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Old 01-22-2016, 11:21 AM   #1561
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
OK, sorry to be a 'stop having fun' guy, but let's not hand the Great Powers (or Pakistan) the idiot ball.

'some details on superconductivity' (per the earlier post), even if you add a few working examples of the technology, does not equal instant access to large numbers of irresistible weapons. It's unlikely to equal even particularly fast access to small numbers of irresistible weapons. It is a game-changing scientific advance, but one that it would be massively difficult to keep out of the hands of other nations, especially those for whom good spies are vital, if you want to use the knowledge, rather than burying it. This is especially true if the aliens visited openly, as was implied earlier.

It would be a big advantage for those nations, but not nearly to the point of shifting the balance of power to the degree you suggest.
I never said that they got the whole enchilada of superconductivity. They get important details. It's not until the 1980's these details pay off in seriously useful technological advances.

It more about the transformed worldview than anything else.
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Old 01-22-2016, 11:52 AM   #1562
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Having just read The Richest Man Who ever Lived which is about Jakob Fugger the modern world's first true Plutocrat, I've got some ideas.

First, on any Echo going through the late 15th century, Fugger would be a key Centrum target. In most world's gaining control of the world's first Plutocrat, the man who PROVED that "He who has the Gold makes the Rules!" would be a major Centrum goal. Either that or killing him. Either way Jakob Fugger made the Hapsburgs. Get rid of Fugger and history goes wild. No Habsburgs completely rewrites German history is radically unpredictable ways. And Fugger bankrolled the Habsburgs at several key points and refused to bankroll them at even more key points.

Some possible change points. Jakob Fugger got the pope to cancel/modify the Church's objections to Usury. Modern Capitalism was in many ways midwifed by Fugger.

Emperor Maximilian I was held back from the conquest of Italy by Fugger's delaying finances at key times. Change that and Italy in the late 15th century is unified under Austria, a massive change.

Maximilian I also wanted to be the Pope! Fugger simply ignored the whole thing and the idea went away. But if Julius II had died when Maximilian thought he would, instead of two years later, the simple act of Maximilian trying for the Papacy would have caused a European wide war. Maximilian getting the Papacy would have been more traumatic than the Protestant reformation. The Catholic church could have dissolved.
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Old 01-22-2016, 05:39 PM   #1563
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Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
I never said that they got the whole enchilada of superconductivity. They get important details. It's not until the 1980's these details pay off in seriously useful technological advances.

It more about the transformed worldview than anything else.
Could the alien tech require rare earths - rare earths only found in Brazil, India, and South Africa? That way America and others would have a lot more trouble copying the alien tech.

This would, of course, require that the rare earths the aliens were after were only found in those areas, which might not be geologically correct.
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Old 01-22-2016, 05:46 PM   #1564
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Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
Having just read The Richest Man Who ever Lived which is about Jakob Fugger the modern world's first true Plutocrat, I've got some ideas.

First, on any Echo going through the late 15th century, Fugger would be a key Centrum target. In most world's gaining control of the world's first Plutocrat, the man who PROVED that "He who has the Gold makes the Rules!" would be a major Centrum goal. Either that or killing him. Either way Jakob Fugger made the Hapsburgs. Get rid of Fugger and history goes wild. No Habsburgs completely rewrites German history is radically unpredictable ways. And Fugger bankrolled the Habsburgs at several key points and refused to bankroll them at even more key points.

Some possible change points. Jakob Fugger got the pope to cancel/modify the Church's objections to Usury. Modern Capitalism was in many ways midwifed by Fugger.

Emperor Maximilian I was held back from the conquest of Italy by Fugger's delaying finances at key times. Change that and Italy in the late 15th century is unified under Austria, a massive change.

Maximilian I also wanted to be the Pope! Fugger simply ignored the whole thing and the idea went away. But if Julius II had died when Maximilian thought he would, instead of two years later, the simple act of Maximilian trying for the Papacy would have caused a European wide war. Maximilian getting the Papacy would have been more traumatic than the Protestant reformation. The Catholic church could have dissolved.
Those kind of characters are under-reported in history, with all of the focus on monarchs & popes. Centrum would be interested in such a 'backroom' character.

