Jan
05
2017

GURPS Infinite Worlds: Titanic-1.

titanic-1-google-docs

Titanic-1

 

On this world, the Titanic did not hit an iceberg and sink in the Atlantic, although possibly some of its owners might wish that it had. But that’s a backdrop to the real situation, which is this: there’s a lot of research to be done on Titanic-1 into the nature of timelines and divergence points, but unfortunately there are two broadly incompatible lines of research to be done.  And each line of research has its own bureaucratic partisans. …Really, it’s almost enough to make one wish for Centrum to show up. At least they can be more directly thwarted.

Titanic-1, 1913

 

Current Affairs

Infinity does ongoing research on a timeline found just after its divergence point from Homeline’s.

 

Divergence Point

1912: A delay in Belfast causes the RMS Titanic to miss the critical iceberg.

 

Major Civilizations

Western (Empire with rivals), Islamic (empire), Chinese (Empire)

 

Great Powers

Great Britain (oligarchy, CR3), United States of America (democratic republic, CR2, CR5 for minorities), German Empire (monarchy, CR 3), Republic of France (democratic republic, CR3), Russian Empire (dictatorship, CR4), Ottoman Empire (dictatorship, CR5), Chinese Empire (feudal, CR3-5)

 

Worldline Data

TL: 5

Quantum: 4

Mana Level: None

Centrum Zone: Not yet discovered

Infinity Level: R5

 

The maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic turned out to be quite the scandal.  It all started when a sharp-eyed port inspector in Belfast noticed what appeared to be external evidence of an ongoing coal bunker fire, and proceeded to raise enough of a stink to delay the ship’s voyage to Southampton for its first transatlantic voyage until the matter could be managed away.  The end result: on Homeline, the Titanic sailed west on April 10th. On Titanic-1, it sailed on April 11th.

 

This was enough to ensure that the Titanic did not hit an iceberg on the evening of April 14th.  Instead, it sailed onward, disembarked its passengers in New York on April 18th, and was set to sail back when a scandal involving the White Star Lines erupted over the methods used to get the ship sailing.  The eventual lawsuits and criminal investigations involve have almost literally tied up the Titanic in NYC harbor indefinitely: indeed, it was the existence of the Titanic at port that alerted the Infinity team what and where the divergence point was.

 

Outworld Involvement

When it comes to Titanic-1, Infinity has largely given over observation and operational duties to its research departments.  The timeline was discovered in May of 1912, local time: at first, there was some speculation that Titanic-1 was an anomalous echo, but that theory was of course soon disposed of.  It is now just simply accepted that Infinity got lucky by having a freshly-changed world to look at.

 

So, of course, Titanic-1 is the prize in a particularly vicious bureaucratic in-fight between two factions of Infinity researchers.  Broadly speaking, one faction wants to simply watch as events unfold, which very much includes waiting to see whether Titanic-1 blunders into World War I.  The other faction wants to use the Titanic’s survival as a testbed for various academic and political theories about the inevitability of everything from World War I to the annexation of Cuba to the social acceptance of jazz.  This debate has gotten so acrimonious that all parties involved agreed to book time on Infinity’s negotiation facility on Blip: time there passes at a much faster rate, to the point where a month long summit meeting there only takes a little over four hours on Homeline.  …There was still no final resolution of the dispute, so in the meantime both sides have quietly called in favors in order to run their pet projects.  They might even, in fact, call in a team of I-Cops who owe some bureaucrats some favors, or would like some bureaucrats to owe them some favors.

 

Other Timelines

The Titanic surviving is often just a by-product of some other divergence point, but there is definitely one recently-discovered world (Titanic-2, Q3, 1927) where… something was going on with the Titanic.  Something very strange, in a parachronic sort of way.  The entire timeline has just been rated Z1, and apparently nobody’s cleared to know why.

 

The material presented here is my original creation, intended for use with the In Nomine and GURPS systems from Steve Jackson Games. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games.

In Nomine and GURPS are registered trademarks of Steve Jackson Games, and the art here is copyrighted by Steve Jackson Games. All rights are reserved by SJ Games. This material is used here in accordance with the SJ Games online policy.

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