Posted: 8 March 2011 in Arioniad
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This is the world where Season 2 of the Arioniad kicks off. I plan to use weeks while Arion & Co are in jumpspace to flesh out their next destination; normal text shows the game version of events, and italics show what the dice, the rules and my imagination are up to in the background. My first thought is, what kind of a name is Betiqu? Years ago, I would detail the world first, and pick a name to match; these days I start with the name and use that to determine what the planet is like. A quick bit of Googling reveals that Betique might mean a province of the Roman Empire about where present-day Andalusia sits, or a font. I’ll go with the province, and give the human inhabitants a vaguely Spanish feel.

Betiqu is a former Imperial mining colony, cut off from interstellar trade and support with the collapse of the Empire. The descendants of the miners have been unable to maintain the level of technology required to survive in the planet’s hostile environment, so although it is nominally a democracy, power actually rests in the hands of those factions with the money to buy spare parts and hire offworld technicians, who instruct local repair staff in rote maintenance procedures.

(I really have to figure out something about this vanished empire soon.)

The main exports are gemstones from the mines, and textiles woven using thread from a local lifeform known as the Rock Grub.

Primary imports are aluminium, special alloys, and cybernetic parts, all used to patch up the decaying life support systems.

(I selected these as they are the items with the best price DMs for speculative trade.)

  • Starport: D. Poor quality installation, no refined fuel, shipyard or repair facilities. Scout base present.
  • Size: 5. Diameter 5,000 miles, surface gravity 62.5% standard, safe jump distance 500,000 miles (5 hours at 1G)
  • Atmosphere: 1. Trace; vacc suit required.
  • Hydrographics: 0. No free standing water; desert.
  • Population: 6. Millions of inhabitants.
  • Government: 4. Representative democracy.
  • Law Level: 5. Personal concealable fireams (pistols) prohibited; longarms permitted.
  • Tech Level: 3. Equivalent to 18th or 19th century Earth.
  • Trade Classifications: Non-Agricultural, Non-Industrial.
  • Gas Giant: No.
  • Alignment: Non-aligned, but the Mageer Swarm maintains a scout base.
    Note: This is incorrectly shown on the subsector map as a naval base. Must edit that at some point.

Given the statistics, the closest analogue physically in our solar system would be Mars, although Betiqu has a somewhat higher surface gravity (possibly because CT plays fast and loose with planetary density).

I notice I have drifted away from actually playing into spending time on campaign setup, which is one of my tendencies I am trying to reverse this year. So, enough setting creation for the moment; on with the motley!

  1. BeRKA says:

    Interesting post. Just some questions about Rock Grub.

    Does it live outside or inside? Is it dangerous/poisonous?
    If it lives outside, how is it protected against the environment?
    Does it have a slow metabolism? Is it rare?
    What is the price of the Rock Grub textile? Is it an extreme luxury product? Is it like silk or something else well known?

    • andyslack says:

      Well, I just threw it in for local colour really; some creature that would produce textiles, since they are obviously plentiful on Betiqu. However, what was behind the throwaway comment was a picture of something like a big silkworm (hence “grub”), about the size of a dog, a slow-moving underground dweller (hence “rock”), easily raised in tunnels by people without much need for fancy technology. I imagine it preparing a coccoon for itself as a kind of survival capsule, like some Earth frogs do; the rockgrub farmers trick it into doing this by manipulating the tunnel environment, then strip the coccoon off and feed it up before repeating the process. Since I intend to use the standard price for textiles, I’d see rockgrub silk as unusual but not a luxury item.

      I have no idea what they eat, but I have a vague notion that the coccoon is a response to low pressure (which would happen if they got too close to the surface, or in a cave-in perhaps).

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