Brainstorming a Ringworld adventure

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Brainstorming a Ringworld adventure

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:35 am

Reynard wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:53 am
So they have the ability to extinguish stars without causing an immediate gravitational collapse creating a singularity?! Also they can manipulate the orbital physics of the other star(s) so the loss of the delicate gravitational balance doesn't send the stars winging off into the void? That's science definitely bordering on magic.
Read this:
https://orionsarm.com/eg-article/47897e8b1947c

No singularity is involved.
This ringworld is in some vague period I call "the future" it is approximately between 10,000 AD and 1,000,000 AD.

Probably something less than a million years is sufficient to accomplish the task of taking apart a star. A ringworld has the surface area of 3 million Earth's, the Stationary ring I talk about has more than that, and it has the entire substance of the taken apart Alpha Centauri B to use as fuel, to power its fusion reactors, and it can consume this fuel at whatever rate is convenient, the energy is used to stabilize the ringworld around the central star, and also to run a partial Matrioshka Brain, a full sized brain would have the surface area of one billion Earths if at a 1 AU distance from a star, and you don't really need an Earth's worth of surface area to simulate an Earth sized planet, it all comes down to the number of sophonts you are simulating, if there is not a pair of intelligent eyes in that part of the simulation space, you don't really need to get down to atomic level detail, statistical modeling can be used instead. The surface area of the stationary ring is probably in excess of 3 million Earth's and it can simulate more than 3 million inhabited planets at a minimum, and they all don't have to share the same simulated universe either. If you wanted to simulate present day Earth in this partial Matrioshka Brain you could with hardly any extra resources than you used to simulate Charted Space. You could simulate the Earth from many different past eras, and it could open up gates all over the surface of the ringworld and download all sorts of things and people from those simulations using spare atoms it has in storage. Now if a gate opened up from our present day Earth, or a simulation of it, what would we modern Earthers do if we could step out onto the surface of this ringworld? Lets say for instance a 3 meter wide diameter gate opened up over a water fountain in Central Park?


Central Park, New York City, and all the residents thereof would all be part of the simulation, until they stepped through and became real. There memories would be real, as their brains would now be made up of real atoms instead of simulated ones.
Hakkonen
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Re: Brainstorming a Ringworld adventure

Postby Hakkonen » Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:14 pm

Yatima wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:49 pm
Godwin's law: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches 1."

Krenstein's law: "As an online discussion about Traveller grows longer, the probability of the discussion getting derailed by someone's hobby horse approaches 1."

True.

J
Holy balls, yes. Tom, I'm gonna ask you to spin this whole "ringworld as giant computer simulating the OTU" thing off into its own thread if you want to keep talking about it, because it's not useful for my purposes and is, frankly, derailing my thread.
Sigtrygg wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:28 am
What is it about the ringworld setting you want to hit your players over the head with? Starport - train - control centre, but we are on a ringworld, does not hit the players over the head.

They need to be out and about on the ringworld, they need to appreciate its scale and it potential.

You basically have planet of the week adventure just by going from ringworld square to ringworld square - what are the races, cultures and technologies of the inhabitants like? How will the players get from location to location on the ring itself - walking isn't an option :)
The scale is what I want to hit them over the head with. If I know my players at all, they won't be satisfied with just disabling the starport tractor beam and flying away.

At ground level, Earth's horizon is less than 5km away. On a ringworld, there is no horizon. At the spaceport control center, I'm planning for them to find enough wrecked aircraft to be able to cobble together a working example.
PsiTraveller wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:43 am
Things will depend on the tech level of the inhabitants. Is there a functioning high tech society still operating on the Ringworld? A functioning train system seems to indicate yes, unless it is robot maintained long after the society has fallen.

Goal of adventure: Is it to simply escape? They crash, repair a ship and manage to escape. Now what. A massive ringworld changes the imperium. Think of the possibility of an infinite army with 3 million worlds worth of people to get infantry from. Set up and train, teach high tech weapons and tactics and you can drown the opponents in cannon fodder. Or does the Ringworld contain high tech infinite wealth technology for everyone?
There is no high-tech society. I'm going with Niven's assumption that, once technological civilization falls, it can't rise again, due to the absence of a source of workable metals. Most, if not all things durable enough to have survived the fall are made of high-TL alloys that can't be worked with wood-fired forges.

The goal is exploration, and escape. I'm pretty sure I can string this out for months. As for the ringworld changing the Imperium, I'm not sure that it does, that much. There is no meaningful wealth to be had, and while there may be relatively huge numbers of people, the population density is much lower than civilized planets, and the people are mostly hunter-gatherers. If you want to raise an army here, you'd better be prepared to trawl a vast area to do it, and spend a lot of time and money getting them up to speed.
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Re: Brainstorming a Ringworld adventure

Postby Yatima » Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:37 pm

Hakkonen wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:54 am
... but there are indications that they might be connected to a control center in the ringworld's interior ...
Have you thought what these indications might be?

In Ringworld, Niven writes a lot like a mystery novelist, whose characters reason from first principles to determine that there is a repair centre, and that it's under the map of mars, and what they might find there in the way of Protector equipment and so on. This delivers his payload of 'Sense of wonder' and all is well.

Your players probably don't have Sherlock Holmes' or Louis Wu's powers of deduction, so how will you have them set goals? It could be as in-your-face as a map with Repair centre marked on it, but are you going for something subtler?

J
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Re: Brainstorming a Ringworld adventure

Postby steve98052 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:00 pm

Hakkonen wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:14 pm
. . . As for the ringworld changing the Imperium, I'm not sure that it does, that much. There is no meaningful wealth to be had, and while there may be relatively huge numbers of people, the population density is much lower than civilized planets, and the people are mostly hunter-gatherers. If you want to raise an army here, you'd better be prepared to trawl a vast area to do it, and spend a lot of time and money getting them up to speed.
As an example of this point, consider the Iran Iraq war. Iraq had a strong army, and plenty of Soviet equipment. Iran had an army in chaos due to escapes and purges of Shah loyalists, and plenty of Western equipment but a shortage of expertise.

Iraq rolled over Iran at first, and the tide only turned after its equipment and manpower wore down. Iran threw a million or so minimally trained conscripts into combat, with little effect other than stalling Iraq's efforts at conquest by distracting them with people to kill. The tide only turned when Iran put its larger population to use at rebuilding industrial strength to throw equipment into the fight instead of cannon fodder.
Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Brainstorming a Ringworld adventure

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:41 pm

Hakkonen wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:14 pm
Yatima wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:49 pm
Godwin's law: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches 1."

Krenstein's law: "As an online discussion about Traveller grows longer, the probability of the discussion getting derailed by someone's hobby horse approaches 1."

True.

J
Holy balls, yes. Tom, I'm gonna ask you to spin this whole "ringworld as giant computer simulating the OTU" thing off into its own thread if you want to keep talking about it, because it's not useful for my purposes and is, frankly, derailing my thread.
Sigtrygg wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:28 am
What is it about the ringworld setting you want to hit your players over the head with? Starport - train - control centre, but we are on a ringworld, does not hit the players over the head.

They need to be out and about on the ringworld, they need to appreciate its scale and it potential.

You basically have planet of the week adventure just by going from ringworld square to ringworld square - what are the races, cultures and technologies of the inhabitants like? How will the players get from location to location on the ring itself - walking isn't an option :)
The scale is what I want to hit them over the head with. If I know my players at all, they won't be satisfied with just disabling the starport tractor beam and flying away.

At ground level, Earth's horizon is less than 5km away. On a ringworld, there is no horizon. At the spaceport control center, I'm planning for them to find enough wrecked aircraft to be able to cobble together a working example.
PsiTraveller wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:43 am
Things will depend on the tech level of the inhabitants. Is there a functioning high tech society still operating on the Ringworld? A functioning train system seems to indicate yes, unless it is robot maintained long after the society has fallen.

Goal of adventure: Is it to simply escape? They crash, repair a ship and manage to escape. Now what. A massive ringworld changes the imperium. Think of the possibility of an infinite army with 3 million worlds worth of people to get infantry from. Set up and train, teach high tech weapons and tactics and you can drown the opponents in cannon fodder. Or does the Ringworld contain high tech infinite wealth technology for everyone?
There is no high-tech society. I'm going with Niven's assumption that, once technological civilization falls, it can't rise again, due to the absence of a source of workable metals. Most, if not all things durable enough to have survived the fall are made of high-TL alloys that can't be worked with wood-fired forges.

