Archives of Nethys

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Sandbox Adventures / Setting Design / Science And Fantasy In Your Setting

Example: Back to Alqet

Source Galaxy Exploration Manual pg. 135
It’s time to add adventure locations to the worlds in the Alqet system. When Joan used the Building Worlds section of this book (page 46) to generate the worlds in the Alqet system, she got Aeon Guards and bone troopers as antagonists. She expands on this, deciding that two evil interstellar powers are warring over the Alqet system. The Necrotocracy of Brin is an evil society of high-tech necromancers (known as “techromancers”) who rely on undead foot soldiers, while the Interstellarium is a fascist state that combines magic and high technology. Joan can use Corpse Fleet NPCs and starships for the Necrotocracy and Azlanti Star Empire soldiers and starships for the Interstellarium, changing any details necessary to fit her setting as it evolves and to keep the players guessing. Each of these groups have multiple bases in Alqet, some as small as a listening post with only a couple of personnel, while other bases are large, easily detectable, and well-entrenched. She adds additional adventure locales, such as a ruined starship floating in the gas giant’s icy rings and a high-magic zone on Alqet II smothered in abnormally high radiation—something the PCs will easily be able to detect from space but unable to investigate until they reach higher level.
The space station around Alqet II is a likely candidate for an additional safe spot where the PCs might go to rest, shop, and conduct downtime activities. Prompted by setting material she read, Joan makes Morpheus Station a research facility where the floating jellyfish-like barathus study Dreamers who dwell in the swirling atmosphere of the gas giant below; the biotech available at the station won’t be available anywhere else. She adds some clues that point the PCs to the secrets she’s created: an abandoned campsite on Alqet V where Evan’s father briefly lived, and a barathu scientist trying a radical, experimental treatment for the commander’s symbiote.
Joan then decides to add another magical and fantastical element to the Alqet setting, perhaps some resource that has lured the Necrotocracy and Interstellarium to Alqet in the first place. Most star systems in the real world are surrounded by Oort clouds, vast swarms of icy particles where comets originate. Joan uses Oort clouds as an inspiration for Alqet. The icy proto-comets in its cloud are composed of an unusual element that, when exposed to the magical heat of Alqet’s unique sun, turn into materials usable in hybrid batteries that an advanced civilization can use to fuel anything from artifacts to starships. Interstellar powers war over Alqet as they try to catch the comets spiraling around the sun.