Iconic Sci Fi Locations

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Iconic Sci Fi Locations

Postby Havard » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:08 pm

I'm trying to brainstorm some Iconic Sci Fi locations that I want to run a group through. Here are some:

  • "Death Star": Not just a Space Station, but one that is designed for destruction.
  • Trading Space Station: Unlike a Death Star this is more the kind of Space Station built for commerce or research. Babylon 5 and Deep Space 9 are examples.
  • Space Prison: Either a Space Station or Vast planetary installment designed to keep the worst criminals of the Galaxy
  • Psionic Academy/Temple
  • Pleasure World (Planet-wide Harem)
  • Amusement Park Planet (Disney World in Space)
  • Dystopian City (Cyberpunk, Coruscant)
  • Asteroid Belt
  • Water World (Kevin Costner, Blue Planet)
  • Floating City above Gas Giant (Bespin)
  • Desert World (Tatooine, Dune. Arabian Nights in Space)
  • Ice Planet (Hoth)
  • Forest Planet (Endor, Yavin, Kashyyk)
  • Shady Spaceport (Mos Eisley)
  • Post Apocalyptic World (Gamma World, Mad Max)

More ideas? The benefit of clicheic locations like this is that the players will instantly recognize what the place is about.

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Re: Iconic Sci Fi Locations

Postby agathokles » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:47 pm

"Primal" world (high volcanic/tectonic activity, possibly rich in minerals and with mining settlements)
Dead world (abandoned space station, base or entire planet; with inevitable killer alien in stasis)
Unusual jungle world (presence of numerous, variant species -- including vast forests of ferns or mushrooms; Felucia in Star Wars)
Technology graveyard world (Raxus Prime in Star Wars)
Insular planet with unusually high technology (Ix from Dune)
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Re: Iconic Sci Fi Locations

Postby ripvanwormer » Thu May 01, 2014 11:03 am

Dyson Sphere/ringworld
Post-scarcity culture governed by AI (Iain Banks's Culture, John C. Wright's The Golden Age, Ben Aaronovitch's The Also People)
Godlike aliens living within the event horizon of a black hole (David Brin's Uplift universe, Deep Space 9)
World with poisonous atmosphere except for the outer layer, into which habitable mountains extend (Larry Niven's Mount Lookitthat on Plateau, Jeff Grubb's Stormfront)
Tidally locked world (Harlan Ellison's Medea, Earth's moon, Gliese 581, etc.)
Habitable moon of gas giant (Endor, some interpretations of Jupiter's and Saturn's moons, Medea)
Quarantined world full of unspeakably deadly or politically inconvenient natives (Aliens, Wrath of Khan)
Genesis world (Star Trek: The Search for Spock)
Big planet (Jack Vance's Big Planet)
Space bar (Tales of the Floating Vagabond)
Garbage world (The HOL roleplaying game)
World with long or erratic seasons (A Song of Ice and Fire, Joan D. Vinge's Tiamat)
Diamond planet (55 Cancri e, Doctor Who episode "Midnight")
Unthinkably rare celestial conjunction destroys society (Asimov's Nightfall, the nemesis theory of periodic extinctions)
Library world (Isaac Asimov's Foundation, Doctor Who)
Uninhabitable world with dome cities (The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Red Mars, etc.)
Libertarian revolution world (Heinlein, Rand, BioShock, Ferengar)
Socialist dystopia world (Huxley, Orwell, Krypton)
Roger Dean album cover world (Avatar, Fantastic Planet)
Sword and sandal planetary romance world (Barsoom, etc.)
Rationalized Tolkienesque world (Rocannon's World)
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Re: Iconic Sci Fi Locations

Postby BlackBat242 » Fri May 02, 2014 7:30 am

ripvanwormer wrote:Space bar (Tales of the Floating Vagabond)


Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille by Steven Brust
http://www.fictiondb.com/author/steven-brust~cowboy-fengs-space-bar-and-grille~102382~b.htm

ripvanwormer wrote:World with long or erratic seasons (A Song of Ice and Fire, Joan D. Vinge's Tiamat)


Fire Time by Poul Anderson
http://poulandersonappreciation.blogspot.com/2013/02/fire-time.html
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Re: Iconic Sci Fi Locations

Postby ghendar » Fri May 02, 2014 4:57 pm

How about a Logan's Run type of world?
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Re: Iconic Sci Fi Locations

Postby Big Mac » Sat May 10, 2014 3:02 am

Havard wrote:
  • Space Prison: Either a Space Station or Vast planetary installment designed to keep the worst criminals of the Galaxy


Try Escape from New York.