The goal is exploration, and escape. I'm pretty sure I can string this out for months. As for the ringworld changing the Imperium, I'm not sure that it does, that much. There is no meaningful wealth to be had, and while there may be relatively huge numbers of people, the population density is much lower than civilized planets, and the people are mostly hunter-gatherers. If you want to raise an army here, you'd better be prepared to trawl a vast area to do it, and spend a lot of time and money getting them up to speed.
A ringworld would not be stable unless actively maintained by some intelligence, it doesn't have to be a human intelligence, but something has to keep the ringworld centered on the star, if it drifts just a little off center, the near end will be attracted to the star more than the far end, so it needs positioning control, thus a computer of some sort to maintain that control. If a technological civilization has fallen, maybe that is intensional. A ringworld has the surface area of 3 million worlds, so if each had 7 billion people for each world that would be 21 quadrilion people, if the population for each world's worth was around 700 million, that would be 2.1 quadrillion people, if you bring it down to 70 million, that is still 210 trillion people, if you bring it down much further than that, you won't have many encounters with people.
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Re: Brainstorming a Ringworld adventure

Postby BigDogsRunning » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:10 pm

Depending on how old you want it to be (perhaps it was created by a pre-Ancients species) any amount of materials or technologies could be found to have accreted here. Maybe it was built 100 million years ago, and cannibalized a secondary, or two. Maybe it was built from another solar system that was passing bye, and they had lots of material to work with? (Got the idea from Tom Kalbfus's thoughts about Alpha Centauri)

Maybe a prior civilizations tried to colonize it and sent lots of mass in via sub-light, taking 100's or 1000's of years to deliver materials they felt they would need to successfully build what they needed. There could be any number of types of lifeforms here. If the Ringworld was sectioned off on its inner side, there could be any number of different environments as well. Different atmospheric makeup, pressure, water environments, perhaps some that weren't finished and are still vacuum? Perhaps it was built as a renewable source of population, with a deep skin of usable resources. Maybe there is even some sort of tectonic plate simulator, like a giant conveyor belt in some/all of different sections to allow natural-like, long time-scale change. This could have been a long-term plan for a colossal cosmic zoo that never reached fruition.

Just because the Ancients are written into Canon, doesn't mean you can't reach further back and create an older, different civilization. If you do, please give them an actual name, instead of just co-opting a descriptive noun. :D
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Re: Brainstorming a Ringworld adventure

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:46 am

BigDogsRunning wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:10 pm
Depending on how old you want it to be (perhaps it was created by a pre-Ancients species) any amount of materials or technologies could be found to have accreted here. Maybe it was built 100 million years ago, and cannibalized a secondary, or two. Maybe it was built from another solar system that was passing bye, and they had lots of material to work with? (Got the idea from Tom Kalbfus's thoughts about Alpha Centauri)

Maybe a prior civilizations tried to colonize it and sent lots of mass in via sub-light, taking 100's or 1000's of years to deliver materials they felt they would need to successfully build what they needed. There could be any number of types of lifeforms here. If the Ringworld was sectioned off on its inner side, there could be any number of different environments as well. Different atmospheric makeup, pressure, water environments, perhaps some that weren't finished and are still vacuum? Perhaps it was built as a renewable source of population, with a deep skin of usable resources. Maybe there is even some sort of tectonic plate simulator, like a giant conveyor belt in some/all of different sections to allow natural-like, long time-scale change. This could have been a long-term plan for a colossal cosmic zoo that never reached fruition.

Just because the Ancients are written into Canon, doesn't mean you can't reach further back and create an older, different civilization. If you do, please give them an actual name, instead of just co-opting a descriptive noun. :D
I quite agree, how about some non-Ancient ancients?
And I think I will create my own thread, lets call it "Centauri Ringworld", this is more of a futurian ringworld rather than an alien ringworld, futurian in that the builders are technological descendents of mankind. I will say no more about it here so as not to hijack this thread.
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Re: Brainstorming a Ringworld adventure

Postby Epicenter » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:00 am

Hakkonen wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:54 am
Larry Niven's Ringworld is one of my very favorite novels, and lately I've been thinking about a Traveller adventure or mini-capaign set on a ringworld. Here's what I've got so far:
I'm not sure if you're still following this thread since everything went all meta crazypants but looking over the early posts, a few things struck me about running an adventure for a tabletop game on a Ringworld.

