Friday, 30 October 2009

[Iburi System Part I] Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space

By God I love a good random generator, and Spelljammer's Universe Builder is the ultimate in both scope and elegance. I'm going to create myself a little planetary system, just for the hell of it. Today I'll do the basics; tomorrow we'll see about fleshing things out.

1. System Type - Is our system your ordinary orbital one, or is it 'special' (a void, nested spheres, etc.)? The answer: standard. That's fine, this is our first effort after all.

2. Primary Type - Do we have a central sun/star, or do our planets orbit something weird and wonderful like a portal to the Negative Material Plane? Earth Body. The centre of this system is not a sun or star, but a body of elemental earth. Less weird than it could have been, but stranger than average. It's a massive cluster of asteriods surrounded by a huge, saturn-like ring of magma and fire which provides light and warmth for the entire system, and it is called Iburi.

3. Number of Planets - 6. Perfect - not too many, not too few.

4. Planet Types. Let's find out what's orbiting Iburi.
  • First up is an Earth type, which we'll call Abashiri. It's a tiny flatworld - a disc floating in space a safe but slightly uncomfortable distance from Iburi.
  • Second is Shiribeshi, another Earth type, considerably bigger than Abashiri, with an irregular shape; it takes the form of a gigantic U, with its inhabitants living on the outside edge. It is locked into a permanent ice age.
  • Next is a Water planet, Rumoi. It is gargantuan, a monstrous oceanic sphere floating through space. It has a cluster of 13 asteroids in orbit around it, believed by its inhabitants to be the corpses of 13 dead gods.
  • Fourth we have Utashinai, another Earth type and another giant to rival Rumoi in size. It is uncommonly hot, with a geography characterized by steaming jungles, parched deserts and vast sultry swamps. This is caused by massive levels of volcanic activity on its surface.
  • Fifth is an Air planet, Muroran, another mighty body, composed entirely of swirling wind, clouds, and pure oxygen. It is vastly distant from the other four planets, but is known to have one, solitary moon.
  • Finally, furthest from Iburi but itself a great source of light and heat, is Tomakomai, a great flat disc of flame. It is dominated by one great civilisation (perhaps beings of elemental fire?), and has 4 scorched moons orbiting it.
Starting tomorrow we'll think these worlds out in a little more detail. Feel free to make suggestions as to what kind of inhabitants they might have and what their geographies are like.


  1. My tendency would be to start with the spelljammer outposts / Rock of Bral type places / "spaceports." Where to ships gather in the system? Who are the major players? That sort of thing. Rumoi and Muroran both have a lot of potential to me -- one for the water, the other for the air. I could imagine a cool port of call on one of the asteroids orbiting Rumoi. Maybe competing ports on two (or more?) different asteroids? You mention the natives seeing the asteroids as corpses of dead gods. You could have cargo cults that tie into that, with the ships that dip down for water and possibly trade or otherwise exchange supplies.

    The other place I'd think would be a good fit for a port would be the moon around Muroran. I don't necessarily have any specific inspiring ideas for it, but it seems like a decent spot for a spacefaring outpost. Native "flyers" from the air world, if big enough, might even fly out of Muroran's atmosphere, carrying their own air bubbles with them long enough to reach the moon and trade with the spacefarers in the port.

  2. I love the Spiritualized reference in the post's title!

  3. Just imagine how screwy the seasonal life cycles of the flora and fauna, or the native cosmology, are going to be in this crazy system.

    Oh, the ring of Iburi; is that oriented parallel to the orbital plane of the system, or perpendicular to it? Coz the latter would make for some fun annual variations in illumination of the orbiting worlds.

    (And here was me thinking that the relatively humble ideas of a world with a black hole primary and a flaming moon was full of bizarre headf**k potential)

  4. Given what we were saying about Spelljammer Option Three the other day, I'd be tempted to make the inhabitants of Rumoi exactly right about the origin of those asteroids...

  5. Superhero Necromancer: Very nice ideas that I think I'll be incorporating.

    sacha3791: Glad somebody recognised it...

    Chris: It's oriented parallel to it. Because if it was perpendicular it would just be too screwy to deal with!

    kelvingreen: We shall see...

  6. Hey, do you have a link to the random generator?

  7. ChrisC: Sorry, no. As far as I know it's only found in the main Spelljammer campaign setting boxed set.