RAMBOs (Robust Associations of Massive Baryonic Objects)
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Basic Information

RAMBOs stands for Robust Associations of Massive Baryonic Objects. They are a possible form of Dark Matter, essentially a star cluster composed of MACHOs and MACHO-like objects. Such groups would be comprised of Brown Dwarf or White Dwarf stars, and possibly various planets and asteroids orbiting them.

These RAMBOs would be extremely long lived, and could exist in very large numbers without being detectable from earth. Key to their long-life and stability is the fact that the stars of the cluster are similar in size and temperature. If one star in the group were bigger and brighter, the others would eventually evaporate off.

RAMBOs are not currently visible from here on Earth, but that doesn't necessarily mean they wouldn't be noticable from closer up. They may well be the sort of navigational hazard mentioned in the MACHOs entry, but they could also be readily observable by those approaching them. It depends on what strengths and frequencies of radiation they are emitting. White Dwarf stars emit visible light (and thermal infrared light), Brown Dwarfs are more likely to only emit infrared or x-ray radiation.

There is a possibility that a huge accumulations of RAMBOs might exist around the edges of some galaxies, forming a barrier at the edge of the galaxy. They could also form well inside galaxies, positioned where ever small stars or protostars of the appropriate type just happened to form in close proximity.



Game and Story Use

  • A RAMBO cluster would make for a very interesting setting in an RPG.
    • It could be relatively close to inhabited space, yet be unnoticed or ignored.
    • Given enough time, a RAMBO cluster might possibly evolve alien life that exists in minimal light and has no eyes, but may grow huge solar sails and extremely efficient insulation. Of course, it'd be a lot more likely that they just wouldn't evolve any life at all, but that's no fun!
    • For more ideas, see Dark Matter and Interstellar Terrain.
  • If you want to be scientifically plausible, make sure all the stars in the cluster are similar in size, color and temperature. The less similar they are, the shorter lived (and less plausible) the cluster would be.
  • Essentially a RAMBO cluster could fulfill the same purpose as a star system in your campaign, just darker, colder, and less hospitable.
    • You might fill it with dependent colonies, importing resources necessary for survival, but at the same time exporting some rare mineral that justifies their existence. Perhaps the phlebotinum only forms in the presence of low-level reactions that happen on the surface of a brown dwarf over billions of years.
    • The space equivalent of Mordor would fit thematically into a RAMBOs environment. Bleak resource poor worlds inhabited by cruel barbaric aliens.
  • RAMBOs could form a "barrier" at the edges of galaxies.
    • As if the insanely large gaps between galaxies weren't deterrent enough to intergalactic travel, there could be a "wall" or "maze" of MACHOs to navigate before you could enter or leave a galaxy. Smacking into a planet-sized rock at FTL speeds isn't a good idea.
      • In reality, the MACHOs that make up a RAMBO are unlikely to be placed densely like the asteroid thicket of sci-fi films. (Then again, neither are asteroids.) Once properly charted or illuminated, avoiding the big rocks shouldn't be too hard provided you fly at a reasonable speed. But the cinematic notion of everything being closely packed and smashing against each other is more fun, isn't it? So who cares if sci-fi writers have no sense of scale?
    • All those backwater worlds on the galactic rim might actually make good ports of call for deep space mining vessels that hunt the edges of the galaxy looking for MACHOs to strip mine.
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