>ITT: ideas for sci-fi encounters and technology
Sentient water vapor
Giant Telepathic Space Urchin
A group of antimatter molecules hit your ship.
A baby space whale, separated from its mother and too young to survive on its own.You can choose to feed it by jettisoning some fuel, in which case it becomes friendly and starts following your ship.
I'm a sucker for the old 'fantasy settings which turn out to be sci-fi settings' trope.
A massive network of caves filled with an advanced, subterranean, ecosystem of weird creatures with fungus filling all the niches usually occupied by plants.
An adorable, baby, alien gets dumped on the party somehow. P.C.s have to 'Three-Men-and-A-Baby' it up trying to find out how to look after it.
>blatantly stealing something I came up with in a similar thread a few months agoPlayers discover the remains of a mining camp that got bombarded from orbit.Nearby is a mountainous region where a massive landslide took place. The area is covered in radioactive fallout, as if someone blew up some mining shafts.
>>53354652I need three books that did this, stat
*furious Endless Space shilling*
The party has been hired to deliver filtration systems and several gigatons of cometary ice to a colony on a desert world. Corrupt local officials and businessmen who maintain power and wealth by artificially limiting the water supply attempt to sabotage the operation.
>>53354051The party encounters a resource harvesting operation: a high-tech race is draining exotic energies and cosmic matter from a pulsar.The race is not hostile, and will tolerate the presence of the party. In fact, the middle-rank leaders of the operation will try to recruit them into doing thankless drudge work for bullshit (by their standards) payment. Meanwhile, many of the common workers will find a particular liking in provoking the party by hacking into the party comms and shittalking all day long.
You ship's life support has suffered a major malfunction and you must undertake an emergency landing on Myrmidon 7, a jovian moon undergoing terraforming. The locals live in hovering cities while monitoring the multi-century terraforming process. They are a closed society trying to build a paradise. You aren't allowed to land in their cities and they don't take kindly to visitors disrupting the developing ecosystem. You must keep your landing stealthy, taking on water and air, and then sneak into one of the cities to procure replacement parts.
The Principality of Kandora, a militant dictatorship ruling several systems, is amassing a large fleet to invade one of its neighbors. You have been hired to infiltrate their assembly yards and introduce a virus into the fleet's comms. You must pose as mercenaries or arms dealers and gain physical access to the command and control computer on one of their stations or ships.
>>53356091I like it
Research station SX43189 is no longer sending updates to the Imperial Science Academy. You've been hired to investigate. the station had been setup to study the unusually coherent EM emissions from a small blue-white star designated PCR445. Turns out the star is sentient, but highly solipsistic. It finally noticed the small (by it's standards) research station and took over its computer systems while trying to communicate it. Life support is failing, and the docking systems are offline. Can you get onboard and get the research team out before they suffocate? Can you make it out of the system before the Radiant Mind takes control of your ship's systems? Can you negotiate with a star?
Hey buddy. We can top off your He3 tanks no problem, but my diagnostic system says your AG field needs to be recalibrated. We can't fix it here, but my brother in law has a service station which can do the job.
>>53354051Is that a giant dickhead with Trump's hair?
The Principality of Kandora is rebuilding their fleet from the virus which turned their ships guns on each other. The center of their efforts is a new dreadnought under construction at a high security shipyard. You've been hired to sabotage and delay the construction, but once you infiltrate the facility it turns out the ship is closer to launch than expected. You either have to overload the ship's reactor, or find a way to steal the whole vessel.
Your last few jobs paid quite well, and now it's time for some well earned R&R on one of the nicer orbital habs in the system of Michael's Joy. It's a damn shame those Kandoran agents have finallym tracked you down.
>>53356995One of your least favorite contacts claims to have a lead on the Kandoran senior agent running the op to track you down. Sadly he wants to meet to hand off the info in one of the less reputable sections of the hab. Take a gun, and keep your wits about you. Even if it's not a trap, the locals might kill you for the creds in your pocket.
>>53357109The lead panned out, but the news is not good. The senior agent gunning for you has pulled back to the Kandoran enclave on Samuel's Landing. It's basically a walled city with only two points of entry, and is probably the most secure area in the entire system. Bribing your way in is the easy part. Getting out after you've neutralized a senior Kandoran agent and scragged his personal datastore, that's the tricky part.