Though I always wonder how much of Homeline history Centrum knows (post-White Ship). They might not be able to learn about a backroom figure like Fugger.
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Old 01-22-2016, 06:43 PM   #1565
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Though I always wonder how much of Homeline history Centrum knows (post-White Ship). They might not be able to learn about a backroom figure like Fugger.
They've had teams spend a lot of time on echoes of Homeline. They'll have picked up history books.
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Old 01-22-2016, 10:07 PM   #1566
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They've had teams spend a lot of time on echoes of Homeline. They'll have picked up history books.
Yeah, but there are still aspects of history that aren't well known about. It took this recent book to make Fugger to be widely known.

Would Centrum have access to close parallels of Homeline, where parachronics was never discovered (i.e., our real world)? Or would those timeline all be on Quantum 5?

What if Centrum believes in outmoded historical theories? Like they picked up history books in the nineteen-fifties and believed in the 'great man theory' of history, and that slavery in America was just a 'peculiar institution'? Or they picked up ones in the seventies and believed all the anti-American, anti-Western, anti-European New Left historical books? It'd all be alien to Centrum.


If one wanted to do an adventure on Homeline, what about trying to track down Centran agents who are researching Homeline's own historical analysis? History would presumably be a huge subject on Homeline, with analysis widespread and easy to find. But these would be top-level Centran agents, if they were able to make it to Homeline (Centran agents have done it before - Infinity first discovered Centrum when they found an agent in their high security labs).

The whole field of history would be so different on Homeline. Not just how important it would be in parachronics, and thus in everything from money-making to popular culture, but researchers could go to echoes to do field work, even parallels. A book liked the one on Fugger would be widely known, and probably would have come out sooner.
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Old 01-23-2016, 12:48 AM   #1567
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I never said that they got the whole enchilada of superconductivity. They get important details. It's not until the 1980's these details pay off in seriously useful technological advances.

It more about the transformed worldview than anything else.
Why do the aliens bother coming to Earth in the first place? For the reasons stated above I don't think they are coming here only for the rare earths. They must need human help, somehow.

In the spectrum of possible timelines for an alien ship, lets say on most the ship just flies on past. In a few the unlikely event happens that the ship suffers some sort of disaster. Many crew are killed and they need rare earths to repair. They can get the elements anywhere, but they don't have the right equipment and/or enough manpower to do the bulk of the work. They happen to see Earth, full of primitive but dangerous natives.

On some timelines they just land, enslave the locals, fight off the natives that try to free their labour force and then fly away, leaving nothing but hard feelings and probably a lot of dead humans. This ship either didn't suffer that much damage and/or the crew had inhuman ethics.

A somewhat more damaged ship means they want to cooperate with the locals, but still aren't too afraid of retaliation. They know the natives have missiles and nuclear warheads, but they can shoot them down a long way off. They still need the help so they drop in on the most tech advanced, trade some beads (superconductivity) for the ores but not much else. This is the timeline originally proposed.

A very damaged ship means the aliens are afraid those nukes might do real damage. They don't have enough crew or the ship is disabled enough that humans can actually hurt them. So they sneak in certain areas and politely ask for ore in exchange for knowledge. They want to stay away from the nuclear powers as much as possible so they keep to India and Brazil, and maybe South Africa. This is the variant timeline I proposed.

A third scenario suggests itself: A severely damaged ship crash lands on Earth. Say they wanted to be close to the big deposits but still wanted to try to keep away from the nuclear powers so its India. Some aliens survive the crash but are wary of the humans, so without cooperation the British are able to take negotiations from the local Indians. There is no way this ship is ever leaving Earth again, the humans just can't help and the aliens can't fix it. The British keep it as secret as they can, but it isn't long before the rest of the world knows they have pet aliens.

The British become the heirs to the glorious secrets of alien tech. They use their advantage to dominate the West economically and later politically. The Communist countries and India demand access but are rebuffed. WWIII begins, a few cities are nuked, but alien tech and economics makes the war short and one sided. Britain and the US win. The aliens are treated well, as long as they cooperate, but are not allowed to build a signalling device. The Brits know a good thing when they see it and don't want their goose that lays the golden eggs to fly off.
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Old 01-23-2016, 01:24 AM   #1568
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I read Dangerous Games a while back. It posits that the "satanic" craze over RPGs was in fact connected to, among other things, a philosophical failure to acknowledge the fictional as meaningful (in turn a emergent quality of the fundamentalist, literalist religious movement), combined with a broad fear of the new generation that was increasingly alien.

