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Old 01-13-2016, 10:09 AM   #1531
Anders
 
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
That's a good question, since he filled a number of posts and gave a number of speeches, among other things, in the following years. The most significant immediate consequence I can see is that David Lloyd George would need to appoint someone else Minister of Munitions in 1917.

In the long term, it could lead to Britain doing worse in WWII, possibly even needing to sue for peace, but nothing could make Seelöwe work, other than magic or significant outside intervention.
Churchill was also the guy who came up with the idea of the tank. Who knows how long it would take for someone else to come up with it? What if the Germans thought of it first?
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:18 AM   #1532
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gah! you have stolen hours of my life! good program.

The most dramatic outcome for a 'dead churchill' parallel would be a Britain that quits the war and makes peace early on. Not particularly likely, but not outside of all possibility either.
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:35 AM   #1533
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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Originally Posted by PTTG View Post
Not a bad idea. Do the aliens keep visiting or did they just stop by?

Here's one: Lee decides to go with the North; maybe he married a northern girl (possibly because he decided that marrying his cousin would be unwise), maybe Lincoln just managed to make his perspective a little bit clearer.

As a result, the south is crushed immediately. The North has population, industry, economy, terrain, and in this case tactics on their side (in OTL the North had catastrophic failures in leadership; even in this TL between supreme commander Lee and his soldiers there's a couple layers of inept leadership that Lee overcame). In a matter of months Northern forces end southern pretentions; near the end southern troops are so demoralized that they surrender more often than they fight.

Here we can go two ways: Either the reconstruction is much more successful, ultimately leading to a modern south with an average standard of living much closer to the north, or reconstruction goes worse because the North is less committed. The south remains a festering rural backwoods and drags the rest of the US down, possibly rebelling again and again over the years.
I would guess it more likely reconstruction is much more successful. Lincoln would have the time and ability to abolish slavery in a much easier manner, and he would be there to direct reconstruction from the presidency and, later, probably the Supreme Court.
The Great Migration of African Americans to the north would be much smaller, if it happens at all. Integration in the Southern states would be a priority and would very likely lead to the ironic situation that in a generation or three the South would be known for its racial tolerance and the north for its bigotry - at least as much as the reverse was true for Homeline in the early 20th century.
Overall the US would be a much more powerful country economically and politically. The Federal government would be very strong. The West might not be so populated, aside from California and its Gold Rush legacy, as economic opportunities would come mainly in the relatively pleasant South.

In fact if you get the same economic problems that caused so many upheavals in the run up to the Great Depression, California and the West might attempt to secede in the early Teens. It could become the home to displaced white supremacists, states-rights activists and others driven from a prosperous, egalitarian South. Add in funding from a sympathetic North, KKK influenced businessmen for example, religious extremists and the like, and you get a hotbed of discontent. If this world still gets Kaiser Whilhelm and WWI, this would be a great way to prolong it if German spies are able to work the West up into an ally.

The West wouldn't have a real chance against the US, but it could keep it out of Europe, or at least in much smaller force, allowing Germany a measure of success.
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:49 AM   #1534
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
Try this idea. One weird event changes a world.

In 1947 a spaceship lands near Washington DC, it a minor trader/scavenger group. Basically good natured. They trade some details on superconductivity for rare Earths.

From 1947 on everybody knows space in important and humanity's future is out there in the stars. It's 1980, we have a moonbase and the information on superconductivity is being to pay off.

Both Centrum and Homeline want to get the superconductors and any space tech. The Cold War is heating up and spies, out world or otherwise need to be careful.
If they land in the US, does the US keep a monopoly on trade with the aliens? I mean, can they? The aliens can go where they like, of course, but why did they choose the US in the first place?

I would think the Cold War would have been over pretty quick in this scenario. The Soviets couldn't take the chance that they aliens would eventually start trading with them, and would attack NATO immediately. The 50s would be one long war, maybe with nukes at first. The US responds by offering the aliens anything they want for help, or at least for tech. Its a buyers market for them.

