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An idea of scenario hit me yesterday... and I thought to share it 🙂 

I call it the "End of Days" an extreme scifi mega dungeon.

So the players are on Habitat 47. A basic rotating cylinder of concrete and steel space habitat. There is no longer any star or planet or anything. Only empty unlimited cold darkness. The habitat is one of the first and one of the last, thanks to its simple energy efficient design. Where it comes from has long be forgotten though. Despite that even the space habitat itself is slowly undertaking decay. In some section the auto repair bot run dormant or out of energy. In some other they have grown hostile. But mostly inactive unless someone walks by.

Character would be end of time life form. Perhaps humanoid... But they have a huge internal source of energy (like... 200?) but only replenish if they find food. They can use it to use "power" or regenerate HP. They can cannibalize weapon or power supply to eat.. but then there is that much less resources... Player would be ascended obviously (i.e. they have access to psionic and super power), and they can find scifi weapon and armor, but all them will run out of energy.

Some people have given up physical body and live the matrix entirely. You cant die in the matrix, and its very lively. But it has little impact on the real world Though some part of spaceship (like critical locks) are controlled through it and guarded by powerful AI, the AI doesnt kill, of course, but when you die you either respawn very far, or perhaps get imprisoned, or perhaps got disconnected and access point disabled for you. And most access point to the Matrix are broken, of course.

The plot is that some nihilist group, despaired of the slow decay is committing suicide by diving the habitat towards a black hole (according to ancient map, hard to know whether its true in this empty darkness). And part 1 would be trying to reach control center and going away from the black hole. On the way they will learn of some research for a multiverse drive extension, that would enable the cylinder to go to a whole new universe, full of energy. Which would lead to a part 2 finding the design.. ultimately it is in the matrix. Modifying the drive would require resource and fight crazy auto repair bot. and cut the habitat in 2, and sacrificing many (the multiverse drive cant carry all) or maybe make an escape vessel....

The ending could be dying in a fiery ball of intense energy after crossing the veil between universe...... Or, if extra preparation has been taken, wait in the matrix, for a new universe to cool down enough for life... Or maybe die in a black hole if the nihilist won....

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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Wow. THAT'S a happy one.... 😁

OK, it's interesting science fiction, asking the questions about the meaning and purpose of life amidst despair. There was a 2007 movie about Earth's sun being extinguished called 'Sunshine' that explored similar questions.

What I'd like to know is this, 'the matrix' has to have a physical location somewhere. There has to be a power source, servers, something physical to preserve the personality 'engrams' with netherworld of electronic life. But if somebody drives the last habitat into a black hole, and that habitat contains the physical plant of the matrix, how would anyone stay alive?

The matrix is a man-made construct, made up of the same zeroes and ones as DOS was back in 1976. However much it may have attained an existence of its own, it still requires a physical presence in 3 dimensions in the real world. Destroy that and you destroy the matrix.

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1 hour ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

 

I call it the "End of Days" an extreme scifi mega dungeon.

So the players are on Habitat 47. A basic rotating cylinder of concrete and steel space habitat. There is no longer any star or planet or anything. Only empty unlimited cold darkness. 

I know Doctor Who covers this idea a few times over a few doctors so this might be worth a lookup.

8 minutes ago, svensson said:

There was a 2007 movie about Earth's sun being extinguished called 'Sunshine' that explored similar questions.

Is that the one from a Polish sci-fi author?

 

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... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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55 minutes ago, svensson said:

What I'd like to know is this, 'the matrix' has to have a physical location somewhere. There has to be a power source, servers, something physical to preserve the personality 'engrams' with netherworld of electronic life. But if somebody drives the last habitat into a black hole, and that habitat contains the physical plant of the matrix, how would anyone stay alive?

I mean nobody dies inside the matrix, that's part of its programming. I was just talking PC can have fight in the matrix with other thing in the matrix. But they wouldn't die then!
But yes, its physical medium is on the ship.. and it will disappear, and all its life be snuffed...

55 minutes ago, svensson said:

Wow. THAT'S a happy one.... 😁

Haha.. yes, when I thought about it I think it might be pretty grim and PCs might even want to run into the blackhole as well.... hence I might have some hopeful supporting NPC and the second more hopeful discovery of a multiverse drive along the way! 😄

The initial idea is why always wait for the end of a long campaign to get the latests toys, lets run to the very end from the start!
And I came up with that... If they make it to the whole new universe and though of preparing for initial very adverse condition the end would be, you are alive in a whole new universe and you are its new gods now...

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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So, scanning the answers given here, nobody can 'duck into the matrix' and wait out evolution. If Habitat 47 dies, the matrix dies. So nobody gets to wait out anything. They either fight against entropy on the chance they might die or they give up and die anyway, binary solution.

OTOH, given that this is the last pocket of life in observable universe, it's kind of a 'flip a coin: tails you lose, head you don't win' situation.

Things like this are one reason why I'm not a big fan of The Mythos or Warhammer. There's no enjoyment in a 'all hope is gone and all your efforts are less than wasted' scenario for me. Don't get me wrong. I'm no Pollyanna happy flower by any stretch of the imagination. But you have to offer your players something more positive than a damp, oily hab cube with a dirty bunk and steaming bowl of Soylent Green...

