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Old 08-07-2014, 09:18 AM   #341
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
That's a matter of opinion. There might be far fewer proxy wars that turned much of our world into a dictator run propaganda ridden ****-hole.
Well, we haven't seen the rise of a widely popular figure, or message, in the modern period. I don't think communism or capitalism, during the period, could overtake the world on the strength of its message alone. I'm loath to introduce another change to the timeline that doesn't stem from the point of divergence, so I really don't see why dictators would be any better at dishing out propaganda, or any better at military restraint.

There is the observation that since the end of the Cold War, and the retreat of the certainty of nuclear armageddon, the world has become much more violent, with regional wars flaring up. Without the idea those wars could become doomsday, there is less likelihood of restraint or outside intervention.

And with extra billions of dollars in military contracts on the line, money freed up from going to the military-industrial complex and the space program, the arms dealers are going to push for a reason to spend that money. What better way than to stoke wars?

Sure, they might introduce the current idea of security and espionage based spending, pouring billions into (non-overtly-military) defense networks. But that doesn't seem likely in the post-WWII environment. At least not at a level any more than we saw in history, such as the CIA build up.

IMO
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:59 AM   #342
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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Well, we haven't seen the rise of a widely popular figure, or message, in the modern period. I don't think communism or capitalism, during the period, could overtake the world on the strength of its message alone. I'm loath to introduce another change to the timeline that doesn't stem from the point of divergence, so I really don't see why dictators would be any better at dishing out propaganda, or any better at military restraint.
But one divergence would lead to others. Try the idea of Napoleon taking Robert Fulton seriously. Fulton offered Napoleon the steamboat before he made his prototype in America. Napoleon blew off Fulton as a crank.

But try the idea of Napoleon taking fulton seriously and being able to pull off a surprise cross channel attack in 1810. Russia seeing Britain humbled comforms to Napoleon's wishes and Napoleon rules Europe, for a while.

Napoleon's ecconomic and political systems were actually fairly primitive. A Napoleonic state could conquer Europe, but it wouldn't make a stable long term ruler. So the collapse of the Napoleonic state and the nature of the successor states would be a major secondary divergence point. As would be the cause and timing of the collapse of the Napoleonic system. A collapse in the mid-19th century from a series of nationalistic revolts, a defeat in the mid-20th century from a much larger USA, or a series of lost colonial engagements in Islamic West Asia leading to a loss of confidence and a series of radically overdue reforms followed by a reactionary counter-revolution and collapse, would all lead to different outcomes and problems.

The first divergence must lead to more divergences.
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Old 08-08-2014, 12:51 PM   #343
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
...
There is the observation that since the end of the Cold War, and the retreat of the certainty of nuclear armageddon, the world has become much more violent, with regional wars flaring up. Without the idea those wars could become doomsday, there is less likelihood of restraint or outside intervention.

And with extra billions of dollars in military contracts on the line, money freed up from going to the military-industrial complex and the space program, the arms dealers are going to push for a reason to spend that money. What better way than to stoke wars?
....

IMO
The cold war was all about stoking wars that didn't involve U.S. or Soviet nations directly.
I would have to see objective numbers to believe that modern day politics results in more deaths than all the constant "small" wars of back then.
And Iraq doesn't count as that was purely pulled out of W.'s butt for personal reasons, not political.

I think it's more that the cold war allowed Americans to hide in a cubby hole of denial that we were separate and safe from the violence of the rest of the world.
Changing that aspect early should have a profound effect on American cultural development. I imagine at least.
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:40 PM   #344
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But one divergence would lead to others. Try the idea of Napoleon taking Robert Fulton seriously. Fulton offered Napoleon the steamboat before he made his prototype in America. Napoleon blew off Fulton as a crank.

But try the idea of Napoleon taking fulton seriously and being able to pull off a surprise cross channel attack in 1810. Russia seeing Britain humbled comforms to Napoleon's wishes and Napoleon rules Europe, for a while.

Napoleon's ecconomic and political systems were actually fairly primitive. A Napoleonic state could conquer Europe, but it wouldn't make a stable long term ruler. So the collapse of the Napoleonic state and the nature of the successor states would be a major secondary divergence point. As would be the cause and timing of the collapse of the Napoleonic system. A collapse in the mid-19th century from a series of nationalistic revolts, a defeat in the mid-20th century from a much larger USA, or a series of lost colonial engagements in Islamic West Asia leading to a loss of confidence and a series of radically overdue reforms followed by a reactionary counter-revolution and collapse, would all lead to different outcomes and problems.

The first divergence must lead to more divergences.
But that's just it. I don't see how the first divergence (no nukes) leads, necessarily, to the next (less international violence). I'm not saying that isn't a legitimate world line, just an unlikely one given what we know about the end of the Cold War.
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:08 PM   #345
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The cold war was all about stoking wars that didn't involve U.S. or Soviet nations directly.
But many if not most where proxi-wars, with the major powers basically directing the action. The wars stayed "focused" on economic and broad cultural differences. Considering the resources available, I'd say the wars during that period were far more effective at killing whole gobs of people.

Quote:
I would have to see objective numbers to believe that modern day politics results in more deaths than all the constant "small" wars of back then.
And Iraq doesn't count as that was purely pulled out of W.'s butt for personal reasons, not political.
Todays wars have no sponsors, or only weakly linked sponsors, so violence tends to concentrate and become very local, pitting one tribe or regional group against another under the umbrella of a broader, regional war.

I think the American concerns in Iraq were more nuanced than that. But that is flame war material if I ever saw it, with everyone piling in an opinion. So lets concentrate on what might have beens.