If the aliens have any instinct for profit they might start selling trinkets to both sides. In this case they prop up the Soviets and you get a stale-mate after the first flush of war. Both sides are impoverished by making payments to the aliens for the occasional beam weapon or old freighter converted to human use. Think Cargo Cult economics. You get your Cold War, a number of nuclear ruins, weird ultra tech mixed with shotguns and mortars. Spies trying to capture allien tech sold to the other side and super scientists trying to reverse engineer items the aliens really don't want you being able to build yourself.

Homeline and Centrum will want the tech AND specifics on the aliens. If they are on this timeline they are on the primary timelines too.
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Old 01-13-2016, 11:15 AM   #1535
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Seeing as how Yrth is mentioned in infinite worlds, I might as well throw down the fantasy world used in my own para-chronic game.

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Guyver is a primarily TL4 world, roughly equivalent with homeline AD 1658 with the names switched around. Mana levels normal, alchemy is known but unrefined. Spirit-Assisted magic is common among the beastfolk races, while Clerical magic is granted by the Holy Knight armors. Currently, Europe rebuilds from the long and bloody Doctrinal War (local thirty year's war equivalent). Rather than christianity, Europe is dominated by the teachings of the prophet Arjuna, who along with her disciples discovered the first holy knight armors and spread her teachings across a Minoan empire that covered most of the Mediterranean.

The holy knight armors are the primary item of interest on the world; they're bio-mecha who occasionally grant Power Investiture to their weilders. Most are sterile, but the heads of currently extant countries have all the reproductive-capable ones. Since normal weapons tend to shatter under their strength, they wield orihalcum weapons if anything. Primitive anti-material rifles are under development as a counter, but aren't yet very effective.

Many extra armors were birthed during the war and are now growing to maturity; disease and birth defects are common due to how rushed they were.
One of my players has taken an absolute love to it so far, and is dead-set on getting one of the armors for her own use (not entirely unexpected). I think I might send her on a spiritual pilgrimage later on, given that she's basically trying to get a holy relic jammed in between her kidneys.
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Old 01-14-2016, 06:19 AM   #1536
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTTG View Post
Here's one: Lee decides to go with the North; maybe he married a northern girl (possibly because he decided that marrying his cousin would be unwise), maybe Lincoln just managed to make his perspective a little bit clearer.

As a result, the south is crushed immediately. The North has population, industry, economy, terrain, and in this case tactics on their side (in OTL the North had catastrophic failures in leadership; even in this TL between supreme commander Lee and his soldiers there's a couple layers of inept leadership that Lee overcame). In a matter of months Northern forces end southern pretentions; near the end southern troops are so demoralized that they surrender more often than they fight.

Here we can go two ways: Either the reconstruction is much more successful, ultimately leading to a modern south with an average standard of living much closer to the north, or reconstruction goes worse because the North is less committed. The south remains a festering rural backwoods and drags the rest of the US down, possibly rebelling again and again over the years.
I remember a short story that was based on this premise, Lee fights for the North. The end result was kind of in-between - better result for African-Americans, protected in 'Libertyvilles' by a more powerful North, but a resentful white South. Kind of the Reconstruction continues on into the twentieth century.

The story focused on an African-American scientist in the 1930s working as part of a group in victorious Kaiser Germany, who goes back in time to try to 'fix' the Civil War (I can't remember his exact plan), and ends up causing Lee to fight for the South - and our world happens. He returns to Germany in the 1930s, only to be arrested and carted off to Nazi labor camp...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
If they land in the US, does the US keep a monopoly on trade with the aliens? I mean, can they? The aliens can go where they like, of course, but why did they choose the US in the first place?

I would think the Cold War would have been over pretty quick in this scenario. The Soviets couldn't take the chance that they aliens would eventually start trading with them, and would attack NATO immediately. The 50s would be one long war, maybe with nukes at first. The US responds by offering the aliens anything they want for help, or at least for tech. Its a buyers market for them.

If the aliens have any instinct for profit they might start selling trinkets to both sides. In this case they prop up the Soviets and you get a stale-mate after the first flush of war. Both sides are impoverished by making payments to the aliens for the occasional beam weapon or old freighter converted to human use. Think Cargo Cult economics. You get your Cold War, a number of nuclear ruins, weird ultra tech mixed with shotguns and mortars. Spies trying to capture allien tech sold to the other side and super scientists trying to reverse engineer items the aliens really don't want you being able to build yourself.

