Aquahabs

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GreyBrother GreyBrother's picture
Aquahabs

So, after watching Blue Submarine 6 and Arpeggio of Blue Steel, i want my next EP game being set in an aquatic habitat.

I looked through the official released ones and every one of them has something "lacking" for flavor.
Ceres is uninhabitable, Atlantica too uplift oriented and Europas oceans feature too alien of lifeforms.

What i'm looking to create should feature the dephts and "unknowability" of Europas oceans, a space ripe to explore, but populated by earth-ocean lifeforms.

Artificial habitats are ruled out in my eyes, as this takes away the Unknown in my eyes. But i do not know how common dwarf planets are in the solar system which could theoretically feature an habitable ocean.
So, i'm looking for something with gravity, unknown parts and ability to sustain earthlike life (even if genemodded).

For the higher purpose, i'd like to generally get a guide for Aquahabs, too. How life differs compared to airhabs, hazards etc.

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
Just go with an exoplanet?

Just go with an exoplanet?

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GreyBrother GreyBrother's picture
Definitly an option, but i

Definitly an option, but i actually want to stay in-system for ego-casting potential.
Haven't thought of that, though.

Undocking Undocking's picture
Enceladus would be a good bet

Enceladus would be a good bet if you wanted to stay in system (or even Earth... if you dared). There is not much written about Enceladus in Rimward and what is written makes it out as a anachro-capitalist genehackers wet dream. The lack of exploration is directly stated, and random bioengineering could make for some Earth-like life around habs, and maybe something stranger in the depths. Perhaps there is a single body of water that spans the planet, but no ego has found it yet.

I haven't done much in the way of aquatic habitats. High pressure environments like oceans offer different issues for airlocks (page 166 of Panopticon). The dramatic pressure change from 1 bar to under an ocean can be quite deadly. Habs would need stronger structural support for the same pressure reasons. Any hull breach would be a big deal, maybe moreso than in vacuum in some respects. You'd want a mix of aquatic rooms and air rooms, so the neo-dolphins can breath and the more land inclined have places to live. Instead of conveyors or lines to pull people around, non-aquatic morphs would probably have exoskeletons or suits with a special stream-like design and preset swimming motions for efficient movement.

GreyBrother GreyBrother's picture
I reviewed Enceladus again

I reviewed Enceladus again and i think it could be what i'm looking for.
Will probably hack the "ocean pockets" away, or maybe let players discover, that the pockets are basically just massive caverns but are interconnected for the most part of the moon.

The thing is, most of the players are new, and i think extropian economy is too jarring for first time players who have their heads wrapped around so many things. Saturn's still a viable location for a more traditional economy and a habitat besides Profunda with 400.000 beings should do quite fine, especially because there's no Jovians blocking your orbital access and the easy accessability from orbit itself.
So i have the option to feature surface adventures and underwater, which is pretty nifty.

Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
Undocking wrote:Any hull

Undocking wrote:
Any hull breach would be a big deal, maybe moreso than in vacuum in some respects.

Vacuum breaches aren't that bad. The worst part is that vacuum in your lungs sucks oxygen out of your blood so you pass out within 10-12 seconds when the deoxygenated blood hits your brain.

High pressure water breaches are violent at a whole other level. I'm running an adventue on Europa at 1,200 atmospheres and did some numbers on it - it is brutal. Water jets in at Mach 1. A 1 by 1 meter breach will pump in 350 cubic meters per second! If that water has to go through a 2 by 3 meter corridor the wall of water will rush down it faster than a Formula 1 car at top speed and it will hit you much harder than hitting water at free fall terminal velocity on Earth. Even if your suit is good enough to handle the pressure, the impact from water will squash anything.

GreyBrother GreyBrother's picture
Holy Crap, i didn't even

Holy Crap, i didn't even imagine the power of the forces involved here O_o

I think a writeup regarding the dangers of different hab types would be a good thing to do, or is there such a thing already?

