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Old 07-08-2019, 02:49 PM   #1
Astromancer
 
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Default Azoth-8

Some time ago I posted a world called Azoth-8 to the New Reality Seeds thread. And was asked to make it a thread of its own. I was interrupted and never got the chance. I'm now posting this is response to that request .

Please feel free offer your own ideas. Just remember this is a very late 60's psychedelic space age with lots of Super Spy Spy Fi action.

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Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post

Try this, in Azoth-8 an alchemical revolution comes in California the 1930's. Jack Parson's creates a new power source which makes Electricity too cheap to meter and also develops an AntiGravity drive. In 1942 FDR declares victory in the Battle of the Atlantic because fleets of American "Flying Saucers" supply Britain far above the Nazi Wolf packs!

The Americans land on the Moon in 1946, the Russians get there in 1947, the UK, France, Canada, and Italy, join America and the USSR and all have Moonbases by 1960. West Germany, Brazil, China, and India, all found their moonbases in the next few years. Jack Parson's last few coded letters to Tesla are decoded in 1964 (he died as in our Earth's history) and FTL drive is figured out.

It's 1970, Doctor Who is now in color, Star Trek is broadcasting its fourth season (it's third season being an acknowledged dramatic triumph), and the first Interstellar colonies have been founded!

It a Mod/Psychedelic Space Age! Go-Go boots and Miniskirts to the stars!!!
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This is something I'd like to see expanded... also a setting that I'd like to visit, or perhaps live in.

I'll do a little now, and later see about more later.

The discoveries of Jack Parsons hasn't effected all technology. It's still TL7 in 1970. Medicine jumped to TL7+2 between the late 1930's and 1943.

FDR lived to retire in 1947. Truman was elected president in 1948 and re-elected in 1952. Eisenhower, influenced by FDR, became a Democrat and won two terms starting in 1956. JFK became president in 1964 and is still president in 1970. Ronald Reagan is seen as likely to run in 1972, as are Gov. Rockefeller, and Sen. Goldwater Among the Republicans. Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy are the most likely Democrats. The USA has Socialized Medicine and a Social Democratic Welfare State. No oil shocks seem to threaten this parallel. Especially as Azothic Batteries function like TL12 power packs from 1943 on.

By 1937 Parsons has cheap powerful electric generation down pat. These are effectively TL7+5 Thorium generators with no measurable radioactive wastes. Anti-gravity is noticed soon after and Parsons keeps it under wraps with help from the military. In 1940 the first "Saucers" are up and flying. Mass production starts in 1941.

The early saucers have an odd side effect. They cause those travelling within their anti-grav field to have precognitive dreams. Rhine who knows some of the early pilots starts to examine the phenomena. Psionics becomes a branch of science.

A functional reactionless drive is developed by 1944. Earlier Saucers used props and other means of propulsion and mainly used high altitude flying to avoid combat. Outside of the atmosphere, this drive seems to be limited to 0.05 of C.

It is assumed that improved computers will be needed to crack a fuller use of the Azoth Drives potential.

Warp Drive (the standard name for FLT drives in this parallel) is possible only outside of the sun's heliopause. Warp factors are defined as C times X squared, were X is the warp factor. These factors seem to come in whole quantums only. By 1970 6 is the highest Warp Factor possible. Improved computing is assume to improve this, as it already has.

In 1970 medicine functions at TL7+5, but biotech is only TL7+1. Still genetic engineering is seen as the future of agriculture and industry.
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Sweet. This is a fun one, and you should expand on the setting - I have a question or two...

Does Parson promote Crowley's Thelema religion? Does he summon the goddess Babalon (aka Marjorie Cameron) to Earth? Is L. Ron Hubbard considered the Anti-Christ? In as much as he tried to dupe Parson and steal his would-be goddess...



Marjorie Cameron becomes a powerful Psion, from exposure to the Azoth Drive, and is busy promoting the study of Psionics. She uses ritual experience to aid Psions in developing their abilities. Hubbard is a popular Sci Fi and Suspense Author, there is no Scientology. Parson's interest in the Occult is now seen as just another Psion trying blindly to unlock his abilities. Occultism is seen as a sort of folk parapsychology.

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Sounds like there is a Cold War after all, but the world is much more multipolar. With energy needs met and transport pretty easy, is it only ideology that divides the world?

