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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"), Quietus ("desert world"), Roen ("desert world"), Tecris, Thuli ("desert world"), Xxipt ("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: Brin ("frozen arctic world"), 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 °F below zero), Connec ("iceworld")
    • Jungle Planet: Makin ("jungle world"), Mentio ("jungle world"), Tharmus ("jungle world"), Wellington ("jungle world")
    • Ocean Planet: Faraway (largely water world), Frolin ("ocean world"), Fsorac ("water world"), Gumrana ("water world")
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    • Volcano Planet: Shonjem ("geological havoc...tectonic plate activity and volcanism").
  • Blue Planet: Poseidon is an Ocean Planet, with only 3% of its surface as land.
  • Call of Cthulhu: In Curse of the Chthonians, in the 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.
  • Dragon Magazine: The 1998 Annual article "Alternate Frontiers" has 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.
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    • 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 can visit is a Dark Planet, the Nightworld of Vlad Tolenkov. It is a land of perpetual night with no sun. Heat and plant life are sustained by ancient magic.
      • The very end of the module has a list of worlds the dungeon master can create for the PCs to explore. They include a Cloud Planet, a Forest Planet, a Jungle Planet and a semi-Ice Planet which is entirely tundra (a treeless plain with permafrost soil).
    • In the 1st Edition AD&D Manual of the Planes and then Planescape, the planes are often single-biome... places, but blatantly unlike anything in our cosmos. Most planes are sets of thematically-connected sub-planes, each of which has its own dominant biome. The three layers of Arborea, for example, are an infinite forest, an infinite ocean dotted with archipelagos, and an infinite desert; the plane of Mechanus is a single infinite gearscape; the plane of Pandemonium is four layers of infinite windswept caves; and so on and so forth. Given these are archetypal realms constructed of mortal belief and further influenced by the will of the gods, their nature is fairly justified.
    • Dark Sun has the Desert Planet of Athas. Most of the planet is standard desert, and all of it has very little water and a hot sun.
  • 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.
  • GURPS Space
    • GURPS Space Atlas (the first book in the GURPS Space Atlas series), a supplement covering the Old Frontiers sector:
      • The planet Nightmare is a Death World. It has a lethal atmosphere (carbon dioxide and chlorine) under high pressure, strong winds with no visibility, and high heat (up to 138°). The native life is extremely aggressive and dangerous. Every expedition to the planet's surface has perished to the last man.
      • Bollux, Byte and Quentin are Desert Planets with very hot climates. At 30° latitude, Bollux reaches 132 °F, Byte goes up to 157 °F and Quentin reaches 112 °F.
      • The planet Cretaceous is both a Forest/Jungle planet and a Volcano Planet. It is covered by jungles and forest and has extensive volcanic eruptions that fill its atmosphere with sulfurous fumes and ash.
      • The planets Dunsel and Redugun are covered by huge forests and are therefore a Forest Planets. Redugun's trees are so large that they dwarf the giant sequoias of Earth.
      • The planet Von Berg is an Ice Planet. It is a small "frozen rockball" because of the dim light it receives from its distant red sun. At 30° latitude, it reaches a low of -80 °F.
      • As a Jungle Planet, the planet Talisman's continents are dominated by tropical jungle.
      • All of the planet Hali's surface water is in the form of ice, making it an Ice Planet. Because it is part of a double-planet system with Hamish, it is also subject to severe volcanism and earthquakes, making it a Volcano Planet.
      • Ocean Planets: The surface of the planet Nautilus is 87% water and that of the planet Sinbad is 93% water.
      • Pleroo is a Farm Planet, as it is almost entirely devoted to agriculture. There is almost no mining or manufacturing, with all such goods being imported from off-planet.
    • GURPS Space Atlas 4, covering the Phoenix and Saga sectors
      • Desert Planets: all of these planets have their land surfaces mostly covered by sand. They have high average temperatures and low surface water percentages. They include Azrael (113 °F, 6% water), Tara (105 °F, 20% water), Nezkd (89 °F), and Hautdesert (109 °F, 20% water).
      • Abbadon's land area is mostly covered by forest, making it a Forest Planet.
      • The following Ice Planets have primarily arctic terrain and average temperatures below freezing: Estremerine 17 °F) and Winterjewel (-21 °F).
