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Old 08-27-2016, 08:46 PM   #41
aesir23
 
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Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

Mustard I: Much more dangerous and persistent chemical weapons in WWI magnify the civilian and military casualties by an order of magnitude in all theaters of war. Even worse, much of the soil near the European fronts is permanently tainted. In the next decade, famine, mass sterility, and countless civil wars reduced Europe to a mostly depopulated, poisoned wasteland.

Current year is 1931--the remaining super powers are the United States, the Soviet Union(whose effective border starts in the Urals, despite claims of sovereignty over vast swaths of poisoned wasteland in Eastern Europe), and the British Empire (whose official capital has been moved to Madras). Tensions are very high.

Despite what happened in Europe, chemical weapons have proven too effective to set aside completely, especially with the looming communist threat and the drain on resources resulting from the millions of desperate refugees.
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Old 08-27-2016, 08:57 PM   #42
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Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

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Go with salt mines. You mine salt with higher than usual uranium concentration left over from the drying of the Mediterranean (which has a weird enough history to easily handwave anything you need for that, and a geologically recent one, less than 5.5 million years since the Messianan salinity crisis), found in Calabria, Sicily and Central Tuscany (which appear to be the only substantial exposed Messinian halite deposits which are on land, and quite convenient for the Roman Empire). When kept just moist enough this weird salt boils the water you moisten it with. Nuclear steam engines (with a side effect of radiation poisoining) here we come.

Of course there are also a lot of extra "geothermal" hot springs sites all around the shores of the Mediterranean, fed by water seeping into deep deposits of ancient salt too. You can even use that as the source of the discovery of the effect.
Romans did have the concept of steam engines if not the metallurgy to fully utilize. But "free" "salt" power may cause an invention explosion like the industrial revolution. And "off to the salt mines with you" is just too awesome of an expression to miss.
The real issue with natural reactors isn't so much the quantity of uranium but proportion of isotopes according to Wikipedia and the aforementioned Gurps supplement. But complex isotopic physics and ancient geological science can be more easily hand waved away than most fictional setting issues.
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Old 08-27-2016, 09:42 PM   #43
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But complex isotopic physics and ancient geological science can be more easily hand waved away than most fictional setting issues.
<Hollywood Producer>"Who pays attention to that kind of crap, anyway!?"</Hollywood Producer> ;)
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Old 08-27-2016, 10:07 PM   #44
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<Hollywood Producer>"Who pays attention to that kind of crap, anyway!?"</Hollywood Producer> ;)
Anyway we already gave in to the science advisor by going with uranium containing halite instead of "shiny power crystals". What more does he want?
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Old 08-27-2016, 10:15 PM   #45
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Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

The fun with parallels is that while you know the fundamental physics MAY differ, it doesn't mean they must just because present aspects of an earth are different.
I tend to prefer to manipulate rules of earth biology before chemistry before physics, but that's a personal preference.
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Old 08-27-2016, 10:46 PM   #46
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Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

A lot of these worlds are going to see miracle workers involvement. Perhaps you could have a "hell world" campaign where the players are miracle workers trouble shooters.

The fungus and the kudzu ideas are both valid. The kudzu is in some ways fun because it isn't a super crop that kills everything, its a just a poisonous plant that can displace humans. Doesn't mean that it can't result in a hell world anyways.

Super abundant uranium is just a fun idea in general ... I don't know if I'd even go hell world on that -- a nuclear roman empire without gunpowder has a strong flavor.

--------------------------------------------------------

A good old biblical flood would be interesting. The real question is just where the water comes from. Solutions include high manna, odd geological activity, and portals from another world. And they also have implications...

The most interesting floods are vs. fairly high tech situations. They're also partial floods, where parts of the earth's surface are still somewhat exposed.

I expect to call these worlds 'Noah'... or 'Flood', for those who aren't feeling biblical.
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Old 08-28-2016, 12:46 AM   #47
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Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

A second sapient race exists that resembles the steriotypical fantasy goblin. This is to say they are small, subterranean, cowardly, sadistic, fast breeding xenophobic and avoid light. They have driven humans out of Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Only a few primative groups of humans remain in Australia and the Pacific islands.

