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

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Old December 14th, 2006, 08:51 AM
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For the most part, Hollywood and Traveller assumes Earth-like planets predominate. However, the rules give us a wide range of planets possible. What are the characteristics of the strangest places that characters have visited. Either from a Referee perspective (hence insider information) or from the player (in which feels, sights and sounds become very important).
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Old December 15th, 2006, 07:49 AM
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In any variant or non-OTU TU I use, Earthlikes do not predominate (as realistically they shouldn't) unless extensive terraformation took place. Think Alien or Total Recall (except for the ultra-easily-brakeable-pressure-glasses from Total Recall, that is), not Star Trek or Star Wars. That said, I'll copy and paste a description of a non-inhabitable (though almost inhabitable) world from my old ATU originally posted here:

New Arkham, D323264-9, Government Terraformation Project #63
Date of Information: 13-April-2398

- Originally a Dust World with a trace Carbon Dioxide/Methane atmosphere and no free-running water, but extensive above- and sub-surface water ice present.
- Planetological and fossile evidence, as well as the presence of viable quasi-flora spores, suggest that the world once had a warmer, wet period in the distant past (approximately 734 million years ago), in which life - up to very complex pesudo-vertebrate fauna - has flourished. The cause of this world's freezing (referred to as the Cataclysm) is yet to be determined, though existing evidence tend to point towards a planetoid-collision model.
- Geological activity is low to marginal, though remaining core and mantle heat has kept a small percentage (estimated 1%-3.5%) of the deep sub-surface water in a liquid state even before the terraformation process has begun.
- Terraformation began 4-June-2337, and involved deliberate ice-comet bombardment, orbital mirrors and extensive mantle drilling.
- On-world colony established 17-March-2375 to accomodate terraformation-factory support personnell.
- Atmospheric chemical processing and initial microbial and algaeal seeding began 24-July-2376.
- Current atmosphere classified as Very Thin, Tainted, with not enough Oxygen concentration to allow free breathing and with lingering Carbon Dioxide still in the toxic range, dictating the use of combined Compressor/Filter Masks outside of pressurized environments.
- Temperature is still low, ranging from 10C annual avarage on the equator to -70C annual avarage in polar regions. Permanent bodies of free-running above-surface water exist only in equatorial and near-equatorial regions due to that reason.
- Cold-weather clothes recommended for outdoor activity even near the equator, especially during the night when temperature could fall down to -30C when the world is in Aphelion.

Colony of New Arkham
- As of 13-April-2398, New Arkham had a total population of 438, not including the crew of the Lady Viviane Orbital, consisting of 411 adults and 27 children.
- The entire adult population is composed of terraformation crews, their support personnell and administrative staff members. All children were born locally.
- New Arkham is headed by Governess Olga Leveksky on behalf of the Solar Triumvirate, and peace is being kept by a police/security force of 8 personnell, giving a police ratio of one police/security officer per 54.75 total residents.
- 9% of the adult population are governmental employees. The remaining 91% are employees of the Martian Mechanics Corporation contracted by the Solar Triumvirate government. Unemployment is at 0%, and the avarage per-capita income is Cr16,315.85 per annum.

---

Ok, more data on the New Arkham system, made using LBB6. Note that the captain of the exploration ship that first surveyed the system was quite a big fan of H.P. Lovecraft's writings; despite initial bureaucratic resistance, his Cthulhu-Mythos-related names stuck.

</font><blockquote>code:</font><hr /><pre style="font-size:x-small; font-family: monospace;">ORBIT NAME UPP REMARKS
Primary Yog-Shothoth K0 V Solitary
0 Cthulhu Y200164-8 Survey Base, Pop. 17
7 Dagon Y500000-0
60 Hydra Y100000-0
1 Planetoid Belt Y000000-0
2* New Arkham D323264-9 Mainworld, Pop. 438
3 New Kingsport YS00000-0</pre>[/QUOTE]
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Old December 15th, 2006, 11:23 AM
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From a player perspective, Farpoint in the LARP pretty much has it covered from the strangest point of view. A porus planet with some supertech possessing civilization hiding out in a mad evil leprechan sort of way - ie - we can't find em, they just keep making it harder to stay alive. - Breathable atmosphere for playability (if it weren't the party be in even worse shape - ie non existent.)

Close second is one I've seen discribed - but haven't played - the Asteroid city numerous interlocking pressure zones, domes, and caverns.

Most common world type should be an orbital (ie an orbital city orbiting the planet with minerals or an asteroid city built on top of the mineral source ) it is also the one I've found the fewest resources for on the web.
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Old December 15th, 2006, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SGB - Steve B:
From a player perspective, Farpoint in the LARP pretty much has it covered from the strangest point of view. A porus planet with some supertech possessing civilization hiding out in a mad evil leprechan sort of way - ie - we can't find em, they just keep making it harder to stay alive. - Breathable atmosphere for playability (if it weren't the party be in even worse shape - ie non existent.)
Heh, heh, actually only parts of the surface are breathable (valleys, troughs) but don't forget about the deadly radiation & ice covered surface.

And, I would be careful in the caves, not all the air is...heh, heh, heh. [img]graemlins/file_23.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/file_22.gif[/img]
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Old December 15th, 2006, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Employee 2-4601:
...Earthlikes do not predominate (as realistically they shouldn't)...
[nitpick]Given that the Milky Way consists of billions of stars, and so far we've been able to detect a little more than 200 exoplanets, I don't think any argument based on "realism" stands up for very long - the data set is far too limited to draw definitive conclusions.[/nitpick]
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Old December 15th, 2006, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Black Globe Generator:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Employee 2-4601:
...Earthlikes do not predominate (as realistically they shouldn't)...
[nitpick]Given that the Milky Way consists of billions of stars, and so far we've been able to detect a little more than 200 exoplanets, I don't think any argument based on "realism" stands up for very long - the data set is far too limited to draw definitive conclusions.[/nitpick] </font>[/QUOTE]The evidence from our limited exploration of Mars and Venus, suggests that non-carbon based compounds in any form that could even remotely be identified as a possible pre-cursor to life, are unlikely. Therefore, life (in virtually all forms) will be based on a carbon chemistry and the conditions for life to exist will range within earth extremes. We have life at the rim of undersea volcanoes. We have life on the arctic permafrost. We have life in the most extreme of deserts.

With respect to “Earthlike” worlds and realism, a referee would need to choose between many “within-Earth-extreme” worlds or very few life-bearing worlds.

[PS. Anyone with a better understanding of organic chemistry is free to correct my limited study of this field.]
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Old December 15th, 2006, 03:01 PM
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I have no issue with choosing to make earthlike planets rare, and life even moreso, in a Traveller universe - I just don't think the argument that this is based on "realistic assumptions" is applicable.

Every year what we think we know about planetology gets stood on its head by something unexpected, often right here in our own star system. The data are too incomplete to draw firm conclusions about what is or isn't possible.
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Old December 15th, 2006, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Black Globe Generator:
I have no issue with choosing to make earthlike planets rare, and life even moreso, in a Traveller universe - I just don't think the argument that this is based on "realistic assumptions" is applicable.

Every year what we think we know about planetology gets stood on its head by something unexpected, often right here in our own star system. The data are too incomplete to draw firm conclusions about what is or isn't possible.
Kind of like the recent analysis of the comet samples not matching what was anticipated?
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