Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-07-2021, 08:27 PM   #5431
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: New Reality Seeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by TGLS View Post
Farce

In this Quantum 5 world, all major Homeline politicians instead decided to become comedic actors.
Going how far back in history?

And if all this does is change the names of the people holding the political offices, does anyone even care? I suppose there'd be a smallish Homeline market for tapes of Saturday Night Live comic Richard Nixon telling jokes about President Chase but it's not much to work with as an adventure hook.
__________________
--
MA Lloyd
malloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2021, 08:54 PM   #5432
TGLS
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Default Re: New Reality Seeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Going how far back in history?
...
but it's not much to work with as an adventure hook.
Let's say a hundred years. The best I've got for an adventure hook is an angry dictator hiring assassins to kill his duplicate. Really this was just an absurd idea.
TGLS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2021, 10:46 PM   #5433
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: New Reality Seeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by TGLS View Post
Let's say a hundred years. The best I've got for an adventure hook is an angry dictator hiring assassins to kill his duplicate. Really this was just an absurd idea.
How about a historical mystery?
Back in 1990 rendering technology was nowhere close to good enough to create really good deep fakes, so when clips appeared of a few Homeline New Hampshire politicians, who weren't anything like important enough to justify a major forgery effort even if it had been possible, saying really embarrassing things that wrecked their careers, they seemed completely genuine. Until this timeline turned up. After all one thing about comedians is that they often say stuff politicians wouldn't dare for fear of scandal, and when somebody who vaguely remembered one of those old scandals happened to be looking at a tape of a comedy routine and recognized the lines.... But Van Zandt hadn't even invented parachronics in 1990. I mean he was the inventor, right? Right? Any official comment from Infinity here?
__________________
--
MA Lloyd
malloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2021, 12:28 AM   #5434
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: New Reality Seeds

Christmas worlds are worlds in which a lengthy conflict in our time is somehow shortened to less than a year but still with the same winners, loosely speaking.

Christmas-1: Somehow in 1914 the French got an extremely detailed copy
of the German invasion plans and the German invasion ground to a halt just past the Belgian border. Six months later in December, a peace treaty was signed and borders were were restored to what they were before hostilities. 30 year later Austria-Hungary is fighting a civil war with the new Kaiser backing one side, while the USSR backs the other. (The Communist Revolution in Russia was only delayed by five years and the USSR is led by Trotsky.) Meanwhile China is fighting a similar civil war. Germany, the Ottomans and japan are on the verge of going to war with the USSR.

Christmas-2: On Christmas-2 President Franklin Pierce at the end of his second term was less friendly to the southern states than President Buchanan and they ended up getting fewer states and less weaponry with which to fight. The American Civil War lasted 8 months. As a result in 1926 slavery is very much still part of life in the American South although the political balance is tilting against the slave states. The United States stayed out of the Great War, which lasted a year longer as a result but still turned out pretty much the same. The most peculiar thing about Christmas-2 is that a large number of runaway slaves seem to be just disappearing. Rumours about a ghostly fiddle player who leads them to a land of freedom may indicate that a parachronozoid is may be taking them away, perhaps to freedom or something terrible.
David Johnston2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2021, 08:59 AM   #5435
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: New Reality Seeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Christmas-1: Somehow in 1914 the French got an extremely detailed copy
of the German invasion plans and the German invasion ground to a halt just past the Belgian border.
The invasion grinding to a halt OTL doesn't seem to have led to a peace treaty. Admittedly being unable to successfully invade Belgium, never mind getting close to the French border is going to be fairly discouraging to Germany, but they aren't doing too badly elsewhere, and with as many sides with as many separate war goals as this war had, a general status quo ante peace seems pretty difficult. Why for example is Serbia, which has just defeated the (first) Austrian invasion and declared its intent to annex substantial parts of Austria-Hungary going to agree to that? Why is Japan going to return the Marshall Islands? You probably need a bit of earlier change points that keep at least some of the players out of the war. If the Ottomans fail to live up to their agreements and don't attack Russia in October, that might help, though it probably emboldens the Russian/Serb side and makes it harder for them to agree to the status quo vis a vis Austria Hungary. And maybe racism in the UK can be a little worse and prevent accepting the Japanese offer to enter the war back in August? Maybe Japan can be so ticked off it goes for an alliance with the US rather than the UK, that'll help defuse one of the tensions that otherwise pull the US into the next world war, and really you need all the excuses you can get to keep the US (and the UK if you can) out of any of those intermediate wars - get either of them involved and it's really hard to keep a 20th century war *small*.

