Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
BoloOfEarth

Extra-Dimensional Physics

Recommended Posts

One of the over-arching plotlines in my current Champions campaign involves the Empress of a Billion Dimensions, who had (prior to start of game) enacted a plot that removed a large number of supers (mainly heroes, but a good number of villains as well) from the game world.  The players are aware of her machinations and have voiced the desire to find a way to deal with her permanently (or at least long-term).  One of the heroes is a brilliant scientist and another is a gadgeteer, and they've been working together experimenting with extra-dimensional technology for quite some time.

 

I've decided to have them discover a dimension that is difficult to get to, and even more difficult to leave.  (That Earth has a strange electromagnetic field and background radiation that interferes with creating X-Dim portals.  Not only that, but the longer a person or object is on that Earth, the more EM energy / radiation absorbed, making it even harder over time for that person or object to leave.)  In game terms, that Earth has one level of Stops X-Dim Movement (works just like Stops Teleportation), and anyone or anything on that Earth is subject to an additional level of Stops X-Dim Movement per level on the Time Chart past 1 minute, up to a maximum of 8 levels after 3 months.  I'm thinking this would make a good place to exile the Empress, if the heroes can lay a good trap for her.

 

I've also decided that the strange EM field interferes with modern electronics, causing damage over prolonged exposure.  (This stops the PCs from using remote-control drones to easily  explore that world, leaving them relatively in the dark as to overall conditions there.)  But would this be likely to cause problems with, say, vacuum tubes and other lower-level tech?

 

Finally, I'm thinking that, since time is considered a dimension, it might flow differently on that Earth - probably slower (maybe half as fast, so an hour there equates to two hours on another Earth.  I'm guessing that would mean a person viewing that Earth through a dimensional portal would see things moving slower / video from a drone would be transmitted at a lower frame rate, etc. Does that sound right?  Or am I getting it reversed?

 

I'm also looking for any input on this idea.  In particular:

  • Would / should the Empress have already discovered this Earth, and if so what would she have done with it or about it?  Camped some troops there just in case?  Use it as a dumping ground for dimension-traveling rebels?  Ignored it in the hopes nobody else would learn of it?  Taken steps to somehow monitor travel there, knowing its potential danger to her? 
  • Would (or should) the strange EM field be dangerous to non-natives of that Earth?
  • What are thoughts on the planet being populated?  Since the EM field / radiation only applies to time flow on that Earth (not to the space around it) I figure an asteroid / comet still would have come along and wiped out the dinosaurs, but since homo sapiens have only been around the last 200,000 - 300,000 years, any people there would probably be much less evolved than on our Earth.  Though one could argue that the strange EM / radiation there caused higher mutation rates, perhaps causing odd jumps in evolution.
  • Any other thoughts on this whole idea are welcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Vacuum tubes are less susceptible for a variety of reasons. Voltage tolerance, larger surface area to disperse across, less complex nature means less to go wrong, etc.

 

https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/264738/why-are-vacuum-tubes-more-resistant-to-electromagnetic-pulses-than-solid-state-d

 

2. Long term ELF exposure can lead to a susceptibility to cancer and other abnormalities in humans.

 

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/10/001016073704.htm

 

3. EM has not been shown conclusively to cause cell mutation, but the physics on that world really are up to you. I would find it more likely that the denizens of this Earth would be more resistant to EM.

 

4. On the Empress, you need to decide how you want it to play out and then put the appropriate steps into place. Is she nearly prescient? Then position troops. Is she thorough but not prescient? Perhaps monitor XDM everywhere that she knows about, but light exploratory missions might not set off alarms. Uber-narcissistic? Ignored it, since nothing can harm her in the long run. Etc.

 

- E

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the time-dilation effect of this alternate Earth has always been there, then it would be half the age of the current Earth, a difference of billions of years. Life would be at a primitive stage, if it had appeared at all yet. If it's a more recent development, then there may be some instigating factor -- alien technology landing on Earth, collision with a cosmic phenomenon, etc. -- behind it. Whatever that is, it might be exploitable, hence attractive enough to V'han to incentivize the conquest of what would otherwise be a very mundane dimension. Manipulation of the phenomenon could also be key to trapping V'han there, e.g. vastly slowing the time dilation.

