Welcome back to my home brewed Pulp Action Setting! This week, we leave Earth behind for a bit to discover what lies beyond our world. So, sit back and take a tour of our Solar System!
Earth: Basically the same as it was in the mid to late 1930’s. The planet has not yet reached a population of six billion; it is closer to the three and a half billion. Most national boundaries are the same as they were just as WWII started. Some things, however are different.
Much of inland South America is less developed and explored than it was in our history. This is due, in large part to several cryptozoological creatures are real in this setting. The Amazon is home to real piranha that can eat a man to bones in under five minutes. There are several species of hundred foot long pythons and constrictors; and there are several species of monkeys that have near human level of intelligence and a mischievous nature to boot.
The Sub-Saharan Africa is similarly less explored, for much the same reason; as are the Himalayas.
Moon: Thin atmosphere, like that of being at the top of Mt Kilimanjaro and a fine layer of silt-like dust covers the entire surface. The thin air and fine dust make breathing difficult, so most people prefer to go out in protective suits that have breathing masks or helmets to make breathing easier. There is very little moisture on the moon and rainfall is unheard of, though there are a few low level life forms, mostly in the form of molds and fungus and a few types of tiny insects. A dozen colonies have been set up with nearly one hundred and fifty million people living there. Most of these colonies are built underground or have been covered with a few feet of lunar soil for insulation and protection.
Venus: A tropical jungle with hundreds of fresh and salt water lakes the size of the Great Lakes. All life here is insectoid, amphibian or fish. A race of intelligent amphibians is a constant thorn in the side of the many human colonists. These amphibians are loosely humanoid in that they can stand on two hind legs, have a main body and two main arm-like appendages; they do not, however have a neck per se, and they have four long tentacle appendages that stem from just behind their heads. They communicate with a combination of simple empathy mixed with a complex series of moans, grunts and clicks.
Average temperature at the equator is 135 during the day. The poles average 100 in the summer and about 65-70 in the winter. There is a much higher concentration of nitrogen and carbon dioxide is in the atmosphere and humans can only survive in the atmosphere for a short time, about an hour. Breathing the air immediately fatigues any humans and will slowly start to act as carbon monoxide poisoning. Most people only venture outside with a breathing mask or environment suit to avoid the affects of this atmosphere. Venusium (vee-nu-see-um), a carbon based crystal discovered on Venus is a naturally occurring form of the ether crystals manufactured on earth.
Mars: Cooler, drier version of earth. The air is nearly identical to earth in composition and only slightly thinner. Much of the water is located in cavers and the deep valleys carved into the soil. The air holds little moisture, resulting in few clouds and precipitation in the form of rain or snow is rare. The planet is sub-tropical at the equator and goes through the temperate to arctic zones a little faster than earth.
There are many avian, animal and reptilian species found here. There are several large bird-like creatures with wingspans larger than that of a commercial passenger airplane. These “birds” are aggressive hunters and extremely territorial.
Several crystal matrixes were discovered on mars. These were naturally occurring carbon and silicon based polymers that are light and durable. They are also relatively easy to work with. As a result, most military machines are constructed with armor plating made from this material.
Asteroid Belt: There are nearly one hundred different mining facilities within the asteroid belt. These provide much of the raw material needed for manufacturing today, providing raw iron, copper, zinc, and other metals. There are also a large number of unofficial facilities and secret bases within the asteroid belt, built by just about all the major national governments. These bases house all manner of top secret and often illegal testing, experimentation and general mad science.
Jupiter: Jupiter is its own sub-system, referred to as the Jovian system. Besides the two moons we’ve colonized, there are two large space stations. The first of these stations is Gateway, a large von Braun wheel type station is nearly half a mile across and several hundred feet tall. It houses a large ship docking and servicing bay in the hub and the wheel provides enough space to have food production, living, shopping and some manufacturing capability for the nearly ten thousand permanent residents. The second station, Hermes, is a mile long O’Neill cylinder (think Babylon 5) that is four hundred feet wide at its widest point. This station is primarily used as a military, scientific and food production facility. Only authorized personnel are allowed onto this station, unlike Gateway, which is open to the public. Hermes houses just over a thousand people.
Io: A cold sea world, the surface is covered in fresh water ice with only a few dozen island chains for land. Snow, averaging about two feet thick covers most of the surface and temperatures rarely get over forty degrees. The deepest of the seas are as much as 30k feet deep. While Earth and Venus have an abundance of water, Io is almost entirely water. There are only a few colonies on this world, all of them on one of the islands. There is a sentient species of squid-like beings that live in the water. They have an advanced society with cities and diverse cultures. There has been some progress in communication with the human colonists and these creatures, though progress is slow.
Europa: Strangely warmed by the magnetic field of Jupiter, it is a rocky planet almost entirely covered with mountains, canyons and scrublands. Within the many valleys one can find an innumerable amount of small to medium sized lakes. The atmosphere, while higher in nitrogen, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, is breathable for humans, though not using breathing masks causes exhaustion and the onset of headaches. There are a number of avian species found here. One such species is a large, powerful and dangerous species of flying reptilian. People have named them dragons.
Saturn: This system is largely unexplored until the arrival of the aliens. Yes, I said aliens!
So that’s the solar system in a nutshell, so to speak.
Let me know what you think of the setting so far.
Now, next week I get into some of the rules crunch of the system. This is one area I have not spent as much time as I would have liked, though if you listen to the Savage Worlds GM’s Podcast, you know you don’t have to have a ton of new rules to have fun in Savage Worlds!