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SilvercatMoonpaw 07-09-2018 03:17 PM

Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds
So we have multiple threads for seeds of alternate timelines and weird parallels for use in playing in canon IW.

But what about different versions of the meta-setting? You know: one where Centrum are the Good Guys (one where there are definite Good and Bad Guys, for that matter), ones in which Infinity freely shares parachronic travel with worldlines it trusts (which may or may not lead to a parachronic war with someone because obviously), or one in which Homeline didn't invent the tech on its own but was gifted it by friendly interquantum aliens so it can join the Parachronic community and, oh, by the way, this now means you're considered a target by the Evil Empire 'kaywelcomebye!

UPDATE: If you simply want to create a different version of Infinity Unlimited you might be better off in the Alternate Crosstime Organizations thread

1) First Chrontact

Homeline develops and uses parachronics for the first time and finds out that there is an entire community of parachronic-using worlds sharing knowledge and resources. Homeline is the new kid on the block, vulnerable to every 2-bit con-artist and cape-sporting conqueror. Do they ally themselves with one of the larger, seemingly-benevolent powers? Do they try to go it alone by stealing advanced tech and playing sides off each other?
(Concept: The canon IW assumes Homeline is top dog, with only Centrum as a rival. This meta-setting inverts that.)

ericthered 07-09-2018 03:36 PM

Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds
This is an awesome idea. It has some overlap with Alternate Crosstime Organizations, but I thinks its separate enough to be its own thing, because it lets you mess around with Homeline.

My first entry is not my own, but that of the GM who taught me how to play GURPS. Worlds of Fire was the name of my first campaign.

2) Worlds of Fire

The worlds form a network: each world is only connected to a few dozen others. They were quite varied.The setting featured high technology and high magic. The players were relatively low powered compared to some of the techno-magical our allies were capable of.

The good guys were an alliance of "The powers that be", including an assortment of deities and multi-world powers. The bad guys were the Blazen, an ultimately technological foe intent on collecting other universes to slow the heat death of their own. They had mind control technology that allowed them to gut a victims mind and use it for their own purpose. They could only mind control "Aggressive Minorities", and I think the tech they were using could only target humans. If they got enough they'd get together for a ritual and absorb the universe into their own.

The PC's were important because they could act subtly among the target worlds, unlike their patrons and sponsors. Disruption could easily strengthen the blazen's ability to invade minds. They also seemed to require some set-up to target a group: we once blocked them by making the target group the majority instead of a minority.

AlexanderHowl 07-09-2018 04:31 PM

Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds
I have toyed with using networks of worlds where the portals of each world only connect to twelve other worlds (with each type of portal associated with each zodiacal constellation). Portals would only function during the appropriate zodiacal times, only when opened by the appropriate zodiacal rituals, and could only be sensed by people that shared their zodiacal signs. I have not fully developed it yet though.

SilvercatMoonpaw 07-09-2018 04:45 PM

Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds
3) Para-Cosm-ics

Inspired by TORG*, in this version parachronic travel causes the conveyor an everything in it to "translate" to a version acceptable to the general "theme" of the new world. If the new world contains no humans then Homeliners become whatever the nearest local equivalent would be (it is unknown if travel to a world with nothing sapient is possible for humans). Strangely this often comes with just enough instinct and Cultural Familiarity to function reasonably well**. All technology changes to an equivalent that would be craftable by the highest TL society on that world with materials that society has access to***, though always retaining parachronic capability. If local physics wouldn't allow something to exist it translates to something that local physics would. What does remain unchanged is conscious knowledge: your knowledge of history doesn't change to match local, you still know how stuff at your home TL works and could build it if possible locally, etc.

I can see this version of IW having less large-scale exploiting going on: without being able to bring over starter equipment it's probably too expensive to mine free resources on a caveman world (you certainly can't film historical battles). Also Infinity will have to deal with the natives on closer, perhaps equal terms: unless you translate into some kind of low-TL area of a higher-TL world your team probably can't just machine-gun through a squad of knights. It would probably be a boon to research and spy games, particularly on worlds with beings humans could disguise themselves as. You can still steal knowledge after all.

EDIT: Forgot to address World Jumpers and magic: same deal, with even powers and spells changing to suit the "theme" (while still retaining parachronic functionality).

*Well, actually Equestria Girls, then modified by thinking about TORG.
**I.e. you don't have to relearn how to walk, and if you translate from Homeline to a world where the beings don't wear clothes you might notice you and others are naked, but it won't bother you.
***And yes, you can use this to detect hidden advanced civilizations.