The British Empire is still gone. But Britain is a major space power. The USSR is still around. The Azothic Generators have extended the period of Authoritarian growth. In our world the Soviet economy stopped growing in 1960, in this world they're still growing in 1970. However, even with new resources, the USSR still looks unable to deal productively with the oncoming information revolution which is perking along in this world's Silicon Valley.

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With all power needs met there is no need to develop the Middle Eastern oil fields. Hitler and Stalin still murder a lot of Jews, so I would guess Israel is still established.

Yes, but there's no real Western interest outside of Britain's Arabists in being on the Arab's good side. And the Arabs have seen little benefit in allying with the USSR. The Middle East is a backwater.

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If Doctor Who and Star Trek are popular, AND we have an FTL drive - how does that work? Writers usually can't come up with anything so interesting as reality. While DW is more "mythic" in scope and can avoid a lot of story problems, Star Trek might run into the problem of being overwritten by events on the ground. I suspect we haven't found any aliens yet, and we might not be so happy if we do find some.

The 1960's Star Trek had large numbers of impressive sci fi authors writing for them. They make do. besides, Star Trek is Mythic too.
More later.. and other folks comments as well.
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Last edited by Astromancer; 07-19-2019 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 07-08-2019, 02:51 PM   #2
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One major reason that Homeline, Centrum, and the Cabal, are all interested in Azoth-8 is the state of Psionics. The science is new but rapidly advancing. There is a great deal of useful data to mine here and little risk of being caught simply because most Psions have little or no skill. The few who have both power and skill, like Marjorie Cameron are generally tact free zones and easily avoided.

The Psionicists of Azoth-8 recognize three basic pools of psi talent. First, Proven, Fully Trainable: this includes Telepathy, ESP, Anti-Psi, and Probability Alteration. However, just because they can teach these powers to anyone with PSI talent doesn't mean they can teach them to use them very well. They are getting better, but it's slow, very slow. Second category, Proven, Semi-Trainable: the term is debatable, but Psychic Vampirism, Astral Projection, Psychokinesis, Physic Healing, and Ergokinesis, are practiced by known Psions. Some claim to be able to teach these powers, but the evidence is iffy. Teleportation is alone in the category, Proven, Untrainable. No Psion is known to be able to teleport at will. Only the Perks Coin Trick, That Extra Inch, and ExoFast draw are available to humans native to this setting. Although Warp has shown up as a case of spontaneous nonrecurring PSI.

There are rumors of Unproved PSI powers, most are said to be examples of other powers combined or at higher power levels. In truth, only Psi Perks, which are becoming common in Spacer, Academic, and similar circles, are all that reliable.

Actual magic spells seem to be unknown here, although most of this parallel is low Manna with areas of higher Manna. Alchemy seems to be the local magic.
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Azoth-8 has a feature that should be mentioned. It's got a lot of spies. Remember that the USSR hasn't hit the limits of authoritarian growth in this world. In Homeline the USSR hit the limits of authoritarian growth in 1960, and experienced no real economic growth until the end of the Soviet period and Russia today has in fact has a smaller economy now than in 1991. But supercheap power generation and other alchemical technologies in Azoth-8 has delayed the limit's effect. Still the West and the Third World are outgrowing the USSR in this setting.

The massive investment in spies is to steal key technologies from the West and to prevent, if possible, the West from benefiting from it's Techno-Alchemical edge. This is more important in Azoth-8 as Alchemical discoveries are far more individual that scientific ones. Secrets can be permanently stolen.

So this setting has a very 1960's superspy edge to it. On the Dan Dare/Captain Kirk front, the Russians and the Chinese replace the Klingons and the Romulans. None of this is one for one, Alchemical Sci Fi is Doctor Who territory, but it is part of the setting chrome.
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A few more notes on Azoth-8.

The present day technologies (Azoth-8's present day) allow a ship to be a sealed system for about 18 months. The absolute limit that a ship can travel from Earth and then return safely is about 27 lyrs. As a practical matter, no one is going much beyond 24lyrs. at this time. As there are fifty-four stars and brown dwarfs within that radius, there's plenty to explore. The next major goal is to plant bases and colonies capable of refitting and maintaining ships to allow further and longer exploration. Epsilon Eridani has bases for several different nations including the USA, the UK, and the USSR. Tau Ceti has both colonies and bases for every nation involved in interstellar exploration. Gilese 832 has America's furthest out base. No base is yet fully ready to do serious ship maintenance, but the day is coming.

