Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-14-2017, 09:50 PM   #271
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTTG View Post
Just rough estimates here, one 100-ton rock that could hit the Earth at dangerous velocities, if it instead hit the moon, would probably have much less than 50% efficiency at dropping moon rocks on Earth at dangerous velocities.

That's not to say that it's a bad approach; a lunar debris storm after a, say, Ceres-sized object strikes the moon would result in a very interesting world exactly because it is one with a heavy rain of smaller impacts. Plus the moon would be glowing orange, so that would be cool too.
The dinosaur killer was probably more like a billion tons than a hundred. Let us not speak of such trivialities. You be hard pressed to get the 100-tonner out of the single digit kiloton equivalent range.
__________________
Fred Brackin
Fred Brackin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2017, 02:20 PM   #272
fchase8
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: New York, NY
Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

It seems like late TL 7 humanity couldn't predict something coming in a hundred years from out of the solar system.

And anything big enough to cause serious damage to the Earth in orbit around the sun would have been seen by the twentieth century.

And no interstellar object would go right into an orbit that could eventually hit Earth.

In short, no way to do my 'humanity knows that an asteroid will hit in a 100 years' idea.


What about a comet with an extremely long parabolic orbit, extending from near the sun to out into the Oort Cloud?

Imagine that it is currently out in Oort Cloud space, takes hundreds of years to complete an orbit, but its trajectory can be calculated (perhaps using historical records of earlier sightings), and appears that it will hit the Earth in 100 years. Is that plausible?

Sort of a 'death by Halley's Comet.'


Quote:
Originally Posted by robkelk View Post
I like the name it actually received better: ʻOumuamua
That is cool.
fchase8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2017, 03:01 PM   #273
Flyndaran
Untagged
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Forest Grove, Beaverton, Oregon
Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

While tails are enormous, I think that loads of people were a little scared when Earth went through Halley's in 1910.
(Quick checking... woot, I remembered correctly. That rarely happens.)
__________________
Beware, poor communication skills. No offense intended. If offended, it just means that I failed my writing skill check.
Flyndaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2017, 05:27 PM   #274
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fchase8 View Post
Imagine that it is currently out in Oort Cloud space, takes hundreds of years to complete an orbit, but its trajectory can be calculated (perhaps using historical records of earlier sightings), and appears that it will hit the Earth in 100 years. Is that plausible?
Afraid not. It's knowable that it will come near Earth in 100 years, but old records don't give you the accuracy to know if it will hit.
johndallman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2017, 07:43 PM   #275
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fchase8 View Post

What about a comet with an extremely long parabolic orbit, extending from near the sun to out into the Oort Cloud?
Out to the Oort Cloud would be a long orbit indeed. If you want a 100 year periodicity you'd need a much shorter one. only a little longer than Haley's 76 year period.
__________________
Fred Brackin
Fred Brackin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2017, 08:20 PM   #276
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

An Oort Cloud comet would have a period of millions of years and could come from any angle of the ecliptic. It would also be visible to any civilization for months or even years before it hit if it was large enough to end human civilization (which would be cold comfort, as we do not really have the technology to deflect anything moving 30 km/s).
AlexanderHowl is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2017, 01:53 AM   #277
PTTG
 
PTTG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

Figured I'd revisit this. I like a number of these possibilities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTTG View Post
A cosmic energy wave struck Earth and caused a number of catastrophes. Here they are:

1: Global geomagnetic storm of cosmic proportions, paired with heavy charged particle bombardment. Huge lighting discharges all over the surface, and even deeply buried conductors undergo extreme magnetic flux.
The electrical discharges destroyed all but the most hardened electrical infrastructure and directly killed approximately 5% of the population directly. The firestorms started by the electrical surges killed about as many. The loss of long-range communication and advanced medicine caused somewhat more. The big problem was the loss of transport tech when combined with the smoke from the fires and the associated loss of crop productivity.