SilvercatMoonpaw 07-09-2018 05:37 PM

Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds
4) Dungeons and Parachronics

Other worlds can be accessed by going "underground" though special transitional realms that often look like caverns or man-made structures. These "dungeons" periodically spawn hostile pseudo-material animals, sophonts, and mindless hazards, which have to be cleared out to allow traffic through. Somehow these challenges are always around equal to the group doing the clearing (so no just blowing up the pseudo-Medieval orcs with a grenade). Fortunately the remains of the challenges can often be turned into something valuable.

SilvercatMoonpaw 07-09-2018 06:11 PM

Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds
5) Alien Earths

Parachronics gets super-messed-up by a certain closeness to planetary gravity, so conveyors can only function in space. Fortunately they have a higher weight limit, meaning you can make yourself a world-jumping space-ship. This is basically a standard space-sci-fi series, only it finally makes sense why all the planets are Earth-like and all the aliens are funny-looking humans.

ericthered 07-10-2018 01:30 PM

Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds
6) Greater Homeline

This is a "Soft" set of changes to infinity:

Homeline has embraced Parachronic travel as a way of life. Bulk transportation of raw materials, including wheat, is economical, and several dozen worlds have infrastructure. Some are mining grounds, some agricultural, some just for dumping waste. This version of home line is exceptionally rich, particularly in raw resources and energy.

Parachronic travel is industrialized: one world, Freight, is almost entirely covered in water but has lots of shallow seas, and is used a break and bulk point. "Chronoports" handle large volumes of people back and forth. The patrol has conveyors attached to satellites for surveying new worlds and for communicating.

The worlds emphasized tend to be highly divergent high tech parallels, empty worlds with alien environments (or at least evolution), Hell worlds, and echoes. Magic, Psi, super-science, and places like rustic are somewhere between unknown and non-existent. Activity on them tends to be for espionage or exploitation.

The Infinity war is a good deal less hot. Centrum and Homeline have ways to talk to each other and occasionally work together, though they are both very suspicious of the other. They still compete to control some of the lower tech worlds, but especially to steal technology from other worlds.

The great powers of homeline have a bit of a stronger grasp on the patrol, and do claim some (but not all) areas outside of homeline. The Patrol is MUCH MUCH larger, but has a good deal more work to do.

SilvercatMoonpaw 07-10-2018 02:18 PM

Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds
7) Parachronic-Punk

Let's take the "power corrupts" aspect of parachronics, dial it up to 10*, and insert the PCs into an unenviable social strata.

Some group of oligarchs (governments, corporations, cults masquerading as religions with hair-trigger lawyers, etc) managed to restrict parachronics and the benefits and profits of it to themselves. Everyone else gets their scraps. Sure it's probably implausible**, but who doesn't love Sticking It To The Man?

*I'm working with modern premises that dystopias the protagonists can fix in their time, rather than earlier ones like 1984 where the protagonist just exists to get crushed.
**By which I mean I don't know enough dystopiopology to make a guess.

8) Parachronic Rebels

Homeline has all the firepower, and none of the other lines have more than mid-19th century war tech. Also we dialed "power corrupts" up to 10. Time to conquer.

This is basically #7 without The Secret and maybe with nobler protagonists.

thrash 07-10-2018 02:20 PM

Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

Originally Posted by SilvercatMoonpaw (Post 2190253)
5) Alien Earths

I'm happy to see someone else come up with this as well.

I wrote an article for the online Journal of the Traveller's Aid Society ("Time Traveller," 2007) that was a cross-over between GURPS Infinite Worlds and GURPS Traveller: Interstellar Wars. Now I use the concept for my Traveller-inspired home brew campaign, Picaresque.

As you note, it makes sense of some fairly common science fiction tropes. It takes a not-inconsiderable amount of work, though, if you're bringing all your timelines up to a consistent present. Most "hey, look at the dinosaurs!" approaches don't ask what they would look like with 66 million additional years of non-catastrophic evolution.

SilvercatMoonpaw 07-10-2018 02:31 PM

Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

Originally Posted by thrash (Post 2190615)
It takes a not-inconsiderable amount of work, though, if you're bringing all your timelines up to a consistent present. Most "hey, look at the dinosaurs!" approaches don't ask what they would look like with 66 million additional years of non-catastrophic evolution.

Don't see why you'd need to bring everything to present: planet of dinosaurs is certainly a trope in things like Planetary Romance about Venus.

Biggest difficulty might be in justifying weird human features in case you really need some green-skinned alien space-babes.

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