 

Istvatha is terrified of being trapped in a dimension where her powers don't work, so she always sends reconnaissance forces into a newly-discovered dimension. But she seems psychologically unable to leave a populated dimension unconquered if she has the means to seize it. I would suggest that she could have built a unique dimensional bridge enhancer to overcome the X-Dim suppression effect and allow herself and her troops to cross into it. That would be another point vulnerable to destruction through which the Empress might be trapped. While V'han is anything but stupid, she is cocky, and seems to like to take a "victory lap" tour of newly conquered dimensions. Doing so prematurely on Champions Earth led to one of her past defeats there.

 

The Billion Dimensions are held together mostly by their Empress, through both her capability and her cult of personality. However, she's been unable to come up with a solid plan for succession should she be killed or incapacitated. Without her the empire would probably begin to fragment, as subordinates fight for dominance and rebellions gain traction. This would give your PCs a reason to aid any friends they've made in the empire regain their freedom. OTOH loyalists to V'han would undoubtedly attempt to rescue her, leading to a mission to thwart them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[Edit to add:  Posted before seeing LL's post]

 

My overall inclination regarding the Empress is that I'd like the heroes to have a decent chance to keep her locked away, so I don't want her to have things in place to quickly escape from such a dimensional exile.  (IMO that's a dick move for a GM.)  However, I also don't want the PC heroes to, say, decide to dump captured supervillains there instead of taking them to Stronghold.  So I'll have to figure out a way to make the players disinclined to try that.

 

She's called the Empress of a Billion Dimensions for a reason, so I'd think she would have previously discovered such a world (though perhaps by random chance she hasn't, and again by random chance the heroes have).  I could see her being cautious about such information, and fearful of her enemies learning it inadvertently from her people.  But I could also see her dumping, say, a research crew there to figure out a way off-world in case she gets trapped there.  Regardless, I could definitely see her monitoring possible incursions to that world, especially when she already knows the PC heroes have been playing around with dimensional travel.

 

I wasn't figuring the EM would cause cell mutation, but rather have that come from the odd background radiation.  But overall, I'd rather any denizens of that world be early homo sapiens so there's less for the Empress to take advantage of.  (Though I can't deny the appeal of a semi-modern steampunk culture being found there.)

 

As a side note, I'm fearful that the players may decide to go there themselves and get trapped (or more properly make it so I have to write in a way for them to escape, which would also mean the Empress has a possible means of escape).  But I figure I can trigger player paranoia to keep them from having their characters go there in person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

    About point 2;      What if the EM seepage from the Empress’s monitoring of the game world is what kickstarted paranormals and caused the slight alteration of physics that allows “super-tech” in your campaigns world. 

      Like a self fulfilling prophecy, the more she investigates or interferes with a place the more paranormals she creates.

1 hour ago, eepjr24 said:

1. Vacuum tubes are less susceptible for a variety of reasons. Voltage tolerance, larger surface area to disperse across, less complex nature means less to go wrong, etc.

 

https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/264738/why-are-vacuum-tubes-more-resistant-to-electromagnetic-pulses-than-solid-state-d

 

2. Long term ELF exposure can lead to a susceptibility to cancer and other abnormalities in humans.

 

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/10/001016073704.htm

 

3. EM has not been shown conclusively to cause cell mutation, but the physics on that world really are up to you. I would find it more likely that the denizens of this Earth would be more resistant to EM.

 

4. On the Empress, you need to decide how you want it to play out and then put the appropriate steps into place. Is she nearly prescient? Then position troops. Is she thorough but not prescient? Perhaps monitor XDM everywhere that she knows about, but light exploratory missions might not set off alarms. Uber-narcissistic? Ignored it, since nothing can harm her in the long run. Etc.

 

- E

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

If the time-dilation effect of this alternate Earth has always been there, then it would be half the age of the current Earth, a difference of billions of years. Life would be at a primitive stage, if it had appeared at all yet.

