Unobtainium?

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GladDog
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Unobtainium?

Postby GladDog » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:27 am

People are getting used to the name of the game, and that is good. While the name is a little scatterways in my brain, it really fits well with the underlying story. I really can't think of a truly better name, so I am all in for the name.

HOWEVER... The name unobtainium doesn't work well with me. It sounds wonky, just like it did in Avatar. I always figured it was a placeholder name, so how about suggestions for replacements?

I like PALLADIUM, which is a real life metal - this is the one Tony Stark used for his ARC reactor in Iron Man. It rolls off the tongue well, and there are no legal issues associated with it, since it is a real life metal. The problem is that it is an incredibly stable metal, and the isotopes decay way too fast for use in a multi-generational ship. So this one would be a huge stretch to the imagination to work in the story. Of course, superheroes in general require a huge stretch of the imagination!

IMPERIUM
IRIDIUM (real metal, very, very rare on earth)
REACTITITE
PANDORIUM


Anyone else have ideas?
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broxen
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Re: Unobtainium?

Postby broxen » Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:01 pm

This is interesting. I always felt Unobtainium was a little corny for my tastes.

My suggestions are all a little more serious sounding, as players will identify it as a Phlebotinum anyway.
  • Xycon Crystal
  • Kyberium ;)
  • Neutronium
  • Alacricite
  • Nagdon or Nagdell Crystal
  • Orensium-5
  • Interstellium
A few more subtle nods:
  • Quantium (Babylon 5)
  • Scrith (Ringworld)
  • Elerium-115 or Element-115 (Xcom and others)
I'm personally not a fan of Dust either, as it doesn't impart any real sense of it's usage while having a generic name that may be confused with common dirt particulate... Maybe that's just me. -shrug- There is an Anime called RWBY that uses Dust to power Airships and things, so maybe it's a reference to that.
-Broxen

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GladDog
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Re: Unobtainium?

Postby GladDog » Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:33 pm

Neutronium and the three 'nods' all have copyrights on them, so they are not good choices.

The rest of those look good though!

'Dust' is actually a reference to the old west in the gold rush days. Legal money was really hard to come by, so the prospectors used the smallest particles of gold they found as currency, and they called it gold dust, or just 'dust'.
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lividya
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Re: Unobtainium?

Postby lividya » Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:35 pm

Unobtainium does not roll of the tongue and it does have the obvious connection to Avatar. Speaking as a chemist, Astatine (As, atomic number 85) is a halide and the rarest natural element so perhaps something derived from that. If you want something ending in -ium, then the lanthanide and actinides are good places to look. I’ve always liked Protactinium, atomic number 91 and the symbol, Pa, is a nod to the physical location of the developers.

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JestersGhost
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Re: Unobtainium?

Postby JestersGhost » Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:35 pm

While I would normally vote yes for anything Babylon 5 related, GladDog makes a good point that it might be a little murky legally.

As I've said in another thread, Dust is for me a great name - several real world and sci-fi universes have used it as a currency resource name, it's short, and the sort of "slang" name that would end up in common usage.

But yeah, unobtanium is...ugh (side note - I spent ages figuring out where it was used in the Last Airbender before I realised which Avatar y'all were talking about).

A few more suggestions:

- Stellarium
- Unium
- Element-999 ("e-3-9" for short)
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broxen
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Re: Unobtainium?

Postby broxen » Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:42 pm

'Dust' is actually a reference to the old west in the gold rush days. Legal money was really hard to come by, so the prospectors used the smallest particles of gold they found as currency, and they called it gold dust, or just 'dust'.
Ah, didn't know that. Cool!
-Broxen

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Greyhawk
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Re: Unobtainium?

Postby Greyhawk » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:13 pm

I like the idea of using "Dust" from the rare material that powers the ship for currency. I grew up on westerns so when I saw it, my first thoughts were "gold dust" and "trail dust". The first a valuable currency for commerce, the other a valuable currency for character. "Dust" works for me.

