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In Progress - 'Lao Che' Mineralogical Extraction Rig


Hi folks!

Here's a design slidin' around in my head.

Based around a pentagonal 'hub' structure, various customizable configurations of flexible 'arms' extend to either lay flat on larger, flatter surfaces, or can wrap around the surface of small irregular bodies. The arms can be adapted to contain small surface vehicle bays, living and working spaces, and drilling/extractor machinery functions. The hubs, which contain landing bays, management and engineering systems, can be chained to create larger structures, and can be extended vertically with central spires.

Ms Mickazoid:

Brilliant! I presuppose it could also be used for Underwater (Waterworlds) mineral/metal extraction as well?

I prefer modular designs--kudos!--allows the subsidiary company to mix and match to their specific needs.

Good work! The details are forthcoming soon, we all await, yes?

Game ON!


Absolutely, the rig could be used in zero-to-high pressure environments, in any atmosphere not unduly corrosive. Operating in a dense medium like water would allow for more extensive vertical customizations.

In addition, for larger projects, up to 12 of the rigs can be combined in a truncated icosahedron or 'buckyball' (soccer ball) configuration, to completely enclose a small asteroid. In such a configuration, long runners can be extended to connect each rig's pentagonal 'corner'.

I'll be updating the plans with various customized arm, hub and hub platform interiors - and of course, some details and stats. Thanks again for the support!
Is it possible to install "hub" modules on both ends of an arm module? That way, you could create a "crystal structure" kind of configuration of potentially infinite maximum size...
Chaos - absolutely! Awesome idea, that's what I describe in the post above.

The ideal shape is a truncated icosahedron, or 'soccer ball' pattern, in 3d. Variable-length 'runners' would allow this same deployment on surfaces including a 2 dimensional plane, a complex, irregular surface, or a small spheroid.

To do so, one would connect hub-arm-runner-arm-hub, rather than hub-arm-hub, so the structure can be adjustable in deployment but standardized in manufacture. The length of the 'runners' between the corners of each rig's pentagonal shape (the tips of the arms) could be adjusted to enclose part or an entire small asteroid, or reduced in size and be little more than an adjustable adapter between the arms.
Aha--I see Mr. Chaos has already drawn the obvious end of your design! Grand!

It (your design, Ms Mickazoid)has dozens of delightful possibilities! Not to mention something even a pragmatic-symmetrical-standardized, trusted designed using race like the Vilani would enjoy!

Your base line Tech Level for this, may I presume is TL-8 through TL-B? With the possibilities upgrades of higher tech modules for specialized environments or job efficiency requirements?
Hmm, I hadn't thought too much about tech level, but imho it needn't be much higher than interplanetary technology.

More about the 'runners' connecting rigs... they could in essence be futuristic 'coal wagon' tracks or tubes, maglevs that shuttle passengers and material between rigs and perhaps to large off-rig 'storage complexes' for processed materials shipment.

I want to set about writing an adventure module with a few scenarios set in one of these rig complexes - perhaps I'll start with a 'haunted house in space'-style affair.

Here's a flat layout of a 'truncated icosahedron'. Imagine each pentagon is not a hub, but the entire rig. The corners of each pentagon (the end of each arm) are connected by runners:



and here it is in 3d:


And here's a great model that might give an idea how it would look on an irregular surface:

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Originally posted by mickazoid:
Hmm, I hadn't thought too much about tech level, but imho it needn't be much higher than interplanetary technology.
Ty for the above examples of illustration btw.

As for the TL, I wasn't trying to sharpshoot you into a corner. ;)
I prefer lower-tech sturdy designed shtuff like this over the glamorized high-tech end of things. :cool:

The extrapolation of TL-8 through TL-B was for possible 1st Imperium (Vilani) exploitation of mineral resources with a similiar approach to this Solomani-named mineral extractor vehicle/ base of yours.

For 3rd Imperium campaigns, I can see the Vilani adaptation of this for the ethnically pleasing reasons I'd previously posted, thats all.
I felt no sharpshooting, nor pigeonholing - but thanks

I too prefer old technology - and in a TLB universe, there are bound to be plenty of old working technologies in place that can be incrementally improved well beyond their origins while remaining highly efficient. This kind of simple, geometrical design (and the simplicity of mass manufacture) seem to me to be strong pluses - in light of their significant flexibility in possible deployment environments and configurations - to argue for their continued survival long after newer technologies have emerged.

I like the idea of a terraced implementation, with hubs connected vertically like tinkertoys, their arms splaying out in stair-stepping, hairlike patterns, clinging to the hostworld as they facilitate the research and industrial processes of mineralogical extraction.
Ironically, in our TNE-campaign, in the Moibin subsector (P)/Reft Sector, I described the ruins of a mining facility much akin to your design several weeks ago--
a starfish of arms (5 each) with a central "Tower" linking 3-8 of them over each island's mine on the planet of Grecorn: (1120/1210)

·Grecorn 2638 B7A858C-D Ni Fl 700 Fi K3 V
2638 D7A8479-8 Lo Ni Fl B500 Wi

GMTA (Great minds think alike)!
I probably will in the near future :D

--for now the players are off looking into a Mayday distress message from a downed Free Trader's ship ito an empty space hex..

Spooky? Nahhh. ;)
So my referee "hat" comes on and I'm thinking a few things.

1. PC's hear rumors of such a mining complex having found ancient artifacts and it peaks their interest. What will they do?

2. A patron wants to disrupt a competitor's mining complex and hires a mercenary company to conduct a raid on it.

Mickazoid, do you have an idea of what distance each small square represents? Just curious.
Each small square is 4m / 6m (twice the standard deckplan size, I don't recall which that is).

I love your 'patron'/scenario ideas, Randy!
Ms Mickazoid--the uncanny proof is in your PM mailbox now..

Randy Tyler:

Matter of fact, in the piece of the session I sent M, there is just that--the 50K planet's survivors are living in one of thse grouped facilities, and an interstellar bully High Pop world (ARGUS/ARGOS /2536, TL-8) is exploiting the ruins for stuff against the locals. The 'Good Guys' are the Free Traders, who bring in foodstuffs for salvaged relic tech off the planet...

the conflict becomes a dog-eat-dog situation from there. ;)
I updated the scale - the main image on the first page is 'zoomed out', so a buncha the squares were missing.

Here's a closeup where each square = 1/1.5m: