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Imperial Interstellar Scout Service Details of the worlds of the Imperium (and beyond).

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Old July 30th, 2020, 01:37 AM
BwapTED BwapTED is offline
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Default inhabited rogue planet

HESSE

UWP D910544—8

Starport D: an ‘ice rink’ adjacent to a massive igloo-like structure, built over the entrance to a very deep air/raft 'elevator' shaft that connects with the main subsurface city
Size 9 14,400 km diameter
Atmosphere 1 trace
Hydrography 0 the surface is a stark desert of water ice and frozen elements of the ancient atmosphere—a liquid ocean lies eight klicks deep beneath the ice, kept from freezing by geothermal vents and radioactive elements.
Population 5 100k+ people, the vast majority huddled in a single city buried deep beneath the ice
Gov’t 4 Representative Democracy: an elected mayor and small civic council
Law 4 no assault weapons
Tech Level 8 Equivalent to early 21st Century Earth with advanced ice-drilling, aquaculture, and submersibles
Old library tapes contain more advanced knowledge but a small population and limited resources sharply limit manufacturing capabilities and scientific expertise.

Notes for Travellers:
1. Hesse is a rogue planet—no star! (DM-2 to chart a course hither)
2. All dead humans and animals must be turned over to the city recycling and food production center, but one can pay a high fee in trade goods to move a corpse off world
3. Hessians pay very well for imported spices and food—their usual diet consists of nothing but fungal paste and pate of shellfish ( rich in vitamin D).
4. If for some reason you are strolling (in a well-insulated vacc suit, unless you want to die) on the surface near the starport, watch out for poorly-marked dumpsites containing fission reactor waste.
5. Local are pallid and sensitive to UV light.

--------------------------------------

This is one I tossed together for the Phlange Sector project, which I am finally back to working on with GChuck after a long hiatus for real-world reasons.

It's based on the abstract of a paper about 'Steppenwolf' planets and on various nature shows about the black smokers of the Marianas Trench and the strange creatures that live down there in the dark.





------------

EDIT
Eliminated sperm/egg bounty after considering feedback from others.
Vitamin D note added to existing shellfish and shrooms diet.
Clarified role of air/rafts (TL 8 ) in moving stuff up and down the big shaft.
Paleness, UV sensitivity noted.

Last edited by BwapTED; July 30th, 2020 at 06:25 PM..
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Old July 30th, 2020, 09:40 AM
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Don't step in the puddles with an uninsulated suit...Infact, dont touch the floor in an uninsulated suit - or anything else.
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Old July 30th, 2020, 10:02 AM
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Don't step in the puddles with an uninsulated suit...Infact, dont touch the floor in an uninsulated suit - or anything else.
Yup!

The city itself is insulated and heated (the walls and streets are not ice) but other areas are definitely not safe for an unprotected person.
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Old July 30th, 2020, 04:30 PM
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Don't step in the puddles with an uninsulated suit...Infact, dont touch the floor in an uninsulated suit - or anything else.
Yup!

The city itself is insulated and heated (the walls and streets are not ice) but other areas are definitely not safe for an unprotected person.

Just to be clear, I think what BackworldTraveller is referring to is that if this rogue planet has been travelling through the interstellar void, its surface temperature will likely only be a few Kelvins, which means that anything even remotely close to room temperature is going to have a massive and very rapid temperature change if they come in contact. And something the size of an entire planet at that temperature will be a massive heat-sink that will cool down everything that touches it and effectively NOT raise the temperature of the planet as the contacting object cools down.
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Old July 30th, 2020, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by whulorigan View Post
Just to be clear, I think what BackworldTraveller is referring to is that if this rogue planet has been travelling through the interstellar void, its surface temperature will likely only be a few Kelvins, which means that anything even remotely close to room temperature is going to have a massive and very rapid temperature change if they come in contact. And something the size of an entire planet at that temperature will be a massive heat-sink that will cool down everything that touches it and effectively NOT raise the temperature of the planet as the contacting object cools down.
It's not that cold inside, as it retains a liquid ocean under the ice. As per the Steppenwolf paper, the interior is armed by geothermal activity and radioactive elements.

But, yes, the surface is extremely cold and air/rafts (which appear at TL 8), vacuum shafts, and ultratech insulation are all necessary for working in the ice and above the surface. This is why I set the TL as 8. Any lower and I doubt anybody could live on(in) this world.

Here's a Nat Geo link to explain the basic idea:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/n...nd%20carbon%20

The paper abstract

https://arxiv.org/abs/1102.1108

I'm going with the smaller option , with a much higher relative (to Earth) water mass.

