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Old 02-12-2019, 07:12 AM   #221
Icelander
 
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Default Re: Earth analogues or not

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
For a first circumnavigation, there's a lot to be said for going in northern summer and following the northern coasts of Eurasia and North America (if it's there).
Yes, that seems a pretty interesting route. Also, the ASNs want to find Ultima Thule, because, well, Nazis.

They also want to find evidence of Atlantis and/or Antarctic civilization, but first things first.

The northern route also has the benefits of there being no known local civilizations of power along it, which hopefully means less chance of powerful ritual magicians cursing the expedition. Sure, there are some pretty impressive shamans and other magic-users among even the most 'primitive' populations the ASNs have come across (frankly, perhaps the individual casters are more powerful on average than in more 'civilized' societies), but pure demographics tend to limit the opportunities of magic-users in lower TL societies to gather in large groups on short notice. That doesn't really limit their value to their cultures, but it does mean that any attempt to develop anti-airship magics upon spotting one would probably be slower than what a centralized society with much greater population densities could muster.

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The route is shorter, you can stay in daylight the whole time, which reduces buoyancy fluctuations with the day-night cycle, and there won't be many people around. You get to find out a fair bit about the geographic similarities with Earth, and the adherents of Welteislehre will be keen since you may find evidence for it.
What kind of evidence would they be looking for?

I ask because a lot of the oddities of Jötunheim could be explained by some variation of the Welteislehre. Especially in light of the fact that the first discovery of it led to a gate to seemingly endless expanses of ice, including apparent tunnels through frozen ground, but other gates to a sub-tropical area. As divination spells appear to show that the frozen areas of the first gate are not located at the poles of a planet-shaped world (no planet), but instead exist somehow deep below the subtropical area, there are some pretty scientifically impossible conclusions to be drawn.
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:48 AM   #222
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Use a telescope to look for stars that aren't visible to the naked eye. Earth's skies have loads of them, and they're well-mapped. If they're completely different, this isn't Earth at any time close enough to humanity's span to be useful; if they're absent, the place has been made up, and is not a natural world, and if they're only slightly different, you can try to figure out a date from their positions and Earth's records of their proper motions.
There are dots of light that seem to be stars, but while they can be observed using various scientific methods and seem fine to most observational methods that were used throughout history, I strongly suspect that there are TL7 theories that dictate certain barely observable behaviour, not necessarily known to the layman, and that the stars do not seem to exhibit these expected behaviours upon close analysis.

The stars are only stars by lower TL definitions, by cutting-edge TL7 scientific theories and methods they might as well be something completely different. Lights in the luminious aether, balls of glowing ice, whatever, because they are not the stars of the real world. At the very least, if these are real stars, astronomy and astrophysics have a lot of undiscovered aspects that apply to the stars of Germania Hyperborea.

The visible ones fit in terms of position, more or less, though there is no exact correspondance to a specific Earth date. Rather, the date calculated using one referant will often conflict with that derived from others. The better known 'stars' requiring telescopes to see are often there, but enough are different to cause astronomers to get extremely suspicious. As for stars only known to professional astronomers and not visible with the naked eye, the ones Germania Hyperborea has are completely different from Earth.
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An astral plane.
Yup. Not something rigidly rational scientists are comfortable with, especially as there is no way to know whether all the other worlds they visit are simply slightly more stable areas of an astral plane, only appearing to have any objective reality on a human time scale, but actually being entirely created of belief and merely having variable ability to react to scientific measuring and observation by presenting superficially plausible results.
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Does the sun move in the sky, or stay static?
What would be some expected effects on flora and fauna, as well as humans surviving there if it remained static, but varied in power, with mists covering it at various times?

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Do you mean concave? A normal planet is convex; if this world is a sphere with the sun, atmosphere and so on inside it, it's concave. The idea will be known to some of the ASN.
I did mean concave, and yes, the damned place shows signs of being inside a frozen snowball world, with the ice starting to creep in at the 'poles', but still retaining a pretty warm climate where most of their gates are, for now.

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Overall, the worrying thing about these worlds to the ASN is that they seem to be based on different and incompatible bits of Nazi mysticism.
A philosopher might speculate that either the beliefs of the different occulists whose interactions with the World Tree turned up the routes to the different worlds might have somehow created (or plucked out of infinite possibilities) something that suited their beliefs, or there is a single intelligence behind it all, but that it's irrational and inconsistent, despite flashes of genius (Weisthor?).