Havard wrote:More ideas? The benefit of clicheic locations like this is that the players will instantly recognize what the place is about.


How about something like the Holodeck from Star Trek: Next Generation?
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Re: Iconic Sci Fi Locations

Postby Azure Admiral » Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:03 pm

Interesting topic, Havard! :cool:
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Re: Iconic Sci Fi Locations

Postby Michael Tumey » Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:07 pm

Well from my Near Future Sci-Fi Map locations thread on this same forum page, I have created several mapped locations, including the start of a modular prison with pieces that could be used as a brig aboard a starship, as a complete planet or asteroid based prison, even an orbiting prison.

I also created a mountain top, top secret scientific research facility that would work as a James Bond-esque bad guy secret hideout, but would work for Shadowrun, Traveller, and really most any sci-fi game.

I've started work on the interior deckplan for a cruiser class star ship, though I've only created the engineering deck so far.

Of the other iconic sci-fi locations I have in mind to map:

An upscale, resort planet
A postwar and destroyed planetary capital city
A third class starport for a rimworld planet off the beaten path.
An underground bunker - research facility, perfect for a zombie apocalypse (though that's not my favorite genre).

Usually I only do fantasy maps, but having recently completed a commission for Brady Games creating all the multi-player maps for the strategy guide for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (the coming November release), that is supposed to be set in 2055 AD - I've been in the mood for near-future sci-fi settings.
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Re: Iconic Sci Fi Locations

Postby Michael Tumey » Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:06 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:Garbage world (The HOL roleplaying game) and Prison Planet


Way back in college (1981) I daydreamed the idea for a novel (that I never wrote) of a planet used for refuse - very much like what the world of H.O.L. is represented to be, but a serious world, not darkly humorous as is H.O.L. In many ways the movie Soldier with Kurt Russell fits this motif well as well. This was a habitable world, that had some flaw that made it less than ideal for settlement, so it became both a garbage world and a prison for the worst dregs of society. An orbiting station, along with armed satellites constantly watch the surface for any attempts to leave the planet or escape the atmosphere, then fighter craft are sent to disable or destroy the approaching escape craft. Prisoners are ferried in from various parts of the local star systems, processed aboard the orbiting station, then shuttled down to the planet's surface where they are "let go" to survive on their own on planet. The only vehicles on the planet are large earth-moving vehicles (for moving trash around) and ornithopters that cannot escape the atmosphere and very much resemble mechanical bot flies.

The premise for my novel was that some starfaring nation doing experimental research discovered a single cell lifeform, that when split through cellular reproduction, releases massive amounts of energy, like the splitting of an atom. The lifeform is very stable and difficult to create the circumstances that cause it to try to reproduce naturally, as they tend to stay in their unreproductive stage for years on end. The researchers were trying to find a way to weaponize such a lifeform, but it proved that the release of energy was too much to contain safely, so the experiments ceased and the specimens were sent to the garbage world for permanent disposal. Inadvertantly, another monocellular lifeform already deposited on planet is attracted to the high energy lifeform, surrounding it and able to contain the energy released. One of the researchers was close to discovering this other unique lifeform's capabilities when the project ended. Because senior members of the research facility had some grudge against this young researcher, they implicated him in a crime he did not commit, and was sentenced to the garbage planet.

The planet's inmate population exist on planet with no aid, nor control by the prison authorities - as long as they don't try to leave planet, they are left alone. Thus the population is divided into thousands of combat crime gangs, in a semi-feudal state. There is constant warring between these factions. The researcher inmate from the bio-weapons project has to survive on planet by joining one of the smaller combat gangs and make himself a part of that society. While on a scavenging mission, the researcher finds the container holding the energy lifeform, and with some years researching it again on planet, he discovers the other lifeform that naturally contains the energy form - and begins to experiment on weaponizing it, and even powering a starship built from the scrap found on planet. The researcher would first elevate his combat gang to be the most powerful, since they have the best weapons (as a result of his research). Eventually building a ship to attempt to escape and destroy the orbiting station.