The USA moved to electric cars during and right after WWII, largely because the government saw the need for a massive battery industry. The USA has been off Fossil fuels since the late 1940's. Most other societies have followed their example because electricity in Azoth-8 is both prestigious and very cheap. Local conspiracy theorists say that the move was made because some one needed the oil and coal. Who that someone is varies with the conspiracy theorist speaking. Azoth-8 is far less polluted that Earth of 1970 and has vastly less lead in it's environment.

Mars has multiple settlements on it. Rumors of ancient ruins constantly crops up as do rumors of government cover-ups. Terraforming projects are underway. The local Alchemical biotech is normally functions as about TL7+1, the terraforming biotech seems to function at TL7+2. Mars doesn't have a breathable atmosphere but there are small amounts of open water on the surface from time to time.

Carl Sagan is heading a project to explore terraforming Venus. Homeline is watching this project carefully.

The cultural scene on Azoth-8 is very psychedelic/mod. There is no Vietnam war. Civil Rights are progressing somewhat faster than on Homeline. The Sexual revolution, Feminism, and Gay Rights, are also on schedule or somewhat more advanced than on Homeline in 1970. The music scene is every bit as crowded and impressive as it was on Homeline in 1970 and world music sounds are coming in as a major influence very early lead by Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, and a large group of talented musicians which Homeline can show all died in most parallels because of either the Vietnam war or less advanced medicine.

Literature is more popular on Azoth-8. Being well read is socially important in a way that it wasn't in Homeline's 1970. Like the characters in ST: OS, the people of Azoth-8 take literature and history seriously. Most Homeline scholars note that the Enlightenment values that suggested that bringing culture to the people was an important part of Enlightenment still hold on Azoth-8. Intellectuals must still believe that people are better for being part of the culture and that scientific truth has a moral worth. A viewpoint that faded out in Homeline's 1970's.

The Hollywood studio system hasn't fallen apart in Azoth-8 but independent films are thriving. This means that the movie culture of this parallel is wildly impressive with a large group of stars unknown on other parallels. Of special note, Keye Luke is playing Charlie Chan in a series of films that takes the wit, charm, and soft-sell anti-racism of the old Charlie Chan films, and both maintains the high quality of comedy-mystery and adds more progressivism as well as much more fun. Luke dedicated the first film to Warner Oland. Both genre films and high-art films are doing excellent business.

In the USA Asian cooking, particularly Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese, are highly popular. Mexican, Indian, Native American, Eastern European, Caribbean, and Indonesian, restaurants are all catching on as well. French and Italian remain popular.
More later....
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Old 07-08-2019, 02:58 PM   #3
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few more notes on Azoth-8.

Energy prices are lower than in our world's 1960's, medical treatments are also cheaper and would be so even in a strictly capitalist market. People live longer, they're benefiting from TL7+5 medical treatments. many people who died in our history lived longer or are still alive. Karloff is going to guest-Star on a 4th season episode of STAR TREK. Carl Jung just recently collaborated with Tolkien on a study of the Norse myths.

This world is much richer for simple, logical, non-sueish, reasons. Education in the USA has been much more stressed than in our history. After all their was a "Space Race from 1945 on to the present (i.e. 1970). Cheap energy makes everything else easier.

Note: Americans are culturally different in this world and likely to stay that way. There is nothing like Vietnam in the future, no oil shocks either, nuclear war never was a dominant fear on this world. Relatively easy access to Space made fears of human extinction seem unlikely. High prosperity and a cultural belief in the ability of humanity to make a better tomorrow makes for a much more idealistic and optimistic worldview. The Americans of Azoth-8 seem to combine the cando spirit of the American pioneers with the generosity of the flower children.