Homeline and Centrum will want the tech AND specifics on the aliens. If they are on this timeline they are on the primary timelines too.
That's a good point about whether America controls alien tech. If they do, it could be a kind of 'alien tech Technomancer', where America is even more powerful in the post-war world. Though there's the question of how useful the alien tech is - it could just be for space travel, and the only result is a stronger space program.

But in Technomancer, America dominated magic-tech because it was magically focused on the North American continent. Regular ol' alien tech could be stolen by the USSR - think of an alternate Rosenbergs.

This could be like the 'Rockets Red Glare' timeline, where space is just more advanced. In that one, Centrum actually had spies in the Soviet space program, deeming it easier to manipulate (and the whole point of the timeline was that the Soviets were more advanced in space on this timeline).

Alternate Rosenbergs could make the timeline more interesting for off-worlders, as any spies looking to steal alien tech for Homeline (or Centrum) would look very similar to the Rosenbergs to native eyes.

Either way, one would bet that the Homeline American government would try to get involved in spying on alternate America's alien tech (unless the world is secret).



I've noticed that official alien timelines seem to be very rare. There's the post-War of the Worlds timeline Vuul, one of the Tafts has an abandoned spaceship showing up by Jupiter, and there's Caliph (but those aliens are in other star systems), plus the worlds where space & other planets aren't like they are in the real world (steampunk desert Mars & jungle Venus, for instance).

Infinite Worlds was reluctant to involve space with time/dimensional travel - there was that whole 'Where Are the Spaceships?' piece.
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Old 01-14-2016, 09:45 AM   #1537
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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Originally Posted by Anders View Post
Churchill was also the guy who came up with the idea of the tank.
Uh, no. Just no.

(Somebody hasn't been reading enough H.G. Wells.)

Churchill stuck his oar in so many places, for better and for worse, that it's really hard to guess exactly what subtracting him from the timeline would do. It might eliminate the Gallipoli disaster, just for a start. I doubt that we'd get the same beginning to WWII at all - the butterfly effects would be just too many - but even on the heroic view of history, well, he wasn't actually the only potential war-leader we had at the time.
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Old 01-14-2016, 04:14 PM   #1538
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2011: An alien spacecraft plummets into the atmosphere in mid may; the massive craft was more than two kilometers long before it broke up on entry. Despite its size and presumably interstellar velocity, there was a proportionately minor destruction on Earth. The debris field stretches from the Gulf of Mexico, along the east coast of the USA, across the North Atlantic, over the southern coast of Great Britain, through the heart of continental Europe and into Turkey, and finally the heaviest debris is scattered throughout the Syrian Desert.

The ship was originally designed to explore potentially life-bearing planets and Earth was its next destination. A cosmic accident "sterilized" the ship, not only killing the alien crewmembers but also resetting most of its navigational equipment. When it finally fell out of jump-space a few months before its earth rendezvous, it resumed its fairly low speed relative to earth, which is one reason why it wasn't a relativistic impactor.

The debris is scattered randomly over a wide spectrum of land and sea, and some chunks are the size of a city block. Even a piece of hull a few centimeters across has fascinating and extraordinary properties.

Early examination shows that there are several distinct compounds in the wreckage:

An extremely high specific strength metaloid, nonconductive/nonmagnetic, dense, and with very high melting point. Used as exterior plating, fairly common. Glossy and matte black, depending on the surface.

An ultra-high temperature superconductor (up to ~800C). It is present in both a dense mesh and as well as wire. It is also a superb fiber-optic material.

A much lighter structural material with somewhat lower specific strength. The most common material; it's superior to titanium in most respects, but compared to the other materials it's not that impressive. It has a dark green sheen, and is sometimes called Harbenite.

An exotic material that slows chemical reactions by an unknown means. It's a clear liquid that denatures into a kind of chemical sludge when exposed to high heat; few samples of it survived.

A radioactive compound that has a variable half-life. When provided an electric charge, this material provides increasing amounts of radiation; with no charge, it is detectably radioactive but not extremely dangerous. Some wag named it Quadium. Nobody knows how it works, but the first guess is nanomachines.

