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Single Biome Planet / Tabletop Games

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Single-Biome Planets in tabletop games.

  • Avalon Hill
    • The General magazine =Volume 15 #1, Starship Troopers article "Mission Scenarios". Some of the planets that missions can take place on are Desert Planets, Ocean Planets and Swamp/Jungle Planets.
    • The Merchant of Venus game featured interstellar trading by tramp merchants. It had a Desert Planet, an Ice Planet, a Water World and a Jungle World.
  • Battlelords of the 23rd Century supplement No Man's Land: Planetary Atlas has the following examples:
    • Desert Planet: Dojas ("semi-arid desert world"), Krait ("desert world"), Myntal 4 ("desert planet"), Tecris, Thuli ("desert world")
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    • Farm Planet: Evance ("agro-world"), Cxrex ("agrarian society", exports food to other planets)
    • Forest Planet: Vubko ("predominately deciduous")
    • Garbage Planets: Ghalak ("junk world", covered with waste material from other planets)
    • Ice Planet: Coandas ("sub-arctic world"), Eric's Place ("arctic environment"), Krisr ("iceworld"), Myntal 5 ("frigid arctic world", but only for part the planet year due to its eccentric orbit), Basnirak ("lump of ice"), Yeppter ("ice fields", temperature regularly plummets to 150° below zero), Connec ("iceworld")
    • Jungle Planet: Makin ("jungle world"), Tharmus ("jungle world")
    • Ocean Planet: Frolin ("ocean world"), Gumrana ("water world")
  • Call of Cthulhu supplement Curse of the Chthonians, adventure "The City Without A Name". If the investigators are very unlucky they can go through a Gate to the home planet of the Chthonians, which is a "monstrous violent world of volcanic upheavals and earthquakes", i.e. a Volcano Planet.
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  • The Dragon Magazine 1998 Annual article "Alternate Frontiers" had information on converting Star Frontiers to Alternity. According to the article the home planet of the Dralasite race is an Ocean Planet called Flaginnor. It's 90% covered by water, with only a few land masses dotting the surface.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • 4th Edition updated The Nine Hells of Baator from Planescape's nine-layered stack of related but distinct sub-planes. The whole place fits the Death World biome, the surface is more along the lines of the volcanic. It can get fairly diverse (and considerably more horrible) the further you go underground.
    • The Spelljammer setting featured a number of Single Biome Planets. Of course, Spelljammer was D&D in SPACE.
    • 1st Edition module Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits:
      • One of the alternate Prime Material Plane worlds the PCs could visit was a Dark Planet, the Nightworld of Vlad Tolenkov. It was a land of perpetual night with no sun. Heat and plant life were sustained by ancient magic.
      • The very end of the module had a list of worlds the dungeon master could create for the PCs to explore. They included a Cloud Planet, a Forest Planet, a Jungle Planet and a semi-Ice Planet which was entirely tundra (a treeless plain with permafrost soil).
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    • With the 1st Edition AD&D Manual of the Planes and then Planescape, the planes - like described with Magic: the Gathering above - were often single-biome... places, but blatantly unlike anything in our cosmos. Most planes were sets of thematically-connected sub-planes, each of which had its own dominant biome. The three layers of Arborea, for example, were an infinite forest, and infinite ocean dotted with archipelagos, and an infinite desert. Given these are archetypal realms constructed of mortal belief and further influenced by the will of the gods, their nature is fairly justified.
  • Encounter Critical RPG
    • In the main rules, members of the Amazon character class come from Jungle Planets.
    • In the Asteroid 1618 supplement, Malaxcazoom is a Desert Planet, with over 75% of the planet's surface being sand and rock.
  • Magic: The Gathering
    • Some planes can come across as this. For example, Rath is virtually all flowstone (a magically animated substance under the control of the plane's ruler); Ravnica is a city that has ultimately expanded to fill its entire plane. Somewhat justified in that none of these worlds came to be that way naturally; also, even these places find room to squeeze in the five basic land types of the game (forests, islands, mountains, plains, and swamps) in some form or other.
