Setting Idea: Arcane Dyson Sphere

Zardnaar

Hero
In this setting people leave on planets and moons within the Dyson Sphere. It's not a Hollow Earth setting, a Dyson Sphere is the size of a solar system in this case with hundreds of inhabited planets and moons inside.
Sounds like a Crystal sphere. Dyson spheres are usually a lit smaller than a solar system normally 1AU.

Even one that size is huge in area. You could fit the Star Wars Galactic Empire and WH40k Empire of man in it and use less than 1% of the surface.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
In one of the stories (I think it might have been "Trapped in the Sea of Stars") Fafhrd and the Mouser go on a long sea voyage to the other side of the world, where they realise that the "stars" are the lights of cities on the other side of the sphere, and waterspouts they encounter actually support planets an other heavenly bodies.
Just re-read that story to check. First, it isn't, "they realize." It is Grey Mouser pontificating that the world is a bubble, with Fafhr basically telling him he's full of it and making things up.

And it isn't that the stars are cities, and the waterspouts support planets. Mouser says that they are in a bubble - mostly ocean with the continents they know adrift on the inside of it. When Fafhrd asks then why they, far at sea, cannot see the stars in the water, Mouser says that you can only see the stars looking down the centers of the waterspouts from above. He has to do similar things to explain how the sun and the moon are not visible. Mouser has to go so far as to posit the existence of two different kinds of light to explain why they can't see some things. It is all very... stretched, to make it work out.

The story contains no evidence that Mouser is correct that I can find. It is all merely philosophy they talk over, while avoiding death and such. Like they do.

And, if anyone on Nehwon is an unreliable source of information... it is Grey Mouser. ;)
 

gyor

Adventurer
Wait a minute. They have magic enough to build a "magical Dyson sphere"... a magical structure that engulfs an entire star, but need to study magic?

This idea hangs together much better if the Sphere itself is not magical at all. Tech aliens may need to study magic. Magic aliens, not so much.

Also, if you haven't, go read Larry Niven's novel Ringworld. It doesn't bother with an entire sphere, but uses a ring, which is plenty big enough. The point of a Dyson sphere is to catch all the radiation output of a star for your civilization to use. If you're not doing that, the entire sphere simply isn't necessary.
They know how to use, they are super smart after all, but they don't know WHY it works, snd it drivescthem nuts. They have the how, although that knowledge is always increasing, but the why preplexes them.

And the Arcane Dyson Sphere isn't so much difficult in skill to build for races that have built tech versions in the hundreds, it's more just a use of man power.
 

MarkB

Hero
Wait a minute. They have magic enough to build a "magical Dyson sphere"... a magical structure that engulfs an entire star, but need to study magic?

This idea hangs together much better if the Sphere itself is not magical at all. Tech aliens may need to study magic. Magic aliens, not so much.

Also, if you haven't, go read Larry Niven's novel Ringworld. It doesn't bother with an entire sphere, but uses a ring, which is plenty big enough. The point of a Dyson sphere is to catch all the radiation output of a star for your civilization to use. If you're not doing that, the entire sphere simply isn't necessary.
It might be necessary for the "studying magic in isolation" aspect. After all, the side-effect of keeping all of the star's output inside is that you keep everything else out.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
It might be necessary for the "studying magic in isolation" aspect. After all, the side-effect of keeping all of the star's output inside is that you keep everything else out.
Perhaps the technologically advanced makers of the Dyson sphere are trying to keep things IN. They are not just studying magic, but actively trying to keep it quarantined. Magic could wreak havoc in the greater universe, and they wouldn’t want that to happen.

...again.
 

Radaceus

Villager
Perhaps the technologically advanced makers of the Dyson sphere are trying to keep things IN. They are not just studying magic, but actively trying to keep it quarantined. Magic could wreak havoc in the greater universe, and they wouldn’t want that to happen.

...again.
This reminds me of The Darkwar Trilogy, by Glen Cook...
 

ParanoydStyle

Peace Among Worlds
I have nothing substantive to say, just that the very title of this thread and the most cursory glance at the original post makes me happy and reminds me why I liked to come here.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
They know how to use, they are super smart after all, but they don't know WHY it works, snd it drivescthem nuts.
I admit I am coming at this from the direction of a physicist, so accept that bias...

But you can't go using a tool to make a structure *on the scale of a solar system* without knowing why that tool works. That sounds implausible, to me. I mean, the structure itself is implausible to start with. The idea that the makers don't know why the tools they used to make it work? That stretched credulity. For me, anyway.
 

Samloyal23

Explorer
If you want an example of a really large structure, take a look at the 2E setting Penumbra, the capital of the Illithid Empire.
 

Samloyal23

Explorer
I admit I am coming at this from the direction of a physicist, so accept that bias...

But you can't go using a tool to make a structure *on the scale of a solar system* without knowing why that tool works. That sounds implausible, to me. I mean, the structure itself is implausible to start with. The idea that the makers don't know why the tools they used to make it work? That stretched credulity. For me, anyway.
It would only make sense if they had found the tools left behind by a more advanced civilisation and just fiddled around with them until they figured out where the ON switch was...
 

digitalelf

Explorer
If you want an example of a really large structure, take a look at the 2E setting Penumbra, the capital of the Illithid Empire.
Yeah, this was almost the inverse of a Dyson Sphere, where the Sun was covered, with the inhabitants living outside of the structure in the relative darkness.
 

digitalelf

Explorer
Wouldn't the exterior be dead cold like outer space? It would receive no sunlight at all...
Yes, and the module reflects that by saying that unprotected characters receive 5d6 points of damage per round from the cold. That is however, while the characters are "in space", for once the characters are on the surface of the structure, there is no more mention of the cold, or any need to protect one's self from extreme temperatures. In fact, there is a sidebar that states that "the average temperature is comfortable, if a bit on the warm side." it goes on to say that the PC even feel some humidity.

But I have to mention that the sun is not 100% enclosed; the part surrounding the sun is more tube-like than it is spherical; so a small portion of the sun protrudes from the top and bottom of this "tube".

Penumbra75.jpg
 
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In the Spelljammer campaign setting, the Herdspace Sphere is a dyson sphere. It was probably not constructed by arcane magic. Here is some information that I found on it.

It features in the Spelljammer novel, The Maelstrom's Eye.

Herdspace
Connects To/From: Casaspace
Planets and Ports: Many ports, no 'planets' per se
Sources: The Maelstrom's Eye
Description and Notes:
Herdspace is a very different Crystal Sphere. It has no planets; instead, the inside of the sphere itself is the 'ground'. This provides it with more living space than any other sphere. It is dominated by 'mega fauna', planetary scale creatures that walk through the sphere (the footprint of at least one mega fauna was measured at 130 miles long!). Portals from the phlogiston are actually gates so ships entering the sphere do not disturb the 'ground'. The sphere likely has everything imaginable somewhere in it, but spelljamming-aware rastipedes and falmadaraatha have been confirmed to live within it. The gnomes of Ironpiece and the Elven Imperial Navy have both visited the sphere more than once. It is renowned as the home of the Fal known as 169. It has a sun at its center, the atmosphere doesn't extend all the way to the center, after two hours plus of upward flight wildspace is reached. The sun of the sphere is dark over half, so that day and night do exist in the sphere.
 

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