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Summary Edit

Planetary Classification System(PCS) is a categorization system created by the Exchange. It is similar to the Tech Level System(TLS), but it mainly focuses on the life of a planet. PCS categorizes planet with the use of five parameters: primary type, atmosphere, temperature, biosphere and population. When entering a system with a Exchange office starships automatically receive a bulletin on with information on the system. PCS can in be found in those bulletin along with TLS and important news regarding the system.

Primary type Edit

Primary type indicates the

  • Brown dwarf
  • Circumbinary planet
  • Double planet
  • Earth analog
  • Eccentric Jupiter
  • Exoplanet
  • Extragalactic planet
  • Gas giant
  • Goldilocks planet
  • Hot Jupiter
  • Hot Neptune
  • Ice giant
  • Ice planet
  • Iron planet
  • Lava planet
  • Mesoplanet
  • Mini-Neptune
  • Planetar
  • Protoplanet
  • Pulsar planet
  • Rogue planet
  • Sub-Earth
  • Super-Earth
  • Super-Jupiter
  • Terrestrial planet

Atmosphere Edit

  • Airless or thin atmospheres are appropriate to asteroids, rocky planetoids or barren worlds that have had their atmospheres burnt off  by weapons or cosmic caprice. Whatever atmosphere exists is too thin to support human life, if it exists at all, and the world is largely naked to the chill of space and the blaze of stellar heat. Exposure to the planet’s surface without a vacc suit or pressurized building is as lethal as exposure to hard vacuum. Airless worlds are hostile to human life, but they excel at preserving the relics of the past. Provided that the ruins or remains are kept out of the baking heat of the local stellar body and the impact of random meteorites, they can survive for millions of years. Some exceptionally ancient alien ruins might even date back from before the world lost its atmosphere.
  • Artificial worlds with global weather control systems have adjustable atmospheres. These worlds have artificial temperature and weather controls that are programmed to maintain the optimal conditions for humans, or other species. Most human worlds with global weather control didn't survive the Scream and the Silence, because of malfunctions which couldn't be repaired due to destruction of infrastructure, lack of resources or technical knowledge. Malfunction of global weather controls lead to total system shutdowns, in the best case scenario. If the global weather control didn't shutdown the system might have made the planets conditions extreme. Some burning, frozen and variable temperature worlds are rumored to have such control systems that malfunctioned. If the restoration or dismantlement of these systems were possible, a big payday could be maybe... in a decade.
  • Breathable mix atmospheres can support human life without additional equipment or gengineered modifi cation. Any world that has a human population in the millions or more almost certainly has a breathable mix atmosphere. While the air is breathable, almost every world has its own subtle cocktail of inert gases, atmospheric contaminants, and other odiferous ingredients. For spacers accustomed to the filtered air supply of a starship, the “new world stink” of a fresh planetfall can be maddening, as few linger long enough to get used to the smell of the local air. Attempting to explain the source of this discomfort to the locals rarely results in positive results. Some spaceport bars make a point of their air filtration and composition mixers.
  • Corrosive atmospheres are dangerously hostile to conventional vacc suits and other protective gear. They steadily strip away at a suit’s vent ports, wiring connections, and other weak spots until they eventually break through and flood the suit with a toxic cocktail that usually kills a victim in seconds. Weak atmospheres might require as much as a day to degrade a vacc suit, while strong ones might accomplish the job in an hour. Even forcefield-based environment suits such as a FEP suffer steady damage to their exposed elements. Native vacc suits are usually covered with an ablative layer or spray that can be regularly renewed, and their buildings often rely on a steadily-extruded slurry or neutralizing materials that can be constantly renewed by pores in the building surface itself. This often gives the building a drippy, half-melted look that may be more than cosmetic in the case of those structures that have failing slurry pumps. Advanced tech level 5 equipment may be able to overcome the effects, but even pretech is often taxed by the relentless rigors of this world. Vehicles and shuttles are kept in pressurized garages when not in use, and starships never land for long.
