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Old May 10th, 2003, 12:48 PM
TKalbfus TKalbfus is offline
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Has anyone ever played Alternity? There was a book called Tangents Which dealt with parallel Universes. It seems to be that an alternate Traveller setting would handle the very well. You need just one tiny alteration in Jump Drive technology. Instead of Jump Drives 1 thru 6 you simply have the jump drive at TL9-15, capable of moving to an adjacent parallel Universe hex on the subsector map. Each hex instead or representing a parsec of space really represents a parallel Universe with a version of Earth in it usually. Each parallel Universe shares the same history as our Universe up to a point in the past, beyond that point history follows a different path from our own.
To start a parallel Earth campaign start with a Subsector Map and place the 21st Century Earth as we know it in hex 0405. UWP X867974-8. Now For Hex 0505 you keep the Physical part of the UWP _867 and you reroll the social data, I prefer to use a 1d12-1 to make the initial population roll and use 2d6-7 + Pop for everything else. 1d12 for the starport (E), 1d12-1 for the population (8), 2d6-7 + pop for the government (3), 2d6-7 + gov for the law level (0), and for the tech level 1d6 we have 2. If the tech level is less than 9 logically it can't have a starport so it reverts back to X so we now have the following UWP X867830-2, this matches an age circa 1400 to 1700. The government digit indicates a Self-Perpetuating Oligarchy. This sould be taken as the predominant government form for most of the nations on this parellel Earth rather than a world wide Self Perpetuating Oligarchy. Feudalism never died in this parallel Earth, this in turn has retarded technological development so that it remains at TL2. The explaination is that this world had no bubonic plague in the late Middle Ages, this in turn didn't kill large numbers of people which in turn didn't destroy the feudal system in Europe. The peasant remained tied to the manor system, the aristocrats and nobility remained in power and the development of gunpowder was discouraged. Slowly technology improved and ships capable of crossing the Atlantic were built. Knights in shining armor ran through the native Americans with their lances and swords, they brought no guns, so the Indians had only bows and arrows to fight them off, the full plate armor that the knights wore proved quite effective against arrows. Slowly the Feudal system was established in North America and it remained that way until the 21st century.
That is just one example of a parallel Earth. the basic procedure is to fill every hex on the subsector map grid with a parallel Earth in a like manor. Now how do these early 21st century humans from our own world visit these parallel Earths. Well at some point during the first or second decade of the 21st century, the Earth as we know it is visited by spaceships from a parallel Universe carrying representatives from a parallel Earth. This is the vangard of the Imperium, a TL15 Empire started long ago by the Romans. Rome never fell on this world, there were no dark ages, and technological development continued so that the Romans are 1,000 years ahead of our own 21st century Earth. After a brief battle, the Techno-Romans Conquered our own near future Earth with all the implications you can imagine. These Romans are pagans, Christianity never developed on their world, although they don't believe in their gods as much as they used to. (mostly their uneducated masses rather than their educated elite. Mostly what the Romans want is tribute, so long as the nations of our Earth pay tribute to the Roman Empire, they can keep their elected governments, dictators, or whatever, in return the Romans have brought in their technology TL9 - TL12, never their best stuff of course to maintain their military advantage, but the high tech helps the tribute paying nations to grow their economy so they can pay more tribute. The our some rebels on our Earth who don't like this situation and there have been a number of guerilla attacks against Roman Legionaries, and some Christian missionaries have gone to the Roman Earth to spread their gospel, and some muslims as well for that matter. Their are many other parallel Earths to explore in the meantime and the imported Roman technology allows the PCs to do just that.

Hows that for a Traveller setting?
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Old May 10th, 2003, 02:52 PM
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There are so many awesome sources for a GM on this subject.

There was a cool suppliment for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that dealt with multi-verses (and time travel too). It had some very interesting alternate universe ideas. p.s. When we played TMNT, it was never cute and fuzzy!

Sliders is now showing week days on SciFi channel; never payed it much attention until I finally enough Kromag (sp?) episodes to figure out the story arc.

