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Old 12-30-2018, 02:33 PM   #71
SilvercatMoonpaw
 
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Default Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
A lot of the IW background hinges on the fact that cross-time travel has been around for a while and is now substantially *regularized*.
Yeah, but the specific implementation is not to my tastes. Hence why I started a thread for alternate versions.
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Old 12-30-2018, 02:46 PM   #72
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Default Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

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Redirecting things back towards the topic...

Jump nukes were long theorized on Homeline, but so far haven't been used anywhere. A related problem is elseworld nuclear weapons, particularly ones from post-apocalyptic worldlines where they can be had easily. The main way the book deals with these issues is with an expansive sweep of the hand and a confident, "arrangements... are made." What if those arrangements fail?

Most nations are outside of the parachronic club. They get to lease conveyors, sure, but their best and brightest are taken to more prominent countries to become scientists and technicians... and likely stay there. Their extraction industries collapse as prices plummet, and their military rapidly becomes obsoleted by elseworld tech.

With dwindling resources, absolutists the world over scrabble for an option. Fleeing to some other timeline has its charms; becoming warlord of some other version of their own continent along with their picked men would be a nice alternative. But Infinity owns all the keys, and they don't like seeing historic echoes tampered with (some no doubt see this as "historical imperialism;" why do Americans get to tell us what to do with our own history?). Even with one stolen conveyor, you'll never funnel enough of your shrinking resources elsewhen in order to make a proper civilization on the other side... one wants one's air conditioning, after all.

And so the decision becomes clear: only when all of Infinity's tendrils (and those other meddling imperialists) are burned away can one finally take the deserved first steps into the cosmos. And tensions remain high; the cold warriors still have their nukes. All it should take are, say, a half-dozen nukes at the right time. We will want an extra conveyor or two in order to capture a small fleet of vehicles so we can quickly export our civilization to a less radioactive world.

So pick a dictator, give them some time and a stolen conveyor, and have them start a nuclear war on Homeline.

In the chaos, homeliners flee everwhen. Teams on outworld missions, especially across quantums, are screwed. And the secret is soooo dead.
Why would it be dead? Oh some out time refugee might go to one of the parallels where it's technologically possible to build parachronic technology and reveal to the local government, but the nature of this catastrophe would strongly argue in favour of keeping parachronic technology as secret as possible to reduce the chance of repetition at least until they develop something IW desperately needs...an anti-jump shield.
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Old 12-30-2018, 04:20 PM   #73
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Default Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

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Originally Posted by PTTG View Post
Redirecting things back towards the topic...

Jump nukes were long theorized on Homeline, but so far haven't been used anywhere. A related problem is elseworld nuclear weapons, particularly ones from post-apocalyptic worldlines where they can be had easily. The main way the book deals with these issues is with an expansive sweep of the hand and a confident, "arrangements... are made." What if those arrangements fail?

Most nations are outside of the parachronic club. They get to lease conveyors, sure, but their best and brightest are taken to more prominent countries to become scientists and technicians... and likely stay there. Their extraction industries collapse as prices plummet, and their military rapidly becomes obsoleted by elseworld tech.

With dwindling resources, absolutists the world over scrabble for an option. Fleeing to some other timeline has its charms; becoming warlord of some other version of their own continent along with their picked men would be a nice alternative. But Infinity owns all the keys, and they don't like seeing historic echoes tampered with (some no doubt see this as "historical imperialism;" why do Americans get to tell us what to do with our own history?). Even with one stolen conveyor, you'll never funnel enough of your shrinking resources elsewhen in order to make a proper civilization on the other side... one wants one's air conditioning, after all.

And so the decision becomes clear: only when all of Infinity's tendrils (and those other meddling imperialists) are burned away can one finally take the deserved first steps into the cosmos. And tensions remain high; the cold warriors still have their nukes. All it should take are, say, a half-dozen nukes at the right time. We will want an extra conveyor or two in order to capture a small fleet of vehicles so we can quickly export our civilization to a less radioactive world.

So pick a dictator, give them some time and a stolen conveyor, and have them start a nuclear war on Homeline.

In the chaos, homeliners flee everwhen. Teams on outworld missions, especially across quantums, are screwed. And the secret is soooo dead.
This is a great campaign idea. Centrum would exploit the Chaos. The Cabal would likely seek to ally with the remnants of Interworld in order to keep Centrum from becoming too powerful.
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Old 12-30-2018, 04:25 PM   #74
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Default Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

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. How does Centrum react to being, in essence, completely right?
They would proclaim they were completely right. Still, it was a dictator, someone far closer to Centrum and opposed to democracy and open societies that caused the war. At least in your own scenario.
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Old 12-30-2018, 06:09 PM   #75
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Yeah, but the specific implementation is not to my tastes. Hence why I started a thread for alternate versions.
If we're looking at any possible Infinite Worlds implementations, I'd actually prefer one more like the Order of the Hourglass, or the multiple group interpretation of the Cabal, something composed of individuals with small scale goals rather than cross-time empires or megacorporations. Especially for a campaign where interworld travel is supposed to be a *secret*. Fragmenting Infinity into a bunch of somewhat smaller, but still relatively large scale successor states and governments in exile is at best a modest improvement.

I'd ditch any cosmic conflict/fate of the world(s) metaplot too (e.g. the Infinity-Centrum and looming Reich-5 threats in the Infinity setting). I'm not overly fond of them even in fiction, and for a game setting I prefer to keep as much stuff as possible small scale enough the actions of individuals (i.e. the players) really could plausibly determine the story outcome.

On the flipside, if I were looking to rebuild the Infinity setting to be mostly the same but a bit less illogical, I'd lose stuff that is there specifically to allow more individual action. Maintaining a situation that doesn't make sense to everybody is a lot easier when individual everybody's can't do anything to challenge it.