  • Corrosive and invasive atmospheres exist at the very border of what human society can tolerate. Combining all the worst traits of an eroding, corrosive atmosphere and the invasive intrusion of toxic molecules, a planet cursed with an atmosphere like this is far more hostile than any merely airless rock. Advanced pretech filtering and oxygen generation equipment might be able to maintain tolerable pressurized habitats and hydroponic systems uncontaminated by exterior atmosphere. Anything less than this tech level means greater and greater amounts of societal resources devoted simply to the effort of breathing. Entire civilizations can be oriented around overcoming the diffi  culties of maintaining their structures and their pressurized homes. Whatever provoked the initial inhabitants to settle on this world must have been of overwhelming value or necessity to convince them to consign themselves and their children to such a place. It is highly unlikely that enough ship traffic exists to get any but the most fortunate locals off world, so the rest are obliged to deal with their harsh existence as best they can.
  • Inert gas atmospheres aren’t hostile or poisonous, but they’re unbreathable by humans. If the planet’s climate is otherwise tolerable, the natives might be able to live and work outdoors without anything more than an air tank and face mask. Some degree of technical sophistication is going to be necessary for humanity to survive, and large supplies of oxygen are going to have to be extracted from some local source. “Air mines” might exist to replace the oxygen lost during human use, or local power plants might need to be kept running full blast in order to crack water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. On worlds with an unbreathable atmosphere, control of the air supply makes it much harder for locals to rebel against their leaders. Without the equipment and power to generate their own air supplies, would-be rebels are entirely at the mercy of those who control the oxygen. Most rulers pick up on this fact rapidly, and some worlds with unbreathable atmospheres might even make it a crime to own illicit oxygen generation equipment.
  • Invasive toxic atmospheres are composed of a substantial proportion of molecules small enough to infiltrate past the seals of most vacc suits. This infiltration doesn’t harm the suit, but the molecules have to be steadily fl ushed by the system’s purifi cation sensors before they build up to a debilitating level. This causes a much faster bleed of air as breathable oxygen is jettisoned along with the infi ltrating molecules. Most invasive atmospheres cut oxygen supply durations by half, at best.Invasive atmospheres make oxygen an even more important resource than it is on inert gas worlds. Outdoor work is avoided whenever possible, as any failure of a suit’s toxin sensors or flush system can lead to death before the wearer even realizes something is wrong. Steady exposure to low levels of the toxins can also result in unfortunate effects even with a fully-functional suit. Hallucinations, chronic sickness, or worse can follow.
  • Liquid metal atmospheres are very rare and their existence is on considered a rumor in the Asgard Sigma Sector. Most knowledge of liquid metal atmoshperes has been recovered from old data storages that date back to the time before the Scream. Planets with Liquid metal atmoshperes can be found near Red Giants or Hot Stars with an unusually powerful gravity. These planet have solid core that consist of heavy metals from the fifth and sixth periods of the Periodic Table of Elements such as gold, silver, platinum and titanium. The metals are sufficent atomic mass to stay in the planets core and not disappate to the planets atmosphere. which consist of alkali and earth.alkali metals from 2 period onward. While the fact that the heavy metals are basicly in their element form and thus no processing other than separation would be needed to mine such valuable metals, the planet's atmosphere make the mining nearly impossible. Pre-Scream record show that some interstellar companies have attempted to set up mining operations on planets with liquid metal atmospheres, but the high reactivity of the atmosphere and the intense heat damaged to the mining facilities. Longest operational time for a mining facility was 152 days until a catastrophic hull failure that cost the lives of the whole crew -- 542 souls in total.
  • Thick atmospheres can usually be breathed with the aid of a filter mask, though the mix of contaminants renders it slowly or quickly toxic to humans who attempt to breathe it straight. Separate air supplies are not necessary to supplement the blend, but any society that means to survive on such a world must have sufficient technological expertise to manufacture and maintain large numbers of filter masks. Thick atmospheres are often at least semi-opaque, and some worlds have thick atmospheres that are completely impenetrable to ordinary light. Deep banks of permanent fog might shroud the planet, or natives might have to go about with sophisticated ultraviolet or infrared viewing equipment if they don’t wish to be blind. Some banks of gases might be impenetrable to even these viewing tools, leaving a party vulnerable to moments of complete blindness while out on the surface of the world.