>>53356825Must be 18 to browse 4chan kiddo
Not the best picture capture but the new social space in Destiny 2 has helped me to imagine what a typical "village in the wild" would be like for a sci-fi setting
>>53356346>pose as mercenaries or arms dealers>pose asyou're already expecting too much from my party.
>>53357271That was a pretty fun read, anon.
>>53354504On closer inspection, the fungi are all interdependent and frequently use specialized spores to communicate with each other. Although they are just mushrooms alone, altogether they form a rudimentary brain.
Stranded on a small planet, a group of robots forgot their origin and purpose and have set up a tribal society.
You are the reptile influencing the government of a world.
>>53354051Any encounter lifted directly from D&D with the word "Space" placed next to any fantasy elements.
Not my idea, but one I spotted on /tg/ a long time ago:In deep space, the players detect a large *something.* Going to investigate, they find an incredibly large, crude spaceship. Boarding, they find the thing is fucking archaic: there's barely space to move in the tiny corridors, for all the exposed piping, clunky machinery, steam valves, copper cables, etc. There's some old electrical stuff on the ship but hardly anything that could be described as a computer. There's not even any artificial gravity. In the deepest part of the ship is a burnt out [FTL device], either as rudimentary as the rest of the ship, or clearly far more advanced and crudely incorporated with the far more basic technology around it.Dotted around the ship are a few human skeletons in ancient space suits. In the cockpit is a lone skeleton. Lying near him is a stub of pencil and a paper notepad, covered in frantic scribbles in an unknown language. Managing to translate/identify them reveals them as Russian. They're dated as being from the 20th century.
>>53358111A maurauding band of Space Ogres are currently raiding the Space King's Space Village northeast of the Space Capital. His loyal legion of Space Paladins have been dispatched to deal with this threat, but no response has come back for a Space Week, not even the Space Courier. It is your job to figure out what happened!
>>53358160You joke but I'd play it.
>>53358160The president has been kidnapped by space ninjas.Are you a bad enough spacedude to rescue the president?
>>53358371>just the regular president>not the space presidentI'm a space adventurer, I've got far more important space things to do than bother myself with petty planetary problems.
>>53356091That's pretty neato idea
>>53356091This is an episode of Doctor Who (more than one).
>>53359043Also the plot of an Akira Toriyama manga and I guess Fury Road while we're at it. Been used lots of places."Fat cat using water supply to exert control" is a pretty basic but good plot.
>>53359043Also partially the plot form Chinatown (and therefore also Rango).
Bacteria that has slight (several second) time travel properties, to respond to minute negative stimuli. Someone figures out how to coat their ships with it so if they get hit they can jump back before the hit and maneuver away
A non-spacefaring planet, completely depopulated by a brutal centuries-old nuclear war. Deep underground, some surviving bunkers are still run autonomously, and an underground train system can be re-activated.
>>53359120I was just thinking of dragonball abridged "space australia" joke.
>>53354051A rogue planet with a self-contained underground civilization which maintains an technological, social and cultural equilibrium for the last 5 billions years. They have automated measures against intruders which would disrupt their feat.>Rogue planets wandering the cold depths of space far from any star are very romantic in a science fictional sort of way. However, such planets are highly unlikely to contain life, unless said life forms enjoy living at a chilly 3ｰK.>But scientists Dan Hooper and Jason H. Steffen have an intriguing notion. One type of exotic particle (WIMPs) postulated as being behind the dark matter phenomenon would mutually annihilate other such particles, creating heat energy (i.e., WIMPs are their own anti-particle). WIMPs generally only rarely encounter each other, but they can be captured by the gravity of a planet. In the planet's core, WIMPs scooped up by the planet would quickly find other WIMPs and annihilate themselves, heating up the planet.>Hooper and Steffen calculate that since Terra is in a WIMP poor part of the galaxy WIMP annihilation would contribute a totally negligible one megawatt to Terra's heat. By contrast, Terra absorbs 100 quadrillion watts of heat from the Sun.>However, in the WIMP rich center of the galaxy, the heat goes up dramatically. They calculate that within 30 light-years of the galactic center, a planet with ten times Terra's mass could absorb enough WIMPs to generate 100 quadrillion watts. Thus such a rogue planet would be warm enough for life as we know it even with no sun nearby.>For people who take the long view, this would be ideal. A planet in a WIMP high region could be kept toasty warm for trillions of years, long after all the stars in the entire universe had burnt out.
