The Conclave

The Ordos Majoris - Hobby, Painting and Modelling => The Dark Millennium => Topic started by: Elva on August 26, 2010, 11:54:38 PM

Title: Planets
Post by: Elva on August 26, 2010, 11:54:38 PM
I've been trying to write my Inquisitor's backstory, however, I seem to hit the same problem that I've faced every time I start a new character: what was their homeworld like climate wise? I've been very keen on the ocean world, which you've probably noticed,  however its getting a bit repetitive and I'd like to mix things up. Sadly, other types of climates are giving me a hard time as well as they don't seem to interest me, a jungle or primordial swamp world would be cool, but I'm just not getting a good enough image in my head.

So i thought that maybe by starting this thread, we could all list off climate ideas for planets that seem cool(no, not just ice worlds ;)) that could be used as a resource for anyone in the same boat. It could also come in handy for GM's when planning scenarios now that I think of i t.

So far my best ideas are:

Jungle
Swamp
Ocean
City
Badlands
Ash (not necessarily volcanic)

Thanks for your input.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: DapperAnarchist on August 27, 2010, 12:07:05 AM
Well, the majority of worlds would have varied climates, much as Earth does now. Even Armageddon has jungles, sand and ash deserts, ice fields, and even a few temperate places where you can farm here and there. However, in the spirit of the great Harry Harrison...

Bare rock. Not a desert in the sand sense, just a world or large region of bare stone, perhaps with some lichen and moss clinging on. Like the rock desert of the SW United States or the Burren.

Unusual plant forms - crystal plants, "growing stones" like super-advanced versions of mortar rot, something that might be a natural plant form or could be nanotech gotten out of hand.

There is the interesting example of Tenebrae, a world which is surrounded by a massive dust cloud meaning very little light gets through. Its still warm, but life on Tenebrae never got past the "blobs that occasionly move, occasionally fall in the right direction" level. From a short story, rather good.

Extreme mountain ranges, where the total surface is mountains and valleys, no plains or anything like that. Each continent would resemble a massive fortress from orbit.

Thats about all I can think of right now...
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Shannow on August 27, 2010, 12:11:50 AM
There are also forge worlds, that though may have started as one of the above world, could feasibly be so mechanised that the surface is almost entirely metal continuos from one mega-foundry to the next and all the cities in between. That at least is how the forge world manifests in my imagination.

Rob
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: MarcoSkoll on August 27, 2010, 12:14:55 AM
Well, the majority of worlds would have varied climates, much as Earth does now. Even Armageddon has jungles, sand and ash deserts, ice fields, and even a few temperate places where you can farm here and there.
On that note, see here: http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/87.html

Worlds should have rather varied climates. In many cases, worlds in 40k seem to be treated more like countries - with one "climate norm", and one central capital that also seems to be no more than a couple of hundred miles from anywhere else of importance. And really, that's pretty silly.

Think more about "the part of the world where he/she grew up", rather than "the world in general" - which really is very unlikely to be classified by just one terrain type.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Elva on August 27, 2010, 12:20:35 AM
I love these ideas, especially the Crystal one, which is brilliant in my mind.

I guess when you think of it they would be varied in most cases, however, some planets might be smaller and different distances for different types of stars so a one climate planet shouldn't be that hard to come by, at least that's my justification.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Morcus on August 27, 2010, 01:00:09 AM
From a Scientific point of view, consider what a world with just one climate/land type would be like and how that would effect the people there?

A world without huge oceans isn't going to have much rain or water so will it need to be shipped in or perhaps created artificially? an all Water world would have huge waves as they'd be able to constantly travel getting bigger and Bigger, A world cold enough to be covered entirely in Ice would surely have no Precipitation as nothing would evaporate. Stuff like that.

A world of one type doesn't make much sense anyway as why would people live there?

I agree that you should consider region on the planet and have a varied planet as it makes most sense.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Elva on August 27, 2010, 01:12:36 AM
Ahh, good point. I just like the flavour it gives, a forest world is more memorable than a varied climate world, in general. However, that is a valid argument and I guess it would be wise to combine these ideas, rather than stick with just one. Would a dominant climate be more realistic?
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Myriad on August 27, 2010, 01:31:42 AM
I tend to assume alot of places were terraformed during the golden age.  So long as you have a dynamic atmosphere, you're going to get weather systems and varied climate.  You see this to some degree even on Mars, which is a way off supporting life.

Of course, they could easily have low / high mean temperatures, and maybe be inhabitable only in some regions.  They could also easily have some quirk of the indiginous life forms that defines the planet, such as the crystals mentioned.

