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Tabletop Game / GURPS Space Atlas

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The GURPS Space Atlas series consists of four supplements for GURPS Third edition and published by Steve Jackson Games, each detailing one or two areas of space to use as settings for interstellar SF campaigns:

  • GURPS Space Atlas, by Steve Jackson and William A. Barton, covers the Old Frontiers Sector.
  • GURPS Space Atlas 2, by The Asmiari Worldbuilders' Cooperative, covers the Corporate Worlds.
  • GURPS Space Atlas 3, by Dale Kemper and Creede Lambard, covers the Great Spiral Sector.
  • GURPS Space Atlas 4, by David L. Pulver and Stephen Dedman, covers the Phoenix and Saga Sectors.

These settings provide examples of:

  • Fictional Colour: In Space Atlas 4:
    • The aliens known as the Garuda can see one color in the infrared range and two in the ultraviolet range, neither of which can be seen by humans.
    • The alien Kinski can see three colors in the infrared range that human beings can't.
  • Fungus Humongous: In Space Atlas 4, Shiva is a Jungle Planet which has huge toadstool-like fungi, some of which are as high as a man.
  • Giant Spider: In Space Atlas 4, Winterjewel is an Ice Planet whose dominant life form is a gigantic spider. It looks like a huge tarantula with white fur and weighs 70 pounds.
  • Penal Colony: In Space Atlas 4, Cenotaph is a prison planet owned by the Phoenix Domain. The prisoners live underground and are forced to mine heavy metals if they want to have air, power, food and water.
  • Pleasure Planet: In Space Atlas, the planet Alhambra is known as a vacation spot without peer throughout the sector and the pleasure domes of New Xanadu provide normal and exotic amusements for the masses, while the exclusive resort of Sybaros entertains the wealthy and powerful.
  • Scary Scorpions: In Space Atlas, on the desert planet called Quentin, Pressure-Scorps are huge scorpion-like alien creatures more than 12 yards long and weighing up to six tons. Their stings don't inject poison — appropriate to the planet, they suck the bodily fluids out of their victims, thus providing much-needed liquid.
  • Single-Biome Planet:
    • Space Atlas:
      • 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.
    • Space Atlas 4:
      • 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.
  • Space Sector: The different volumes of the series cover several sectors (the Old Frontiers Sector in the original Space Atlas; the Corporate Worlds Sector in Space Atlas 2; the Phoenix and Saga Sectors in Space Atlas 4) while other tools allow for the creation of whole new sectors.