>>53354051>The station shakes like a hurt living thing. >The lights dim and fade away. >The artificial gravity goes; the air pumps cut out>And the bartender starts to pray.
>>53354652... Okay, why is baby Cthulhu giving me bedroom eyes? S-should I call Arkham or the FBI?
>>53360391I dunno... It's giving me innocent, vulnerable baby eyes, like my maternal instincts are kicking in and I should pick it up and hold it and take care of it for life and never let it go, not even when it wants to go to college or begin its reign of terror and spread darkness across the world.
>>53360672That's because a mutant crab has obviously cut off the top of your skull and made a nest in your frontal lobe so it can pilot you like a fleshdroid nursemaid for otherworld horrorbabies.So congratulations, I guess?
>>53354051I love these ideas for ship/pod homes.
>>53360865> coffinscomfy name for beds I guessWhat're these concept art for, anyway?First a geta captcha for gouda butt, and now broadway broadsword. Why are you so eloquent today, captcha?
What is up with all the general space/sci-fi stuff?It seems like there has been a lot of it popping up on /tg/.
>>53360977happens once in a while, we circulate through genres sometimes
>>53360934>>53360952It was fan art for the cyberpunk novel Neuromancer. Beyond that, I don't know who actually created the artwork.
I AM SINISTARBEWARE, I LIVE
>>53358111> the party has been recruited to travel to the Space Barrier Peaks from the Grand Space Duchy of Geoff, which has recently been attacked by a plague of bizarre and unspacely monsters that not even the most learned space scientists can identify. The source of the monsters is a strange hyperspace dungeon, guarded by woemholes of impenetrable quantum entanglement, that has been discovered in the Space Barrier Peaks. The party must enter the hyperspace dungeon and put a stop to this tide of abominations, and if possible find out what the space hell is going on.
>>53361000The rest look okay, but the pillar of antigrav sounds like it'd be really awkward when going in and out
>>53360824>>53360840>>53360865>>53360934>>53361000Marcel van Vuuren is the artist.
>>53361078I agree. It's good concept art, but needed tweaking.
>>53354051Shut down of combat android factory
>>53361232>old combat droid factory>seemed like a great place to loot but...>locks on the door broken>all dark inside, no power>everywhere you point the meagre beam of your flashlight creates dozens of humanoid shadows all around you>several of the androids are missing from their racks>too late to turn back and anyway you're lost in the labyrinthian complex>place begins to reek of death>you come across your first, reeking bodies>dull echoes of moaning all around you and whispered phrases like the lullabies of madmenIs the place haunted?Insane combat droids roaming the facility?No, it's just a bunch of hobos living out their hobo dreams, talking to themselves, dying of exposure, and occasionally having sex with the android bodies. Not necessarily in that order, mind you, and only the most advanced in the hobo arts can do all three at the same time.
>>53361669there are also a few ambling, purposeless combat androids standing around on standby. They don't do shit, because all the AR tags they need for autonomous operation have been stripped by the proprietors when the place was abandoned.
>>53361669>>53362301Great, thank you for the mental image of striped combots hobbling around leaking oil and hobo jizz while betting you to kill them because they "cannot self terminate"
Elephants.IN SPACE ROOMS.
>>53361000>>53360934>>53360865>>53360840>>53360824I like these. Very inspirational.
>>53362665The murder hobos turn out to be murderous sex bots raping their own kind.
>>53354051a stable higgsfield forms close to a very populated star systemcan you help them evacuate or find a way to deal with the threat before the entire star system disappears under the cascade of oblivion?
>>53365281Jesus, Ted, those weren't "murder hobos" or some kind of elite hobo infiltrator bots. You've been shooting the homeless and mentally ill, man. A LOT of the homeless and mentally ill. This is not the kind of thing that looks good on a performance review. Now get a shovel.
>>53362899I've seen diaper hentai of her
>>53354187>a group of antimatter molecules stop existing at the same time and place your ship doesFixed.
>>53356923>constructing something that big on a planet with gravityi don't buy it.