Temperature Edit

  • Artificial worlds range from planets with global weather control systems to large space stations that are the size of moons. These worlds have artificial temperature and weather controls that are programmed to maintain the optimal conditions for humans, or other species. Most human worlds with global weather control didn't survive the Scream and the Silence, because of malfunctions which couldn't be repaired due to destruction of infrastructure, lack of resources or technical knowledge. Malfunction of global weather controls lead to total system shutdowns, in the best case scenario. If the global weather control didn't shutdown the system might have made the planets conditions extreme. Some burning, frozen and variable temperature worlds are rumored to have such control systems that malfunctioned. If the restoration or dismantlement of these systems were possible, a big payday could be maybe... in a decade.
  • Burning worlds are too hot for a human to survive without equipment similar to a vacc suit in effectiveness. Rivulets of molten lead or copper might bleed from open veins on the hillsides, and many of the same perils that face an explorer on a frozen world have hotter equivalents on a burning one. Ash drifts, pools of molten metal, and superheated liquid vents can bring quick death to an unwary explorer, and the miners who inhabit such worlds must be forever vigilant against the perils of their burning home.
  • Cold worlds are uncomfortable, but a human can survive on them in nothing more than heavy clothing. The worst of the cold worlds are similar in condition to Earth’s Antarctic regions, barren wastes of ice and wind. The more clement ones have brief warmer seasons or equatorial bands that get enough solar radiation to support substantial agriculture. On cold worlds, agricultural land is at a premium. The population is unlikely to be willing to limit its numbers to what hydroponic farms can provide, and they may lack the technology for wide-scale artifi cial production methods. Savage wars may have broken out over control of fertile growing regions, and populations have perhaps been driven away from the arable land into the cold zones and a lingering death.
    Some worlds retain installations from before the Silence deep within the frozen wastes, ancient bases and laboratories that were planted in an age when good launch sites and orbital windows meant more than trifl es of temperature. These lost sites might be remembered in legend and story, and some native leaders might still be in possession of the automatic defense bypass codes handed down by their ancestors.
  • Frozen worlds are those with so weak a stellar primary or so great a distance that the average temperature is close to absolute zero. Any atmosphere that once existed has long since frozen into drifts of solidifi ed oxygen or lakes of liquid helium. Exposure to these drifts is very dangerous. Vacc suits maintain a tolerable temperature easily because the stellar void is very empty, and there is little conduction of heat between the suit and empty space. Dunking a suit into a lake of thermally-conductive superchilled liquid can force the heating elements into sudden and drastic overload, draining a power cell in minutes even seconds.
  • Temperate worlds were the most popular colony sites, and most of the truly populous worlds of the frontier have a temperate climate. Many temperate worlds have temperature ranges not unlike that of Earth, though most are canted a little further toward cold or heat depending on their angle and proximity to the local star. Temperate worlds are the most likely to teem with native life as well, and to have alien ruins or remains located somewhere on their surface. Most frontier worlds never accumulated enough population to put a serious strain on a temperate world’s arable land, but this same capaciousness often allow for more complicated social divisions to develop. Natives of other worlds are often forced to cooperate or die, while those of a clement temperate world have the luxury of deep and lasting divisions.
  • Variable temperature worlds tend to show a greater distribution of climates than other worlds, either ranging from cold to temperate levels or temperate to hot levels. This may be a climate that changes world-wide when a long, slow orbit brings the planet into proximity with a stellar primary, or it might be a world that has substantially different climactic zones spread across its surface. The north pole of one world might be a sun-blasted desert that moderates to a cool, wet equator, or an icy world might be warmed here and there by complex channels of geothermally-heated subsurface rivers. Variable temperature worlds tend to have savage weather. The mixing of hot and cold air can send ferocious cyclones and raging hurricanes across the surface of the world, some large enough to consume most of a hemisphere.
  • Warm worlds come in two main fl avors, depending on the prevalence of water. “Desert worlds” are hot enough or arid enough to be deprived of most surface water. Any life on such a planet has to be capable of extracting water from living prey, air currents or moisture supplies deep underground. Humans can survive on warm worlds without more than appropriate clothing, but desert-world humans must learn sophisticated techniques of water prospecting and well- drilling in order to maintain their agricultural systems. Warfare often revolves around these water systems. The other common variety of warm world is one blessed with an abundance of surface water. These worlds tend to be covered with plant and animal life, teeming with thick jungles and vast mats of sargasso on seas that boil with piscids and other alien life analogs. These worlds can be quite prosperous for humans if the native life is edible, but inhabitants are often forced to deal with large predators and a vividly ingenious native ecology of disease.


