Tales of the John Henry
Due to Mother's Day here in the US, we're not playing next week. So, to keep everyone engaged and creative, I came up with a sector map and invited them to fill in the descriptions. It's a work in progress, but it's already bearing fruit.
0001 #01 Ibara
Sector capital, intra-sector hub, orbital industry, high fashion, glass towers
Who is running the show at the sector capital?
Which factions are they allied with?
What is Ibara's major vice?
Who has contacts here?
What is the ship carrying that is illegal here?
[Alternate] Ibara is heavily visited since it is a hub that connect two other sectors. The sector jump points at X and Queen's Gate were found decades later. All this traffic has turned Ibara into an industrial powerhouse for the sector and its neighbors.
0006 #02 High Kanton
Police state, strong class system, ethnic ruling class, intrigue, smuggling
What makes the police distinctive here?
Where do foreign merchants stand in the class system?
Who is an unexpected ally here?
Who does the government have a dislike for?
What do the rebels hope to achieve?
0102 #03 Rigor
Rich live in space, poor and short-lived workers on the planet, unique resources on planet, Consortium Stronghold
Who are the rich in space?
Who lives on the planet?
Why is there no high tech on the planet?
What is the unique resource on this world?
Who in the crew, if any, has visited this world?
[Alternate] The world of Rigor is a tough one: Most people have lifespans that barely stretch more than 45 standard years. If it wasn't for the people living here, this world would be considered a failed colony. It would be, if it wasn't for the citizens of the orbital colony of Empyrean.
The citizens of Empyrean are some of the richest people you'll ever encounter. House Geneeskunde of the Consortium owns the colony and the world. The colony has access to the very best in technology and culture. And most importantly, they have access to Dorius cinereus boletus, a fungus that only grows on the planet Rigor.
Processed and refined, it produces Dorac, the potent anti-aging drug. However, due to its biological peculiarities, Dorius cannot grow near or in intense EM fields. As most technology puts out EM radiation like a firehose, this means the world below cannot use any technology that involves electricity whatsoever. The down port for the space elevator, is surrounded by a 40 km dead zone where Dorius cannot grow.
Thus, the people Rigor, mostly convicts and purpose grown clones, toil in the fields and caves, growing the fungus for their masters overhead. It doesn't help that Dorius itself is poisonous. When it spores, the fine particles will enter the lungs and cause a massive allergic reaction, killing the victim by drowning in their own mucus.
0109 #04 Colt
Paranoia, house controlled, export restrictions, sports
What kind of unique but strict government is here?
What are all those satellites in orbit for?
Who has an old friend here?
What distinctive animal lives here?
What high quality goods do they produce?
0202 #05 Illwind
Dirty, industrial, polluted, serfdom, corporations
Who in control here?
Who escaped debt here?
What does your ship need here?
What is Illwind's major export?
What is about to become unstable?
[Alternate] A long line of greedy industrialists and corrupt politicians have kept control of the cities and the factories there. It's mean and drab life for most of the inhabitants. Of particular note is Purgatory, an industrial prison complex where prisoners are kept in virtual slavery until they pay off their debt. "It's better than Hell." is a common saying here.
0207 #06 Terry
Resource poor, prison, imports almost everything, strategically useless
Where is the main prison complex located?
Who has a friend incarcerated here?
What is the ship bringing to the system?
Who runs security here?
Why is the strategic value of the system going to change?
0300 #07 Corona's Nook
Way point, water world, genetic modifications, Corona Station
How does the population cope with the limited land masses?
What is the favorite sport here?
What is their main export?
What is unique about Corona Station?
What are the obvious (and not so obvious) gene-mods here?
0301 #08 Fulton
High tech commune, no markets, aggressive recruits, hand built
What offer does the commune make that is too good to be true?
What is the catch?
Who is surprised to find a family member here?
What is their take on clones and gene-engineered people?
Which faction is their greatest enemy?
0304 #09 Hell
Former resource paradise, depleted, battlefield, nuclear winter, holdouts, no sensible person comes here
Who fought here?
Who remains here?
Who among you has been here before?
What was mined/refined/harvested here?
What crime lies hidden here?
[Alternate] Access to Hell is restricted. It is the dumping ground for hardcore felons, exiles, political prisoners, and malcontents that various governments want to make disappear without turning them into martyrs for their given cause. There's always at least one Krosnov cruiser or patrol craft in orbit that has orders to inspect everyone coming and going from the planet. Most of the world's population is gathered around the shallow equatorial oceans.
