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Old 08-26-2018, 12:17 PM   #41
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: The Stars Our Destination

Sol emits 380 trillion TW of energy, so you could literally terraform all of the Ice and Ocean worlds in the habitable zones of every star outside of the Galactic Core without even being a K2 civilization (you would only be using 30 trillion TW of energy). 300 TW is only prodigious to a primitive K0 civilization like our own because we are still isolated on a single mote of dust. In the future, assuming we will have a future, 300 TW will likely just be the power generation of a single developed world.
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Old 08-27-2018, 06:49 AM   #42
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Application of energy matters. Earth is being subjected to that 130 PW every second of every day of every year, yet it's not getting terraformed, or un-terraformed.

There's also the problem that those K-scale civilizations are presumably already doing something with all that energy. They didn't capture the entire output of the sun just as a stunt. (Well, there's one civ out there that did, no doubt. Someone has to be producing "Jackass: Intergalactic Edition"...) So all that energy isn't available just to terraform other planets on a whim. It's already being put to whatever other uses your K-god-civs are up to in their day-to-day humdrum lives. Opportunity cost still matters, even on the K-scale. So just making an assumption so that you can multiply big numbers to get bigger numbers doesn't really carry much by way of implication.
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Old 08-27-2018, 07:41 AM   #43
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I doubt we can generalize anything about a K2 civilization, as our civilization would not even reach K2 if we contained ten billion worlds, each with ten billion people at US standards of living. A K2 civilization could do worse though than using the equivalent of less than 10% of the energy of a G-type star to terraform one hundred billion planets.
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Old 08-27-2018, 03:51 PM   #44
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Default Re: The Stars Our Destination

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Actually, any A-type through M-type main sequence star may have habitable planets, so we are talking about 400 billion potential candidates outside of the Core. Out of those, each star probably possesses an average of two orbits within the habitable zone, meaning that there are 800 billion orbits within habitable zones. While it is difficult to calculate the exact number of orbits with potentially habitable planets or moons, I would suggest that 20% of them having potentially habitable planets and 5% of them having potentially habitable moons, meaning that there would be 200 billion potentially habitable planets or moons.

Of that number, they are probably equally divided between Garden, Greenhouse, Ice, and Ocean. Garden worlds already have indigenous life and, since the likelihood that they use compatible amino acids is phenomenally low, each one of them will be uninhabitable. Greenhouse worlds probably can be terraformed, but they offer such challenges that an FTL capable civilization would likely not bother terraforming them. It would be the Ice and Ocean worlds that would be terraformed by an FTL capable civilization, so there would be 100 billion terraforming candidates available (the indigenous life of Ice and Ocean worlds are likely single-celled and would be overwhelmed by any terraforming process or driven into any extreme ecosystems that resembled the original climate of the world before terraforming).
You are being very optimistic about the ease of terra-forming ice worlds and ocean worlds, and yet quite pessimistic about our ability to handle garden worlds.

You assume easy terra-forming, and seem to think that simply turning the atmosphere into one with breathable levels of oxygen will do, when that's just the start. The world still needs a complete set of ecosystems put in place and for them to have been in place long enough to reach some sort of stable state.

Also, why is this civilisation even bothering? They don't need the space, because they can make all the living space they need in habitats around any star that interests them. They don't need anything on these worlds because they already have it. The interesting worlds will be the garden worlds, because they are the ones with new and different life on them, and that means all kinds of new and interesting bio-active chemicals, etc.

Also, if an FTL capable civilisation can easily reach all of these worlds, why would they terra-form all of them? Unless they need them they'll just pick the nicest ones, the easiest ones, and the ones with the best view. If their FTL technology only allows a short reach, they'll do what they can with what they can reach.

Besides, if you're assuming powerful FTL, which is basically magic, and don't like the outcome of the rest of your assumption why are you set on those assumptions? Just adjust them to suit as well.
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Old 08-27-2018, 04:16 PM   #45
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Just because you allow one or two miracles does not mean that you need to devolve to Star Trek or Star Wars levels of space opera. For example, in many of my space campaigns, FTL travel exists but STL travel is based off fusion rockets and artificial gravity is limited to spin gravity.

As for why a civilization would terraform, there are plenty of reasons, but I will just mention two. The first is establishing multiple biological preserved that could survive any catastrophe. The second is establishing short sleeve environments for humans to live within that would allow them to survive the collapse of human civilization. Either is difficult to do with orbital habitats.
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Old 09-04-2018, 07:44 AM   #46
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Ignore the boring ones, which they almost entirely are. You don't name, map, and stat every grain of sand on a beach, because they're beneath your notice.
Yeah, but....There is now an awful lot of boring places to have to search in pursuit of someone with a reason to flee. If FTL in a flavor that leaves little to no traces is in use then illegal actions in the 'bright spots' are followed by a random hop to anywhere. The question of life support for that ship as a limitation on activity can be met with taking tech that will get them CHON+ and whatever else is necessary to stay for a while or to continue hopping around. With sufficient power and tech life can be maintained anywhere which has implications for the setting that acknowledges that all those grans of sand even exist.
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Old 09-04-2018, 07:48 AM   #47
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Within the Milky Way Galaxy, there may be as many as 1 trillion stars (recent research suggests that the old figures vastly underestimate the actual number of stars) and there may be an average of ten planets per star (though that depends of the individual researcher). In addition, there are likely millions of lesser objects of interest per star system. So, how do you deal with that wealth of locations in your space campaigns?
I treat it as a feature not a bug. The rest of the systems are until they are explored objects of myth. There is always something more to search out.
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Old 09-04-2018, 07:49 AM   #48
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Default Re: The Stars Our Destination

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Yeah, but....There is now an awful lot of boring places to have to search in pursuit of someone with a reason to flee. If FTL in a flavor that leaves little to no traces is in use then illegal actions in the 'bright spots' are followed by a random hop to anywhere. The question of life support for that ship as a limitation on activity can be met with taking tech that will get them CHON+ and whatever else is necessary to stay for a while or to continue hopping around. With sufficient power and tech life can be maintained anywhere which has implications for the setting that acknowledges that all those grans of sand even exist.

Of course, this can be seen as a feature rather than a bug: it makes piracy and random adventuring much easier.
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Old 09-04-2018, 08:24 AM   #49
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With sufficient power and tech life can be maintained anywhere which has implications for the setting that acknowledges that all those grans of sand even exist.
But you would give a general or statistical description of how many "Type-M planets" there are, and not sit down and stat them all out individually. You'd do the same in a Pirates of the Malacca Straits campaign- there's no need to label and map every one of the 18,000 islands in the Indonesian archipelago, which is what seems to be the concern of the OP.
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Old 09-04-2018, 08:25 AM   #50
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FTL also allows reactionaries, revolutionaries, and terrorists to be effective, especially if tracking is difficult or impossible. A ship used in an attack on a government base one month can, with an electronic and physical 'repaint', be used for smuggling weapons the next month, and can be used to lure government ships into a trap the following month. Due to the dangers associated with 'uninhabited' systems, I imagine that most government will maintain forward bases and/or listening stations in every star system, just to make sure that undesirable elements do not find a safe haven.
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