Many years ago, there was an article in a old Dragon magazine I found regarding running the old TSR RPG "Top Secret." One of the pieces of advice in that excellent article that really has stuck with me throughout the years used an example game where the characters were sent to Hawai'i, however the entire adventure occurred at night in a high rise office building. The author pointed out: What was the point of going to Hawai'i? It could have been set in any city or town that had a highrise office building. I think that finding some elements unique to a Ringworld (or this particular Ringworld) and factoring it into your adventure would make it memorable to your players; a ringworld is a unique place you should have some situations that can only occur on a Ringworld that your players can experience; otherwise they'd be fine just doing the same situation on a planet. Candidates for such a thing would include things that manipulate the nature of the ringworld itself; like its very fast momentum could be used to fling a ship that doesn't have a working manuver drive away from the ringworld fairly easily, until it gets to the equivalent of 100D out so it can jump out. The fact that everything on the surface of the ringworld is a bas relief and underneath it is near frictionless scrith. The two things suggest some really loony ideas: Like what if the player ship doesn't have a working maneuver drive because of how they were caught and they don't have any way to repair it. However, they were forced down near a scrith desert (where the hull material is bare to the sky) ... enough chemical rockets and a slope could be used slide their ship across the nearly frictionless surface and fling it into the space like a giant ski jump via the 'mountains' at the border walls of the ringworld. It's certainly not the kind of thing that is possible on a planet...

* I'm not really a big fan of the idea of a bunch of starports lining the edges of the Ringworld; if such a massive and unique structure was a part of "interstellar civilization" anytime in the recent past, Charted Space would have rumors or hard facts about the existence of the ringworld. I feel it should be a place that somehow draws people in, but doesn't let them go.

* I do like the idea structure is very old and has civilizations that have risen on it and fallen on it many times. It's possible some of these ancient settlers did manage to find a way off of the world; if it was hundreds of thousands of years ago and then they died out for whatever reason, reliable records of the Ringworld might have vanished into easily dismissed myth in the meantime.

* If the Ringworld is that old, it's likely the builders were even more advanced that the Pak who made the Ringworld in Niven's novel and likely build their Ringworld to last for unfathomable periods of time ("eternity") so the engineering would likely be significantly different. Like no 'altitude jets' to keep the Ringworld stable - it probably does it through some method of actually using its own star's gravity or something to correct its orbit - without need for complex computers or machinery it'd be one of those systems that is automatic, uses the very laws of the universe as its "machinery" and is elegantly simple to a physicist upon seeing how they did it (with the addition of: "Well, the trick is that you'd need to be TL21+ to set it up in the first place, the binary stars in the center there had their masses adjusted to work as the balances and they probably had to remove mass from the stars and adjust their orbits to do that...").
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Re: Brainstorming a Ringworld adventure

Postby Reynard » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:07 am

"If the Ringworld was sectioned off on its inner side, there could be any number of different environments as well."


One of the Man-Kzin Wars books had a zoo world featuring huge sectioned off environments based on many sampled worlds one of which was the Kzinti homeworld. A human whose ship had crash landed found kzninti females in suspended animation for fifty thousand years and they are very intelligent. They before the time kzinti males bred their women to be very low intelligence.

So yeah, you could also have a world in the Traveller universe with sampled environments including the six major races from their less civilized past and maybe races that no one has ever seen before.
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Re: Brainstorming a Ringworld adventure

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:03 pm

Epicenter wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:00 am
Hakkonen wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:54 am
Larry Niven's Ringworld is one of my very favorite novels, and lately I've been thinking about a Traveller adventure or mini-capaign set on a ringworld. Here's what I've got so far:
I'm not sure if you're still following this thread since everything went all meta crazypants but looking over the early posts, a few things struck me about running an adventure for a tabletop game on a Ringworld.

