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Old 01-25-2019, 09:11 AM   #1
Icelander
 
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Default Antarctic Space Nazis Across the Multiverse

This thread is dedicated to those wacky Nazis and, in particular, Ken Hite's conception of the Antarctic Space Nazis as preferential villains in 'A Dish Best Served Cold: The Antarctic Space Nazis' Suppressed Transmission 1 p. 77-80, your basic go-anywhere, do-anything bad guys.

I encourage speculation about the likely future tech of any Antarctic (or Space or even Elsewhere) secret Last Redoubt and anything to do with Nazis across multiple campaign worlds. In particular, I'm interested in the dimension-traveling aspects inherent in 'go-anywhere, do-anything' villainy.

Reich 5 is the canonical answer for Infinite Worlds and I wouldn't want to discourage speculation about those guys, but for me personally, I'm not featuring a multiverse of mostly Alternate Earths traveled by technological means, I'm considering this in the context of a much more fantastic multiverse, a World Tree and various worlds which resemble mythological places more than different Earths.

For example, Faerie (or perhaps many Faerie worlds), the Dreamlands (or many dreamscapes), worlds containing Things Man Was Not Meant to Know, etc.

So, my Antarctic Space Nazis, at least as they exist as a thought experiment at this particular moment, haven't been in contact with any easily classifiable Alternate History Earths or even the Earth they came from, not since 1945. Instead, they've encountered Mythos-like Things, demons, fey creatures and a range of more-or-less mortal beings that are limited to TL3 or lower. They may have a genesis in my Götterdämmerung on Walpurgisnacht campaign, in fact.

What I'd like speculation on is if these wacky Nazis built a settlement intended to be the nucleus of a New Reich on an uninhabited (or at least relatively safe) world somewhere, with carefully chosen settlers mostly concentrated around a core of inner SS leadership and occultists, but with late war additions numbering around 40,000, how might their technology have progressed?

Wait, do Nazis really need more detail than the range penalty to shoot them?

Who are the Antarctic Space Nazis?
What did the ASN tell potential settlers?
Why leave and not use the World Tree and magic to win WWII on Earth?
See notes on ASN population in Year 1 (1945) and Year 51 here.
How settlement happened.
The magical demiplane of the ASN Last Redoubt.
Germania Hyperborea - Earth analogue?
ASN settlement, gates and native cultures.
How the ASNs managed to bring 30,000 short tons of supplies, mostly finished goods to bootstrap industry.
Some notes on natural resources in the ASN colonies.
More detail on natural resources needed for industry.
ASNs, allies, natives and gunpowder.
Important figures in ASN education and some dangerous countercultural ideas.
ASN education system and the secret of the Faustian bargain of the senior SS leadership.

The ASNs would seek to adopt the magic and mystic powers that existed in these other worlds, certainly. And they have important allies who teach them many things about magic and the supernatural. Hexensoldaten are a given.

On the other hand, the way I see it, early TL7 technology they possess is enough of a force multiplier over any conceivable foe for it to make sense to try to focus on building up infrastructure to make more of it, rather than try to invent entirely new things. Exceptions would be if fairly pragmatic adaptions to their existing gear would make it easier to mass-produce or more useful to them in their peculiar circumstances.

Obviously, I want to justify zeppelin scouting craft to explore new worlds, as many of them are very hostile and ground-based exploration would involve potentially getting bogged down in TL3 warfare which is a huge waste of time and resources. Best to fly over the primitives until a plan of conquest can be drawn up. I'm hoping that some plausible way for large-scale exploration with zeppelins rather than heavier-than-air aircraft can be found.

Without any numbers behind it, I feel that a LTA airship would be a better base for a long exploration mission on a world where no airfields or refined petroleum products could be found. If necessary, this might involve nuclear powered zeppelins, depending on how plausible it is that Nazi scientists might eventually invent nuclear reactors independently in their Last Redoubt.