Biosphere Edit

  • Biosphere remnants are the wreckage of a ruined ecology. Petrified trees, drifts of preserved bones, forests of dead plant life; something killed all the life on this planet in the relatively recent past. It may have been the exercise of a maltech planet-buster weapon, or a mutant microbe introduced by human colonists, or some volcanic eruption or asteroid impact that plunged the world into decades of frozen night. Any local civilization not sophisticated enough to escape the planet likely died when it did. Their ruins and remains might be found throughout the desolate wastes, along with more clues as to the cause of the devastation. Microbial life is often the only thing that exists on the more inhospitable planets, yet the wide variety of environments that can accommodate life means that these little beasts show up in some of the most unlikely places. Some varieties of slime mold have even managed to evolve on corrosive-atmosphere planets, forming a mucous-like outer shell against the atmosphere and then feeding and growing off  the chemical byproducts of its erosion.
  • Death world biospheres have are like rainforests on Terra they have a great variety of species. Unfortunately most of those species have evolved to kill humans. Plant, fauna and even bacteria are lethal acutely in the best case scenario, but most likely their victims will die a painful death. The scientist of the Asgard Sigma have many theories on why this bizzare evolution has occured. The most popular theory, at least among the eco-activist, is certain that this evolution is man made. Either due to an experiment gone wrong or right, the loss of a human population on a Death World is quite likely. Most Death worlds were once colonies.
  • Engineered biospheres are among the rarest, as they require enormous time and eff ort on the part of a highly advanced civilization. Whatever life exists on this planet has been extensively altered by an alien race or by advanced pretech gengineering methods. Some such worlds are paradise planets, carefully sculpted by some fabulously wealthy predecessor to suit their own tastes. Others are living forges, where foodstuff s and refined minerals are produced as byproducts from the basic organic processes of the world’s biosphere. Such worlds tend to be fragile. Many engineered worlds are dependent upon regular stabilizing work to prevent genetic drift and adaptations that do not serve the creator’s purpose. Without regular pruning and adjustment, engineered biospheres can go badly awry. Some end up leaving nothing but genetic wreckage in their wake, while others go wrong in more subtle ways. Where once the biosphere existed to serve the inhabitants, a creaking engineered biosphere can leave the planet’s population chained to constant repair and maintenance efforts just to prevent a planetary collapse.
  • Human-miscible biospheres are those in which some substantial portion of the native life is biologically compatible with human nutritional needs. Th e local plants and animals may not be tasty or terribly nourishing, but they can support life without the serious importation of Terran crop seeds and livestock.Even the friendlier human-miscible biospheres often lack the wide variety of edibles that evolved on Earth, and the natives often supplement their stocks of local foods with limited Terran agriculture. Exotic foods, spices, and liquors can be worth interstellar importation to feed the hunger for novelty on these worlds. Unfortunately, the fact that humans can eat some native life means that it is very likely that some native life can eat humans in turn. Large predators and diseases capable of human infection are by no means uncommon on these worlds, and small colonies can be hard- pressed to survive them.
  • Hybrid biospheres are a stable intermixing of Terran flora and fauna with local life forms. Most such worlds have been colonized for centuries before the Silence, giving the local ecology time to shake out into a relatively stable configuration of Earth-born organisms and native life. The native biology may or may not be miscible with human life, but it unlikely to be particularly hostile in any case, or else the interloping life forms would not have been able to get a foothold on the planet. Hybrid biospheres often show strange examples of symbiosis and adaptation, with plants and animals forming new alliances. Large predators from one world may find themselves subsisting on herds of herbivorous alien life, while Terran vegetation provides sustenance for large populations of small, furred, insect-like grazers. Familiar animals may show seemingly bizarre behavior patterns that have formed in response to local conditions, perhaps becoming larger or more aggressive.
  • Immiscible biospheres are not friendly to humans. None of the local plants or animals are edible, and anything the colony needs to eat will have to be grown from Terran stock. Worse, it is common for the pollen and other microbial life of these worlds to be highly allergenic to humans, requiring the regular use of tailored antiallergenics to prevent eventual respiratory failure. These worlds are exceptionally susceptible to the temptation of human gengineering. Despite the persistent drawbacks, genetic flaws, and handicaps that human gengineering usually introduces in a subject, the desperate need to eat can drive worlds to wholesale experimentation on their progeny. The resultant altered humans are often able to digest the local food, but commonly pay for it in shortened life spans, physical disabilities, or an inability to consume Terran foodstuffs. Immiscible biospheres produce some of the most exotic plants and animals in human space. Unfettered by the limits of familiar evolutionary patterns, creatures of bizarre beauty and strange configurations are found on many of these worlds. Many lack the intelligence to realize that humans are as poisonous to them as they are to humans.
  • Microbial life can also be dangerous. While most alien microbes are unable to infect or harm the radically different biology of humans, some show enough ingenuity to accomplish even that difficult feat. Rumors of terrible “space plagues” that leave behind only drifting ships and garbled warnings remain a steady staple at spacer bars throughout the known universe. No native biosphere is occasionally found on even the most temperate and otherwise habitable worlds. For one reason or another, life simply never evolved on these worlds, leaving them a blank slate for the agricultural and ecological efforts of humans. If the world is otherwise amenable to Terran life, such planets can be enormously fertile and agriculturally rich. They can also be disasters waiting to happen. Pretech xenobiologists compiled standardized colonization packages of plants, animals, and insect life designed to expand smoothly and evenly to fill the niches of an uninhabited world. Not all colonists implemented these packages correctly, and some worlds had disasters or special circumstances that destabilized their efforts. Some empty worlds are now in a state of constant biological fl ux as the local ecology strives vainly to find some sort of equilibrium between the myriad imported species. More subtly, these worlds can be suddenly and drastically destabilized by the import of some off world plant or animal. With no strong native ecology to fight off  interlopers, the wrong beast or bug can lay waste to whole continents. Th ese planets tend to be extremely paranoid about importation of foreign life forms.

