11 Quick Planets To Spice Up Your Campaign
A tiny planetoid of carbon and iron-rich ice deposits perched at the far end of its system, Prettantha is considered useless and pointless by the local system government. Currently, the military uses it as a weapons testing ground and a “wilderness” for vacuum-suit survival training courses. Signal buoys placed in orbit warn passing ships to give the planet a wide berth in order to avoid accidental damage from live fire exercises.
Aekhara is a small (.5 Jupiters) and ringless gas giant. Cold and dense, Aekhara is composed almost entirely of crystalline ammonia, liquid hydrogen and a variety of sulfates. It is home to a single small orbital facility, a family-run outpost that offers simple services to ships passing through the system, including food, drink and fuel.
Eisenherz is a roughly earth-sized planetoid with temperatures and an atmosphere composition very similar to Earth’s own. Proximity to a local gas giant skews its orbital path at irregular intervals, giving the planet extreme weather patterns (such as planet-wide hurricanes, storms of basketball-sized hailstones, etc.) that have often proven to be dangerous and highly destructive to the planet’s sparse population of colonists.
Earth-like, but with less water and more deserts, Tarsis 12 still features a flourishing ecosystem of higher-order plant life and more forms of bacteria than almost anywhere else in the galaxy. An unusual chemical makeup in the atmosphere combined with its distance from its star has resulted in the evolution of a host of prevalent microbes and bacteria that give the sky a distinctively purplish hue. Tarsis 12 is also home to a small frontier colony of militant folk who refuse to leave– even though their planet is in disputed territory.
Once a lush paradise of perfect weather and perfect temperatures made even more perfect by weather controlling satellite facilities, the former resort-world of Katharga was quickly overrun by colonists and has since turned into a singular mass of urban sprawl that spans every continent and even reaches out into the sea. Now, bare land is a commodity, and plants are so rare that children often think that they only grow on other worlds.
Fury 416 (F416)
The surface of Fury 416 is a bizarre and twisted wasteland of dark ashes and silicate-rich magma that cools at night to create valleys and spires of dark glass. Once home to a mining operation, F416 was quickly declared too dangerous and unstable for the piddling amount of resources that were being extracted from its core, and the operation was shut down. Not wanting to lose out on their investment, the facility was later retrofitted for use as a maximum security prison, until it too went under following a ruling that declared the living conditions as too harsh. Now, decades later, the huge complex sits empty and forgotten. . . or has it?
A small, dark and frozen chunk of rock about a third the size of Earth that was ripped away from a scorchingly close orbit of its star eons ago and flung into deep space. From the outside, it appears unremarkable, just another errant planetoid rocketing through the void with little or no detectable resources of any value, but scans from a passing probe indicate that the entire interior is honeycombed with a bizarre network of tubes and tunnels– some of them too smooth and too complex to be natural. Are they the ruins of an alien civilization? A secret outpost for darker operations or a hideout for bandits? No one knows for sure.
An unassuming little terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, few resources and very little else of interest on its mostly dry and barren surface, Rhytarn was considered for colonization by a handful of organizations who all ultimately passed it up in favor of other, more habitable planets in nearby systems of the same star cluster. Only an incomplete survey map is on file for Rhytarn at the department of colonization, but scans taken by unmanned probe indicate only one feature that could, at best, be flagged as a scientific curiosity– a ridge uniformly 1.9 kilometers in height that rings the entire planet at approximately a 19 degree angle from the axis of the planet. As yet, no one has signed up to investigate this unusual terrestrial feature, and the files surrounding the planet are rapidly slipping away into obscurity.
An extremely rare, if not unique formation unlike anything seen by survey units in our galaxy, Haldeman appears to have originally been two unique and wholly different planets, twin worlds that orbited one another (much like out own Pluto and Charon do) at tremendous speed, until they came too close at some point during their formative stages and “merged”. The result, eons later, is an oddly-spinning and very geologically active double world that spins through its system like a bolas, barely holding onto its intermittent atmosphere.
Starcharts label this world as habitable, inhabited by basic forms of life (nothing higher than plants and small insects,) with moderate weather and high levels of what could be a motherlode of precious metals and other lucrative resources. Yet this world is hardly known, easily passed over, and never discussed when new worlds are brought to the table for colonization. Why? No one outside the highest levels of government knows for sure. . .
Very little is known about this rimward planet (hence the name) and what is known only deepens the mystery of what secrets its wild and unstable atmosphere might be hiding. Massive purple and silver clouds made primarily of a low-temperature plasma with vicious electromagnetic properties hide the planet’s surface from both sight and sensors, while winds in excess of 380 kilometers per hour coupled with the seemingly random pockets of crushing gravity that form throughout the atmosphere keep even the bravest of researchers and scientists at bay. Even ships as close as a high orbit have been known to disappear or be struck by plasma discharges cast off from the planet that melt through hull and shields alike, and the one research expedition daring enough to plunge headlong into the clouds of Enigma was never heard from again. Their last transmission:
Oh god, it’s beautiful. Are you getting this, Marie? That tower, it’s. . . oh no.
- - -
Other RPG resources usable in your adventure or campaign: