Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-25-2015, 09:12 PM   #1
Kilmore
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Space: Desert Planets

GURPS Space doesn't really seem to allow for desert planets as rolled up "by the rules". The planetary generation system was written according to cutting edge science when it was written in the mid-200x's, but science marches on.

Here's a reference ( http://arxiv.org/abs/1304.3714v3 ) that I admit I didn't read all that much because I'm not a scientist, but what I got out of it is that we can have our Tattoines and Arakkises!

My question is, should we still call these Whatever-size (Greenhouse), or do they get a new (Desert) tag?
Kilmore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2015, 09:21 PM   #2
Phantasm
 
Phantasm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: On the road again...
Default Re: Space: Desert Planets

I rolled up a few "hot garden" planets when I was working on my own space opera setting, one of which I jokingly named Tatooine as it was in a binary system (the geek shall inherit the stars, after all). I think calling a planet that could nominally be called a Garden planet with a "Hot" Climate (a high blackbody temp and an average surface temperature at the high end of the human survival range) can pretty much be called a "Desert" planet without too many problems.
__________________
"Life ... is an Oreo cookie." - J'onn J-onzz, 1991

"But mom, I don't wanna go back in the dungeon!"

The GURPS Marvel Universe Reboot Project A-M and N-Z, and its not-a-wiki-really web adaptation.
Ranoc, a Muskets-and-Magery Renaissance Fantasy Setting
Phantasm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2015, 10:37 PM   #3
scc
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Re: Space: Desert Planets

A planet being on the inner edge of the life zone isn't going to make it a desert planet, it's going to make it a hot one. In fact this is likely to lead to more super storms which means more rain, leading to less deserts then normal
scc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2015, 02:32 AM   #4
Mailanka
 
Mailanka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Default Re: Space: Desert Planets

Here's my take on Desert planets.

You have to make some concessions in GURPS space to have a breathable atmosphere, presuming that's what you want.
__________________
My Blog: Mailanka's Musing. Currently Playing: Psi-Wars, a step-by-step exploration of building your own Space Opera setting, inspired by Star Wars.
If you want to support me, check out my Patreon!
Mailanka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2015, 03:01 AM   #5
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Space: Desert Planets

The problem with desert planets is mostly that the only means we know of for creating or sustaining a breathable atmosphere involves quite substantial amounts of water. Other than that, dry planets are perfectly possible, though they'd probably resemble Mars more than Arrakis.
__________________
My GURPS site and Blog.
Anthony is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2015, 03:30 AM   #6
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: Space: Desert Planets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post
Here's my take on Desert planets.

You have to make some concessions in GURPS space to have a breathable atmosphere, presuming that's what you want.
You overlooked the way to get a natural garden-world's hydrosphere lower than 45%. Tide lock it.
David Johnston2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2015, 03:41 AM   #7
Mailanka
 
Mailanka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Default Re: Space: Desert Planets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos View Post
I suggest adding a brief mention of Barsoom and of Mars as in Stanley Weinbaum's A Martian Odyssey, Heinlein's Red Planet, Stranger in a Strange Land etc. That Mars is not a small rock planet in Space terms.
Quote:
You seem to assume that desert worlds have to be hot, but there's no reason that they can't be mild or even rather cold. Cold desert worlds won't turn into ice worlds because there is not enough water to freeze into enough ice to cover them over.
Right, so, okay, my intention here: This is for a GURPS Space Opera... concept that I'm working on, and the idea is that it emulates the sort of Captain-and-Crew sci-f that tends to populate TV. One element of that is that you have many "single biome" planets, and that those biomes imitate what we expect. You are completely correct that in a strict definition of "desert," we mean "lacking water," but to most people, when you say "Desert," they picture a hot, sweltering landscape of sand and stone. When you load up a video game or turn on a TV show and it features a planet with such a landscape, people would cal it "a desert planet."

Hence why my desert planet is hot. It's not because that's the only way to get a world with low hydrography, but because I'm trying to show how to emulate the sort of planets I'm talking about that you might find in such sci-fi. That means the two defining characteristics for the average space opera fan of a "desert planet" would be "It's hot" and "It's dry"

(The link I gave, of course, lacked that context).

Quote:
In your GURPS Space example you don't mention the fact that with very little water vapour in their atmospheres desert planets have a greenhouse factor that is significantly lower than that of an Ocean or Garden world.

There is an abiotic process that produces oxygen and depletes water, which might lead to a desert world with a breathable atmosphere if you fuzz the edges of the science a bit. Water in the upper atmosphere gets dissociated into hydrogen and oxygen by UV light from the star. The hydrogen is lost to Jeans escape, but the oxygen is retained. In fact this process is too slow to account for the breathable atmosphere of Earth, but if you make the star a it bluer and the system a bit older, and confiscate everyone's pencils and envelopes you might get away with it.
The purpose of my GURPS Space examples are to show how you might go about creating such a world "by the book," following the GURPS Space rules. On the softer-science side, I have no problem with someone simply declaring a world a desert world, and on the harder science side, I don't have a problem with someone coming up with their own planet-generation system. The purpose of that side-bar is primarily to discuss such a world in the context of the GURPS rules.

I'm completely open to the idea of expanding a new section that details the scientific mechanics of other ways to plausibly have a world (I want this particular site to cater to a sliding scale of scientific accuracy), but I honestly lack the scientific acumen to expand such a section on my other biome-worlds.

EDIT: And I believe my side-bar actually accounts for all of the stuff you mention regarding the lack of moisture, at least inasmuch as the climate rules of GURPS space covers that, which is why the black-body temperature is so high. The lower hydrography does impact those numbers, IIRC, though it's been some months since I looked at the numbers. Though, as I said, that sidebar is about staying in the lines painted by GURPS Space, rather than necessarily digging into the actual mechanics of real planets.
__________________
My Blog: Mailanka's Musing. Currently Playing: Psi-Wars, a step-by-step exploration of building your own Space Opera setting, inspired by Star Wars.
If you want to support me, check out my Patreon!

Last edited by Mailanka; 02-26-2015 at 03:47 AM.
Mailanka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2015, 04:20 AM   #8
Mailanka
 
Mailanka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Default Re: Space: Desert Planets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos View Post
Sorry. I thought this thread was about the actual mechanics of real, or at least physically possible, planets. My mistake.
The thread itself can be about those things. I was just offering the context for my particular article. Someone is asking about desert planets, I'm showing some of the work I've done on it. It doesn't have to be exhaustive or all-encompassing. Many of the points you made are valid. But you also made them in regards to my specific article, so I was answering your points in regards to my specific article.

For the purposes of the OP and this thread, I suspect your points are perfectly valid, and a nice contribution in addition to and in parallel with my contribution.
__________________
My Blog: Mailanka's Musing. Currently Playing: Psi-Wars, a step-by-step exploration of building your own Space Opera setting, inspired by Star Wars.
If you want to support me, check out my Patreon!
Mailanka is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
planet generation, system generation

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:04 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.