Population Edit

  • Alien civilizations are even rarer than massively human-populated planets, but they can be found in some sectors. On these worlds, any human presence is either nonexistent or simply a token contingent of traders and diplomats. The actual number of aliens may range from a few tens of thousands to teeming worlds of billions. Alien civilizations appear to be no more immune to conflict, disaster, and decadence than that of humans, and most alien worlds are isolated planets. Some sectors were known to be dominated by alien empires before the Scream, but most inhabited worlds found by colonial surveyors consisted of indigenous, low-tech sapients who evolved on the world, or else were the decaying remnants of a former empire that had fallen apart into isolated colonial worlds. This fate of growth, expansion, colonization, and collapse appears to be a very common event in the galaxy. Countless alien ruins and lost deep-space artifacts indicate that cycles of growth and decay have been going on for millennia, and there is little way to tell how many alien empires have swept over what is now human space before dwindling to decaying worlds and then empty ruins. Aliens on a decaying colony are likely to be too burdened by the weight of history and dissolution to be aggressive, but may retain dangerously sophisticated devices and scientific expertise. Newly- rising native sapients may be more interested in reaching the stars, and their ships might well share the spacelanes with the starships of humankind.
  • No population There might not even be population on a planet. It might be a barren rock with no atmosphere and no valuable resources to speak of or maybe it was a thriving colony one or a center of an ancient civilization. Perhaps all the colonists abandoned the rock after a corporate gold rush had run it's course. Or maybe the planet has become a Death world, a planet which species have evolved to specificallyspeciffically kill humans or be poisonous to them. After the Scream many planets fought over the measly resources of a system and the population of the planet was eradicated. Maybe they didn't die... Most of the time planets with no population are either worthless chunks of rock or planets waiting for a colonization, though traveleotherwiseay otherwhise...
  • Outposts are rarely composed of more than a few hundred or few thousand colonists at the most. Outposts are either very new colonies that have not have the requisite time to grow or they are uncolonized worlds that just happen to have a naval or corporate base on the surface. Corporate or military outposts aren’t intended to be completely self- sufficient. While large outposts are often forced to raise their own food supplies, replacement personnel, spare parts, and advanced tech must all be brought in from elsewhere. Such temporary outposts are known to find themselves in sudden distress when a vital supply ship fails to make its drop or when some local threat proves more than the staff  can handle. Colonial outposts tend to be better equipped but with less outside backing. Such natives expect to live and die on the world, and are more inclined to build permanent structures and local improvements. Many are exiles, malcontents, or others incapable of tolerating the world that sent them forth, and it can make for a somewhat explosive mix in a young colony. These pioneers tend to be very friendly towards visiting starships, as they are often dependent upon free traders and tramp merchants to bring them vital supplies or news of the sector. Some “outposts” are really just the stubborn, persistent survivors of a long-failed colonization attempt. These cultures can survive for centuries, perpetually culled by the dangers of the world until the survivors are little more than one more element of the local ecology.
  • Tens of thousands of inhabitants are often found on newly- colonized worlds, or those with limited arable land. With such a small population, most settlements tend to be clustered close to one another for mutual support and efficient exploitation of land. The atmosphere can be something like that of a village-dotted countryside, with too few people to support large, specialized cities. The major settlement of the planet is usually built around the spaceport. Politics on planets with so few people tend to be very personal in nature. Individual leaders can address the entire population of a world at a single meeting, and networks of family, friends, and employees can dominate the local social life. This small population combined with limited outside contact can result in somewhat... unusual societies more strongly influenced by a leader’s personal quirks than a more populous planet might be. Some such worlds can grow decidedly unhealthy in their customs and traditions.
