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100 Decisions that would have spawned an Alternate History


Off-Topic Discussions

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Qadira

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Sure we all know about that US plan to invade Canada if Britain fell to the Nazis(wwii) or the Hun(wwi)...but what little thing could have spawned a 360 degree change in direction down an alternate history?

100 Pivotal Moments

1. V-1 crashes in Marshlands in Britain...Brits salvage Rocket motor and add it to the Spitfire in place of the rolls-royce engine reducing the weight and increasing range and speed.

2. Columbus having agreed to turn back if they saw no sign of land on this next day...Mists/storms that had obscured the Americas on that fateful last day of Columbus's expedition forced him to turn back empty handed.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.

3. Sir Issac Newton deciding a leisurely tea at an inn would be better than a nap under an apple tree.


4. Maxentius defeats Constantine the Great at Milvian Bridge...the Roman Empire never adopts Christianity as a religion, thus it never becomes the dominant religion of Europe.

Qadira

DrowVampyre wrote:
4. Maxentius defeats Constantine the Great at Milvian Bridge...the Roman Empire never adopts Christianity as a religion, thus it never becomes the dominant religion of Europe.

There goes Constantinople...for starters.


5) Hitler decides to open a cabaret after WW1 and avoids politics.

6) Alexander the Great decides to head west instead of east.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
DrowVampyre wrote:
4. Maxentius defeats Constantine the Great at Milvian Bridge...the Roman Empire never adopts Christianity as a religion, thus it never becomes the dominant religion of Europe.

Half the world would probably be Muslim; Roman polytheism would still be common.

7. Lenin dies of diphtheria as a child. Russia never experiences revolution; Hitler, unintimidated by Moscow, ignores Russia and invades Britain.


Andrew Turner wrote:
DrowVampyre wrote:
4. Maxentius defeats Constantine the Great at Milvian Bridge...the Roman Empire never adopts Christianity as a religion, thus it never becomes the dominant religion of Europe.

Half the world would probably be Muslim; Roman polytheism would still be common.

7. Lenin dies of diphtheria as a child. Russia never experiences revolution; Hitler, unintimidated by Moscow, ignores Russia and invades Britain.

Interesting.

EDIT: You're up late.


8. Lincoln fails to preserve the union and the CSA becomes a viable nation state.

Yes I know Harry Turtledove already did this.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

9. Severe drought and bush fires ravage the east coast of the continent known as Terra Australis in the years leading up to and including 1770. When James Cook puts in at ‘Botany Bay’ he finds a charred wreck of a land and notes that the place does not seem fit for human habitation. A decade and a half later, when Britain is deciding what to do with its huge convict population, the southern continent is not considered as a viable option for transportation.


10. At the end of the french and indian war, France decides to give over Martinique instead of Canada to England. English colonists get to appreciate snails, or are massively deported to the thirteen colonies further south.


11) William the Conqueror decides to be William the Courtier instead, doesn't pursue the English throne.

124.7b) Lee Harvey Oswald decides not to buy a magic bullet - his shot doesn't curve, instead hits its mark and kills the CIA sniper on the grassy knoll. ^_-


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Cards, Pawns Subscriber
Andrew Turner wrote:
DrowVampyre wrote:
4. Maxentius defeats Constantine the Great at Milvian Bridge...the Roman Empire never adopts Christianity as a religion, thus it never becomes the dominant religion of Europe.

Half the world would probably be Muslim; Roman polytheism would still be common.

Unlikely, as Byzantine Christianity was a great influx for the birth and development of Islam... There would probably be some other Middle Eastern big movement, perhaps connected to pre-Islamic Persian religion...

Another one: Anthony won over Octavius 30 BCE and developed an Egyptian-Roman Empire, merging Eastern and Western Mediterranean culture, instead of the Western-centric Augustean one.

And yet another: Hannibal does raze Rome after Cannae. Carthage becomes the Rome of the Western Mediterranean


France decides not to support American revolution...
North America becomes the crown jewel of the British Empire, which endures - no longer dependent on India and Singapore.

GRU


16)General Howe pushes up the Hudson to support Burgoyne at Saratoga instead of turning towards Philadelphia.

17)Benedict Arnold sucessfully betrays the Continental Army at West Point

18)Robert E Lee places country before State and accepts command of the US army in 1861


19) Tensions during the Cuban Missile Crisis run high, and diplomacy breaks down...the Cold War turns hot.

20) Franz Ferdinand's driver doesn't get lost in Sarajevo. Gavrilo Princip never gets the opportunity to turn the botched assassination attempt successful.

