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Old 04-21-2014, 07:04 AM   #71
Astromancer
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

Given that we're setting up worlds for Infinate Worlds, a setting were interdimensional travel to different happentracks is the norm, why not a world were someone is working to change history and has the power to do it?

Picture a Cabal mage who has over time, and without his doing anything to achieve it, has lost his contacts in the Cabal and is presumed lost and dead. He enjoys the freedom and goes off to fulfil a dream. This man comes from a late 21st century were the USA is a broken and dispised nation. He wants to go to a world were he can shape America's identity and have that America achieve what he sees as America's true destiny.

When the I-Cops find this parrallel they find a world where US tanks in WWII were FAR BETTER than the German ones and Paris was taken by the Allies on June 30th 1944 and Berlin fell to the Yanks on Dec 1st of the same year. Were the Allies were flying American jets (which seems suspiciously like Migs) in 1943! Were America launched the first artificial satilite in 1947! And satillite comunications are becoming the norm in 1952.

The I-Cops notice that large numbers of key American conservatives, including figures that won't be important for decades seem to have died either in accidents or sudden illnesses. And Jim Crow is being dismantled in the early 1950's.

They know someone or something that likes technology (and has brought the world almost to TL8) and hates right-wing politics (having moved America in a social democratic direction) is active here, how do they figure out what that is?
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:46 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Astromancer
They know someone or something that likes technology (and has brought the world almost to TL8) and hates right-wing politics (having moved America in a social democratic direction) is active here, how do they figure out what that is?
The I-Cops will start out with basic intelligence gathering. This shouldn't attract attention as they'll initially be looking at open source information. They'll be looking for specifics that will tell them a lot about 'our man.' Making heavier tanks with thicker armour and bigger guns says one thing; getting better guns on tanks mounting reactive armour and replacing diesel engines with gas turbine engines says an altogether different thing.

Getting to Paris in a little over three weeks from D-Day implies not just better tanks but different tactics. Getting to Berlin by 1 Dec. implies much better logistics.

Flying jets, of any sort, implies that 'our man' has gotten not just access to, but the willing ears of, very powerful figures among those responsible for defense and procurement and further that he's convinced them that this needs to be tooled up at a time when the U.S. is still pursuing an isolationist policy.

He has to work carefully enough that the U.S. doesn't decide to enter the war while it's still leaning towards the Axis. [IRL, jet aircraft were flown experimentally before WWII, but the war put a hold on their further development in favour of tried and proven technologies.]

Dismantling the Jim Crow laws is going to require a number of changes to enable it. "Our man' has to develop a plan that allows the returning soldiers to integrate back into the economy with minimal disruption [returning G.I.'s were largely pressured to not take up their old jobs when they returned home and housing was a problem in some states such as California]. Additionally, he needs to have found a way to minimize the impact that having women work during the war had. If he can overcome the social disruption caused by those two events, he has a fighting chance at dismantling the Jim Crow laws.

'Our man' needed to decide how he could affect America's attitudes at the grassroots level, so that politicians weren't running the risk of being tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail if they supported equality.

Once the I-Cops have located the actual changes made, they'll start looking for one or more new figures who show up in the background at Washington society parties (whether through guest lists or photographs) and they'll have an idea of when they should be seeing his first appearance.

If he was being subtle, they may not find him in the immediate circle of the movers and shakers. Then, the I-Cops move out and start examining the circle of acquaintances of the advisors to the movers and shakers. If 'our man' was really, really careful, they'll move out to the acquaintances of the acquaintances and see who shows up in multiple circles. (If this sounds like six degrees of separation, it is. Mind you, 'our man' is unlikely to have more than two intermediaries between himself and the real movers and shakers otherwise his message is likely to get lost in the background noise.)

Getting satellites built may not be a huge technological problem but getting a rocket to launch successfully is. This adds another ring of figures where 'our man' is going to turn up.

