You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 06, 2016, 02:08:09 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Planet of Convicts - Subculture (Was: Short-Seasoned Planet)  (Read 4382 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Re: Short Season Length (Astrophysics and Worldbuilding questions)
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2011, 06:38:48 PM »
*scribbles notes furiously*

Year-round food production, if done right - depending on how much light reflects off the primary planet, it wouldn't be cold during the 'winter' so much as dark. Add some gene-tailored plants with accelerated development time...

Online gaggedLouise

  • Quim Queen | Collaborative juicy writer
  • Champion
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Location: Scandinavia
  • Gender: Female
  • Bound, gagged and unarmed but still dangerous.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Short Season Length (Astrophysics and Worldbuilding questions)
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2011, 06:42:00 PM »
True dat. So how would being a large moon around a planet - say, a gas giant - in the star's habitable zone affect its seasonal cycle?

Depends most of all on the way the orbits of the planet, and the moon, are inclined. Most of the planets in the solar system don't have heavily eccentric orbits - they are mathematically elliptic (as Kepler found, and a circle is a special case of an ellipse), but in reality they are not that far from circles, and they are not heavily tilted out of the plane of the ecliptic (the "disk" of the planetary orbits and the sun). Pluto was the one big exception, it's got an orbit that's both heavily eccentric and rises several degrees out of the ecliptical plane - and now we don't count it as a real planet anymore.

If you had a gas giant that had an orbit which wasn't fine and dandy in that way, though it could still be regular over time, from one orbit/year to the next - and a moon around it that had a rather oval orbit and maybe not in sync to the equator of that planet - then both planet and moon would have sizable variations in their distances, both between each other and to their sun from each of them respectively. That would affect the influx of heat and light, and it might create seasonal storms and heavy rain/snow etc. The climate on Earth is ultimately to do with adjustments between different blocks of hot and cold air, water and so on.

And if either planet or moon have a tilted axis, that would accentuate the seasons too. You could get  siutations where there are two overlayered, regular rhythmic systems - one to do with the axises - one to do with the changes in distance to the sun - these would interact, and the result could be a large number of seasons and possibly a double "agri cycle". Though it could just as well lead to long and uneven winters on some parts of the moon. For more precise answers I think you'd need computer modelling, but after all this is just means to be a sketch.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2011, 07:06:57 PM by gaggedLouise »

Online gaggedLouise

  • Quim Queen | Collaborative juicy writer
  • Champion
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Location: Scandinavia
  • Gender: Female
  • Bound, gagged and unarmed but still dangerous.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Short Season Length (Astrophysics and Worldbuilding questions)
« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2011, 06:49:15 PM »
I think we quietly dropped the idea of a double/triple star system somewhere along the road, but it could be useful to avoid a situation where the moon would be plunged into total darkness every time it passes behind the planet - or through the shadow of the planet. With a huge gas giant, that becomes something one has to weigh in, even if the moon is far off the planet in much of its orbit. Even if a planet like Jupiter looks really luminous to us, or to someone passing in front of it, it would emit almost no visible light at all to its moons once they are out of sight of the sun, behind the planet or its shadow.

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Re: Short Season Length (Astrophysics and Worldbuilding questions)
« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2011, 07:01:02 PM »
It'd cut the 'dark season' in half, at least, since unless we went with a trinary star setup, there'd still be a period where one of the suns was eclipsing the other, or at enough of an angle so that it couldn't supply light/heat to the moon.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Short Season Length (Astrophysics and Worldbuilding questions)
« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2011, 10:20:10 PM »
You're making this a lot harder on yourself than you need to. Just use a star with a high level of oscillation - a custom variable star that uses the schedule you set, or if you want to use known variable types, since those with month-long periods tend to be ridiculously bright, have your planet be a moon of a captured brown dwarf or something that's orbiting a cozy-safe distance away.

