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Septimus- Can you give us any insights?


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Just to expand off of the other post I had offered, Septimus is a big, broad space opera set in the Seventh Empire, your basic galaxy-spanning, uber-powerful galactic empire. Long story short, this group of technology cultists called the Sindavar Extent ran afoul of the Empire and found itself persecuted and put on next-to-outlaw status. Fleeing persecution, and following up on some ancient legends, the Extent went to a far-off corner of the galaxy to live by itself. Out there, however, the Extent discover an ancient Dyson Sphere built by unknown aliens and is itself an item of unspeakably advanced technology. This sphere is the world known as Septimus. The Extent disappear into Septimus and pretty much drop out of sight. Years pass, and the Seventh Empire begins to have major problems, as the fabric of hyperspace becomes so overused by FTL ships and such that it begins breaking down. As trade lanes collapse and entire sections of the Empire become isolated, the Empire itself begins to break down rather rapidly. In depseration, the Seventh Empire's controlling heads looks for any way to maintain the status quo. They learn of Septimus, as does the general public, and the idea emerges that everybody will go there and restart their lives. Nobody bothers to ask the Extent if this is okay; they just go. Some figure they'll find their own corner of Septimus and settle down; others figure they'll take Septimus by force. When these people begin showing up, they find the Extent has created a massively powerful technological society that's rather creepy and tyrannical and is not happy to see all of these unbidden visitors. The Extent still remembers the reasons why it had to go way out to the galactic boonies, so they have ZERO interest in making things comfortable for all of these newcomers. These newcomers learn, too late, that once they jump inside Septimus, they can't really leave, so they find themselves in this massive, yet contained world where they can either try to make a life in the areas where the Seventh Empire is reconstituting itself within Septimus, try to become part of the Sindavar Extent, or find their own way on the 99.99999999999999999% of the rest of the surface, which is totally unexplored.

 

Based off of D6 Space, I wanted the game to be a cinematic space adventure game with lots of great campaign opportunities. The major dramas hardwired into the game are the war between the Seventh Empire and the Sindavar Extent in the space within Septimus, fighting in the rebellion against the Extent from within the Extent, fighting in the civil strife among the Seventh Empire elements within Septimus, exploring the Surface, running afoul of strange alien stuff in Septimus, or any combination of those. But Septimus is also so big of a world, I'd like to think that any kind of D6 Space campaign you can think of could somehow find a place on the surface of Septimus. Remember, this is a world with a million times the surface area of Earth. A million Earths. That's an awfully large stretch of territory in which to get lost, and many do.

 

Hope that helps provide some context! I'm always happy to answer any questions you guys have.

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Bill,

 

First, congratulations on Septimus! Really looking forward to buying it.

 

In this thread, you mentioned D6 Space - earlier I recall reading somewhere (could have been total rumor) that you were basing it more on some elements of older D6 releases like the rules for WEG Star Wars.

 

Is it completely D6 Space in all respects, minus whatever new rules are included (corruption, etc.)?

 

Thanks!

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Bill,

 

First, congratulations on Septimus! Really looking forward to buying it.

 

In this thread, you mentioned D6 Space - earlier I recall reading somewhere (could have been total rumor) that you were basing it more on some elements of older D6 releases like the rules for WEG Star Wars.

 

Is it completely D6 Space in all respects, minus whatever new rules are included (corruption, etc.)?

 

Thanks!

 

It's mainly based on D6 Space, but there there are nods to D6 Star Wars, such as the inclusion of character templates. I tried to keep the D6 Space chargen system, but also offered templates in case you want to make a characrer quickly, or need to stat out an NPC. The templates also helped me describe the setting by giving you a sense of who was populating it.

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It's mainly based on D6 Space, but there there are nods to D6 Star Wars, such as the inclusion of character templates. I tried to keep the D6 Space chargen system, but also offered templates in case you want to make a characrer quickly, or need to stat out an NPC. The templates also helped me describe the setting by giving you a sense of who was populating it.