OTOH, he may not being hiding at all. He may have decided early on that subtlety isn't going to produce what he needs, so he's now the President. Maybe he's even arranged matters so that everyone is of the opinion that he is 'just the frontman' for the real mastermind and the I-Cops waste time looking for 'the man behind the curtain.'

Last edited by Curmudgeon; 04-21-2014 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:56 PM   #73
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
The I-Cops will start out with basic intelligence gathering. This shouldn't attract attention as they'll initially be looking at open source information. They'll be looking for specifics that will tell them a lot about 'our man.' Making heavier tanks with thicker armour and bigger guns says one thing; getting better guns on tanks mounting reactive armour and replacing diesel engines with gas turbine engines says an altogether different thing.

Getting to Paris in a little over three weeks from D-Day implies not just better tanks but different tactics. Getting to Berlin by 1 Dec. implies much better logistics.

Flying jets, of any sort, implies that 'our man' has gotten not just access to, but the willing ears of, very powerful figures among those responsible for defense and procurement and further that he's convinced them that this needs to be tooled up at a time when the U.S. is still pursuing an isolationist policy.

He has to work carefully enough that the U.S. doesn't decide to enter the war while it's still leaning towards the Axis. [IRL, jet aircraft were flown experimentally before WWII, but the war put a hold on their further development in favour of tried and proven technologies.]

Dismantling the Jim Crow laws is going to require a number of changes to enable it. "Our man' has to develop a plan that allows the returning soldiers to integrate back into the economy with minimal disruption [returning G.I.'s were largely pressured to not take up their old jobs when they returned home and housing was a problem in some states such as California]. Additionally, he needs to have found a way to minimize the impact that having women work during the war had. If he can overcome the social disruption caused by those two events, he has a fighting chance at dismantling the Jim Crow laws.

'Our man' needed to decide how he could affect America's attitudes at the grassroots level, so that politicians weren't running the risk of being tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail if they supported equality.

Once the I-Cops have located the actual changes made, they'll start looking for one or more new figures who show up in the background at Washington society parties (whether through guest lists or photographs) and they'll have an idea of when they should be seeing his first appearance.

If he was being subtle, they may not find him in the immediate circle of the movers and shakers. Then, the I-Cops move out and start examining the circle of acquaintances of the advisors to the movers and shakers. If 'our man' was really, really careful, they'll move out to the acquaintances of the acquaintances and see who shows up in multiple circles. (If this sounds like six degrees of separation, it is. Mind you, 'our man' is unlikely to have more than two intermediaries between himself and the real movers and shakers otherwise his message is likely to get lost in the background noise.)

Getting satellites built may not be a huge technological problem but getting a rocket to launch successfully is. This adds another ring of figures where 'our man' is going to turn up.

OTOH, he may not being hiding at all. He may have decided early on that subtlety isn't going to produce what he needs, so he's now the President. Maybe he's even arranged matters so that everyone is of the opinion that he is 'just the frontman' for the real mastermind and the I-Cops waste time looking for 'the man behind the curtain.'
If 'our man' is, or was, in the Cabal, wouldn't this all be an onion-layered monster hunt? You wouldn't necessarily be able to find just one man making a lot of influential conversations and decisions - if he is a very high powered Adept he might just be a reclusive millionaire living somewhere in the D.C. area. He is using his powers of magic and psi to influence key people, maybe with only meeting them once or not at all.

He could be doing this from a network of tunnels and chambers beneath Washington, built by monsterous minions of course, to get close enough to the Rich and Powerful while keeping his own hand out of direct actions.

He mind-controls some, gives bad or insight dreams to others, sending out the occasional 'monster' to carry out more direct actions (Joseph McCarthy dies in a 'freak accident' in basic training in 1941 for example, Truman desegregating the military at the start of the war after a vivid dream). The I-Cops will be able to track these changes back only as far as an area of D.C.

Finding the warrens under D.C and the ley lines linking the various landmarks in the Masonic layout of the Capital Mall is just the start of the endgame for ferreting out this guy.