Quote:
I think it's more that the cold war allowed Americans to hide in a cubby hole of denial that we were separate and safe from the violence of the rest of the world.
Changing that aspect early should have a profound effect on American cultural development. I imagine at least.
I think America WAS safe and seperate for too long a period. Some sort of foreign inspired disaster earlier on would have had a huge effect, I certainly agree. But lets keep with a the one timeline, the Spanish-Flu mutation.

As outlined by Astro, the US seems like a pretty nice place overall, aside from the very radicalized racist groups. Sure its socialized, but it doesn't sound worse than much of Europe. I still don't see moonbases, or much space exploration either way, but that's my issue :)

I guess you can get propaganda backed dictatorships, instead of a constant supply of minor wars, if you assume people would get tired of buying their kin after the plague. Again, I don't see that in human nature, but thats my issue. So instead of more violence and death, many groups decide to just believe whatever General/President for Life is saying. Maybe out of the ashes of the plague a new ideology springs up? It doesn't have to be unifying, just generally accepted, like Diving Right of Kings, or one or the other major economic theories currently popular. So the local General/President is given a lot of leeway, and doesn't rely on external wars to keep the populace in line.
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:33 AM   #346
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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The ParaHuman modifications, because of malfunctions, aren't what they were meant to be, but they are all positive. Plus two to all stats, a (+5) resistance to Disease, the Zero point traits of No Genetic Defects, No Mental Defects, and No Unattractive (all as defined in Biotech and Transhuman Space), plus Intuitive Mathematician, Edetic Memory, Language Talent, Sensitive, and Versitle. But the traits that bring the big surprises are Extended Lifespan(with the zero point trait of a regular length childhood, i.e. maturity at 18) and Longevity. Although geography and degree of contact/isolation effected the spread of the nano-virus, all racial and ethnic groups were effected with no apparent differences.

That there were large numbers of unusual children was understood by the mid-1960's (the new agey term STAR CHILDREN was applied to these kids in the popular press). It's not until the late 1970's that doctors learn that Star Children and regular humans can't interbreed (the StarChildren are parahumans).

It is now the late 1990's people are begining to notice that the oldest StarChildren, who are nearing 40, don't look as if they've hit twenty-five yet. Added fun, PSI exists on this Q6 world, and the Star Children tend to be good at Psionics.
I think it gets much more interesting if you put the changes in a different population. What happens if the epicenter is in a post colonial location. Africa or India would be fun, but my favorite is south america, one of the centers of the 'covert' cold war.
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Old 08-10-2014, 11:00 AM   #347
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Try this alternate; Nixonian America
The POD is HR Haldeman. In our history he did the very unlikely thing of NOT destroying the infamous White House tapes as he had been repeated ordered to do. Here, he did burn the tapes. With no "smoking gun" the impeachment of Nixon goes no-where, but stalls the government as Congress is locked in endless hearings. Nixon in the meantime doubles down, and is able to use the IRS, FBI and CIA to attack his political enemies. Woodward and Bernstein end up being audited, losing their jobs, homes, etc.

Seeing the increasingly autocratic Nixon, many foreign leaders give great credence to the Madman theory. Expecting the US to deploy nukes in Vietnam the Soviets deploy their own. Quickly discovered by the Americans, this is seen as a major violation of the Paris Peace Accords, followed by a carpet bombing of Hanoi, then a limited nuke exchange with Saigon, Haiphong and Hanoi all suffering nuclear attack.

Nixon declared marshal law, suspending most of the Constitution "during the grave emergency". Further jockeying by the Superpowers leaves Cairo and Tel Aviv as radioactive ruins. Dissent in the US is stifled, harshl.

Its now 1976 and Nixon is NOT allowing elections. Everyone is holding their breath as high altitude bombers wait for that one last order. Soldiers patrol the streets of major cities, hippie-style dress is outlawed and rock music is banned from the airwaves. Nixon has allies, and a lot of them have their own agendas, agendas Nixon doesn't really agree with, but can't turn from as many in his own Party have disavowed him, at least in private.

Adventures in this alternate would be based on saving the world by diffusing the tensions between the Soviets and West. Centrum would love to aid Nixon and his team, except they have no more desire than anyone else to be nuked. Opening up dissent could be a way to soften the US stance; so breaking Carl Sagan, Bob Woodward and Joan Baez out of jail to lead the propaganda campaign might be a good start.

Actually, ours might be the alternate and this one the main timeline - Haldeman was a loyal supporter until near the end, and I don't know why he wouldn't have burned those tapes.
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Old 08-10-2014, 11:05 AM   #348
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I think it gets much more interesting if you put the changes in a different population. What happens if the epicenter is in a post colonial location. Africa or India would be fun, but my favorite is south america, one of the centers of the 'covert' cold war.
Agreed. Superheros all seem to be American, but what if you're main heros are Anasi-man, Hombre de Fueraz, and Team Pandava ?
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Old 08-10-2014, 11:42 AM   #349
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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I think it gets much more interesting if you put the changes in a different population. What happens if the epicenter is in a post colonial location. Africa or India would be fun, but my favorite is south america, one of the centers of the 'covert' cold war.
I think you'd blend The Slan with the kind of anti-colonial politics that inspired Planet of the Apes. Only now the snide third-world types speaking about American inferiority wouldn't just be everywhere, they'd also be right in a limited way.

By spreading the transformation around, even if America is the epicenter, you get a wider variety of reactions. A wider variety of adventures.
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Old 08-10-2014, 05:11 PM   #350
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Nixon declared marshal law, .
Smurf will no doubt love this.
http://www.comicbooknoise.com/wp-con...tribunal-2.jpg


Did you mean martial law?


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