GreyBrother GreyBrother's picture
Thinking about europa bears

Thinking about europa bears another question to me.
So, there are habs encased in ice. Alright. Ice needs a maximum of 0°C to freeze, i think this bears true for Europa too?
So... we have a habitat encased in ice, a habitat running with 27°C temperature to be comfy for people without Cold Tolerance.
To paraphrase "How did you solve the heating problem?" doesn't the ice melt after a while and lay open the anchors or however the hab is fixed in an icicle? The architecturial finepoints elude me.

bibliophile20 bibliophile20's picture
the relationship between ice,

the relationship between ice, liquid water and steam depends on the local temperature and pressure. It is possible to have solid ice at a temperature above 0 C, and to have liquid water at temps above 100 C, depending on what the local pressure is. Wikipedia has a good (if limited) phase diagram on their Ice article.

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -Benjamin Franklin

ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
what is the PSI on a hydro

what is the PSI on a hydro cutter? if you get a really small hull breach and it comes out at mach 1 could that not go through multiple bulkheads?

Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
This is just what I as a

This is just what I as a layman learned after researching on the web, so take it with a grain of salt.

Modern water jet cutters typically come out at Mach 2 to 3 - they run at 60 to 90k PSI but they lose velocity because the nozzle is so small. Older water cutters ran down to Mach 1.

With pure water, they can cut wood and meat. To cut hard material you need to add abbrasive particles to the water.

GreyBrother GreyBrother's picture
So, basically, you can

So, basically, you can absolutely have a supportive ice structure without worrying too much about excess heat, as long as you insulte the outer hull of whatever you encase in ice well enough as the ice simply can't transfer to liquid form due to too much pressure on it.
What was the pressure in Europas Ocean? 1200 atmospheres? So, followup question... why does that ocean again not simply freeze because of the pressure?

Undocking Undocking's picture
GreyBrother wrote:

GreyBrother wrote:

What was the pressure in Europas Ocean? 1200 atmospheres? So, followup question... why does that ocean again not simply freeze because of the pressure?

According to EP, their setting has the pressure near the surface at ~Mariana Trench level (900-1100 bars) to 2000-2500 at the ocean floor.
Tidal flexing from Jupiter creating heat beneath the ice layer and an observed heavy salt content (magesium sulfate) of the water from plumes erupting from Europa's surface are the two suspected reasons for liquid water.
Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
GreyBrother wrote:Thinking

GreyBrother wrote:
Thinking about europa bears another question to me.
So, there are habs encased in ice. Alright. Ice needs a maximum of 0°C to freeze, i think this bears true for Europa too?
So... we have a habitat encased in ice, a habitat running with 27°C temperature to be comfy for people without Cold Tolerance.
To paraphrase "How did you solve the heating problem?" doesn't the ice melt after a while and lay open the anchors or however the hab is fixed in an icicle? The architecturial finepoints elude me.

They are situated inside the surface ice, they are not floating ice encased habs. The ice will melt if the hab heats the ice to the melting point and delivers enough energy for the phase transition. However, as the hab heats the ice around it heats up, it loses heat faster and faster to the surrounding ice and we must assume that this process is sufficient for the ice never to melt. If it was a problem, they could have thermal conductors in the ice (which I guess could also be used to have ice structures below the sea surface).

GreyBrother GreyBrother's picture
Wrapped my head around it.

Wrapped my head around it. Thanks.
The only thing i'm now considering is, acknowledging the difference in pressure inside and outside the habitat. Gameplay wise it would be fun to simply being able to just go outside the hab and swim around, but i don't want to disregard scientific basics anyway...

Related question: Does an Octomorph have any problems regarding the pressure difference?

Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
One of my players (Frivolous

One of my players (Frivolous Vector, thanks man) dug out the stuff below from all the books.

The only thing I'll add to it is that breathing trimix humans can handle 30-50 atmospheres, and that synthmorphs can handle fairly quick pressure changes.

