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How big is the Coalition Ark anyway?

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  • How big is the Coalition Ark anyway?

    I haven't found a single reference to the exact (or even approximate) size for the Coalition Ark. Then again, I haven't read through Alien Encounter: Deception yet. I did find a couple of references to the fact that the Ark can sustain between 800 million to one billion inhabitants and has done so for a very long time.

    Damn thing sounds like Rama.

    Anyone got any ideas on how big this monstrosity is?



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  • #2
    If I recall correctly, there's an image somewhere showing (don't have my books to hand) a leviathan jump ship near one, giving a sense of its scale. But not sure about specific size though.


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    • #3
      Originally posted by Su-tehp View Post
      I haven't found a single reference to the exact (or even approximate) size for the Coalition Ark. Then again, I haven't read through Alien Encounter: Deception yet. I did find a couple of references to the fact that the Ark can sustain between 800 million to one billion inhabitants and has done so for a very long time.
      I seem to remember a throwaway line about it being moon-sized. While i don't take this to mean our huge ass moon, i expect it could be close in mass enough to exert gravitational force. I'm too lazy to get the books out to check, but during its visit to Beta Canum Venaticorum it drops huge processors down to the world's surface for the process of sifting the planet for resources - at least that is what my memory is telling me. As a source, i could use support, as i have some pretty zany head-canon surrounding the Ark and Coalition that has all but assimilated into my thinking about the setting.

      Originally posted by Su-tehp View Post
      Damn thing sounds like Rama.

      Anyone got any ideas on how big this monstrosity is?
      Rama (from A.C. Clarkes Rendezvous with Rama, 50x16km cylinder), which does it with pretty hard Science, is a decent, but still undersized comparison to make. Somewhere between that and the death-star (100km diameter sphere) you will find the Ark, in my humble opinion. Sadly the Rama allusions fade pretty quickly once contact is made, making way for space opera. Not a bad thing overall, but very few sections of Trinity eschew hard science as flagrantly as the Ark, which sometimes leaves me with a lot of work to do before running the ultimate invasion (if i ever get there).
      If it counts, i approximate it's size as physics-bendingly huge - bigger than anything we could build using contemporary scientific technique. It should be collapsing under its own gravity to poison the next generation of stars, formed from its metal-rich remains - yet there it is cruising the milky way. It's lampshade big, dramatically unparralleled in the setting.
      At least that's how i understood it.
      -shrug-

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      • #4
        "That's no moon! It's a bunch of creepy, ass-raping aliens who are cross-breeding with human mutants WHO ARE COMING TO KILL US ALL. RUN!"
        -something not said by Obi-Wan Kenobi in any of the Star Wars movies ever. (But I have high hopes for upcoming movie The Force Awakens. You never know.)

        Yeah, I looked up Rama just for comparison's sake, but Rama being only 50kms in length seems way too small compared to how the Ark has been described. I'm thinking I should probably take a look at the alien mothership in Independence Day. While it's size is never mentioned directly, that thing was described as being 1/4 the mass of the Moon. Now that's a big friggin' spaceship. But I'm wondering if even that example is big enough to acomodate 1 billion inhabitants.
        Last edited by Su-tehp; 04-12-2015, 03:39 PM.



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        • #5
          V'Ger and STIV's Whale Probe were 78 and 90 kms long, respectively. Those seem a bit big.

          Keeping in mind that the Enterprise-D has a standard crew complement of 1,014, but is capable of carrying ten times that number in the event of an emergency (albeit in tight quarters), I think something the size of Rama is perfectly capable of carrying upwards of a billion people. Rama, of course, is a hollow tube, while the Coalition vessel is full of decks, and wider than Rama was.


          Ian A. A. Watson
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Su-tehp View Post
            Yeah, I looked up Rama just for comparison's sake, but Rama being only 50kms in length seems way too small compared to how the Ark has been described. I'm thinking I should probably take a look at the alien mothership in Independence Day. While it's size is never mentioned directly, that thing was described as being 1/4 the mass of the Moon. Now that's a big friggin' spaceship. But I'm wondering if even that example is big enough to acomodate 1 billion inhabitants.
            Don't dismiss 50km of solid hardware as small, that's more than enough to dwarf anything else in the known (trinity) universe. Also; you should never move straight from Rendezvous with Rama to Independance Day - if only out of respect for good science.
            -smile-
            Sizes of those scale are all hollywood as far as we can tell on our current plateau of scientific understanding (or at least mine). But since we're indirectly discussing AC Clarke here i feel the third law bears repeating:
            "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic".