Something that always matters a lot to PCs is armament. If the PCs were to run into Stormtroopers from a zeppelin exploration mission dispatched a couple of generations after these wacky Nazis escaped the destruction of the German Reich in 1945, would they still be using essentially identical weapons as in WWII, all the scientific and engineering budget having gone on surviving in new worlds and exploring them?

Remember, these Nazis would not have fought anyone with firearms in two generations. Being able to kill at range would obviously still be important to them and, indeed, if they are using zeppelins, it may be that 'typical' combat consists of something closer to sniping than anything else. Of course, they'd also have to land occasionally to prospect for resources, trade with locals, kidnap slaves, etc.

Indeed, slave labour would be a major thing for them, so anything that could be made by TL3 or lower people forced to labor in factories or sweatshops would probably be far cheaper than something requiring the time of a comparatively rare free citizen, educated in the full suite of TL7 skills. On the other hand, it may not be that difficult to teach TL3 people the extremely limited elements of one TL7 skill required to be a factory worker. They don't have to understand the principles, just repeat the motions. Anyone unusually smart, capable of learning full TL7, can rise to be a foreman or safety inspector, maybe even earn their freedom if they look sufficiently Aryan.

Advice on presenting a scouting group of these?

Sources I should look at?

Any obvious differences from WWII vintage load-outs I should make sure to emphasize?

Questions? Comments? Thoughts?
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: Antarctic Space Nazis Across the Multiverse

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
What I'd like speculation on is if these wacky Nazis built a settlement intended to be the nucleus of a New Reich on an uninhabited (or at least relatively safe) world somewhere, with hundreds of settlers mostly concentrated around a core of inner SS leadership, occultists and scientific geniuses (and hopefully some engineers and technicians), how might their technology have progressed?
There's a basic problem, in that a colony this small can't produce all the variety of technological parts, machines and materials necessary to sustain early TL7, let alone go beyond it. No plausible planning, simplification and centralisation can do that: if it could, the Nazis wouldn't have been both out-produced and out-teched by their enemies.

So we need the colony to grow much larger, and for plot purposes, we need that to happen within a handful of generations of the leadership, or they won't be recognisably Nazis any more. To do that, we need a way of producing and educating people that allows much faster population growth than the traditional methods, and we need the leadership to become extremely long-lived. The solutions to both of those problems will have to found among demons and/or the fey.

Once you've grown your population to a level comparable with that of Germany (50-100 million) you can sustain and develop TL7, and have your nuclear airships with no problems. For the atmosphere of such a world, I can recommend no better source than Norman Spinrad's novel The Iron Dream.

You'll also have to construct a set of beliefs about the heroic past that fulfill the role of religion in this Nazi society. Those will justify the retention of historic weapons and uniforms (and the StG 44 isn't bad), and should horrify the PCs adequately.
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Old 01-25-2019, 06:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Antarctic Space Nazis Across the Multiverse

The idea that a colony of Nazis could be thriving in the Dream Lands would be frightening, though they would not be able to maintain a technology above TL4 unless the timeline was radically different, such as the Nazis discovering a stable portal to the Dream Lands in 1936 and having them invade the Dream Lands instead of starting WW II. In that scenario, the Nazis would have likely just banished undesirables from Germany, prevent anyone else from accessing the portal to the Dream Lands, and just have a nasty reputation for racism.
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Old 01-25-2019, 06:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Antarctic Space Nazis Across the Multiverse

I'd recommend the Dark Osprey books for some interesting takes on Nazi's and magic, and surviving WW2.

The first one in particular, Nazi Moonbase, gives a bunker like habitat that could be used as a starting point to create a colony on a less habitable world, or an alternative to the Antarctic.

The second, The Nazi Occult gives an overview or what would happen if magic existed in the homeline of these Nazi's.

