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Old 11-02-2017, 10:51 AM   #41
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: Centrum Light, Homeline Dark.

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
I wonder how long a society could keep up this belief? After a very short time it should become quite clear to everyone that each reality is just another place to go, and the people who live there are just foreigners. In theory, Infinity and Centrum should have the same sort of relations as, say, the US and Russia: ideologically far apart, plenty of political, economic, and military tension, but there is no serious thought that the people of the other country aren't actually human beings.

I could see the "not real people" argument lingering around the echoes and close parallels, but not otherwise.
People seem to treat treat distant foreigners as 'not real people' in all the ways that matter quite easily.
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Old 11-02-2017, 12:23 PM   #42
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Default Re: Centrum Light, Homeline Dark.

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I wonder how long a society could keep up this belief?
Based on the history of enslaving and killing foreigners, particularly different-looking foreigners, quite a long time.
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Old 11-02-2017, 12:44 PM   #43
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Default Re: Centrum Light, Homeline Dark.

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
People seem to treat treat distant foreigners as 'not real people' in all the ways that matter quite easily.
Which just proves my point. There is nothing about the Centrum/Homeline relationship that isn't exactly like two culturally different but technologically equal countries, and it's just not realistic that you won't have the kind of complex relationships that real, adversarial countries have. They're not enemies because they're "realityists"; they're enemies because they have political and economic conflicts. "Realityism" is just an excuse to push their agendas.

Think of them as France and England during the age of colonialism. The non-European people they each exploit are just things to them, but between each other they have complex relationships, even while being enemies.
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Old 11-02-2017, 12:46 PM   #44
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Centrum Light, Homeline Dark.

An interesting alternative world for both Homeline and Centrum to discover would be a parallel where the Central Powers won the First World War because Wilson never became president of the USA (which would have ironically been a net positive for American non-whites, as civil rights might have happen twenty years earlier). Since Germany and Ottoman Turkey would have likely taken the most damage, the Austrian-Hungarian Empire would have likely become the dominant power in Europe. If the ascendant Austrian-Hungarian Empire discovered paratronic physics a few decades later, then you would have a competitor that sought to create a trans-dimensional empire where every member was an equal citizen under the rule of the Emperor and by the time that Homeline and Centrum encountered them fifty years later, the Empire could contain hundreds of Earths.

Imagine Homeline or Centrum reaction if the found such a polity already in control of hundreds of Earths and expanding through hundreds of Sol Systems. The wealth of that society could be staggering, making Homeline and Centrum seem pitiful by comparison. The trans-dimensional Empire would likely consider Homeline and Centrum to be amateurs who are wasting opportunities through maintaining the Secret.

Last edited by AlexanderHowl; 11-02-2017 at 12:58 PM. Reason: Name correction
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Old 11-02-2017, 01:00 PM   #45
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Centrum Light, Homeline Dark.

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
They're enemies, because they each consider only their reality's citizens actual people. And they have the power to attack each other's home reality, something no other main organization/planet/etc. can.
No. They aren't. They're enemies because Centrum regards the chaotic multipolar structure of Homeline as a recipe for armageddon and the mere existence of any other reality traveling culture with weapons of mass destruction as a threat that Centrum will be destroyed. It doesn't matter whether they are "real people" or not. It matters whether the nukes are real. If I were a Centrum bigwig, then my suspicion would be that Homeline got reality travel just in time to avert their self destruction...as happened on so many Hellworlds, and what's keeping them from self-destructing is that reality travel made them aware of Centrum, giving them an outside threat to give them a bit of temporary unity. Once they destroy Centrum or are flung away from contact with a credible external threat, I expect them to turn on each other. As for inhabitants of the other realities the only thing that is wrong with them is that they haven't been raised in the perfect rationality of Centrum, but some day their descendants will be.
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Old 11-02-2017, 01:23 PM   #46
transmetahuman
 
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Default Re: Centrum Light, Homeline Dark.

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Originally Posted by Apollonian View Post
I think you could also get a reasonable game out of Centrum/Homeline Dark, Interworld Service/Infinity Patrol Light setup. Centrum is an almost-dystopian technocratic collectivist regime; Homeline is a collection of selfish, exploitative agents out to ravage the infinite worlds for their own benefit. Caught between them are the two crosstime agencies, who often find they have more in common with each other than with their masters in the home timeline. Interworld Services agents develop a knack for individual initiative out of necessity, one that's suppressed on Centrum; Patrolmen learn respect for the outtimers that their homeline considers non-persons. And so on.

You could play it a bit comic, like Terry Pratchett's Small Gods; most of the campaign centers around dealing with a common foe like Reich-5 or the Cabal, with regular bits where the crosstime agents have to pull the wool over the eyes of officious inspectors or crooks from back home. Or you could go with something more deeply political and ambiguous, using the agencies to highlight what's good about their home cultures while critiquing the cultures themselves.
I love this. You could have a game with two PCs where each was from a different agency, on long-term assignment as experts in one of the weirder worlds (or set of worlds, linked by nature or circumstance) set in the quantum overlap between territories... with perhaps another PC Cabalist, and/or a talented local, and/or teams of two depending on your player count.

