Monday, November 9, 2020

Random Asteroids

Continuing my random old science fiction solar system generators here with one for the asteroid belt. The asteroids are much less specified than Mars or Venus in the fiction, but there are stories to draw on. The first thing to keep in mind is that asteroids in pulpish tales tend to be much closer together than in real life. Maybe not quite Empire Strikes Back asteroid field distance but close.

Basic Theme:
1  Gold in The Hills - The Belt is a rural backwater, but it draws prospectors and those who cater to them. Think boomtowns and eccentric mountain men spacers.
2  Islands in a Vast Sea - Strange societies, exotic ports of call. It's one part The Odyssey  and one part South Pacific adventures of  Voyage of the Scarlet Queen.
3  Lost Worlds - A more isolated version of the above. The Belt may even be mostly empty, but a few hidden worlds lurk there.
4  Place of Mystery - Mostly uninhabited now, but there are this wasn't always the case. There are tombs to rob, artifacts to loot.

Why is This Rock Different? (Note that the answer here will suggest things about other asteroids!) 
1  It's inhabited
2  It's a piece of some structure
3  It's actually a dwarf planetoid
4  It has an atmosphere and life despite it's small size

Who Are the Inhabitants?
1-2  Strange and varied beings, unknown elsewhere
3-4  The adventures, nonconformists, and/or criminals of other worlds
5-6  Native primitive human(oid)s--how they spread from rock to rock is a mystery

What Do Outsiders Do There?
1  Exploit Mineral Wealth
2  Exploit the Natives
3  Hiding Out
4  Homesteaders
5  Archeology/Exploration
6  Crashed/Maroon/Exiled

Selected Asteroid Belt Sources:
"Marooned off Vesta" Isaac Asimov
"Master of the Asteroid" Clark Ashton Smith 
The Twilight Zone "The Lonely" 
"Trail of the Astrogar" Henry Hasse 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Originally I was going to mention an idea from Red Dwarf. Where people take one of the larger asteroids and use it both for mining and transport, while the mining is going on. Grafting structures onto the asteroid until space is made inside of it.

Then another idea came to mind which, I admit, is wholesale stealing from Marvel's Savage Land and the Micronauts.

Fitting into your #2 and 3 ideas, how about a series of asteroids all with atmospheres, gravities, and biomes that should not exist on such relatively small bodies?

Originally the genetic playground of some advanced space race; the asteroids were embedded with (hi-tech equipment / magic) that allows the biome to exist. Giving the "space gods" an isolated environment to tinker with primitive inhabitants from a nearby planet.

Eventually these gods get bored or their experiments reach a dead end. So they depart, forgetting about the creatures that they considered no more than toys.

There would need to be something worked out to facilitate travel between the asteroids, but that could be part of the plot of the RP.