The idea of a planet with very little surface water and little plant life is probably the easiest way to get a relatively uniform surface.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Koval on August 27, 2010, 07:50:59 AM
Ahh, good point. I just like the flavour it gives, a forest world is more memorable than a varied climate world, in general. However, that is a valid argument and I guess it would be wise to combine these ideas, rather than stick with just one. Would a dominant climate be more realistic?
Dominant climates are just fine, say it's within a star's habitable boundary (well, duh!), but proportionally closer or further out than Earth is.

The aforementioned forest world is valid if the planet is about the same distance to its sun as Earth is to Sol (proportionally speaking, as not all suns have the same surface temperature and luminosity as our own) or just a teensy bit further away -- that way, the far north/south regions will have this (http://www.beringia.com/climate/content/coastmountains.shtml) or this (http://www.wallpapers-box.com/nature-wallpapers/winter/winter-forest.jpg), with suitably hardy foliage to match, and something like this (http://www.amazontravel.com/images/amazonia.jpg) in the more equatorial regions. Just don't industrialise it as heavily as we have, and maybe trim the population down to about 1~2.5bn.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: DapperAnarchist on August 27, 2010, 09:14:03 AM
Dominant climates are just fine, say it's within a star's habitable boundary (well, duh!), but proportionally closer or further out than Earth is.

Read this! (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Evolving-Alien-Science-Extraterrestrial-Life/dp/0091879272) - the "Habitable Zone" theory is stuff and nonsense and absurdly limited, even for human colonisation. A 'Stable Mercury' could host human colonisation just as well as the Moon could.

Of the three worlds we know of that could host life or could have hosted life (Earth - hosts it now. Mars - probably could have once upon a time, may well have even. Venus - could do except for the atmosphere), two of them have varied climes - Earth, of course, and Mars, which goes from windswept canyon, to dusty plain, to stormy plain, to mountain ranges, to what you might call "Breathless Mountains", where the air becomes nearly absent (Olympus Mons, for example) to ice fields. Not that varied compared to Earth, its all just rock, wind, dust, and ice, but thats still varied. Venus doesn't seem to be varied, but could have been had the atmosphere not gone insane.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Koval on August 27, 2010, 09:38:12 AM
Dominant climates are just fine, say it's within a star's habitable boundary (well, duh!), but proportionally closer or further out than Earth is.

Read this! (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Evolving-Alien-Science-Extraterrestrial-Life/dp/0091879272) - the "Habitable Zone" theory is stuff and nonsense and absurdly limited, even for human colonisation. A 'Stable Mercury' could host human colonisation just as well as the Moon could.
That costs money so I'd really rather not. Nor am I necessarily saying that habitable regions are insanely narrow, but there does have to be a limit to what's sensible and what's not (I mean, you could colonise Pluto if you desperately wanted to, but it would probably be more of a sealed installation than a more Earth-like habitat)
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Jamas Orian on August 27, 2010, 12:41:38 PM
If I remember rightly, the larger the star, conversely the wider the habitation zone.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: DapperAnarchist on August 27, 2010, 01:38:51 PM
Well, in brief, part of the argument is that the very concept of habitable zone - a hollow ball surrounding a star in which water is liquid - is rubbish. Earth could well be outside that ball, but the combination of magnetosphere and atmosphere provides protection and insulation, keeping water nice and wet. A "Stable Mercury", that orbits the sun with the same face inwards all the time, would have a habitable zone just beyond the terminator. Europa has a habitable zone under the ice - at least as habitable as Landunder from Dark Heresy. It has no air, but lots of warm salty water.

Not that this has a huge amount to do with anything, but I'm very much a fan of the "xenoscience" approach rather than the "astrobiology" approach...
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Elva on August 27, 2010, 04:30:22 PM
I'm sure there are plenty of factors that determine a planet's climate and ability to support life, some we probably don't even know of yet. I think in this case, its okay to say that if you want a forest world for instance; you shouldn't spend all your time justifying the science, rather than working on the character(s) that come from it. Just give it the benefit of the doubt and only justify what is needed, Inquisitor is more about the characters anyways.

