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    Titan in the Playground
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    biggrin Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirls

    One of my favorite of the many space travel concepts that were never built, is Project Orion. In what can be best described as Nuclear pulse propulsion, this 'rocket' worked on the idea of firing a small ( 1-5 kiloton) atomic bomb out of the back of a spaceship, where it would explode at 200 behinf the craft. The hot plasma from the bomb (which was coated in a plastic to act as propellant) would push on a large pusher plate on the back of the ship, basically a giant piston, with shock absorbers to even out the stress, and make for a much smoother ride. It was absolutely crazy, it was absolutely wonderful. The basic model was to be able to launch 2000 tons into space.
    You read that right, 2000 TONS. In short, lots.
    Alas, because of(most likely justified) fears of fallout, the Program was canceled.
    But can it live again, in our imaginations?
    Now, why did I choose this, instead of say, a magical Saturn V?
    Because, magic in Dungeons and Dragons allows certain advantages, that would make doing it easier. Also, the sheer size of the craft means that life support could either be done magically, or with fairly basic technology.
    For example, one of the problems faced by the engineers was how to get the bombs to the detonation point. With a Dimension Door, it could be done from within the craft, without worrying that some trap door in the pusher plate would jam or other launch mechanism would fail.
    But what about the bombs themselves? How about I show you for starters.
    I give you. . . the Magical Antimatter Propulsion Pellet.

    The outside layer of wax to act as vaporised fuel. In that is a air tight cannister, from which the air has been teleported out, creating a vacuum. Bolted to the inside of the canister is coiled springs with flat plates welded to the unattached ends pacing inward. Inside that is an airtight sphere of magical force. Now here is where it gets sticky on the rules. Is there a spell in D&D that allows you to transport small amounts of material
    in a small globe. Like a Resilient Sphere, only movable. I can see how such a sspell would be useful for transporting scrolls and such underwater, or transporting things that need water, out of it. Now, this sphere, which has also had all the air transported out of it, has a quantity of anti matter in it, anti iron in this case, though anti osmium would work too. Now, when the bomb is at the correct distance from the pusher plate, the Wizard on board simply dismisses the Force Sphere, and the plates, on the springs, Spring forward, and touch the antimatter. Kaboom, hot gases, Magical Antimatter Orion pushes forward another pulse.
    Thats all for now, any other ideas, or Why this Would Not WorK, are all welcome.
    Last edited by Ravens_cry; 2008-10-24 at 09:31 PM.
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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    Everyone board is reduced to chunky salsa from the acceleration produced from a nuclear-pulse engine?

    Or, at the very least, is pretty crippled. You're talking about 500+ mph of essentially instantaneous acceleration. People can start blacking out at 70mph per second (using an aircraft carrier's catapult - 0-140mph in just under 2 seconds).

    That's an issue...
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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordguy View Post
    Everyone board is reduced to chunky salsa from the acceleration produced from a nuclear-pulse engine?

    Or, at the very least, is pretty crippled. You're talking about 500+ mph of essentially instantaneous acceleration. People can start blacking out at 70mph per second (using an aircraft carrier's catapult - 0-140mph in just under 2 seconds).

    That's an issue...
    Temporal Stasis.
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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    Well, one problem is that Antimatter detonations are a whole order of magnitude worse than nukes on pretty much every level imaginable. Acceleration aside, I'm pretty sure the resulting wave of radiation would sterilize all life in the ship.
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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    You might look into Broken for spells to deal with space:
    http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.p...ducts_id=50019
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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    Temporal Stasis.
    Not familiar with that spell - does it involve immunity to all outside forces? Taking the title literally, it just means that time doesn't pass in the field.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag
    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin
    Thus, knowing none of us are Sun Tzu or Napoleon or Julius Caesar...
    No, but Swordguy appears to have studied people who are. And took notes.
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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofzeal View Post
    Well, one problem is that Antimatter detonations are a whole order of magnitude worse than nukes on pretty much every level imaginable. Acceleration aside, I'm pretty sure the resulting wave of radiation would sterilize all life in the ship.
    Make the ship out of lead. Though why you're not just using an item of Reverse Gravity at-will is beyond me. You're looking at a guaranteed 130 feet of movement, more if you have it re-cast at predetermined intervals, in which case the speed is 21.6e*the number of times the spell is cast per round.
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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordguy View Post
    Not familiar with that spell - does it involve immunity to all outside forces? Taking the title literally, it just means that time doesn't pass in the field.
    Sorry, misremembered the name(I don't use Psionics). Timeless Body.
    Your body ignores all harmful (and helpful) effects, beginning when you finish manifesting this power and ending at the end of your next turn. While timeless body is in effect, you are invulnerable to all attacks and powers.
    Fairly nice, but for a 9th level power, not incredible. It would be expensive, but we're talking spaceflight here. It's government-funded.
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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    Sorry, misremembered the name(I don't use Psionics). Timeless Body. Fairly nice, but for a 9th level power, not incredible. It would be expensive, but we're talking spaceflight here. It's government-funded.
    It's also Range: Personal.

    So you can fly a bunch of 18th level psions around. That's a) assuming you have lots of them to make the ship worthwhile in the first place, b) they know how to work the ship, and c) one or more of them ALSO has the ability to produced the spell effects noted in the first post.

    EDIT: And the Reverse Gravity trick doesn't help in deep space. There's no "up", for example...
    Last edited by Swordguy; 2008-10-24 at 09:55 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag
    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin
    Thus, knowing none of us are Sun Tzu or Napoleon or Julius Caesar...
    No, but Swordguy appears to have studied people who are. And took notes.
    "I'd complain about killing catgirls, but they're dead already. You killed them with your 685 quadrillion damage." - Mikeejimbo, in reference to this

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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    How often can the Spell Be cast per round? By the looks of things s, a Reverse gravity spell it looks a bit too slow for rapid interplanetary travel.
    Besides, this kills more Cat Girls.
    As for making it out of lead, maybe, but this ship is so big, and there is so much mass between the crew and that, enough lead would probably work.
    And the Salsafacation can be avoided with enough shock absorbers.
    Last edited by Ravens_cry; 2008-10-24 at 09:56 PM.
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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    Here's a better idea, make the ship out of Force. Completely indestructable by mundane means.

    Also, why not just use flight of some sort? The spell doesn't specify that it needs air to work, so it might work in space?

    In fact, a telekinetic sphere of sufficient size is both mobile and indestructable. Entry in and out of the sphere can be done via dim-door. But you need something that never sleeps to keep moving it. Easiest way might be to get an item that creates a permanent TK sphere, stick it on a warforged, and you have a indestructable ship with an AI.

    (For best results, the warforged should not be called HAL or Auto)

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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    Simple, Flight is way too slow for interplanetary flight. Unless you know a way to cheese it, badly.
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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    Ha! I remember reading about the Moravecs traveling to Earth in an Orion craft in Dan Simmons' Illium & Olympos novels (both are easily within the top ten books I've ever read, by the way).

    I think the easiest way to handle the stress of this craft in a D&D environment is to have a 1/day true resurrection enchantment placed on each of the crew seats. You can toss the complexities of the pusher plate out the window then. Just start 'er up, have a few mithril golems on hand to take care of the piloting, let the meatbag inhabitants die during acceleration, and just rez them up again at the end of the journey.
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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    Simple, Flight is way too slow for interplanetary flight. Unless you know a way to cheese it, badly.
    Interestingly, the TK sphere (As linked above) doesn't say the sphere can't be moved externally, and in fact emphasizes that everything within the sphere is 1/16th its normal weight. Notably, gravity affects it as normal (partly anyway). You can still use the sphere, and propel it with your antimatter bombs. The fact the sphere is force and indestructable probably helps.