Or this might result from occultists with inconsistent and incompatible mystic beliefs working together. And the observations of amateur scholars and Ahnenerbe mystics, interspersed with the occasional more professional measurements by apolitical scientists, might actually still be filling in the blanks of areas of these worlds not yet established, which is a hypothesis that ought to horrify any traditional scientists raised on positivism, or at least the comforting idea that there were objective truths out there for science to seek.

A really cynical observer might remark that as Nazis, even educated ones, had no problem espousing multiple incompatible bits of pseudoscience at the same time, they really shouldn't complain if an astral plane leads them to places with inconsistent realities.

Which does, however, bring up interesting questions about Germania Hyperborea. If it's completely imaginary, why aren't there cultures more closely matching the crazier bits of Nazi mysticism and völkisch fantasies?

Why are the Germanics some of the most primitive and poor material cultures around, at least among those who've moved beyond a hunter-gatherer lifestyle and can work metals?

Why aren't various analogues to cultures that were relatively little researched in the 1940s 'actually' Aryans in unexpected places, speaking clear Germanic languages and founding every important society in the Ancient world?

Why, in short, does the cultural, ethnic and linguistic landscape of Germania Hyperborea not match Nazi fantasies of prehistory better?
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:00 AM   #223
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What kind of evidence would they be looking for?
Well, it's a profoundly unscientific theory so they might seize on anything that made ice seem important. Vast mountains of ice (or mirages of them) would be greeted eagerly.
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:20 AM   #224
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I strongly suspect that there are TL7 theories that dictate certain barely observable behaviour, not necessarily known to the layman, and that the stars do not seem to exhibit these expected behaviours upon close analysis.
The easiest solution for that is that many of the binary (or higher multiple) stars that take a telescope to resolve on Earth are not visibly multiple, and spectroscopic binaries are entirely absent. At which point anyone with real knowledge of astronomy can be quite sure this isn't Earth, and never will be.
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As for stars only known to professional astronomers and not visible with the naked eye, the ones Germania Hyperborea has are completely different from Earth.
Again, this isn't Earth. Somebody will have made a note that at some point in the future, a proper sky survey ought to be made, and a statistical study of the distribution of non-naked-eye stars will likely reveal non-random patterns.
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What would be some expected effects on flora and fauna, as well as humans surviving there if it remained static, but varied in power, with mists covering it at various times?
An obvious effect is that shadowed areas will always be in shadow. If flora had evolved with this situation, there would be specialisations for it: plants would not need to turn towards the sun as it moves, trees would be different shapes, roots would specialise in sunlit or shaded areas, and so on. However, I strongly suspect that these specialisations are absent, revealing that the world was recently created and populated with Earth-derived life. Another scientific note for the future: Observe changes in the natural shape of fast-breeding bushes over decades.
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:29 AM   #225
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Well, it's a profoundly unscientific theory so they might seize on anything that made ice seem important. Vast mountains of ice (or mirages of them) would be greeted eagerly.
Well, in that case, the numerous fans of the Welteislehre probably find more to cheer for on Jötunheim.

If the ASNs go far enough north on Germania Hyperborea, they just find the expected Scandinavian glaciers and if they go further, Icelandic, Greenland and Svalbard ones. To the east, it's the same story, pretty much the same physical geography.

That being said, if there were any good calculations in 1940s glaciology, climatolology or other disciplines of exactly how big these glaciers are supposed to be at various eras in the last four or five millenia of human history on Earth, maybe exploring them yields a better estimate of the local year.

I don't know if that would give them more or less precise results than relying on the Blytt-Sernander system from the inevitable Ahnenerbe expedition to look for Aryan homelands to the north of where the ASNs are settling, but at least it gives more data points.
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:34 AM   #226
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Why, in short, does the cultural, ethnic and linguistic landscape of Germania Hyperborea not match Nazi fantasies of prehistory better?
No philosopher is going to dare write it down, but one possibility is that these worlds weren't shaped only by Nazi thought, but by the collective unconscious of all of humanity at the time they came into existence. At the time, most of humanity had a pretty low view of Germans, for obvious reasons.

A way to check this idea would be to take a look at Japan.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:05 AM   #227
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No philosopher is going to dare write it down, but one possibility is that these worlds weren't shaped only by Nazi thought, but by the collective unconscious of all of humanity at the time they came into existence. At the time, most of humanity had a pretty low view of Germans, for obvious reasons.
That's a possibility, but would the collective unconscious of all humanity really imagine the complexity of a whole bunch of extinct languages with unclear relations to existing language families?

I mean, most people, whether in the 1940s or today, are laymen and prone to ignore most complexities in their imaginations. Wouldn't a world based only on what people thought about the past be a lot simpler and easier to understand?