            ...

            Originally posted by IanWatson View Post
            V'Ger and STIV's Whale Probe were 78 and 90 kms long, respectively. Those seem a bit big.

            Keeping in mind that the Enterprise-D has a standard crew complement of 1,014, but is capable of carrying ten times that number in the event of an emergency (albeit in tight quarters), I think something the size of Rama is perfectly capable of carrying upwards of a billion people. Rama, of course, is a hollow tube, while the Coalition vessel is full of decks, and wider than Rama was.
            Nice to see you know your sci-fi, love to hear what's influenced your personal vision of Aeon/Trinity over the years from that genre.
            -shrug-
            Using the wikipedia article as reference, i have a hard time picturing a billion people fitting into approximately 25mm of surface space each, even without taking Rama's sea or infrastructure into account. But maybe with some development... By having the whole thing arranged on decks with some kind of pseudo-gravity handwavery instead, Rama seems more than large enough to accomodate a billion or more in increasingly cramped conditions.
            I'd be interested to know where your dimensions for the ark are coming from (how do you know it's wider than Rama?), only because i'm too lazy to go looking myself...
            -blush-

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            • #7
              Just found varying information on the Independence Day mothership as well as other Really Big Spaceships throughout the Internet. Here's just one awesome comparison chart that includes Rama, V'Ger and the Probe ship from Star Trek IV (all three are in the upper left corner):

              http://img0.joyreactor.cc/pics/post/...rs-962157.jpeg

              Yes, I downloaded this because it's just that awesome.

              Seriously, some of those things are gargantuan.

              Originally posted by Nihilist View Post
              Don't dismiss 50km of solid hardware as small, that's more than enough to dwarf anything else in the known (trinity) universe. Also; you should never move straight from Rendezvous with Rama to Independence Day - if only out of respect for good science.
              -smile-
              Heh, duly noted.

              Originally posted by Nihilist View Post
              Sizes of those scale are all Hollywood as far as we can tell on our current plateau of scientific understanding (or at least mine). But since we're indirectly discussing AC Clarke here i feel the third law bears repeating:
              "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic".
              Ol' Arthur knew his stuff, that's for sure.

              Originally posted by Nihilist View Post
              Nice to see you know your sci-fi. I'd love to hear what's influenced your personal vision of Aeon/Trinity over the years from that genre.
              -shrug-
              Yeah, Ian, I'd like to hear this also, if and when you got time.

              Originally posted by Nihilist View Post
              Using the wikipedia article as reference, i have a hard time picturing a billion people fitting into approximately 25mm of surface space each, even without taking Rama's sea or infrastructure into account. But maybe with some development... By having the whole thing arranged on decks with some kind of pseudo-gravity handwavery instead, Rama seems more than large enough to accomodate a billion or more in increasingly cramped conditions.
              But has the Ark ever been described as "cramped" in any of the reports the contact missions have made? I never got that impression...but I'll have to re-read my stuff again.

              Originally posted by Nihilist View Post
              I'd be interested to know where your dimensions for the ark are coming from (how do you know it's wider than Rama?), only because i'm too lazy to go looking myself...
              -blush-
              +1.

              Anyone know what the big gray multi-sphere ship is on the link I made, the big one that's just to the upper left of Unicron? I think its label got obscured, it just says its 900km across.
              Last edited by Su-tehp; 04-12-2015, 06:13 PM.



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              • #8
                Originally posted by Su-tehp View Post
                Just found varying information on the Independence Day mothership as well as other Really Big Spaceships throughout the Internet. Here's just one awesome comparison chart that includes Rama, V'Ger and the Probe ship from Star Trek IV (all three are in the upper left corner):

                [...]

                Yes, I downloaded this because it's just that awesome.

                Seriously, some of those things are gargantuan.
                If you're on a scale kick, look up the dyson sphere and imagine what kinds of super-science could be powered with one of those babies.

                Originally posted by Su-tehp View Post
                But has the Ark ever been described as "cramped" in any of the reports the contact missions have made? I never got that impression...but I'll have to re-read my stuff again.
                I am not holding my books, but i think cramped was indeed used for the Ark's innards. I seem to remember smelly as well (seriously they're just pheromones, what's so funny?). For some reason, i seem to remember parts of the ancient structure being damaged and/or abandoned, leading to greater crowding than ever intended by design in the remaining habitable sections. Phyles share their limited living space and routinely passing others (even spinals) in the close quarter halls comes up in the AE: Deception stuff, i think.
                I'm really going to have to get the rest of my books out one of these days...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Nihilist View Post
                  If you're on a scale kick, look up the dyson sphere and imagine what kinds of super-science could be powered with one of those babies.
                  Heh, I can well imagine. A Dyson Sphere enclosing our Sun at the distance of Earth's orbit (i.e. 1 Astronomical Unit, which is right smack dab in the middle of Sol's Habitable Zone) would definitely be something to see. That much surface area on the interior of the Sphere alone is mind-boggling. And just having solar collectors on 1% of that much surface would solve all our energy problems forever...

                  One helpful hint on the link in my previous post: the Moon is 3,474km in diameter, so when you see Unicron on that comparison map I linked, the Moon is just 3 and 1/2 times bigger than Unicron.

                  Originally posted by Nihilist View Post
                  I am not holding my books, but i think cramped was indeed used for the Ark's innards. I seem to remember smelly as well (seriously they're just pheromones, what's so funny?). For some reason, i seem to remember parts of the ancient structure being damaged and/or abandoned, leading to greater crowding than ever intended by design in the remaining habitable sections. Phyles share their limited living space and routinely passing others (even spinals) in the close quarter halls comes up in the AE: Deception stuff, i think.
                  I'm really going to have to get the rest of my books out one of these days...
                  Greater crowding than allowed for by the original design? That means that the Ark would be bigger than I thought if it could accommodate a billion beings comfortably as it was originally designed. My guestimate is that the Ark is anywhere from 100km long to 350km. Thus, I figure it's the length (but not size!) of something between the first Death Star(100km) and Centerpoint Station (350km). One thing we have to keep in mind is that
                  the Ark was destroyed in the Trinity Storyteller Book in an outline of Trinity future events by Aeon and several Upeo Wa Macho psions who teleported nukes into the Ark
                  so the Ark has to stay a "reasonable" size if humanity has to have a chance of winning a war against the Coalition.

                  My candidates for the best approximate size of the Coalition Ark? Take a gander at the Ultra Class Star Destroyer and the Ascendacy Hikari Class Star Destroyer (both 260km long). Keep in mind both of those ships absolutely dwarf the Executor Class Super Star Destroyer, which is just to the lower left of the Hikari and the Ultra. The crew complement of the Executor was 250,000 IIRC, and alot of the functions on an Executor were automated, so it wasn't cramped by any means. This begs the question: how big a city would a billion people make? The more I think about it, the more appropriate something like Centerpoint Station or the ID4 mothership becomes.
                  Last edited by Su-tehp; 04-13-2015, 05:52 AM.



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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Su-tehp View Post

                    Heh, I can well imagine. A Dyson Sphere enclosing our Sun at the distance of Earth's orbit (i.e. 1 Astronomical Unit, which is right smack dab in the middle of Sol's Habitable Zone) would definitely be something to see. That much surface area on the interior of the Sphere alone is mind-boggling. And just having solar collectors on 1% of that much surface would solve all our energy problems forever...
                    Energy problems? Who cares about that shit? I was thinking of giant mecha, particle colliders and time tunnels. -smile-



