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Sinpoder

A New Form of 'Mining'

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Ok, so my players thought of an idea, which they will say because I forced them to make this move because they didn't kill a cult before a ritual could go off, and it summoned a greater daemon of Khorne and they then shot it from orbit with enough damage to basically rip a hole into the mantle of the planet. They are now unable to use this planet because of the tectonic plates of the planet are in consent flux right now, and it will most likely not give in for awhile and most likely will cause other problems later on, but getting away from that.

 

So, they now want to create basically what amounts to a space straw, where they are going to pump out the liquid mantle of the planet. I made this planet roughly earth size, so I have a rough idea of how much stuff there is in the mantle of the earth.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantle_%28geology%29

 

They have basically said that they would sell all of this to a 'local' forge world. Before it get there though, they have a Mass Conveyor transport, which from here on i will call MCT, which they retrofitted using the money they gained from basically hulling out several pirate ships that tried to attacked them. In this MCT, they filled it with what basically amounts to a refinery, liquid and solid storage for the magma they plan on pumping into the MTC from the space straw, or the tanks rather. They plan on refining the magma into it's base compounds, which I figured all of which a forge world could use.

 

My main issue is this.... How much money do you think is fair for them to make off this? Given all of the stuff that you guys now know within this post, I would like to have people's thoughts. I am considering to allow them to make 3-4 PF off this, after expenses and what not, but I am wondering what you guys think.

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I remember discussing this with you!

 

I still think this would be a really inefficient system of mining, just because there would be a lot of imperfections in the cooled magma. Still, it's a good way to be rewarded a reasonable amount of profit factor after completing a good mission, so if you want to abstract it that way then it should be okay.

 

Just remember to tell your players not to leave a forwarding address so that when the ship built from this metal finishes being built and surprisingly turns out to be possessed by a Daemon of Khorne there won't be an easy way to track them down!

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Sounds like a rather insane way of mining -- but also very fitting for 40k. :D

 

Perhaps the massive "space elevators" that will function as straws could have various refineries installed along the way that could assist in filtering impurities?

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The "straw" will simply not work, unless you throw basic physics COMPLETELY out of the window. I don´t mean like "40k wonder-science" but COMPLETELY...unless your "straw" is 40K-wonderscience-archeotech stuff..in a way that will make a cache of spacemarine gene seeds look irrelevant.

 

The magma will cool down inside the pipe before it has a chance to reach orbit. You might be familiar how magma becomes rock/stone again when it had spend enough time being exposed to air (which is considerable cooler then magma and thereby leeds to it cooling down). The "straw" will be clocked "rock hard" before it goes anywhere.

And here I don´t even start with things like

+ why isn´t the magma melting the straw?
+ if it is solid enough to resist magma heat, why isn´t it tearing/breaking from the strain of a minmal shift on the "other end"?
+ what kind of engines/technique do you use to SUCK a constant stream of magma from the core of the planet up to orbit, for thrones sake!?!

Again, if you approach to physics and science is similiar to old 50s DC cartoons (which, really, isn´t a FAR step starting from the 40K treatment to it), go ahead... but then, think about disbanding lighters for the surface-to-orbit-transport of anything that is not rock-solide. Even grain could be pumped that way, install similiar systems on every planet, so that the tithe-ships just need to dock and pump it up.

 

Edited by Gregorius21778

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ADDENDUM: If you REALLY want to role with this the profit will be minimal to null or even "negative"

you make a hell of an effort to get magma. Magma is mostly molten stone. Really, the majority is. In order to process it, you will need to have it cooling down ON YOUR SHIP (!), then chunking away at anything that is without value to get the view bits that might have any worth.

This is not like "meaning a streak of ore". That is "hey, lets melt up all of earth into one goo, then pump it all up, and then lefts shift through it to get the good stuff". The mining on Sepheris Secundus (done by pick and hammer) is more feasible then this, because you do it at a site that is rich with ore, while in this scenario, the majority of the stuff you pump (with A HELL OF AN EFFORT) is going to be molten rock. You mix the sites that are rich with ore with ALL THE OTHER STUFF. Including everything that was not rock or metal to begin with, it is molten as well and added to the mix. The additional effort for "refinery of any ore"...well... if I haven´t convinced you by now, I can spare myself the effort

Have fun!

Edited by Gregorius21778

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Tbh, I think all the issues you list are pretty easy to solve with Futurespace™ technology.

