Campaign Notes, Alternative World Design

Step One: World Classification Table

01-08%: Earth-Like Environment
09-16%: High Gravity
17-24%: Low-gravity
25-32%: High Radiation
33-40%: Frozen World
41-48%: Toxic Atmosphere
49-56%: Vegetation World
57-64%: Thermo World
65-71%: Twilight World
72-79%: Aquatic World
80-86%: Abrasive Atmosphere
87-93%: Roll twice and combine the results. Re-roll or discard
incompatible results.
94-00%: Roll three times and combine the results. Re-roll
or discard incompatible results.

Step Two : Dominant Environmental Feature Tables (A & B)

A) Ground Terrain Table
01-05% : Covered with the shattered ruins of a lost civiliza­tion. Could be the ruins of once modern cities or primi­tive, ancient ruins for humanoids or completely alien life. No sign this race has survived.
06-10%: 70 + 5d6% of the planet is covered by water; sprawling , deep oceans and few islands of land.
11-15%: lcescape. 50% + 4d6% of the land is covered in snow and ice even in the spring and summer. However, there are some areas of tundra (grassy plains and low trees) , and even some areas of forest and grasslands. Winters are long, cold and hard with heavy snowfall.
16-20%: Arid, dry, and flat, but not a desert. Much of the land is stony , with sparse vegetation ,cactus and scrub, but also patches of grasslands or tundra . No mountains or hills, few bodies of surface water, but may have a vast network of underground rivers and springs (or not).
21-30%: Parched earth. Effectively an endless dust bowl. The once moist earth has become dry as stone, cracked and split. In some places, large ravines have opened up. There is little or no water even under­ ground, and no surface vegetation. Fossil evidence shows this planet was once very Earth-like. The planet’s ecological misfortune may have been natural or man-made (stripped by interstellar miners, war or pollution , in which case evidence of a lost civilization may also be apparent as buried ruins, artifacts and fos­sils). This planet has been dead a very long time.
31-35%: Thick vegetation ; large flowering plants, fruit bushes, shrubs, bamboo, and tall grasses, but few trees.
36-40%: Vast forest (tall trees and heavy underbrush); cool, warm or temperate.
41-45%: Rain forest/jungle; hot and steamy environment.
46-50%: Large lakes and/or marshlands .
51-55%: Mountainous and rocky; can be Earth-like and al­ pine in nature or gigantic in scope with peaks and sum­mits towering miles into the heavens.
56-60%: Smooth rock, stone or clay hills; minimal if any vegetation.
61-65%: Rolling hills; mostly grasslands, prairies and meadows. Few trees, mostly grasses, vines, bushes and shrubs.
66-70%: Rocky, jutting buttes (which are as wonderfully alien amid a thick forest as they are deserts and prai­ries).
71-75%: Barren plains and desert (can be sand or rugged rock; little or no vegetation).
76-80%: Rubble strewn; could be a natural phenomenon , the shattered remains of a lost civilization, or re­fuse/garbage dumped on the planet (yes, you’ve landed on “garbage world”).
81-90%: Scarred planet. Over the ages, this planet has suffered intense geological activity that has left it scarred by tall mountains, tall hills, deep ravines, crev­ices, expansive canyons, high plateaus and open cracks. If war torn or a thin atmosphere , the planet may also be peppered with thousands of craters ranging in size from as small as a house to as large as an entire city or lake.
91-93%: Roll twice (re-roll or discard incompatible or un­ desirable results). One part of the
world has one envi­ronment, another location something different (i.e. forest and desert) .
94-96%: Roll three times (re-roll or discard incompatible or undesirable results).
97-00%: Roll 1d4 + 3 times for a large range of diverse ter­rain around this planet.

B) Atmospheric Conditions Table Note:The exact composition of the air,and whether or
not it is breathable for a given race,is left to the G.M.