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1 hour ago, svensson said:

So, scanning the answers given here, nobody can 'duck into the matrix' and wait out evolution. If Habitat 47 dies, the matrix dies. So nobody gets to wait out anything. They either fight against entropy on the chance they might die or they give up and die anyway, binary solution.

Confused here... if they go in to the alternate universe.. they can wait for it to cool down in the matrix.. in the end there is difficulty but hope.. perhaps they could be gods of a whole new universe..
The start is a bit dreadful.. but the end is rather hopeful, wouldn't you say? 😮 

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Sounds a lot like a very dark version of Metamorphosis Alpha, the first SciFi RPG ever. 😄

What puzzles me in your description is that there seems to be nothing remaining in your setting except the ship. That makes me think we're in a time in the history of the universe where Space-Time has expanded so much that even black holes can't hold their gravity anymore. According to this wiki page, it would be between 10^100 and 10^2500 years after the Big Bang.

https://fr.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futur_d'un_univers_en_expansion

Which means the civilization the ship comes from found a way to reverse that process, but could only do it in the vicinity of the ship. It means they managed to do it when it was still possible, and that time was much closer to our time than the time the setting takes place.

Why is there only one ship ? Are there more than one, but the Space-Time is so dilated it's not possible to reach them anymore ?

 

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Thanks for asking. Yes I was thinking of a time when the expansion of the universe separated everything from everything else...

Since we are getting technical here.. there will be a time were (or when) every celestial body would be alone in an ever expanding empty universe, but still holding up together (according to our current understanding, dark energy is still a mystery after all). Celestial body and blackhole dissolve a little later, time might also lost its meaning without any matter left. Anyway this is the day... Blackhole still do exists then, for a little more, and what a way to go!

But you do need faster than light ship to go anywhere and the best of the best of the bestest navigation system to navigate to any specific point of interest, which the habitat has both btw.

Obviously there are more habitats, but they too are lost beyond the cosmic event horizon, going faster than light, trillion of light years away, much harder to reach...

No the civilization has not found a way to stop the universe expansion.. there is little energy left to do anything, were this a possibility... I guess that could be an alternate plot, but this is not my plot! 🙂

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3 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Confused here... if they go in to the alternate universe.. they can wait for it to cool down in the matrix.. in the end there is difficulty but hope.. perhaps they could be gods of a whole new universe..
The start is a bit dreadful.. but the end is rather hopeful, wouldn't you say? 😮 

Ok, cuz 'physics', the only way they translate into some new universe after passing through a black hole is on a molecule by molecule basis. Current theory says that black holes rip structures apart down the atomic level -- and not all atoms would survive. So the physical locus for your matrix gets ripped into atoms smaller than the silicon it's made of. That being said, I don't see how anyone would survive in or out of your matrix.

Edited by svensson
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ok, you totally misread the first post. It is now confirmed!
I dont think I was that unclear... I just re-read what I wrote and I think it's understandable.. I think...

the transuniverse drive has nothing to do with the blackhole, obviously! 
the nihilist want to plunge into the blackhole to end with a bang!
(and the PC will try to stop them.. perhaps?)
but the totally unrelated transuniversal drive is an unfinished project they will learn on their way to the control center. which is here to give an alternate hopeful ending. however it will require some engineering and cant carry the whole habitat with whatever current resources are there.

So. Step 1, avoid blackhole. Step 2, build transuniversal drive. Step 3, be gods in a whole new universe!

Thinking to rename that story "The End of Eternity" by the way.

 

Also, but arguably it was less clear, you also misread the tone of the story. It's not SCI-fi, it's scifantasy. I mean come on, didn't the transuniversal drive gave that away? And what about "ascended lifeform with super power"? And what about downloading one's consciousness from a physical body into a virtual reality and back?
You totally missed the train on those! 😮 
The latest, since you are... apparently unfamiliar with it, is a common scifi trope nowadays, read the like of Peter F. Hamilton, John Scalzi (sometimes), Iain M. Banks for example.
 

Anyway a blackhole ship strike me as even be physically realistic provided one can do an actual FTL Alcubiere drive - i.e a drive that bend spacetime in such way that it goes faster than light, which that kind of end of time fictional super civilization would totally do as well.
Regardless there is no blackhole proof ship in this story, on the contrary. Hence the need to stop it from happening.
 

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@Lloyd DupontDupont the reason why I thought the civilization had to master a technology to protect itself from the effects of expansion is because it will also affect matter at a very low scale. Theoretically, even protons might disintigrate.

If Space is so distorted that even objects with such extreme gravity as black holes can't remain whole, there's no reason a human body can.

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Well.. we are not there yet... 🙂

By the way the expansion of the universe will not go, as far as I understand it, from affecting intergalactic distance to suddenly breaking atoms, it's a progression I believe. Eventually it will separate galaxies, then star system then, later (I think), it will start dismantle matter, atoms, everything. Blackholes will be last, I reckon, but I dunno for sure.
Story is almost at the stage of separating star systems, good spot of a nice science plot. Additionally stars that are left ran out of energy and died, this is truly the end of times.