                    Originally posted by Su-tehp View Post
                    Greater crowding than allowed for by the original design? That means that the Ark would be bigger than I thought if it could accommodate a billion beings comfortably as it was originally designed. My guestimate is that the Ark is anywhere from 100km long to 350km. Thus, I figure it's the length (but not size!) of something between the first Death Star(100km) and Centerpoint Station (350km). One thing we have to keep in mind is that
                    the Ark was destroyed in the Trinity Storyteller Book in an outline of Trinity future events by Aeon and several Upeo Wa Macho psions who teleported nukes into the Ark
                    so the Ark has to stay a "reasonable" size if humanity has to have a chance of winning a war against the Coalition.
                    Haven't seen spoiler tags used here before... Am i supposed to be using them for spoilers from the original books? Damn, i've been inconsiderate if so...
                    Seems you are right, at the scales i prefer (Rama), surface space is just too constrictive for a habitable 109 division.
                    -clumsily fumbles with math-
                    But you don't need to scale so wildy, a 25% increase to the dimensions of Rama (62.5x20x20km) is all the living space required for a billion in ark-like decked conditions with 25 cubic meters each. The 25m3 is arbitrary, but i'm working off pure memory of AE: Deception at this point and head-canon, so you will have to excuse me there - the crew on the ISS have 100m3 each on three man skeleton rotations, six man crews on Mir had only 15m3 each - i figure 25m3 is fine for the Ark.
                    Caution: you may want to check my numbers before swallowing that, not my strongest subject. -shame-
                    Now, for realism you will want (at least) that much space again for the vessel components, for convenience we'll just say 62.5x40x20km for the new total, although those m3s can be arranged in any shape desired. So i'd still eschew the larger objects for my original range, if my logic isn't faulty.
                    Spoiler-wise, i don't care how big or advanced you are, translocational deployment of multi-megaton nuclear fusion is bound to cramp your style. I would hope there would be more to it, because that could have been done in AE: Deception with a PC teleporter on hand (which was a possibility at that time). This was a big cliff-hanger at the end of the published canon, so i'd hate to see the possibilities squandered on an anti-climax is all. See below for my lead-in.


                    Originally posted by Su-tehp View Post
                    My candidates for the best approximate size of the Coalition Ark? Take a gander at the Ultra Class Star Destroyer and the Ascendacy Hikari Class Star Destroyer (both 260km long). Keep in mind both of those ships absolutely dwarf the Executor Class Super Star Destroyer, which is just to the lower left of the Hikari and the Ultra. The crew complement of the Executor was 250,000 IIRC, and alot of the functions on an Executor were automated, so it wasn't cramped by any means. This begs the question: how big a city would a billion people make? The more I think about it, the more appropriate something like Centerpoint Station or the ID4 mothership becomes.
                    I'm figuring you can probably build something like them (maybe not quite as big) out of the dimensions i've specified, who really needs 20km of stacked vertical decks except Star Trek's Borg?

                    To clarify my assumptions, my head is instructing me partially through years old memory and personal canon - so i'll state some here for reference:
                    The Coalition Ark is an ancient (possibly millions of years) vessel, at some point in its history the breeders either hijacked the ark from the original builders or the breeders were the original builders and have since fallen into post-sentient development.
                    To begin with, Coaliton Phyles were universally sub-sentient workers, only in the development upon the Ark has the level of intelligence shown by Envoys, Sasqs and Drones emerged as they took over more and more of the Breeder's higher duties.
                    Even habitable planets are alien habitats for those born and raised in controlled environments, the Ark is a semi-divine world for the Phyles - except the Breeders, who even in a post-sentient haze still treat the Ark as a tool under their exclusive control.
                    Over time, the population has far exceeded the infrastructures capacity to support them all, driving expansion from the original (nearly unrecognizable now) alien chassis and rendering the Ark perennially over-crowded.
                    The original design wasn't to hold a race like the Coalition in the numbers it currently does, so it has been expanded piecemeal with little/no ultimate vision to guide the progress. In a way, the Breeder production of Phyles are also lacking vision due to their increasing post-sentience (e.g. sentient furies are bad news).
                    Large sections of the vessel are currently damaged, breached or otherwise hazardous and leave the vessel itself operating at less than 20% of it's full capacity - the knowledge to make repairs has been lost or was never actually known to the Coalition.
                    With all this taken into account, you can see why i have taken a perspective of minimal open volume - any refutations are welcome, but these are the assumptions i'm working loosely off.
                    Whether mega-intelligent Furies can emerge & make repairs during the voyage to earth would be dependant on the level of support the protectors-of-earth PCs could rally up - because if Eden comes in hard, the Ark will need to be bending some physics of it's own to stay alive.
                    Rather than flat out fighting the Ark, I'd prefer to see an internal civil war brought on by Breeders and Furies purging 'lesser' Phyles to make room for more Furies. Leading to at least a small portion of refugee Coalition Phyles taking up residence in the Sol system (likely after a period of incarceration, if not worse) in the invasion's aftermath. Just to fill the quota for playable aliens sought by some Sci-Fi enthusiasts. But this would be dependant on player actions.


                    In the end of the day, unless there are decent dimensions in AE: Deception - you can really run the Ark at a number of different sizes. Most of the canon material deals with internal details anyway, as far as i remember, if you want to stress the alien super-science aspect and aren't riding the science bit as hard as i, go ahead and go big. Just remember to clean up the solar system when you're through with it, the amount of mass we are talking about is potentially world-killing in an uncontrolled (but slow) de-orbit of the sun.
                    -shrug-
                    Last edited by Nihilist; 04-13-2015, 03:21 PM. Reason: I did a spoiler...

