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Old 07-11-2018, 12:06 PM   #21
Flyndaran
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Default Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

Okay, so I think we were saying mostly the same thing.
As to digits, we know that pandas evolved a pseudo-thumb, so it's at least possible in such "short" time frames.
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:27 PM   #22
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Default Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

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As you note, it makes sense of some fairly common science fiction tropes. It takes a not-inconsiderable amount of work, though, if you're bringing all your timelines up to a consistent present. Most "hey, look at the dinosaurs!" approaches don't ask what they would look like with 66 million additional years of non-catastrophic evolution.

Actually, non-catastrophic evolution is comparatively easy: most radical evolution happens after big extinction events. The Cretaceous is 80 million years long, and its remarkably stable in terms of form. Species come and go, but without big shakeups, not two much gets shaken up. Alter the sizes and feather patterns on the dinosaurs, make a few basic sizes much firmer, Add in an oddity or two and you've got what you need.



For farther evolutionary divergence, just use the alien life generator from space. Ditto for building civilizations: building from scratch can be as good as generating alternate histories. Just say most of the divergences are early bronze age or before.


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Don't see why you'd need to bring everything to present: planet of dinosaurs is certainly a trope in things like Planetary Romance about Venus.

You can certainly limit things to just the present, but I see no pressing need to, and in many ways it makes things simpler to not do so.



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Biggest difficulty might be in justifying weird human features in case you really need some green-skinned alien space-babes.
Not really. Human evolution was quick, quirky, and bizarre. We're close to the great apes, but our phenotype is very different. The bipedal aspect is very recent, as is hairlessness and female breasts*. We're pretty darn genetically homogeneous, and we've had some narrow bottlenecks. Its very easy to justify most star-trek style races, at least appearance wise.



I will grant you that space babe green is a very unlikely color though.



*yes, all mammals produce milk for their young, but almost none keep the enlarged glands year round as a secondary sexual trait and pad them with fat to make them look bigger.


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9) Mirrorskies

In 1997 Earth discovers a naturally-occurred portal to another world. (Where exactly it would have to be to both have avoided detection for so long and be accessible-enough to make cross-world travel worth it I have no idea.) On that world are other portals to other worlds. There is apparently an entire multiverse linked by said portals, some uninhabited, so inhabited by TL 8 societies (with occasional hidden ones at lower or higher TLs) who treat the portals as just another natural choke-point in international relations.

This is pretty similar to the Hell's Gate Series. I wouldn't mind working with that.
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Old 07-11-2018, 01:52 PM   #23
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Default Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

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*yes, all mammals produce milk for their young, but almost none keep the enlarged glands year round as a secondary sexual trait and pad them with fat to make them look bigger.
Humans are not unique, once again, although we're different.
Another primate (Geladas) has reshaped their breasts as a primary sexual display - in their case the teats have moved very close together and the breasts form a good replica of the female reproductive opening (including colour changes as she goes through her fertility cycle).
Like humans, geladas spend a lot of time upright instead of standing on all fours, which hides the rump (where primates normally do their sexual display). Unlike (prehistoric) humans, geladas are spending all day sitting on their rump, which hides it even further. And interestingly, like humans, geladas have put a mimic of their rump on their chests to compensate for this - it's just a different part of the rump.
Mandrils are another primate which has mimic'd its rump on its front, but in this case males repeat the colour pattern of their reproductive organs on their faces.
And that's just inside the primates.

Making breasts into big fatty hemispheres that mimic the gluteus maximus and associated fat pads is unique to humans, but the general idea is not.
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:38 PM   #24
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This is pretty similar to the Hell's Gate Series. I wouldn't mind working with that.
But with more civilizations in the mix. In hyperbolic terms I think of Mirrorskies as "Space Opera............ONNNNNNNN THEEEEEEE GROUUUUUUUND!"
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Old 08-31-2018, 02:03 PM   #25
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10) Imagerium

Secret government psychic research breaks through the barrier the separates the "real" world from the "imaginary" one. Now we can explore the infinite worlds of stories humans have and do tell. Imagine I-corp visiting the world of your favorite TV show.....and trying desperately to stay in-genre!

Obviously this doesn't lend itself to the hardest logic games, since people in Real Life mess with versions of the favorites all the time (i.e. fanfics). At the most serious you might have to "fix" a busted story or canon, but even this lends itself more to comedy-of-errors than serious storytelling (unless you have one of those moments where a PC has to choose to let a canon character die).