01-10%: Surprisingly Earth-like in every way, complete with typical weather and changing seasons.
11-20%: Mostly sunny, with clear, crisp, clean air and crystal clear water.
21-30%: Constant mist or fog; the sun shines only 25% of the year, but when it does the sky is filled with rainbows and sunsets glow in an array of spectacular colors.
31-40%: Perpetually overcast and cloudy . Not as dark as a Twilight World, but definitely gloomy and grey with cloud filled skies.
41-45%: Thin atmosphere, but moderate weather and seasons. Visitors used to a thicker atmosphere will be­ come easily winded and fatigued (may suffer high alti­tude sickness if the G.M. wants to go that route). Penalties: Reduce speed , P.S. and P.E. attributes by
20% and the character becomes exhausted/fatigued twice as fast as normal. It takes 1d4 + 1 weeks to be­come completely acclimated to this atmosphere , elimi­nating the penalties. The use of breathable air supplements {i.e. oxygen for humans) and artificial air circulation systems in spacesuits and environmental ar­mor will circumvent these penalties, but the character has no chance to acclimate himself to the environment and will succumb to the penalties should he lose his supplementary support system
46-50%: Heavy smog, soot and dirty air; can be pollution from industry , volcanic activity, or dust storm. Grime, dust and particles irritate the eyes, inflame the sinuses, and collect on clothes and under fingernails in a matter of 12 hours.
51-55% : Extreme temperatures This may occur with the transi!1on of night to day {drops below freezing at night and rises to above 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day), be seasonal (blistering hot summers and bone chilling winters) , or as the strange effect of a storm (the storm itself may be rain, lightning or just wind; violent or moderate)
56-60%: Rains half the time year round, with a four month rainy season where the rain never stops. Goes from a constant drizzle to light rain, to the occasional down­ pour.
61-65%:Constant dnv1ng rainstorms and high tides. The ram stops for fewer than 506 days a year and seldom tor more than 24 hours at a time
66-70%:Storm planet! Frequently bombarded by turbulent storms year round, including thunder and lighting storms, monsoons, hail, ice, snow, tomados and hurri­ canes (the latter only if there are oceans and seas). If the planet is a desert or parched, the majority of the storms lack precipitation. Although rain does occasion­ ally fall, most storms come in the form of lightning (with­ out rain), long-lasting wind storms and short-lived, smaller dust storms. Only 306 days of calm weather.
71-75%: Sulfuric and mildly toxic or polluted atmosphere with acid rain and grey snow instead of normal rain­ storms and snowfall. May be the result of industrial pol­lution, global war, volcanoes or other natural phenomena. Irritates the eyes, throat and other mucous
membranes.
76-80%: Wind swept. The planet is constantly swept by strong winds of 20-40 mph (32 to 64 km), with wind and rain storms ranging from 50 to 100 mph (80-160 km). May also have tornado and/or hurricane seasons.
81-85%: Generally clear and calm with mild seasons , few storms, and light rain
86-90%: Turbulent upper atmosphere makes high-flying and entry to the planet difficult and inflicts a – 30% pen­alty to the Piloting skill.
91-95%: Roll twice on this table. The first result is during the day and second is at night!
96-00% : Roll twice on this table {re-roll or discard incom­patible or undesirable results).

Step Three:
Technological Level Table
01-07%: Little or no technology! At least as we humans understand it. This may be by choice, or because there is no native people or civilization , or because the civili­zation has advanced without technology {may use magic, psionics, spiritualism, etc.).
08-14%:Stone Age (Cavemen).
15-21%: Bronze Age (Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece).
22-28%: Iron Age (Ancient Rome).
29-35%: Agrarian Age – Medieval Europe. The main in­dustry is farming and raising livestock. Life is hard, technology low.
36-42%: Renaissance Age . Black powder weapons , printing press, sailing ships, and low-technology (but no steam or combustion engines).
43-49% : Industrial Age . Steam and combustion engine technology , reasonably advanced wooden and stone buildings; make bricks and use concrete and iron gird­ers. Good understanding of metallurgy, engineering and manufacturing . Can make iron and metal alloys, but most machines and vehicles are slow, large, bulky and fairly low-tech with plenty of rivets and large bolts on nearly everything. Only the fundamentals of elec­tronics and modern medicine are known. No genetic engineering, advanced medicine, micronizat1on, com­puters, video recording, CDs, or atomic energy (e.g all pre-Earth World War II technology) .
50-56%:Atomic Age. An industrial giant, equal to Earth’s mid to late 20th Century. Understands and uses nu­clear energy, has made good strides in medicine, micronization, and basic communications,robotics, and computer technology .
57-63%: Information Age . Advanced electronics, mirconization, robotics, powerful computers and varied communication networks pervade everyday life. Begin­ ning to unlock the secrets of advanced artificial intelli­gence, robotics, nanotechnology , genetic engineering , and may, or may not, have a modest, crude space pro­ gram in place – satellites, simple space stations, rock­ets and the most rudimentary space travel capabilities (like Earth’s NASA).
64-70%: Metropolis Age. Sprawling cities, advanced technology ranging from weapons to medicine to trans­portation. May or may not have any space travel capa­bilities
71-77%: Megalopolis Age. Advanced cities with arcolog1es , superconductor-driven transportation. Cybernetics and robotics. May or may not have space travel capabilities.
78-85%: “True” Space Age. Advanced cities and tech­nology with a strong space program and the
ability to travel throughout their own solar system and the fringes of the neighboring ones.
86-92%: Star Age. Interstellar travel; frequently travel to neighboring star systems and look
toward greater ad­vancements . Basic to good understanding and growing use of warp and gateway
systems.
93-99%:Galaxy Age. Advanced technology , communica­tions, medicine, genetic engineering and space program Can travel to the farthest reaches of the galaxy and a little beyond. Wide use of Gateway technology , warps systems and the use of Black Holes and dimen­sional jumps.
00%:Universal Age .Advanced science and technology. Intergalactic travel is commonplace . Regularly travels beyond the Milky Way to other galaxies and even ex­plores alien dimensions. Expert use of gateway tech­nology, warp systems , Black Holes, dimensional jumps and possibly other (alien or little known} ways of space travel.
Note: The Universal Age technology is Ultra-rare, and not even confirmed to exist. It is a
theoretical likelihood, but none of the civilizations known to exist in the Milky Way have reached that level. Most space faring people in the Milky Way range from the True Space Age to Star Age, with a small percentage on the Galaxy Age level.

