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Volcanic Surface.


SOC-14 1K
This would be an interesting planetary surface. If most or even some of the planet was made of hot grinding rock then obviously the atmosphere would be a blanket of volcanic gas and not the best of breathing but it would be a cool idea. I am thinking of an insidious atmosphere at about 30psi, with a bout 20% of the surface in this state of “barely cool” volcanism. Not sure why you would land there but it could be fun.

^ I don't think this would be as uncommon as you think, particularly in very young systems. Where coalescence is still occuring, most rocky worlds would be hot-to-the-touch with semi-viscous surfaces.

As far as reasons to go to one, I can think of several from MTU:

1. Mining! Huge gobbs of heavy and precious metals or rare minerals just lying about for the taking; seems like a prospectors paradise.

2. Cover. Lots of dust in the atmosphere distorts sensor sweeps from orbit, no population (i.e. witnesses), and off the beaten path, makes these worlds excellent hide outs (if you can handle the dust yourself).

3. Science. Scouts and the like may be requested to probe these worlds or set up monitoring stations for data gathering.

IMTU, these type worlds are fairly common; enough so that my players have adapted to dealing with the conditions you describe.
IMTU, I added one planetary category that is not really mentioned in canon Traveller:

Molten Giant

I hope I could cite what Astronomy Today article I read that described the molten giants, but there are 2 general theories from what I recall in that old article:

1) molten giants were possibly the leftover hulks of small old stars that have begun cooling down

2) they are very young planets, where geological/volcanic activity is still at an all time high, and the planet's crust is still very thin, has not had enough time to form or to "thicken", and the surface atmosphere contains volatile/flammable gases, resembling an inferno like Venus. Hence it's a planet with 'seas of lava'.... literally oceans of magma.

Anyways, I dont really care about the authenticity of molten giants, only that the general assumption from that article is good enough for science fiction, and hence good enough for inclusion in IMTU.

So now I have 2 types of "giants" in my CT universe:

a) the good old canon Traveller GG (gas giants) --- a gigantic ball of gas, with a (possibly small) dense solid core (this also includes ringed gas giants)

b) and my molten giants... a large dense planet where the magma core literally protrudes into the surface, and the crust is thin, hence you have seas of lava covering much of the surface, the planet is an inferno. Probably had no opportunity to cool off because this planet is still too close to its sun?

One time, the navigator/player in my playgroup made an awful Navigation Roll (skillcheck) just prior to entering Jump....hahahah... when their ship emerged from Jump Space, I placed them literally on top of a high-gravity dense Molten Giant... and the ship already was being pulled by the gravity of the planet. Had it not been for the heroic efforts of their Pilot-3, the ship could have been destroyed.

^ Haven't had my players run across a stellar cinder yet ... could be very cool (no pun intended). I do have a number of super terrans running about though, just none that are still molten; gotta add that to the list too.

With respects to molten giants, would adding a couple of planetary masses to the Earth cause the core to solidify quicker or slower than currently? Don't know much about phase changes in iron but would like to know enough to be dangerous.