Cheliax

21) britian allies with the germans in WWI, effectively cutting down the war to a couple of months, monarchy and empirialism still remain in the world...


22)The Apollo 1 fire ends US interest in space exploration..no Moon Landings..no Shuttle..No International Space Station..no Hubble Telescope.

23)Ernst Rohm pre-empts the 'Night of the Long Knives'Nazi Germany dissolves into a welter of blood in 1933.

Qadira

DrowVampyre wrote:

19) Tensions during the Cuban Missile Crisis run high, and diplomacy breaks down...the Cold War turns hot.

Considering Cuba already has a number of Soviet Short Range Surface to Surface Nuclear Missiles in place at the time JFK issues the blockade, Any Hot conflict is likly to include a Preemptive launch from Cuba at any US target within 300 miles.

Qadira

DM Wellard wrote:
22)The Apollo 1 fire ends US interest in space exploration..no Moon Landings..no Shuttle..No International Space Station..no Hubble Telescope.

Oo! the flow-on is staggering.

Qadira

DrowVampyre wrote:
124.7b) Lee Harvey Oswald decides not to buy a magic bullet - his shot doesn't curve, instead hits its mark and kills the CIA sniper on the grassy knoll. ^_-

Shooter on the grassy knoll turns out to be Baseball Hero Joe Di Maggio and this is over the death of his woman Marylin Munro at the Hands of the President and his Brother.


24) The Council at Nicaea goes a lot more diplomatically than ever thought, the Bible is increased by several books in size including those detailing the early life of Jesus and alternate Gospels.


25) France decides to invade Germany after growing nervous about their increasingly mechanized army circa pre WWII.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

26: The Spanish "Grande y Felicisma" armada, finding perfect weather en route to their invasion of Britain in 1588 conquers England with numerically superior forces and eventually reinstates Catholicism across Northern Europe with a subsequent series of wars and inquisitions.


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26) Malcolm X breaks off from Elijah Muhammad immediately after returning from Mecca, taking his movement in a more political and less religious direction.

27) Oliver North enjoys total recall, and shares it with America while on trial.

28) The Great Wall is not completed in time, resulting in a massive invasion of China by the Mongols.

29) The kamikaze never occurs, and Japan is conquered by outside forces.


Bitter Thorn wrote:

8. Lincoln fails to preserve the union and the CSA becomes a viable nation state.

Yes I know Harry Turtledove already did this.

8.1 Lincoln decides to stay home instead of go out to theatre.

Taldor

30.) Mark David Chapman decides to head home to get to bed early on December 8th, 1980 rather then head by the Dakota apartments.

Andoran

31. Jesus Christ proven to never have died. Lived out his days as a hermit.

32. Muhammad never has a divine revelation. Continued to work as a merchant for his wife.

33. Alexander the great doesn't die at the age of 32. Consolidates his power. Greek Empire lasts for over 1,000 years.

Qadira

Gunny wrote:

33. Alexander the great doesn't die at the age of 32. Consolidates his power. Greek Empire lasts for over 1,000 years.

That has potential...Persia becomes First Democracy.

Qadira

Mothman wrote:
9. Severe drought and bush fires ravage the east coast of the continent known as Terra Australis in the years leading up to and including 1770. When James Cook puts in at ‘Botany Bay’ he finds a charred wreck of a land and notes that the place does not seem fit for human habitation. A decade and a half later, when Britain is deciding what to do with its huge convict population, the southern continent is not considered as a viable option for transportation.

34. British Government decides to Sell their convict population into Slavery in the USA.

35. 1526 Tidal Wave does not take out the Islamic Colony in North Australia. Australia becomes an Islamic State as the indigenous population are converted to the one true faith.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

36. The US Supreme Court rules that the Florida Recount is legal and allows it to be completed.


I think those should be 37. and 38.


United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 (II) Future Government of Palestine fails by a vote of 25 to 26, with 5 abstentions.


In 1908, Henry Ford decides to base his assembly line Model T on an electrical engine instead of a gasoline engine.

Qadira

Pocahontas realizes she will never be viewed as more than an exotic plaything by her pale skinned paramour never betrays her people.

The indigenous peoples of the new world avoid contact with the pilgrims.


Moorluck wrote:
The indigenous peoples of the new world avoid contact with the pilgrims.

I would very much like to see an alternate history where Native Americans give up the nomadic lifestyle and develop an alphabet. I know there were some non-nomadic Native Americans, but I would like to see a what if they had developed technologically equivalent to Europe, or even better, China.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Lincoln picks a decent VP instead of the miserable Andrew Johnson who devoted most of his term to doing what he could, which was a lot, to restore every aspect of slavery except the name.