Many years ago, there was an article in a old Dragon magazine I found regarding running the old TSR RPG "Top Secret." One of the pieces of advice in that excellent article that really has stuck with me throughout the years used an example game where the characters were sent to Hawai'i, however the entire adventure occurred at night in a high rise office building. The author pointed out: What was the point of going to Hawai'i? It could have been set in any city or town that had a highrise office building. I think that finding some elements unique to a Ringworld (or this particular Ringworld) and factoring it into your adventure would make it memorable to your players; a ringworld is a unique place you should have some situations that can only occur on a Ringworld that your players can experience; otherwise they'd be fine just doing the same situation on a planet. Candidates for such a thing would include things that manipulate the nature of the ringworld itself; like its very fast momentum could be used to fling a ship that doesn't have a working manuver drive away from the ringworld fairly easily, until it gets to the equivalent of 100D out so it can jump out. The fact that everything on the surface of the ringworld is a bas relief and underneath it is near frictionless scrith. The two things suggest some really loony ideas: Like what if the player ship doesn't have a working maneuver drive because of how they were caught and they don't have any way to repair it. However, they were forced down near a scrith desert (where the hull material is bare to the sky) ... enough chemical rockets and a slope could be used slide their ship across the nearly frictionless surface and fling it into the space like a giant ski jump via the 'mountains' at the border walls of the ringworld. It's certainly not the kind of thing that is possible on a planet...

* I'm not really a big fan of the idea of a bunch of starports lining the edges of the Ringworld; if such a massive and unique structure was a part of "interstellar civilization" anytime in the recent past, Charted Space would have rumors or hard facts about the existence of the ringworld. I feel it should be a place that somehow draws people in, but doesn't let them go.

* I do like the idea structure is very old and has civilizations that have risen on it and fallen on it many times. It's possible some of these ancient settlers did manage to find a way off of the world; if it was hundreds of thousands of years ago and then they died out for whatever reason, reliable records of the Ringworld might have vanished into easily dismissed myth in the meantime.

* If the Ringworld is that old, it's likely the builders were even more advanced that the Pak who made the Ringworld in Niven's novel and likely build their Ringworld to last for unfathomable periods of time ("eternity") so the engineering would likely be significantly different. Like no 'altitude jets' to keep the Ringworld stable - it probably does it through some method of actually using its own star's gravity or something to correct its orbit - without need for complex computers or machinery it'd be one of those systems that is automatic, uses the very laws of the universe as its "machinery" and is elegantly simple to a physicist upon seeing how they did it (with the addition of: "Well, the trick is that you'd need to be TL21+ to set it up in the first place, the binary stars in the center there had their masses adjusted to work as the balances and they probably had to remove mass from the stars and adjust their orbits to do that...").
The hardest thing for me to swallow is that of an alien race building this thing for humans to live on, this is why I don't go the alien route in my version of this thing. Niven makes an alien ringworld, with gravity and day length just a little bit off, but with the primary inhabitants being humans and near humans, and somehow adapting to these slightly off conditions. Niven brings up the Ancient Astronaut theory, and its been used quite a bit in Traveller too with the Ancients, I think it gets slightly old.

So putting it together, some Ancients build this enormous structure with the surface area of 3 million Earths, and then abduct some primitive apes from a primitive planet because they like apes, they make nice pets, and suddenly the Ancients disappear and those "Apes" take over the planet. How many times has this story been told and its many variations?
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Re: Brainstorming a Ringworld adventure

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:19 pm

Reynard wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:07 am
"If the Ringworld was sectioned off on its inner side, there could be any number of different environments as well."


One of the Man-Kzin Wars books had a zoo world featuring huge sectioned off environments based on many sampled worlds one of which was the Kzinti homeworld. A human whose ship had crash landed found kzninti females in suspended animation for fifty thousand years and they are very intelligent. They before the time kzinti males bred their women to be very low intelligence.

So yeah, you could also have a world in the Traveller universe with sampled environments including the six major races from their less civilized past and maybe races that no one has ever seen before.
All the enviroments would have the same gravity, although you could change the atmosphere. In Niven's ringworld, they had a polar projection map on Mars. To give Mars a Very Thin atmosphere, it had to be a giant platue at such an altitude that at the top the atmosphere was as thin as on Mars, the only thing was, it was a thin Earthlike atmosphere composed of nitrogen and oxygen instead of carbon dioxide. Mars also had a shore which took the form of a sheer cliff face rising a good 50 kilometers above sea level so the atmosphere at the top was sufficiently thin. The gravity of course was the same almost Earth gravity, and it had that same tropical sun beating down on its surface, so it wasn't a very good likeness of Mars conditions. For some reason the builders wanted to make the map of Mars the control room for the ringworld, I don't know why.