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                    • #11
                      Sorry I didn't respond earlier; I had a big post typed up last night, then lost it, and didn't want to retype.
                      Originally posted by Nihilist View Post
                      Nice to see you know your sci-fi, love to hear what's influenced your personal vision of Aeon/Trinity over the years from that genre.
                      Well, a lot. Given how many SF subgenres Aeon incorporates, nearly anything can serve as inspiration.

                      One I particularly enjoy, however, is Anne McCaffrey's Tower and Hive series (The Rowan, Damia, Damia's Children, Lyon's Pride, The Tower and the Hive). The concept is that Earth is one of six or so colony worlds, each of which is connected by a "Prime," a Talent (psychic, not daredevil) who is rated T1 in both telepathy and telekinesis. Urgent communiques, goods, and personnel are transferred from system to system by Primes. And then things get shaken up when a new Prime shows up out of the blue, and insectoid aliens show up to wipe out the humans "infesting" their potential colony worlds...

                      Ultimately, though, John's the one to talk to about Aeon influences, since he's much more hands on with it than I am.

                      More germane to the present Continuum, though, is a prequel series to Tower and Hive, the Pegasus series (To Ride Pegasus, Pegasus in Flight, Pegasus in Space). It's set in the near future, and deals with the initial discovery of parapsychical Talent, the founding of the Jerhattan Parapsychical Center, and humanity's first steps out of the solar system.

                      I'd be interested to know where your dimensions for the ark are coming from (how do you know it's wider than Rama?), only because i'm too lazy to go looking myself...
                      Estimated based on illustrations of the Ark. If the Ark is as long as Rama, it's considerably wider.



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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by IanWatson View Post
                        Sorry I didn't respond earlier; I had a big post typed up last night, then lost it, and didn't want to retype.


                        Well, a lot. Given how many SF subgenres Aeon incorporates, nearly anything can serve as inspiration.

                        One I particularly enjoy, however, is Anne McCaffrey's Tower and Hive series (The Rowan, Damia, Damia's Children, Lyon's Pride, The Tower and the Hive). The concept is that Earth is one of six or so colony worlds, each of which is connected by a "Prime," a Talent (psychic, not daredevil) who is rated T1 in both telepathy and telekinesis. Urgent communiques, goods, and personnel are transferred from system to system by Primes. And then things get shaken up when a new Prime shows up out of the blue, and insectoid aliens show up to wipe out the humans "infesting" their potential colony worlds...

                        Ultimately, though, John's the one to talk to about Aeon influences, since he's much more hands on with it than I am.

                        More germane to the present Continuum, though, is a prequel series to Tower and Hive, the Pegasus series (To Ride Pegasus, Pegasus in Flight, Pegasus in Space). It's set in the near future, and deals with the initial discovery of parapsychical Talent, the founding of the Jerhattan Parapsychical Center, and humanity's first steps out of the solar system.



                        Estimated based on illustrations of the Ark. If the Ark is as long as Rama, it's considerably wider.

                        God, I loved the Pegasus and T&H series as a child, and they greatly underlie my appreciation for the psychic in space genre.

                        I liked Trinity, but if there's even more McCaffrey influence in Aeon, I will not be able to throw my money at you fast enough!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by IanWatson View Post
                          Sorry I didn't respond earlier; I had a big post typed up last night, then lost it, and didn't want to retype.
                          You could be my worst enemy and i'd still sympathize with this. Few things break the spirit like losing a considered reply to the aether.

                          Originally posted by IanWatson View Post
                          Well, a lot. Given how many SF subgenres Aeon incorporates, nearly anything can serve as inspiration.
                          Cool to hear that, i like to think Trinity is big enough for most genre approaches to fit in - same goes for Aberrant and Adventure.

                          Originally posted by IanWatson View Post
                          One I particularly enjoy, however, is Anne McCaffrey's Tower and Hive series (The Rowan, Damia, Damia's Children, Lyon's Pride, The Tower and the Hive). The concept is that Earth is one of six or so colony worlds, each of which is connected by a "Prime," a Talent (psychic, not daredevil) who is rated T1 in both telepathy and telekinesis. Urgent communiques, goods, and personnel are transferred from system to system by Primes. And then things get shaken up when a new Prime shows up out of the blue, and insectoid aliens show up to wipe out the humans "infesting" their potential colony worlds...

