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Terraforming a planet as a campaign arc

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I'm kinda surprised by all the nay-sayers on this thread, especially considering that the FFG write-up on Nubia says that it was terraformed by normal humans 2200 year BBY, and also despite the fact that FFG included the Elysium Model 2 Atmospheric Plot hook (*cough* Processor) in Far Horizons.

ANYWAY. I know I'm late to the party, but you're an exploratory ship/colony vessel in search of a new home. Why? Who cares, you could be a group led by Jedi fleeing the purge (if it was a F&D game), an Alliance team seeking a new haven for displaced refugees (AOR) or just colonists making their way (EOTE). You have plenty enough resources to start a new home on a hospitable world (of which there are many, as has been pointed out).

Flash! Freak hyperspace anomaly/ion storm/sabotage?!?/star weird attack/deus ex machina drops your party far from known space, with a burnt out hyperdrive and comm system. Hope for repair, but the time is measured in years/decades and you only have weeks of air on the ship. Honestly, you could be 5 light years off the spacelanes, and without hyperdrive/hypercomm, you might as well be in the middle of wild space in terms of short term survival.

There's a planet (or planets, if you still want sublight starhopping a la Firefly), but they're less than ideal because (insert problem(s) here). You're going to have to strain all your resources, intelligence, wits, and luck to the limit to carve out a new home on this inhospitable world.

Every planet (or region) begins with a bucketful of auto-setback dice (or auto-upgrades, if sufficiently dangerous/exotic), which are removed as the PCs help terraform the planet. Sites have to be scouted, dangerous creatures attacked, ancient ruins(?) explored, resources allocated, etc etc.


Warning: Plot points inspired by Horizon:Zero Dawn follow:

Finally, the PC's get the main terraforming nodes linked to the main droid brain, and terraforming starts in earnest with custom made droids. Meanwhile, the factions on the colony ship begin to splinter, and each settles in a new place. Now, there are diplomatic ties made, trade routes established, war averted (or not). All the while trying to find a way back home (repairing hyperspace comms, or a small ship).  After a while, the terraforming droids start turning against the colonists, making a unified effort impossible. It's up to the PCs to unravel the mystery about the droids turning, and restore the normal order to the terraforming process and prevent the destruction of the colony.

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Right!

You can make this really about terraforming, with various projects that require missions to compete among with routine mass "combat" rolls for on going accomplishments. Failures and dispairs are broken equipment and other problems. Successes are progress and advantages are side bonuses. 

You could start with a colony ship and drama like the start of alien covenant. So the start is already less than ideal. Or like the Martian where something goes wrong meaning you have survive until you've terraformed enough.

You can also have pirates, unknown native diseases or predators, imperial scouts etc for more drama.

You can use homestead or business rules from the colony book.

Maybe to fund the ongoing terraforming you have to trade or produce materials for sale. So introduce going to market type smuggler adventures!

 

 

 

Edited by TheShard

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9 hours ago, oneeyedmatt87 said:

I'm kinda surprised by all the nay-sayers on this thread, especially considering that the FFG write-up on Nubia says that it was terraformed by normal humans 2200 year BBY, and also despite the fact that FFG included the Elysium Model 2 Atmospheric Plot hook (*cough* Processor) in Far Horizons.

ANYWAY. I know I'm late to the party, but you're an exploratory ship/colony vessel in search of a new home. Why? Who cares, you could be a group led by Jedi fleeing the purge (if it was a F&D game), an Alliance team seeking a new haven for displaced refugees (AOR) or just colonists making their way (EOTE). You have plenty enough resources to start a new home on a hospitable world (of which there are many, as has been pointed out).

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Finally, the PC's get the main terraforming nodes linked to the main droid brain, and terraforming starts in earnest with custom made droids. Meanwhile, the factions on the colony ship begin to splinter, and each settles in a new place. Now, there are diplomatic ties made, trade routes established, war averted (or not). All the while trying to find a way back home (repairing hyperspace comms, or a small ship).  After a while, the terraforming droids start turning against the colonists, making a unified effort impossible. It's up to the PCs to unravel the mystery about the droids turning, and restore the normal order to the terraforming process and prevent the destruction of the colony.

 

Maybe that’s the motivation.  Nobody ever teraforms because there are so many habitable worlds.  The Empire, Hutts, campaign BBEG will never look for you there.

”Hey maybe there hiding in the OMG why would you live there this place will kill you system.”  “Don’t be stupid, nobody goes there.”

Oh and hello everyone ?.  Long time lurker, first time posting.

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Wait... Seriously? An entire thread about terraforming in Star Wars, and nobody has brought up Telos IV? Has not a single person here actually played Knights of the Old Republic II? My mind is kinda blown right now. That was a part of that game that seemed to drag on and on. "Yes, yes, I know. The Ithorians are trying to do this big terraforming experiment to make Telos habitable again. Czerka Corporation is trying to sabotage their efforts so they can get all the Republic money being funneled into this project. The Ithorians want you to stop Czerka's meddling. Czerka wants you to stop the Ithorians. I get it!"

