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Old 11-16-2018, 03:42 PM   #3781
Astromancer
 
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Interesting. Also potentially interesting would be to see a settlement -- even a kingdom -- that lives in the Caspian basin and has to deal with the water level rising 28 meters over a matter of weeks.
Yes, a fine idea. The cities on the Iranian coast of the Caspian Sea seem like good options to me.

Another possibility. Sea level would drop worldwide. Yes, only a meter or two, I'd go cinematic and make it two. It would create interesting chaos.
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Old 11-16-2018, 07:44 PM   #3782
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Further notes on Romannov-12.

The enlarged Caspian fits in such a way as to enhance the cinematic qualities of Central Asia. Thus interesting places like Samarkand or the Taklamakan stay above water and Northern Tibet gets ports. Dull stuff that doesn't interest the GM can go underwater. Ken Hite's take on the romance of Asia, India Ultraterrestia, is the key here.
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Old 11-17-2018, 12:24 AM   #3783
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The Don has a flow of around 1000 cubic meters per second, meaning that it could only increase the height of the Caspian Sea by 8 cm per year. It would have taken 350 years for the levels of the Caspian Sea to rise by 28 m.
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Old 11-17-2018, 02:26 AM   #3784
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The Don has a flow of around 1000 cubic meters per second, meaning that it could only increase the height of the Caspian Sea by 8 cm per year. It would have taken 350 years for the levels of the Caspian Sea to rise by 28 m.
I believe the assumption was that it would be filled mainly by seawater due to some combination of the disastrous canal project and altered geography.


Samuel F.B. Morse was insanely racist and sectarian, even for his time. It's easy to imagine him being distracted or discredited by his intolerance and never developing his famous code.

There's two ways to take this, which might have interesting secondary effects.

1: Morse code became popular mainly because it was better than the alternatives at the time. In which case, telegraph and wireless signals are a mishmash of encryption schemes fairly continuously to the present day. Since a good code is a remarkably effective competitive advantage, telecommunications companies would defend them, and in turn legal protection for encryption would become a major turning point.

2: Morse code became popular mainly because of the need for standardization. In which case, a different code would likely fill the place, and that code might be better in some way; perhaps faster, or easier to decrypt. Or more redundant. Any one of those could change the way that some emergency messages are received.

In either case, you could jump forward some centuries and say that butterfly effects cause the Titanic to receive warning about the icebergs, to pick a random example.
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Old 11-17-2018, 08:01 AM   #3785
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I believe the assumption was that it would be filled mainly by seawater due to some combination of the disastrous canal project and altered geography.


Samuel F.B. Morse was insanely racist and sectarian, even for his time. It's easy to imagine him being distracted or discredited by his intolerance and never developing his famous code.

There's two ways to take this, which might have interesting secondary effects.

1: Morse code became popular mainly because it was better than the alternatives at the time. In which case, telegraph and wireless signals are a mishmash of encryption schemes fairly continuously to the present day. Since a good code is a remarkably effective competitive advantage, telecommunications companies would defend them, and in turn legal protection for encryption would become a major turning point.

2: Morse code became popular mainly because of the need for standardization. In which case, a different code would likely fill the place, and that code might be better in some way; perhaps faster, or easier to decrypt. Or more redundant. Any one of those could change the way that some emergency messages are received.

In either case, you could jump forward some centuries and say that butterfly effects cause the Titanic to receive warning about the icebergs, to pick a random example.
Right about my flooding assumptions. Interesting idea about Morse.

The problem with the Titanic wasn't that it didn't recieve the messages. They did recieve the warnings. They just were required to go through the backlog of business and social messages for the first class passengers first. Priorities were messed up and lives lost.
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Old 11-17-2018, 10:15 AM   #3786
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Samuel F.B. Morse was insanely racist and sectarian, even for his time. It's easy to imagine him being distracted or discredited by his intolerance and never developing his famous code.
"Morse Code" as the term is normally understood isn't actually a *code*. It's a simple substitution cipher. It doesn't need decrypting, unless you consider reading something written in an alphabet to be "decrypted" into sounds.

There's really nothing particularly remarkable about it - there aren't a lot of options once you allow for a lossy enough line you are stuck with a binary (on/off) code scheme, and Morse probably isn't the optimum scheme in that space. But if you could count on everybody to get the timing right, to distinguish "zero, zero" or "one, one" from "I screwed up and hesitated on the key" you could use fixed length signals and send ASCII, or Unicode.

And finally, Morse didn't invent it - his idea actually *was* a sort of code - a system where you sent numbers to be looked up in a book to turn them into words. Somebody else thought of using the dots and dashes to send letters.
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Old 11-17-2018, 12:03 PM   #3787
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"Fashoda" timelines are supposed to be histories in which the divergence focuses on the Fashoda Incident of 1897 (see GURPS Steampunk 1, p. 20). This causes pedantic Infinity administrators to get irritated with the officer who named Fashoda-4.

On both Fashoda-1 and Fashoda-2, the command structures of the British and French expeditions were different -- presumably indicating subtle divergences a few years earlier. On Fashoda-1, this just meant a trigger-happy idiot or two on the ground; on Fashoda-2, the attitude differences ran a lot higher in the military and governments. In both cases, the British and French expeditions got into fights with each other, but on Fashoda-1, the national governments just about managed to avoid a full-scale war, at least in Europe; unfortunately, British and French colonies on other continents, especially Africa, have become pawns in the ensuing semi-cold war. Germany is naturally happy with this; WWI will doubtless go very differently. On Fashoda-2, on the other hand, a full-scale global war has broken out between the two empires... GMs can choose dates for the game-present to taste.

