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Old Ideas and new.

So I had a notion just after 4th edition came out, to come up with my own game world.   My rather ambitious notion, was a fantasy world set in a Dyson’s sphere.  I called it Hallow.  It was not a terrible notion all told, and I had some idea in it that I think are kind of cool.  The idea eventually petered out.  I think the problem I ran into was one of scale.

How do you describe a world that is literally hundreds of millions of kilometers across.  A Dyson sphere is a a theoretical construct that would encompass a star to catch all of it’s energy.   There are all kinds of problems with having one that actually existed.  No material known could survive the stresses of it’s construction, it would have problems providing gravity to the folks inside, and the problem of orbital drift could have it running into the sun eventually.  I just liked the visual, but how do you define a world with 550 million times the surface area of the Earth.   It is too much.
I was listening to The Tome Show today.   They had Kieth Baker on, talking about the process of world creation, and it started me thinking on how to maybe salvage the idea.  The other parts of the idea I think kind of worked.   The world is obviously artificial and essentially a vast city.   All of the people(more or less) found the world by portal and or accident and settled there.   They found a vast empty city world and made it their own.  I think that part is still workable. I like some of the back stories I had for some of the groups on the world.
I had a Human nation that were essentially a wayward band of Spartans and a few other Greeks, that stumbled upon the world.  There was a nation of barbarian raiders lead by a tribe of Dwarves that would put Conan to shame.  A floating citadel, became a small nation of Halflings, that had the secret behind making flying ships.   They created a trade empire that stretched across the known portions of the world as a result.  The Drow were deep runners still but nomadic ones with a claim to being the original race on the world, or at least one that had been there the longest.   They were gypsy themed in my approach to them.
Like I said, I had a lot of interesting little notions going into the world, but I think I was stymied by the scale problem.  So I am reopening my old wiki and doing some reworking.   I think there are some cool notions there still I can turn into something worth playing in.  I will likely get rid of the Dyson’s Sphere aspect but keep the world city and some of the other notions.
That is what is occupying some of my head space today.  I may add little bits I come up with here.   I am planning on writing more often on the blog, at any rate. This may be the subject for some of those posts.

Originally published at McCoy's Geeky Emporium of Thought. You can comment here or there.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
hoshiadam
Nov. 22nd, 2010 02:11 am (UTC)
Orbital drift is solved by the whole thing being balanced - equal force pull in all directions.
technoir
Nov. 22nd, 2010 05:12 am (UTC)
Hard to do that with a fluid with wild fluctuations in it's mass distribution, magnetic field and ejecting mass fairly regularly. The number of nigh impossible things that would have to happen to make a hard shell Dyson's Sphere is actual kind of staggering.

Interestingly, the notion Dyson actually tried to put out was a series of massive satellites that captured more of the suns energy as they were spread fairly evenly. The idea was to catch more of the energy for use by a sufficiently advanced society. This turned into the hard shell by later people, trying to interpret what he was talking about. This is of course, where we also get the Niven Ring, named after Larry Niven. It is the classic Ringworld which was to be a middle step between a the satellites and a hard shell Dyson's Sphere. After his first book involving the idea he had to make corrections because of the engineering problems he did not forsee but his readers did, like the orbital drift problem.
hoshiadam
Nov. 22nd, 2010 01:38 pm (UTC)
If the Dyson Sphere was rotating around the sun also, that would likely add the control/balance needed. It also would produce some unusual artificial gravity effects, since near the axis of rotation, the rotation and centripetal force would be less...
ikara_fox
Nov. 22nd, 2010 03:39 pm (UTC)
Also add the biggest problems of lethal solar radiation with no protective magnosphere and outward pushing solar wind which would slowly increase the particle density of "space" inside the Sphere along with ever increasing solar radiation and yes...heat. A star is really hot and there would be no cooler "space" for the heat to bleed off into.

Incredibly, Wayferny and I had a dinner conversation about the impracticality of a Dyson's Sphere.

With some form of artificial gravity, sustainable atmosphere, and radiation shielding a Ringworld makes far more sense.
hapersmion
Nov. 23rd, 2010 12:44 pm (UTC)
It's easy to make a Dyson sphere work. You do it with SCIENCE. :)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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