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Old 02-12-2019, 12:18 PM   #1331
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

As adults, they're (mainly) filter-feeders, so they can take in everything from krill to small fish and slow birds. They benefit from being floating reefs by enriching the ocean around them and consuming the increased amount of plankton. As for the cannibalism, it seems to serve two purposes: It keeps the population stable, as they tend to have a maximum density; and it allows them to enrich their food with minerals needed for their shells.

They grow continuously over their lives. Sometimes a portion of one will die and eventually erode away. On average, though, they grow about 1-2 meters wider per year once they hit their stride.

Aspidochelone is a good name. I think Homeline would generally prefer to find a popular name from the native groups, and I didn't want to invent a term in a given Polynesian language without, you know, actually speaking it...
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:06 AM   #1332
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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
That sounds slightly similar to a dream I had where I realized that the world in which I dreamed had a separate existence from me.
A reality where the locals are constricted by normal physics, but is occasionally invaded by dreamers acting like deranged supers or sleepwalking mundanes.

A few lucid dreaming visitors protect them.

Imagine the PC's shock when they encounter the dream self of someone from their world.
Depending on how much they can influence the world, lucid dreamers would be the largest threat. Normal dreamers would be problematic primarily if their dream-scenarios modify and influence the world (in manners other than "I can fly!" and the like) like a lucid dreamer's, but the lucids would be able to utilize their abilities consciously, and most importantly they'd realize they were dreaming. A normal dreamer is more likely to adhere to morality - and caution - in the same fashion as in the real world (albeit perhaps with some surreality piled on), but to a lucid dreamer they are basically in a consequence-free video game. That can turn very ugly, very quickly. Those very few lucids who realize the dream world is real and persistent may well step up to the plate to combat/convert other lucids. A significant barrier to conversion is if, as implied by your last sentence, many of the dreamers are from different timelines than each other. The classic "I'll prove this is real by contacting you in the real world" scheme is rather unlikely to work in that case!
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Old 02-15-2019, 12:00 PM   #1333
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Hogarth worldlines are designated for which seem useful as political experiments, and yet are ultimately misleading due to weirdness.

Hogarth-1: caused a major stir in political circles when it was discovered, as it was a late TL8 in 1997, with fusion power, a stable population at 5 billion, and a very high global standard of living. Initial studies pointed to the divergence point being the Anglosphere's widespread acceptance of abortion in the mid 19th century. Originally called Plenty-1.

It rather fell apart when it was discovered that siliceous organisms in Earth's upper mantle were able to convert sacrifices of blood and flesh into bursts of mana and magical workings, and had contacted select humans in 1908.

Hogarth-2: Global Communism was declared in 1900, an alliance between The People's Republic of America, The Commonwealth, The USSR, and Republican China. The dream of actually bringing Communism to all, however, was only achieved just over 50 years later through a series of wars. Today, in 2021, grinding TL-7 poverty is the norm, despite the political organizations of the world being fairly low in corruption.

Homeline thought this was pretty clearly a result of the political structure, but after some time it discovered that this was part of a small skerry. A different worldline, this one 25 years ahead of Hogarth-2, was manipulating history to transport food, minerals, and other raw material from Hogarth-2 to their own, where the organization sold it at a massive profit, and had been doing so for 150 years. Apparently it had been secret on their own timeline for the first few decades, but after the secret broke, the technology was too far integrated into the economy to stop.

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Old 02-16-2019, 08:15 AM   #1334
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

Hogarth, I like that.

So my own entry ...

Hogarth-3 is an 1880 parallel, with a early-dieselpunk TL5+1 technology and a merged America and Canada. Racial equality is a given and the Indian Nations are protectorates undergoing benevolent uplift. The rest of the world is largely the same as Homeline 1880, save for technology imported from America and a more aggressive British Empire.

The very first and obvious historical change was the election of Frederick Douglass as American President in 1860, with Abraham Lincoln as his Attorney General. This rang alarm bells immediately, as the historial records were otherwise identical to that point.

The American Civil War was a much bloodier and horrid affair in this world, with a higher death toll and plentiful atrocities. But the sheer malevolent viciousness of the Secessionists in response to "the Antichrist" made is easy after the war to purge the entire slave-holding culture, as even the majority of white Southerners were appalled. President Douglass served his two terms, followed in office by Abraham Lincoln, who died in office.

