Friday, February 10, 2012

What if...?

I'm messing about with ideas for future -ROCKETMAN- games, wondering where to take world history now the games are beginning to seriously deviate from actual history. The concept of the games is based on the idea that a secret inner government of the British Empire has a time machine which they can use to jump back in time and correct any mistakes they made in order to preserve their power, and possibly extend it to full dominion over the Earth. In order for this idea to work, I have adopted a few ground rules.

First; there is, and can only ever be, one time machine. The very nature of the machine prevents any other machines being created.

Second. The time machine is anchored to the Earth's gravity field and cannot be moved from its secret location under Kew Gardens.

Third. Any one can use the machine to go back in time, but they must use their own memories as a map and they can only return to a point in time they remember. Any group of people who go back in time, must share a memory of the point to which they are departing for or they will not arrive at the same point in time. (I have pondered whether the traveller also arrives in a younger body, with only their memories intact, kind of like the human body as an energy wave form in time, and independent of the mind, but I'm not sure if I'll keep this idea yet).

Fourth. Every time the machine is used, it creates a new time line. The world being left behind continues without the time travellers.

Fifth. Travel to the future is impossible since no one has any memories of the future. Furthermore, travellers cannot return to the future they have left, since by virtue of their arrival in the past they have already altered the past by creating a new time line and subsequently, they have no memory of its future.

Sixth. Travelling further back in time than your own life is theoretically possible, but no character in the game has ever tried it. Some people have, but they merely disapeared into time and the people left behind can never know what happened to them.

Seventh. The machine is controlled by a small group of high standing individuals in the British establishment who refer to themselves as the Lords Temporal. They refer to the time machine as the Eternal Machine. Membership of this group fluctuates but is never allowed to exceed twelve members.

Eighth. Using the machine has consequences. Even subtle changes will eventually lead to ever greater changes over time. This means if the machine was last used in 1919, by the time -ROCKETMAN- takes place, in the mid to late 1930's, the changes are becoming more and more noticable to the travellers. To every one else of course, there is no change.

Nineth. Daniel Mansfield is the direct descendent of the man who invented/discovered time travel, but he doesn't know this.

So ideas of what if? abound. What if Hitler was assassinated in 1936? What would happen to Germany? Would another charismatic leader step into the power vaccum, and if so, whom?

With Hitler gone, and Guderian's chance at glory evaporated, what would happen to the evolution of armoured warfare? Would lighter faster tank battles still happen, or would the slow, ponderous land monsters continue to be built?

When Britain and France were not attacked by Germany, what would happen when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour? After all, the allied powers would then be independent of each other and the American war machine would be even more dormant than it was in December 1941. Is it feasable that an unprepared America would have to turn to the British Empire for a lend lease programme?

With Nazi Germany dissolving in the wake of Hitler's demise, would the country run to civil war? Would the Soviet Union seek to exert control over central Europe by sending military aid to German communists?


Tervlon said...

Hmm, I really like the ground rules that you have set up and the lore behind the machine thus far. However, I don't agree that this should be applied to Rocketman. Depending on how it is implemented, I think this should be a separate story. But that's just my opinion.

I trust your judgement as you are extremely good at crafting a wonderful story. My gut just doesn't like time travel. :) I say Rocketman needs to destroy this infernal machine.

moif said...

Well the machine is already in the game, but it plays no direct part. RM10 is loosely planned to be about what happens when Daniel Mansfield discovers the truth about his family's past. The moral question would be, what would a good man do if he discovered he was working with immoral people?

BTW I added a bit more to the orginal post (I had to fetch my daughter in the mean time so I edited the last bit in)

moif said...

And thank you for the compliment! =)

Tervlon said...

Oh, I guess I didn't realize that this was already in the storyline. Which chapter is it mentioned in? I'll have to go over to the Rocketman blog and check it out.

The update was helpful, thanks for pointing me to it. I think Mansfield discovering the truth will be great storyline and will certainly shake up the story and give us view to what Rocketman and his followers are really made of.

moif said...

Its never overtly stated, just hinted at in the various dialogues including Sir Hugh Sinclair.

The reason why I'm bringing it up now is because over the last year or so I have bought a number of new tank models (T-28, T-35, T-26 twin turret, OT-26, Char B1 bis and Vickers A1E1 Independent) and eventually I intent to incorporate these into a big European war scenario (RM12) with the British and French fighting against the Soviet Union for control of central Europe. (USA probably gets to fight the Japanese too, but thats further down the line).

Palle "Nybyggeren" said...

In any case, without Germany to fuel Europe's economy, then as now, development will likely stall in Europe. Denmark would be an agricultural producer for Britain more than anything and, with Norway, have huge fleets, and block the Danish Straits with mines.
Sweden... good question- selling weapons to both sides?
Italy would still be Fascist with Benito at the helm, and might possibly join the USSR or be neutral opportunist. Spanish Civil War? With no German support but the Reds and UK taking a hand? ...
France would probably try and keep up the "Entente" and be the dominant continental European power. But France was weary of war after loosing so many in WWI, would they be waging a war of aggression in Eastern Europe? I think not.
It is really- really hard to deviate that much from actual history. There are so many variables.

moif said...

Who said anything about a French war of aggression in Eastern Europe?

Palle "Nybyggeren" said...

Quote; "Monday, July 14, 2008
As Germany's descent into civil war drags France and Britain into conflict with Russia, Rocketman and his companions must put aside their misgivings and join the fight against Bolshevism!"

I suspect another charismatic leader would rise. Germany was too strongly nationalist to fall to pieces in 1936-37. The Baron perhaps, if he could be bothered. He should care about Prussia and Germany, but he is not really the type to be the figurehead of a nation and movement, and he considers the Nazia buffoons.

moif said...

I doubt that Germany could have produced another strong and charismatic leader in 1936. Even with Hitler gone, the Nazi party is still in power (I assume Hess initially takes over but I've not looked this up yet) but the second tier of Nazi leaders were little more than a bunch of goons and I personally doubt any of them could become another 'Fuhrer'. Hess certainly didn't have what it took. What would happen I think, is, with Hitler gone the Nazi party doens't function and quickly begins to dissolve into warring factions as Himmler, Goering and others try to take over. This leads to the party rapidly losing favour with the populace and the communists moving to aggravate the confusion as much as possible. The Germans were not all nationalist.

Baron Von Schöenberg could not take over the country, nor even Prussia. He simply doesn't have any support amongst the population. First of all he is a Prussian noble, of the old order, and they have largely fallen into the political hinterland by 1936. And second, he is on the far side of the world engaged in a project which demands all his skill and attention (and resources).