Steve Jackson Games Forums

Steve Jackson Games Forums (http://forums.sjgames.com/index.php)
-   GURPS (http://forums.sjgames.com/forumdisplay.php?f=13)
-   -   Infinite Worlds Timeline (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=7920)

quarkstomper 08-27-2005 04:32 PM

Infinite Worlds Timeline
 
I'm in the process of putting together an Infinite Worlds campaign and was curious about the history of Homeline, in order to get background material for Homeline characters.

As I understand it, Homeline is pretty much identical to our world up to 1995 when Paul Van Zandt invents parachronic travel. In 1998 he goes public and establishes Infinity Unlimited. The campaign is set in the early 21st Century. I'm not finding the exact date in the IW chapter of the Basic Campaigns book, but the old GURPS Time Travels suppliment it originally appeared in set Homeline in 2015.

I don't have the 4e GURPS Infinite Worlds sourcebook, and for all I know the answers to my questions might be there, but I'm curious as to the history of Homeworld between the discovery of parachronic travel and the (gametime) present day.

How did the fact of cross-dimensional travel affect Homeline's society, politics and policies? How did Homeline's history in the decade following Van Zandt's discovery diverge from our own history in the past ten years?

I hope I don't start a political argument, (probably unavoidable, since most of my own conjectures on this question are political), but I'd like to know if anything has been established.

thastygliax 08-27-2005 09:03 PM

Re: Infinite Worlds Timeline
 
The IW book doesn't offer a lot in the way of specific dates for Homeline events, but does mention several ways that parachronics has had an impact on Homeline society (increased influence of the UN; higher standard of living due to increased resources; widespread availability of entertainment media that "never happened" in Homeline; etc.).

The hard and fast dates tend to be scattered through the text a bit--such as when certain timelines were discovered, which can be found in those timelines' profiles. Most of the dates that are important enough to be pinned down involve either 1) the emergence of parachronics or 2) the history of contact with Centrum and Reich-5.

Captain-Captain 08-27-2005 10:46 PM

Re: Infinite Worlds Timeline
 
The IW book doesn't really deal with that era much. It details an active cross time hopping society and posits a people ready to jump into the buisness with both feet. Think of a dot.com stock boom hat really produced base profits so there is not bubble waiting to burst.

It just is. If you look at the percentage of Johnson's Rome's Europe that Johnson's Rome's tourist buisness owns, it could PAY every single one of it's customers to max out their services and still make obscene profits. And Johnson's Rome isn't close to White Star Trading or other big crosstime industries.

With huge profits coming in, population density dropping as empty worlds are colonized, polluting industries moved to worlds that can handle it and so on, most of Homeline's populace is too busy doing to be thinking much about the recent past and ramifications of Crosstime travel.

If you want details and backstory for 1998-2014, it's pretty much open territory for you to fill out. From a gaming perspective, the campaign is more about hopping from this world to that, foiling Centrum plots and hindering Reich 5. Any set of events and reactions that brings Homeline 1997 to Homeline as presented, so long as they meet YOUR standards of credibility will suit your needs here.

quarkstomper 08-28-2005 10:04 AM

Re: Infinite Worlds Timeline
 
I have difficulty seeing our current Administration being happy with a stronger UN, and would suspect it would try to undermine Infinity Unlimited or rewrite the charter to give the US more control.

On the other hand, since the resources of an infinite number of worlds would provide such benefit to Corporate America, to the economy and to the country as a whole, I'm sure most conservatives would support parachronic travel, even if it meant concessions to the UN.

On the third hand, would our current administration even exist in Homeline? The unveiling of such a big scientific discovery in 1998 would definitely make parachronic travel a campaign issue in 2000; it just might give Gore a "Nerd boost" to put him over the top. Or the Republicans might decide to nominate a candidate with a more tech-savvy image.

Then there's the whole question of if there was an Iraq Invasion in Homeline, but I'm not sure if I want to even go into that territory...

AOTA 08-28-2005 04:12 PM

Re: Infinite Worlds Timeline
 
Well since the need for resources has been pretty much eliminated by cross world travel they really werenít much of a need to support one side or another here on Homeline. I see USA and lots of other countries pulling out of trouble spots and letting them to their own devices. Itís much easier to get the oil or whatever you need from an empty world than working with pesky natives. I see any nation that could jumping at the chance to move some of its trouble makers or more independent minded people out of their hair and allowed to live their own way away form the Homeline.

quarkstomper 08-28-2005 06:44 PM

Re: Infinite Worlds Timeline
 
Going off-topic on my own thread.

I ran the first game of my Infinite Worlds campaign today. The team's mission was to find a tourist who has gone AWOL from a Time Tours trip to a Beatles concert in a 1963 echo. It turns out the guy was a conspiracy nut who wants to witness the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The teams mission was to bring the tourist back and keep him from either meddling in local events or getting in the way of the historical researchers already there to observe history in the making.

The complication is that our tourist has discovered that in this echo Lee Harvey Oswald died in a childhood accident. Yet someone claiming to be Oswald is working at the Texas School Book Depository.