11) Lid of a Sleeper's Eye

As 10, but The Secret is that Homeline is in fact itself an imaginary world. Antagonists could be anything from Lovecraftian cultists who want to awaken The Sleeper to conservative elements who don't want this info to get out so people can't start making use of Tropes to Fight The Man (think of every unrealistically-optimistic movie ending you've ever seen getting to happen to everyone who's not in the 1%).
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Old 08-31-2018, 04:55 PM   #26
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Default Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

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7) Parachronic-Punk

Let's take the "power corrupts" aspect of parachronics, dial it up to 10*, and insert the PCs into an unenviable social strata.

Some group of oligarchs (governments, corporations, cults masquerading as religions with hair-trigger lawyers, etc) managed to restrict parachronics and the benefits and profits of it to themselves. Everyone else gets their scraps. Sure it's probably implausible**, but who doesn't love Sticking It To The Man?


*I'm working with modern premises that dystopias the protagonists can fix in their time, rather than earlier ones like 1984 where the protagonist just exists to get crushed.
**By which I mean I don't know enough dystopiopology to make a guess.



8) Parachronic Rebels

Homeline has all the firepower, and none of the other lines have more than mid-19th century war tech. Also we dialed "power corrupts" up to 10. Time to conquer.

This is basically #7 without The Secret and maybe with nobler protagonists.
IMHO a Steampunk like Infinity might fit this better. At TL7-8 Infinity will basically curb stomp even later TL5 early TL6.
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Old 08-31-2018, 05:53 PM   #27
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IMHO a Steampunk like Infinity might fit this better. At TL7-8 Infinity will basically curb stomp even later TL5 early TL6.
It's definitely a premise that relies on either Improbable Hollywood Luck/Enemy Stupidity or Light A Candle Rather Than Curse The Darkness Impractical Defiance. I agree that a more realistic game would have to squeeze the TL gap a bunch more.
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Old 08-31-2018, 09:39 PM   #28
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Default Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

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It's definitely a premise that relies on either Improbable Hollywood Luck/Enemy Stupidity or Light A Candle Rather Than Curse The Darkness Impractical Defiance. I agree that a more realistic game would have to squeeze the TL gap a bunch more.
I might add that superscience throws things off as well. Depending on what the superscience is it could bridge the gap or even put Homeline at a marked disadvantage.

"You use machines to fight in the air? Any sane person finds a dragon friend for fighting in the air. Don't have to worry about the machine crashing if the person on the dragon's back gets knocked out (they are strapped in so getting knocked out cold doesn't mean they fall out of the saddle)


Then there are any realities where technology over a certain level simply doesn't work.

Given infinity uses TL7-8 in conjunction with its conveyer technology I imagine that Alfheim would have been written off as a Vanish reality if they didn't have information from Engstrom

Last edited by maximara; 08-31-2018 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 09-08-2018, 12:04 PM   #29
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1) First Chrontact

Homeline develops and uses parachronics for the first time and finds out that there is an entire community of parachronic-using worlds sharing knowledge and resources. Homeline is the new kid on the block, vulnerable to every 2-bit con-artist and cape-sporting conqueror. Do they ally themselves with one of the larger, seemingly-benevolent powers? Do they try to go it alone by stealing advanced tech and playing sides off each other?
(Concept: The canon IW assumes Homeline is top dog, with only Centrum as a rival. This meta-setting inverts that.)
Interestingly if you compare GURPS Time Travel and GURPS Infinite Worlds you realize that they are talking about two different Homelines.

The key is Centrum Beta which was in 2010 in GURPS Time Travel but is 1895 in GURPS Infinite Worlds.

While other discrepancies between the 12 years for Homeline and other realities either not moving on at all or different amounts of time passing can be explained by time not passing at the same rate (and even that has issues) there is nothing to explain how Centrum Beta "lost" 15 years.

Centrum Beta is also peculiar as there is no mention of a world war going on in GURPS Time Travel while there was such a war 1902-1912 on Centrum.

Last edited by maximara; 09-08-2018 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 09-08-2018, 12:33 PM   #30
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Default Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

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10) Imagerium

Secret government psychic research breaks through the barrier the separates the "real" world from the "imaginary" one. Now we can explore the infinite worlds of stories humans have and do tell. Imagine I-corp visiting the world of your favorite TV show.....and trying desperately to stay in-genre!

Obviously this doesn't lend itself to the hardest logic games, since people in Real Life mess with versions of the favorites all the time (i.e. fanfics). At the most serious you might have to "fix" a busted story or canon, but even this lends itself more to comedy-of-errors than serious storytelling (unless you have one of those moments where a PC has to choose to let a canon character die).
Fixing, like Peabody's Improbable History or Time Squad fixing history?
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