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Old 07-25-2020, 07:47 PM   #4901
fchase8
 
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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Originally Posted by TGLS View Post
Boring Answer: The problems that caused the collapse end up causing a later/slower collapse. Nothing changes.

Reasonable Answer: Descendants of the Mycenaeans, Hittites and others exist in later eras.
If there's a timeline with living Mycenaean culture, maybe Homeline researchers could finally figure out Linear A.

A deciphered Linear A could actually be used by Infinity, as an unbreakable language, Navajo Code Talker style.

While Navajo, or any Native American (or Australian Aboriginal) language would fool linguistics-poor Centrum, Linear A would also be too much for any intelligence agency native to a timeline. For instance, the CIA & maybe other agencies on Reich-2 could break a Navajo code.
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Old 07-25-2020, 08:00 PM   #4902
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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In 1187 BC, the world collapsed*. But what if it didn't.

* Yes, there are people who believe the Bronze Age Collapse didn't happen. This is not the place to discuss that.
I've got a world I use occasionally where this is the divergence point. The world is called "Pharaoh", and its a TL8-ish timeline where Kings are still worshiped as living gods, the standard of living is pretty low, engineers/scientific researchers are a seperate caste, and the current Pharaoh of egypt is building a giant stone tomb in orbit.

Not terribly likely, but its a fun world to stick players on and watch them figure out what's going on.
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Old 07-26-2020, 08:15 AM   #4903
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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Originally Posted by fchase8 View Post
While Navajo, or any Native American (or Australian Aboriginal) language would fool linguistics-poor Centrum, Linear A would also be too much for any intelligence agency native to a timeline.
The problem with deciphering Linear A is mostly we have no idea what language it writes. Well the fact that the total corpus is so short and context poor (many inscriptions are only a few letters, the rest are short lists, and the absolute total is shorter than 10,000 characters - commonly quoted as "less than two pages") doesn't help either.

Anyway, it's not a code, it's an unknown tongue - you can achieve exactly the same level of undecipherability by teaching your agents an entirely artificial language with randomly generated vocabulary. You'll notice that nobody appears to have ever bothered to do that.
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Old 07-26-2020, 03:11 PM   #4904
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

Try this one...

Most Verne worlds diverge with an early development of steam powered transport, Verne-9 diverges with Jaques de Vaucanson's automated loom in 1741. In most worlds de Vaucanson never solves the programing problem and Joseph Marie Jacquard rediscovers Vaucanson's work sixty years later and creates the Jacquard Loom. But in Verne-9 Vaucanson figures out the whole punch card machainism and creates an economically viable automated loom sixty years early.

Vaucanson's looms not only massively revives the French textile industry, it forces the English, Italian, Dutch, and German, textile industries to innovate. Where the Napoleonic wars meant England got a vast lead over the rest of Europe, on Verne-9 all the major European powers innovated at similar times.

Later, when Vaucanson went back to trying to make a machine that could be programmed to do mathematical calcutions and print out the answers, a sort of Napier's Bones just Automated he soon had most of the best minds of Europe and the Americas on the problem since they'd seen what his ideas could lead to before.

Basically, the Napoleonic wars in a steampunk world. The Tech Level on this Q6 low manna world is still TL5 but more like 1860 than 1800. There are TL5+1 and TL5+2 devices in use. Difference Engines and airships are part of the scene. America still broke with Britain and has achieved a partial industrial revolution and will soon be on par with the European nations. There are serious rumors that the Yankees are developing undersea ships to challenge the British Ironclads that threaten their coastal cities. Meanwhile Japan has awakened to the vulnerablity of their position and with friendly aid from the Dutch and the Americans is racing to catch up. Their are signs that China may do the same.

Centrum wants to slow down Napoleon a bit and start a war between America and Britain. Then use the industrial might of an Anglo-American Empire to dominate this world. The Cabal seems totally focused in the Ottoman, Persian, Arab, and Mughul lands in this world. Homeline France has been caught spoonfeeding key minor inventions to local French industry and is getting ready to rise a stink if they're impeded.

