Rogue Planet

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by Andrew Modro

Presented here are several different possible adventures growing out of a single seed. In each of these adventures, a minor planet that was ejected from the solar system of its creation has been discovered wandering through space. What secrets the planet holds are left to the characters to discover.


The Wanderer in the Dark

For several weeks rumors grow among space travelers of a ghost planet drifting in the dark between the stars. Eventually word spreads around that expeditions are being mounted and are looking for crew to recruit. The Wanderer has been located, and the race to discover its secrets is on.

There are several candidates for an expedition. PGC is one of the most likely, but other corps looking to get a leg-up (or even local entrepreneurs) could also take an interest in this "ghost planet". Experienced characters who are in possession of a vessel of their own, or part of a group with a ship, can also attempt to mount an expedition of their own.

The characters may arrive first, but others will be hot on their heels.

The Sleepers

In this version of the adventure, explorations beneath the surface of the rogue world reveal signs of intelligent inhabitation -- cavernous, tomb-like complexes burrowed deep below. Advanced power plants keep computers and machinery just active enough to maintain the lives of cryogenically frozen aliens. How many aliens sleep deep within the planet? Who are they? Where do they come from? What happened to their world?

War in the Night

Whether or not the rogue planet is inhabited, in this version of the adventure it is rich in resources, a treasure trove floating free and waiting to be exploited. Several rival groups arrive to lay claim to the planet, and in short order their disagreements and posturing become a multi-way shooting war. Do the characters work for one of the disputants? Do they have their own claim to stake and defend? Do they work for the Pan-Galactic Corporation or the Federation, seeking to achieve a peaceful solution?


(This idea is inspired by George R. R. Martin's masterful novel, "Dying of the Light". The author highly recommends this novel to all science fiction fans!)

In this variation, the planet has been discovered because it is wandering close to a star system and, eventually, will drift close enough to become temporarily habitable on the surface. PGC and several other large corporations have quickly laid claim to the world and are set to begin creating a wonder of the Frontier -- a vacation carnival planet, where they can use tourist revenues to fund terraforming and technological experiments. The opportunity for mystery and adventure in such an environment is boundless.

When Worlds Collide

As above, the planet is drifting close to an inhabited star system, but this time it's on a collision course with a major world. When an expedition to the rogue planet discovers that it seems to be filled with ancient technology -- but no sleeping inhabitants -- what will be done? Is the rogue planet in actuality a "world ship" and can it be diverted in time?