Let's throw out all that philosophical garbage and have a setting where RPGs are literally a recruitment tool of Satan! Video games, too, of course. And since we're at it, Pot was the devil's tobacco all along!

The year: 1988. For a decade now, the forces of evil have been experimenting, growing strong. Now, they strike!

A core of young cultists, none older than their mid '20s, has infiltrated governments and organizations around the world. Most alarming of all, they have (demon-gifted) magical abilities.

If you want to tie it into the larger setting, the demons are cabalistic invaders from a neighboring worldline, but this isn't obvious. Infinity and Centrum are interested in studying how an apparently no-mana worldline has a major magical insurrection in progress.

The goals of the movement vary. At the most trivial, new recruits are enticed with petty rewards, such as vengeance against schoolyard rivals. Amongst the cult, those that show promise are selected to advance their training in the dark arts; generally about one in six recruits becomes the master of that local party, while the rest remain lay members with no significant powers. If they are suckerd in through RPGs, they tend to recieve outright magic; if it's video games, supernatural combat skills.

These advanced initiates, or "Dungeon Masters," generally seek to gain further powers, either for the joy of advancement or to achieve concrete goals, such as establishing a communist state and/or destroying technological civilization (pursuant to a "revival of nature"), one of the most widespread motivations.

Above the level of local parties, the cult has only vague power tiers. trivial Masters are subservient to the next level, and so on, each tier representing a fraction of the population of the lower and being endowed with both more power and more responsibilities. Most infiltrators are of these intermediate levels.

The highest mortal members of the cult are senior Masters and the Writers that produce the texts used to initiate new members; these figures are the primary plotters and dictate orders to the lower cells (including the hippie-communist-druggie ideology). They maintain an image of respectability even as they perform the gruesome human sacrifices needed to write each new sourcebook.

Above even the Writers are the extradementional demons, waiting in the netherrealms. They have, among other things, Thaumatology-16+, Writing(Optional Specialty: Game Design)-18, and Instrument(Fiddle)-12+. They receive sustenance and magical power from sacrifice done in their name by dedicated human followers, and seek to overthrow the existing power structures of hell and the material world at once. There are some half-dozen demon lords running the operation in a loose coalition, but they fully (and openly) intend to betray one another when the time is right. They also have a horde of weak (and infinitely varied) demons. Outside of seeing the cult grow, provide sacrifices, and destroy earthly society, the demons have no particular concerns about what it actually does.

I'm off to find a tongue depressor to see if I can work it out of my cheek.

Last edited by PTTG; 01-23-2016 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 01-23-2016, 02:25 AM   #1569
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Where interworld travel exists there is a world that attracts interworld mishaps. Some but not all interworld navigational critical failures end up here. It is a soft spot, a quantum "low point" where all the flotsam and Jetsam of the multiverse has a chance of ending up. Whatever anomaly that attracts wayward travelers also quite possibly makes it impossible for them to leave.

One other quirk of this world is that green eye colour is dominant. Travelers stand out.

As a result of the strange quantum currents this world has been bombarded by the ideas bought by travelers for centuries. As a result knowledge of interworld travel is universal and the local tech level is 11 with a few super science discoveries thrown in.

Ideas where not the only thing the travelers brought for many years this world suffered from wave after wave of plague and illness and as a result the population is quite small. Travellers from other worlds are usually found within hours or minutes of their arrival. A global senor network helps with finding the exit points of travelers.

To leave this world you have to be alien to it, native material has difficulty leaving. The energy requirement is huge. Other factors mean the jump to another world has to happen on Io.

Return travelers arrive home quite some time after leaving a little worse for wear in a random location on their world.

Amnesia is just a side effect of the complicated return process those helpful people used . . . . . .
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Old 01-23-2016, 12:44 PM   #1570
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Could the alien tech require rare earths - rare earths only found in Brazil, India, and South Africa? That way America and others would have a lot more trouble copying the alien tech.

This would, of course, require that the rare earths the aliens were after were only found in those areas, which might not be geologically correct.
The Rare Earths bit was off the top of my head.
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