Edit: Actually, a BY Draconis variable would be perfect.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2011, 10:32:19 PM by Vekseid »

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Re: Short Season Length (Astrophysics and Worldbuilding questions)
« Reply #30 on: June 11, 2011, 10:41:05 PM »
...I hadn't thought of that, actually (mainly because I didn't know stars could oscillate their energy output the way you're describing). I suppose it would be a lot easier to just have a stable, axially rigid planet orbiting a star that oscillates. Huh.

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Short Season Length (Astrophysics and Worldbuilding questions)
« Reply #31 on: June 11, 2011, 10:42:48 PM »
...I hadn't thought of that, actually (mainly because I didn't know stars could oscillate their energy output the way you're describing).

That would be these.

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Re: Short Season Length (Astrophysics and Worldbuilding questions)
« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2011, 10:47:52 PM »
So a variable star with a, say, 4-month cycle time peak-to-peak, and a planet with almost no axial tilt - would that produce a 4-month cycle of seasons, or would each season last 4 months? Just want to make sure I understand the numbers right, because I like this solution - the adventure plot I have right now calls for a planet, not a moon, so it'd be an easier and more elegant solution.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Short Season Length (Astrophysics and Worldbuilding questions)
« Reply #33 on: June 11, 2011, 11:01:14 PM »
So a variable star with a, say, 4-month cycle time peak-to-peak, and a planet with almost no axial tilt - would that produce a 4-month cycle of seasons, or would each season last 4 months? Just want to make sure I understand the numbers right, because I like this solution - the adventure plot I have right now calls for a planet, not a moon, so it'd be an easier and more elegant solution.

You don't need to remove the axial tilt, necessarily - you could have 'true summer' and 'true winter' for exceptionally harsh - but thankfully short - periods.

Main issue with it being a four-month full cycle is that there is roughly a month-long lag as far as the intensity of seasons go - and this is true no matter how you make these seasons happen. Unless you use a larger star where the months would themselves be longer, you might just want to stick with a half-year cycle.

At the small size we're talking about, it's largely driven by the star's extreme rotational speed and sunspots. So the star would be somewhat oval in shape, and sunspots large enough that you could see them with the unaided eye. This also means that the period is an average - not in total.

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Re: Short Season Length (Astrophysics and Worldbuilding questions)
« Reply #34 on: June 12, 2011, 07:41:19 AM »
Variation can be worked with - and a half-year cycle is better than a full-year. Real-world seasons aren't always precisely the same length either.

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Re: Planet of Convicts - Subculture (Was: Short-Seasoned Planet)
« Reply #35 on: June 12, 2011, 02:33:28 PM »
On to the next step, and rather than open an entire new thread for this, I'll repurpose this one.

Mentioned above, the population of the planet will (initially, at least) be almost entirely convicted criminals sentenced to a life of hard labor, imported from offworld and put to work. The one city on the planet is a fortified enclave that contains the processing depots, spaceport, and living quarters for all the staff and administrators needed to keep a planet running, while the rest of the surface is covered in farms of various types, connected by a network of rail lines that all lead to the central city (for transportation of crops and supplies). with no weapons other than things they might fashion out of farm tools, and basically left to govern themselves as long as they meet their harvest quotas and don't cause trouble. Assuming actual violent offenders are a minority (this is a society where failing to properly salute the mayor if he passes you on the street can earn a life sentence), what sort of self-governing culture might arise? I did some research into prison culture, but its applicability seemed limited by the omnipresence of guards in RL prisons, and the actual physical imprisonment - on this planet, the only way off would be through the spaceport, so the need for walls or cells is nonexistent.

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Planet of Convicts - Subculture (Was: Short-Seasoned Planet)
« Reply #36 on: June 12, 2011, 02:39:04 PM »
Don't know much about the culture, but you should keep in mind that all of the traditional 'ninja' weapons were basically derived from farm implements, because only samurai and nobility were allowed to carry swords.