I think the biggest gain for the smallest change would be to ditch the mobile conveyers - every transfer requires a fixed projector that must be located on Homeline. This instantly kills all the "stolen conveyer" and independent swag-man plots, but that's sort of the point. It's much more plausible for Infinity (or anybody) to maintain a monopoly or near-monopoly if all they need to do is keep control of the projectors, which have to be in one world, and keep tech spies away from a few key components of them, than it is to keep track of every single conveyer all them time. Worst case should somebody actually manage to build an unauthorized projector, you can at least temporarily reassert your monopoly by capturing one discoverable location, you don't need to chase needles in an infinite haystack. The still limited distribution of nuclear reactors vs, say, meth labs, says a lot about the greater controllability that functional immobility and even a fairly modest level of greater expense provides.
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Old 12-30-2018, 07:42 PM   #76
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The secret is dead not because it's wise to break it, but because there's no more adult supervision. Every conveyor is either being used by someone completely inhumane or is evacuating people to every worldline that's reasonably safe. Johnson's Rome is probably flooded with refugees in hours/minutes.

Plus, there's no international cooperation at that point, since most of the devastation was created by the nuclear war among superpowers. (Naturally, that wouldn't happen unless it was close to happening on its own, so we'll assume that the world was already a tinderbox, not unreasonable considering the economic refocus occurring because of crosstime travel.)

Evacuations can't immediately go to uninhabited worldlines, since moving tens of thousands of people into unimproved wilderness is going to be almost as bad as leaving them in radioactive ruins. Seeing that anyone who would punish you for breaking the secret is irradiated or an evacuee, it's not a hard decision.

One way to preserve the secret regardless might be to scatter the refugees around a number of historic echoes. A dozen extra people showing up to board a refugee ship out of Europe or to cross the prairies of the USA can probably be handled by inertia, right? Farther back, language becomes a problem, but paperwork becomes less of one...

Last edited by PTTG; 12-31-2018 at 02:06 AM.
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Old 12-30-2018, 07:55 PM   #77
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Default Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

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The secret is dead not because it's wise to break it, but because there's no more adult supervision. Every conveyor is either being used by someone completely inhumane or is evacuating people to every worldline that's reasonably safe. Johnson's Rome is probably flooded with refugees in hours.

Plus, there's no international cooperation at that point, since most of the devastation was created by the nuclear war among superpowers.
International cooperation is irrelevant. Nobody has any reason to reveal the Secret. Not the refugees, not the aspiring conquerors, not any local governments who the refugees ask for help if any do. And since this is happening early on there won't even be all that many refugees.
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:36 PM   #78
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Default Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

There's no rational reason, but all it takes is one person with some material evidence or knowledge and an irrational reason. Maybe they think that the problem was that society needed time to rewire itself to deal with The Secret. Maybe they think that hiding the existence of Homeline disgraces the memory of those lost.

Out of some tens of thousands of refugees taken randomly from those who happened to be within 45 minutes of a conveyor or a projector location, how many are going to do something stupid? More than one per worldline?

So not entirely dead over the entire cosmos, but many of the most popular worldlines are going to be chaotic and there are going to be rumors everywhere.

My favorite is definitely historical echoes. There's just not enough oversight, and their really attractive destinations for refugees since the risks are low and people supposedly can fit in... despite this, it's easy for untrained people to screw up.

Imagine a guy operating a conveyor for FedEx hearing the nuclear missile alert on the radio, and that Manhattan just got blown off the earth. Is he going to worry about The Secret when there's a horde of people offering $3,000 for a seat anywhen else? Hell, even if he's a loyal Infinity agent, he'll do what he can to drop people off where they do the minimum of damage to the time-stream, but he's not going to stop rescuing Homeliners from incineration just because it's against regulation to let untrained people wander around a 1964 echo.

Last edited by PTTG; 12-30-2018 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 12-31-2018, 06:19 AM   #79
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Default Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

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International cooperation is irrelevant. Nobody has any reason to reveal the Secret. Not the refugees, not the aspiring conquerors, not any local governments who the refugees ask for help if any do.
I don't see why not. AFAICT the entire reason Homeliners are keeping the Secret in the first place is to preserve an advantage for their homeworld. There's not much point in that if that homeline is devastated, and any refugees presumably have some incentive to tell people in order to secure said advantage for their *new* homeworlds, or even just to have something to trade for the right to stay.
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:52 AM   #80
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Default Re: Alternate Versions of Inifinite Worlds

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...something IW desperately needs...an anti-jump shield.
Every time I play around with infinity I look at making the technology more interactive. The two biggest pieces of gear that add this are shields and detectors. I like to make them expensive and immobile. Conveyors take 10 minutes to prepare to jump, and while the book talks about calculations, I like to have it be part of the process. When you start that 10 minute warm-up, any parachronic detector within range will pick you up. If they have enough detectors, they can triangulate your position, but only to a certain degree. I like to leave a small amount of "residue" that can be detected as well.

Shields I like to make expensive and small enough that you only blanket worlds you feel are extra important, like your homeworld. Anywhere else they give away your position and the enemy just lands outside of them.

The detectors I like because they give you limited information about your foe. Instead of having one person look out for conspiracies to change the course of history for a world, you have a guy report on activity:

"Three conveyors just came into Budapest yesterday, 2 hours apart each."
"Budapest? We're in the middle of the American civil war and someone wants to fiddle around in Hungary?"
"Yeah, its weird. Maybe its some swagmen trying to kidnap a composer or artist."
"We'll see. I've got your readings. We'll see if the lab can determine if the conveyor is from Homeline or from Centrum."
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