Step Four: Architecture Appearance Table
Note: Not necessarily indicative of the culture’s tech-level,just its appearance .
01—05% Primitive, Stone Age or Bronze Age. This may be the case because the people are primitive and lack technology , or because they have forsaken or lost their technology (perhaps because of a war or plague acci­dentally engineered in the lab, or natural disaster that has devastated the civilization, etc.), or because they rely on magic, psionics, spiritualism , a supernatural being(s) or some other reason that has prevented them from developing science and technology , or has led them in a different direction.
06-15%: Heavy industrial. Lots of metal. concrete, and rivets. May have a bulky, art deco or
Bauhaus appear­ ance.
16-20%: Imposing religious. Many large temples and church complexes like the ancient cities of the Maya, Inca, and Egyptians on Earth. The cover of Rifts Atlantis™ is a good example of this.
21-30%: Sweeping alien. Smooth and graceful, with tall, thin buildings and towers, elegant bridges. globes and graceful curves; may have an organic look and feel, or a blend of tech and organic.
3140%: Techno alien. Dark and creepy by human stan­ dards, perhaps stark and menacing, or strange and frightening with demonic or monstrous images and mo­ tifs, spikes, spines. hard edges. big guns, big en­ trances, big machines, towering statues, tubes , bulbs, odd designs. eerie lighting, dark colors, alien ornamen­ tation, etc.
41-50%: High-tech (human or alien). May look like an advanced Earth, or a sleek, ultra-modem
super-city or megalopolis with tall, sleek buildings, monorails in glass tubes , robot servants/assistants, projected holographic billboards, advanced communication networks at one’s fingertips and so on.
51-55%: Paradise tech. A wondrous melding of technol­ ogy and nature. Sprawling parks, gardens and forested nature preserves are intermingled with tech cities that use pollution free power systems, ecologically friendly industry and modes of transportation, as well as fea­ tures of nature such as waterfalls , ponds, gardens, stone, natural formations and design elements in their architecture.
The people may simply respect, love and appreciate nature, striving for ecological balance and preservation of their world, or may be very spiritual, psychic (feeling a tangible link to their world) or rely on magic rather than industry and manufacturing .
56-60% Hidden/Underground .The surface of the planet seems uninhabited or barely touched, perhaps with only the occasional farming district, space port and small city or resort town. That’s because the true heart of the civilization is located underground or underwater.
61-65%: Medieval. Huge, stone castle-like buildings,tow­ ers, bridges, walls, aqueducts , stone or concrete lined streets, and heavy castle-like fortifications. The overall appearance may even include body armor and robots that resemble knights in shining armor, and renais­ sance styling, dress and artwork. Can be bold and beautiful, heavy and fort-like , or creepy or glorious high-fantasy.
66-70%: Art Nouveau: This architectural style is very or­ nate and flowery , with tall or long elegant structures molded with twisting and interlocking designs and cov­ ered in frilly artwork.
Everything has a light, airy feel, fences and bridges are thin and wiry, while buildings are capped by spires and ornate domes.
71-75%: Gothic . Flying buttresses, ribbing, spikes, spines. peaked roofs, ledges, stained glass windows, gargoyles, and brooding designs .
76-80% Glass. The tall buildings, spires, and bridges ap­pear to be made from sparkling glass (actually plastics and alloys), chrome and gleaming metal. White and pastel colors along with warm earth tones (particularly gold, bronze, copper, silver, etc.) give these cities a bright and cheerful aura. The overall architecture has a certain fanciful elegance and grace to it, but also con­ veys a sense of refined culture, confidence and strength for daring to build a city that seems so fragile. However, any perception of fragile beauty or weakness from elegance is false . Most so-called “glass” cities are usually as sturdy, durable and capable as any of the others listed here. It’s all a mater of attitude and per­ception.
81-85%: Sprawling high-tech. The architecture is clearly that of an advanced culture, but rather than a bustling, cramped megalopolis or New York style city made of towering skyscrapers and heavy industry, they have opted for a low profile city. One where even industrial buildings are seldom tatter than three or four stories and the sky is open and unobstructed. Such places may look very modern with glittering chrome and metal buildings, plastic domes, glass tubes, and sleek rail systems or flying hovercraft. The streets are smooth and winding, shopping and entertainment zones pro­ vide for every conceivable need, and buildings are de­signed to look pleasingly homey, inviting and pretty (“cute” even). Every home and business has a well manicured lawn and flower gardens, and parks and playing fields are found in every neighborhood. In short, super-suburbia that imperceptibly flows from one subur­ ban town or city into another, broken only by the occa­ sional big city, air or space port, industrial complex, farm region, parkland, nature preserve or natural forma­ tion (lake, mountain, etc.).
86-90%: Agrarian, concealed tech. Buildings and society appear to be primitive and simple. At first glance, all one notices are sprawling fields of crops, cattle, flowers and trees with only the occasional airfield or me­ dium-sized city. Upon closer inspection , one realizes that half the farmers are androids and that advanced hydroponics, irrigation, pest control, genetic engineer­ ing, food processing and botany are all at work here. Likewise, all the modern conveniences like television, computers, travel, entertainment and other amenities, as well as advanced sciences, are available to its citi­ zens.The people just like a simpler, peaceful, low-tech environment and have opted for a “farm and/or village” look rather than industrial or megalopolis. Large ma­ chines, manufacturing, and transportation systems (perhaps even some of the housing) are cleverly con­ cealed underground, in the sides of hills and moun­tains, and/or underwater ; in some cases, off-world on one or more moons, space stations or neighboring planets. Sometimes magic and spiritual based societies opt for a more simple or back to nature look and feel. Note: Concealed tech can be applied to cultures and architecture other than agrarian; for example, the full extent of a modern high-tech city, paradise or alien civi­lization’s military, space travel capabilities and even half its population could be concealed underground, un­ derwater , or hidden by clever architectural designs.
91-95%: Megalithic retro-techno. This is an interesting, but often ugly and dismal architectural style that blends the big, blocky, medieval style with advanced technol­ogy. Buildings are huge, cold stone, concrete and metal edifices with few windows or delicate touches. They may include skyscrapers that resemble polished mono­ liths and/or low profile buildings that look more like bunkers than homes and businesses. Polished black, dark grey, dark blue, black marble, steel and chrome are the most popular color schemes with red, blue, brown and gold accents and trim. Everything is hard edged, big, dark and blocky. And did we mention big? While there may be some stretches of land put aside as nature preserves and parklands, there are rarely any parks, trees or even outdoor potted plants. Everything is stone, marble, concrete and metal (plastic and ce­ ramics too, only they are made to look like stone and metal). Industrial complexes often look like massive cit­ ies in and of themselves. Some are surprisingly non-polluting , but others belch smoke, fire and fumes that makes one wonder if they have not stepped into one of the planes of Hell. Note: Megalithic cities are usually (but not always) built by cultures with a rigid, militaristic social structure or class system and strict ad­ herence to laws, customs and stern morals.
96—00%: Mixture of two of the above. For example, gothic and art nouveau, or modern stone temples side by side with sweeping alien structures , or megalithic retro-tech for cities with sprawling high-tech suburbia or paradise tech, and so on.

Campaign Notes, Alternative World Design

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