Both are interesting reads and can easily be mined for ideas.
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Old 01-25-2019, 06:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: Antarctic Space Nazis Across the Multiverse

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
There's a basic problem, in that a colony this small can't produce all the variety of technological parts, machines and materials necessary to sustain early TL7, let alone go beyond it. No plausible planning, simplification and centralisation can do that: if it could, the Nazis wouldn't have been both out-produced and out-teched by their enemies.
That's fair.

On the other hand, military expeditions can have significant capabilities to make spare parts for their already existing weapons. Given that there was every opportunity to loot German industry as part of their escape plan, I'm sure the original settlers had thousands of spare rifles and everything they needed to manufacture ammunition.

I agree that as for maintaining a TL7 military, with mechanised logistics, aircraft, tanks, etc., it's doubtful that they could. So they probably didn't try, but instead focused on only what technology they absolutely needed to ensure military superiority over various supernatural beasts and forces of TL3 or lower primitives.

Obviously, I'd really like to justify zeppelins as the one type of vehicle they'd focus on, in the absence of rail or road infrastructure, refined petroleum industry, airfields, etc. In their home world, they do have massive numbers of semi-skilled workers to act as ground crew and they'd probably considered the military advantages of higher ground over any primitive foes.

In terms of their 'allegiance' with the Cold Ones, the ability to produce surplus energy is pretty damn important. In fact, it's right up there with exploring new worlds and securing sources of sacrifices. Either they need to pursue nuclear reactors from the start or they'd need to focus their slave industry on some form of energy production, whether petroleum, coal or something else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
So we need the colony to grow much larger, and for plot purposes, we need that to happen within a handful of generations of the leadership, or they won't be recognisably Nazis any more. To do that, we need a way of producing and educating people that allows much faster population growth than the traditional methods, and we need the leadership to become extremely long-lived. The solutions to both of those problems will have to found among demons and/or the fey.
Oh, the leadership are already immortal, at least those who dare.

And recruiting obedient Nazi soldiers is going to be a snap, what with the FNORD. Slaves can be controled easily enough, though at the cost of removing initiative and independent thought (but it's not as if slaves are known for applying these in your favour anyway).

No, the bottleneck is going to be the leadership caste, who need to be born and educated the regular way. That being said, I'm sure that children born to blond and blue-eyed TL3 female slaves (fathered by Nazi leadership) would be made citizens and educated as good little Nazis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Once you've grown your population to a level comparable with that of Germany (50-100 million) you can sustain and develop TL7, and have your nuclear airships with no problems. For the atmosphere of such a world, I can recommend no better source than Norman Spinrad's novel The Iron Dream.
Well, I was rather imagining that exploration of the other worlds would start before they'd reach that level of threat.

I mean, sure, they'll be using every method to increase their population base and educate new generations of Nazis, but there are things they require from other worlds that make it imperative that they don't simply wait until they've constructed a massive army to begin exploration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
You'll also have to construct a set of beliefs about the heroic past that fulfill the role of religion in this Nazi society. Those will justify the retention of historic weapons and uniforms (and the StG 44 isn't bad), and should horrify the PCs adequately.
Oh, these Nazis are Irminists. At least some of the leadership are. Others will just embrace the mystical trappings of the SS.

Thinking about it, we already know that Mauser Kar98k rifles can last 50+ years, even with hard use, so not only can these Nazis use identical weapons as WWII ones, they'll use the same ones. Before reaching sufficient size, there probably won't be much technological development, just repair of gear they already have.

I would like some ideas on which rifles and other weapons it would be easiest for them to construct for new recruits, once they run out of original stock.
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Old 01-25-2019, 06:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: Antarctic Space Nazis Across the Multiverse

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Originally Posted by Kesendeja View Post
I'd recommend the Dark Osprey books for some interesting takes on Nazi's and magic, and surviving WW2.

The first one in particular, Nazi Moonbase, gives a bunker like habitat that could be used as a starting point to create a colony on a less habitable world, or an alternative to the Antarctic.

