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Alien Environments

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 10:08 am
by ChalkLine
One of the regrets I've had about my long traveller experience is that it's I've had few experiences of truly alien worlds. In the main it's been spaceship gaming interspersed with bar-hopping. The few on-world adventures have often been 'sunny Tuesday afternoon on earth with odd critters' worlds.

So this is the thread to give GMs ideas on some variants on worlds to add to that alien feeling.

- The world has a very high oxygen ratio.
While humans can breathe the atmosphere normally, this means fires burn far hotter than normal and humans have fire extinguishing equipment everywhere. Alien life moves *very* fast as they oxidise quickly. However they need heat radiator or heat purging systems in their bodies or they over heat quickly, meaning large fins or maybe super-cold glands.

- Massive radio noise from a nearby astral body such as a super-Jovian body.
No radios work and instead a system of laser-communicators are used instead. Overhead are dedicated satellites for surface communicators but any light-blocking object blocks communications.

- Due to volcanic activity it rains *all* the time.
The rain varies from squally showers to massive monsoon-like downpours. There is *never* any clear skies.

- The planet is tidally-locked and does not spin on its axis.
As the players have landed in the shady habitable band this means the light level outside is a permanent almost-darkness. The light level is equivalent to the time on earth as it is getting dark. Note that this planet has two 'Star Wars-like' mono-environments as well as the Habitable Band; the hot, desert 'hot pole' and the icy, polar 'cold pole'.

- There is almost no magnetosphere on this planet resulting in it being bathed in harmful radiation.
While there is normal atmosphere vacc suits must be worn outside. Note that all vacc suits are equipped for this sort of planet, a small breathing unit is standard and the life support system can be removed for comfort. Animal life might have heavy shield that acts like armour to survive on the surface.

Add some more!

Re: Alien Environments

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 6:17 pm
by Moppy
laser communications and the sky is never clear?

Re: Alien Environments

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 7:06 pm
by ChalkLine
Moppy wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 6:17 pm
laser communications and the sky is never clear?
Oh, they were supposed to be separate environments and not one weird-ass one (although looking at it that'd make an interesting planet)

Re: Alien Environments

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 9:41 pm
by paltrysum
Bullet points three and four may be put to use in the upcoming Naval Adventure 3: Fire on the Sindalian Main. A tidally locked world with one half very volcanically active is featured as part of the adventure. While the particulars of the environment are only briefly described, there's no reason you couldn't run with it and make its physical properties more of a key to the story there. :)

Re: Alien Environments

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 9:53 pm
by Moppy
I just noticed that one about tidal lockiing. Tidally locked planets do rotate. They just do it in the same time as they complete an orbit.

Re: Alien Environments

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 3:23 am
by Saladman
6. Small planet or large moon, but a strong magnetosphere and thick atmosphere keep it livable. Every step is like walking on the moon. With a smaller globe you can get anywhere on the world in an air-raft or light jet surprising quickly.

7. Heavy planet. Visitors commonly use exoskeletons just to get around. Founding population engineered for strength and high gravity, rarely travel. Mega-Corporations hire locals to mine for rare metals and radioactives; locals jealously guard their labor rights from outside workers.

8. Venus, despite the sulfuric rain and the crushing pressure and heat at surface level, is almost habitable at the right altitude. At a little less than Earth sea level pressure you get temperatures between 0 and 50 Celsius, you're above most of the acid rain, and you've still got radiation shielding from the atmosphere above. A blimp-like habitat with earth atmosphere as a lifting gas inside would float a little lower, but still be manageable as a sealed habitat.

Make it not-Venus to take the sulfur off the table if you want and you could have open-air anti-grav habitats interacting with a variety of native life built as floaters and flyers. Maybe some of it has life cycles that take it deeper down in the atmosphere, but those depths are poorly understood, and research teams go missing more often than they should. Maybe something intelligent but deeply alien down there.