 

Excellent point.  If so things there would probably be how our Earth was about 2 billion years ago.  Which would mean single-cellular life and photosynthesis just starting to give Earth an atmosphere.  That doesn't suit my purposes - I'd at least like there to be widespread plant life and maybe simple animals, so the heroes won't feel like they're dumping her somewhere that she'd starve to death.

 

Maybe the comet / asteroid that caused dinosaur extinction added the key element that started the time dilation?  In which case, the dilation starts 65 million years ago, so things there are as they would have been on our Earth about 32.5 million years ago.  So, birds and mammals and fish, grasslands and forests, but well before the first humanoids.  I'm good with that.

 

Quote

Istvatha is terrified of being trapped in a dimension where her powers don't work, so she always sends reconnaissance forces into a newly-discovered dimension. But she seems psychologically unable to leave a populated dimension unconquered if she has the means to seize it. I would suggest that she could have built a unique dimensional bridge enhancer to overcome the X-Dim suppression effect and allow herself and her troops to cross into it. That would be another point vulnerable to destruction through which the Empress might be trapped. While V'han is anything but stupid, she is cocky, and seems to like to take a "victory lap" tour of newly conquered dimensions. Doing so prematurely on Champions Earth led to one of her past defeats there.

 

The existence of such a bridge would be a major reason *not* to send her there, though perhaps having people there in the process of building such a bridge is okay I guess.  And I like the idea of some of her people being there (not a lot), likely trapped and having to get by without the Empire's high-tech toys, except maybe stuff kept within a Faraday-cage like structure.

 

Quote

The Billion Dimensions are held together mostly by their Empress, through both her capability and her cult of personality. However, she's been unable to come up with a solid plan for succession should she be killed or incapacitated. Without her the empire would probably begin to fragment, as subordinates fight for dominance and rebellions gain traction. This would give your PCs a reason to aid any friends they've made in the empire regain their freedom. OTOH loyalists to V'han would undoubtedly attempt to rescue her, leading to a mission to thwart them.

 

 

RE: the progression of her empire without her, that's exactly what I was thinking.  As well as loyalists trying to rescue her.  Though to be honest, I'm thinking the whole adventure arc to exile her there would be a good end-point to this campaign, and start up another.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, BoloOfEarth said:

The existence of such a bridge would be a major reason *not* to send her there, though perhaps having people there in the process of building such a bridge is okay I guess.  And I like the idea of some of her people being there (not a lot), likely trapped and having to get by without the Empire's high-tech toys, except maybe stuff kept within a Faraday-cage like structure.

 

However, such a bridge would make an excellent target for sabotage by the PCs, once she was already in the dimension. Blow it up REAL good, so it can't just be patched together. If the empire starts to disintegrate, there may not be time or resources to devote to rebuilding the bridge. If it had to be built at a particular "weak spot" between dimensions, that would become a key battleground between loyalists and rebels. But if you want to end the campaign there, you can leave all that to them. :eg:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does the EM field interfere with all means (SFX) of Extradimensional Movement?  Does it interfere with all forms of cross-dimensional contact (e.g. Clairsentience with Transdimensional)?  Does it interfere with psionics and/or magic?  Can it be overpowered in some way?  I'm certain the Empress (meaning, her people) would have researched all of those, and such would have led to the existence of the abovementioned extradimensional bridge, but if she can do it so can others.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Chris Goodwin said:

Does the EM field interfere with all means (SFX) of Extradimensional Movement?  Does it interfere with all forms of cross-dimensional contact (e.g. Clairsentience with Transdimensional)?  Does it interfere with psionics and/or magic?  Can it be overpowered in some way?  I'm certain the Empress (meaning, her people) would have researched all of those, and such would have led to the existence of the abovementioned extradimensional bridge, but if she can do it so can others.  