The second, The Nazi Occult gives an overview or what would happen if magic existed in the homeline of these Nazi's.

Both are interesting reads and can easily be mined for ideas.
I read Ken Hite's The Nazi Occult, but didn't know about the other.
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Antarctic Space Nazis Across the Multiverse

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The idea that a colony of Nazis could be thriving in the Dream Lands would be frightening, though they would not be able to maintain a technology above TL4 unless the timeline was radically different, such as the Nazis discovering a stable portal to the Dream Lands in 1936 and having them invade the Dream Lands instead of starting WW II. In that scenario, the Nazis would have likely just banished undesirables from Germany, prevent anyone else from accessing the portal to the Dream Lands, and just have a nasty reputation for racism.
Well, these Nazis didn't discover the Dreamlands, originally. In 1943, they discovered a way to travel a World Tree. And it was a secret SS project and became the survival plan of the inner SS leadership.

In 1945, when the Reich collapsed around them, the prepared survivors settled a fairly safe world without dangerous enemies. From the start, in 1943, they had had outposts in a number of less salubrious worlds, at least one where they had to combat the local fauna with chemical weapons, but the world they selected had a whole continent just ready for Blut und Boden settlers to arrive.

As for not being able to maintain higher than TL4, that's a fairly complex subject. While TL is to a great extent economic and it's true that much of their early economy would be acricultural, that doesn't mean that a small group of technicians cannot maintain and resupply higher technology. To take a trivial example, one man can easily maintain a collection of firearms and even reload ammunition for them, with only tools that he might fit in his basement. Granted, he'll need propellant and bullets, but there's no pressing reason that a small factory that makes TL6/TL7 ammunition cannot be supported by a mostly acricultural economy, especially if raw materials can be gathered from other worlds.
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Antarctic Space Nazis Across the Multiverse

How can you be both Arctic and Space?
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Old 01-25-2019, 08:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: Antarctic Space Nazis Across the Multiverse

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How can you be both Arctic and Space?
It's a reference to the most colourful legends of Nazi survial, i.e. a Last Redoubt in Antarctica and a secret Nazi Moonbase (most likely on the Dark Side of the Moon). See Ken Hite's Suppressed Transmission.

In actual fact, the particular Nazis I'm considering never went to our Moon and didn't build a secret Last Redoubt on Antarctica. But they are still, in every way that matters, Antarctic Space Nazis.

If it helps, they've been to the Dreamworld's Moon and the Dreamworld analogue to Antarctica, the Plateu of Leng. Incidentally, Lovecraft's Men of Leng are both Arctic and Space, living as they do on the Plateu of Leng and being the servants of the terrible Moon Beasts.
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Old 01-25-2019, 10:24 PM   #10
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Default Firearms and Ammunition

Obviously, those wacky Nazis must at all costs retain the enormous military advantage of firearms, against the lower tech inhabitants of various fantastic worlds.

At first, with a small population (at least of TL7 people, though they can quickly come to rule enormous slave farms), this will be tough to do. One way to manufacture firearms cheaply are Sten guns and similar simple designs, which were also adopted by the Germans during the last phases of the war.

On the other hand, it strikes me that before manufacturing new firearms ever becomes a concern, a secure supply of ammunition needs to be ensured.

Which brings me to a question. Does anyone know if there are significant differences in terms of resource requirements or the need for skilled TL7 labour in manufacturing 9x19mm Parabellum ammunition, 7.92x33mm Kurtz or 7.92x57mm Mauser?

As in, does it make sense logistically for them to prefer expending ammunition of one type over another?

Obviously, the less powerful ammunition, particularly the pistol round, will simply not do to replace rifles for some roles, chiefly roles requiring accuracy at a distance. But if the 9x19mm ammunition would be relatively easy to manufacture in comparison with rifle ammunition, perhaps they should endeavour to utilise it (and probably cheap Sten-inspired weapons) for as many self-defence applications as possible.
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