But yeah, "unobtanium" is a bridge too far. I realize it's a neutral engineering term, but seriously, even in engineering the whole point in "unobtanium" is that it serves merely as a placeholder for the real material once it has been discovered or developed.

There are something like 113 known elements, and an almost infinite number of explosive natural compounds of those elements. Additionally, there are several hundred working physicists specializing in advanced fuels for spaceflight. Further, the technology is derived from aliens who invaded earth. I assume those aliens have a name that the Earth-based people assigned to them, right? There are an almost infinite number of sources to derive a reasonable name from that will both resonate with non-scientific people and sound scientific enough to give the scientists a chuckle.

Fermiandium
Hortonium
Lomaxium
Kerndinium
Asimonium
Heinleinium
Brindanium
Olsonium
Bondinium
Vanwykium
Vaznisium
Burtonium
Myrickium
Mycionium
Kylenium

so forth and so on. Just create a name for a physicist who figured out how the alien fuel worked, add them to the lore, and then name the fuel after them! Instant, unique scientific name for a rare element that we have yet to discover.

Seriously. Polls be damned. Since when has creativity been decided by polling anyway?
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Galactus55
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Re: Unobtainium?

Postby Galactus55 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:46 pm

Neutronium and the three 'nods' all have copyrights on them, so they are not good choices.

The rest of those look good though!

'Dust' is actually a reference to the old west in the gold rush days. Legal money was really hard to come by, so the prospectors used the smallest particles of gold they found as currency, and they called it gold dust, or just 'dust'.
Hmmmm

If you use an electron microscope zooming in close enough to see the rare dust particle you would notice the structure has 24 sides therefore it must be call:

Dodecahedrium
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Sinistar
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Re: Unobtainium?

Postby Sinistar » Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:54 pm

Speaking of Babylon 5 and Dust, there were episodes that dealt with the usage of a drug named "Dust" that could temporarily give telepathic powers to the one that uses it.

Dr. Franklin had two injured patients and one was rambling about the "mountain falling on them" and the other patient's history indicated they were in an avalanche in the past.

There was also the episode when G'kar used some dust to attempt to stimulate telepathy in himself since his people had no natural telepaths. He got the power but was also on a serious "trip" and paid a less then social call to Londo Mollari as a result. :)

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JestersGhost
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Re: Unobtainium?

Postby JestersGhost » Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:38 am

Speaking of Babylon 5 and Dust, there were episodes that dealt with the usage of a drug named "Dust" that could temporarily give telepathic powers to the one that uses it.
Oh yeah, good episode.

But yeah, another demonstration that the "Dust" as a term is pretty common and familiar I think.
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Eulb
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Re: Unobtainium?

Postby Eulb » Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:19 pm

Unobtainium it very easy just shorten it to UN-dust ... I personally like the name... what i'm concerned with is the quantities, and what is the size of the reward 1 oz , 1 tz , 1 pound ???? per kill , will we be able to compress it back to cryistal for one to sell to the power plant for better stuff ???
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Consultant
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Re: Unobtainium?

Postby Consultant » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:26 am

We're thinking more like micrograms to grams. So our heroes won't be weighed down too much on kill-all missions. :)

Kid Rad
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Re: Unobtainium?

Postby Kid Rad » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:20 am

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Last edited by Kid Rad on Tue May 22, 2018 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

perfecttommy
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Re: Unobtainium?

Postby perfecttommy » Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:51 am

I have to agree that unobtainium is pretty placeholder sounding. My first thought was Neptunium, kind of a play on plutonium, and uranium? Others I thought about

Europium (Europe was the band that did Final Countdown, please tell me i am not the only one that had this song playing in his head when i read the backstory)
Elenium
Elysium (Fields of it?)
Olympium (the home of the greek gods?)
Pandemonium (ok i am kind of kidding with this one)
Arcadium


just my thoughts

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Golden Ace
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Re: Unobtainium?

Postby Golden Ace » Thu May 17, 2018 11:07 am

Goldenaceium! 😁
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