However.. Science was not my inspiration here to be honest 😮  my primary creative driver, so to speak, was to find a story where players start with everything imaginable at their finger tips, to fast forward to the end.... This is the end.

 

Speaking of which, reminder of a PCs fact, they are "ascended", i.e. they are not even normal life form anymore, i.e. they will have about 50 super hero points, and also unknown to them, they forgot, "1 extra life". Part of the thematic end story. The only "downside" is power does not regenerate in this story, another side of the end of times theme.

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On 9/18/2021 at 1:43 AM, svensson said:

The writer of 'Sunshine' [Andrew Garland] cite [Solaris] as an inspiration for their film, along with '2001' and 'Alien'.

And Sunshine was directed by Danny Boyle, with a pretty amazing cast.  It's good, thoughtful sci-fi, and I recommend it.

!i!

carbon copy logo smallest.jpg  ...developer of White Rabbit Green

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8 hours ago, g33k said:

Regarding a "transuniversal drive"... do consider the possibility of a "ringularity" based drive.

A black hole is their doom, to be avoided.  A different black hole is their salvation...

"a "ringularity" based drive." wow, it's whole new conceptual level! so new and high level that.. please, tell me more! 😄 

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13 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

"a "ringularity" based drive." wow, it's whole new conceptual level! so new and high level that.. please, tell me more! 😄 

That's similar to my non-calculated idea how to isolate one piece spacetime inside from the spacetime outside for enabling a warp tunnel. I would attempt to create the singularity by slowing down light speed in a Bose-Einstein-condensate medium inside carbon nanotubes down to walking speed while whirling the Bose-Einstein-condensate around at those speeds. The relativistic rotating mass should accumulate rather fast. Rather than achieving a full ring-shaped singularity, this concept of counter-rotating things moving near light speed could be enough to achieve a separation between inside and outside.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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On 9/18/2021 at 2:38 AM, Lloyd Dupont said:

Wow. Nice... 🙂
Now... which one of the... 10,000 episodes?! 😮

There are a few.

In the original series the whole Logopolis story arc at the end of Tom Baker's run postulates on the head death of the universe, but that the universe had already reached that state, and that the inhabitants of Logopolis had staved this off by opening up portals to other universes- so that the universe was no longer a closed system. The Master carelessly killing off a few of the inhabitants puts the whole universe (plus probably a few connected ones) into jeopardy as there was no one ready to fill and and do the work of the murdered people.

In the new series there is an episode where the Doctor and Rose watch the Sun go nova and wipe out the Earth. IMO the Doctor did it to see ROse's reaction and how she deals with the loss of her homeworld and people-something that he was struggling with at the time.

A later episode has the Doctor, Martha and Captain Jack end up at the end of the universe, where some peopel are tying to figure a way to escape the universe before it dies out. 

The thing is with the Doctor having a TARDIS that can transport him throughout time and space, he doesn't have to stick around at the end, but could retreat to an earlier point in time, ot to metion the occasional alternate universe. Plus there are a lot of powerful beings (and some advanced ones) who could bend the rules of the universe as needed. So the writers always have some ways out, and things can only get so dark.

 

Now with your setting, one interesting bit is that if the station is moving fast or if it starts to get pulled towards the event horizon of a black hole, time dilation would occur, so the end could take an eternity, from a subjective point of view. Plus if you wanted to be nice, perhaps the black hole leads somewhere and you could have there be a way for Habitat 47 to be able to make it through the back hole to a new universe (or the same one back at the beginning?). With stuff like this it all depends on where you want to go with it, how dark you want to get, and if you want to put in a way out. I think that in some ways, having a way out might the setting more interesting, especially if not everyone is working towards it (or can make it). But then again the "escape plane" could just be a pipe dream designed to give the people who find out what is happening something to do so they don't panic and run amok.

 

 

 

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Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Hey Atgxtg, thanks for your lengthy post!
Very good for people like me who didn't watch a single Dr Who episode! ^^

As a side note, to nitpick on physics concept if ever there was a need to, falling into a black holy only take an infinite amount of time from the perspective of an outside observer. For whoever is unfortunately falling into it, it happens as fast as one would naively think. Which can be quite long when falling from a few light year away 😉 

Other side note, personal thinking on the matter, after watching numerous video on the topic. I believe nothing can go backwards in space once one cross the event horizon, hence I guess all matter should instantly lose cohesion and death will be instantaneous I reckon, despite the assertion that falling into the biggest black holes might go unnoticed for a while due to the size of their event horizon, i.e. no spaghettification at that point - funnily enough though, one can move back and forth through time once the event is crossed, how weird.

Other than that I am not really into dark hopeless story, it's just how the idea came to me wholly formed... I had to brainstorm a bit for the hopeful ending when I realized despair was too sensible an option. And will take it, my ideal scenario ending will be either die a fiery radiation death in a whole new universe, or "you are god of this new universe now"....

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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