Quote:
30 year later Austria-Hungary is fighting a civil war with the new Kaiser backing one side, while the USSR backs the other. (The Communist Revolution in Russia was only delayed by five years and the USSR is led by Trotsky.)
Absent World War I I'd really have expected that to go the other way - with Austria-Hungary and/or the German Empire exploding in socialist (and other) revolutions but Russia being in good enough shape to prevent them. Note that if World War I isn't too bad, the multiple European tensions that had been leading to the brink of all kinds of wars for like half a century aren't resolved. I'd expect "world war" opportunities to keep turning up until one happens. Maybe it's Anglo-French over colonial empires, or German-Italian or German-Russian triggered by the collapse of Austria-Hungary or the Ottomans, or German or Italian or Japanese or American vs England and/or France over acquiring more of an Empire, but 30 years of not very much and then Austria imploding with the sides actually being backed by Great Powers *without* them going to a general war? Nah. I know the idea is avoiding a big war, but you really need a couple more mid-sized ones in there to make that plausible.

Quote:
As a result in 1926 slavery is very much still part of life in the American South although the political balance is tilting against the slave states.
The Confederacy seceded because they were sure the balance of power in the US was shifting so that slavery would shortly be outlawed. You're saying they were *so* wrong about that that they could *lose the war* and still be allowed to keep it for three generations?

Seriously large scale slavery was pretty much doomed at this point - public opinion in the two superpowers (Britain and France) had turned against it, and everybody in the Caribbean, Central and most of South America (except Brazil) had already abolished it in the last three decades. Keeping it for more decades in the American south isn't something you can justify on momentum. Even if they *win* the war, I'd expect some sort of technical emancipation like apartheid and second class citizenship to be forced pretty soon. I suppose technically legal but very small scale - i.e. a handful of symbolic state slaves, or of owners who are still refusing a buy out program, or something similar to preserve the "principle" without being major enough to inspire too much international outrage might be possible too. But losing but keeping slavery largely unchanged? Not happening.
__________________
--
MA Lloyd

Last edited by malloyd; 03-08-2021 at 09:12 AM.
malloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2021, 09:37 AM   #5436
ericthered
Hero of Democracy
 
ericthered's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: far from the ocean
Default Re: New Reality Seeds

If you want a sped up Great War that's actually over by Christmas...


You probably have to defeat the german army rather than halt the german advance. Given the prevailing military attitudes, that probably means a breakthrough followed by cavalry pouring through the gap and wrecking German supply lines, stranding the flower of the german army in a water-logged Belgium. You also need the eastern front to go better for the russians than historically, at least in the north, but that's less of a stretch, I think.
__________________
Be helpful, not pedantic

Worlds Beyond Earth -- my blog

Check out the PbP forum! If you don't see a game you'd like, ask me about making one!
ericthered is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2021, 10:43 AM   #5437
TGLS
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Default Re: New Reality Seeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Even if they *win* the war, I'd expect some sort of technical emancipation like apartheid and second class citizenship to be forced pretty soon. I suppose technically legal but very small scale - i.e. a handful of symbolic state slaves, or of owners who are still refusing a buy out program, or something similar to preserve the "principle" without being major enough to inspire too much international outrage might be possible too. But losing but keeping slavery largely unchanged? Not happening.
I dunno, that's kind of what happened historically. Secession was primarily caused by Lincoln's election, who ran on the platform of stopping the expansion of slavery. Without a prolonged war to justify the thirteenth amendment and reconstruction, I imagine slavery could trundle on for some time. Continuing to 1926? Unlikely, though whatever state free blacks would have post-emancipation would resemble limbo, especially if Dred Scott doesn't get overturned.

Christmas-3
1950 - Chinese leadership hesitates to send troops into Korea. UN Forces secure Northern Korea against Chinese invasion.
1954 - Geneva Conference partitions Indochina. US & South Korea bows to international pressure and schedule neutrally monitored elections.
1959 - Korean civilian government removed in military coup. China supports people's war in the North.
1961 - Escalation in Vietnam as US sends special forces and troops to aid Saigon regime.
1962 - Student demonstrations in Seoul crushed by South Korean troops. Non-American UN forces begin withdrawing from Korea.
1965 - With clashes between North and South growing, President Goldwater orders US forces across the 17th parallel. China, recalling how fast North Korea fell, responds by sending support to Hanoi regime, and stepping up agitation in Korea.

Last edited by TGLS; 03-08-2021 at 11:18 AM.
TGLS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2021, 11:10 AM   #5438
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: New Reality Seeds

Lancer-1: On Homeline, the Battle of Krojanty led to the myth of Polish cavalry, armed with sabers and lances, attempting to charge German tanks from horseback. The reasons given vary, generally depending on which propaganda this particular branch of the myth came from - brave Polish cavalry sacrificing themselves in a doomed charge to buy time for their allies, foolish Polish commanders issuing a disastrous order, flawed Polish intel indicating the Germans only had non-functional "dummy" tanks, etc, but such a charge never actually took place - indeed, no tanks were involved in the battle.