 

Good decisions. With all the D6 variants out there, I don't see much need for seeing yet another one. At the same time, I welcome the inclusion of templates! I agree with all the reasons you list for it. They are also great for new players. At the same time, having a chargen system as well is a must. As I own most previous incarnations of D6 (Still missing Ghost Busters!), I hope the Septimus book won't be all rules though and that there will still be plenty of room for setting material. :)

 

Havard

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Thanks Bill! It sounds like a very interesting setting. A nice, built-in conflict with plenty of ideas for adventuring and all-around weirdness.

 

All set in the vast interior of a Dyson Sphere. And just to put it in perspective. The total area on the surface of the Earth is: 510,072,000 km2, of that (29.2% is land) 148,940,000 km2 (not all of it livable).

 

A Ringworld set at a distance of 1 AU (the mean distance from the earth to the sun, 150,000,000 km) with a width of a mere 1,000 km (640mi) would have a total surface area of: 942,477,000,000 km2

 

A Dyson Sphere set at a distance of 1 AU would have an area of 2.72 x 10^17 km2

 

Forget the powers, the zeros add perspective:

Earth: 510,000,000 km2

1km Ring: 942,500,000,000 km2

Sphere: 272,000,000,000,000,000 km2

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272,000,000,000,000,000 divided by 510,000,000 = 533,333,333

 

Over five hundred million times the surface of the Earth. Lots off room for adventure in there!

 

Thanks for your answer, Bill, and your stats, Rerun! August 13th can't get here quick enough for my liking... :D

 

And unlike the common notion of a Dyson Sphere with has a relative onion-skin surface, Septimus is remarkably thick. Septimus has a mantle, a crust, is techtonically and volcanically active and there is a high probablity of subterrainean areas which could extend the biosphere even more.

 

Septimus is effing HUUUUGE...

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272,000,000,000,000,000 divided by 510,000,000 = 533,333,333

 

Over five hundred million times the surface of the Earth. Lots off room for adventure in there!

 

Thanks for your answer, Bill, and your stats, Rerun! August 13th can't get here quick enough for my liking... :D

 

Thanks for the actual figures. When you really consider the surface area of a Dyson Sphere, even if you had a super telescope near the sun and did telescopic scanning of the surface, it would take forever. It's just that freaking huge inside. That's what I love about Dyson Spheres. From an outside, Galactic perspective, they seem big but nothing to really write home about. Inside, though, you see galaxies worth of living space in a sngle world, and you mind just boggles...

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And unlike the common notion of a Dyson Sphere with has a relative onion-skin surface, Septimus is remarkably thick. Septimus has a mantle, a crust, is techtonically and volcanically active and there is a high probablity of subterrainean areas which could extend the biosphere even more.

 

Septimus is effing HUUUUGE...

 

Yesiree! Thanks for the detail, Eric. I forget how thick I specified Septimus as being, but yeah, it's definitely got a very thick shell.

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I think my only complaint would be the lack of galaxy-spanning space combat. I always loved that part about Star Wars... Vast fleets of ships duking it out over some far-flung world.

 

Inside the sphere, you'd be limited to 1 AU's worth of volume and the focus would not about controlling space itself, but points in the sphere. Not to mention the fact that any weapon fired from a starship is going to hit SOMEWHERE on the inner surface of the sphere. ("Oh look hon, it's raining blaster fire. I guess the spacefleet is on manuevers again.")

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. Not to mention the fact that any weapon fired from a starship is going to hit SOMEWHERE on the inner surface of the sphere.

 

Highly doubtful. Blast/laser fire from a ship would not travel anywhere even remotely close to as much as 2 AU (from surface to opposite surface) due the the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Or, more accurately, the photons would scatter and "cool" to a equilibrium point and they would not be energetic enough to cause damage to anything on the other side.

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Highly doubtful. Blast/laser fire from a ship would not travel anywhere even remotely close to as much as 2 AU (from surface to opposite surface) due the the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Or, more accurately, the photons would scatter and "cool" to a equilibrium point and they would not be energetic enough to cause damage to anything on the other side.

