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🎨 Creative [Riff] Step-fort: Interdimensional Colonial Marines vs. the Long Giegerish Earth...

Snow Goon

Credible Hulk
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#12
I've got a question: how is communication handled between Earths? Is it possible at all via some kind of transmission, or do communiques need to be couriered via some kind of traveling post office?
 

Flynn

Registered User
Validated User
#13
You say forts can't be moved because they're as big as a building, but the obvious thing to try is to put them inside a ship. Arriving in a ship instead of an immobile building has some big advantages, as long as you can map you will appear in water. If you can't, then it's still a step up than being in a building which might appear over water and sink.
 

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
#14
I've got a question: how is communication handled between Earths? Is it possible at all via some kind of transmission, or do communiques need to be couriered via some kind of traveling post office?
I'm figuring no contact outside the world you're in, so that leaves us with post offices. Probably small 20-foot tall uncomfortable "News Stands" that jump from world to world, updating and transmitting information. Probably just radio and mail, with little to no real "Internet", as I'm picturing computer technology closer to Mother than Microsoft.

You say forts can't be moved because they're as big as a building, but the obvious thing to try is to put them inside a ship. Arriving in a ship instead of an immobile building has some big advantages, as long as you can map you will appear in water. If you can't, then it's still a step up than being in a building which might appear over water and sink.
As I figure you only show up in water if you screw up (let's say there's some readings before you jump that a trained professional will go "dude, we gotta move or we're sunk"), or you choose too (there's nothing wrong with making a fort water-tight--at least you keep things clean), so you could jump mid oceanic if you want--that will probably cause at least a few HP of damage to the fort as "sudden pressure changes" also kind of explain explosives, but otherwise ok.

You could also build a fort that floats, and sure strap a few engines on there, but...it's not a regular build, mainly because there's normally no reason to make one a boat, when you could just jump into the neighborhood where you want to be.
 

Shadowjack

Cartoon Poet
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Validated User
#15
I love the imagery of just the forts, but I must admit that it does make sense for there to be (water) ships, too. They'd be more expensive – and the idea that there has to be a connection to the ground to jump makes an interesting limitation. You have to drop anchor – probably a special kind of anchor – to "move"! Jumpships avoid deep sea. Which is wise anyway, who knows what's down there?

And it totally suits the 80s sci-horror milieu to have a world-jumping aircraft carrier, alá The Final Countdown. And I imagine bats attacking such a carrier going down like the fight between Tetsuo and a carrier in the manga version of Akira. They're so small and fast, the jet fighters can't track 'em; the carrier would frantically withdraw at first sight of them, and a pilot who got stuck in a furball might not make it back for the jump out.

I figure something that big and effective would be expensive and rare, though. Like… maybe the Company doesn't bother with 'em, but the remnants of one of the old Earth governments ("The USR, right? I get those old countries mixed up.") still clings to some of their old armaments, or has managed to build new ones in secret on some side world.
 

Snow Goon

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#16
Milford Stenz has been operating Post Stand 921-Q-054-Ω for the last two years. His route takes him across 209 Earths over the course of 351 days, with a two week vacation on Earth 509. Like all postmen, Stenz is dedicated to keeping his appointed schedule. While this is easy on the more settled or civilized Earths, it can be a real challenge on the frontier Earths and smaller colonies. Sometimes thieves lay in wait for post stands, hoping to intercept valuable information or even just typical shipments moved between Earths. Often they're more concerned with the larger corporate step-forts, but out on the frontier some people are driven by desperation.

Though he's never had to fire his Colt Postman, Stenz maintains the gun religiously. Just bringing it out on the counter can stop things before they get too far.
 

Eric the .5b

Hail the Milleni-odel!
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#17
I'm trying to figure out why step-forts would stop by worlds where the only inhabitants are a family (or few families). I'd expect any settlement with significant trade links to be at least a mining settlement.

Also, for moving step-forts on land, might I suggest something like a crawler-transporter, because that is a fantastic visual.
 

xrayzed

Transfixed
Validated User
#18
This reminds me of H. Beam Pipers Paratime stories, but different enough to be a very different take on the parallel worlds concept.

Due to the number of worlds the setting is very sandboxy. A game could be based on escape, defeating the Bats, finding a world where humans and Bats can co-exist, setting up trading between worlds, or whatever.
 

brennanhawkwood

Registered User
Validated User
#19
Reminds me a bit of the Multiverse series (Hell's Gate, Hell Hath No Fury and The Road to Hell) by David Weber and Linda Evans. Basically 2 different alternate dimension Earths each discovered a way to open a chain of portals to other Earths. Each new Earth was basically the same but with no people and the portal to the next Earth in the chain being in a different place on the planet. The books themselves are the story of the two earths (one based on magic and one on science/psionics) running into each other in the middle and the conflict that started as a result. I remember thinking that the train one of the two starting earths had set up as a nearly continuous line running from portal to portal and thus across multiple dimensions was a cool idea.
 

NobodyImportant

Registered User
Validated User
#20
Questions...

1. AI. Androids are evidently a thing, and I’d like a little more examination on them. How many makes and models are out there, and which are most popular? Are there any models that have become self-sufficient, making more of themselves in factories without human assistance? Is it all ‘droids, or are there AIs that control habitats, satelites, or even Forts? I can see a lot of appeal in players having a sapient base.

2. Exactly how weird can the alternate Earths get? On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “Earth, but the Haast eagle is still around”, and 10 being “The planet Midnight from Doctor Who, made of diamonds, lacking an atmosphere, and covered in psychic super-predators”, how weird can the things you see outside your Fort get?

3. Bats. How big can they get? How large are their swarms when initially encountered? They must be limited, because only ever encountering bats on bat-worlds wouldn’t be as fun. How do they act in the absence of humanity?

4. Bats can cling to the side of Forts when they step. Can humans?
 
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