Planetary Types & System Terrain

Below is a list of definitions for how planets and other types of terrain are classified. The statistics, in most cases, are for a "typical" planet, nebula, etc. of a general type. In future updates, there may be some changes or updates to this area.

Asteroids
Economic Modifier: +2
Population Modifier: -75%

Game Notes: Though not classified as a planet, some asteroids are similar in size and/or composition to them. Colonies can be established on or in them using artificial means. However, the lack of vegetation prevents them from growing to any substantive size. Resources, however, can usually be found in abundance.

In SWV, asteroids are defined in one of 3 ways. Single asteroids are loners an can sometimes rival a planet in size. Asteroid Fields are usually a group of asteroids clustered together in a small area. These fields occupy a single square on a system map. An Asteroid Belt is similar, but stretches across 2 or more squares. Belts and Fields reduces sensor and communication ranges by 3 while inside.
Barren Planet
Economic Modifier: +1
Population Modifier: -20%

Game Notes: Barren planets have little or no vegetation but can contain some mineral wealth. If the appropriate extraction equipment is used, the planet can yield its resources deep under the surface. It does not, however, provide a good base for a colony due to the lack of vegetation and its arid climate.
Black Hole
Economic Modifier: N/A
Population Modifier: N/A

Game Notes: Also known as a hypermass, Black Holes are regions of space where a star has collapsed in upon itself. Its gravity is so strong that light rays can't escape. Sensors will not return information about a black hole and communications cannot reach objects located on the other side, except through relays which go around the black hole. In SWV terms, sensors, nor communications are possible through a square containing a black hole or any adjacent square.
Cave Planet
Economic Modifier: +2
Population Modifier: +20%

Game Notes: Planets of this type consist of a number of underground chambers, constituting a series of caverns. An assemblage of such caverns interconnected by smaller passageways making up a cave system. Primary caves, such as lava tubes and coral caves, develop during the time when the planet is forming. Secondary caves originate later during the planet's development. Most caves are of the latter type, including solution caves formed by erosion or by gas pockets which explode inside the planet's crust. These cave planets can provide adequate conditions for colonies and the planet itself can harbor a wealth of resources.
Cratered Planet
Economic Modifier: +2
Population Modifier: -60%

Game Notes: The surface of these types of planet is formed by impacts from comets and meteorites over its life span. Inside some of these craters minerals can be found. However, the usual lack of an atmosphere precludes these planets from any colonization efforts. Those planets which are colonized have very small populations or are created using artificial means.
Desert Planet
Economic Modifier: None
Population Modifier: -25%

Game Notes: Desert planets contain extremely large areas of dry land with fairly sparse vegetation. Desert planets may consist of rugged mountains, high plateaus, or plains; many occupy broad mountain-rimmed basins. Surface materials include bare bedrock, plains of gravel and boulders, and vast tracts of shifting sand. Wind-blown sands, commonly thought to be typical of deserts. Because of the harsh temperatures, colonies are not likely unless they are protected somehow by the elements. In most cases, food and water will need to be imported from other planets in order for the colony to survive.
Forest Planet
Economic Modifier: -1
Population Modifier: +15%

Game Notes: Forest worlds are complex ecosystems in which trees are the dominant life-form. Tree-dominated forests can occur wherever the temperatures rise above 50 F (10 C) in the warmest months and the annual precipitation is more than 8 in. They can develop under various conditions within these limits, and the kind of soil, plant, and animal life differs according to the extremes of environmental influences. Forest worlds are good candidate for colonization efforts if suitable areas are cleared for the colony's development. Because of the massive amounts of clearing that need to be done to access the planet's crust, mineral extraction is somewhat difficult.
Gas Giant Planet
Economic Modifier: +1
Population Modifier: -90%

Game Notes: These planets are formed by coalescing gases which are captured by the gravity of the planet's core. These gases give the planet its shape. Because the planet is mostly gaseous and/or has a liquid surface, they are not suitable for colonization. Any useful gases in the atmosphere would need to be extracted using orbital equipment. Any colonies established would have to be in an orbital structure.
Glacier Planet
Economic Modifier: -3
Population Modifier: -75%