Computronium, a lusterless silver material that appears to be a self-organizing computing substance. No humans have yet figured out how to build a computer interface with it, but if they could, they'd find that its storage space, processing speed, and parallel processing capacity all scale with the square root of the mass, and it far outperforms any existing technology.

Quantities of osmium, gold, platinum, manganese, and a few other rare metals are also common in the rubble, and that's aside from the exotic value of materials from the alien spacecraft.

Additionally, there are a number of artifacts with additional capabilities. Only a few have so far been recovered and defined:

Statues. There were a number of abstract but clearly artistic sculptures in the ship, many of them made of the extremely rugged materials the ship is made from.

Extremely durable storage casks about .3 meters tall and wide. Nobody knows what is inside them; they are even stronger than the hull plating material and are extremely rare. In fact, they are fuel canisters containing antimatter. Fortunately for humans, they are self-powering. If someone does manage to crack one open, there's 10 grams of antimatter in there (minus a trivial amount that device consumes to power itself), and it would produce an explosion around 430 kilotons.

Power cells are the most common artifact. They are trapezoidal, approximately 8x3x2 cm. They use superconductor loops to store energy, but apparently have a magnetic shield making them safe and easy to handle.

There are few actual weapons in the debris. The ones that have been found are about a meter long and, like the storage casks, have no apparent control system. Each one does have two replacable power cells in ports, and it takes standard power cells. After dismantling one, researchers found a controlable subsystem that produces a pulsed laser that functions in space and in atmosphere well, and one cell lasts for 12 shots.

One fairly common device is a small force field generator; the 10-cm wide projector produces a tunable "plate" of force up to 1m away and 2m wide. It can also tune from high impenetrability (a very high divisor DR) down to cushion-softness. It is always laterally frictionless.

This is a simple setting: Superscience falls from the sky into the modern day, now deal with it. Add in a gold rush in some of the most populated and most chaotic parts of the globe, plus the potential for even more extreme discoveries, and it's a busy place. For one thing, nobody knows where the propulsion system landed...

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Old 01-14-2016, 05:45 PM   #1539
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... with no charge, it is detestably radioactive but not extremely dangerous. ...
Was that a typo, or does the substance have an always-on emotion control effect? (Not that there are many substances that are laudably radioactive, but there aren't many that are detestable just because of their radioactivity either.)
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Old 01-14-2016, 06:49 PM   #1540
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A soviet victory in WWII. Germany doesn't declare war on the US following a more devastating Pearl Harbor in which Japan destroyed fewer battleships and more aircraft carriers. The US enters the Pacific War even weaker than it did in OTL but stays out of Europe.

Stalin is replaced with a less genocidal leader.

As a result of these two changes, the war becomes the inevitable march of the Red Army west to the Atlantic and maintains the tactical capacity of the soviet army.

The US war in the Pacific is substantially more difficult because aircraft carriers were foisted upon them through the loss of battleships- it takes longer for them to adapt to their use in this TL. However, the US does eventually win. In a world where the Soviets now control Europe unabashedly, the US may force Japan to surrender as a territory, putting the conflict point between the free and communist worlds in the far east.
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If the US still develops the A-Bomb first, and proves it will use it, the soviets might try Containment. The USA in a very much worse situation might simply try to ride the mess out. You'd get a long Cold War.

Given that Soviet Style "Socialism" (which, because it isn't democratic, I don't even count as socialism.) is a bad idea. The Communists still collapse.

An America trying to deal with the vast wastelands that need their help and see them as Capitalist exploiters, would be in a rotten position. Add in centrum trying to take over America and grind out the last inklings of Freedom, this could be a dark world to adventure in.
With the International Communist Conspiracy so advanced the US will likely support the Chinese Nationalists strongly after the war. The Soviet Union does not occupy Manchuria because the troops are needed in Europe for the war or subsequent occupation. US troops go in to maintain order as the Japanese troops are sent home, and there are regrettable incidents.

With the European colonial powers gone the issue of colonies and governments in exile becomes very heated. The US generally favors colonial independence but manipulates the details to maintain de facto control. Many groups object to this, and of course the Soviet Union is glad to help in their struggle.
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