In the Traveller setting you have a number of different enviroments, a ringworld is mostly just one environment with different climate variations, whatever planet it is trying to emulate, it is the environment your stuck with, it is a big artifact, but unless you know where to look or are very luckly, there is a lot of sameness to it. It is enourmously huge, but compared to a human being, a planet is also huge. You can wall of sections with different atmospheric mixtures, but you still get the same gravity and the same lighting conditions etc, the same daylength in fact. Different planets in the Traveller Universe have different gravities, different lighting conditions, different atmospheres and different daylengths, so its a little problematic to make a ringworld into a zoo for different intelligent species.
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Re: Brainstorming a Ringworld adventure

Postby Yatima » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:41 pm

Reynard wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:07 am
One of the Man-Kzin Wars books had a zoo world featuring huge sectioned off environments based on many samled worlds one of which was the Kzinti homeworld. A human whose ship had crash landed found kzninti females in suspended animation for fifty thousand years and they are very intelligent. They before the time kzinti males bred their women to be very low intelligence.

So yeah, you could also have a world in the Traveller universe with sampled environments including the six major races from their less civilized past and maybe races that no one has ever seen before.
This is one of my favourite Man/Kzin stories – Cathouse, by Dean Ing.

J
"I hunker in the corner facing the door. Anyone that opens the door gets a full clip."
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Re: Brainstorming a Ringworld adventure

Postby Sigtrygg » Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:18 pm

Tom Kalbfus wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:03 pm
The hardest thing for me to swallow is that of an alien race building this thing for humans to live on, this is why I don't go the alien route in my version of this thing. Niven makes an alien ringworld, with gravity and day length just a little bit off, but with the primary inhabitants being humans and near humans, and somehow adapting to these slightly off conditions. Niven brings up the Ancient Astronaut theory, and its been used quite a bit in Traveller too with the Ancients, I think it gets slightly old.
Have you read Niven's stories?

The ringworld was built by Pak Protectors to protect their species from extinction - humans in Niven's universe are descended from Pak who made the journey to Earth two and a half million years ago, but their protector stage died out and humanity evolved from the Pak children and Pak breeders they had brought with them to flee a conflict in their home system.
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Re: Brainstorming a Ringworld adventure

Postby Sigtrygg » Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:19 pm

snip since deleting a double post is not possible.
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Re: Brainstorming a Ringworld adventure

Postby BigDogsRunning » Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:19 am

Seems like a society advanced enough to build a ringworld, if they walled off different sections, could implement differing gravity/filter sunlight for different environments as well. There is enough space that they could simply create an environment for every world or moon, within a few thousand light years, so they have a convenient cage in which to drop anything that piques their interest. It could/would have all been done by machine, they don't get bored, or object to seemingly pointless orders. Who is to say they didn't just replicate every world they encountered with landmasses, gravity, atmosphere, sunlight, etc.?

How wide an area could they replicate? you know, just in case they needed to study something in an environment similar to where they gathered the sample?

What if the damned thing was the result of a misinterpreted order to the servitor machine of some billion year old long-dead species? What if the species that kicked it off never even knew it was being built?
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Re: Brainstorming a Ringworld adventure

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:02 am

Sigtrygg wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:18 pm
Tom Kalbfus wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:03 pm
The hardest thing for me to swallow is that of an alien race building this thing for humans to live on, this is why I don't go the alien route in my version of this thing. Niven makes an alien ringworld, with gravity and day length just a little bit off, but with the primary inhabitants being humans and near humans, and somehow adapting to these slightly off conditions. Niven brings up the Ancient Astronaut theory, and its been used quite a bit in Traveller too with the Ancients, I think it gets slightly old.
Have you read Niven's stories?

The ringworld was built by Pak Protectors to protect their species from extinction - humans in Niven's universe are descended from Pak who made the journey to Earth two and a half million years ago, but their protector stage died out and humanity evolved from the Pak children and Pak breeders they had brought with them to flee a conflict in their home system.
Which sounds a lot like the premise to the reimagined Battlestar Galactic series and how it ended. So basically this is "humans are aliens". Yes, I read the books, basically Niven cooked up a complicated life cycle with a human being as one of the stages of that life cycle, it is a someone torctured explanation as to why aliens would build something for humans, yet leave the other humans as primitives on Earth while they did so. "Humans as aliens" is of course another variation of the Ancient Astronaut theory. I've gone a different route, instead of imagining Ancient Astronauts and a parallel history of technological achievment next to human evolution from apes on Earth, I just take the action to the distance future, and imagine that we are the Ancients, and so areour "machine descendents". We in the future develop artificial intelligence and we develop ways to upload human minds into machines, and then download them again. One popular activity is to simulate fantasy worlds on a computer, using AI programs to run the various characters within them, and some of these computer generated worlds become very detailed and highly self-consistent up to the point where it becomes hard to distinguish them from reality.

