A floating city appears against a cloud-filled blue sky in the cover for the Ringworld graphic novel

S3E2 Savage Ringworld

In Episode 2 of the Lair of Secrets podcast, we brainstorm ideas for a rebooted Savage Ringworld campaign, which mashes up high concept science fiction with the Savage Worlds role-playing game. We also delve back into cyberspace with Cyberpunk 2077 and Cyberpunk RED, say good-bye to Nintendo 3DS (or at least, its eShop), visit the Rivers of London book series, and figure out how to organize our comic books.

Finally … we’re gaming! The Spelljammer Academy campaign’s up and running, and David’s launched into a Star Wars 5E game.

Related Savage Ringworld Posts

Show Notes

The Matrix of Cybersouls

The Arcade

  • Good-bye, Nintendo 3DS
  • The Nintendo 3DS has entered its end of days; the Nintendo eShop is shutting down in March 2023.
  • Ken just realized this, and is purchasing last-minute DLC before it goes away. Namely the Fire Emblem – Revelation, which is a new full campaign for the Fire Emblem Birthright/Conquest games.
  • Of course, the 3DS remains playable (and is still far more portable than the Switch) but it’s sad to see it go.

The Library

  • David is nearing the end of the current Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovich
  • He’s currently listening to the October Man – shift to a different main character for this novella and set in Germany.
  • David’s just about caught up with the series as it stands
  • Thanks library!
  • Looking forward to book 9 coming out next year

The Vault of Near-Infinite Long Boxes

  • Ken’s (slowly) inventorying his comic books.
  • Since high school, he’s kept a longhand record of what he’s collected.
  • This doesn’t scale, isn’t redundant, and is terrible for identifying gaps.
  • Experimenting with using League of Comic Book Geeks.
  • Now he just needs time…

The Game Room

  • Spelljammer Academy
    • We’ve played the Spelljammer Academy adventures that are a preview to Spelljammer It’s been lighthearted fun
    • David may make a Seth Skorkowski type video of how I would change it for other people to run
  • Star Wars 5E
    • David played several sessions of Star Wars 5e
    • Fan made game, using 5e as its base
    • David learned about it from Brennan Lee Mulligan’s game of Starstruck on Dropout.tv
    • It’s been fun, the party is really low level right now, so I don’t have a good grasp on how good the system is yet

The Loot Locker

  • Weren’t able to participate in Free RPG Day? We’ve got you covered.
  • Twitter retweet/tagging us in tweet.
  • We’ll contact you and send you swag on a first-come, first-served basis

Main Topic: Savage Ringworld

  • What is Savage Ringworld?
    • It’s Larry Niven’s ringworld mashed up with the Savage Worlds rules published by Pinnacle Entertainment Group
    • One of Ken’s Blackrazor Guild games, currently on hiatus.
    • It’s set on a Niven-class ringworld approximately 150 years after a cataclysmic impact of a moon-sized object into the Ring.
    • Gave rise to “Fist of God” mountain, a truly massive landmark that smashed the warped the surrounding terrain.
      • Yeah, we stool that from Niven
    • The campaign follows a group of adventurers who traveled to Fist of God City, a cosmopolitan city built at the base of Fist of God Mountain.
    • Companion posts on Lair of Secrets:
    • Other ring worlds you may know:
  • How big is it?
    • Halo is big. The Halos encountered in the modern times are 10,000 kilometers in diameter; this size is roughly similar to that of Earth, which is 12,756 km in diameter. While the original twelve Halos had a diameter of 30,000 kilometers, concerns about their structural stability and transport led to the second series of rings being reduced in size. The surface of each ring is 318 kilometers wide, with a depth of 22.3 kilometers to 47 kilometers. The overall circumference of the ring is 31,415 km and the interior surface area is 9,985,200 km2 – roughly the size of Canada. Source: Halopedia: Halo Array.
    • Niven’s ringworld is exponentially bigger. The Ringworld is an artificial ring about one million miles wide and approximately the diameter of Earth’s orbit (which makes it about 600 million miles in circumference), encircling a Sol-type star. It rotates, providing an artificial gravity equivalent to 99.2% of Earth’s gravity by way of centrifugal force. Ringworld has a habitable flat inner surface equivalent in area to approximately three million Earth-sized planets. Source: Wikipedia
  • What does that mean?
    • The walls of the ringworld – which keep the atmosphere from escaping – are 1,000 miles high. Mount Everest, the tallest mountain on Earth, is 5.4 miles high. Mons Olympus on Mars – the biggest volcano/mountain in the solar system – is 16 miles high. The Earth’s diameter? 7,917 miles. We’re talking about walls that are a significant percentage of the diameter of the planet we live on. The width of the ring itself (the cross section) is 997,000 miles.Meanwhile, the ringworld’s surface area is that of three million Earth-sized planets. A Halo-style ring world? It’s surface area is equivalent of Canada.
  • What the heck do you do with it?
    • Challenges
      • It’s so big that people probably can’t even see the far side of the ring (side from a thin band of light).
      • Different regions of the ring likely don’t interact with one another. And no one’s going to be circumnavigating the thing on foot.
      • The Ring is High Science … but that doesn’t mean the adventures on it are.
      • At the end of the day … it’s just another planet (albeit a big one)
      • How do you generate tension and drama in a world so large?
    • Approaches to stories
      • Fronts (borrowing liberally from Dungeon World)
        • Each of these fronts is advancing and causing conflict as they do so.
          • The Ringworld Experiment: The civilization that created the Ringworld did so for a reason. Giant space ark for the galaxy’s trillions of species? Immense laboratory for experimenting with evolution at a time and physical scale unimagined by lesser sentients?
          • The Cause of the Fist of God event: Was the Fist of God a cosmic fluke? Given that the Ancients cleared out the entire solar system building the Ringworld, that seems unlikely. But if it was an engineered event … why did it happen? And what’s going to happen next?
          • Consequences of the Fist of God event: The Fist of God event occurred 150 years ago. It ravaged the land around the newly formed “mountain” and drew the attention of all nearby civilizations. Those who could traveled to the mountain and formed the bastion of interconnected civilizations known as Fist of God City. Who else is still traveling to the Fist of God … and what do they want?
          • Ringworld instability: As in Larry Niven’s books, the Ringworld has become unstable. Can it be saved and if so, how?
      • Location of the Week
        • In Star Trek, the crew goes to a new planet each episode via ship.
        • In Stargate, the various SG teams travel through a gateway.
        • Create different travel networks, and use them for locations?
          • Locations reachable by foot.
          • Locations reachable by train
          • Locations reachable by plane
          • Locations reachable by hyperloop
          • Locations reachable by teleportation
      • Inspirations / Places to steal from
        • Given the size of the Ringworld, anything is possible.
      • Approaches to mapping
        • Mapping by hand is a non-starter – the ringworld is too big.
        • Use mind map or transit map?
        • Create smaller, regional sketches for specific areas?
        • Subway-style maps?


Thanks for listening. If you have feedback, we love feedback. You can send it to us at podcast@lairofsecrets.com or via Twitter @lairofsecrets. We stream this live on Twitch if you want to get your fix of things early and unedited. You can also visit lairofsecrets.com and leave us some feedback, topic ideas, or your own thoughts on what we’ve talked about.

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Cover artwork for the Ringworld graphic novel. Credit: Macmillan

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