0305 #10 Mutt
Asteroids, anarchy, libertarian extremists, lawlessness, zero-G industry
What brings the crew here?
What do they make/sell here that the crew cannot get anywhere else?
What hazards are there that don't show up on the map?
Who has a secret mission here?
What is hidden in the belt that will disrupt everything?
[Alternate] No one is sure how this ring of inhabited asteroid cities got its name, but nearly anything can be found, traded, bought, or manufactured in its hundreds of habs. Of course, you might have to travel halfway around the belt to find it. While there are no habitable worlds in the system, they are part of the 'Golden Circle' of jump points and there is a constant flow of goods moving through.
0308 #11 Purcel
Domed cities, dangerous spores, guerilla forces, exotic flora and fauna
What makes it worth living here?
What is causing people to go crazy here?
Who knows some of the mercs that provide security here?
What goods are being imported?
Who tightly controls exports here?
0309 #12 Queen's Gate
Floating cities, orbital habitats, rabid environmentalists, intra-sector hub
What do you have to do to visit the land?
What highly desired plant only grows here?
Who's hiding in the wilderness?
What is endangering one of the floating cities?
How are rabid environmentalist making your life miserable?
[Alternate] Most of Queen's Gate population live in orbital habs or on floating cities. The people have a very hands off approach to the land and strive to preserve its natural beauty.
0401 #13 Roost's Landing
Boom-town orbital stations, hustlers, prospectors, company town economy
Why is the planet uninhabitable?
What are prospectors looking for?
Which corporation owns the habs, the stores, the hangers, anything not nailed down?
Who is given a survey map to a possible find?
Why are they given the map?
0405 #14 Cardinal
Theocracy, awesome orbital architecture, scholars, missionaries, pilgrims, serenity
Who is really excited about being a tourist?
Who happens to know one of the head priests?
What incredibly valuable thing was stolen?
Why is that warship scanning you?
Who is trying to forget (or seek forgiveness) about that incident with the nun?
[Alternate] Home of the Floating Cathedral, Cardinal is a favorite layover for religious scholars, Church workers, and pilgrims. They like it calm and orderly. Most residents closely follow the teachings of the Church of the One.
0406 #15 Lando
High tech resorts, pleasure palaces, cruise ships, orbital industries
Who had vacation plans for Lando's resorts?
How does Lando deal with pirates and other undesirables?
What natural features make Lando such a destination?
Who has a big debt to one of the casinos?
Which faction is a major influence in the system?
0408 #16 Elliot's Hope
Heavy industry, shipyards, competing Houses, upper class one-upmanship
What is that burning smell?
Who is eager to put you into debt?
Why was someone on the ship sent a dueling dagger?
Who got that invite to the fancy ball?
Who coming and looking for answers?
[Alternate] Elliot's Hope is a stronghold for the various Houses of the Consortium and several of them have large industrial facilities here. The Houses spend an inordinate amount of time and resources trying to impress each other.
0409 #17 Han's Landing
Corporate farms, shipping hub, exotic produce, ranching
What tastes like chicken?
Who is offering to ship livestock?
What does the starport smell like?
What is [insert Faction name] doing way out here?
Who accidentally steps on someone's time honored tradition?
[Alternate] Metal poor, Han's Landing gets by with exporting a wide variety of agricultural products. Vast ranches and corporate farms dot the surface of the world. The Landers (their name for themselves) are proud if not wealthy. They have a strong work ethic.
0500 #18 Lawson Station
Sargasso Sea of spaceships, salvage crews, shipyards, open markets
What hazard makes Lawson Station a home to ship repairs?
What unusual job or bounty does the Station offer?
What feature makes Lawson Station stand out from your typical space station?
Why is the only planet in the life zone uninhabitable?
Who wants to book passage on your ship that requires a vote of the shareholders?
0502 #19 Quinton's Hope
Walled city starts, lush lands, a dashed hope
What offer does the government of Quinton's Hope make to the ship and her crew?
Why are the cities over-crowded and low tech?
Who has family here?
What favor do they ask?
What secret are the homesteaders trying to hide?
0503 #20 Chung
Water world, clones, bountiful sea life, dynamic weather
How do you reach the domed undersea cities from orbit?
Who are the privileged class that live here?
What prevents people from colonizing the surface?
Why does this place have a large clone population?
What strange tradition must all visitors go through?
0504 #21 Knox Alpha
The Lodge, fantastic forests, restricted access, private preserves
Why is Knox Alpha also called "The Lodge"?