And who knows? Maybe the warrens are there, but the main section is under the White House and President X is down there.
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Old 04-21-2014, 04:41 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Gedrin View Post
WWII Variant: Isolationists win a bigger presence in the US, enough to derail entry into the European war, but not enough to derail lend-lease. The Brits, retain all of their MAUD (Military Application of Uranium Detonation) research, and use Canada as their primary research base. First nuclear detonation is an act of desperation during the 1946 cross channel invasion of England, annihilating the Nazi beachead.
I think that this strikes me as bit of non-starter, shifting the first successful nuclear weapons program to the UK is potentially interesting as is a world without direct US participation in the war but I don't think that the second half of this scenario would fly.

Even without a formal US entry into the war, operation Sea Lion (assuming that it was ever credible) or any possible successor is likely to be out of the question after mid 1941. Once the Germans switch their emphasis to the Soviet Union without further divergences they will rapidly become overextended and bogged down and will probably remain that way for a significant period of time.

Depending upon the course of the war after this you are going to see a variety of possible scenarios but (assuming Allied strategy in Europe follows a similar course to actual history, probably over a longer timescale and that there is no Pacific theatre to worry about) I would be willing to bet that the deployment of the MAUD devices possibly in combination with gas would likely be in an offensive role, either neutralising a potential counter attack against commonwealth forces in southern Europe or as an attempt to prevent a prolonged stalemate on a German defensive line.

Depending upon how things play out I could also see MAUD deployment, post war perhaps c1965 or even later as part of a Commonwealth/ Soviet cold war scenario possibly during a proxy conflict in Burma or northern India.

One interesting point to this scenario would be how the British come to address their manpower shortages (which are not particularly big, although certainly are not trivial either) without US troops. This may well have major effects on the post war evolution of the Empire and Commonwealth.
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:03 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by oldgringo2001 View Post
Rasputin

Rasputin may have been a con man, but he did give the Romanovs exactly the right advice on the biggest issue of their lives: Don't go to war with Germany. What if they'd taken his advice?

This isn't as flashy a way of stopping or delaying the Great War as saving Franz Ferdinand, but it has a better chance of delaying the blowup longer. Serbia is going to keep on provoking Austria-Hungary, so a Third Balkan War is going to happen. What turns it into the Great War is Russian support for Serbia. If the Tsar won't extend this support as far as war, the Third Balkan War happens in the Teens or the Twenties.

Other possible features of Reality Rasputin:
  • Troubles in Ireland: There actually was an incipient uprising in Ireland by protestants in protest of the new Home Rule bill. Without the Great War, Ireland gets a different version of its civil war.
  • Mussolini stays pacifist and Socialist.
  • Hitler decides to give America a try, and ends up as one of Disney's top animators.
  • Lenin stays in Zurich long enough to get shot by a mistress he didn't get to in our history.
  • Igor Sikorsky remains in Russia, and develops working helicopters by the early Thirties.
  • With no cheap surplus Jennies available from WWI production, there is no barnstorming era in the US. Charles Lindbergh and James Doolittle both become famous race car drivers. (Eddie Rickenbacker was already a famous race car driver.)
I think a big effect of this would be that as Russia never enters WWI and the Germans make more inroads into France because they have the forces free, this also means that the Germans don't need to release Lenin (I think) to stir up trouble in Russia to get those forces free. The German lines stop a lot closer to Paris, meaning the French Government has to borrow more money to pay for the war. Net result is that France is forced to sue for peace as a result of it's mounting debt and isn't able to loot Germany to pay off said debt. Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act results in a France turning Facist and well, things probably go down hill from there.