Keep the peace.
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Old 07-26-2020, 06:08 PM   #4905
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
Centrum wants to slow down Napoleon a bit and start a war between America and Britain. Then use the industrial might of an Anglo-American Empire to dominate this world. The Cabal seems totally focused in the Ottoman, Persian, Arab, and Mughul lands in this world. Homeline France has been caught spoonfeeding key minor inventions to local French industry and is getting ready to rise a stink if they're impeded.

Keep the peace.
... peace was never an option.

Wow. Yeah, I have to wonder how many other nations are spoonfeeding tech to their counterparts. At best, Homeline can perhaps influence the coming wars, though they can probably keep an Anglo-American war from starting, or failing that, prevent it from leading to an Anglo-American Empire.
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Old 07-26-2020, 07:30 PM   #4906
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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Originally Posted by fchase8 View Post
If there's a timeline with living Mycenaean culture, maybe Homeline researchers could finally figure out Linear A.

A deciphered Linear A could actually be used by Infinity, as an unbreakable language, Navajo Code Talker style.

While Navajo, or any Native American (or Australian Aboriginal) language would fool linguistics-poor Centrum, Linear A would also be too much for any intelligence agency native to a timeline. For instance, the CIA & maybe other agencies on Reich-2 could break a Navajo code.
The more documents there are, the more a computer can chew on. Also, even the slightest hint of context gives a linguist a huge leg up. Even, "This is the transcript of Infinity expedition 713B, which came back from timeline Lucifer 7 in a total panic, after which the timeline was reclassified R2," can give some contest.
I think that modern computers would be able to decipher Navajo code talking over time, if they had both what was said and what was happening at the time. Tactically useful, but not indefinitely.
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Old 07-26-2020, 08:22 PM   #4907
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Default Bare bones of a frightening one

How's this one? Take any magic based world.
Magic is getting more powerful.

At first, only the most skillful wizards are noticing--not even the most powerful, but the most meticulous and observant.
Each mana point is giving more effect. At first, only a precisionist will notice--who's going to notice that that 5 yard area is actually 5 yards and a fraction of an inch.
But gradually, the effects are growing. Now, perhaps 9 mana into a fireball gives 10 dice of damage. A healing spell cures an extra 10%, fractions rounded down.
Now a contest of skill between a currently cast spell and one cast at least 2 years ago gives the modern caster a +1.
Some wizards are quite happy--but he more thoughtful are getting worried.
Accidents are starting to happen--minor ones at first. A wizard trying to cast a minor firestarting spell almost incinerates the entire campfire's wood.

Rituals, likewise, of any flavor, are growing more powerful. The same work needs to be done, but the effects are getting more intense.
Magical plants and animals are also metabolizing more magic. So far, it's resulted in them growing more powerful...but just like a human who suddenly gains super strength, without reinforced bone, some plants and animals are having problems.

Powerstones were recharging a little faster a year or two ago--now, it's noticeable. Yesterday, the Lapis Potentimus (GURPS Magic Items) blew up, leaving a large hole where the tower it was kept in used to be. That particular powerstone had been kept where it was at a massive convergence of power, so that it wouldn't take a year or so to recharge.

At the rate things are going, doom is coming. Some wiser wizards are relocating to low mana areas. (The mana level isn't chaging...just the results of what mana there is. Non mages still can't cast spells--but there's some reports of mages with level one magical aptitude casting spells that call for level 2...

There's no sign of the trend changing--and if it continues, someone is going to make a mistake, and something VERY bad might result. <Meanwhile, less responsible wizards (and others) are enjoying the raw speed that they can get out of their flying carpets and brooms.>

The Great Mages are discussing calling a conference. The agenda is to discuss the proposal to form a working group to determine of there is anything that needs to be done--and how to do it without upsetting any Great Mages.

The REAL archmages seem to have made themselves scarce...but you almost never see one of them anyway.

