March 30, 2010

Stars in Neb SE

Filed under: Games — Tags: , , — bilbo @ 10:09 pm

So, out of the planet generate arises the question of stars that the planets would be orbiting. On one side, we have the “Be as scientifically accurate as possible”. On the other we have my preferred method of operation “Whatever is cool and fits”. Either way, I suppose there should be some sort of chart. So…

O Blue stars
B Blue-white stars
A White stars
F Yellow-white stars
G Yellow stars (like the Sun)
K Yellow-orange stars
M Red stars

Single Primary
Variable (this is assumed Intrinsic i.e. the star swells and shrinks over time varying output).

Size is often related to color so I am not sure having a second chart works here. Perhaps a notation on the color chart?

Anything else?

Thanks guys. I will hopefully be writing up all the ideas here shortly.


  1. I junked all that in IHW:SC in favor of a range of “Large and hot” to “Small and dim”. You can interpret that any way you like. It’s not scientifically inaccurate, but it’s not exactly scientific either. AFAICS, you gain nothing from being scientific in nomenclature, and you lose the science haters. It seems like such a no-brainer the other way – hey, here’s a general stellar nomenclature that you can use for free, all pre-defined! – but it traps you subtly. You say Type B and they want the size – in standard nomenclature – then they’ll say a type B star system wouldn’t have time to evolve an ecosystem on its planets, and it all goes downhill from there.

    My 2 cents… 😀


    Comment by clash bowley — March 31, 2010 @ 6:52 am

  2. Believe me when I say that I prefer more descriptive vs jargon. No need to convince me on this. The question is though, do we include the whole binary, tertiary, weirder star setups and so on? I think that just borrows trouble of the type you describe.

    Comment by bilbo — March 31, 2010 @ 7:08 am

  3. I think that most people who play a Sci-Fi RPG realize that it’s not relavent to include star systems that don’t contain the chance for life, so, a vague discriptor like Clash’s is both convenient and relavent to the game. Anyone that thinks the system isn’t “real” enough is simply missing the point.

    Comment by scott — March 31, 2010 @ 10:59 am

  4. To answer your question about whether to include the weirder star set-ups, I would say no. If a GM has something special in mind, they are likely to use thier own rules for it anyway. Just having ranges of large/small and hot/cold should be more than sufficient for most GM’s and players.
    The exact nature of the sun in any particular system is seldom a factor in the game itself, so it is just background information. Interesting, but not vital. If the GM needs more specific information, you could include a paragraph outlining the various star types so they know that a particular color star has such and such traits.

    Comment by scott — March 31, 2010 @ 11:20 am

  5. Nothing weird about binary and trinary (not tertiary) systems, Bill, as they are very common. Unless they are closely coupled – IIRC, Alpha and Beta Centauri are about as far from each other as Sol and Saturn – it shouldn’t even be important. Proxima Centauri is the third star in the Centaurus trinary, and it is quite far out. A simulation on planet formation in close binaries done in 2005 showed the same results as single stars, and it shouldn’t make a difference in far binaries.


    Comment by clash bowley — March 31, 2010 @ 1:40 pm

  6. Here’s a nice article on planets and binaries – http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/050517_binary_stars.html


    Comment by clash bowley — March 31, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

  7. Good info clash. My info is some decades out of date it seems. The last time I read up on star systems and likelihood of planets around them, it was thought to be a dim prospect and especially so for earth like based on the tidal forces and probable orbits.

    Well, I have some reading to do.


    Comment by bilbo — March 31, 2010 @ 11:17 pm

  8. Yeah, that used to be the concept, that multiple star systems would have no or few planets, but as usual, when exo planets started cropping up in multiple star systems, they actually ran simulations and found out they were dead wrong. I *never* agreed with the old assessment – there are plenty of planets around the Centauri multiples in Cold Space, which predates this finding by a year, and StarCluster has multiples with full suites of planets, and that was done in 2000, published in 2002 – I found it intuitively wrong, and rejected it.

    It was based on a theory which had never been tested, like the old theory that big planets only form in the outer system, because the only datum they had was the Solar System, and they fit the theory to the evidence when the evidence was too poor and too random to be the basis of anything. Again, when new evidence from other systems showed lots of gas giants in the inner systems, the old theory was quietly dropped. Seems our set up is really rare rather than being typical.

    This is how it always goes, Bill.



    Comment by clash bowley — April 1, 2010 @ 7:30 am

  9. You know, honestly, it never bothered me. I just made it multiple stars if I thought that would be cool. See, and this is what I meant when I said “whatever is cool and fits”. I usually function in that way. Still, folks want some sort of planet generation system. My methods, I suspect, will be unacceptable. For me, I would have tables and a method of classification that described the setting more. So, for instance, a definition would be “Water world with strange aquatic races”. Less rigorous to be sure but also more to the point. From that, you jump into making races, culture, some more specifics about the environment. I would say, in terms of environment, define the extraordinary. Not necessarily uncommon but those things that would differ from your perception of “Water World”. So, something like “Has lots of volcanic islands making land difficult to live on”. Then that leads the GM into possibilities of defining a colony site where there is one stable island.

    I am not expressing myself well. You can do the above with the system we have defined however, it seems dry, missing the edges.

    Comment by bilbo — April 1, 2010 @ 8:20 am

  10. I think you would be better served going with your instincts and making multiple stars a flavor thing. The biggest thing a close multiple will do is increase your habitable zone – the liquid water band – in the system. No biggie! Think first of the utility to the players and GM. 😀


    Comment by clash bowley — April 1, 2010 @ 9:58 am

  11. I would go with Clash and Bilbo on this one, whatever ‘feels’ right is good
    its a game after all

    Comment by Alan Hume — April 2, 2010 @ 3:17 am

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