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Naming planets and moons


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#1 AkumaKorgar

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 06:29 AM

So, this may seem incredibly simple a question, but how do you guys name moons in your custom made campaigns? Typically I label all the planets in a fashion that seems to be fairly normal in 40k, if the star's name was Rigel, for example, and it had four planets, they would be Rigel I (or Rigel Prime) Rigel II, Rigel III, Rigel IV. As I said, this seems to be pretty much the norm for Imperial naming systems.

But what about moons? I've been randomly generating star systems, and some of these planets have a good number of moons, and I think they need names, especially when they're oftentimes more interesting than the planet they're orbiting!



#2 Fortinbras

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 06:33 AM

 Well, since the Imperium speaks in High Gothic, it's more like Rigel Primus, Secundus, Tertius, Quartus, Quintus, etc.  

In Edge of the Abyss, Egaria Omega is the name of a moon of a moon, of all things, in a system called Egaria Abundus, whose sixth planet is simply named "Egaria Abundus 12F"



#3 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 07:02 AM

AkumaKorgar said:

Typically I label all the planets in a fashion that seems to be fairly normal in 40k, if the star's name was Rigel, for example, and it had four planets, they would be Rigel I (or Rigel Prime) Rigel II, Rigel III, Rigel IV. As I said, this seems to be pretty much the norm for Imperial naming systems.

That's a common sci-fi trope, but if you look at the maps of the Calixis Sector, Koronus Expanse and Jericho Reach, you'll find relatively few worlds named like that. All manner of names are used, with no particular convention to it - simply pick whatever seems appropriate at the time. You may find a star cluster that contains worlds called Piety (established by pilgrims who were thrown off course during their journeys, and who see their finding of a habitable world as divine provenance), Hamaskis' Fall (the last of seven worlds conquered by Rogue Trader Durantar Hamaskis, and the world he was buried on) and Hurathain (named by pre-industrial human inhabitants, translation unclear as it appears to be an an archaic form of the native language).

That is often the trick with names... when people give something a name, that name often means something to the people who gave it, and even if you start with the name and work backwards, figuring out why the world was named that way is often an interesting way to get the creative juices flowing.

Personally, in my Rogue Trader game, I only name worlds that already have inhabitants or claimants, and I don't expect my players to abide by those anyway. If my players find a habitable world in the depths of the Expanse, they're free to name it whatever they want.

If you're carrying on with the [Star] [Number] type system, then naming moons is easy - add another signifying digit (a letter instead of a number helps keep it clear) somewhere in the name. So, the 2nd moon of the fourth planet in the Tibon system could be called Tibon IV B, Tibon 4-Beta, and so on. Putting the planet's identifier as a word (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, etc, or Primus, Secundus, Tertius, etc) also works to keep the name distinguished from the numbering of the moon - Tibon Delta II, or Delta Tibon II, for example. Even with that method, there's a reasonable amount of room for variation.


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#4 Fortinbras

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 07:15 AM

 I think it depends on the sector.   Near the core of the Imperium, you probably have names of planets belonging to all sorts of cultures or references (like Necromunda, or Armageddon), out in the midrange you probably have systems that were named by banal bureaucrats like "Epsilon Sagitarii VII-B".   Anything catalogued by Adeptus Mechanicus Explorators also probably fits this trope.  I'm sure the Disciples of Thule star catalog is incredibly blaise.  

Most of the systems of the Calixis Sector seem to follow the High Gothic "Primus, Secondus, Tertius" format.    

The systems of the Halo Stars are named by ambitious Rogue Traders and explorers, and tend to have mythical or somewhat "local color" names, the same you might see in the old West.   "Seldon's Folly, Lathimon's Rest", etc. mixed in with regular names like Zayth, and then strange self-explanatory names or ironic names like "Rain" or "Grace".  

If it's an unremarkable system (I.E. perhaps one you've stumbled into by mistake that hasn't already been explored), I would go with the Primus, Secundus, etc. designations.   Perhaps with an unremarkeable star name like "Perseus 137-A". 



#5 Steve-O

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 02:51 AM

In general I'd only worry about coming with "proper" names for planets that are inhabited and/or relevant to the plot.  And then I'd pick names that are obvious or logical for the inhabitants/plot purpose.  Uninhabited planets and moons I'd use the "standard" Primus, Secundus, etc.  method.  Moons I'd name after the planet and then add Alpha, Beta, etc for each moon.

Some examples:

A planet colonized by pilgrims faithful to the Emperor: "Piety."

A strange moon where a number of explorers have gone missing or turned up dead: "Bloodmoon."

The third moon of the fifth planet in an uninhabited system: "Rigel Quintus Delta."



#6 Bilateralrope

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 08:13 AM

The Caiphas Cain novels include a planet named sodallagain (or something like that), mentioning that it was named by a very bored Rogue Trader. So I'd say that the players can name the planet whatever they like, unless someone else named it first (the local inhabitants don't count).