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Re: Planet of Convicts - Subculture (Was: Short-Seasoned Planet)
« Reply #37 on: June 12, 2011, 02:46:04 PM »
Yeah, I expect melee weapons to be in abundance - it's not hard to convert that sort of thing. I'm more wondering how much of the traditional prison-gang culture would translate over, or if it would turn into something more approximating urban gangs with their territorial influence.

Offline Shjade

Re: Planet of Convicts - Subculture (Was: Short-Seasoned Planet)
« Reply #38 on: June 12, 2011, 03:09:44 PM »
Assuming actual violent offenders are a minority (this is a society where failing to properly salute the mayor if he passes you on the street can earn a life sentence), what sort of self-governing culture might arise?
Ask Australia?

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter


Offline Shjade

Re: Planet of Convicts - Subculture (Was: Short-Seasoned Planet)
« Reply #40 on: June 12, 2011, 03:55:57 PM »
...but...but I was being serious. D:

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Re: Planet of Convicts - Subculture (Was: Short-Seasoned Planet)
« Reply #41 on: June 12, 2011, 04:14:27 PM »
See, I don't actually no much about how Australian convicts governed themselves (though I'm certain it did not involve dragons). There's also the difference that they had to set up all the infrastructure themselves - dig the farms, smooth the roads, etc., where here it's built in place before the labor is shipped in. They have to maintain it, but it's pre-built.

Online gaggedLouise

  • Quim Queen | Collaborative juicy writer
  • Champion
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Location: Scandinavia
  • Gender: Female
  • Bound, gagged and unarmed but still dangerous.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Planet of Convicts - Subculture (Was: Short-Seasoned Planet)
« Reply #42 on: June 12, 2011, 04:17:28 PM »
The idea would be that the prisoners basically have to work because there is next to no import of foodstuffs (not for them at any rate), and they don't have the kind of weapons that would allow a fair share of them to survive through hunting in the wild? So they are obliged to work in the fields if they want to survive, and as long as the system works they're not supposed to have any means to stop their overseers from confiscating most of the produce: that's the idea?

I guess even if there are no guards around most of the time, the prisoner colonists might be suspicious, or afraid, of informers, people who could be reporting to the guardsmen class when these come around, or who have some sort of intermediary function. Most slave societies, and many internment systems, have "favoured captives" who get some favours by cooperating with the guards, by being appointed as overseers or report men while still remaining prisoners or slaves. The presence of such a layer, more or less overt, would stimulate gang culture because those guys tend to be both envied and loathed by the other captives. It would also lead to opportunities for duplicity, and 'double agent' tactics, working both sides of the street as gangsters use to call it.

If you want it violent and igneous, you could suppose that the rulers of the planet, in the local governing city or higher up, have permitted some kind of gladiatorial games to instill fear in the captives and provide entertainment. It's easy to us to think of Roman gladiator games as just entertainment, like boxing, but it was likely also a way of showing the ultimate cost of opposition to the ruling social order and striking a blend of terror and fascination into the hearts of people; don't attack your betters, or Caesar,  unless you want to die in the arena.  So if you have a planet filled with a convict population whose rulers are confident that these guys (only males?) are scum and also sure that they will never be able to rise and threaten them, then gladiatorial games or something like it would be logical - and they would provide opportunities for a revolt, even if the gladiators were not supposed to have free access to really good weapons.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2011, 04:18:34 PM by gaggedLouise »

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Re: Planet of Convicts - Subculture (Was: Short-Seasoned Planet)
« Reply #43 on: June 12, 2011, 04:27:56 PM »
To a point - the other being that they're all technically on death row, commuted to life sentences; if they cause problems or fail to meet their quota, they can always have those sentences un-commuted and get shipped back offplanet to one various horrible form of death or another. As for hunting in the wild - here, there aren't any wilds. The entire planet is terraformed for maximum food production output...so yeah, the only way they eat is by working the fields, and working them well enough to produce the neccessary surplus.

