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How big is the Coalition Ark anyway?

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  • #16
    I went back over Alien Encounter: Deception and tried to skim as much of the relevant data as I could. When the Ark is in orbit over Erebus (the Earth-like planet in the Beta Canum Venaticorum system), it's described as "hanging over [Erebus] like an artificial moon." Furthermore, the Ark is described on page 82 of Alien Encounter: Deception as "casting a fearsome shadow" over Erebus. Erebus is noted as being 9,872km in diameter, which would make it roughly 3/4 the size of Earth (12,742km).

    I'm not going to assume that the Ark is going to correspond to our own Moon's size; I'm told that a satellite that is approximately 1/6 the size of its mother planet is extremely unusual. IIRC, most satellites are tiny compared to their mother planets. Earth and the Moon (and I think Pluto and Charon) are the exception rather than the rule. If we want to go with artificial moons like the Death Star hanging over Erebus, that's entirely possible, but the first Death Star was 120km in diameter and the second was 160km. Something similarly proportioned to the Moon in orbit over Erebus would be 6,000km long. That's six times the length of Unicron and more than half the length of Halo. This size strikes me as too big for the Ark.

    We also get our most complete picture of the Ark on page 124 of Alien Encounter: Deception. It seems very similar in shape to Battlestar Galactica (if obviously much, much larger). The Ark's length is more than 3x its width. I can't guess at its proportional height from the angle of the picture, but its obviously going to be significantly smaller than the width. Ian said:

    Estimated based on illustrations of the Ark. If the Ark is as long as Rama, it's considerably wider.
    I'm no mathematician, I don't think these dimensions are gonna match up with Rama. I think it's way longer than Rama's 50km.



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    • #17
      Purely by size, our fatty-boombah 'moon' could be one of the system's largest dwarf planets, perhaps even a planet all of it's own - since Mercury still counts. Making ours, like Pluto's, a dual planetary system. Our moon is not a good measuring stick, it's an abnormal planetary feature, despite our own anthropic perceptions. In some ways our entire solar system is unusual, based off the standard of the kepler planetary systems.
      -shrug-
      It all comes down to how you want to play it, i think we have a minimum size based off my loose calculations. But the actual setting material never discounts (and even feeds into) it being larger - although the choice of 'shadow' as opposed to 'eclipse' certainly puts an upper cap on it as well - i suppose with the orbital radius around B. Canum Venaticorum and the stellar classification you could work out the maximum size based on solar circumferance from Erebus' surface. If you wanted to put that much work into it. I think i've reached the limit of math i'll do for a casual thread.

      If it ever comes up, i'm happy with my numbers, although they might seem small compared to some of the objects Su-tehp is bringing up. It should be remembered that the Ark is mobile and too much mass is a problem to both accelerate and decelerate, not to mention turn. Even by my scales, i think the Ark will need to brake in orbital arcs - so it might be worth mentioning that a big enough Ark (1000km+) would disrupt orbits when braking against smaller objects. If it's metals approximate the weight we'd expect them to be, it is likely many-times more massive than any comparably sized natural object (asteroids), and may even exert some noteworthy gravity - enough to prevent you from reaching escape velocity with a simple jump even.
      -shrug-
      Needless to say, even at the sizes i mentioned, the Ark could very easily take out a planet's ecology with a suicide impact, which doesn't even take into account the exotic materials and energy sources that would be liberated onto the planet's surface in the process. At the scales Su-tehp is bringing up, the Earth would be lucky to remain in one piece after a sufficiently violent impact, even if it did - habitablity would be drastically reduced for a geologic period of time as the crust reformed.
      When it comes to gravity calculations, i have no idea whether the method i would use would yield reliable results (Earth as one g, by mass of object in comparison to earth). So specifics elude me, but i thought it might be worth mentioning, to see if anyone more knowledgable than i can disprove my rantings.
      Rama may have come up short on the population yield required (at least based on human/coalition sizes), but i know where i'd rather live...

      ...

      I'll have to add some McCaffrey to my reading list, i've never quite found a 'Psi-Fi' that grabbed me like 'hard sci-fi' does, unless the Trinity RPG counts.

      Originally posted by IanWatson View Post
      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.
      Nice choice, i spent the whole time i was playing the ME trilogy wishing i was playing Trinity.
      -blush-
      Plus the Collector Overseer kind of gave me a template for direct Doyen aggression tactics by proxy of Chamber Psions.
      Last edited by Nihilist; 04-15-2015, 01:03 AM. Reason: Had to recognize the ME games.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Nihilist View Post
        Nice choice, i spent the whole time i was playing the ME trilogy wishing i was playing Trinity.
        -blush-
        Plus the Collector Overseer kind of gave me a template for direct Doyen aggression tactics by proxy of Chamber Psions.
        The Mass Effect Trilogy was utterly amazing. I'm just waiting to finish up my current campaign to run a Mass Effect one. I'm still debating whether to use Trinity or Numenera for it, and leaning towards Trinity. It was basically the perfect version of White Wolf's system. (Never quite understood why the abandoned it for the single-roll system of nWoD, but that's a separate discussion.)

        In Mass Effect, the Citadel is about 45 km long, and 15 km in diameter opened with a population of 13 million. However, virtually all of that mass is empty space, as the citadel basically consists of a couple of long "arms" holding the habitable wards. If it were a solid, multi-floored titan of a ship, it could easily reach the specs of the Ark.