    Switch back to TK control when you don't want fall out or need a controlled descent/ascent. Voila, you can alternate between raw destructive speed, and gentle controlled movement.

    To take care of acceleration, use bags of holding (with bottles of air) to hold the crew within the sphere. They are in an extradimensional space so the acceleration *shouldn't* hurt them. You could have a wizard team cranking out more antimatter bombs in your bags of holding. Using BoH as crew quarters also helps solve the 5000 lb limit of the TK-sphere.
    Last edited by JeminiZero; 2008-10-24 at 10:14 PM.

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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    About the bags of holding idea: can the entrance to a Mage’s Magnificent Mansion be moved if the place where you cast it is itself being moved?
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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    Why go to all this trouble? Greater Teleport can take you anywhere in 6 seconds.
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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    Jemini here seems to have recreated the Star Trek theory of subspace. Create a bubble that moves, weightless, at many times the speed of light. Within that bubble is the boat, however, shifted into a slightly different dimension. Thus, the ship inside is stationary, allowing the weightless bubble to move without violating universal laws.

    Except with his, he's using his pocket to keep universal laws of acceleration from violating the crew.

    Interesting philosophy, though I can't help but think that a simple fireball spell will suffice outside of gravitic influence... or Telekinetic Thrust. Within atmosphere, reverse gravity + the above should suffice.

    With telekinetic thrust, the ideal ship size would be the size of a man and a backpack. The backpack would hold the portable hole.

    A moderate level psion Thrusting himself/herself should be able to build quite a level of acceleration daily. Same with a wizard.

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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Why go to all this trouble? Greater Teleport can take you anywhere in 6 seconds.
    Well. . .the honest answer is, I like the idea of combining the magical with the mundane. It gets my Nerd on.
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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    One of my favorite of the many space travel concepts that were never built, is Project Orion. In what can be best described as Nuclear pulse propulsion, this 'rocket' worked on the idea of firing a small ( 1-5 kiloton) atomic bomb out of the back of a spaceship, where it would explode at 200 behinf the craft. The hot plasma from the bomb (which was coated in a plastic to act as propellant) would push on a large pusher plate on the back of the ship, basically a giant piston, with shock absorbers to even out the stress, and make for a much smoother ride. It was absolutely crazy, it was absolutely wonderful. The basic model was to be able to launch 2000 tons into space.
    You read that right, 2000 TONS. In short, lots.
    Alas, because of(most likely justified) fears of fallout, the Program was canceled.
    You know, with the supposed plans to establish a base on the moon... this idea is again viable. But, people are afraid of anything with the word "nuclear" and as Swordguy has pointed out the acceleration is absurd and even whatever the ship is made out of would be hard pressed to deal with it. This is a situation where scientists start talking about unobtainium, which is probably the real reason why the project was canceled, the stresses are insane.
    Last edited by Asbestos; 2008-10-24 at 10:31 PM.

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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    Quote Originally Posted by Asbestos View Post
    You know, with the supposed plans to establish a base on the moon... this idea is again viable. But, people are afraid of anything with the word "nuclear" and as Swordguy has pointed out the acceleration is absurd and even whatever the ship is made out of would be hard pressed to deal with it.
    Actually they solved the acceleration problems, at least in real life (not sure about D&D).
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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Actually they solved the acceleration problems, at least in real life (not sure about D&D).
    Wait, really? How?

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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    I was going to suggest Time Hop as a possibility for the acceleration problems, but....
    The subject reappears in exactly the same orientation and condition as before.
    If this was to keep your velocity at its previous amount, it causes even more trouble.

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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    The one issue that I have is where the antimatter comes from. Antimatter is often cited as a cheap way to get lots of raw energy in DnD, but the creation spells specifically state that they "create a nonmagical, unattended object of nonliving, vegetable matter," which seems to preclude the creation of anti-matter.