I think I had just read Frank Herbert's Dune, and is where much of the inspiration for this premise - the creation of a new galactic army of prisoners under the researcher as emperor, with a bio-weapon and bio-engines to rule the galaxy.

I've thought about making this into a home game proposition.

Thoughts?
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Re: Iconic Sci Fi Locations

Postby Jacqual » Fri May 15, 2015 10:16 am

A hidden planet that was at one time a ancient research site, after the ancients fought each other this world was long forgotten and eventually became the Forgotten Realms Toril from AD&D. Magic works for the people living there due to the Ancient devices still working far underground, and only the natives can cast spells as they have an awakened section of thier brain allowing them to control the machines with unique command words, somantic gestures, and strange components needed. Permanant magical items function off world due to a super hi tech power supply concealed within the item.

EDIT:

BTW Never ever hint at how bad it will be if the players take a portable hole, bag of holding or something else along those lines into Jump Space. As that is when your real fun as the GM can begin, I mean all that cool stuff has a price now doesn't it?
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Re: Iconic Sci Fi Locations

Postby Big Mac » Wed May 20, 2015 11:08 pm

Jacqual wrote:A hidden planet that was at one time a ancient research site, after the ancients fought each other this world was long forgotten and eventually became the Forgotten Realms Toril from AD&D. Magic works for the people living there due to the Ancient devices still working far underground, and only the natives can cast spells as they have an awakened section of thier brain allowing them to control the machines with unique command words, somantic gestures, and strange components needed. Permanant magical items function off world due to a super hi tech power supply concealed within the item.


I'm pretty sure there are some Forgotten Realms sources that document the early planet Toril. :)
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Re: Iconic Sci Fi Locations

Postby Michael Tumey » Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:02 pm

I just uploaded my Neptune Undersea Science Station map set on DTRPG. This is a full domed undersea community with levels beneath the primary dome and the hydroponics and marine laboratory dome - a total of 17 levels. This map set would fit a Traveller, Eclipse Phase or other hard-sci-fi games, though it could be used for Shadowrun and other sci-fi-fantasy games as well. It is a near future site. The product includes a full mapped gazetteer of every room, including a sliced deck plan of a Manta submersible. Because the mapped area is so huge, I did not include sliced printable versions of the entire map - just the top level showing all domes and surrounding sea, plus the 7 levels beneath the main dome at 1 inch = 5 foot scale would be 64 square feet of map (making it impossibly large for print purposes), however all 17 levels are ready for use in your favorite virtual tabletop application (optimized for use with Roll20).

I plan to design a space hulk map set, next.

You can view a smaller scaled versions of these maps on my G+ page, link in signature.
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Re: Iconic Sci Fi Locations

Postby Michael Tumey » Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:13 pm

I've got the cargo deck of my space hulk map completed, working on engineering next. Click on my 25 Quick & Dirty Map Tutorials Guides G+ link in my signature to see it.
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Re: Iconic Sci Fi Locations

Postby Angel Tarragon » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:02 pm

What about a some sort of protoworld? A world incredibly hostile to fleshy races that is in the earliest development stages of eventually being able to have a full atmosphere and able to support life.
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Re: Iconic Sci Fi Locations

Postby Michael Tumey » Sat Jul 25, 2015 5:21 am

I just created a motorcross race track set within bomb craters, toxic water hazard, collapsed buildings, broken roads, and rubble piles of a post-apocalyptic era. Think Mad Max on combat motorcycles with lightly armed riders shooting each other, there are four, towered ballista turrets placed around the track to periodically shoot as passersby, and a single partially collapsed structure used as audience stands and officiating booth. I'm picturing something "beyond Thunderdome", so far beyond its actually a good concept. I think useful in many post-apocalyptic games. Visit my 25 Quick & Dirty Map Tutorials G+ community link below, the map its near the top.
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Re: Iconic Sci Fi Locations

Postby ghendar » Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:57 am

Havard wrote:[*]Amusement Park Planet (Disney World in Space)


Interesting idea. You could use the Star Trek episode, Shore Leave, as inspiration.
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Re: Iconic Sci Fi Locations

Postby Yaztromo » Mon Aug 03, 2015 2:38 pm

Some iconic sciFi location that I think was missed insofar:

Galexy Express 999 from the same manga/anime
Planet Gaia from Asimov's Foundation saga
Berserkers from Saberhagen Berserkers saga
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