        Another side comment. To me, one of the biggest inspirations for the Ark is basically the old Alien movies. You had some type of creator race that was transporting a biological weapon of a race. Something went wrong, the original creators are wiped out, and are replaced by this horrific living weapon species. Admittedly the Coalition breeders are more sentient than the H.R. Giger-designed monsters of Alien, but no less terrifying. This little theory of mine explains the ancient origin, the old unreadable runes and documentations, and so on. It'd also make for a fantastic campaign. Earth is being attacked by these things, and the only way to stop it is to follow the trail of ruined worlds back to the origin of the Ark.

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        • #19
          Mass Effect is exactly the kind of pseudo-hard space opera sci-fi that I imagine when I think of Trinity, sure.

          Not entirely, and certainly the whole deal with aliens is obviously very different, but yeah in terms of general aesthetic, for sure.

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          • #20
            I haven't played Mass Effect yet, although I expect I'll have to make time for it sometime (and assuming it's playable on a PC; I am not a console man).



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            • #21
              Necroing this thread.

              As many of you are, I'm sure, aware, the canonical (Trinity Continuum: Æon, p. 38) size of the Coalition Ark is "more than 70km".

              Assuming that's exactly 70km, I created this visual comparison.

              https://twitter.com/VonAether/status...01685383299081


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

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              • #22
                So what Scale Size would that be?
                Last edited by Graylion; 07-01-2020, 09:10 PM.



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                • #23
                  A baseline human is size scale 1. Assume roughly 6ft tall, 3ft wide, 1 1/2 ft thick, rectangular solid human, roughly 27 cu ft?

                  An Elephant is size scale 2. Roughly 10.5ft x 12 ft x 5 ft. Roughly 630 cu ft

                  A Blue Whale is size scale 4. Roughly 94 ft x 15 ft x 25 ft. roughly 35,250 cu ft

                  The coalition Ark is 70 km Long. Assuming the drawing is roughly to scale and the ship is roughly as wide as it is tall, its 70 km x 15.5 km x 15.5 km. 16817.5 cu km.
                  593,904,410,000,000 Cubic Feet.
                  Doing some VERY VERY shaky math using powers of 27, I conclude that the Ark is Size Scale 10-11.

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                  • #24
                    That's not how it works.

                    TC: Aberrant extends the Scale chat beyond 6. Scale 7 is “Supreme”, and includes such things as a metroplex spanning multiple cities (such as the Boston-Washington Corridor in the US); Scale 8 is “Bewildering”, and includes major landmasses. Scale 9 is “Inconceivable” and deals with the likes of entire continents or worlds; and Scale 10 is “Transcendent”, and deals with solar system and the distances between them.

                    Given That the Coalition Ark is 70km long, it would be Scale 7 (it's 700km from Boston to DC).
                    Last edited by Dataweaver; 09-08-2020, 09:24 AM.


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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                      That's not how it works.

                      TC: Aberrant extends the Scale chat beyond 6. Scale 7 is “Supreme”, and includes such things as a metroplex spanning multiple cities (such as the Boston-Washington Corridor in the US); Scale 8 is “Bewildering”, and includes major landmasses. Scale 9 is “Inconceivable” and deals with the likes of entire continents it worlds; and Scale 10 is “Transcendent”, and deals with solar system and the distances between them.

                      Given That the Coalition Ark is 70km long, it would be Scale 7 (it's 700km from Boston to DC).
                      Yeah i was actually coming back to fix that. I'd forgotten that Aberrant defined larger scales.

                      Given 70km long and assuming 15.5 km wide and deep, and assuming each deck averages 4 meters accounting for both open area and floor/ ceiling, then we have roughly 3875 decks of roughly 1085 sq km each, for a total area of 4,204,375 sq km.
                      Australia is roughly 7,692,024 sq km.

                      Therefore I'd say size 8, but 7 is probably also reasonable.

                      Size scale 9, where the difference between Australia and Jupiter is considered negligible.
                      Last edited by TiwazTyrsfist; 07-07-2020, 06:30 PM.

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                      • #26
                        Nice I will take 2, where is my Emperial Black Credit Crystal?



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                        • #27
                          I don't know, but the Red Dwarf is used as an internal shuttle.

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                          • #28
                            I just wish Ian had thought to include a size comparison of the Supremacy, the Mega-class Star Dreadnought flying wing thing from The Last Jedi. That thing is almost as wide as the Ark is long!
                            But yeah, this pic of Ian's does a great job of showing just how big this thing is.

                            I remember a parody someone wrote of one of those fanmade Ultra-class Star Dreadnoughts that was 250km (or maybe 750km!) long where the ship was so large, the crew mutinied and descended into barbarism and a civil war ensued throughout the entire ship simply because it was so redonkulously huge that the officers couldn't maintain control. I can't find that essay on the Internet; I could have sworn I had bookmarked it. Too bad, too, because it was hilarious.



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                            • #29
                              There's a 'video capture' in the Deception book during a firefight with the Coalition Ark where a Leviathan jump ship is shown in the foreground and looks really tiny compared to the Ark, like 10% of it's length or less, and we don't even know how deep into the foreground it is. But we do know the Leviathans are already massive in scale, so for something to dwarf it this much, we're looking at something *at least* to the scale of a Super Star Destroyer if not much much bigger.

                              After all, it IS carrying an entire civilization within it, and the last fictional ship carrying an entire advanced civilization inside that I remember was from Independence Day and we know that one is several hundred miles wide.

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                              • #30
                                The smaller city destroyers from Independence Day measure about 24km in diameter. As for the mothership, it's roughly 800km wide

                                I don't remember where I got this pic, probably from DeviantArt or wherever, but have a gander at it as it has a bunch of large spacecraft from all sorts of Sci-fi stories whose sizes can be compared to each other, including the ships from Independence Day. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Hz3...ew?usp=sharing

                                Just so you get the idea of how large some of these things are, the Moon is included for comparison as well.



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