Though I must admit, this is a fun discussion to read. It really gets your brain moving  ;D
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: DapperAnarchist on August 27, 2010, 05:01:11 PM
If you want a justification of a forest world, there are a couple ways - one of which is careful use of the word "monculture" or "monobiotic" - which means that a particular plant has become so successful it is not only present in every climate, but dominant, and even manages to shape climates to suit itself.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Morcus on August 27, 2010, 06:27:49 PM
biggest problem I see with a Forrest world is Rain fall. Rain fall is determined by the amount of exposed water (I Know theres actually alot more to it than that simplification but its not really my field) so a Forrest world would need to have at least half its land surface as Oceans and large lakes in order to have the weather to support such forrests. You could maybe justify it with underground water or some other complicated explination.

On the other hand, a World where most of the land is covered in Forrest makes perfect sense. I'm under the impression that in the past most of the Earth was covered in Trees and would be were it not for people being here to remove them?

I too was under the impression that alot of planets were terraformed by people and Logically they would create a world simillar to modern Earth?
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Koval on August 27, 2010, 07:08:33 PM
biggest problem I see with a Forrest world is Rain fall. Rain fall is determined by the amount of exposed water (I Know theres actually alot more to it than that simplification but its not really my field) so a Forrest world would need to have at least half its land surface as Oceans and large lakes in order to have the weather to support such forrests. You could maybe justify it with underground water or some other complicated explination.
Or they could just be like present-day Earth, 70% of whose surface is water. Ocean worlds themselves don't happen unless they're about 90%+ made up of water.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Morcus on August 27, 2010, 07:25:44 PM
Which is written in the second paragraph of my post which you haven't quoted.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Koval on August 27, 2010, 08:13:53 PM
And you were implying two different things -- a forest world with more forest than water (which is to say, what you thought we thought we were discussing), and a more sensible forest world that would work.

Also, forest as in trees, not Forrest as in Gump.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Morcus on August 27, 2010, 08:36:01 PM
So your saying because I said that a all forest world wouldn't work but that a half forest half Ocean world would, you felt it prudent to take the first example that I said made no sense, and then put underneath, it would work if the planet had sufficient surface water, which I wrote in a Paragraph you chose to Ignor?

You quoted my first paragraph and essentially Paraphraised the second one underneath. I just don't understand your point or reasoning.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Koval on August 27, 2010, 09:06:08 PM
That's good, because to be honest it doesn't bother me.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Jamas Orian on August 28, 2010, 12:23:46 PM
http://www.latech.co.uk/inq/eritan4.pdf

^ A 'forest' world that I created for a campaign.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Flinty on August 31, 2010, 10:00:29 AM
There is also the point in the planets evolutionary history (all considerably in the past the 41st Millenium, admittedly) determining the type of ecosystem. If a planet had developed a range of plant species but had no large herbivores, trees/tall plants could evolve to dominate any/all suitable land masses. If there had been no subsiquent alien/human intervention and mammalian or reptilian evolution did not produce herbivores or any other environmentally altering species - tall plants/trees might remain the dominant species.

Bit crap and not really useful I admit. Probably easier to go with it being planted and maintained as a Forestry World.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Shannow on August 31, 2010, 01:51:42 PM
There is also the point in the planets evolutionary history (all considerably in the past the 41st Millenium, admittedly)

Perhaps worth considering that certain events such as the formation of the eye of terror may have caused the creation of relatively 'young' planets where this may be more prevalent, and I'm sure similar powerful and crazy things could also cause mini big bang moments to occur as well (dead scientific that comment, but hey I hat physics and associated stuff unless its been neatly packaged in new scientist :P )

Rob
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Flinty on September 01, 2010, 07:41:52 AM
Yep...Im with Shannow on that having leapt at the first chance I was offered to give up Physics at school - and have I ever needed to know the evapouration rate of boiling ethanol in a vacum ? No. Gin, on the other hand, frequently...

Bearing in mind we are talking about a fictional universe with fictional technology and altered fictional physics, biology and therefore presumably ecology (nevermind palentology) etc, in which things only need to be half believable to us.

Im sure you could have a planet described by the generally uneducated and unimaginative inhabitants of that universe as comprised of one dominant feature/form, ie forest or water; which, if technically assessed by the Ad Mech geologists/astrophysicists or whatever, would probably end up being called something entirely different.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Koval on September 01, 2010, 05:11:22 PM
The main reason I gave up Physics was because my Physics teacher at the time forgot to put my name on a list of people he thought were good enough to take Physics at A-Level, before adding something to the effect of "if your name is not on the list, don't take a Physics A-Level"; my at-the-time 15-year-old self promptly told him to go boil his head.