I can definitely see an informant subclass...they'd be all over the place with the parent culture I'm using, actually. Some would be real spies, others believed to be spies, some might have been sent there because they spied on or for the wrong person...if paranoia and suspicion breed ganglike cultures, gangs it definitely will be.

Gladiatorial games, while a good idea, definitely wouldn't be a top-down cultural thing due to setting issues...venerating blood sports is a Very Bad Thing for reasons unrelated to the topic. I like the concept in a more localized format though - gangs ruling over select territories might hold fighting events for their own entertainment and to maintain a power structure. Incidentally, it's also gender-neutral, so Australia's not a horrible comparison in a lot of ways.

Online gaggedLouise

  • Quim Queen | Collaborative juicy writer
  • Champion
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Location: Scandinavia
  • Gender: Female
  • Bound, gagged and unarmed but still dangerous.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Planet of Convicts - Subculture (Was: Short-Seasoned Planet)
« Reply #44 on: June 12, 2011, 04:39:35 PM »
But seeing that they're all serving commuted death sentences, wouldn't it be both faster and safer for the ruler culture to have the executions, in case one or more of the workers have rebelled or broken the rules (and this would be bound to happen now and then!) - these executions carried out on the planet itself, perhaps even in public outside of the spaceport city? This would relieve them of the risks inherent in having to bring the condemned persons to a hi-sec jail (can't be many of these) and from there to a predetermined place - the spaceport - and then in a spaceship back to the parent culture. Much simpler to just kill them on the captives planet. You might feel this is not a pleasing aspect of the story or there could be some other reason, I respect that, I'm not into snuff myself, but it looks more likely to me that they would try to dispose of rebellious or difficult prisoners as soon as these have been caught. And would try to put them to death in a way that had a spectacle quality.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2011, 04:43:08 PM by gaggedLouise »

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Re: Planet of Convicts - Subculture (Was: Short-Seasoned Planet)
« Reply #45 on: June 12, 2011, 04:44:59 PM »
Oh, they definitely will for serious criminals (the sort who re-offend on the planet beyond just slacking would be executed on-site) - it's just that sometimes here, being locked up until your 'death sentence' comes from being assigned to a penal legion and going to clear a minefield with your face is worse.

In fact, I'm starting to picture a very brutal sort of 'jungle justice' that prisoners might perpetuate among themselves...a slacker or troublemaker isn't just a danger to him/herself, but a potential risk of having that entire local community rounded up and used to drain the ammunition reserves of an enemy stronghold's defenders on some other war-torn planet.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2011, 04:46:29 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Planet of Convicts - Subculture (Was: Short-Seasoned Planet)
« Reply #46 on: June 13, 2011, 07:06:31 PM »
Sounds like you'd be looking at a more feudal system.

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Re: Planet of Convicts - Subculture (Was: Short-Seasoned Planet)
« Reply #47 on: June 13, 2011, 07:14:37 PM »
Yeah, that's what it's turning into as I start to writing - a feudal social structure, though with the technology level of modern society (roughly). They labor to meet their quotas to avoid the wrath of the planet's true rulers, who otherwise never leave their fortified city with all its comforts - resentful, but impotent, and knowing any sort of uprising gets brutal retaliation.

Offline ReanimateMagnus

Re: Planet of Convicts - Subculture (Was: Short-Seasoned Planet)
« Reply #48 on: June 14, 2011, 12:37:40 AM »
Ooo I enjoy thinking about these things. You could technically have more than one summer if the orbit of the sun was influenced by lets say a gas giant between the said planet and was relatively closer to the sun than the plant. The gravity of the gas giant would pull it closer when it was near orbit so a sporadic summer that would appear at different intervals each year, this would have there the a summer, a fall/spring time two times a year and then either the summer would come again if the gas giant was there or if not then the first summer would be extended because of the gas giant position in orbit around the sun.