Author Topic: Planets  (Read 10258 times)

Offline Elva

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Planets
« 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.
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Offline DapperAnarchist

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Re: Planets
« Reply #1 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...
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Offline Shannow

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Re: Planets
« Reply #2 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.

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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Planets
« Reply #3 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.
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Offline Elva

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Re: Planets
« Reply #4 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.
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Offline Morcus

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Re: Planets
« Reply #5 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.

Offline Elva

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Re: Planets
« Reply #6 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?
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Offline Myriad

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Re: Planets
« Reply #7 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.
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Offline Koval

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Re: Planets
« Reply #8 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 or this, with suitably hardy foliage to match, and something like this 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.

Offline DapperAnarchist

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Re: Planets
« Reply #9 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! - 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.
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Offline Koval

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Re: Planets
« Reply #10 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! - 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)

Offline Jamas Orian

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Re: Planets
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2010, 12:41:38 PM »
If I remember rightly, the larger the star, conversely the wider the habitation zone.

Offline DapperAnarchist

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Re: Planets
« Reply #12 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...
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Offline Elva

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Re: Planets
« Reply #13 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
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Offline DapperAnarchist

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Re: Planets
« Reply #14 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.
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