Maybe they already know and cautiously respect each other from a long history in dealing with the weirdness/world(s). Maybe they're strangers, and circumstances throw them into a situation where they *have* to work together, and they learn a lot of (player-created/embellished?) details about the "enemy" culture while the GM handles the current setting.

Maybe their expanding worldviews trigger enough dissatisfaction with their nominal home cultures that it plants the seeds of rebellion? Maybe *they* and their comrades will become the seed of that third parachronic faction that vicky_molokh wants to see in the material, uniting (some of) the outworlds and revealing the Secret, preventing exploitation and manipulation by the major powers.

Last edited by transmetahuman; 11-02-2017 at 01:27 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 11-02-2017, 02:22 PM   #47
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Default Re: Centrum Light, Homeline Dark.

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
Which just proves my point. There is nothing about the Centrum/Homeline relationship that isn't exactly like two culturally different but technologically equal countries, and it's just not realistic that you won't have the kind of complex relationships that real, adversarial countries have. They're not enemies because they're "realityists"; they're enemies because they have political and economic conflicts. "Realityism" is just an excuse to push their agendas.

Think of them as France and England during the age of colonialism. The non-European people they each exploit are just things to them, but between each other they have complex relationships, even while being enemies.
Think of them as Bloods and Crips during the 90s. They're technologically equal. They're even culturally similar. To outsiders it seems like it'd make sense for them to band together and build each other up.

But it's so easy for people to distrust and hate The Other, and feel that they can't be safe while the Other is around.
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Old 11-02-2017, 03:17 PM   #48
fchase8
 
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Default Re: Centrum Light, Homeline Dark.

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
No. They aren't. They're enemies because Centrum regards the chaotic multipolar structure of Homeline as a recipe for armageddon and the mere existence of any other reality traveling culture with weapons of mass destruction as a threat that Centrum will be destroyed. It doesn't matter whether they are "real people" or not. It matters whether the nukes are real. If I were a Centrum bigwig, then my suspicion would be that Homeline got reality travel just in time to avert their self destruction...as happened on so many Hellworlds, and what's keeping them from self-destructing is that reality travel made them aware of Centrum, giving them an outside threat to give them a bit of temporary unity. Once they destroy Centrum or are flung away from contact with a credible external threat, I expect them to turn on each other. As for inhabitants of the other realities the only thing that is wrong with them is that they haven't been raised in the perfect rationality of Centrum, but some day their descendants will be.
And Infinity likely believes that Centrum has only prevented becoming an ossified bureaucracy-dictatorship is because of it's invention of parachronics.

Both parallels likely look at the other as 'would have turned bad if not for parachronics'.



One aspect of the Homeline/Centrum relationship is that, for the most part, there simply isn't one. There's no embassies, no formal contact, no visiting the other, and any defectors are kept very secret. Even at the height of the Cold War, or European 19th century rivalries, opposing states had lots of contacts and knew a lot about each other.

To put it another way: real world America has more actual contact with North Korea than Homeline and Centrum have with each other.

The only information most citizens on both worlds have about the other is what is released by the parachronic security agencies, Infinity & Interworld. And even their information is patchy and suspect, not to mention easily manipulated.

And then throw in parachronic technology, which makes nuclear tech look like safety scissors in terms of a threat.

Oh, and their shared history ended a thousand years ago...



A Centrum Light/Homeline Dark campaign could be done without major changes, with Interworld PCs, just by keeping in mind how little the two sides know about each other (which would require the players suspending their own knowledge of Homeline).

Just have the Interworld PCs be carrying out a well-thought out plan to uplift a parallel (ending chaos, prejudice, inequality), and have I-Cop NPCs opposing them in the name of liberty to hurt others, the rich's property rights, and Secundus' right to interfere. And throw in some exploitative Secundus corporation, maybe Secundans sympathetic to odious regimes from their history.
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Old 11-02-2017, 03:56 PM   #49
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Centrum Light, Homeline Dark.

What would a planned uplift look like? I imagine that Centrum would want to reduce the threats of ecological devastation, economic inequality, global climate change, mass overpopulation, etc in reduce the incentives for developing paratronics. I would also think that they would quietly encourage the development of space exploration technology among advanced worlds so that they look outwards towards the stars rather than look inwards towards parallel worlds. Other than that, I really do not know.
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Old 11-03-2017, 04:48 AM   #50
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: Centrum Light, Homeline Dark.

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
Which just proves my point. There is nothing about the Centrum/Homeline relationship that isn't exactly like two culturally different but technologically equal countries, and it's just not realistic that you won't have the kind of complex relationships that real, adversarial countries have. They're not enemies because they're "realityists"; they're enemies because they have political and economic conflicts. "Realityism" is just an excuse to push their agendas.

Think of them as France and England during the age of colonialism. The non-European people they each exploit are just things to them, but between each other they have complex relationships, even while being enemies.
Not seeing them as people in ways that matter (e.g. in terms of their right to life) is what changes from thinking "I have this agenda, we need to make it work together" to thinking "I have this agenda; if killing those others enables me to get closer to my agenda, let's do this". One wouldn't wage a war with killings and stealings and lying if one were to treat the other side as persons who have the same rights to life and property and truth as 'the real people'.
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