    • Shards of Alara pushed this further. Naya is Jungle Japes, Bant is Arcadia, Esper is also a planewide city (although somewhat less packed that Ravnica, apparently), Grixis is Mordor and Jund is Lethal Lava Land.
    • Serra's realm from the Urza's block is a cloud world. You can even see it on Urza's Saga plains. By contrast, Phyrexia is a Death World, to the point that everything in Phyrexia is a carnivore.
    • Ulgrotha and Amonkhet are mostly just desert wasteland, aside from a single small region in each that managed to remain prosperous. The latter doesn't even have that anymore.
  • Nexus magazine #4 article "The Savage Jungles: Combining Survival and Ultra-Warrior". The planet Coryphire has been described as a "stinking swamp": most of the land surface is covered by jungle and swamps, making it a combination Jungle/Swamp Planet.
  • In Pathfinder's Golarion setting:
  • Justified and somewhat averted in Rocket Age. Despite being mostly a desert planet Mars has a fair bit of variety in its environments. Venus is primarily a jungle planet, but the unknown valleys may well be different. The various moons aside from Metis tend towards one biome and the gas giants fall into this naturally.
  • Role Master, Spacemaster Privateer campaign setting.
    • Ice Planet: The entire planet Turlog is very cold and under polar conditions.
    • Farm Planet: The planet Tiernarock is a great producer of food and the planet Hasockoth produces more food than any other planet in ISC space.
  • SLA Industries. The home planet of the Wraith Raiders is an Ice Planet. Other Wraith Raider Ice Planets provided water to Mort during the SLA Industries/Wraith Raider alliance after the Conflict Wars.
  • Starblazer Adventures, Mindjammer campaign setting.
    • Desert Planets
      • Delebor is dry and lifeless with a highly corrosive acidic atmoshpere. The ground is dotted with pools of acid.
      • Furnace II is a hot desert world with a runaway greenhouse effect. It has a corrosive and lethally high pressure atmosphere and weather that includes hurricanes and acid storms.
    • Ice Planets
      • One possible adventure location is a frozen world named Belawis that is covered with ice and snow. The native Snekket (hairy white-furred humanoids) are adapted to the cold climate and can't tolerate warm climates.
      • The moon Secundus in the Nimbu star system is a violet-white crater-covered ice ball with a thin atmosphere.
      • Adventure "Escape from Venu". The map of the X-24-Alpha solar system says that the planet X-24-Alpha II is an Ice World.
      • Adventure "The Black Zone". In the Amida solar system the planets Erdu and Rindan are labeled as being Ice Worlds and the planet Kapteks is said to be a Frozen World.
    • Volcano Planet
      • Olkennedy is a mountainous volcanic world which is mostly uninhabitable. One twelfth of the planet's land surface is covered by a gigantic crater.
      • Tremor is the third moon of the gas giant Zalmoxis. It is one of the most geologically active astronomical bodies in the octant, with its surface constantly torn by volcanic eruptions, lava spouts and earthquakes. Oddly enough it's also a major tourist destination.
    • Chinhice V is a agricultural world (Farm Planet) that is famous for its superb food products, especially rice. It has a brisk off-planet trade with other solar systems exchanging food for high-tech imports.
    • Drefnia is a Jungle Planet with intelligent Plant Aliens trees thousands of meters tall. They have a worldwide civilization, and each one has a root system that covers thousands of square kilometers.
    • Galagole is a gas giant moon that is also a damp and swelteringly hot Swamp Planet. There are rumors of lost cities, savage native cults and fabulous treasures in the deep swamps.
    • Tambini is covered with plateaus and gorges. The floors of the gorges are covered with jungles (Jungle Planet) and the gorge walls support rainforests of trees that are hundreds of feet wide and thousands of feet tall (Forest Planet). The natives have four arms that they use for climbing trees.
    • The planet Xaiwu is cold, with an icy surface (Ice Planet) covering its world-wide oceans (Ocean Planet) and a flourishing subaquatic agriculture industry (Farm Planet).