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A way to check this idea would be to take a look at Japan.
That's a long trip, but what would they be looking for, specifically?

The Japanese were declared 'honorary Aryans', but I'm not sure that this implied that mainstream Nazi thought imagined that they were blond and spoke German in the past, merely that they had some distant kinship, despite looking, well, Japanese.

Were there archaeological theories current in Nazi Germany about a prehistoric race of blond and blue-eyed Aryans that migrated to Japan at some point in history (that is, while the first cultures to have writing were starting to record history, at least, not necessarily while the Japanese were writing anything) and gave rise to the modern Japanese?

The places I had imagined would occupy Ahnenerbe archaeologists for the first few generations are, well, obviously Germany and that whole area, Scandinavia and the northern polar circle, and then various places further away that someone proposed as the Aryan Urheimat.

They'd probably be really annoyed not to find any decent evidence of Goths around the Black Sea, but most of them would probably conclude that this meant that they were merely in a very distant past, before the Nordic and Germanic Aryans had migrated from their pure northern homelands.

Well, or, as I noted earlier, contort their pseudoscientific versions of anthropology, ethnography, linguistics, philology and archaeology into pretzels trying to claim that the fairest and most blue-eyed Thraco-Dacians, Getae, Cimmerians or Scythians they could find were 'actually' the ancestors of the Goths.

Ironically, the closest analogues to true Aryans on Germania Hyperborea are probably not 'Aryan'-looking enough for any serious Nazi historians to accept them as ethnically related in any way. I'm not sure how the various Indo-Iranian peoples moving in and out of the Pontic-Caspian steppe would have looked before all the migrations, intermarriage and cultural diffusion of the past several thousand years, but somehow, I doubt that many of them looked like Waffen-SS recruiting posters.

The fact that 'Scythians' probably were a multi-ethnic culture with many different languages and tribes of widely differing physical appearance would encourage the ASNs to consider those that fit their preconceptions and prejudices most closely 'Aryan', and the rightful owners of all land they lived on, and the more 'Asiatic' looking individuals or tribes as foreign invaders.

This would probably happen regardless of actual linguistic relations of the languages in question and the fact that there is every possibility that some populations with an 'Aryan' appearance and customs that pleased the ASNs might speak languages that have no familial relationship with any extant Indo-European languages.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:06 AM   #228
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Basically, the reason the ASNs are not content merely with manufacturing ammunition for the 7.92x57mm, but have complicate their supply with far larger rounds is the fauna of Jötunheim, and the fact that equally hostile critters of unhealthy size can be found on many other worlds. If you have to fight off mana-powered super-dinosaurs (or über-archosaurs) with a taste for human flesh, you'll start wishing for more firepower pretty quickly.
Bear in mind that the most common round for killing elephants is 7.62x39mm using ball ammo. The most common rifle, some kind of AK-type.

Aside from possibly resurrecting an anti-tank rifle (common sense would be copying one or both of the Soviet 14.5mm rifles, Nazi pride might require using the old German WWI rifle or a derivative thereof), the most effective anti-dinosaur weapon would be an MG42. MG42s also work on hordes of barbarians, light vehicles, and TL6-7 enemies should you bump into them.

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The ASNs cleared the area around their initial research stations and later first settlements on Jötunheim using chemical weapons in 1943-1944, but once they emigrated from Earth in 1945, they didn't have access to large quantities of stockpiled chemical weapons any more and until the ASNs can build up a local chemical industry, they're down to shooting any obstreperous native fauna. And yes, they did use precious Panzershrecks, until they ran out and probably couldn't replace them until industry was further along.
Panzerfausts are pretty easy to make, and only the high-explosive for the warhead is at all sophisticated - the launch system is a simple low-grade steel tube and a black powder charge.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:16 AM   #229
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That's a long trip, but what would they be looking for, specifically?
The level of development of the culture(s) in Japan. If the idea is correct, Japanese development would be much below that of China, Korea, and other neighbouring regions. No, the Nazi never thought the Japanese had "Aryan" ancestry; "honorary Aryans" simply meant that they'd arrived at a similar style of politics by a different route.
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Ironically, the closest analogues to true Aryans on Germania Hyperborea are probably not 'Aryan'-looking enough for any serious Nazi historians to accept them as ethnically related in any way.
Oh, no. Indo-Aryans were never considered to be ancestors of the Nazi's "Aryans". Nazi Aryans were supposed to have originated in Northern Europe, and spread from there, degenerating as they went. Their languages had spread to other ethnic groups. Nazi theories were completely unrelated to modern ones.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:39 AM   #230
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Bear in mind that the most common round for killing elephants is 7.62x39mm using ball ammo. The most common rifle, some kind of AK-type.
Sure, but that's because such rifles and their ammo are mass produced for other purposes and therefore are the cheapest and most available rifles to elephant poachers.