Why is access to the surface restricted?
Who is seeking passage to/from this place?
What special cargo is your ship bringing?
What changes people who spend too much time here?
0508 #22 Marsk Eta
Research station, clones, asteroid mining, boredom, dead world
Who has a loved one here?
How do the workers here relieve their boredom?
What the creepiest thing you see?
Which small firm is especially interested in your goods?
Who unintentionally broke one of the local laws?
[Alternate] The only habitable location in the system is Marsk Station which is dominated by the Second Life Corp. The primary business here is clones, research, and some asteroid mining.
0600 #23 Babe
Limited resources, strict rationing, black market, corruption
What is in short supply on this colony?
Who controls the flow of goods?
What natural event is keeping the colony from thriving?
Who on the crew abandoned someone here?
Why is there a warship blocking the Bangle Gate?
0603 #24 Newt
Huge deserts, high winds, pharmaceuticals, cactus ranches, corporate enclaves
Who has a friend working as a researcher here?
What drugs are commonly exported from here?
How do the locals cope with the high win?
What barbaric local sport is popular here?
What has infested the ship/shuttle/landing party?
0604 #25 Sensi
Plateau cities, drug dependence, hostile lower altitudes, aggressive flyers, terrace farms
What drugs from Newt are heavily used here?
What culture dominates the government and lifestyle of the people?
Why do people bother living here?
What technology is expressly forbidden?
What strange request comes from off world for the crew?
0605 #26 Uhura's Home
Shattered planet, mineral rich, hostile debris field, a few remote supply hubs
Who is manning the point defense gun?
Who finds someone they didn't expect to be alive?
What shady business has the supplier got going?
What equipment is a miner trying to sell?
Who is compelled to take the ship into the debris field?
0606 #27 York
Militant, mandatory service, code of honor, weapons development, recruiting
Who grew up here and managed to get out of service?
Who knows a guy that knows a guy with a discrete offer?
Who has ran into these government thugs somewhere else?
What do they think of clones?
What keeps everyone crowded into walled cities?
[Alternate] York is crowded, dirty, and under the heel of a strong military regime. Krosnov has an appointed governor in this system and it is a major recruiting station for their people. As imagined, their main exports are weapons and soldiers. Don't step out of line or you might get stuck in a penal legion for a tour or two.
0700 #28 Bangle's Call
Blockade, secrecy, research facility
How can you get past the blockade?
Why do Imperial warships prevent access to the planet?
Who hired you to rescue someone from there?
Who is the passenger that paid you to go there?
What did they bring in the cargo hold?
0701 #29 Hindu
Ethnic, vegetarian, large orbital colonies, numerous laws
Which member of the crew is part of this belief?
What laws do they break before they even leave customs?
What unusual pets to they have?
What color is forbidden to be worn?
How do they treat their dead (are there any on board as cargo or passengers)?
0705 #30 Cold Opal
Merchant house stronghold and industrial complex, planetary glaciation
Who on your crew really hates snow?
Which two factions are competing against each other?
How far are they willing to go?
Who are you willing to piss off?
Who is here to collect a debt?
0800 #31 Reason
War zone, robotics, patrol ships, scavengers
How do you land without getting blown out of the sky?
0803 #32 Xero
0807 #33 Deep Epsilon
0901 #34 Panko
0904 #35 X
Expensive fuel, volatile weather, bunkers everywhere, dust and grit, intra-sector hub
What do they want in exchange for refueling?
What outrageous thing would they accept for fuel?
Who has a bounty hunter after them?
What is hidden on the outskirts of civilization?
Why are they over populated?
[Alternate] Discovered by a wild jump, X is a terrible place to set up a colony with its harsh weather and limited living spaces. But, it is a sector hub and that does give it some value as a way-station.
0907 #36 Jotun's Moon
Gas giant, radiation hazard, unusual day/night cycle, tunnels, mines, forced labor
What exotic flora/fauna live on the surface?
What are they mining?
Which faction runs this facility with an iron fist?
Who's allergic to the local food?
What are the miner's really afraid of?
[Alternate] Jotun is the dominate gas giant in the system. It's largest moon is almost habitable. Zwergenkind von Joten (the dwarf child of Joton) has a breathable atmosphere, but the close proximity to the gas giant results in too much radiation and magnetism for unprotected humans on the surface. The moon is tidally locked so one side always faces Jotun during its 168 hour day. The vast major of the moon's population are mining clones living in cramped tunnels that used to be mine shafts.