Absalom Station Size


General Discussion


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So Absalom Station is supposed to be 5 miles in diameter and house 2 million people? Is this a typo or something cause that's physically impossible. Mechanically medium creatures seem to be a 5'by5'by5' cube, so without squeezing the majority of Absalom Station's citizens take up said space.

Now going back to the 5 mile diameter; Absalom Station is supposed to be a dome. This means that the volume of Absalom Station, i.e. total space within it, is equal to half the volume of of of a sphere of equal diameter. Therefore, the volume of Absalom Station is equal (4*pi*2.5^3)/6, or 32.725 miles cubed. Now since there are 5280 feet in a mile, multiplying the cubic miles by 5280 will give us the cubic feet of 172,788.

Returning to my previous point about the space most citizens take up without squeezing; this is 172,788 ft^3 that can be divided amongst the citizens and visitors of Absalom. So, since the most citizens are medium, we can simply divide the cubic feet by 5 to determine the MAXIMUM number of medium creatures that can be in Absalom Station: 34,557.

This is assuming that there's next to nothing except people in Absalom Station. At most this could also include walkways to account for the part where this number has people onto of people. However there would always be someone next to someone else, privacy wouldn't actually exist, etc.

So will this be corrected at any point? Cause the inaccurate world building is really kinda irritating. I'll even make it easy for y'all! 2 million people in the station? So that's 2 million 5'by5'by5' cubes to make math simple. multiple by 5 for cubic feet, that's 10 million cubic feet. Then you divide by 5280 for the cubic miles, 1893.9;round down to 1893. That's the MINIMUM possible volume. Now multiple by 6 and divide by 4*pi for the radius cubed, 903.8; round down to 903. The cubic root of 903 is 9.66 so the diameter of Absalom Station had to be at least 20 miles for it to CONTAIN 2 million medium creatures.

Let's add infrastructure, privacy, space for visitors, businesses, etc. Let's be really really conservative and only triple the space we want. 5679 cubic miles, so a diameter of at least 28 miles. And honestly, I'm probably massively underestimating how much more space you'd need.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

You have a math error in your conversion from cubic miles to cubic feet. There are 5280 feet in a *linear* mile, but 5280 x 5280 x 5280 cubic feet in a cubic mile.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A 5-mile-diameter dome contains around 4.8 trillion cubic feet, not 172,000.

If there are 2 million people in Absalom station, then each of them would have roughly 2.5 million cubic feet to stretch out in. I think they're fine.


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That's a lot of room to hide nefarious goings-on. You might be hard-pressed to actually run into another living being in the deep places of the station.


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This sounds a lot like Babylon 5...


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Babylon 5 was a hollow cylinder and got its gravity by centrifugal force. Absalom Station might have a bunch of underground levels and could have a much higher population density.

The Idari gets its artificial gravity the low-tech way like Babylon 5, but we don't know how big it is.

Liberty's Edge

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Do all those tremendous towers and horizontal gantries and the huge down spire count as part of the diameter?


Well diameter is a straight line through a circle, so no


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Absalom Station is basically Manhattan in space so I'd use any TV show, movie, book, comic or radio show based in Manhattan as a reference for any story you're trying to tell.

There's lots of people, they come from all over, and anything can happen there.


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epicmusic42 wrote:
So Absalom Station is supposed to be 5 miles in diameter and house 2 million people?

Math error aside, Manhattan has 1.645 million people in ~23 square miles, and commuter estimates put daytime influx at 3.9 million. With a slightly larger square mileage (25), and a whole third dimension to work with, Absalom actually seems underpopulated.

Scarab Sages

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Absalom is actually pretty damn similar to the city in Dark City. It's got the huge city with towers and parks in the dome, and the artificial gravity and machines that run everything are down in the bottom of the spike.


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I agree, it bothered me reading the CRB and it said 5 miles. It is a pretty underwhelming size for such an important focus for the system. My imagination had this thing much larger.

The Exchange

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L4ughingm4n wrote:
I agree, it bothered me reading the CRB and it said 5 miles. It is a pretty underwhelming size for such an important focus for the system. My imagination had this thing much larger.

5 mile diameter is only one dimension when folks usually think about it. Its also 5 miles up and down. It's basically the Death Star. People have been pretty impressed with the Death Star when it pops up around the place.

The Exchange

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Also, volume if a sphere is
4/3 x Pi x (Radius cubed)

In this case radius is 10560 feet.

Final volume is
4932650716017.7 Feet cubed.

That's a great many people to live inside a space station.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Absalom Station, imho

a) should be bigger physically
b) should have more people in it

that being said, like all fantasy / sci-fi world building, it's as big and as populated as you want it to be.


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Wrath wrote:
L4ughingm4n wrote:
I agree, it bothered me reading the CRB and it said 5 miles. It is a pretty underwhelming size for such an important focus for the system. My imagination had this thing much larger.

5 mile diameter is only one dimension when folks usually think about it. Its also 5 miles up and down. It's basically the Death Star. People have been pretty impressed with the Death Star when it pops up around the place.

It's minuscule compared to the Death Stars. They were about 75 and 100 miles in diameter.


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Wrath wrote:
L4ughingm4n wrote:
I agree, it bothered me reading the CRB and it said 5 miles. It is a pretty underwhelming size for such an important focus for the system. My imagination had this thing much larger.

5 mile diameter is only one dimension when folks usually think about it. Its also 5 miles up and down. It's basically the Death Star. People have been pretty impressed with the Death Star when it pops up around the place.

The accompanying art disagrees with you, actually. Absalom is roughly a cone. More a disk with a protruding lower spire.

But it still works comfortably with a population slightly more than Manhattan's residents and a living area slightly more than Manhattan's, with plenty of give for station functions, docks and other outer space related requirements.


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I assumed that part of that 2 million population also included the armada


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like the idea that 2 million is the number of registered citizens or otherwise accounted for persons. I haven't read too much supplemental material on the station yet, but perhaps with all the travelers coming and going, as well as undocumented individuals, we can add virtually another million or so to that number.


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well, it's ten miles in diameter (assuming a radius of only 5 miles). That should be able to hold 2 million inhabitants. Maybe.


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EltonJ wrote:
well, it's ten miles in diameter (assuming a radius of only 5 miles). That should be able to hold 2 million inhabitants. Maybe.

No, it's 5 miles in diameter, because it says 'Diameter: 5 miles.'

Even if it were an earth-bound city, it's completely fine, as that's bigger than Manhattan, which is has 1.5 million residents plus about 2 million commuters every day.

With the additional spire below the major ring, there is plenty of room for a population of 2 million. It might actually be a bit on the empty side.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Voss wrote:
EltonJ wrote:
well, it's ten miles in diameter (assuming a radius of only 5 miles). That should be able to hold 2 million inhabitants. Maybe.

No, it's 5 miles in diameter, because it says 'Diameter: 5 miles.'

Even if it were an earth-bound city, it's completely fine, as that's bigger than Manhattan, which is has 1.5 million residents plus about 2 million commuters every day.

With the additional spire below the major ring, there is plenty of room for a population of 2 million. It might actually be a bit on the empty side.

Manhattan used to have something like 6 million people living there a century ago.


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Yakman wrote:
Manhattan used to have something like 6 million people living there a century ago.

In the past 120 years, the highest population was 2.3 mil. I really don't see it getting as high as 6 mil.

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