EP 2nd Core p144 "Synthmorphs are built to withstand a wide range of environments, from dusty mars to the oceans of Europa, to the vacuum of space. They are unaffected by an but the most extreme temperatures and atmospheric pressures. Treat as Temp Tolerance* & Vacuum Sealing"
Vacuum sealing itself does not give any declared max atm registered. It only registers a temperature tolerance limit (-75 to 100C p307). Temp Tolerance gives you -30C and 60C (p306) which is somewhat redundant, considering Vacuum Sealing is already better
p200 Extreme Pressure "... the atmospheric pressures of Jupiter, Saturn and Venus quickly become crushingly deadly anywhere beyond the upper levels. Only Synthmorphs and vehicles with special pressure adaptations can hope to survive such depths." Also note, on the next page it says that movement rates are 1/4th the normal with a -20 to physical actions.
p334 Hardsuit "Unlike other vacsuits, they are solid and can resist both vacuum and up to 100atm of external pressure. Characters wearing hardsuits can safely explore the upper atmosphere of a gas giant."

Sunward p160-1 on Venus "Light vacsuits will protect a biomorph to an altitude of 45km, standard vacsuits to 40 km, and a hardsuit to 35km" (from the surface) "Unmodified Synthmorphs, bots and vehicles can safely descend to 35-40km, below which they too succumb to heat and pressure... Atmospheric pressure [on the surface] is over 90 times that of Earth's... Only Syntmorphs, vehicles and bots equipped with extreme pressure adaptation (p167) & Extreme Heat Shielding (p166) may survive in these environs."
p167 Extreme Pressure Adaptation "[Robotic] morphs with this mod... [can] withstand pressure up to 100 atm"

Rimward p185 "Biomorphs with high pressure adaptation can survive in the upper ocean levels, down to a depth of 500 atm. Synthmorphs with the adaptation can sustain regular operation down to 2,500 atm." "To proper transition, the biomorph must be slowly acclimated to increasing pressure levels... taking about 1 day." temperatures "around -20C [at the top]... around 10C [near geothermal vents]... biomorphs operating in these deep water environments require temperature tolerance (improved Cold) on p166 Sunward." [I would assume that Cryonic Temp Tol also works, as found in this book]

Gatecrashing p151 Aquanaut Biomorph "They can safely descend to about 200m (roughly 6atm) without suffering narcotic effects or other diving problems." So we can assume that, because the morph is designed for this, an unaugmented biomorph can cap out at 6 with a high fatality chance.

Hydrostatic Pressure Adaptation allows biomorphs to survive 500atm, and synthmorphs to survive up to 2500atm.

So, with the information above, we know that standard Synthmorphs crap out at around 100 atm, as do hardsuits (by the same merit we can assume that combat exoskeletons go squish a little after that, because they are made of diamond but not quite enough sheer unadulterated hatred). Biomorphs that are not specifically designed for life in high pressure die somewhere before 6.
Oh right, the only interfering variable is that Venus entry specifically says "heat and pressure get them", so the Synth-hardsuit equivalency may be a little blurry one way or the other.

consumerdestroyer consumerdestroyer's picture
Wow, didn't realize how

Wow, didn't realize how scattered all that info was across the books! I second your thanks to FV! :)

GreyBrother GreyBrother's picture
My thanks to FV too. :)

My thanks to FV too. :)

consumerdestroyer consumerdestroyer's picture
Frivolous Vector's Muse is

Frivolous Vector's Muse is probably pinging him right now. "Hey, your rep just went up across multiple networks! Most of it seems to be coming from Europa, Atlantica and Ceres..."

GreyBrother GreyBrother's picture
After rereading the nice

After rereading the nice writeup about the pressure hazard rules and looking at the pressure values of Europa presented in the books...
There can't possibly be a biomorph who could survive in the upper oceans (or any oceanlevel) of Europa, yet the books state that this happens.

bibliophile20 bibliophile20's picture
the trick is to make the

the trick is to make the morph adapted for those depths, but they actually can't live at lower pressures without exploding.

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -Benjamin Franklin

Undocking Undocking's picture
GreyBrother wrote:After

GreyBrother wrote:
After rereading the nice writeup about the pressure hazard rules and looking at the pressure values of Europa presented in the books...
There can't possibly be a biomorph who could survive in the upper oceans (or any oceanlevel) of Europa, yet the books state that this happens.