Those regions with strong group identities and limited political strife were able to stabilize. Those that also has repairable industrial capacity recovered over the next few decades and by 2020 some cities were even rebuilding their computer networks. Other regions weren't so lucky, either stuck as effectively feudal substates of industrial regions, or else still anarchic wastes a generation after the storm.

Pre-storm military strength was of only moderate importance, as the electrical interference overcame even the best hardening and was capable of affecting even deeply buried equipment. Plus, even the working equipment would only last so long...

Quote:
2: Cosmic ray torrent, irradiating everything on the surface for over 20 hours.
Due to the northerly positioning of Vega and the duration of the wave, only Antarctica and parts of South America south of the Falklands remained safe from the cosmic ray shower. In the most highly effected areas, surface radiation levels skyrocketed to over three million times normal background levels. Some suspect that the wave in part changed the way radiation passes through the atmosphere in order to cause this effect. At these levels, death was quite likely even in a short term.

The peak radiation levels were reached from western Canada eastward at the 51 degree line around the pole all the way around and terminating in eastern Siberia, but dangerous radiation levels covered the entire northern hemisphere and much of the south as well. While the atmosphere seemed to be ineffective, surface defenses such as soil cover and such were as effective as normal.

The extreme radiation ultimately killed some 15% of the population over the 20 hour irradiation, and an additional 20% sickened and died over the following two years. Of those, the vast majority of the victims came from the global north. The Falklands were only moderately affected, in part due to Vega being over the horizon only briefly even in the northenmost part of the chain. It became one of the major organizational hubs after the wave.

In the north, subterranian bunkers became the centers of reconquest. Aside from the eeree dead trees, the irradiated land was fairly safe to recover. Civil collapse, as seen elsewhere, caused more deaths than the actual disaster did, especially in the equitorial and southern nations.

Quote:
3: Change in fundamental constants in the presence of the wave, causing all solar system bodies larger than a few hundred km across to break into fragments.
There were no survivors. Those that visit this reality might find themselves on a chunk of terrain ripped from its moorings and floating freely and out of sight of the nearest piece of what remains of Earth.
PTTG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2017, 02:18 PM   #278
PTTG
 
PTTG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

Quote:
4: Atmospheric ionization strips off 60% of Earth's atmosphere, resulting in chaotic storms before finally stabilizing just below a safe level for long-term survival at sea level.
The results of this are harder to approximate because it's not quite fatal. The supernatural ionization effects were bad enough, and resulted in an apocalyptic loss of biodiversity over much of the planet. The high wind speeds of the actual storm itself were severe, killing a significant but small portion of the population directly. In the days after, everyone above a few thousand feet died of asphyxia, ultimately killing around 10% of the population directly. Social collapse around the coasts due to storm destruction combined with migrant pressure killed more. Over the weeks that followed, it became clear that even at sea level, the atmosphere was dangerously thin. Combined with ocean outgassing releasing large quantities of CO2, the air gradually became more toxic to human life. Within a few years, the only safe way to do significant work on the surface is while wearing a modified SCUBA or other oxygen system.

By 2020, pressurized enclaves house what is left of technological society. Don't let the technology imply anything fancy, however; for the most part these enclaves are made by lining an existing building with plastic and then installing a compressor. The other remaining humans live on the coast itself in a permanent low-oxygen haze. The total population is now only in the hundreds of millions, split roughly evenly between the dizzy scavengers and the closed enclave members.

Quote:
5: Solar disruption resulting in a more-or-less constant flare state. Less intense than #1, but still more intense than anything previously recorded and continuing for the foreseeable future.
This catastrophe is fairly cozy. Civilian technology and all long-distance communication is disabled, but hardened military computers and industrial tech still works. It's a hell world only in the sense that it's a collection of military dictatorships and standards of living have declined precipitously.