 

Blasters might, but lasers (if we're talking real-world and not cinematic lasers) would only dissipate when they encounter air molecules close to the surface. Kinetic weapons are a whole other story. A torpedo or other projectile would continue on its merry way. Hopefully, the atmosphere clinging to the inside is thick enough to cause it to burn up before impacting the ground.

 

Dyson Spheres are definitely interesting thought experiments: Are things stuck to the inner surface via spin? if so, then perhaps only the middle third of the sphere would be habitable due to the gravity "falling off" as you head towards the pole. Or maybe the sphere doesn't need to spin and you have some artificial gravity mechanism to get things to stick. How do you maintain the day/night cycle for the inhabitants on the inside? If you put a shade sphere inside to artificially create day/night cycles, that could potentially create its own set of problems.

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Dyson Spheres are definitely interesting thought experiments: Are things stuck to the inner surface via spin? if so, then perhaps only the middle third of the sphere would be habitable due to the gravity "falling off" as you head towards the pole. Or maybe the sphere doesn't need to spin and you have some artificial gravity mechanism to get things to stick. How do you maintain the day/night cycle for the inhabitants on the inside? If you put a shade sphere inside to artificially create day/night cycles, that could potentially create its own set of problems.

 

I actually wondered all the same things. I've studied up a bit on dyson spheres myself because a few years ago I started dreaming up one for use in my Star Wars campaign (I think I got the idea from that Star Trek TNG episode with Scotty). So how about gravity and day/night cycles?

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Blasters might, but lasers (if we're talking real-world and not cinematic lasers) would only dissipate when they encounter air molecules close to the surface. Kinetic weapons are a whole other story. A torpedo or other projectile would continue on its merry way. Hopefully, the atmosphere clinging to the inside is thick enough to cause it to burn up before impacting the ground.

 

Dyson Spheres are definitely interesting thought experiments: Are things stuck to the inner surface via spin? if so, then perhaps only the middle third of the sphere would be habitable due to the gravity "falling off" as you head towards the pole. Or maybe the sphere doesn't need to spin and you have some artificial gravity mechanism to get things to stick. How do you maintain the day/night cycle for the inhabitants on the inside? If you put a shade sphere inside to artificially create day/night cycles, that could potentially create its own set of problems.

 

No, the second law of therodynamics states that you loose motive power to equilibrium even in absence of friction caused by matter (in a closed system). Furthermore, there IS particulate matter EVERYWHERE in space which will act as a friction force. Also, lasers are focused photon emissions, but not 100% focused. It is impossible to focus light 100% given that a photon is both a particle (may be focused) and a wave (cannot be focused and maintain a waveform). All photons will deviate given enough space. I contend that a shipboard laser is nowhere close to energetic enough to travel up to 2AUs without experiencing enough deflection and entropy to render it harmless.

 

Of course, I don't really KNOW one way or the other.

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In terms of Lee's Measures of the inner surface of a Dyson sphere, his calculations take into consideration the entire surface of the planet, not just the land mass. My understanding of a Dyson sphere is that the 2/3 water feature isn't as much of a requirement. So, I did the calculations based purely on Earth's landmass in comparison to the Dyson sphere, barring any water, a naked sphere has 1,826,238,753.86 times as much space as the land mass of Earth. Given that the surface receives the same amount of energy regardless of location, there's likely to be no polar regions unless created through artificial means. As such, you'd probably need less water over all in comparison to Earth, but enough to keep the place hydrated. So, doing an estimate of a 50% hydrosphere, the Dyson has a flat surface area of 1,066,666,666.67 greater than Earth.

 

If we just round it down to a billion, that's still feakin' huge. All I can say is: congratulations, Bill, you've found the ultimate job security. Good luck mapping that! ;)

 

In all seriousness, the really cool thing about this is that as points are relative to one another, players can exchange locations with one another without having to worry about interfering with any official storyline. There aren't enough gamers out there to map the sphere to the point that anyone can claim their map is "better" designed. Also, given the likely distortion of magnetic fields for the entire sphere, which way is north? lol

 

I'm hoping there's an explanation on how CMEs don't irradiate the surface.