Gravity. At 100km deep on Earth, it is about ~9920 atm. On Europa, by EP's equivalency, ~2500atm=~100km. Instead of the base atm of 1, use 300 atm at surface level. So, multiply depth by 0.22 to account for the deviancy between 9920 atm and 2200 atm (9921*0.22=2180). Therefore, at surface level the atm is ~0.22, but every 10 meters increases by ~0.22 atm—which for a moon with 0.13% Earth gravity is a pretty big deal.
That way, even at the deepest depths, it will be around what EP puts out (300+2180=2480). Woo.
I did this in about ten minutes, and it is definitely not the most elegant.
GreyBrother GreyBrother's picture
Good news, my muse striked

Good news, my muse striked and after i finished the writeup in german, i'll probably translate it to english.

consumerdestroyer consumerdestroyer's picture
Awesome! Looking forward to

Awesome! Looking forward to it!

Undocking Undocking's picture
GreyBrother wrote:Good news,

GreyBrother wrote:
Good news, my muse striked and after i finished the writeup in german, i'll probably translate it to english.

Also, in Rimward page 184 it lists pressure at the surface of the Europan subsurface ocean to be 200 atmospheres. I was close.

Jaberwo Jaberwo's picture
I would be interested in the

I would be interested in the German version! :D
I am also interested in exchanging some material from my various groups if you would be as well.
Laziness has prevented me from translating and sharing my materials so far, but if there are some German speaking people here on the forums I would be happy to upload my stuff somewhere, especially if others would do so, too.

GreyBrother GreyBrother's picture
Sad news, we'll probably not

Sad news, we'll probably not use an aquahabitat in the end, so i'll just post my basic notes.

Pancasila
Type: Icicle
Allegiance: Europa
Primary Languages: Javanese, Indonesian
Population: 10.000

The general idea was an oceanographic focused habitat. The lower part of the icicle is a submarine harbor for bigger subs of multiple purposes. There's a seperate part for the local military and some housing areas feature smaller harbors for private submarines. Further away from the hab are egobridges for cetacean and other aquatic only morphs if one of the inhabitants wants to sleeve into these. These aquamorphs are rentable from the local administration, but are prioritized for scientific and military purpose.

Pancasila is strongly influenced by the 21st century indonesian government. The name of the habitat is testament to this. Originally, this was a indonesian research station, but now this station features most of the comforts one can expect on bigger stations.
The station quickly adopted a more governmental administrative body to accomodate the different beliefs that now inhabited the station and switched its name accordingly. A big group of christian russians arrived with the last wave of refugees and this lead to some heat between the muslim oriented researchers. After enforcing the Pancasila, this tension died down and both groups now co-exist.
The Pancasila is, at its core, a philosophy all inhabitants have to agree to. If you don't agree, there's the door. It was heavily modified, but the gist is, that Pancasilians to not question the existence of a god (wether he is called Allah or Yehova or God is of no consequence), that you act just and civilized, that you won't let come harm to the habitat, that Democracy is the government to go and everybody deserves justice.

The interesting part is, that from the russian christians, a group arose, who would probably live a better live in the Jovian Republic, but refrain from doing so. They called themselves the Auditors (short for Auditorya Bog), act very christian like and don't really like the hardcore stance of the Junta. Some view them as spies of the republic, but as of now, there's nothing to warrant serious investigations.
They are bioconservative and view transhumans as "misguided creatures", but the core ideology of the Auditors states, that they have to be led by example to change or quit their ways. Otherwise they lead normal lives and engage in jobs, where you would otherwise use indentures for.
Some of them even engage in bodymods, but as a guideline, they only use whats allowed in the republic.
Some Auditors refrain even from this and simply live the life of monks, contemplating god and the universe.

The german notes: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16WRmD62yxzYmvhLhptBdaNlQO5WGBcwm5KZdg-FFa_k/edit#