      • The planets Moonjam and Shive have their land surfaces covered by jungles, making them Jungle Planets.
      • The following Ocean Planets' surface areas are almost all water: Cornwall (98%), Medusa (99%), Nygel/Nimue (97%) and Welbefallen (96%).
      • Volcano Planets: Fiobranche mountainous terrain and immense volcanoes, Sunrise has frequent volcanoes expelling molten basalt and regular earthquakes.
  • Magic: The Gathering: Some planes are entirely dominated by a specific environment. Very few of these worlds came to be that way naturally; most used to be more diverse worlds that underwent heavy urbanization, cataclysms or other momentous events, while the rest are typically artificially created by powerful beings according to specific designs. 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.
    • Pyrulea is a Hollow World covered in immense forests with trees large enough for entire houses to be built on single leaves.
    • 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, with typical mana-generating landscape features replaced by urbane equivalents — islands by its water transport system, mountains by forge and factory districts, plains by residential areas, swampland by sewers and forests by urban parks.
    • Shards of Alara pushes this further, due to each of the shards being a fragment of a once normal world that is dominated by one type of Mana and missing two, leading to highly unbalanced environmental situations. Naya, dominated by Green mana, is covered in miles-high jungles; Bant, dominated by White, is an Arcadia of rolling prairies; Esper, the Blue shard, is a patchwork of islands covered in cities; Grixis, the Black shard, is a necromantic Mordor where the landscape lies beneath a thick layer of corpses and bones; and Jund, the Red shard, is wasteland of constantly erupting volcanoes about tangled jungles and swamps.
    • Serra's realm from the Urza's block is a cloud world where patches of arable land drift amidst the clouds. 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 littered with ruins, 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.
  • Numenera:
    • Most of Perelande is ocean, covered in a crust of organic material 30 to 46 centimeters thick. For the most part, the crust extends for miles upon miles of relatively flat, dry terrain, with only occasional small plants.
    • The Rogue Planet Xeobrencus is covered in a worldwide ocean of liquid water.
    • Trytherhon, a planet located in a parallel dimension, is covered by a worldwide forest that fills even its seas.
  • Pathfinder:
    • Castrovel is covered with teeming jungle, with Tree Top Towns hosting the Green-Skinned Space Babe Lashunta species and the ancient refuge of Golarion's forest-loving elves.
    • Akiton is a take on the Once-Green Mars: a planet of cold red deserts with a thin atmosphere and the remnants of long-gone oceans.
    • Triaxus is an odd case: its highly irregular, 317-year orbit causes it to alternate between tropical and glacial conditions as it moves towards and away from the sun. This is downplayed, however, in that despite its seasonal extremes it retains a variety of earthlike environments such as grassy plains, extensive forests, mountain ranges, shallow seas and deep oceans, and the like. What changes is whether these environments are tropical and humid or covered in thick snows at any given time.
    • Verces is a Tidally Locked Planet hosting a civilization that cherishes balance and cooperation between castes of Bio-Augmented Pro-Humanoid Transhumanoids, Arcadian peasants and civil servants, and priests.
    • Eox is an airless, irradiated Death World in the aftermath of a devastating interplanetary war, now inhabited and ruled by depraved, paranoid undead.
  • Rocket Age: Justified and downplayed. 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: In the 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 Planets:
      • 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 Planets: 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 Planets: Hydora in the Alpha Hydrae system.
  • Strontium Dog:
    • 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)
  • Summerland: By all appearances, the Earth has become completely covered by an immense deciduous forest. A few lakes are present here and there and some drifters claim that bare mountains can be seen in the distance if you climb on the higher trees, but other than that there is no evidence that anything exists on Earth but unbroken primeval forest.
  • Terran Trade Authority: 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"), and Ice Planets (such as Mithril in Double Adventure 2 Mission on Mithril). Note that though Traveller calls some planets "agricultural", this is an indication that they can produce food products, not that they're Farm Planets entirely devoted to producing food.
    • Traveller 2300: The adventure Energy Curve 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.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Many worlds fit this. The Imperium designates its planets almost entirely along these lines.
    • 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 entire world of stone islands floating in the upper atmosphere of a gas giant.
    • Forge Worlds are Industrial Worlds completely covered in factory complexes, immense machinery and gigantic pits of slag and refuse.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Catachan is 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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