Visitors to this world will initially only encounter what appears to be primeval forrest. Then the very sneaky natives will come out at night.

TL 8 with no flight and advanced stealth. 20+ billion goblins divided up into dozens of empires in a semi permanent series of cold wars.
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Old 08-28-2016, 12:51 AM   #48
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Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

The Kudzo world reminds me of The Genocides by Thomas Disch. It's giant, inedible trees whose seeds are sprayed all over the surface of the earth, to feed an alien race.


J.G. Ballard's first three novels, The Wind From Nowhere, The Drowned World, and The Burning World, all had Hell scenarios: a powerful wind whipping across the world, rising sea levels turning the Earth into a sunken prehistoric swamp, and a film develops over the oceans to prevent evaporation & rain, respectively.


Incommunicado - A Chinese bioweapon unleashed during the China-Vietnam war in the late seventies gets loose, and renders everyone unable to speak, or to read. By 1984, the first world is only barely getting by with ramshackle piecemeal infrastructure & pidgin sign language, while cruel socialist warlordism controls the rest of the planet.

The initial I-Scouts got the condition, and while it hasn't spread to Homeline, no cure has been found. Now the infected I-Scouts are looking for anyone who might have even a partial immunity (secret speakers or secret readers).


Insomnia - In the twenties people become unable to sleep, and slowly start going crazy. By 1935, there are only the feral crazies, 'quiets' who keep the insanity at bay by living boring pastoral lives with as little stimulus as possible, and the 'louds', who get their demons out by brilliant/insane artistic creation and dissemination.

Not a biological virus, more psychic, psychological, kind of like a viral meme, it infected the first I-Scouts and the worldline was closed. But Infinity still has beacons that monitor radio waves, and somehow there are still radio stations transmitting maddening radio plays and the like from such places as Paris' Left Bank and New York's Greenwich Village.


Slumber - In 1975 a sleeping sickness takes over that causes people to sleep more & more, eventually about six days out of seven. While the third world fell apart, the first & second maintained a somnolent peace. Everything is very socialist, as it takes seven people on different sleep schedules to share a single job. But people also need less to eat and the like, even seem to be aging slower.

Twenty-five years later, the whole world is a sleepy echo of what life was like before "The Big Sleep" began. Culture is even stuck in pre-sleep world, with what little produced just mimicking pre-sleep life. Indeed, governments seem to be controlling research into The Big Sleep, and actively suppressing any original art that takes on The Big Sleep (as well as dream analysis).

Infinity hasn't sent any I-Scouts in yet, fearful of the infection, but monitors the airwaves.
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Old 08-28-2016, 01:35 AM   #49
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Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

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Sure, earth life needs certain elements to exist, but 5-10% for earth life isn't "that" much all things considered. And who's to say that that number couldn't go much lower theoretically?
You need both ATP and nucleotides to still be our kind of life.
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:45 AM   #50
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Default Re: Lucy's Choice: Let's make Lucifer Parallels!

A silly example:

GURPS-ate1: A unknown strange planet is passing by earth and will probable become a second moon. This means 2012-like events in the beginning. People will need enormous arks, also called houses, to survive. The survivors will enter a completely unknown reality. It turns out that the strange planet is a mana-enhancer and has some very strange plant and animal life which will contaminate earth.

The questions is: Who is selected on the arks in order to maximise the chance of human survival?

Fortunately, a brilliant scientist, Steve Jackson, has developed a initial system of measuring how well adapted a human is to a new environment. It uses the concept of 'character point' (cp). People with more character points are more likely to the coming disaster. A certain Dr Kromm designed the tests that determine someone's cp score. Other scientists like <enter favourite GURPS-author here>, elaborated on the system and described ways on improving your cp-score.

It is one year before the apocalypse and the final tests for selecting the survivors are at hand. People are desperately working on improving their cp-score. The debates are furious. Why is a person less usable, just because he is honest and charitable? Also, people, e.g. <enter favourite GURPS forumite here>, are pushing for different rules, because they feel that the original ones do not properly reflect reality. Some of the arks have adapted some of those alternate rules as rules of their house.
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