On Fashoda-3, on the other hand, things swung wildly the other way. Anglo-French relations in the wake of the Incident and the related negotiations became not only amicable, but downright warm. South Sudan has been declared a joint protectorate, and both empires are pushing ahead with their railway projects, in a spirit of friendly competition; Fashoda may even become a great junction town. Germany is annoyed. Infinity suspects Centrum interference, but Patrol historians point out that one should not ascribe to hostility that which can be adequately explained by dumb luck and niceness.

Fashoda-4, by contrast, is a steampunk timeline with a lot of inertia in its political history, where the Fashoda Incident is currently underway. British super-gunboats and French colonial tractors manoeuvre in the African heat, while supporting airships jockey for position in the skies above...
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Old 11-17-2018, 01:10 PM   #3788
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We need a few steampunk worlds with Airship navies. I could so see a Union/Confederacy airship naval engagement at the Battle above the Clouds. Ariel bombardments of cities would create radically different politics in Europe.

Love the Fashoda skerry Phil.
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Old 11-17-2018, 07:47 PM   #3789
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Masters View Post
"Fashoda" timelines are supposed to be histories in which the divergence focuses on the Fashoda Incident of 1897 (see GURPS Steampunk 1, p. 20). This causes pedantic Infinity administrators to get irritated with the officer who named Fashoda-4.

On both Fashoda-1 and Fashoda-2, the command structures of the British and French expeditions were different -- presumably indicating subtle divergences a few years earlier. On Fashoda-1, this just meant a trigger-happy idiot or two on the ground; on Fashoda-2, the attitude differences ran a lot higher in the military and governments. In both cases, the British and French expeditions got into fights with each other, but on Fashoda-1, the national governments just about managed to avoid a full-scale war, at least in Europe; unfortunately, British and French colonies on other continents, especially Africa, have become pawns in the ensuing semi-cold war. Germany is naturally happy with this; WWI will doubtless go very differently. On Fashoda-2, on the other hand, a full-scale global war has broken out between the two empires... GMs can choose dates for the game-present to taste.
Fashoda was one of the actual 'Reality Seeds' in GURPS Alternate Earths 2.

I imagine both of these to be in Q6.

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On Fashoda-3, on the other hand, things swung wildly the other way. Anglo-French relations in the wake of the Incident and the related negotiations became not only amicable, but downright warm. South Sudan has been declared a joint protectorate, and both empires are pushing ahead with their railway projects, in a spirit of friendly competition; Fashoda may even become a great junction town. Germany is annoyed. Infinity suspects Centrum interference, but Patrol historians point out that one should not ascribe to hostility that which can be adequately explained by dumb luck and niceness.
If Centrum interfered in the divergence point, could this be an Echo that became a parallel? Perhaps it was an Echo that Interworld found before Infinity, and was able to influence before Infinity discovered it.


What if it's still an Echo, in terms of still being able to move? Like, it was in Q6, now it's in Q7, but the I-Cops still have a chance to move it back to Q6.

The only problem? That requires instigating conflict, but not too much conflict, between Britain and France. Not war, and not enough to forestall the Entente Cordiale in the future, but enough to get them off this current track.

Perhaps Interworld analysts believe that the current track will forestall The Great War entirely, with a stronger alliance stopping German saber-rattling.

And what Infinity knows can be anything from everything to nothing - from knowing that it's still an Echo and Infinity needs to give Germany the room to go to war, to thinking that it's a parallel and not knowing anything about Centrum involvement.

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Fashoda-4, by contrast, is a steampunk timeline with a lot of inertia in its political history, where the Fashoda Incident is currently underway. British super-gunboats and French colonial tractors manoeuvre in the African heat, while supporting airships jockey for position in the skies above...
If this world has lots of inertia, enough to have steampunk alt-tech but the same basic history, than the Fashoda Incident will play out the same way (plus steampunk) as in Homeline history.

I would picture this being on Q3, with other weird parallels.
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Old 11-17-2018, 08:10 PM   #3790
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While looking up the phrase "Pyrrhic Victory" I noticed that there was an interesting little-known change point involved in that phrase.

King Pyrrhus of Epirus was the general who had the Pyrrhic Victory.

Pyrrhus was trying to conquer Rome in 280BC. He routed Roman troops but lost so many of his troops that he had to leave Italy without securing any benefit from his victories. Thus "Pyrrhic Victory" a worthless "victory" that weakens the victor.

However, in this Q6 world, Pyrrhus won substantial victories that gave him a foothold in Italy. Over time Pyrrhus seriously weakened Rome. His successors lost that foothold, but Rome was seriously weakened and stagnated. Neither Gaul nor Carthage was crushed, the ancient Mediterranian was far more pluralistic.

The local year on this world corresponds to 300AD. Christianity is one of several different faiths including ancient forms of paganism. Greek is the common tongue of trade and literature. Technology has advanced further than on Homeline at the same period, this world is solidly TL3. The Gaulish Celts have the Moldboard Plough and several other agricultural innovations. Southern Britain and Eastern Ireland have followed Gaul in having relegated kings to mainly military and ceremonial roles.

North Africa under Cartage is massively prosperous and several of the features of the "Arab Agricultural Revolution" are present. Egypt has reopened the ancient Pharaonic canal between the Nile and the Red Sea. Philosophers from India are the latest rage throughout the lands of the middle sea.

This is a normal mana TL3 fantasy world with a radically different culture and style. This is a world for sly rogues like Fafhrd and Gray Mouser.

If you don't like magic, this is still a good world for rogues and grifters.
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