disease (the common cold), or from cross species migration (lots of flu, possibly things like ebola, etc). The first can create diseases that are infectious, but not usually seriously lethal - the disease has already evolved to live with humans, so it's not much of a killer; it's just mutated into a harder-to-resist form.
The transmission from animals, on the other hand, tends to need humans living in close proximity to animals a lot. For example, bird flu happens when the diseases affecting birds mutate to affect humans too. But none of the Native American civilizations had a lot of domesticated animals pre-contact, and AFAIK, those animals aren't particularly prone to giving humans their diseases (unlike, say, pigs).
In any case, even assuming that a local disease, rather than an imported one, put down the Meso-American civilizations, it was basically just lucky to get there first. European plagues would have been horrific for the Native Americans regardless, simply due to the logic of disease: they had no immunities, and they were faced with, like, 10 different seriously virulent new diseases at once. That's enough to seriously upset any civilization.
Now, mind you, that doesn't mean that the Mesoamericans couldn't have bounced back, given a couple of centuries. The civilizations we're familiar with probably wouldn't have survived, but new civilizations would probably have risen, and they would have the diseases in the common pool, so they at least wouldn't have been as hard hit when the Europeans came back.
On the third hand, figuring out European tech from "discarded examples" is extremely difficult. The Native Americans are stone age, basically - they'd have to work out not just how a gun worked, but how to smelt decent iron, how to make gunpowder, how to forge armor, swords, etc. All that took thousands of years of trial and error for the Old World; I don't think even working models will help the New World do it in two hundred years.
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Old 03-28-2006, 09:50 PM   #32
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Default Re: Alternate Earths 3, What Worlds? (hypothetical)

Not that they would wind up in AE3, but I just couldn't resist...

Kromm-1: A world nearly identical to Homeline, except that a Canadian physicist named Sean Punch had a long and fulfilling career and never got involved in the RPG industry.

Kromm-2: Even more similar to Homeline than Kromm-1, except that Punch does get involved in the RPG industry and successfully emigrates to Texas.
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Old 03-28-2006, 10:03 PM   #33
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Default Re: Alternate Earths 3, What Worlds? (hypothetical)

For those interested in the possibilities of native civilizations surviving in the Americas, I recommend American Indian victories: alternative histories of the struggles between Indians and Europeans by Dale Cozort. (ISBN: 1591131790) It's definately worth a read.
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Old 03-28-2006, 10:44 PM   #34
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Default Re: Alternate Earths 3, What Worlds? (hypothetical)

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Originally Posted by Ed the Coastie
Kromm-1: A world nearly identical to Homeline, except that a Canadian physicist named Sean Punch had a long and fulfilling career and never got involved in the RPG industry.
O_O -_-

Blasphemy! Get the rope! ^_^ *laughs*

A world without the Words of Kromm? -_- That's like a Hell Parallel right? <_< >_> ^_^

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed the Coastie
Kromm-2: Even more similar to Homeline than Kromm-1, except that Punch does get involved in the RPG industry and successfully emigrates to Texas.
Ah, you have redeemed yourself, grasshopper! ^_^ *laughs*

*clears throat* On a more serious bent, I'd like to see some more about Wyvren? Unless, it's covered in detail in GURPS: Dragons? =? In either event, it sounds like a really interesting parallel.
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Old 03-28-2006, 10:51 PM   #35
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Default Re: Alternate Earths 3, What Worlds? (hypothetical)

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Originally Posted by Rowan
On a more serious bent, I'd like to see some more about Wyvren? Unless, it's covered in detail in GURPS: Dragons? =? In either event, it sounds like a really interesting parallel.
I haven't heard about that one. Lemme guess...a large flying reptile survived to become an apex predator?
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Old 03-28-2006, 11:10 PM   #36
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Default Re: Alternate Earths 3, What Worlds? (hypothetical)

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Originally Posted by Ed the Coastie
I haven't heard about that one. Lemme guess...a large flying reptile survived to become an apex predator?
It's a foot note kind of in, um, Infinite Worlds? Near the end of the Puzzle World's section? Inifinity thought it was just a close parallel to Homeline's Edwardian era with an odd fixation on Dragons. So they started tours there. Two years later they find out the dragon's everyone's talking about are in fact real and can use magic to dominate acolytes and whole nations without leaving their caves.

Infinity freaked.

They stamped the world with a Z rating and pulled out of there quickly. Now I hear they're running around trying to find everyone that took a trip there to find out if someone let the secret slip to the dragons.

The passage mentions more details can be found in GURPS: Dragons. So I'm not sure how developed the world is. ^_^ Sounds like a neat place.
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Old 03-29-2006, 12:38 AM   #37
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Default Re: Alternate Earths 3, What Worlds? (hypothetical)

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Originally Posted by Rowan
*clears throat* On a more serious bent, I'd like to see some more about Wyvren? Unless, it's covered in detail in GURPS: Dragons?
It is. Two chapters, plus a third on bringing it forward to the modern day.
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Old 03-29-2006, 01:40 AM   #38
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Default Re: Alternate Earths 3, What Worlds? (hypothetical)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed the Coastie
Not that they would wind up in AE3, but I just couldn't resist...

Kromm-1: A world nearly identical to Homeline, except that a Canadian physicist named Sean Punch had a long and fulfilling career and never got involved in the RPG industry.

Kromm-2: Even more similar to Homeline than Kromm-1, except that Punch does get involved in the RPG industry and successfully emigrates to Texas.
Sorry, I just cannot resist. Forgive me.

Kromm-1: Steve Jackson games has not found a new line editor for GURPS; as a result, SJG went down, and GURPS was lost. People have to play D20 now. Vastly increased suicide rate among gamers, leading to the ban of the hobby in the US, Canada, Japan and most of Europe. The hobby has died. Oh, and this world is about 0.0001 tech levels more advanced in physics than Homeline Beta.

Kromm-2: Constant personal interaction leads to tiring of personal relationships between SJG's owner and the new line editor. As a result, Sean Punch leaves the company after about four years. After that, see above.

:-)
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Old 03-29-2006, 03:55 AM   #39
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Default Re: Alternate Earths 3, What Worlds? (hypothetical)

In general, I want to see more parallels with supernatural elements. Alternate Earths 1 & 2 were fun, but they had all purely mundane deviations (well, except for Gernsback...).
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Old 03-29-2006, 04:24 AM   #40
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Default Re: Alternate Earths 3, What Worlds? (hypothetical)

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Originally Posted by Jürgen Hubert
In general, I want to see more parallels with supernatural elements. Alternate Earths 1 & 2 were fun, but they had all purely mundane deviations (well, except for Gernsback...).
I have mixed feelings about that... I prefer to use the Infinite Worlds scenario primarily as an "Alternate Histories" setting. I'm ok with mixing in some supernatural elements to spice up those worlds occasionally (Vampire River Priates plaguing the CSA!), and throwing in some odd-ball worlds (like my Wonderland idea above) to keep players on their toes, but for the most part Fantasy settings are not what I'm looking for with Alternate Earths boooks (not that a book dedicated to new & unique Fantasy settings is a bad idea).
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