And then at some point we start simulating the past, reconstructing past history with these simulations, and they become self-consistent worlds within themselves. One such world or worlds is the OTU, a fantasy universe set in space with FTl drives, some frusterated space explorers created such a world where they would not be held back by the speed of light, they imagine FTL drives and gravity manipulation, and that some people have psionic powers in a galaxy that is teeming with alien live and civilizations, all that is one computer simulation within the ring world. Some historical simulations also run by the ringworld have taken on a life all of their own, with history going in its own direction. and then something in the ringworld computer decides to open up gates and download some of these simulated people onto the real universe on the ringworld floor. This would be physical downloading, recreating things from the past without actually going back in time to retrieve them, this includes things like dinosaurs or at least how we imagined them to be if not the actual real thing.

In this way, we can get characters we can identify with, from worlds like our own, or from our favorite science fiction setting into the distant future where this ringworld was built. that is my alternative to the Ancient Astronauts hypothesis. I don't have to imagine lost myths and monsters or the Kingdom of Atlantis to make this work.
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Re: Brainstorming a Ringworld adventure

Postby steve98052 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:06 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:18 pm
Have you read Niven's stories?

The ringworld was built by Pak Protectors to protect their species from extinction - humans in Niven's universe are descended from Pak who made the journey to Earth two and a half million years ago, but their protector stage died out and humanity evolved from the Pak children and Pak breeders they had brought with them to flee a conflict in their home system.
I've read very little Niven. A megastructure seems like a dubious plan to protect a species from extinction, because it still leaves the species at the mercy of a single system.

Where did the Pak Protectors get the matter for their ringworld?
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Re: Brainstorming a Ringworld adventure

Postby Sigtrygg » Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:35 pm

To make a ringworld you need a superscience-ly strong material - in the setting this is called scrith. It is dense enough to protect the ringworld inhabitants from the exploding galactic core...

Pak protectors of the original species have genius level intelligence+, they invented scrith and made it from stuff using matter transmutation technology. Homo sapien based protectors are smarter still, which is how the human protectors have always won - so far - against their long lost cousins.
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Re: Brainstorming a Ringworld adventure

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:28 am

Sigtrygg wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:35 pm
To make a ringworld you need a superscience-ly strong material - in the setting this is called scrith. It is dense enough to protect the ringworld inhabitants from the exploding galactic core...

Pak protectors of the original species have genius level intelligence+, they invented scrith and made it from stuff using matter transmutation technology. Homo sapien based protectors are smarter still, which is how the human protectors have always won - so far - against their long lost cousins.
It is only one way, requiring something we have not discovered yet, there is also magmatter, it is theoretically strong enough if we can find and make magnetic monopoles and create magatoms out of them, one little detail though, magmatter tends to destabilize normal matter upon contact causing conversion into energy. Another way is to use force fields or reactionless engines accelerating the part toward the Sun, but I prefer to use 1000 times more matter and the force of gravity to hold it together, it is much simpler that way, and it doesn't require any new convenient discoveries about physics. Another way is to use negative matter, an equal magnitude of negative matter to your positive matter will tend to cancel out the inertia, net mass is zero, all you have to do is divide the vacuum into negative and positive masses. But I prefer normal matter and physics we understand and no about rather than "pulling a rabbit out of a hat." Some people just like to pull rabbits out of hats whenever they write science fiction, need a fast way to get somewhere? Just pull a rabbit out of a hat and you get an FTL drive! You want you crew to stick to the floor? Pull another rabbit out of the hat, and there is a button you press which turns gravity on.
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Re: Brainstorming a Ringworld adventure

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:06 am

Ringworlds are not possible with known physics an material science limitations. Everything you mention as a solution to building a ringworld requires handwavium at best, unobtanium at worst.

You can not build a ringworld by just using more matter - 1000 times you say - as the mass of matter would be ripped apart by the centripetal force of the spinning ringworld.

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