Quote:
6: Magnetic field inversion. As the wave passes, like charges attract and dissimilar charges repel. Scientists would be able to perform interesting experiments in the picoseconds before every atom on the planet disintegrates.
No survivors. Teleporting to this worldline drops you in the middle of a new nebula created by the sun imploding and undergoing an exotic new type of stellar explosion.

Quote:
7: Antimatter enrichment. The wave passes with minor magnetic disruption, but leaves a thick sleet of stable antimatter clusters throughout the solar system.
The antimatter clusters take the form of dust particles swirling in solar orbit. For ten years, each night was a spectacular aurora as the Earth swept its orbital path clear of antimatter debris. An orbital spacecraft receives slightly more gamma radiation due to the interactions with its hull, but in general the antimatter isn't hazardous. Within a few years magnetic capture technology allowed unmanned probes to scoop antimatter out of interplanetary space for merely astronomical costs, kick-starting space industrialization.

By 2020, the antimatter sleet has slackened somewhat, meaning the auroras aren't so bright, but there's still plenty of antimatter dust to harvest.

Quote:
8: The asteroid belt is disrupted, causing a new era of asteroid impacts throughout the solar system.
For the traditional Lucifer parallel.

Quote:
9: Ozmic enrichment causes space, but not the surface of any planets, to become a very-high-mana environment.
Like #7, this causes rapid space advancement, but it takes a little bit for it to become clear what's going on, and once it does, science starts to lose its mind. It's impossible
for magical effects to occur on planets (for reasons,) but once someone in space started working with magic seriously, it didn't take long to, for instance, produce a mundane
spacecraft capable of landing on Earth and recover people using magic. It's also quite easy to fly vertically into the mana feild and then use magic to provide the majority of orbital velocity.

Altogether, most of humanity left Earth for the heavenly world being constructed among the stars. Someone who arrives here by conveyor would find a mostly empty Earth populated by a few ideological holdouts, and a sky twinkling with alchemical lights.

Quote:
10: Psion resonance causes a chaotic projection wave to take place. Briefly, all humans astrally projected, and then returned to bodies. Some 20% of people returned to their own bodies, another 60% returned to other people's bodies, and the last 20% were apparently carried away with the storm... and there are rumors that some number of bodies were inhabited by alien minds as well...
The population dropped by a few hundred thousand during the astral projection -- people who were driving at high speed, swimming, or otherwise reliant on someone else being conscious. More severe was the fact that 20% of the population was effectively comatose but not dead -- nor was there any clear reason for them to be unconscious. The issue seemed like it would be ideological, but ultimately it became practical: there's no way to keep one in five people on life support just in case they wake up. A few hundred thousand of the "coma" people were kept on life support due to special circumstances, but within a few months almost all of those 1.4 billion people died.

The actual projection itself took the form of a change in consciousness and disassociation more like a drug experience than anything else. Most reliable accounts say that it wasn't specifically a feeling of traveling from one body to another, but rather "fading" out of being associated with a given body, experiencing a moment of simply not "being" anything in particular, and then fading back into possession of a body, the same one or a different one. Memories were transferred with the consciousness.

About half of those that changed bodies found themselves in extremely different forms, meaning that a little over a billion people were, for instance, moved from an adult male body to an infant female body or the like. Some specific instances were particularly traumatic; there are three different occasions where those piloting an airline that crashed during the effects of the wave found themselves in a body that was far from the aircraft afterwards.

The social disruption was less severe than in other situations. There was rough period of hunger and recovery, but since only a small portion of minds crossed extreme distances, most people were able to return to something like their old lives. The actual disaster itself was too bizarre to really respond to, although in general pretty much everyone alive considers it a given that identity isn't tied to physical body anymore.

The lingering issue is that there are legitimate reasons to suspect that there has been some kind of alien infiltration in the process. Although millions of people went bodily missing in the catastrophe, most bodies were accounted for eventually. However, to this day many more people are still unaccounted for. With the scrambling of faces and names, it's impossible to be totally sure that a person is who they claim to be. The bizarre phenomenon would surely trigger a wave of strange conspiracy theories, but in the wake of the disaster there are signs of some kind of global management taking place, and even sober and rigorous security groups are concerned.

