So, my players are headed for Locus as I start them off with the Glory adventure, and I'm really struggling to comprehend what it looks like from the Rimward description. The important details are that it is a Nuestro sphere (like a sea urchin with rings between the spines), that it has a conical chunk out of it (with a width 1/4 of the total circumference), and that it has a navigation system based on ring numbers and spine names (the latter using the Japanese katakana alphabet). The following is my work-through of the location, with feedback welcome! Structure At the center of Locus is the Amoeba, a shifting AR art piece which stays anchored on the sphere's center point. The outer sphere has a radius of about 5.5km and there is a big conical section taken out of it exposing the Shell that surrounds the Amoeba to vacuum. The width of the hole that the conical section makes in the outer shell is 8.5km wide ("1/4 of the overall circumference of the sphere") meaning the whole thing is 34km around. A 34km circumference sphere has a radius of 5.4km, but we can explain this by saying that the last 100m of each spar sticks out past the sphere's outer surface (see Rimward p. 57, fourth full paragraph on right). Now the hard part. There are spars every 11.25° around the Shell (p. 58) which means in the equatorial plane (ignoring the conical section for now) there are 360/11.25 = 32 spars in a big starburst coming out from the Amoeba. It all needs to be symmetrical so the vertical slice should have 32 as well, which we get by rotating the equatorial plane every 11.25° sixteen times. This means 32 x 16 = 512 spines total... except we also need to take out some for the conical section. Sigh. The total surface area is 4*pi*(5.4^2) = 366km^2 while the conic section's surface cut-out is 2*pi*(5.4^2)(1-cos(45°)) = 53.7km^2 (yeah math!). This is more complicated than using the hole's radius (4.25km) for pi*r^2 since the surface is a spherical one and not a flat circle. All of this just goes to show that the surface area is missing about 15% thanks to the conical section. Subtracting 15% of the radial spines we get... 437 Spines For the rings, we know that there are 25 rings in the equatorial plane (p. 59) and 52 rings total from top to botton of Zenith spar (to keep up the symmetry, let's assume that the author meant 52 besides the ones in the equatorial layer which technically don't touch Zenith; so 26 north and 26 south). As Zenith spar is 10.8km long (excluding the 0.2km we decided were on the outside) that's a ring plane every 200m down the spine with 200m on either end to spare (more or less what's described on p. 59). If the first two layers of rings north and south also have 25 each and then each layer after that has one less, the very last layer at each end of Zenith spar has one layer. That seems nice to me. So in the end we have 350 + 25 + 350 = 725 Rings This is a lot of real estate... Navigating So the spines are named "according to a complex system using letters from the Japanese katakana alphabet." Ugh. Let's start with the rings, because there's no mention of their system and we're free to experiment. First thing is that there's an equatorial layer and then 26 layers on either side, so let's go with English letters. Because there's a north and a south there will be A, B, C, etc and -A, -B, -C etc. The middle layer will be Azimuth, or "Az" to Lokies. The rings in each layer will be just numbered so some example ring names would be A15, -C8, or Az23. If something is on Zenith, they just call it ZenC, -ZenG, or ZenAz (which is not really used as it's just the Amoeba). Now for spines. There are an amazing number of spines, but we can cut that down by following the example of Zenith Spine: both sides of Zenith Spine (either side of the Amoeba and Shell) are called by the same name instead of Zenith North and Zenith South or something. It's not exactly half of 437, though, because of the missing 15% so it's half of the original 512 or 256. We just know that 15% of these end once they reach the Shell at the center. The difficulty here is that there are 72 characters in katakana (including the obsolete we and wi, and the vocalic wo... we need all the characters we can get). These give us what would be consonant-vowel pairings in English: ka, de, go, etc. The vowels can also be held longer (i.e. like the a in "stall" vs. the a in "walk"... I think that works for most dialects) so we can double this to 144 characters. There's also a diphthong in katakana where ya, yo, and yu are attached to characters to turn ka into kya, etc. There are 12 characters, discounting the empty character, the W, and Y... and we can have long and short versions of these endings. So that gives us 12 x 6 = 72 for 216 total. For the last forty, let's embrace the anarchist symbology and have forty circled characters for those spars (conceivably, they're the ones surrounding the conical section so they aren't mentioned as much). Specifically, they'll be the first five consonants (K, S, T, N, and H) with the eight vowel endings (A, E, I, O, U, YA, YO, and YU). Bam, done. Some sample spine names then are: ka, daa, hyo, circle-yuu, ma, etc. Addresses: Sample addresses would be ring-and-spine such as "Come down to Goru Mat's nothing-but-masks-soiree! Hab cluster at -C18 and Kyaa!"
Thu, 2012-10-04 18:14#1