Parts of the Cabal are cautiously taking advantage--the rest is TERRIFIED. Some might even be considering stealing non-magical weapons of mass destruction to ensure that no magical accident reverberates across the Infinite Worlds.

Infinity is nervous...can this happen elsewhere? Where will it end? Will it do anything to the natural gates between worlds? If the increase doesn't stop, the end of this worldline is inevitable.

Characters could be trying to prevent the e3nd of everything, or hasten it. They could be searching for the solution, or for the Archmages--have they fled? Are they trying to prevent it? Are they causing it/ (And do the Archmages even exist?)

If there is crossworld travel--Infinity, The Cabal, Merlin-1, and others--what are they doing? Merlin-1 might even have a direct route to this timeline, which, until a few years ago, had been a normal magical world--if there is such a thing.

If anyone does anything with this, I'd love to hear thoughts.

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Old 07-27-2020, 06:54 PM   #4908
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
The problem with deciphering Linear A is mostly we have no idea what language it writes. Well the fact that the total corpus is so short and context poor (many inscriptions are only a few letters, the rest are short lists, and the absolute total is shorter than 10,000 characters - commonly quoted as "less than two pages") doesn't help either.

Anyway, it's not a code, it's an unknown tongue - you can achieve exactly the same level of undecipherability by teaching your agents an entirely artificial language with randomly generated vocabulary. You'll notice that nobody appears to have ever bothered to do that.
I was imagining that a world with a surviving Mycenean culture could provide the information necessary to decipher Linear A. I was thinking that Homeline antiquities scholars would be the one doing it, out of historical research, rather than Infinity.

If it could be understood and catalogued, could provide the undecipherable language that no one has ever bothered to come up with - that no one has done it because it is so difficult.


It's all a stretch, definitely. I just imagine that there would be some Homeline historians determined to 'crack' the Linear A mystery, and with a world with a surviving Mycenean culture, rich Homeline could finance such an expedition.

And there would be some security-minded official at Infinity, or maybe Homeline CIA, who would want to weaponize it.
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Old 07-28-2020, 01:56 AM   #4909
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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Originally Posted by fchase8 View Post
I was imagining that a world with a surviving Mycenean culture could provide the information necessary to decipher Linear A. I was thinking that Homeline antiquities scholars would be the one doing it, out of historical research, rather than Infinity.
Iím sure they would. Though never mind the Mycenaeans and Linear A; itís the crosstime scholars who discover a key to interpreting the Indus Valley civilisationís language whoíll really be jumping up and down.

Quote:
And there would be some security-minded official at Infinity, or maybe Homeline CIA, who would want to weaponize it.
The Navajo code-talker program was cool and all, but it was the product of a very specific technological and cultural situation. A secret language is only seriously militarily useful if youíre adequately sure that itís secret ó and who knows what The Opposition knows in Infinite Worlds? As I recall, the people running the code-talkers had something of a panic moment when they discovered that one (1) pre-war Japanese academic had taken some interest in the Navajo language.

When youíve got access to high-TL8 digital real-time crypto, youíll do better to focus on that.
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Old 07-28-2020, 11:51 AM   #4910
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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The Navajo code-talker program was cool and all, but it was the product of a very specific technological and cultural situation. A secret language is only seriously militarily useful if you’re adequately sure that it’s secret — and who knows what The Opposition knows in Infinite Worlds? As I recall, the people running the code-talkers had something of a panic moment when they discovered that one (1) pre-war Japanese academic had taken some interest in the Navajo language.
When you’ve got access to high-TL8 digital real-time crypto, you’ll do better to focus on that.
Crazy idea popped into my head: The search for a solid cryptographic language accidentally recreates/resuscitates a language of the Great Old Ones. Tentacled-elder-god-hilarity ensues. Maybe a Mage was looking for a way to encode his grimore...? Or in modern times a linguist recruited by an intelligence service tries to use a language from old stone tablets? Or to tech it up a notch, an AI algorithm told to create a cryptographic language accidentally recreates the Old Ones language. (or was it an accident?)
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