That does raise a question about UWP. I plugged in zero because there's no liquid water on the frozen surface. But the world has a lot of liquid water below the ice and frozen former atmosphere.
So should this be 0 for hydrography or something unusual rating about A?

And boost size to A or leave it at 9?

Thoughts?
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Old July 30th, 2020, 05:51 PM
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TANGENT ALERT:

I do wonder about the problems of starships and heat...
But that's a whole can of worms the game generally ignores. I think TNE did pay some attention to the relevant thermodymanics, yes?
I tend to handwave it with a vague reference to 'fuel' including heat sinks and M drives ejecting hot plumes.


BACK ON TOPIC:

I suppose a rogue planet might be settled by people on their way someplace else.
Maybe a premature drop from jump precipitated by passing too near its equivalent space?
"Hey, there's a planet here not recorded on the tape!"
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Old July 30th, 2020, 05:51 PM
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minor point, but 100,000+ pop is more than enough to sustain sufficient genetic diversity to avoid inbreeding, so their isn't really a need for sperm bounties purely to combat inbreeding (apparently, you only need about 150-200 distinct seed people to maintain a healthy gene pool for upwards of 10 generations (ie hundreds of years))

however, they may still offer sperm bounties for some other reason. Given the lack of UV lighting (unless deliberately introduced by the government), the locals are going to be naturally quite pale, bordering on Albino, with a tendency to burn easily if exposed to real sunlight and a requirement for vitamin D supplements and a cooking tradition that adds certain vit D high foodstuffs in the mix ( fish are a good source, and so are some mushrooms).

Maybe the sperm bounties are a way to reduce the severity of this in the population?
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Old July 30th, 2020, 06:01 PM
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minor point, but 100,000+ pop is more than enough to sustain sufficient genetic diversity to avoid inbreeding, so their isn't really a need for sperm bounties purely to combat inbreeding (apparently, you only need about 150-200 distinct seed people to maintain a healthy gene pool for upwards of 10 generations (ie hundreds of years))

however, they may still offer sperm bounties for some other reason. Given the lack of UV lighting (unless deliberately introduced by the government), the locals are going to be naturally quite pale, bordering on Albino, with a tendency to burn easily if exposed to real sunlight and a requirement for vitamin D supplements and a cooking tradition that adds certain vit D high foodstuffs in the mix ( fish are a good source, and so are some mushrooms).

Maybe the sperm bounties are a way to reduce the severity of this in the population?


I like all that.



I might just nix the sperm donor stuff, as a very pale population is fun.

Mushrooms and shellfish are standard foodstuffs here, as noted above, which fits the Vitamin D stuff. Wouldn't do to all suffer rickets.

EDIT I have updated the first entry with minor tweaks and additions based on your feedback and that of others. Thanks!

Last edited by BwapTED; July 30th, 2020 at 06:24 PM..
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Old July 30th, 2020, 10:20 PM
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I am reminded of the famous book/movie "When Worlds Collide". In the book sequel, "After Worlds Collide", which was never made into a movie, the survivors from Earth land on the planet Zyra, which has been drifting through interstellar space for perhaps millions of years. There they discover a vast advanced civilization (maybe tech 13+?) thawing out after its endless freeze. Remarkably the machinery still works, as it sets about repairing itself. They do not find any signs of the original inhabitants, but have their hands full dealing with other problems. No more spoilers, read the book. Even though it was written in 1934 it still stands up relatively well to all the advances we have made since then.
Anyway, my point is, if you haven't already decided exactly how your rogue planet came to be occupied, perhaps you might consider it having been ejected from its original system and the inhabitants retreated underground to survive? It is pretty certain that such ejections, though astronomically rare, do happen.
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Old July 31st, 2020, 01:20 AM
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I am reminded of the famous book/movie "When Worlds Collide". In the book sequel, "After Worlds Collide", which was never made into a movie, the survivors from Earth land on the planet Zyra, which has been drifting through interstellar space for perhaps millions of years. There they discover a vast advanced civilization (maybe tech 13+?) thawing out after its endless freeze. Remarkably the machinery still works, as it sets about repairing itself. They do not find any signs of the original inhabitants, but have their hands full dealing with other problems. No more spoilers, read the book. Even though it was written in 1934 it still stands up relatively well to all the advances we have made since then.
Anyway, my point is, if you haven't already decided exactly how your rogue planet came to be occupied, perhaps you might consider it having been ejected from its original system and the inhabitants retreated underground to survive? It is pretty certain that such ejections, though astronomically rare, do happen.

I am a big fan of the movie. It's right up there with Forbidden Planet.
I never did read the book.

Ejection with people on it might work, sure.


Have you read A Pail of Air? It's a short story by Fritz Leiber.
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