                          Ultimately, though, John's the one to talk to about Aeon influences, since he's much more hands on with it than I am.

                          More germane to the present Continuum, though, is a prequel series to Tower and Hive, the Pegasus series (To Ride Pegasus, Pegasus in Flight, Pegasus in Space). It's set in the near future, and deals with the initial discovery of parapsychical Talent, the founding of the Jerhattan Parapsychical Center, and humanity's first steps out of the solar system.
                          I think i read the Rowan (at least) some time in the past - i might try to pick the rest of it up some time. The prequel in particular sounds like it could provide some insight into your thinking about the Trinity Continuum, which is probably all the motivation i'll need.
                          I'll ask John when he presents himself, i don't even know what his screen name is on the OPP forums... If that's where he would be found.
                          I'd love to see all our new devs drop a few influences in a stickied thread, just for a sense of the prevailing mental ecology - it could be the next best thing in lieu of new Trinity material.
                          -blush-

                          Originally posted by IanWatson View Post
                          Estimated based on illustrations of the Ark. If the Ark is as long as Rama, it's considerably wider.
                          I was imagining this was your source, but without AE: Deception close by i couldn't find a definitive picture of the whole thing. Thanks for clearing it up - if anyone knew if there were actual dimensions, it would have been you. -smile-
                          Thanks for retyping this, Ian. I've never heard so much from the maker of a product i was so looking forward to before, it's quite novel and compelling.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by branford View Post

                            God, I loved the Pegasus and T&H series as a child, and they greatly underlie my appreciation for the psychic in space genre.

                            I liked Trinity, but if there's even more McCaffrey influence in Aeon, I will not be able to throw my money at you fast enough!

                            I've read just about every McCaffrey series, if not every book within the series. Dragonriders of Pern, Freedom's Landing; the shared universe including the Coelura, Crystal Singer, and Brain & Brawn series; Powers That Be; Dinosaur Planet/Planet Pirates... although it won't cover everything (like Dragonriders) I definitely want a core system I can relatively easily use to play in the rest of the universe. And of course I had to get the name "Talent" from somewhere.

                            Another obvious Aeon inspiration that wasn't around during the original run is the Mass Effect series. When giving people the quick sell on Aeon, I've often described it as Mass Effect: The RPG. The details differ, but the feel of the universe is pretty spot-on, IMO.

                            Hell, ME1 ends with a dramatic shot of Shepard. Looks like Hope. ME2 ends with a Suicide Mission from which many squadmates may not survive: Sacrifice. And ME3 is all about uniting the races: Unity.
                            Last edited by IanWatson; 04-13-2015, 07:12 PM.


                            Ian A. A. Watson
                            Onyx Path Community Manager
                            Trinity Continuum Content Lead

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by IanWatson View Post


                              I've read just about every McCaffrey series, if not every book within the series. Dragonriders of Pern, Freedom's Landing; the shared universe including the Coelura, Crystal Singer, and Brain & Brawn series; Powers That Be; Dinosaur Planet/Planet Pirates... although it won't cover everything (like Dragonriders) I definitely want a core system I can relatively easily use to play in the rest of the universe. And of course I had to get the name "Talent" from somewhere.

                              Another obvious Aeon inspiration that wasn't around during the original run is the Mass Effect series. When giving people the quick sell on Aeon, I've often described it as Mass Effect: The RPG. The details differ, but the feel of the universe is pretty spot-on, IMO.

                              Hell, ME1 ends with a dramatic shot of Shepard. Looks like Hope. ME2 ends with a Suicide Mission from which many squadmates may not survive: Sacrifice. And ME3 is all about uniting the races: Unity.

                              I've only had the pleasure of reading the McCaffrey Talent series and the Pern books she wrote, not her son. Although they are now certainly somewhat dated and a little simplistic (e.g., the T&H conversion of Kincaid from gay to straight ), they were fun, with rich and evocative settings. I also appreciated the attempts to model the characters' abilities in some semblance of actual science (e.g., reconciling thermodynanics with telepathy and telekinesis in Pegasus in Space).

                              However, if you can somehow fit very small, chromatic, psi-formatted biotech dragon-like companion creatures into Aeon, you will definitely make a friend for life!

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