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Old 09-08-2017, 12:02 AM   #441
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

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Originally Posted by a humble lich View Post
What about having a divergence earlier, say Italy gaining the Dalmatian coast, a larger chunk of Austria, and maybe a couple of the German colonies in Africa after WWI.... I also don't know if this parallel has any fewer holes than what has been suggested so far, but it does keep the alien space bats away.
A very intriguing approach. The biggest hole I see is that the NAZIs were inspired by Italian fascists... Maybe they did arise and wrote some books, but never got to power. Since the war is so very short, maybe Europe as a whole never funnels investment through the USA, so the US remains isolationist and inward-focused.

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How about someone learns to summon the ghosts of Julius Caesar and Augustus back from the great Beyond. They start giving Mussolini advice on (respectively) how to win wars and fix economies. Depending on when this started and how it developed, Italy might well be the power to beat in Europe when the war finally starts.

The Nazis, of course, get wind of this and this sparks their own mad hunts for Relics and occult lore. Unfortunately for them whoever is feeding the Italians advice is a lot better at this stuff than the Germans and manages to trick the Nazis into one or more massive blunders just before the Italians stab up from the south.

Eventually the secrets to this sort of occult activity get out and every government has covert operatives developing their own tools. You end up with the cold war being fought not openly, but rather covertly using magic.

The general public has no idea what is actually going on in the shadows and there would be religious uprisings if they did...

[[specifics of who/ what/ how the Italians have a hidden Weird advantage vary to GM taste. On the surface at least the effects are the same.]]
I'd say have the anchient figures be public. Use them to rally the populous to the might of the Roman Empire and terrify Homeline into thinking they might have access to the Secret in some form or another.
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Old 09-08-2017, 09:20 AM   #442
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The Prince is an entertaining read. I wouldn't quite call it satire... it pretends to be a how-to guide but in the end tries to subvert the most common mistakes of tyrants -- namely, being so tyrannical that his vassals and people rebel.
"Don't make stupid mistakes" is the very essence of wise council. I mostly recommend Machiavelli over the first two Caesars over time-based translation issues. Much of Julius' ability might have been personal Charisma too.
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Old 09-08-2017, 09:52 AM   #443
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

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Get the Italians Machiavelli rather than the Romans. Give the Germans pretty much anyone in their history besides Bismarck.
Fredrick the great was pretty capable, as I understand it.

But if I was fighting in the wars almost rather Germany gets a competent Bismark than some of the possibilities in there. He may have preached blood and iron, but when you look at it the man understood when not to fight. he engineered three very short wars with fixed objectives and designed a stable Europe that lasted for 40 years -- and it only feel apart when some blockheads decided to disregard the advice he left.

contrast that with a bloodthirsty fool who wants to conquer all of Europe.
---------------------------------------

For a great italy in the mid 1900's, fiddling with WWI may work. If the Italians knock out the Austrians (much more likely if they have different generals), credit for winning the war rests with them, and they're able to make a lot more claims when the war claims are settled.

But really, for a great itally, you've got to start with the economy. And even that might not work, because they did get a good economic leader when the rest of the world was in the dumps and they STILL didn't matter.
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Old 09-08-2017, 11:47 AM   #444
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

Animus is a series of three worldlines where humans do not exist, but spirits do. Especially large trees, mighty rivers, and particularly charismatic mountains are possessed with spirits, and great coral reefs, too, have spirits. The largest group, however, is the animal spirits that dwell within and motivate the lives of the animals.

Most animals larger than a gram or two and non-sessile have some kind of spirit that effectively grants them a level of intelligence, language, and ability to communicate in a common language. These spirits vary, and the relative intelligence of the animal host seems to play a part.

Animus-1 is in 2900 BCE, astronomically, and consists of pristine wilderness populated by what are effectively curiously philosophical critters living otherwise ordinary lives. Lions eat gazelles, orcas eat penguins, and occasionally, the gazelles and penguins complain, but what are you going to do?

Animus-2 is in the same astronomical period, but home to scattered TL-4-verging-on-5 settlements made up of mixed populations of critters. The smaller, more dexterous animals provide skilled labor, and the larger, stronger animals provide protection and food. In the most enlightened groups, large numbers of farmed insects are eaten; in others, the big cats, wolves, and bears simply hunt outsiders, or even raise pigs and sheep.

Animus-3 is a few centuries later, and now is mid-TL6. A global war between the animal kingdoms is brewing....
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Old 09-08-2017, 05:26 PM   #445
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In the most enlightened groups, large numbers of farmed insects are eaten; in others, the big cats, wolves, and bears simply hunt outsiders, or even raise pigs and sheep.
I seriously doubt that hunting could provide enough food for a TL4/5 society; herding has footprint problems too.
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Old 09-08-2017, 05:40 PM   #446
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

You're assuming a human society.

The technicians are those with manipulators, generally small primates, rodents, and birds. They eat plenty of plant food and insects only sparsely supplemented with scraps from the larger carnivores.

The big carnivores just need to support themselves, and can do so with the assistance of the gadgets the technically-capabable individuals can make.

When the bears or the wolves are needed for brute effort, (that is, when oxen aren't available,) that takes some substantial extra energy, but at the same time those carnivores are getting shelter or more servants out of the deal, and long-term, it evens out.

Now, in an industrialized hawk aerie, where it's exclusively carnivores who double as technicians, then things get a little more problematic. The hawks need to be able to support themselves even after sacrificing hunting-hours to some other labor. Generally the only do so when making tools that enable them to get more food for the same effort.

Also, there is some outright magic going on here. Nobody needs to worry about feeding their brain -- it's a kind of ghostly spirit that's bonded to the critter in question.
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Old 09-08-2017, 07:40 PM   #447
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

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Also, there is some outright magic going on here. Nobody needs to worry about feeding their brain -- it's a kind of ghostly spirit that's bonded to the critter in question.
How did someone determine that the animus was bonded to the body, and these weren't worlds like the one shown in the web comic Kevin & Kell?

(I suppose the Cabal could tell the difference, but they aren't big on sharing information.)
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:11 PM   #448
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

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How did someone determine that the animus was bonded to the body, and these weren't worlds like the one shown in the web comic Kevin & Kell?

(I suppose the Cabal could tell the difference, but they aren't big on sharing information.)
Infinity may or may not have learned this yet, and whether they know is irrelevant to the worldbuilding.
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Old 09-08-2017, 11:41 PM   #449
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

In a Doyleist sense, I wanted a way to make it clear these are 100% ordinary animals in every material sense, but still act more like people.
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Old 09-09-2017, 12:26 PM   #450
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

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He went pure dichotomy, either 100% real or 100% fiction for everyone ever? That's odd to say the least.

But making some people real here fictional in parallels would be interesting. I've only ever seen it the other way around.
It would certainly mess with some of the PCs heads, to say nothing of the Players.
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