  • Hundreds of thousands of inhabitants make up the population of most frontier worlds, usually ones with adequate supplies of arable land and surface conditions amenable to a human without a vacc suit or filter mask. This level of population is also usually the most that a world at tech level 4 can support using only artificial hydroponic complexes and sealed agricultural systems, so less hospitable planets rarely have more than this many inhabitants. At this level of population, city-states and hub settlements start to form, and some political divisions might exist beneath the overall planetary government. Regional variations start to become present as towns and smaller settlements start to assert their own cultural traits. Young colonies rarely have much of a framework for resolving these new tensions, and it’s not uncommon for outsiders to end up as catspaws for varying factions. This level of population is normally the smallest that can create spike drive-equipped starships. Less populous worlds rarely have the broad range of specialists and workers necessary to build such ships, even if they possess the necessary technical information.
  • Millions of inhabitants are found on some of the more populous frontier worlds, those planets with an excellent climate and soil for agriculture. These worlds teem with human life compared to most of their neighbors, and if they have suffi  cient technological expertise to build spike drives, they probably are one of the more powerful planets in the sector. The sheer amount of labor and expertise they can put into their projects dwarfs the capabilities of most other worlds. Some worlds of this type fail to coalesce under a unified planetary government, however, and turn most of their attention to intra-planetary quarrels between different nations or city-states. Full-scale planetary wars have been known to break out on such worlds, with some being reduced to burnt-out cinders by some maltech weapon or by nuclear attacks against regions stripped of their nuke snuffers.
  • Billions of inhabitants on a world is a freak occurrence in most sectors, a circumstance dependent on almost perfect planetary conditions, a First Wave date of colonization, and a very large initial colonial expedition. These worlds have been colonized for almost a thousand years, and have likely gone through substantial cultural development and change since the original founding. Planets with this many inhabitants tend to come in two main varieties. The more common is that of regional hegemon, leveraging its enormous reserves of labor and scientific personnel to build hundreds or thousands of starships. Some hegemons might even have the transport weight and personnel available to colonize or conquer their less powerful neighbors outright, though most hegemons prefer the safer route of docile client states rather than outright conquests. Not all such worlds have the necessary resources to build starships, even when the labor is cheap and abundant. These worlds tend to take a different route, becoming balkanized, conflict-torn planets not unlike a mid-20th-century Earth. Resource wars are common and local politics revolve around Byzantine feuds and ancient slights. Technology on such planets tends to be very uneven; it is limited or nonexistent in fields that depend on unavailable resources, but the natives often show remarkable sophistication in making the most of what they have available.

Trivia Edit

  • Primary types are based of NASA's actual categorization of types of planets.
  • The over all categorization system is very similar to the one NASA and the international space effort uses.

Sources Edit

  1. http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/86467/Stars-Without-Number-Free-Edition
  2. Official International Planetary Classifications

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