UnnaturalGasMember since: 2011
I've recently had to use a plot device that was still in development. I'ven't seen the likes of it anywhere else and wanted to see if someone could take a stab at some illustrations of it. I decided to go the old Jedi ruins route for the sake of a Jedi Knight and a non-Force user who wanted to take levels of Jedi for the non-Force related Saga Talents. At any rate, they learned from an ancient holocron that there was a Jedi trial on a moon of the planet Bendu (which I named on the fly in honor of Lucas's old screenplay; look it up). The moon was called Banuu (I thought it should have a similar name), and it was an ice planet, but not your typical ice planet. I'm going to describe it as an ice planet because 'ice moon' doesn't roll off the tongue as well. Banuu could be more accurately described as a water planet rather than an ice planet. Only the outer shell is ice, and geological pressure and sci-fi makes the interior liquid. This results in a very unusual situation. Nothing lives on the surface, but the side of the planet facing the sun has a small (maybe an eighth of its surface area) melted spot right in the center through which one can travel to the interior, where the natives live. This melted spot moves with the bright side of the moon, staying at the center, with the leading and trailing edges constantly melting and freezing, respectively. Given its irregular orbit, this hole meanders in a very non-linear pattern, and freezes over completely when in the shadow of the planet. The rest of the surface topography is constantly shifting, as seams grind against one another like time-lapsed tectonic plates while explosive air pockets form between layers of ice. Overland travel, let alone just finding a safe spot to land a ship, is nearly impossible due to these hazards. Once one reaches the melted spot though, one can dive into the freezing water and attempt to make contact with the natives; a species of bioluminescent jellyfish people like these, with rich Force traditions and no interest in space travel. At any rate, I'm primarily interested in what the planet and moon would look like from orbit, and/or a nice landscape with super-dangerous glacial cliffs and spires jutting out all over the place. I've seen some fancy planet and landscape work here, but nothing that really embodies what I'd like to show my players (who are still stuck there as of this post). Thanks for your time :)
Let me just tell you, this is one of the coolest twists on an ice planet I've heard. I love the idea and I'm totally going to steal it for my campaign!
Like I said, I had to throw it into the game before I had all the kinks worked out. I ran the landing and overland travel as a skill challenge, but didn't have much prepared for the interior of the planet.
In retrospect, I find myself adding ice caves and myriad predatory aquatic flora and fauna, but the characters are already there, so I can't retcon anything :(
Also, given that the players were oxygen breathers, I hadn't accounted for how they would communicate underwater. I sent a Mon Cal NPC with them, and while he could communicate with the natives, there was no way for the rest of the group to communicate with him... I don't allow telepathy in my games; I've had some players exploit its brokenness in the past, so that was out of the question. I'm just BSing my way through it for the time being, hoping the players don't come to the realization that they're having whole conversations UNDERWATER. I've thrown in some air pockets here and there for them to talk, but that means they wouldn't be able to hear the natives...
Also, I'm trying to bring "I'ven't" into popular use. "I've not" + "I Haven't".
it would look like a giant eye looking down on the planet if visible during the day.
Technically, the 'eye' is always facing the sun, so when the moon is visible during the day, it would have to be gibbous for an observer to even see the edge of that melted spot from the day side.
On the dark side of the planet, though, so long as it was not in eclipse, it might look like a watchful eye.
maybe like the surface of Creamatoria from Riddick. I don't believe its spelled anywhere near there but you get the idea. Just ice instead.
*spoiler alert* (To my players browsing SWAG, don't read the following)
The natives refer to a 'Great Storm that melted all the ice' some centuries ago, killing off half their population. They assumed it destroyed the universe because the Jedi stopped coming after that. What the players don't know is that the 'Great Storm' was actually their star going nova, wiping out the population of the planet, and that, as luck would have it, it's about due for another... That should give them a good race-against-time element. I'm so evil.