My science fiction bend continues, so lets talk about some of the Things in the Dark.
Source: Falcon-RawByte on deviantART
Dark Worlds or Rogue Planets are planets not connected to a star and instead orbit the galaxy itself. There could in theory be billions of these objects in our galaxy alone. Let’s do some thinking, on our planet almost all life requires sun light either for itself or for its food source. The bulk of life can also see and require reasonable temperatures to live. So what would a living thing be like that doesn’t require sun light, has no eyes and can exist at sub-zero temperatures be like?
Well it will be pale if not transparent, it may subsist on matter from vents on this planet, similar to many creatures at the bottom of our oceans. Perhaps they will hunt by sound, so while they’re feeding at a vent they are exposed as they will be unable to hear anything other the rushing gases. From here the food chain would resemble our own, the predators feeding on the grazes and so on. With the extreme cold of this environment, perhaps some of these creatures could survive exposure to vacuum, should that ever come up.
So we have a planet cast out between the stars with creatures that live off gas or using sound to hunt other creatures. Sounds like a lovely place. How do we bring all this to our gaming table, well let’s say you like your science fiction leaning in a hard-ish direction. So your crew are asleep in cyro pods to let the decades pass as they travel between the stars, the ships AI is shooting down debris in the path of the ship, as hitting a pebble at 10% the speed of light would be like getting hit with a nuke. As time passes the AI begins to notice variations in the ships trajectory, it compensates and gets back on course, but this keeps happening. Suddenly out of the Dark appears a huge gravity well, and the ship is being drawn in, the AI was not programmed to handle this, it runs through its procedures, redirect – too late for that, shot object – won’t have any effect, wake crew – not enough time, stop – that might safe the ship. It sets about stopping the ship while trying to redirect itself into an orbit of the planet and begins the process of waking the crew. This braking manoeuvre becomes more of a breaking manoeuvre as the ship is scattered by the forces of their velocity, the deceleration and the planets gravity, with components raining onto the planet’s surface.
Your crew will awaken to find themselves orbiting an alien world, in the literal middle of nowhere as this planet sails off towards who knows where, with key components of their ship scattered across the planet below, a planet stalked by creatures never seen before.
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Ps note to Moebius, I appear to have failed at sharing the link in a comment. Not sure what I did wrong.