Nibiru, a Science Fiction RPG of Lost Memories

A tabletop RPG set in an ominous space station, home to millions, where stories of struggle and survival are written on a daily basis.
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558 backers pledged £27,224 to help bring this project to life.

Nibiru Update #14 - Gravity, Part 1

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Hello Vagabonds!

We are THIS close to unlocking that awesome map! Let's keep pushing! I'll remind y'all that we have a "social contest" of sorts called the Pilgrimage. It's built around a four-part series of adventures which follows a traveling caravan of Pilgrims on the way to the Core.

Each of the episodes can be played as a one-shot, with each one starts closer to the Core than the one before. With that in mind, we calculated the distance to the Core (in steps) at the start of each adventure:

To partake in the Pilgrimage, enter here, use your Kickstarter email address, and help us spread the word by sharing the tweets, posts, etc. as seen in that web-page. Each action gives you steps in return, and the more steps you get, the more adventures from the Pilgrimage you unlock, in PDF, for free! You can reference the image above to see how many steps you need to unlock each chapter.

With that in mind, I wanted to talk about something that is directly related to our next Stretch Goal. That is, Gravity! It's a bit long, so we'll do it in two parts. First, the science stuff, today. And the actual mechanics tomorrow :)

We've stated before that Nibiru is a hard sci-fi game, and with that we've given a lot of care to the science behind the station. Although most of this is reflected via the world-building of the setting, the true mechanical implications of this can be seen in how we handle artificial gravity.

The inhabited zones of Nibiru feature a wide gradient of artificial gravity, from 0.7G (70% the gravity of Earth) to 2.1G (210% the gravity of Earth). This greatly affects how people live—with them developing in different ways depending on where they live.

Humans in Antumbra tend to grow a bit taller than those on Earth. Their muscles are less developed (since they have less weight to support) and their hearts are a bit atrophied, due to them not needing to pump with as much pressure. This is great if you live there, but if you travel down to Penumbra and Umbra, your body will suffer from the much higher artificial gravity. A human from the 0.7 travelling to the 2.1 will weight three times more than what they weighted back home, and at the same time their body won't be prepared to support itself. Not to mention that there'll be a severe risk of passing out due to blood not getting to the right parts!

Even some of the history of Antumbra can be explained when considering the physiology of the Arku (the people of the Core Sectors). For example, the fact that they consume significantly less (since they have slower metabolisms) most certainly helped their societies keep a sustainable resource consumption rate. The idea of a "society of abundance" relied not just on resources being readily available, but also on the Arku's biology, and their low caloric requirements.

In Penumbra and Umbra, the opposite is true. Growing up in the 1.3G, the 1.7G, and even the 2G band means you'll be shorter than the average Earthling (due to the world's weight on you). You'll also develop stronger muscles, as well as a more robust heart. This also means that, since your metabolism is faster, you'll need to consume more calories than normal, and your lifespan will be shorter (due to the increased degradation rate of your body).

For the Enesu (the inhabitants of Penumbra and Umbra), travelling to Antumbra is also risky business. If the body does not adapt to the lower artificial gravity in time, the Enesu could suffer brain hemorrhage and other nasty stuff due to their abnormal heart rates. Interacting with the environment in Antumbra would be a strange experience, since things weight less and (in turn) you are stronger than normal.

Tune again tomorrow to know how this translates into the game's mechanics!

René Schultze, Chris Berger, and 3 more people like this update.