    While teleportation is a great way to travel around, the teleporter needs to at least have a description of where they're going, which makes exploration difficult. Perhaps our aspiring astronaut could use a similar source of propulsion to the one you're describing to randomly seed the stars with little bubbles each containing a five legged cockroach, a bit of mold and about five to ten pounds of peanutbutter. As long as the cockroach lived, our wizard / psion could scry its location using their legs and use that information to teleport there if there were anything interesting about. We'd of course have to develop a handy magical space suit: decanter of water for weightless propulsion, rings of energy resistance (cold and fire) for adverse conditions, feather fall for entering gravitational fields, and bottle of air for obvious reasons.

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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    Don't forget, the lack of pressure will kill you before the cold does (but after the lack of air does) as gases and fluids gradually boil out of your skin. You need a sealed environment if you're going to spend any time in a vacuum.

    A featherfall spell used for atmospheric reentry would, sadly, work, as long as it could tell when local acceleration due to gravity had increased to a dangerous level.
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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    Of course we'll have to have a pressurized suit, but that doesn't have to be magical - we're making them out of nonmagical materials just fine here in the real world. You could use a force cube, but at 36 min / day, that's better as an emergency measure. Or our wizard could just go ethereal. But the simplest solution is probably just making one out of metal and rubber. For bonus points, it could be a golem, too.

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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    Depending on your local tech level, just built an air-tight goblin shredder. :D
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    Quote Originally Posted by OverdrivePrime View Post
    Ha! I remember reading about the Moravecs traveling to Earth in an Orion craft in Dan Simmons' Illium & Olympos novels (both are easily within the top ten books I've ever read, by the way).

    I think the easiest way to handle the stress of this craft in a D&D environment is to have a 1/day true resurrection enchantment placed on each of the crew seats. You can toss the complexities of the pusher plate out the window then. Just start 'er up, have a few mithril golems on hand to take care of the piloting, let the meatbag inhabitants die during acceleration, and just rez them up again at the end of the journey.
    That's pretty much what they did in Endymion.
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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    How does it stop? Do you have to flip the ship around and fly pusher plate forward, then slingshot a nuke out the front and have it explode while you fly into it?

    Am I the only one that thinks that's a Bad Idea?
    Last edited by sleepy; 2008-10-25 at 01:31 AM.

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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd-o-rama View Post
    Don't forget, the lack of pressure will kill you before the cold does (but after the lack of air does) as gases and fluids gradually boil out of your skin. You need a sealed environment if you're going to spend any time in a vacuum.
    I would take a different approach to this problem. Why bother with using a suit to give air and water, when you can stop needing either in the first place? Just Get an item that gives permanent Stone body effect, and a ring of sustenance. Voila, no need to eat or breath, immune to vacuum and a whole host of other things, for an indefinite period of time.

    If you have psionics, you can use an item of permanent Crystal Body instead of Stone Body. Crystal Body comes without the Dex penalty, and has lower spell/power level, and so should be cheaper.

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepy View Post
    How does it stop? Do you have to flip the ship around and fly pusher plate forward, then slingshot a nuke out the front and have it explode while you fly into it?

    Am I the only one that thinks that's a Bad Idea?
    With the TK-sphere idea, the TK controller can start concentrating to exert control. The description states that when TK is exerted on a sphere that is falling, it stops falling right away. So should be enough to bring it to a total halt when its falling toawrds the surface of a new planet or something.

    Things get a bit fuzzier if you are stopping it in mid-space, then its not technically falling anywhere anymore, and is open to DM intepretation.

    But even if you can't stop the thing, its still an indestructuble sphere of force. Just crash the dang thing.

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    Default Re: Magical Antimatter Orion or How I stopped Worrying and Loved Killing the CatGirl

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    Make the ship out of lead.
    Lead isn't some magical radiation-stopping substance, you know. It's just very dense, so it stops most radiation that tries to go through. But at the levels of radiation we're talking about, the tiny fraction that does go through will still be more than enough to kill everyone.

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