>>53354271I wouldn't make it as Terracentric as a whale*, make it docile enough to be studied, make the player characters discover it and decipher its song language of electromagnetic pulses.*Make it far more alien, and keep the sci-fi hard. Really think about how a living thing would evolve to live in the void of space. They'd probably have to be like giant solar sails. Hell, they'd probably be more plantlike.
>>53360824This is cool except you have to walk through the bathroom to access one of the bedrooms. I actually toured a house like this when I was house hunting years ago.
>>53365789>entire star systemyou mean the entire universe?
>>53365281>robot hobos>hobo robots>Hobots
>>53367902>Jack, I need to leave my room>fuck you, John, I'm shitting here!
>>53354051the time bombit transports matter within the radius a random amount of time into the futureno physical defense or shields other than spaced armor can stop it, since any matter put up to block it will also be sent forward in timeit is especially effective on samurai
>>53368276Wielding magic plasma swords?
>>53361000I know it's supposed to be Neuromancer fanart, but I always have a hard time believing that the artist ever read the book.
>>53354458>MFW my players think this a high fantasy D&D campaign
>>53368403it forces the bomb to detonate further from the hull, so less of the target gets affected
>>53368403I think the idea is that by having multiple separated layers of armour, you can minimise the effect of PORTABLE AKU by having it hit the outermost layer, erase that and a few of the outer layers, while leaving the inner layers intact. Presumably, this is because having solid armour thick enough to stop it is unwieldy in-setting.Also,>The party beats the big bad of their high fantasy D&D campaign>this sets off a new macguffin>Turns out [NOTABLE GEOGRAPHIC FEATURE] was actually a crashed spaceship>strap in losers we're going to the moon
>>53367902The house I lived in as a kid was like this. Pic related; only way to the bottom level (besides going outside) was through the bathroom. I think it was maybe originally intended to be a garage, but was made into a room instead (and then my dad added a proper bedroom behind it).
What do you make of this one?
>>53369199See that the child of the dead god is fully birthed to take it's rightful place as ruler of the universe.
>>53369225Or to stop it.
>>53369445Alternatively"Congrats, You've been chosen to become the heart of our new god!"
Help the endangered space jellies escape poachers!
>>53354458Can confirm is absolute kek.had a "demon" on a mountaintop that exterminated the dwarves there (Rogue lictor, single hand-edly made the stout outpost extinct), mutants roamed the countryside and the only thing holding the feral world together was a crashed inquisitor ruling.Guess who the PC's decided to depose with the help of friendly voices teaching them magic (hated and feared by all rightful thinking humans!) and telling one of them he was the "Rightful Heir", and he was "Prophesised to free the people from tyranny and bring about an age of Victory!" and other dross.By the fourth session one of them had (Unknowingly) pledged their soul to Slaneesh and was actively working to corrupt another to Tzeentch (again, thinking he was doing what was best).Good times.
>>53367672Well, it's only looks 1% human, the rest of it is just a puddle.
>>53367716I agree with alien, but I don't think anyone would adopt a plant. I'd go the opposite direction and have it grow up into a Gunbuster-style space kaiju, with the downside that you have to disguise it as a spaceship if you want to take it anywhere near a port or the local authorities will react like you just rode a dragon into town.
You come across The City, beware the Gravitational Beam Emitter toting bobbies on the beat.
>>53354652Can I pat the smol elder god on its head?
>>53354458Did that with a warhammer fantasy campaign once - the Brettonian Knight players though they were just dealing with a bunch of mutants trying to take over the throne. It was actually a genestealer cult infiltrating the kingdom, that had hatched out of pods in an ancient crashed battleship in the mountains.
>>53356346>Implying I won't turn in my contractors and be awarded with a countship in the Principalty
>>53356995>sabotage their entire fleet, preventing them from launching an invasion>destroy a flagship that cost them trillions of credits>hurr durr, damn kandoran agentsYou are retarded and your setting is as well.
>>53361669>too late to turn backAnd why the fuck would that be, exactly?
>>53358160Now just replace "Space XXXXX" for some sci-fi alien high-tech sounding word and that's it.
>>53370528Where's this from? Does Blame! have one of those periphery books like Death Note's How to Read 13?
