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Thread: World Building Books

  1. #1

    Post World Building Books

    I've been seeking out for some time, books on World Building/Planet creation/Star Creation etc. that have a realistic nature.

    Since my local gaming shop looked at me like I was crazy, I thought I'd pass on what I managed to find via the internet.

    The one that's most caught my eye is, I think, an update of earlier texts.

    It is: Gurps 4th Ed - Space

    Here is a clip from the index....

    4. BASIC WORLDBUILDING . . 62
    USING WORLDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
    Dramatic Roles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
    Depth of Detail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
    MAPPING THE GALAXY . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
    Astronomical Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
    Distances and Scales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
    The Frequency of Worlds. . . . . . . . . . . 70
    Choosing a Preferred Scale . . . . . . . . . . 72
    WORLD DESIGN SEQUENCE . . . . . . . . 73
    Step 1: Concept . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
    Step 2: World Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
    Why World Types? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
    Step 3: Atmosphere. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
    Toxicity Rules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
    Step 4: Hydrographic Coverage. . . . . . 81
    Step 5: Climate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
    Step 6: World Size. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
    Step 7: Resources and Habitability. . . 87
    Habitability for Aliens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
    SOCIAL PARAMETERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
    Step 8: Settlement Type . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
    Step 9: Technology Level . . . . . . . . . . . 90
    Step 10: Population. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
    Altering the Colony Population Table . . . 93
    Step 11: Society Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
    Step 12: Control Rating . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
    Step 13: Economics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
    Step 14: Bases and Installations . . . . . 96
    5. ADVANCED
    WORLDBUILDING. . . . . . 99
    GENERATING STAR SYSTEMS . . . . . . 100
    Stellar Classification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
    Step 15: Number of Stars. . . . . . . . . . 100
    Step 16: Star Masses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
    Step 17: Star System Age . . . . . . . . . . 101
    Step 18: Stellar Characteristics . . . . . 102
    Step 19: Companion Star Orbits . . . . 105
    Step 20: Locate Orbital Zones . . . . . . 106
    Step 21: Placing First Planets . . . . . . 107
    Step 22: Place Planetary Orbits . . . . . 108
    Step 23: Place Worlds . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
    Step 24: Place Moons . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
    GENERATING WORLD DETAILS . . . . . 113
    Step 25: World Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
    Step 26: Atmosphere. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
    Step 27: Hydrographics . . . . . . . . . . . 114
    Step 28: Climate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
    Step 29: World Sizes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
    Step 30: Dynamic Parameters . . . . . . 115
    Step 31: Geologic Activity . . . . . . . . . 119
    Step 32: Resources and
    Habitability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
    Step 33: Settlement Type . . . . . . . . . . 121
    Step 34: Technology Level . . . . . . . . . 122
    Step 35: Population. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
    Step 36: Society Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
    Step 37: Control Rating . . . . . . . . . . . 123
    Step 38: Economics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
    Step 39: Bases and Installations . . . . 123
    SPECIAL CASES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .124
    Gas Giant Moons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
    Tide-Locked Worlds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
    Massive Stars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
    Red Dwarf Stars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
    Brown Dwarf Stars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
    Rogue Worlds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
    Terraformed Worlds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
    OTHER OBJECTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .130
    Asteroids and Comets. . . . . . . . . . . . . 130
    Artificial Structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132
    Who Needs Planets, Anyway? . . . . . . . 132
    Megastructures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133
    Each section is fairly well explained. Where useful, charts and diagrams provide the real-world numerical info so that you can either create a planet (or star) yourself, or roll one; by following their setup, you should come up with a relatively realistic galaxy->planet.

    ________________

    A couple other books I found over the years:

    MegaTraveller - World Builder's Handbook (1989) -> this is the one I feel the GURPS is based on.

    D20 make a few in their "builder's" series. The ones that caught my eye were:

    World Builder's Guidebook
    Dungeon Builder's Guidebook
    Stronghold Builder's Guidebook
    Gary Gygax's World-Builder Book

    There is also the very excellent "A Magical Society: Ecology and Culture" for understanding the ecology, biomes, etc. of your Planet after you've created it.

    I've also collected a few "precursors" to the MegaTraveller book, but can't find them at the moment. I don't think they added anything to the mix.

    I hope this list is useful, and, perhaps, save someone the time I wasted trying to find a book that had the info I needed.
    Last edited by guyanonymous; 05-20-2009 at 02:54 AM.

  2. #2
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    Good stuff, guy. I'll definitely check these out.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

  3. #3

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    I've always loved Steve Jackson Games' GURPS supplements because they always contain a wealth of compiled information on whatever genre or subject they cover and present it in a format that lets you mine for ideas for your campaign. I have quite a collection, but still I've yet to use the GURPS rules to game.

    Thanks for the tip - I don't have GURPS Space, but it definitly looks worth checking out!
    Last edited by jaerdaph; 05-21-2009 at 07:48 AM.
    jaerdaph
    JUST ADD HEROES An ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying Game Blog by Joe "jaerdaph" Bardales

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