How big is Absalon Station?


General Discussion


Is it as big as a real planet or more like the Death Star?


Yqatuba wrote:
Is it as big as a real planet or more like the Death Star?

Neither, it has a population of like 3 million. It's like Manhattan, but stretched a lot vertically to allow extra supporting infrastructure, docking bays, etc.


Ok it says on Starfinder wiki it's 5 miles. Guess I should have read more carefully. By "stretched vertically" do you mean it's 5 miles in all 3 dimensions (for a total of 125 cubic miles)? That seems more reasonable for 3 million people.


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It's tiny, for how many people it says it holds. And still has a small population considering its importance within the Pact World.

Honestly I suggest changing the size and population of the city, to actually be a city sized structure in space.

New York City, which is pretty densely packed city, has a flat surface area of about 300 square miles. But this only includes the "proper" city of New York which has a population of about 8 million.

The New York metro area includes about 20 million people and a foot print of 13,000 square miles. This actually ends up probably being not dense enough for a space station.

So I would scale things to be 750 square miles of area for living space, with a population of about 20 million. Assume about 15 ft per "deck" of the city and let ignore the general shape in favor of estimating things as a cylinder.

If we make each deck about 1/2 mile in raidus we have each deck be about 1 square mile of area. Which would be 750 decks. At 15 ft each, that would be about 2.1 miles tall.

So a cylinder of about 2 miles height and about 1/2 mile in diameter gives a reasonable size space station, in my opinion. Then you add some additional size for all the additional support structure for ships and other things. That seems to be most of what the disk at the top of the space station is. And there also appear to be a domed "city" space at the "top". So I would estimate that disk is about 1 mile is radius, but that it's not living space at all, and use for space travel stuff.


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This has been discussed in detail previously.

It's been shown, mathematically, that each individual resident of Absalom Station has millions of cubic feet to themselves.

If anything, the stations seems underpopulated.

Liberty's Edge

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Ok so, lots of folks ask this but this is a math thing and I don't personally do so well with them so let me visualize it

This isn't perfect but at its widest, it is 5 miles in diameter, but that fails to account for how TALL the thing is. By my estimations (Very rough) it should look like this from the side angle +/- some of the more artistic spikes around the outside which I doubt should be considered into the calculation, after all, people measure their height to the top of their head, not how tall their hair is.

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The widest portion of this is actually the "Arms" which all in all houses VERY few people, this area is for docks, bays, hangars, and industrial stuff like businesses, warehouses and manufacturers. This is not pictured here because, well, there really shouldn't be much need for it, the area is basically just a bunch of horizontal cranes, dock/airlock, and hangar bay sections that stick out every so many degrees. I COULD be wrong about this assumption, but if I am that would mean in general the "core" of Absalom Station would be at BEST 3 miles in diameter which is just silly. This would extend out of the Ring by about a mile in each direction.

The bubble area at the top there is the Eye, where, yet again, not that many people actually LIVE, that's the super fancy, upper crust area that is full of skyscrapers, corporate HQs, embassies, parks, entertainment districts, diplomatic housing, universities, and the SUPER DUPER wealthy and some of the "nobility" to live and play.

The Ring is that widest portion in the middle, where most of the middle-class and regular folk make their homes. This being the center it has tons of room in all three dimensions, although I'm sure about 10-30% of it is taken up by massive support and infrastructure construction so it's not exactly like "a big cavern" but more like your typical overpopulated suburb, except instead of street after street of homes, they're all stacked on top of one another and NOBODY has a lawn, private property, backyard, or likely much more than an alley separating them from the next building. 99% of the homes and businesses here would share all but 1 wall with multiple neighboring buildings and homes.

Theeeennnnn we have the Spike, the long bit on the bottom. This is where the poor folks, the criminals, and less sucessfull businesses and corporations are. The population density here would be really really compact because there isn't a ton of room, and what room there IS, is mostly being taken up by the billions of moving parts, valves, pipes, and various other heavy industry equipment and infrastructure that actually, you know, makes the Station function. Sandwiched between the industrial zones would be "the slums" where people might be lucky to find a 300 sq ft studio apartment for their family of 5 to live in.

With all that in mind, you have to understand that this is like looking at a paper plate with a 5 inch diameter and wondering how it can fix 100 (Throwing out example numbers I have no idea how many pennies could fit on a 5 inch paper plate) pennies on it, well, you're not dealing with a paper plate that's 5 inches wide, you're dealing with a 5 inch globe, with another 5 inche long paper tube it is standing on which could easily contain many MANY times the number of pennies that a plate could hold.


Good post Themetricsystem.

Let's just consider a small area within the Ring that contains most of the population. Lets take an area 1 mile in radius and 0.5 miles high.

That comes to 231,218,992,313 cubic feet (Pi x 5280 x 5280 x 2640). Out of that approx. 2.3 x 10^11 cubic feet, lets assume that 90% of it consists of auxiliary space not in actual use for housing creatures. It might consist of walkways, support machinery to supply a breathable atmosphere, water, power, major transitways, recreational areas such as parks and public buildings, so on and so on.

