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Old 01-23-2016, 12:50 PM   #1571
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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Originally Posted by fchase8 View Post
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.
I once ran a campaign based on fighting a group of foes that had time travel and believed in a Pseudoscience of psycho-history called "Great Nation Theory." Figuring out what the enemy thought was important was half the battle.
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Old 01-23-2016, 12:54 PM   #1572
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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.
It was only one ship. The crew wasn't all that good at running the ship. Also, as their whole voyage was illegal and unplanned, none of their logs ever got reported.

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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.
You had many exciting ideas. None of which really come close to my ideas.

But they'd make great campaigns.
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:20 PM   #1573
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The Rare Earths bit was off the top of my head.
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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.
What if the aliens needed something biological? That would a lot harder to find in space than minerals, and Earth would be the perfect/only place for it.

It could even be something as basic as needing labor.

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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.
This is the one where the aliens trade with the Americans?

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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.
I like the idea of staying away from nuclear power states. Nuclear weapons would be the one thing the aliens would fear from humans. Furthermore, they could stay away from China because of the civil war there - Brazil, South Africa, and India were all at peace, and hadn't been damaged by war (Burma aside).

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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.
This is a neat idea too, a variant of the aliens visiting America. In this timeline, Britain remains dominant, but also remains in the imperial role. Kind of like a cross between Gernsback and the Stormbomb Britain timeline from Pyramid. Britain and her allies still rule racist empires (segregation & colonialism are still around), suppressing socialist/communist & independence movements everywhere.



These could be different timelines with the same designation, numbered. Might I suggest "Roswell"?

The first timeline discovered, Roswell-1, would be where the aliens visited America - and that's why the initial Scouts named it "Roswell". Maybe this timeline is still in the fifties, only just after the visitation.

The second timeline, Roswell-2, could be the Brazil/South Africa/India timeline. Set in the sixties or seventies, there's a multipolar Cold War going on.

The third timeline, Roswell-3, would be the British one, set further in the future, after WWIII.

There would be different parachronic situations and adventures in each. Roswell-1 would be the straightforward 'steal alien tech', with both Infinity and Centrum competing on American military bases. Roswell-2 would be the 'who to back?' and 'avoid WWIII' timeline - Infinity would like democratic Brazil & America, while Centrum would be drawn to hierarchical South Africa & India (and both would be trying to reduce prejudice). Roswell-3 would have the most advanced alien tech, but also the hardest to steal, in overweening security states (with the neat twist of it being Britain) - meanwhile, Infinity would be trying to reform the British Empire, while Centrum would be trying to co-opt it.
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:25 PM   #1574
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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I once ran a campaign based on fighting a group of foes that had time travel and believed in a Pseudoscience of psycho-history called "Great Nation Theory." Figuring out what the enemy thought was important was half the battle.
That sounds cool. One aspect of Infinite Worlds that I really like is that Centrum isn't a traditional 'evil' villain (there's Reich-5 for that), but one that just really thinks differently than we/Infinity.
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Old 01-24-2016, 01:11 PM   #1575
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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!
Would these actually satanic games have taught veteran roleplayers how to be skilled tacticians? I don't know that the learning aspect of games was ever picked up on by the opposition, but "Shadowrun trains you to be a master bank robber/Hacker" seems like something that could happen.
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Old 01-24-2016, 02:27 PM   #1576
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Wouldn't it be more interesting to have a world where these forces of darkness infiltrate what mainstream Christian Americans of the 70s and 80s would consider free of such infiltration - gospel music, "Christian" music, "Christian Rock", Bibles, televangelist shows, and so on?
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I read
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!


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.
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Old 01-27-2016, 01:28 PM   #1577
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That sounds cool. One aspect of Infinite Worlds that I really like is that Centrum isn't a traditional 'evil' villain (there's Reich-5 for that), but one that just really thinks differently than we/Infinity.
According to the book I'm reading now, history in the modern sense is an invention of the Renaissance. That would put I long after the divergence point. classical histories are often about moral examples rather than attempts to accurately describe past events.

Given Centrum's history, their historical tradition might be largely a branch of Rhetoric all about using the past as ennobling examples. They would have had to come up with some kind of analysis of history, but it could easily be radically unlike anything Homeline would see as serous history. In fact Homelines whole tradition of academic History could easily be a prime target of centrum agents.
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Old 01-27-2016, 01:34 PM   #1578
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According to the book I'm reading now, history in the modern sense is an invention of the Renaisance.
What did the romans call it?
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Old 01-27-2016, 01:36 PM   #1579
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What did the romans call it?
They had something they called History. It was primarily about worthy and unworthy moral examples. It involved the past, but it wasn't about the past. It was about examples for the present.
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Old 01-27-2016, 02:01 PM   #1580
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Originally Posted by Sciencezam View Post
Would these actually satanic games have taught veteran roleplayers how to be skilled tacticians? I don't know that the learning aspect of games was ever picked up on by the opposition, but "Shadowrun trains you to be a master bank robber/Hacker" seems like something that could happen.
Well, seeing as the GURPS sourcebook for hacking actually resulted in a raid on Steve Jackson Games, I'd say people definitely did believe that. I'd imagine that it depends on what game you're playing. If you're playing Doom and similar "murder simulators," then the demon-gifted abilities would be tactical in nature. If you're playing a tabletop wargame (not sure what was available in '88), then you get strategic ability. And while the flashy stuff comes from cultists who join to play as wizards (and who get real magic), barbarian warriors also get insane combat abilities with swords and such... even if they're a 98-pound teenager with asthma.

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Wouldn't it be more interesting to have a world where these forces of darkness infiltrate what mainstream Christian Americans of the 70s and 80s would consider free of such infiltration - gospel music, "Christian" music, "Christian Rock", Bibles, televangelist shows, and so on?
Something to be said for that. In fact, even the cultists themselves could be convinced that their "magical" abilities come from "faith."

Elaborating on the idea, what if there are several spiritual forces attempting to raise power in a contemporary mortal world? We get a sort of wainscot fantasy where heroes and villains alike are following esoteric rules and planting symbols and signs to channel mana to their lords.

It might involve tapping into ley lines, or finding important places and adding subtle runes to lock the mana of the place to your faction. In such a setting, a church very well could fall under the sway of an evil spirit, and likewise a nature spirit that is ethically neutral might court an alliance with Greenpeace.

Heck, considering that spirits have limited resources and interesting powers, they might be PCs, influencing and manipulating their followers, taking power from sacrifices and feeding it out carefully to trusted avatars...

EDIT: Hmmm... symbols and signs could use something like the speed-range table... a tiny icon on a product in tens of thousands of homes could be as powerful as arranging the streets of a major metropolis into pentagonal shapes. Artifacts of eons ago may be power crystals charged with the karmic power of ancient deities, potentially tappable, but perhaps dangerous, too.

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