On Lancer-1, there were indeed German tanks at the Battle of Krojanty - rather than mere armored reconnaissance vehicles, a small group of Panzer I's arrived from the forest road. And there was indeed a cavalry charge against them - some of the cavalrymen who were furthest from cover decided to buy time for their escaping comrades by distracting the tanks with a charge with lances.

It worked, far better than should have been possible. The lances pierced through and the impacting horses partially crushed the armor of the tanks, while the horses and their riders were largely unharmed - indeed, even the bullets from the tanks' MG's had mostly bounced off. The terrified Germans surrendered to the dumbfounded cavalrymen. It was soon discovered that mounted cavalry are bizarrely effective. They can shrug off powerful explosions and shrapnel, as well as massed and machine-gun fire. They can also withstand powerful impacts, and could traverse difficult terrain easily. Carefully-aimed single shots seem to partially negate these advantages, capable of wounding and killing but causing injuries more akin to bullets propelled by slings than by rifles and pistols. Bolt- and lever-action rifles are better in this regard, as semi-automatics - even when fired just once after careful aiming - are more likely to just bounce off like machine guns. Melee and thrown weapons were still just as effective as usual. These effects apply not only to weapons used against the cavalrymen, but those used by them, resulting in cavalry favoring melee weapons and bolt-action rifles. Cavalrymen report feelings of fearlessness and a certain closeness to their mounts while mounted, and the horses themselves are largely immune to spooking and follow their rider's will almost flawlessly - but these effects only work with a war-trained horse and rider. These effects were unprecedented - cavalry during the Great War certainly didn't function this way, nor did it prior to Krojanty (indeed, prior to that battle history was indistinguishable from Homeline). I'll leave it to those more well-versed in history and the like to figure out what effect this would have had on the war (and what came after), although undoubtedly you would see cavalry dominating and probably a shift away from explosive and automatic weapons. Current year is 1950, and the strange cavalry effect is still in play.

Homeline has also discovered some similar worldlines, which they have assigned the Lancer designation. Each has a point of divergence of some cavalry charge (typically historical, but there are some originating in historical fiction, as for Lancer-1) wherein the above effect suddenly came into play (typically radically altering the results of the battle) and has remained ever since. In Lancer-2, for example, the effect came into play during the Battle of Agincourt, with the massed fire of the English archers being largely useless while the French cavalry were able to ignore the poor terrain, resulting in a crushing defeat for the English and the death of Henry V.


Alternative designations for these worldlines may be Dragoon, Quixote, or similar.
__________________
GURPS Overhaul

Last edited by Varyon; 03-08-2021 at 11:19 AM.
Varyon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2021, 11:37 AM   #5439
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: New Reality Seeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Homeline has also discovered some similar worldlines, which they have assigned the Lancer designation. Each has a point of divergence of some cavalry charge (typically historical, but there are some originating in historical fiction, as for Lancer-1) wherein the above effect suddenly came into play (typically radically altering the results of the battle) and has remained ever since.
I like that. Normally with the exception of "magic starts working" changed physics/natural law worldlines are presented as it was always different but is just now noticeable, but there's no reason it has to be that way. The rules have changed and the locals know it works fine.

It's a clever choice of change too - Tactics isn't a skill I'd have picked as the target of emerging super-science weirdness, but any skill is fair game I suppose. Now I feel like I need to go try to plot out some divergence points where weirdness suddenly changes the rules of Sculpture or Housekeeping.
__________________
--
MA Lloyd
malloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2021, 11:52 AM   #5440
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: New Reality Seeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
I like that. Normally with the exception of "magic starts working" changed physics/natural law worldlines are presented as it was always different but is just now noticeable, but there's no reason it has to be that way. The rules have changed and the locals know it works fine.
Indeed. I opted not to define what caused the shift, but my headcanon is that in each case one of the cavalrymen twisted and shifted reality by (very strongly) rejecting the current reality. In Lancer-1, it was the elder brother of a pair of cavalrymen - he was initially part of the retreating group, and his brother joined the charge to buy him time. Seeing his younger brother charging to his death, and seeing the cavalrymen near him falling (the shift occurred during the charge, so early on the MG's were just as effective as they should have been), the elder brother turned and joined the charge, internally rejecting the idea of his brother being about to die so strongly reality shifted to conform to his will. For Agincourt, I'm thinking it was just a knight who saw several of his fellows fall to arrows in front of him and really didn't want to die.
__________________
GURPS Overhaul
Varyon is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ideas to share, infinite worlds, infinity unlimited

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:23 AM.


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