Europe, having experienced the horrors of WWII in their homes in living memory, and the memories of people who haven't retired yet and were adults during the war, is more cynical. They often make fun of the Americans, their intellectuals sneer at America, but the wide frontiers of Outer Space give this Europe a transformative hope for a brighter future for all.
That's most of it. I'll add more later. Have fun reworking it and generally being goofy.
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Old 07-08-2019, 03:44 PM   #4
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For the point where Warp drives start functioning, I can think of three big ones - the snow line, the outer limit radius, and the heliopause. The snow line is the point at which water ice would have been present during formation. The outer limit radius is the furthest out a planet could have formed, and serves as a decent "you are now exiting/entering the solar system" guidepost. The heliopause is where the solar wind created by the sun is unable to push back the interstellar medium, and is another good point to place the boundary of the solar system (and the one I opted for with my Harpyias setting). There isn't anything specifically alchemical here, but you can probably come up with such concepts (particularly for the snow line and heliopause). The snow line and outer limit radius you can calculate using the star system design sequence from GURPS Space, but I never found a way to determine the heliopause.
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:33 PM   #5
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I've added Azoth-8 world to the GURPSwiki. If possible add the following information:

Current Affairs
Major Civilizations
Great Powers
Mana Level
Quantum
Infinity Class
Centrum Zone
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:54 PM   #6
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I've added Azoth-8 world to the GURPSwiki. If possible add the following information:

Current Affairs
Major Civilizations
Great Powers
Mana Level
Quantum
Infinity Class
Centrum Zone
I'll get on it over the course of this week.
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Old 07-09-2019, 01:50 PM   #7
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I've added Azoth-8 world to the GURPSwiki. If possible add the following information:

Current Affairs
The tensions of the Cold war seems quiet of the surface but a furious espionage struggle continues beneath the surface. The Space race has taken to the stars.

Quote:
Major Civilizations
Western Multi polar, Orthodox, Sinitic Uni polar, others.

Quote:
Great Powers

United States of America (Representative Democracy CR2/CR5 for weapons), United Kingdom (Democratic Constitutional Monarchy CR3), France (Representative Democracy CR3), Japan (Democratic Constitutional Democracy CR3) Brazil (Democratic Republic CR3), China (Communist Dictatorship CR6), USSR (Oligarchic Dictatorship CR5).
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Mana Level
Low, with rare areas of Normal and High manna making up less than 1% of the planetary surface.

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Quantum
6

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Infinity Class
Restricted, Psionics entails to great a risk of the Secret getting out.

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Centrum Zone
Orange I think. Agents are sent there. This does seem like a world that could create its own panchronomics. If it wasn't for the Psionics data this world would be quarantined.
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:32 PM   #8
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There isn't anything specifically alchemical here, but you can probably come up with such concepts (particularly for the snow line and heliopause). The snow line and outer limit radius you can calculate using the star system design sequence from GURPS Space, but I never found a way to determine the heliopause.
I don't thnk there's much of an alchemical term for the limit other than "influence" or "domain". If we want this to still look like Science! rather than pure Alchemy (Do these people even know they aren't doing real science?) the heliopause is the most scientific-looking in terms of cosmicness.

Exactly where the heliopause is seems to be a matter of opinion. There have been press releases announcing that the farthest Voyager probe has crossed the heliopause multiple times. Pick a number and go with it.

That 0.05 c stl drive does an AU every 10,000 seconds or 2.77 hours. Even the heliopause at something like 70 AU is only 8 days out.

24 ly doesn't leave you with too many candidate stars for Earth-like planets usign modern astronomy but if you're using late 60s stuff you can put planets anywhere you want.
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:57 PM   #9
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For the point where Warp drives start functioning, I can think of three big ones - the snow line, the outer limit radius, and the heliopause. The snow line is the point at which water ice would have been present during formation. The outer limit radius is the furthest out a planet could have formed, and serves as a decent "you are now exiting/entering the solar system" guidepost. The heliopause is where the solar wind created by the sun is unable to push back the interstellar medium, and is another good point to place the boundary of the solar system (and the one I opted for with my Harpyias setting). There isn't anything specifically alchemical here, but you can probably come up with such concepts (particularly for the snow line and heliopause). The snow line and outer limit radius you can calculate using the star system design sequence from GURPS Space, but I never found a way to determine the heliopause.
I agree with Fred's choosing the Heliopause. It has the most Alchemical feel. Thanks for telling me about it.
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Old 07-08-2019, 11:50 PM   #10
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I'd expect that with less of the distrust of the government and society you wouldn't get the 60s counter culture. If magic works then people that can do magic will get accepted so native shamanic magic and voodoo might make those groups more accepted. But sexual differences such would still be outside the mainstream and the mainstream would still be fit in or else.
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