>>53372155A maurauding band of Krogans are currently raiding the Federation's colony three hyperspace jumps from the Sol. Federation's loyal legion of Guardians has been dispatched to deal with this threat, but no response has come back for a standard week, not even a hyperspace buoy. It is your job to figure out what happened!
>>53370270I might use that, just as something some ancient civilization fabricated to really fuck with their antecedents.
>>53356923>>53356995>>53357109>>53357271Fucking Kandorans I swear to god
>>53374012All the women in my life have been killed - by Kandorian demons.
>>53374408Why don't you just put all of Kandor in a bottle, Superman?
>>53356091Reminds me of Niven's "A Gift From Earth", where a colony is formed from a slowboat is divided between the elites (crew) and working class (passengers).Zelazny did something similar in " Lord of Light", but even better since it mixes in Hindu mythology with SciFi...and he's just a better writer in general.
>>53370270>All the skulls are facing outwards.
>>53375992They're standing guard at the gates of eternity.
>>53369465Bitch just asking to get killed by Metriods.
>>53374906If I could put Kandor in a bottle The first thing that I'd like to doIs to save every day'Til Braniac passes awayJust to spend them with you
>>53375662Damn I love Amber but at least Lord of Light got production art. - of course all they did with it was free some hostages.
>>53354652>>53360672>>53370818It's lil' Cthulhu! - https://youtu.be/3kQuMVffbWA
>>53358160Easy, they got Spaced.
>>53377337Jack Kirby art at that. Visually it's not how I would do a movie on that book, but it is nice artwork. Amber always makes me a little sad to read. I'm a huge fan of Zelazny, and that series always felt like his...chore or service. I think he probably had an idea for the first and some side elements, but the publisher kept asking for more. I could be wrong about that, but I just think his one off books are better. Lord of Light, This Immortal, and Today we Choose Faces in particular are some of my all time favorites.
Hitler in a Stasis Pod floating in space
>>53360824>space to seat 8 around 1 table>only 2 beds
>>53360824>>53360840>>53360865>>53360934>>53361000I'd live in it.
>>53368339Tell us more
>>53380097Hot bunking. SEXY hot bunking.
There's a certain alien species about the size of a common rat that has a super fast metabolism causing it to consume oxygen at an incredible rate for its body size. They also breed at an incredible rate. Two of them, a male and a female, have been released onto your ship. The crew must track them down and kill them before they are allowed to breed, as you have just enough oxygen to make it to the next station with little to spare.
>>53380097>visiting friends never crosses anon's mind
>>53381070Why would you expect anyone to guess something outside of their normal life experience?
>>53356696Nice try, asshat. I'm getting a second opinion before I go shell out a couple thousand credits so your brother can "fix" my AG field.
>>53370291How would you even represent that?
>>53357289Then you better leave.
Stealing an idea from a book I always felt the background of Walter Jon Williams' "Voice of the Whirlwind" would make a great setting for a game.Humanity discovers a planet that has been colonized by aliens, but they are all gone. No bodies, no since of battle, no stellar threat like flares or meteors. The planet has just been abandoned, but has loads of tunnels and buildings packed to the gills with alien technology, literally packed...like things were put into storage or standby. Humanity now fights over the artifacts which are incredibly valuable back at Sol. Lag time in communication has largely cut off the various military, mercenary, and corporate interests that are stripping the planet from orders coming from home. This leads to the fighting forces constantly shifting alliances, making and breaking truces to gain whatever advantage. As the conflict escalates alien artifacts start to be used with devastating effect, terraforming machines set loose on people, engineered viruses, pumps flooding whole tunnel sections. Sometimes you can't capture loot so you just destroy it to increase the value of anything you already have.This continues for years getting nastier all the time, that's when the Aliens show up. They left for a meeting of their species to elect a new leader and come back to find the humans laying waste to their home...The book concerns events after that, but is really very good, would make a great setting or something to stumble on.The real question of any SciFi setting is how fast and how do you travel, once you know that you can tailor all the mentioned prompts to fit.
>>53358091OP asked for science FICTION anon.
How many planets/systems/points of interest work well to start off a space fantasy campaign where space is like an ocean? Locations are connected by particular space lanes.