For those who don't know, Telos IV was formerly a pristine, life-filled planet before the war between the Republic and Revan. During the war, the planet was rendered life-less and barren. The Ithorians commissioned the Republic to sponsor a restoration effort in order to make the planet habitable once more. The massive Centerpoint Citadel Station was constructed for the sole purpose of this attempt to restore life to the world. This was a vital project that would determine the Republic's actions toward other worlds that had been devastated in the intense wars of that time period. If the Ithorians proved capable of restoring life to Telos IV, they would be given much more funding from the Republic to restore other worlds as well. This restoration process was basically terraforming, making an inhospitable planet into a habitable one. 

Now, as to whether or not a party would be able to accomplish this? I guess it depends on how inhospitable the original planet is. Are you working with a pure chunk of rock that has never been able to support life? Probably going to be pretty difficult to terraform. Are you working to restore breathable air and drinkable water to a contaminated world? Probably much easier to pull off. Regardless, I see this becoming a mission that will require extensive resources, both in credits and manpower. Engineers, technicians, environmental scientists, droid laborers, mining operations to provide the raw materials for building the machines. All very expensive and hard to come by. But definitely not impossible. I think it sounds like a killer idea for a Star Wars campaign. Heck, I might even try to integrate this idea into one of my games. I kind of like the idea of terraforming a new world to give a home to all the surviving Alderaanians. (Way better than what Leia did in canon, building them a space station to life in out of the remains of the two Death Stars.)

Edited by Underachiever599

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There are varying levels of terraforming that can require different levels of technology.  Changing out native flora and fauna can be done with an army of droids.  Changing the composition of atmosphere, soil, and water requires much more.  Doing it on an uninhabited planet is an order of magnitude easier than doing it on a planet that has an established population that you don't want to wipe out or displace.

If you did want to go Andromeda route you could have a massive fleet use an new interstellar hyperspace engine to get to another galaxy, but as usual they get there and there's a problem and are stuck locally.  Maybe once they get there they discover that normal hyperspace is greatly hindered meaning that they can't branch out to explore that galaxy for a while.  There's always the lost in space angle where the "super hyperspace" engine is sabotaged en-route stranding the fleet.

In the anime Martian Successor Nadesico, the martian soil was being slowly terraformed by small worm like robots.  In Red planet humans were using algea to create an atmosphere.  What if the majority of the fleet sat in orbit while the "trouble shooters" had to go down for their missions or maybe a small base is established to set out from.  The teams could go out and take care of local fauna that would feed on the animals being used to terraform part of the planet.  Or perhaps there are more hostile fauna that attack the atmospheric processors so teams have to go out, fix them, guard the repair teams, investigate why, etc.

Perhaps this galaxy has sentients that don't take kindly to outsiders.  Maybe a Geth or Tyranid like species.

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1 hour ago, Wandering Terä Käsi Artist said:

Didn't Duros allowed to be be un habitable or at least go to waste cause the Duros abandoned the planet to live in Space Colonies?

 

Back to this, are we? Alright then.

Sort of.

Since they couldn’t fix the planet, they went to their backup: space stations.

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1 hour ago, Yaccarus said:

Back to this, are we? Alright then.

Sort of.

Since they couldn’t fix the planet, they went to their backup: space stations.

Terraforming and cleaning up mutating bioweapons or the traces from dirty bombing and large scale wars are different things though.

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2 hours ago, Darth Revenant said:

Terraforming and cleaning up mutating bioweapons or the traces from dirty bombing and large scale wars are different things though.

Duro was more of a case of industrial pollution as far as I remember.

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6 hours ago, Yaccarus said:

Duro was more of a case of industrial pollution as far as I remember.

Combination of their industrialization and orbital bombardment by the CIS. The bombardment wrecked their waste storage facilities and factories, which caused all that crap to spread into the atmosphere together with whatever nasty stuff the CIS might have used. So less greenhouse effect and industrial pollution, which they had under control, and more of a global nuclear holocaust with all the radiation that entails. Which is a bit harder than just jumpstarting greenhouse gas production on a planet that could support an atmosphere.

 

Rampant global warming is not that big of a problem in Star Wars, otherwise Ord Mantell would not be a habitable planet. Since their industry is dirty enough to have melted both of the polar ice-caps and they have a huge wasteland filled with scrap alongside acid lakes, downed star ships with stuff leaking into the ground and huge trash fires burning constantly. That place is still habitable and a popular tourist destination for gamblers and big game hunters.

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I don't know if this has been said but cost/benefit analysis? Maybe the 300 years of terraforming isn't cost effective? Maybe the exotic toxins are really really bad and make the place uninhabitable until the TF is nearly finished? Also there are so many worlds.

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