www.alternatehistory.com is a good clearing house too!
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Old May 10th, 2003, 03:29 PM
TKalbfus TKalbfus is offline
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Quote:
Sounds interesting, actually. I had given some thought to combining cross-time travel with a space opera campaign. The problem I kept running across is that in most alternates, every world except Earth will be uninhabited -- no one to trade with, and even establishing colonies gets old pretty quickly. You've neatly sidestepped that problem.
Well, that depends on how close a parallel it is. So far I've discussed historical parallels. At some point in the past the timeline diverged from our own, this occurs when humans are around so there are humans in these historical parallels as well. Another sort of parallel is a prehistoric parallel, in this universe humans may or may not have evolved. If humans had not evolved, then this parallel Earth most likely will not be inhabited by any intelligent creatures and so is ripe for colonization. There is a third parallel that I haven't mentioned either, in these parallels you reroll the Solar System using the expanded system generation methods in Traveller. You basically start with a yellow G2 V sun and you reroll all the planets, this is why Traveller space ships are most useful for this kind of Travel because the ship will precipitate out into empty space. The Superspace ship will then need to find a Gas Giant, iceball world or a comet from which to refuel in order to travel to the next Parallel. I think putting parallels in clusters works best with Superspace Traveler. In the middle of each subsector is a parallel Earth, surounded by historic parallels, which are in turn surrounded by prehistoric parallels, that are then surrounded by cosmological parallels where another Solar System exists, but at the center of each subsector is a cluster of parallel Earths, and superspace ships need to cross the cosmological parallels to get to each subsector's parallel Earth cluster. I think this can be explained by an even higher dimension than superspace through which the Superspace ships cannot Travel. The parallel Earth's in the center of each subsector influence each other since they are closest together along that higher dimension. The topology of superspace looks like a crumpled up piece of paper, but the superspace ships cannot take those shortcuts and so must travel along the surface of superspace to get to these other Parallel Earth clusters.
These parallels also come in two categories, the contacted parallels and the uncontacted parallels. The Roman Empire Earth is very far away from our own contemporary Earth Parallel, and the Empire has only recently expanded to include it, just a little farther away in superspace are uncontacted parallels that aren't aware of each other. Further into the Empire each parallel becomes sucessively more Romanized, and the worlds resemble each other culturally and technologically. So the interesting direction to go in is toward the superspace frontier which is not far from our Earth. Many of the rebels who don't like Roman rule also travel in that direction to get away and to build bases for thie resistance. PCs could play those rebels if they wish. The Roman Empire is not nearly as progressive as the Third Imperium and its Emperors aren't nearly as nice, but the distances involved limit their control over the perifery, and as in Traveller tradition communication is only as fast as the fastest ship, and the fastest ship can only go jump-1 in superspace. Count the number of hexes and that's how many weeks a message takes to get their. The Roman Empire is about 100 hexes is diameter so it really can't expand much more than that, but it does try.

Tom
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Old May 11th, 2003, 06:35 AM
Antony Antony is offline
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Then there is the scout ship which misjumped and emerged into a system from which no other stars (other than the systems primary) could be detected on any sensors. The ship is in orbit over a large planet with an abnormally low surface gravity for its mass, teeming with life and with TLs from 0-3 with evidence of widespread "psioncs" and alien species not before encountered.

Recognise the description?
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Old May 11th, 2003, 01:23 PM
TKalbfus TKalbfus is offline
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No D&D world I'm famailiar with if that's what you mean.
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Old May 12th, 2003, 06:56 AM
Shadowdancer Shadowdancer is offline
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Yes, it does sound like a D&D world -- the world of the Dark Sun setting, was it called Athas?
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Old May 12th, 2003, 09:44 AM
TKalbfus TKalbfus is offline
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The abnormally low surface gravity for its mass threw me. I wasn't aware that Athas was much larger than Earth.
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Old May 12th, 2003, 12:00 PM
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I liked the idea of Sliders (if not the actual show), but one issue that they never really dealt with is the fact that a number of worlds would be so similar as to be indestinguishable from each other. If the number of parallel worlds is infinite, and, basically, a new parallel world springs into existence when something different happens, then parallel world A and parallel world B could be only different in that a kid drops a stone into a lake in one world in one place and another place 6" to right in another. From the viewpoint of a visitor to the worlds, probably even many, many years hence, the worlds would be identical.

Still, alternate histories/timelines are fun and fascinating. [img]smile.gif[/img]

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Old May 12th, 2003, 02:22 PM
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FTL travel seems somehow pointless if'n it's not in the same universe, at least to me...
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Old May 12th, 2003, 02:50 PM
Keklas Rekobah Keklas Rekobah is offline
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There's a simple way to simulate parallel universes in an ongoing Traveller campaign. When a "Slider" event occurs, just switch referees! Each of us knows the Traveller rules, yet each of us also translates those rules a little differently, even to the point of ignoring or emphasizing diferent aspects of Traveller altogether.

It works out pretty well. One ref may play a universe in which the Ancient Grandfather never existed, and thus the Vargr, Vilani, and Zhodani do not exist (or they might exist in a different context or form).

Another may play Ancients (and Grandfather) as Humans instead of Droyne. Solomani becomes the rightful heirs to all that Ancient technology. Would Ancient cities be full of sphinxes and pyramids? Would the Ancients have been Egyptians? Gua'uld? Both?

What if the Ancients manipulated terran cats (instead of dogs) and interbred them with the Aslan? Would the result be the race of Kzin?

What if Sol were class K8-V instead of G2-V? Would Venus be humaniti's homeworld instead of Earth? Would humaniti even be humaniti?

Each player in an ongoing campaign could take any simple "What if...", and run with it. Then, if a critical misjump occurs, the ship could emerge in a parallel universe simply by switching referee's!

Of course, something would have to be done with the new ref's old character. Maybe in the new universe, he or she simply ceases to exist and the old ref's character appears instead.

"Have you noticed something strange about the chief engineer since the misjump - like maybe he's now a 57-kilo human female?"

Whaddaya think?
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