I received a grovelling apology from him in the corridor one lunchtime but it was too little, too late. Six and a half years on, I'm just scavenging what I know from my mates down the pub (who were actually encouraged to study Physics on a more formal level, but that's not so much the point as you don't really need any qualifications in something to know a few things about it).
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Acolyte Havlan Tome on September 01, 2010, 05:30:47 PM
Surely forge worlds have a lot of water on them because all the fumes given off will result in a lot of rainfall won't it???
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Shannow on September 01, 2010, 06:13:35 PM
Dependent on the nature of the fumes I would think as well as the proximity to its sun. I would also think that the tech priests, being the clever (if somewhat rude) chaps they are, would probably devise a clever method of venting the gas into turbines and then returning the cooled condensed water to storage tanks for re-use. Just a though anyway, but I agree being a forge world does not instantly make it dry/arid/void/mettalic etc.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Morcus on September 01, 2010, 07:30:11 PM
It would depend on the atmosphere of the Forge world as well, and the mass of the fumes, and the size of the planet so you could argue it either way.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Koval on September 01, 2010, 07:52:15 PM
Fluff example of a non-dirty forge world: Celare Artem
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Elva on September 02, 2010, 02:10:37 AM
One sci-fi RPG that did a good job of justifying itself was Blue Planet. It takes place on an ocean world that is further from its sun than earth, yet has a tropical climate. This was because it was actively volcanic, leading to the growth of many small islands, which heated the planet and contributed to a "greenhouse effect" that kept it warm. One thing I learned from that series(apart from what my gaming life was missing with out it ;D) was that you can take almost any fantastical idea in your head, and with a little thought and effort, maybe even some research, you can justify it scientifically.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: GAZKUL on September 08, 2010, 04:51:56 PM
seas of raw alcohol
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Koval on September 09, 2010, 08:04:34 AM
seas of raw alcohol
Don't be silly, there'd be so many fumes in the air that the planet would Exterminatus itself when the first volcano ever erupts.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: phil-o-mat on September 09, 2010, 08:09:45 AM
the impact of the first meteor would do that too...
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Shannow on September 09, 2010, 08:59:28 AM
To be fair both meteor strikes and volcanoes igniting seas of alcohol presupposes that they have active thermal cores and an atmosphere that will combust a meteor as it approaches orbit. I think the possibility is there it is just one that ha to be very well thought out before presentation, rather than just 'seas of raw alcohol'
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: DapperAnarchist on September 09, 2010, 09:55:14 AM
The Engines of God features a planet with seas of raw alcohol and extensive electrical storms at one point - there's no free oxygen in the atmosphere, so no fire, but if a single leak were to be created in the main characters' "flying box", it could cause and explosion... Though that turns out to be nowhere near the most dangerous thing they encounter there.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Alta on September 09, 2010, 01:51:46 PM
Seas of Alcohol could work in a planet with no atmosphere or is volcanically inactive...
Or maybe it could be a huge ork experiment to convert all water on a planet into alcohol...

I don't think it was serious though. This comment is coming from a guy who, when GMing a fantasy game, made boomerang cannonballs and made all crossbows fire marmalade...
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: N01H3r3 on September 09, 2010, 02:33:07 PM
Seas of Alcohol could work in a planet with no atmosphere or is volcanically inactive...
A planet with no atmosphere wouldn't have seas of alcohol - the nonexistent atmosphere means that the ambient pressure is extremely low, which means that the alcohol vaporises at an extremely low temperature... so the seas would simply evaporate, even if it could form in the first place.

Alcohol vaporises more readily than water, so on a world with ethanol seas, the atmosphere would contain a noticable amount of ethanol vapour, much as our atmosphere contains water vapour, and it'd ideally have a heavier atmosphere or be generally colder in order to keep as much of it liquid as possible.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: MarcoSkoll on September 09, 2010, 02:43:49 PM
This comment is coming from a guy who, when GMing a fantasy game, made boomerang cannonballs and made all crossbows fire marmalade...
Actually, the cannonball thing is possible.

I wrote a ballistics program a while back, which allows me to simulate pretty much any trajectory I like. Here's what happens if you increase the backspin on a spherical projectile (actually a golfball, but the same holds true for other spherical projectiles) - One (http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb122/RagnarokEOTW/Lift1500.jpg), Two (http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb122/RagnarokEOTW/Lift2500.jpg) and Three (http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb122/RagnarokEOTW/Lift3000.jpg).
The initial angle for all of those "tests" was 0 degrees - parallel to the ground. The lift comes only from the backspin involved.