Quote:
11: The wake of the storm disrupts all electronic devices, creating a world not unlike Rustic.
Standard social collapse disorder profile. Steam and powered reconstruction, long-distance semaphore messaging. Limited political breakdown because military-civilian cooperation was necessary.

Last edited by PTTG; 11-16-2017 at 02:39 PM.
PTTG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2017, 02:02 PM   #279
PTTG
 
PTTG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

Quote:
12: 99.9% of the population disappeared in classic banestorm activity.
The banestorm activity started simultaneously around the planet and was truly random... (specific group vanishings might be very interesting varians, though). Aside from a few industrial disasters, most of the planet was simply very quiet after the vanishings. The remainders took some time to gather and mourn. By 2020, the lack of maintenance has taken its toll on the industrial infrastructure of Earth. TL has declined slightly and seems to be on a downward trajectory, despite the fact that the early period of nihilism has mostly ended. The Las Vegas strip has been trashed by waves of looters and nihilists, but to the north of the city there's a fairly stable, if rowdy, settlement populated by the fairly large number of people from all over the North American continent. New York, Shanghai, and London, in contrast, retained some level of city identity.

Quote:
13: For 8 hours at the peak of the storm, all human beings entered a dream state and collectively experienced life as if they had been transported to an alien homeworld; they were informed that this was the only way to communicate long-distance and given instructions for a device that would, when completed, trigger the Sun to detonate in a way that would safely transport all humans to the aliens' advanced home world.
Not everyone is exactly sold on the idea of destroying the sun just because aliens told us to. Yes, it's pretty clear that the message was a real phenomenon -- after all, several million people died during the eight-hour blackout due to industrial accidents, house fires, and other strange circumstances. The aliens explained that there was no way for them to more carefully target the message, but many humans remain convinced that it was a deliberate attack.

Nor is it at all clear that the construction project would do anything anyway. It involves lofting an orbital ring above earth and the moon, plus coating the lunar far side with solar panels and a wide assortment of magnetic and laser generators. None of the systems rely on materials that exceed mundane material strengths, although they would be incredibly expensive to build. It's just not clear as of yet what the systems would do, or how they achieve the ultimate consequence of transporting all human consciousnesses to the alien homeworld, where they will be given new forms and a world of plenty.

Nonetheless, more than half the planet's population, including many of the most wealthy, are united in putting the plan into action. Much of the rest of Earth isn't exactly going to fight against it. Only a small number of radicals actually oppose the construction and think that it' an attempt to trick humanity into exterminating itself -- although again the devices don't have any clear use as an earth-destroying tool either.

By 2020, prototype loops are already being built on the lunar surface, and the first space conflict has taken place after rebels sabotaged an early attempt. In the US, which was perhaps more than other nations conflicted over the whole process, a police state is developing.

Quote:
14: For 298 hours at the peak of the storm, all humans experienced inarticulate howling and screeching that linguists struggled to comprehend. The entirely psionic noise could not be stopped and prevented sleep. Though some people apparently died more-or-less directly from sleep deprivation, far more died from secondary effects, attempts to promote sleep, and attempts to deafen themselves. Those that survived and attempted to record the message found that it was structured like language, but records were almost impossible to make and incredibly inaccurate after the first ten hours.
The first few minutes were chaotic, and at first was interpreted as some kind of sonic attack. Soon that was ruled out, and insomuch as possible productive work around the world ground to a halt. Astronomers and others familiar with the approach of the wave managed to start getting written records down almost immediately; electronic instruments were unable to detect the signal whatsoever.

Unlike in many population catastrophes, this world had time and ability to shut down industrial processes safely. There were no notable industrial accidents here.