 

The stream would be sucked in by massive circular electromagnets lining the lowest section of the array, kind of like a reverse-railgun. Alternatives would be to use countergravity or even just creating a vacuum within the pipe that would then suck in whatever is at the opening, but the magnetic approach has the added benefit of slightly increasing the yield of interesting and potentially valuable minerals.

 

A series of nuclear-powered heating rods set to a temperature below the melting point of the refractory metals (perhaps a niobium-titanium alloy, similar to what was used in the tip of the Apollo CSM) used in construction of the pipe's inner layer but above that of the magma stream -- so somewhere around 1800 °C -- would keep the stream fluid.

 

That said, it would not even matter much if it cools down within the pipe as it'd retain a shape suitable for transportation, only that you'd have to break the "log" into smaller bricks by simply using las technology. The solid bricks could then be carried further up by a primitive vertical conveyor belt.

 

The entire apparatus could well be only "semi-fixed" in that the lower part is either anchored on solid plates, compensating for tectonic movement by a hive of Servitor brains controlling massive winches that could give or pull at the thick cables. Alternatively, massive manoeuvring thrusters project powerful plasma jets to keep the facility in position, although that may sound like a lot of wasted energy; I'm not sure how cheap or expensive this would be with 40k tech, so I'd probably go with the winches and the cable-anchors. Plus, such a crazy construction sounds more like 40k anyways.

 

The upper end, held in place by centrifugal force, would be a simple receiving and storage depot that merely pushes out blocks of refined minerals once a ship comes to pick them up. Low-gravity should make the process of loading and unloading comparatively easy, although the sheer mass of the blocks could still make for an appropriately dangerous workplace (Grimdark!).

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Good. I like these ideas and I have taken them in mind, if anyone else comes up with something let me know and I will look at that as well. Also, I did not think they would make VERY much money on this, unless someone could convince me of a way they should or could. I am considering giving them this level of PF because they are basically getting an 'ally' of a major forge world. They might even be willing to take a money loss to get into the good graces of the Adeptus Mechanicus.

Edited by Sinpoder

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Yeah, "money loss" isn't all Profit Factor is, and there are certainly some hoops one should be willing to jump through to get in good with the AdMech; sometimes, only they can get you something, give you something, or help you maintain something.

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magnetic flux is the Ad-Mech's new BFF.   With the right magnetic torsion he can:

  • Lift the Magma to Orbit.
  • Keep the Magma warm enough to flow into the sorter.
  • keep the magma from touching the sides of the "pipe" (really a light framework)
  • Sort the Magma into strata to cool according to ore type.

Also, a heat-differential engine and thermocouples (both are ad-mech patented Futurespace™ technology.)

can provide all the power this magnetic column needs to keep running indefinitely.

 

To me, the drawbacks are not what the gentlemen said above, no not at all,

the drawbacks are having enough transport space to get this to the customers.

Supply will outstrip capacity (but maybe not demand), since it is large scale and efficient mining.

 

But I will say this large orbital structure is VULNERABLE in the extreme.

Easy pickins for saboteurs, pirates, orky mekboys, chaos cultists, rival concerns, etc.

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I would let my players do it, but after much work and effort, they'd get 1 PF from it, at most.  I don't want to encourage them to throw around planet-crackers just so they can follow that up with a Dairy Queen fountain ship.

 

That is also what I am worried about it, but I am making it VERY clear that this is not going to a money profit kind of thing, as from what I can tell PF is not always a money thing.

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Isnt this similar to how Dead Space 1 mined ore? crack open a planet and use the magical powers of gravity to 'lift' chunks of planet to access the valuable tasty core of minerals, I would think its possible in 40k, give or take GM discretion, players rolling around opening up planets for a small PF bump would be alittle .. well.. un-heroic, one off 'salvage this endeavor because we done messed up' would seem suitable.

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Well, you could also discourage mass planet-cracking by rendering such actions something certain other powers would react to. Anything from an Eldar warfleet starting to intercept the RT's ships in bothersome hit & run attacks because he hit either a Maiden world or because he accidentally blew up an Exodite community, to an Eldar warning the player to stop because of an ancient prophecy regarding "evil sleeping in the stars" (and if they continue, roll a d10 each time - on a roll of 10 they free a Necron base that was buried deep in the core of the planet), to another Rogue Trader or an Inquisitor getting miffed about this mass destruction of planets that could be properly exploited for centuries for a much smaller short-term profit.

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I'd probably allow for a profit factor increase of 4-5 points on the condition that the ship that did the siphoning was part of the deal. So they'd need to part with the ship and all the magma on it to get the profit factor increase.

 

That way they're not tempted to pull something like that too often. 

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