If you keep increasing the spin rate, it would be possible to get the projectile to land on the head of the person who fired it. Voilą - boomerang cannonballs.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: GAZKUL on September 09, 2010, 05:12:01 PM
surely in a game like inquisitor you can create anything you want and who sais it has to be serious.

Title: Re: Planets
Post by: DapperAnarchist on September 09, 2010, 05:22:48 PM
We tend towards a "fictional plausability" idea - not that it has to match to physics/chemistry/biology, but that it has to match to how we feel physics/chemistry/biology works. Everyone knows that Alcohol burns, so that doesn't work. However, an ocean of, say, some corrosive acid makes just as little sense, as it would presumably turn to salts. But that fits a feel, at least for me - blame Alien and their Molecular Acid. If you want to have something that makes no sense whatsoever - A W(arp)izard Did It. But that shouldn't be overused or it becomes boring.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: GAZKUL on September 09, 2010, 05:44:57 PM
But that shouldn't be overused or it becomes boring.

what and having only realistic planets dousn't?
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: N01H3r3 on September 09, 2010, 06:12:43 PM
But that shouldn't be overused or it becomes boring.

what and having only realistic planets dousn't?
Everything in moderation.

Beyond that... if you're going to do wierd and impossible, then why limit yourself to minor incongruities? Wierdness and impossibility should serve a purpose beyond being permissive of laziness or gimmickry - a world with seas of booze is vaguely plausible given the right conditions, and to ignore those conditions seems lazy, IMO... a world haunted by the ghosts of a dead civilisation, orbiting a foul and tainted star contains the seeds of a story...
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: DapperAnarchist on September 09, 2010, 11:01:24 PM
There are examples beyond counting that being entirely 'realistic' is not boring - every thriller and many war or spy stories are realistic. And I totally agree with N01H3r3 - a setting should be subject to the same sort of creative rules as a character. A character that sudden goes from being an Imperial Confessor to a Genestealer Cultist would be bad - unless there is an explanation. The setting should have explanations as well.

Note that my description of what makes a good setting doesn't mean realistic, though. Floating Islands supported by naturally occurring magnetic fields are not realistic, but we feel like they could happen, because, in highly artificial circumstances, magnets do make things float. So its ok.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Ynek on September 10, 2010, 02:53:19 AM
When it comes to planets, I've got a template quite similar to the 'twenty questions' that I've seen floating around on here.

I can't remember where I've buried it, but I'll have a loot round my hard-drive and see what I can grab. (In other words, trawling through almost 2TB of my nonsensical ramblings of ideas for short stories, random notes, most of which are just called 'new document 1" etc.)

The questions were things like:
How many suns does the planet have?
(More than half of the suns in the real universe exist as binary stars, and many exist as tertiary or even quarternary stars. Our closest neighbouring stars are tertiary stars - Alpha Centauri Alpha, Beta and Proxima.... For instance.)

What type of star does the planet orbit?
Boring old middle aged 'yellow, earthlike sun?' Or something more outlandish, such as a brown dwarf (a small orb of hydrogen which lacked the gravity and impetus to ignite to become a sun. In essence, just a drifting ball of unignited star-fuel.) Or even a violently young star, which produces a lot of dangerous radiation.

How does the star affect the planet?
The aforementioned young star would create very little along the lines of metal atoms. For some reason, young stars create metal-deficient planet systems, assuming that the star is old enough to produce planets. In most cases, the star is born, then the planets form from the leftover crap that's floating around. But I digress. An older star would probably create planets which are richer in heavy elements, such as Uranium. A planet which is very close to it's sun would be extremely hot, and would have things like water as an atmospheric gas rather than as oceans.

How large is the planet?
As a rule of thumb, the bigger and denser the planet is, the stronger the gravity will be. Additionally, a planet of Earth-like size or larger is likely to be geothermically active. Planets of mars-like size are likely to burn themselves out very quickly, as they don't have sufficient mass to hold in the geothermal heat. They also lack the mass to hold on to an atmosphere, so most often, small, rocky worlds tend to become cold, barren deserts.

Does the planet have any moons?
Most moons that we have thus far discovered are the remains of planetary debris clouds which have mish-mashed together around the planet. Bearing that in mind, the planet's moons are quite likely to be composed of similar matter to the planet itself. However, this is more of a guideline than a rule. Jupiter's moons, for instance, are generally quite rocky, whilst Jupiter itself is mostly made of gas.

What is the planet's climate like?
Does the planet have seasons? Is the weather ever-changing, like it is on earth? Or is it perpetually icy? Is there a toxic substance such as Benzene oceans on the planet's surface which evaporates in the summer, making it dangerous to breathe outside, but condenses again in the winter, making it safe to take off the gas-mask? (Just to give an example of something seasonal which isn't just hot versus cold. It could also be life versus death.)

