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Old 07-10-2018, 03:45 PM   #11
SilvercatMoonpaw
 
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Default Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

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I'm happy to see someone else come up with this as well.
It owes a lot to the fact that I don't like space travel: unlike the stereotypical sci-fi writer I do have a sense of scale, and that means I realize that most of space is superfluous. If you don't actually use those bits in between then the difference between different planets in one universe and the same planet in different universes is academic.
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Old 07-10-2018, 04:17 PM   #12
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Default Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

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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.
Personal quirk. I'm not fond of forward/backward time travel campaigns -- too messy -- and can't bring myself to use echos instead.

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Biggest difficulty might be in justifying weird human features in case you really need some green-skinned alien space-babes.
I'm good, but if that changed I'd go with remnants of a high (~TL11) biotech culture discovered by pre-scientific natives. One temple built around a chrysalis machine with a lonely and indulgent AI doctor, and it's catgirls and wolfboys for everyone. ("We are the Jaguar Clan! Please make us...")
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Old 07-10-2018, 04:25 PM   #13
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Default Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

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Personal quirk. I'm not fond of forward/backward time travel campaigns -- too messy -- and can't bring myself to use echos instead.
Given one take on evolved dinosaurs I saw*, I'd rather skip any logical evolution.

Also I may not be thinking of these alternate IWs as strictly as you are.
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I'm good, but if that changed I'd go with remnants of a high (~TL11) biotech culture discovered by pre-scientific natives. One temple built around a chrysalis machine with a lonely and indulgent AI doctor, and it's catgirls and wolfboys for everyone. ("We are the Jaguar Clan! Please make us...")
Is this an alternate history, or an Earth far into the future? (I have to ask after your previous statement.)


*The New Dinosaurs, Dougal Dixon, 1988.
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

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Is this an alternate history, or an Earth far into the future? (I have to ask after your previous statement.)
Maybe a bit of both, but primarily alternate history: parachronic spaceship from an advanced timeline crashes on a more primitive world. Crew are dead, most systems are buggered, but the sick-bay escapes destruction by being better protected and having long-duration backup power. AI doctor for chrysalis machine goes offline until rescue (that never comes) or something interesting happens.

Locals get somewhat over their fear of the crash site -- maybe centuries later -- and explore the wreck. AI doctor wakes up ("Please state the nature of the medical emergency..."), realizes the situation, and attempts to lure the locals in for check-ups, de-worming, re-setting bad breaks, etc. Without a common language, the first couple of patients are deposited in the chrysalis more as sacrifices to appease the God of the Metal Cave. The doc does its medical thing, then plays "warmer-colder" with projected images and physiological reactions to see what they might want. What really gets the patients excited is images of their totem animal and especially human-totem chimeras....
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:34 PM   #15
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Given one take on evolved dinosaurs I saw*, I'd rather skip any logical evolution.
There's a larger gap between Stegosaurus (155-150 Mya) and Tyrannosaurus (68-66 Mya) than there is from the latter to present day.

And then there are the Quintaglios and the Dragon Lords.
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:19 PM   #16
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Default Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

It's not like realistic sapient "modern" dinosaurs would look recognizably dinosaurian to laymen. Compare us to the mammals wandering the cretaceous period.
Being a game, one could play with absurd levels of convergent evolution. Early mammals just happened to evolve into what we picture evolved dinos would look like. Under the surface, they have all the expected mammalian features.
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:35 PM   #17
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Default Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

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It's not like realistic sapient "modern" dinosaurs would look recognizably dinosaurian to laymen. Compare us to the mammals wandering the cretaceous period.
Compare the actual descendants of dinosaurs to their cretaceous ancestors. The 6 rattites such as the cassowary look perhaps more like their ancestors, but the rest of the birds look very different (people like to make the t-rex / chicken joke but just about any dinosaur / penguin I think is a better one).

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Being a game, one could play with absurd levels of convergent evolution. Early mammals just happened to evolve into what we picture evolved dinos would look like. Under the surface, they have all the expected mammalian features.
Dimetrodon is a pre-mammalian, not a pre-reptile/pre-dinosaur, as distinctly identifiable by the number of holes in its skull, among other features. And really if we can get panagolins and armadillos, it's not too much of a stretch that other scaled/plated mammals could evolve given different conditions.
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:09 PM   #18
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Default Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

I did say, "sapient". Developing human level intelligence would require too much evolutionary adjustment to lead to anything much like prehistoric dinosaur appearance.
But I certainly agree with everything else you wrote.
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:12 AM   #19
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Default Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

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.

No existing society knows how to create, destroy, or manipulate the portals. No records exist of one forming, disappearing, or changing location. No other method of inter-world travel is known.

Sort of like #1 in that Earth is the "new kid", but unlike that one everyone's about equal in terms of being able to shoot each other. It's definitely a different experience when you can't just conveyor yourself directly to the world you want to explore.


(This is a setting I created for a game some friends and me played a while back. The portals are an excuse to have the unrealistic trope of disparate ecological/geographic regions next to each other without having to worry so much about "why?". I didn't mention the magic, slightly-divergent tech, or non-humans in the entry here to avoid coloring it for anyone, but the original setting was more Saturday Morning Cartoon kitchen sink.)
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:42 AM   #20
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Default Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

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I did say, "sapient". Developing human level intelligence would require too much evolutionary adjustment to lead to anything much like prehistoric dinosaur appearance.
But I certainly agree with everything else you wrote.
My basic point was that even without sapience, it has been a very long time and the lineage has changed dramatically. They're still bipedal, many have the same body plan, but (EDIT for incomplete thought) a lot of other details have changed. Going for sapience would make it even more extreme than T-Rex -> Penguin or T-Rex -> Flamingo.

As an aside, the thing I'm most concerned about with the idea of sapient dinosaurs is that the most likely group to develop sapience is also the one that was eliminating digits - they have a shortage of manipulators to work with. Parrots seem to have done the best with the body plan in that regard.
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