The historians have also discovered the lack of an Oswald in this world, and so have decided to meddle themselves, inserting a faux Oswald into the scenario. When the tourist showed up, they realized they had to take him out to keep him from spoiling the experiment. And then when the players showed up...

The game went pretty well. It was rough in a couple places where I hadn't planned quite as thoroughly as I thought I had, but the players all enjoyed it.

Now for the next game...

Captain-Captain 08-28-2005 07:49 PM

Re: Infinite Worlds Timeline
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by quarkstomper
I have difficulty seeing our current Administration being happy with a stronger UN, and would suspect it would try to undermine Infinity Unlimited or rewrite the charter to give the US more control.

On the other hand, since the resources of an infinite number of worlds would provide such benefit to Corporate America, to the economy and to the country as a whole, I'm sure most conservatives would support parachronic travel, even if it meant concessions to the UN.

On the third hand, would our current administration even exist in Homeline? The unveiling of such a big scientific discovery in 1998 would definitely make parachronic travel a campaign issue in 2000; it just might give Gore a "Nerd boost" to put him over the top. Or the Republicans might decide to nominate a candidate with a more tech-savvy image.

Then there's the whole question of if there was an Iraq Invasion in Homeline, but I'm not sure if I want to even go into that territory...

It's quite possible that the Bush campaign may have misstepped because of crosstime travel. I'm thinking of a stem cell parallel goof here. Supposing the Religious right component of Bush's base initially opposed Infinity on what would later be almost universally viewed as superstitious nonsense, namely that this would gate open the doors and let demonic armies attack. And then Governor Bush made some particularly silly comment at that time which came back to haunt him, particularly haunt him in Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Florida to be specific.

Even without that, Infinity would have really boosted the then booming economy of the late Clinton years. Really strong economies tend to help incumbants and heir apparents.

However, the Iraq invasion seems to indicate Bush in office, period. I tend to believe Clarke, O'Neil and the Downing Street minutes. This administration and likely only this administration would have targeted Iraq with the evidence (or 'evidence') at hand.

Also, even if it was in power in Homeline's 2001-2009 terms, there is only a limited amount of things they can do if a private company contracts through the UN and the deal makes the UN financially independent.

Captain-Captain 08-28-2005 07:58 PM

Re: Infinite Worlds Timeline
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by quarkstomper
Going off-topic on my own thread.

I ran the first game of my Infinite Worlds campaign today. The team's mission was to find a tourist who has gone AWOL from a Time Tours trip to a Beatles concert in a 1963 echo. It turns out the guy was a conspiracy nut who wants to witness the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The teams mission was to bring the tourist back and keep him from either meddling in local events or getting in the way of the historical researchers already there to observe history in the making.

The complication is that our tourist has discovered that in this echo Lee Harvey Oswald died in a childhood accident. Yet someone claiming to be Oswald is working at the Texas School Book Depository.

The historians have also discovered the lack of an Oswald in this world, and so have decided to meddle themselves, inserting a faux Oswald into the scenario. When the tourist showed up, they realized they had to take him out to keep him from spoiling the experiment. And then when the players showed up...

The game went pretty well. It was rough in a couple places where I hadn't planned quite as thoroughly as I thought I had, but the players all enjoyed it.

Now for the next game...

Question: What year did the historians insert their Oswald? Oswald's defection to the Soviet Union certainly got him a heavy look see by the FBI. They would have had to establish a paper trail for their guy fairly early in the game to survive that level of scrutiny.

Pesterfield 08-28-2005 08:27 PM

Re: Infinite Worlds Timeline
 
How well did the researchers cover their tracks? Considering his Soviet connections I'm surprised the idea of it being a KGB operation weren't taken more seriously, with evidence of multiple people involved it might be.

Ed the Coastie 08-28-2005 08:47 PM

Re: Infinite Worlds Timeline
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by quarkstomper
The unveiling of such a big scientific discovery in 1998 would definitely make parachronic travel a campaign issue in 2000; it just might give Gore a "Nerd boost" to put him over the top.

I think it probably would. The 2000 election was a pretty close thing, and Gore's "Nerd boost" would certainly have propelled him into the presidency.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain-Captain
...the Iraq invasion seems to indicate Bush in office, period...This administration and likely only this administration would have targeted Iraq with the evidence (or 'evidence') at hand.

Regardless of who was in the White House, I think that the attacks of September 11 2001 would still have likely occured even on Homeline -- the discovery of alternate timelines would not have ended the specter of terrorism. Whether or not this would have ultimately resulted in an invasion of Iraq is a matter of personal belief, but a few thoughts do come to mind:

1) Saddam Hussain was actively interested in acquiring WMDs (nuclear or otherwise). It was well-known that he would have used them if he possessed them.

2) Economic sanctions don't work very well in a world where resources such as food, medicine, and oil are available through the use of parachronic technology. And if such resources are readily available, so are other things...such a the afore-mentioned WMDs.

3) Saddam Hussain had no reason to turn Osama bin Laden over to the Americans even in our own world. On Homeline, he would have been able to sneer at the threats of economic sanctions...and could very possibly have backed the sneering up with threats to use WMDs that he could very well have had.

Just my thoughts...I really don't want to get into a political arguement here.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:06 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.