>>53354051you encounter a derelict vessel, a critical radiation leak has killed off the crew. in the hold of the ship you find rare semi autonomous combat robots. going through hyperspace you collide with a small escape pod...inside is a cryogenically frozen individual...they know nothing of the events of the wider setting for the last 1000 years. a planet with middle ages era tech is very hostile to any outsiders....unfortunately you have to send down a shuttle to secure supplies...best be cautious
>>53367716The way I see it, the common name may be a space whale, but in reality they are weird as fuck, giant animals with solar sails that use a form of photosynthesis, sitting in the upper atmosphere of gas giants and soaking up sunlight.
>>53379382I really like Kirby. I don't think it works for this book but I'll take it. This Immortal then Walter Jon Williams Knight Moves. The first time I read "Faces" I didn't like it. I'm not sure why. When I re-read it It fast grea on me. My *least* favourite are the Last Defender of Camelot (Especially the Twilight Zone episode) and the Marwand/ Changeling books.
>>53382038The "Artifact war" could be played out as a series of skirmishes. (and also reminds me of SCREAMERS) It might actually work as a play by mail game so that "armies" could communicate with each other, set up alliances (and possibly tell the GM how they were going to preform a double cross) All before the next turn.I know, I know nobody plays PBM's anymore.
Traveling through a mapped but isolated part of space, the party comes across an agriplanet that isn't on any records. Autonomous farming machinery continues to work the continent-spanning grain fields, delivering the wheat to a central station where shuttles are 3D printed, automatically loaded, then launched into the system's star. Literally, a planet's worth being harvested and burnt, day after day. No life, besides the grain, exists on the planet.
So, tardigrades. They're around 0.5 mm in length. They're also full blown multi-cellular animals.The idea is this. They, or something similar to them, are sentient. Their civilization has been around for several dozen millennia. They're often in conflict with the horrors of the world - both micro and macro. They've perfected weaponry specialized to fuck shit up on a cellular level. Taking inspiration from viruses, their small-scale fuckary spreads through the host by the hosts' own body. They're small, they're deadly, they can survive the most inhospitable conditions, and they're among the universes best assassins. Your group has just pissed them off.
>>53384272Yeah "Camelot" never really clicked for me. I read it in the short story collection it was printed in, and I don't think it was even the best story in there despite being made into a TZ episode."Faces" I can see not appealing to people on a first read, it's interesting that it was printed with the epilogue first by publisher's choice. I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not, and I'll never get another first chance to read it the way he wrote it.Knight Moves is good, but isn't my top WJW, of whom I'm also a very big fan.
>>53384327Oh man, that's a great idea. You are right the structure of it would almost be improved by the delayed communication being enforced. I wonder if I could convince a group to try a PBM game in our modern age.
>>53385224You might be able to set something up online. Some blog or file-sharing system with a 'delay posting' mechanism, although you'd probably have to kludge it together yourself.
>>53385393It honest to god might be fun to try and force as a PBM game literally. I might enjoy sending letters again.If you wanted to get real elaborate you could use it to set up a game that is played by both in person players and old friends who are now long distance. In person group would meet once a week and play the game, they would open the letters (orders) from their home control (long distance player), then you play the game. The players have to try to accommodate the orders, flex them where they can avoiding outright mutiny, and try to consider what the other players might have been told by their long range correspondents. At the end of the session the players report to their home base what happened in that weeks game, so they can consider and send the next orders. You could stagger it though so orders sometimes come a session late.The long distance players would also get extra information from the GM about reinforcements or supplies that they can send...oh wait better idea.Have two games running at the same time. The only communication between to two groups of players is by letter. Each player is paired off one commands the team's ground forces on the planet, the other is running a political intrigue game set in the home system. One player is fighting for survival and profit, trying to follow orders from home and use the intel they are getting. The other is making deals and breaking them, making money to fund reinforcements or supply missions. Home world player might be setting up a scheme to hijack or outbid another player on supplies, sends a letter to their teammate to expect that. They then make a move acting on that information. Turns out the home player wasn't able to make it work and fails their op, no time to warn their partner so they take a hit when they commit poorly.Could be interesting, likely way too complicated, but something I'll mull over for a while now.
>>53384738It turns out the 'alien artifact' you picked up was actually a city containing millions of people. Needless to say, they're not at all happy about being abducted.