#7 Gribble_the_Munchkin

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 03:55 AM

My players tend to only name things they find important. I am assuming that when they explore an uncharted system they have people mapping it out from Augar data and that a system such as Rigel Alpha, Rigel Beta, etc is being used.  For a world that is going to be used, a proper naming should be done, naming it something memorable, important or relevant.

 

As an aside, my players have named a star Havoks Star after their arch-militant. He wasn't let in on the joke and assumed they were honouring him as a colleague. Instead they named it that because, like the arch-militant, it is large, red (he has a huge ginger beard) and a bit dim.

We also have the Helsen Conduit, a stable warp portal between the Calixis Sector and Koronus Expanse, named after the groups Rogue Trader, Anton Helsen.



#8 ItsUncertainWho

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 04:58 AM

I would think the vanity of the RT would win out in most cases. Naming things after themselves and favored members of the dynasty, revered ancestors, and as jabs against individuals they don't like.



#9 ieatdeadpeople2

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 05:34 AM

 I also think that alot of planets would be named after old legends and myths, so some of those worlds with names that seem random to us, such as Yamakor or illisk are actually just references to gods, monsters, heroes, cities, kingdoms and other planets.  

Just as we've named our solar systems planets after the roman gods people in 40k would be naming thier systems after thier own ancient cultures mythos.

When I want to name a planet I either do the whole Pladus Secondus thing or go on wikipedia and ook up obscure ancient legend.

More recently I've busted out my world atlas and looked around the south pacific for tiny Islands with cool sounding names.


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#10 Adeptus-B

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 10:22 AM

You can also use names to hint at when a world was settled. If it has an obviously 'Gothic' name like Argus Prime or Landolus IV, it was clearly settled within the last 10,000 years, by servants of the God-Emperor; but a destinctly non-Gothic name, like Rhuulga or Thedrekken, hints at a pre-Imperial settlement.



#11 Vandegraffe

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 10:06 AM

A couple of comments…

First, when using the 'official' naming scheme, don't forget about binary or multiple star systems.  For example, Sol's nearest neighbour, Alpha Centauri, is actually a three star system.  So, you've got Alpha Centauri-A,  Alpha Centauri-B, and  Alpha Centauri-C, each with (potentially) it's own family of planets and moons.  So, for example, Alpha Centauri-B 4 A is the first moon of the fourth planet of the second star in the Alpha Centauri system.  Of course, the Imperium probably uses Roman numerals…

Second, I second all the comments about a discoverer naming an interesting planet whatever he pleases.  The official system is suitable for the administratium, but Rogue Traders tend to be a wee bit eccentric.  Some of the names in the Koronus Expanse are colorful.  I'm still curious as to how "Corpse-Fortune" got its name.

Cheers,

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#12 Fearandloathing

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 08:46 PM

 heres an interesting link for this topic

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomical_naming_conventions



#13 Gregorius21778

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 03:57 AM

AkumaKorgar said:

But what about moons? I've been randomly generating star systems, and some of these planets have a good number of moons, and I think they need names, especially when they're oftentimes more interesting than the planet they're orbiting!


 

In the case it is just ONE moon (for a planet) I would not name it at all. Otherwise, give the moons their own names as well. If you have a look at the moons of …was it Jupiter? Anyway, one of the planets with a different number of moons in our Solar Systems has them named "Deimos" and "Phobos". 

Which are names from greek mythology, as far as I remeber.

You could use regular first names (in case of the moons being named after someones sons & daugthers

You could use "talking names" in regard to condition or function ("Tombstone" for a moon that is literated with remains of a now gone xenos race or human colony; "Little Eye " & "Big Eye" for moons of different sizes. "Arcadia", "Oceana" & "Lithe" for Moons who are primarly covered in forests, oceans or simply in lush flowers-like plant life. 

If compared to other moons in the system, use  [Moon Name +Planet Name]. "Little Eye Domicci" is refering to one of the Moons of Domicci while "Lithe Rigal" is a moon of Rigal Secundus



#14 Vandegraffe

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 04:58 PM

@Gregorius, FYI:

Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos.  (In the 40K-verse Deimos has been relocated to orbit Titan.) 

Jupiter has four big moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, and a mess of smaller ones.

The above are listed in order from closest to farthest from their parent planet.  Phobos is actually an anomaly in the Solar system because it orbits exceptionally close to Mars (6000 km) and it has a decaying orbit.  It'll probably crash into Mars within the next 50 million years or so.

Why yes, I am an astronomy geek, why do you ask? 

Cheers,

- V.



#15 Arnstinium

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 06:58 AM

They also use mythological names for planets, such as Tartarus (the setting in the original Dawn of War game), or Vulkan (the homeworld of the Salamanders Chapter).  


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#16 Arnstinium

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 09:23 AM

 Sorry, Vulkan is the Primarch of the Salamanders.  Their homeworld is Nocturne.


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#17 Warmaster Picklehauber

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 01:06 PM

The King James Bible is also a great place to find names. The Old Testament, especially Genesis, is full of monikers! Just open it to any page and someone is naming a plain, river, mountain or even piles of rocks. A lot of these terms are also English and Greek approximations of Hebrew and Aramaic, and thus have a really nice ancient, eldrirch feel.






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