The above come from a Shadowrun campaign idea I had: History's Greatest Shadowrun
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:01 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by oldgringo2001
Rasputin may have been a con man, but he did give the Romanovs exactly the right advice on the biggest issue of their lives: Don't go to war with Germany. What if they'd taken his advice?
After carefully re-reading that quote: absolutely nothing happens any differently. Now if Rasputin had advised them to never go to war with Austria-Hungary...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssc
I think a big effect of this would be that as Russia never enters WWI and the Germans make more inroads into France because they have the forces free, this also means that the Germans don't need to release Lenin (I think) to stir up trouble in Russia to get those forces free.
The really big effect, if Russia doesn't enter WWI, is that there is no WWI. The war essentially started as a squabble between Russia and Austria-Hungary over Serbia's fate after Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated. If Russia doesn't push hard enough to turn the squabble into war, Germany doesn't declare war on Russia in accordance with its alliance with Austria-Hungary; France doesn't declare war on Austria-Hungary and Germany in accordance with its entente with Russia; and the UK and Italy don't enter, reluctantly, as the final members on their side. WWI just goes away.

Or not. The general consensus among historians is that something would have kicked off a general conflict in Europe sometime in this broad time period. But a WWI with a different cause might have run very differently depending on where the flashpoint is and who the two initial opponents are.
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:02 AM   #77
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Getting to Paris in a little over three weeks from D-Day implies not just better tanks but different tactics. Getting to Berlin by 1 Dec. implies much better logistics.
I had a idea one time for a noncombat AU. Containerized shipping is invented as part of the logistics requirements for the planning of WW II. So the standard army truck fits a small (8' x 8' x 8' or so) container and a Liberty ships version is designed for containers. After the war instead of the interstate highway system being so big some of that money goes into the rail system and intermodal points to move containers from rail to truck and vice versa.

Since they aren't going to send most containers back to the beachhead lots of "free" containers that the troops and locals will repurpose for local storage, housing, etc.

With truck bodies designed to have a standard container attached probably lots of other things designed to attach, ambulance, command post, cook shack, etc.
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:20 AM   #78
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I had a idea one time for a noncombat AU. Containerized shipping is invented as part of the logistics requirements for the planning of WW II. So the standard army truck fits a small (8' x 8' x 8' or so) container and a Liberty ships version is designed for containers. After the war instead of the interstate highway system being so big some of that money goes into the rail system and intermodal points to move containers from rail to truck and vice versa.

Since they aren't going to send most containers back to the beachhead lots of "free" containers that the troops and locals will repurpose for local storage, housing, etc.

With truck bodies designed to have a standard container attached probably lots of other things designed to attach, ambulance, command post, cook shack, etc.
That depends upon how they unload it, if they don't take it off they truck it has to return with an empty crate. This is quite possible in such a rapid advance, you only unload what you need, [IE: today's rations] the truck would be left with an empty box and probably no get rid of it. And this is cribbed from David Weber Like a Mighty Army, but each unit will likely have it's own supply truck (Or several, a minimum of two, one each for solids [Food, ammo] and another for fuel, is likely) that pull back to main supply point when they get empty/run low.

Additionally given that different types of units consume different supplies (caliber of ammo) and at different rates and those rates may change re-boxing will occur at some point. Plus weren't double-b trailers invented in WW2?
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Old 04-22-2014, 08:43 AM   #79
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With truck bodies designed to have a standard container attached probably lots of other things designed to attach, ambulance, command post, cook shack, etc.
The last time I was at the museum at Canada Forces Base Kingston, they had on display a WWII communications module for exactly this sort of truck-mounted deployment. So this AU is feasible... but somebody's going to have to make some decisions that weren't made or were made differently in our timeline.
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:43 PM   #80
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The last time I was at the museum at Canada Forces Base Kingston, they had on display a WWII communications module for exactly this sort of truck-mounted deployment. So this AU is feasible... but somebody's going to have to make some decisions that weren't made or were made differently in our timeline.
You could always push this back even earlier.

I have tried playing around with this kind of idea myself and it always struck me that it might have more of an impact to have the divergence occur during the first world war.

The first forerunners of intermodal containers date back to the 19th century where they saw limited use on British railways. Integrating say a 10'x10'x10' 'loose box' of this sort into the trench railway systems of the era would be relatively easy and is something that might be a chance suggestion from anybody familiar with the technique.

Once containers are in large scale use improvements such as the ability to be stacked, or the ability to move units from railway wagons to truck chassis are likely to suggest themselves.
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