 

I was going to have it interfere with pretty much all means of X-Dim Move, as well as most means of cross-dimensional contact, including psionics (I'm having a side effect of the planet's odd magnetic field be that it causes headaches in beings not native to that Earth), but possibly not magic on the contact side.  Though if someone opened a portal (X-Dim Gate) to that world, and a person on that world was standing near the portal, they could talk back and forth easily enough, as it doesn't affect sound.  Since visible light is a form of EM energy, I don't think that would come through a Gate, though.  Hmmm... I suppose if someone had the ability to transform themselves into sound waves (e.g. Desolidification or Teleportation or X-Dim Movement with that SFX), they could get through without a problem. After all, this is Hero, we don't like absolutes.  :winkgrin:

 

I'd think that magical X-Dim movement would still be affected by the EM field, as it's the person's body being saturated** that causes the problem, so opening a magical portal wouldn't provide any more advantage than a technological portal.

 

In game terms, it can be overpowered with the appropriate levels of AP, similar to Teleportation being able to get past however many levels of Stops Teleportation with that many levels of AP.  (In non-game terms, it's increasing power enough to punch through the resistance.)  I figured 8x levels of Stops X-Dim Movement (or whatever would be appropriate to block X-Dim communication) is ridiculously high enough that they might not have tried that many levels of AP yet (or in non-game terms, hadn't perfected a process to ramp power levels up that high).  (heh)  Or perhaps they have, but it's a giant, clunky, fairly fragile, vacuum-tube and hard-wired contraption on that Earth that has as good a chance of burning out as it does of working properly. 

 

** I'm strongly considering saying the comet that hit that Earth 65 million years ago carried a rare extraterrestrial element that got dispersed throughout the atmosphere, into the water and plant life, etc. and it's that element enhancing the EM field that causes most of the problem.  Spending more time in that environment picks up more and more of that element (breathed in, on your body surface, swallowed, etc.), leading to the increased levels of Stops X-Dim Movement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't assume the time dilation between the alternate Earth and your Earth/V'Ha-1 has always been a constant.  Assume they all started with time flows at about the same speed.  Over the course of eons, the Alternate Earth drifted away from the other dimensions.  The farther away it drifts from Earth or V'Ha-1, the larger the time dilation.

 

If I had time (see what I did there? :D ) I'd come up with a more techno-babbleish explanation using healthy doses of General Relativity and Kaluza-Klein Theory.  I'm sort of remembering how time dilation can change as a function of gravitational potential energy as I write this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, segerge said:

Don't assume the time dilation between the alternate Earth and your Earth/V'Ha-1 has always been a constant.  Assume they all started with time flows at about the same speed.  Over the course of eons, the Alternate Earth drifted away from the other dimensions.  The farther away it drifts from Earth or V'Ha-1, the larger the time dilation.

 

If I had time (see what I did there? :D ) I'd come up with a more techno-babbleish explanation using healthy doses of General Relativity and Kaluza-Klein Theory.  I'm sort of remembering how time dilation can change as a function of gravitational potential energy as I write this.

Cool idea.  Thank you. 

 

1 minute ago, drunkonduty said:

Question: am I reading it right, that the blockage to X-Dim movement et.al. is local to this dimension's Earth?

 

If so, can escape/be rescued by simply getting far enough from the planet?

 

Good point.  Loyalists to the Empress could simply travel to that dimension in a well-enough shielded spaceship far away from Earth, fly there, and zip away with her.  Ouch.  That's a fairly glaring hole.

 

Maybe I need to make it the sun's magnetic field instead, so it covers the entire solar system, but is enhanced on Earth due to the rare element in the comet and/or interaction with Earth's magnetic field?  That still allows interstellar travel as an escape route, but at least it's not quite as simple.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a suggestion for an origin: the interference with Extradimensional Movement is a side effect of a Malvan time dilation field put in place to neutralize the Elder Worm on that Earth toward the end of their war about 200,000 years ago. The time rate difference is REALLY steep (maybe only dozens of years have passed subjectively, maybe less) and has a very sharp border, so spaceships that cross it are destroyed as the leading sections that leave the field first age thousands of times as fast as the parts still within it. That leaves you with a world ruled by a refugee population of Elder Worm, an enslaved population of early humans, and Middle Paleolithic fauna to provide adventures. Lots of challenges to make it difficult for the Empress or others to gather resources necessary to leave the place once they're there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...