In a few years, racist thought was considered to be obnoxious and primitive. The former slave population received remedial education, revealing several previously unsuspected talents in engineering and sciences who advanced the technology of America.

In the 1870's individual provinces of Canada began requesting annexation by the US. These movements seemed to be spontaneous grassroots movements. By 1878 all of Canada save Quebec was assimilated, the US Flag had 44 stars, and British/American relations were at their lowest level since the War of 1812.

The Shelldrake Section investigators looked over everything they could, finally discovering a weak psionic energy field over North America. It appears to have a consciousness, but is incapable of controlling minds. Instead, it appears to act through memes and dreamscapes. It seemes to be responsible not only for the election of Douglass, but the ease with which the memetics of racism and bigotry were eliminated in the American culture. It may also be responsible for the technology boost.

This world is under watch, because it is unknown whether or not the Unknown Intelligence acquired any useful knowledge from parachronic visitors. Visitors are obliged to have some form of psionic shielding technology.
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Old 02-16-2019, 04:42 PM   #1335
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Hogarth-4 is an absolute monarchy that works. Society is just and fair all live in prosperity. However, the explorers were taken by guards to the king. The king explained that he was an angel in disguise and guided by Jehovah in all things. The parallel would hereafter be closed to Homeline, not because the Homeliners were evil, but because each world would simply uselessly distract the other.

Then the king blessed them and kicked them off his parallel. The explorers have had wonderful health and peace of mind since they were blessed.
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:55 PM   #1336
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Hogarth-5: A ~TL3 world where every thing truly has an objective "fair price," which doesn't change regardless of time, location, or culture. Objects that are transported long distances often have a labor cost added on, but this is done explicitly. Money is less common than it was in Homeline's TL3, but still in use as it's a convenient way to carry large amounts of wealth. Interestingly, a coin isn't valued simply by weight and purity, but also by how much the designs stamped or carved onto it are worth.

While it took some time - all the natives took the idea of fair price for granted, and were confused or became suspicious when questioned - mages eventually figured out the inhabitants make use of subtle magic, with objects used as focuses or material components. The fair prices are determined by how useful the thing is for using magic.
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:41 PM   #1337
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Glorp

On the 29th of August 1949, the soviet RDS-1 device used ozmically contaminated uranium, causing magical fallout around the planet. Within a year, all human beings (and only humans,) had become gelatinous ooze creatures.

Though usually a puddle, they are capable of taking on a humanoid (but obviously translucent) form. These goo people have limited ST and other physical disadvantages, plus no small number of strange advantages. They only live as longs normal humans, and they reproduce slowly, so they declined in population. They do, however, posses the ability to split themselves and merge the resulting mini-goo-people back together (but not combine gooes, usually). They also have high HT and resistance or outright immunity to a number of dangers.

Taken together, their population stabilized at around 500 million by 2008, and technology is a variant of TL7 with gaps. That said, it's a quite peaceful world, as most weapons and bindings are ineffective against other humans. Their economy is weird. They live in small communities which resemble those from before only in passing, but are more self-sufficient and usually more isolated.

Last edited by PTTG; 02-22-2019 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 02-22-2019, 10:41 PM   #1338
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Anti-Gotha is a strange case.

A disease emerged in mid-1939 and became endemic within a few years. It causes a dramatic reduction in anger and fear in humans.
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Old 02-23-2019, 06:46 AM   #1339
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Anti-Gotha is a strange case.

A disease emerged in mid-1939 and became endemic within a few years. It causes a dramatic reduction in anger and fear in humans.
Paradoxically this makes this world far more dangerous. Reduced fear is reduced caution and less attention to safety. Reduced Anger means the elites run roughshod over the people because the people, lacking anger, don't have the will to challenge the elites. So there are no serious programs to deal with even serious injustices or obvious dangers. The synergy between these trends means the elites are outrageously violent and cruel because there are no negative consequences to even their most sadistic actions.
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Old 02-23-2019, 10:25 AM   #1340
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Paradoxically this makes this world far more dangerous. Reduced fear is reduced caution and less attention to safety. Reduced Anger means the elites run roughshod over the people because the people, lacking anger, don't have the will to challenge the elites. So there are no serious programs to deal with even serious injustices or obvious dangers. The synergy between these trends means the elites are outrageously violent and cruel because there are no negative consequences to even their most sadistic actions.
Is this how you get evil galactic empires that donít put guardrails on walkways next to kilometer deep shafts on space stations?
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