  • Starfire. In the Nexus magazine #9 article "Heeaquii War Scenarios", Heeaq VII is an Ice Planet.
  • Starship Troopers RPG
    • Cloud Planet: Castus and Pollor are gas giants orbiting Barnard's Star. Their major industry is gas mining.
    • Farm Planets: Iskander in the Proxima Centauri system, Europa in the Sol System is a Farm Moon.
    • Ocean Planet: Hydora in the Alpha Hydrae system.
  • Strontium Dog RPG
    • The main rules: Cygnus 9 (Ice Planet and prison planet), Och Eleven (Ocean Planet), Pooh's World (Jungle Planet), Fundi 3 (Jungle Planet and Death World), Zunderland (Ocean Planet), Paprika (Desert Planet), Coriander (Jungle Planet), Q17 (Swamp World). Iceworld Zebra (Ice Planet), Aphid Majoris (Swamp Planet), Bles (Desert Planet), Kung and Hung (Desert Planets), Glauren (Ocean Planet)
    • In the Bounties and Warrants supplement a number of planets are of this type.
      • "Out of the Frying Pan": Calderon (Volcano Planet).
      • "Knowledge is Powered": Heapex (Garbage Planet)
      • "Howl at the Moon": Zhufi Moon (Desert Planet)
      • "A Needler in the Haystacks": Amoshe Prime (Farm Planet)
  • Terran Trade Authority RPG. In the Proxima Centauri system, Proxima III is an Ice Planet, and Proxima IV is an Ocean Planet.
  • Traveller
    • Classic Traveller has Desert Planets (hydrographic % = 0), Ocean Planets (hydrographic % = 100, called "water worlds" long before the Kevin Costner movie), and Ice Planets (such as Mithril in Double Adventure 2 Mission on Mithril). Note that though Traveller called some planets "agricultural", this was an indication that they could produce food products, not that they were Farm Planets (entirely devoted to producing food).
    • Traveller 2300 adventure Energy Curve. The adventure takes place on an Ice Planet.
    • FASA's Action Aboard: Adventures on the King Richard. The description of Dr. Rik-Havasu says that he once went on a hunting trip on the jungle world Stigworl.
  • As noted above, many world in Warhammer 40,000 fit this. They designate their planets almost entirely like the above.
    • It's noted that City Planets, if cut off by a Warp storm are essentially screwed since it prevents food from being transported in, unless they are lucky enough to have an agricultural world in-system - hive worlds (see below) may well have a problem even if they do.
    • The homeworld of the Vespid is an interesting one - an entire world of stone islands floating in the upper atmosphere of a gas giant.
    • Forge Worlds are Eternal Engines scaled up to the sized of a planet.
    • It also has some Single Biome Planets that don't technically fit. Hive Worlds are worlds where, for various reasons, humans have been forced to live into massive city-buildings that can house billions of people, usually because the rest of the planet has been rendered uninhabitable by untold eons of industrialization and rampant pollution. The most atypical Hive World is Necromunda; about ten thousand skyscraper-based Hives scattered amidst an endless desert of ancient ash and chemical dust, but there are many others. Valhalla suffered a cosmic collision that knocked it out of orbit, rendering it an Ice Planet, but with a twist: huge subterranean cities were promptly bored into the heart of the planet and the depths of the glaciers in order to escape the cold. Also, Catachan, a Jungle Planet so deadly that it's also a Death World, to the point where surviving past ten is a major success, and every Catachan soldier is a Rambo from Predator. No really. And yes, even the women.
    • Ciaphas Cain has several atypical worlds, notably a Hailfire Peaks-type that's split into desert and ice planet and doesn't rotate, so work and sleep cycles are a matter of convention.
    • Ocean worlds are occasionally mentioned, but rare.
    • Finally, we have Earth itself, the one and only Super Hive World. None of recognizable features are left, not even the oceans. Instead, it's covered in layers and layers of cities filled with countless holy relics and sites. The Imperial Palace takes up most of what used to be Asia, while Mount Everest was hollowed out and turned into a navigation beacon.


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