While smokeless powder, cartridges and primers cannot be produced in the numbers required to meet ASN demand, it seems sensible to make the best use of what they can manufacture and arm Untierejäger marksmen with rifles that efficiently kill magical megafauna, requiring less total expenditure of slow-to-replace materials.

9.3x60mm rounds have enough advantages over a 7.92x57mm rounds using a comparable amount of smokeless powder and other scarce but vital materials that it seems better to arm the experts at hunting the most dangerous critters with such weapons. Or even 12.7x70mm hunting rounds, as the most powerful rounds you can load in Mauser-type actions of rifles that humans can carry around while patrolling on foot.

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Aside from possibly resurrecting an anti-tank rifle (common sense would be copying one or both of the Soviet 14.5mm rifles, Nazi pride might require using the old German WWI rifle or a derivative thereof), the most effective anti-dinosaur weapon would be an MG42. MG42s also work on hordes of barbarians, light vehicles, and TL6-7 enemies should you bump into them.
Oh, the ASNs still love the MG42, but while they were building up their ammunition industry, there were no doubt times when they had to work very hard just to keep up a minimal supply of smokeless powder, cartridges capable of functioning at such high pressures and the rest of the things you need for TL6+ ammunition as opposed to even black powder cartridges, let alone simple black powder in paper cartridges, without chemical primers.

While the elite combat formations of the ASNs never had to abandon smokeless powder weapons, there would have been a lot of pressure on them to use as little powder as possible to kill each critter. As the ASNs had looted a bunch of sporting rifles in various calibers, as well as tooling and dies for reloading and making ammo for these rifles, when they emigrated, they could probably reload sporting cartridges and end up saving smokeless powder compared to killing megafauna with streams of the always-in-demand 7.92x57mm cartridges.

There were limited supplies of military rifles available to the ASNs when they emigrated. Note, that means that they took 'only' thousands of rifles and hundreds of machine guns, as well as many, many millions of rounds of ammunition, as opposed to taking hundreds of thousands of rifles, thousands of machine guns and billions of rounds of ammunition. The ASNs could maybe arm every adult male who came over in 1945 with a military issue rifle, yes, but they didn't have enough spare rifles to arm their sons and their grandsons with identical new rifles, not unless they ramped up to TL6+ industry pretty darned quick. And as for arming natives who became new citizens, well, they got something improvised.

Even as the ASNs took all the military issue stuff they could get in Germany at the end of the war, they still supplemented their arsenal with pretty much anything they felt might become useful, as machinery to make civilian sporting ammunition still existed in Germany, but wasn't exactly considered as vital to the war effort as military ammunition factories.

The leaders of the Volkssturm at the end of the war were the leaders of the ASNs, so they could justify taking many more firearms in 'odd' calibers without causing much harm to Germany's ability to resist than they could justify leaving many units without K98ks or StG 44s and the ammo for these.

Yes, the ASNs left the Third Reich to save their own vision of what a Nazi Reich ought to be, and yes, that could be construed as treason, but there was still a sentimental streak in many of their leaders that led to them feeling bad about actively sabotaging the supply to troops on the front and trying to loot only weapons that either wouldn't get to the front anyway or which wouldn't be as useful there.

That means that the vast majority of their military weaponry was looted during the last four months or so, when it was obvious that much of it would not even get to the units fighting the important battles anyway. And in 1943-1944, the ASNs were often stockpiling arms and tooling for ammunition that weren't considered militarily vital, so, sporting guns and their ammo.

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Panzerfausts are pretty easy to make, and only the high-explosive for the warhead is at all sophisticated - the launch system is a simple low-grade steel tube and a black powder charge.
I was warned earlier in the thread that during the first years and maybe even the first few generations of ASN society, getting good, reliable fuzes for explosive ammunition would be a huge problem, enough to make such ammunition impractical at first and still much more expensive than in mature TL6+ societies even after the ASNs have started making fuzes.

Making fuzes that don't explode when you carry the rounds around during physically arduous hikes and patrols, but do explode on contact when they hit the flesh of big scary man-eating things, well, I can see how that would be much more difficult than simply making a jacketed lead hunting bullet for a powerful rifle cartridge.

I expect that the ASNs would still use weapons based on the Panzerfaust, just that they couldn't make ammo for it very easily during the early years and the HE ammo with contact fuzes is probably either very expensive or somewhat unsafe even in the Year 51.
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