Game Notes: Glacier planets are made up of large masses of ice that form through the recrystallization of snow that moves forward under its own weight. Because of the frigid temperatures, massive blizzards, and the lack of any surface vegetation, planets of this type are not suitable for colonization unless they are sustained using artificial means. In addition, any minerals would be difficult to extract due to the massive sheets of ice which separate the surface from the actual planet's crust.
Jungle Planet
Economic Modifier: -1
Population Modifier: -10%

Game Notes: Jungle worlds are dominated by luxurious, tangled, impenetrable vegetation, generally teeming with wildlife. The massive amounts of rainfall and its above-average temperatures can make colonization efforts difficult but not insurmountable. This also creates problems for resource extraction. These problems can be solved by removing areas of jungle, however.
Mesa Planet
Economic Modifier: +1
Population Modifier: -10%

Game Notes: The planet is dominated by flat-topped tableland with one or more steep sides. Formed by erosion after millennia of inundation. Areas of harder rock act as flat protective caps for portions of underlying land situated between such places as stream valleys, where erosion is especially active. The flat tops of mesas make excellent sites for colonization, even though vegetation is sparse at best on these types of worlds.
Mountain Planet
Economic Modifier: +2
Population Modifier: -30%

Game Notes: Planets of this type are dominated by landforms that rise above their surroundings, generally exhibiting steep slopes, a relatively confined summit area, and considerable inequalities of elevation. Mountains are formed by the folding, faulting, or up warping of the planet's surface due to the movement of plates or by the emplacement of volcanic rock onto the surface. Colonies are hard to establish on these types of worlds due to the difficult terrain, but mineral wealth is abundant if the proper extraction tools are used.
Nebula
Economic Modifier: N/A
Population Modifier: N/A

Game Notes: A nebula consists of various gases and dust. The combination of these items causes electrostatic interference in most sensors and communications devices, thereby significantly reducing their range. In SWV terms, nebulae reduce the effectiveness of both sensors and communications to 1 while within its confines.
Ocean Planet
Economic Modifier: -2
Population Modifier: -15%

Game Notes: Ocean worlds are planets dominated by a liquid surface. It is for this reason that colonies are difficult to establish and resources are hard to extract.
Plains Planet
Economic Modifier: -1
Population Modifier: +25%

Game Notes: Large areas of vegetation dominate this type of world. Massive agricultural possibilities make this a suitable place for colonization efforts. Resources can be found, but usually only in small amounts.
Plateau Planet
Economic Modifier: +1
Population Modifier: +15%

Game Notes: Plateaus are extensive, and together with enclosed basins they cover about 45% of the planet's land surface. The essential criteria for a plateau are low relative relief and some altitude. Low relief distinguishes plateaus from mountains, although their origin may be similar. Plateaus, being high, often create their own local climate; the topography of plateaus and their surroundings often produce arid and semiarid conditions.
Urban Planet
Economic Modifier: -1
Population Modifier: +50%

Game Notes: Urban worlds follow a set of climatic conditions that presents itself for large areas of metropolitan development. Urban climates are distinguished by atmospheric temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, and amount of precipitation. This is attributable in large part to the altering of the natural terrain through the construction of artificial structures and surfaces. For example, tall buildings, paved streets, and parking lots affect wind flow, precipitation runoff, and the local energy balance. Mineral resources are not in abundance, but there can be some pockets scattered throughout the planet's surface and under its crust.
Variable Planet
Economic Modifier: None
Population Modifier: None

Game Notes: These are the most desired planets for colonization by humanoid species. Having a little bit of everything, these planets usually provide suitable sites and climates for colonization and can also be rich in minerals and other resources.
Volcanic Planet
Economic Modifier: +2
Population Modifier: -90%

Game Notes: These planets are littered with vents from which molten rock, debris, and steam issue. Volcanic worlds are hostile to colonization efforts but these worlds are usually resource-rich.
Wetlands Planet
Economic Modifier: -2
Population Modifier: +10%

Game Notes: Also known as Swamp or Marsh-worlds, these planets have an ecosystem characterized by poorly drained mineral soils and plant life dominated by trees. Swamp worlds have a sufficient water supply to keep the surface waterlogged, and the water has a high-enough mineral content to stimulate decay of organisms and to prevent the accumulation of organic materials. They are found throughout the world. This causes problems for colonization, in some cases, due to the possibility of disease and the poor locations for a suitable colony site. Resource extraction is also hampered by the poor climate and the debilitating effects of the planet's surface on any equipment. The overabundance of water on the surface can provide an excellent place for agricultural efforts, however.