This leaves only 10% for actual housing, or 2.3 x 10^10 cubic feet. In there fits 3,000,000 creatures. This means each creature has 7,707 cubic feet allocated to them, or about a single cube 20 feet by 20 feet by 20 feet. Or a two story dwelling with 8 foot ceilings, 30 feet by 30 feet, and that's just for one person. Hmm, this is bigger than my house!

Shops, office buildings, manufacturing plants, etc. would be housed elsewhere. This 2 mile dia. disc just contains housing, it seems 3 million could fit easily into this space.


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I like this because it reminds everyone that a giant space station is still a space station and a significant amount of it's internal space is going to be devoted to keeping everyone inside of it alive. Absalom Station is by no means underpopulated.


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In a universe where things like decanters of endless water and bottles of air exist, you don't exactly need a lot of space for keeping people alive.


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Ravingdork wrote:
In a universe where things like decanters of endless water and bottles of air exist, you don't exactly need a lot of space for keeping people alive.

True, but it would be nice to have a machine that does those things since CE Technomancers with Greater Dispel Magic are also a thing.


Considering that it only suppresses the magic for 1d4 rounds, it's probably not an issue.

I assume the water and air production systems don't need to operate continuously, so 24 seconds of unexpected downtime probably isn't an issue.

I also assume they have more than 1 source for the entire station. And that they're also guarded.

So yes, it's dangerous to have someone on board a space station that wants to disrupt it and kill people. But presumably a single individual attempting to do so wont be particularly effective.


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My own call is to take both the population and size values, and add an extra zero to both of them. Yes, this means a roughly 1000x increase in volume for only a 10x increase in population, but its the most important spot in the universe. It really should at least be a tiny mega structure, and there's plenty of room to justify tons of space being used for things like docking bays, shipyards, factories, warehouses, etc. To say nothing of the Eye using vast amounts of volume for aesthetic reasons.

( I do the same thing for the Idari, for the same reason )


I'd actually imagine a good portion of the unaccounted for space comes from the power distribution system from the starstone and from the massive amount of air handling equipment needed to keep the place temperature controlled and breathable.

Lighting, weapons, shields, millions of inhabitants, and everything else needs a crap ton of power, and a crap ton of power needs a crap ton of cabling, not to mention the massive need to cool the place down somehow - and then get rid of the excess heat.


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Claxon wrote:
Considering that it only suppresses the magic for 1d4 rounds, it's probably not an issue.

My point is that in a setting where everyone has access to the same magic and the same ways of dispelling magic, it helps to have a machine backing it up.


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Garretmander wrote:
not to mention the massive need to cool the place down somehow - and then get rid of the excess heat.

I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home. They're not much bigger than an exhaust port.


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thecursor wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Considering that it only suppresses the magic for 1d4 rounds, it's probably not an issue.
My point is that in a setting where everyone has access to the same magic and the same ways of dispelling magic, it helps to have a machine backing it up.

I'm sure machines play quite a large role in getting the magically conjured air and water to where it needs to go.


Ravingdork wrote:
thecursor wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Considering that it only suppresses the magic for 1d4 rounds, it's probably not an issue.
My point is that in a setting where everyone has access to the same magic and the same ways of dispelling magic, it helps to have a machine backing it up.
I'm sure machines play quite a large role in getting the magically conjured air and water to where it needs to go.

And recycling them in some manner, unless there is a centuries old ring of frozen sewage in absalom station's orbit.

Edit: Actually, the sewage might be super hot and gaseous from the direct sunlight...


Garretmander wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
thecursor wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Considering that it only suppresses the magic for 1d4 rounds, it's probably not an issue.
My point is that in a setting where everyone has access to the same magic and the same ways of dispelling magic, it helps to have a machine backing it up.
I'm sure machines play quite a large role in getting the magically conjured air and water to where it needs to go.

And recycling them in some manner, unless there is a centuries old ring of frozen sewage in absalom station's orbit.

Edit: Actually, the sewage might be super hot and gaseous from the direct sunlight...

Adventure Hook found.

You approach the collected excrement of generations of the stations inhabitants aboard your valiant ship and are thankful that in space you can't smell and that the Vesk came only recently to the station.


The number crunching is impressive! I suggest making each level taller, though. 15 feet looks like enough for a 12 foot ceiling and a very sturdy floor. Is that enough for Nuar, dragons, shobhad, and whatever else uses the station? Has there been a mention of those species being inconvenienced by the ceilings?

Claxon wrote:

Considering that it only suppresses the magic for 1d4 rounds, it's probably not an issue.

I assume the water and air production systems don't need to operate continuously, so 24 seconds of unexpected downtime probably isn't an issue.

Do continuously running enchantments require a continuous power source?

Does the station have technological backup systems, or plant life that helps recycle air?

Did its creators have the magic necessarily to make all life-support magical?

Garretmander wrote:

I'd actually imagine a good portion of the unaccounted for space comes from the power distribution system from the starstone and from the massive amount of air handling equipment needed to keep the place temperature controlled and breathable.

Lighting, weapons, shields, millions of inhabitants, and everything else needs a crap ton of power, and a crap ton of power needs a crap ton of cabling, not to mention the massive need to cool the place down somehow - and then get rid of the excess heat.

Definitely. Although if they can get the life-support enchantments to run on recycled waste heat (and/or sewage), that would free up some space.

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