Shakespeare decides to live out his days as a country schoolmaster rather than go to London. He never produces anything of value and dies in obscurity.


Mothman wrote:
9. Severe drought and bush fires ravage the east coast of the continent known as Terra Australis in the years leading up to and including 1770. When James Cook puts in at ‘Botany Bay’ he finds a charred wreck of a land and notes that the place does not seem fit for human habitation. A decade and a half later, when Britain is deciding what to do with its huge convict population, the southern continent is not considered as a viable option for transportation.

The French settle the east coast and the Dutch the west. The Aboriginal people suffer terribly just as in the real time line (owing to Germs, Guns, and steel).


Andrew Turner wrote:
DrowVampyre wrote:
4. Maxentius defeats Constantine the Great at Milvian Bridge...the Roman Empire never adopts Christianity as a religion, thus it never becomes the dominant religion of Europe.
Half the world would probably be Muslim; Roman polytheism would still be common.

One of the competing cults that offered the same things as Christianity would win out, Mithridaism, The Isis cult, Orphic Mysteries and so on.


42) Alexander Flemming decides to throw out his mold contaminated bacteria sample in 1928.


43) Orville and Wilbur Wright stay content running a bicycle shop.


44) Reaizing whats happening, the passengers of all 4 flights on 9/11/01 fight back against the hijackers, retaking the planes.


Thanatos95 wrote:
Alexander Flemming decides to throw out his mold contaminated bacteria sample in 1928.

I was thinking about some science and technology ones also, but I find they don't usually work as well because someone else would eventually make the discovery. It's kind of interesting, there have been a huge number of more or simultaneous independent major scientific discoveries. It seems like humanity reaches inflection points where it is 'ready' for a certain move forward, and then it happens, sometimes a few times independently in a short space of time.


Thanatos95 wrote:
Orville and Wilbur Wright stay content running a bicycle shop.

Australian Lawrence Hargrave invented the box kite and dedicated his life to constructing flying machines. In the 1880s he experimented with monoplane models and by 1889 Hargrave had constructed a rotary airplane engine, driven by compressed air.

Somebody gives Lawrence the money to build a full size version of his aircraft.

Because he believed

"Workers must root out the idea that by keeping the results of their labours to themselves a fortune will be assured to them. Patent fees are so much wasted money. The flying machine of the future will not be born fully fledged and capable of a flight for 1000 miles or so. Like everything else it must be evolved gradually. The first difficulty is to get a thing that will fly at all. When this is made, a full description should be published as an aid to others. Excellence of design and workmanship will always defy competition."

We would be 20 years ahead in aeronautics as he wouldn't keep the designs to himself.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Proto-amphibians haul up onto the shores of the Devonian sea and, disappointed by the lack of predatory species capable of controlling their population, declare evolution to be a huge waste of time and return to the predator-rich waters where they are promptly eaten by giant, armor-plated fish.


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47) 100 million years ago a small asteroid bumps a much larger one, changing its course by .000000001 of a degree. 55 million years later, the larger rock misses earth by 1000 miles. 10 million years after that, Nail Tailstrong becomes the first dinosaur on the moon.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

48)Union Corporal Barton Mitchell keeps the three cigars to himself, and discards the piece of paper wrapped around them (and thus losing Special Order 191). McCellan's Army of the Potomac remains ignorant of Lee's invasion of Maryland. No Battle of Antietam happens, and the successful invasion creates enough havoc in the Northern states to extend the Civil War or end it in the Confederancy's favor.

49) Lietenant US Grant is killed by a sniper's bullet while riding a dispatch during the battle of Monterrey in the Mexican-American war. No Grant means no one successfully breaks Confederate Vicksburg - keeping the western theater open during the Civil War. No success at Chattanoga, which means no infamous "March to the Sea." William Sherman likely never recovers his stature from his "nervous breakdown" that he would have under Grant. The US Civil War likely drags on longer as a result.

Qadira

George Washington deciding he likes being in charge and declaring himself George the first.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

51) The Pittsbugh Pirates decide that a young Cuban lefthander's nasty curve and amazing sinkers are worth gambling on despite his poor speed. The Pirates go on to win 5 World Series between 1948 and 1958, breaking the Yankee Dynasty, behind pitcher Fidel Castro. Cuba operates with corrupt governments for decades while the Mafia continues to expand their gambling enterprises. Las Vegas remains a desert town of no consequence.

52) The Vienna Academy of Fine Arts accepts Adolf Hitler's entry. Although his painting never rises above mediocre, he is able to apply the training for successful application to architecture. Hitler's style eventually becomes successful in government buildings - evoking Wagnerian art styles.

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