Does the planet have an atmosphere?
Planets atmospheres are very significant. Look at the difference between Earth and Venus. Earth's atmosphere is relatively quite thin, but Venus's atmosphere is so dense that meteors landing on the surface of Venus don't even leave craters. By the time the meteor reaches the surface, it just places itself down gently. It takes several hours for something to fall through the thick, soupy atmosphere of Venus, which is also so thick that it would be impossible to be able to walk on the surface of the planet. (Your legs don't have the strength to move the atmosphere out of the way.) Additionally, is the atmosphere breatheable. When we look at Venus again, we can see that the atmosphere is certainly nowhere near breatheable. One breath of Venus's atmosphere would kill a human outright by melting the alveoli in the lungs.

Does the planet have any native lifeforms?
Consider the planet's atmosphere, composition etc. when considering this. On one of my planets, which was a metal-deficient planet orbiting a violent young star, I created a lifeform called an 'acidworm,' which was a largely vegetative lifeform which, since there is so little metal on the planet, is capable of using any metal it finds as a blood ligand. For instance, humans use iron in our blood as the ligand for haemoglobin. Ancient creatures, such as some arthropods and horseshoe crabs, use copper. Acidworms just use whatever they can find. Acidworms are also so-named because they can secrete a powerful sulphuric acid which dissolves metallic materials, and through substitution reactions, frees metal ions from metal-containing ionic compounds. These metals are then taken in by the acidworm. Acidworms also have a leaf-like hind-end. When they discover a metal source, they stand on their faces and project their leaf-end into the air, which allows them to photosynthesise using the powerful rays of their violent young star. Additionally, acidworm's colours tend to change with whatever metallic ligand they are using. Metals such as iron and lithium turn them a shade of dirty crimson, whilst metals like copper turn them blue. Their tail-leaves, however, are always pitch-black, to allow them to absorb every last scrap of light that hits them. Acidworms are something of a common pest in the Levitus subsector, where they attach themselves to metallic structures like barnacles, slowly eating through the metal. However, in other areas of the Imperium, they are actively sought after as exotic pets, since Imperial dignitaries like to be able to show off a tank full of brightly-coloured alien worms, in much the same way that someone might show off a tank of brightly coloured exotic fish..... But enough about my alien worms...

What are the planet's primary exports/industry?
Assuming that humans have landed on the planet, it's got to have something worth exporting. If the planet orbits an old star, it's likely that the heavy metallic elements in the planet's composition are likely to be of value. If the planet has hydrocarbon oceans, or hydrocarbon ice, this is likely to be very valuable to the Imperium. However, bear in mind that hydrocarbons tend to be produced as a by-product of life, so are unlikely to be found on a planet which has never harboured life.

What are the planet's people like?
Consider the gravity (tall and thin versus short and squat), the atmosphere (constantly coughing / uncomfortable in a thinner atmosphere such as that on Starships?), the industry (manual labourers? miners?) or lack of (lazy bums?). How much control does the law have?

What is the planet's political situation and history?
How much does the history affect the planet's current existence? Are there proud nations of former-slaves surrounding a single, resentful nation of former slave-owners? Does the planet have a king who is descended from a long line of tyrannical monarchs? Is the planet communistic, democratic, or is it ruled by another authority such as the Ecclesiarchy or Mechanicus?

That's all I can remember at the moment... I'll come back and say more if my memory improves.... Or if I find that file.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Alta on September 10, 2010, 08:10:09 AM

You may be thinking of the Dark Heresy Planet Generator.
I think this is it: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=3mqlpelx
...
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: N01H3r3 on September 10, 2010, 09:47:09 AM

You may be thinking of the Dark Heresy Planet Generator.
I think this is it: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=3mqlpelx
...

There's also a star system generator in the Rogue Trader GM's Kit booklet. Fairly rudimentary, but useful. If you want something a little more detailed, any edition of Traveller (including the latest one, produced by Mongoose Publishing) contains a world generator as well.
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Myriad on September 10, 2010, 10:33:18 AM
Or you could, I guess, buy the first cheap sci-fi you see, read it, and base the world off that  :).
Title: Re: Planets
Post by: Alta on September 10, 2010, 04:53:20 PM

The starship generator can be reached from this page:
http://www.joachim-adomeit.de/wh40k/
also on that page is an interactive 40k starmap...