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I have to be up front here; I was far more interested in the narrative possibilities of a Dyson Sphere than I was in the hard science of it, since so much of it would fall outside of our own scientific understanding. I did take care to consider that a hard Dyson sphere would need ot deal with the solar energy it traps, and I did write in a kind of supertech solution wherein excess solar energy doesn't eventually cook the surface. As for space combat, I discounted the thought of stray fire strafing the surface much in the same way that Coruscant didn't find itself under a hail of orbital fire during the big battle at the beginning of Revenge of the Sith.

 

I reckon there will be a lot of ship combat within Septimus, since 1 AU actually is plenty of space to have plenty of space battles in. If you're wanting huge capital ship battling, I think Septimus can accomodate it, but if you don't feel it can, the game CAN accomodate adventures outside of Septimus. The mere effect Septimus has on the rest of the galaxy is hastening the social disintegration afflicting the Seventh Empire, so there is doubtless large-scale civil war occurring in the most unstable parts of the Empire, and out there, anything goes. Septimus is the center of the universe insofar as what is determining the political and social course of the galaxy's history, but it's a big galaxy, and there are trilions of people out there who know of Septimus, are affected by how it's turning the Seventh Empire upside down, and who will never ever go to see the thing, let alone get involved in all of the craziness within the Sphere.

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I am a science/science-fiction nerd about some things, but I'm not one of the geeks that happen to worry about stray laser fire. :cool:

 

I've studied up a bit on dyson spheres myself because a few years ago I started dreaming up one for use in my Star Wars campaign (I think I got the idea from that Star Trek TNG episode with Scotty). So how about gravity and day/night cycles?

 

OK, how about this Bill? Even if there are no scientifc explainations provided in the game (which is ok - I can supply my own), let me just ask these two things about the dyson sphere. And I'm just asking yes or no - I'm not asking you to explain how these things are possible.

  1. Is there some kind of gravity on the entire inner surface if the sphere?
  2. Is there somehow a day/night cycle for those inhabiting the inner surface of the sphere.

Thanks.

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I bet this has been covered and I missed it. But, How is the universe being effected by the sphere? How is it causing a downfall of an empire?

 

Like I said I bet it was covered. I just seem to have missed it.

 

The Empire was unraveling due to the degradation of Hyperspace. After that, Septimus was discovered and there has been a mass exodus to the Sphere. Since the Empire doesn't control the Sphere (though I'm sure a few power families might pretend of desire otherwise), the overall effect has been that the Empire has been rendered somewhat impotent.

 

Though all logic would suggest that the Extent controls the Sphere, but I'm not really sure that is fair to say completely. The Extent's Cadre, and their Synthient "Queen" holds domination over the most densely populated and richest area in the Sphere (The Massive Mega-City Arcopolis) -- at least best best anyone else can tell -- Arcopolis represents a mere infantesimally small blip on the surface of the Sphere and one does not have to travel far from the cities center before populations which are EXTREMELY unfriendly to the Extant reign supreme -- kings of a Post-Apocalyptic wasteland.

 

Contrast that with the Archipelago (the inner planets and moons) which mostly controlled by mining and commerce factions seperate from the Extent. their controlled "territory" is actually much more massive than that of the Extent. Of course, the real source of power in Septimus is not territory, but technology, people, and manufacturing capability and few other factions can challenge the Extent for that controlling share.

 

Even though I mining guild might be powerful, you'd having to question the wisdom of trying to flex too much muscle when the Arcopolis' foundries are among the most efficient in the Sphere -- and who knows if those fanatical zealots have some super-tech weapon that could destroy an entire planet from within. Logic says, "probably," since the Sphere's makers had to know how to efficiently disassemble possibly thousands of terrestrial planets just to build the damn Sphere -- and the Archipelago itself is CLEARLY not original in its entirety, due to itself scientifically improbable layout.

 

See, I'm babbling... Anyway, Septimus isn't causing the Empire's downfall, but merely hastening it, because people are basically abandoning it for "better pastures."

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