As the hours dragged on, more and more civilians were drafted to record the psionic sound, (as a massive group effort could produce data that could be aggregated later). A handful of people already on edge started to act rashly within the first few hours, but for the most part things were orderly. It was around this point that linguists became convinced that the noise was a language and had structure. No attempts to block the signal were successful.

For those parts of the world where the signal started around nightfall, the sixth hour represented the first real strain on mental health. Mental health officials, already themselves exhausted, tried providing pharmaceutical aid to critical personnel which allowed a small number of people to get some chemically assisted sleep, but the doses were dangerous enough as it was. By the sixteen hour mark, there was nobody who wasn't already exhausted of the signal, and every part of the globe had already started to encounter serious problems with social disruption.

The gradual mental degradation of the planet resulted in a global mental breakdown. Densely populated areas were cacophonous as people tried to drown out the screeching with more pleasant sounds like car horns, or else attempted to deafen themselves (unfortunately even with eardrums destroyed the psionic signal kept coming through; only those born deaf really were resistant). Random mental breakdowns were common and all responders were stretched thin and exhausted as it was.

As abruptly as it arrived, the psionic screeching ceased, leaving an exhausted humanity to recover. Only some seventy complete records of the screeching exist, and all of them disagree in some places over the exact tone, meter, and quality of the screeches, making a real translation of much of the signal impossible.

The aftermath saw, first, everyone on the planet sleeping for sixteen hours straight. In terms of deaths, this was a fairly small disaster at only several million. However, everyone on the planet is suffering some kind of psychological damage or another.
PTTG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2017, 02:35 PM   #280
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

Ascension-1

Ascension-1 is the textbook example of a Metamorphic Virus gone out of control. The point of divergence occurred during the Summer and Autumn Period of China with the destruction of the Qin by the Chu. Without the influence of the Legalist philosophy, the great burning of non-Legalist documents did not occur in the Chu Empire, allowing for the scientific revolution to occur in the Chu Empire in the 5th century AD. By 1000 AD, the Chu Empire had successful conquered the Earth through simply possessing a technologically superior civilization (the equivalent of early TL8).

By 1500 AD, the Chu Empire had expanded throughout the Sol System and had achieved TL11 (TL12 in biotechnology). The Metamorphic Virus plague was an experimental longevity treatment that escaped the lab where it was located. By 1550 AD, the vast majority of the human species had been replaced by Ascended Ones through the Sol System. The last surviving remnant of humanity left the Sol System in 1600 AD in an STL colony fleet, as the Ascended Ones wanted any immune humans to leave the Sol System.

The Ascended Ones gain ST+10, DX+4, IQ+4, HT+4, Appearance (Attractive), Combat Reflexes, Extended Lifespan 4, Less Sleep 4, High Pain Threshold, and Night Vision 4. Female Ascended Ones receive Reproductive Control while Male Ascended Ones receive Deep Sleeper. They also gain Gregarious, Intolerance (Human), and Sense of Duty (Ascended Ones). The Intolerance (Human) comes from an unconscious reaction to the scent of humans while the Sense of Duty (Ascended Ones) comes from an unconscious reaction to the scent of Ascended Ones.

When a normal human is exposed to an Ascended One, the human must make a HT-3 roll to avoid becoming infected by the Metamorphic Virus. If they fail, they start to transform into an Ascended One and are capable of infecting any human being that they encounter. When the Ascension-1 was first discovered, a small outbreak occurred before the I-Cops were able to control the spread of the Ascended Ones on Homeline. The infected and transformed were annihilated by the I-Cops before the infection could spread and the Infinity is carefully monitoring Ascension-1 for anything that could lead to paratronic technology. While Infinity has developed an experimental vaccine against the Metamorphic Virus, Infinity knows that it would be incapable of mass production to prevent infection across hundreds of timelines if the Ascended Ones developed paratronic technology.
AlexanderHowl is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
adventure seeds, infinite worlds

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.