I prefer to roll my planets the old-fashioned way: with dice and beautifully detailed tables (I’m looking at you, Stargate RPG). That said, we don’t always have the time to lovingly handcraft a new planet, which is where random planet generators come in handy. In addition to providing summaries of new worlds for immediate use in your campaign, they’re also a great source of inspiration when planning adventures. Some are even capable of generating planetary maps in addition to the standard planet details.
Random Planet Generators without Maps
Chaotic Shiny: Planet Generator: A simple generator capable of generating between 1 and 15 planets. Its summaries hit the high notes; gravity, length of a year, number of moons, types of landmasses, size compared to Earth, and an orbital summary.
This planet has 0.11x earth gravity, a 402-day long year and 15 moons. It is 54% land mass with 7 continents and is 2.5x the size of earth. It has a slightly ellipsoid orbit and 20-hour days.
SciFi Ideas: Planet Generator: Creates a simple, three-line planet with a name, a location, and a short description.
Planet Name: Banton 5
Location: Bantonine System
Description: A large gas giant with an atmosphere mostly composed of hydrogen. There are two giant storm systems in the planets atmosphere (similar to the Great Red Spot of Jupiter). The sentient inhabitants of one of the giant’s moons believe these to be the ‘eyes’ of the planet, which they worship as a god.
Random Planet Generators with Maps
Planet Map Generator: If you want to work backward from a map of your world, check out this planetary map generator. Available in an online version as well as an offline Windows version, Planet Map Generator will create a fractal map for you based on a random seed. It lets you choose from 14 different map projections (including Mollweide, Mercator, Conical, and Icosahedral) as well different styles of shading and coloration.
Donjon: SciFi World Generator: A fractal world generator lets you specify map projection and palette (e.g. the Earth-like “Atlas” and the red sands of “Martian”). You can have it randomly generate a name and percentage ice and water, or specify those values yourself. Hitting the “create” button gives you an atlas-style view of the planet including its type, radius, surface area, gravity, escape velocity, rotation period, axis tilt, atmospheric type, and more.
Property Details Physics Type: Large iron/silicate
Radius: 9219.47 km (1.45 x earth)
Surface Area: 1.07 x 109 km2;
Land Area: 5.45 x 108 km2 (3.66 x earth)
Mass>1.72 x 1025 kg (2.89 x earth); Density5.25 g/cm3 (0.95 x earth); Composition: 44.2% iron, 37.6% oxygen, 15.4% silicon, 2.8% other metals, trace other elements
Gravimetry Gravity:13.48 m/s2 (1.38 x earth)
Escape Velocity15.77 km/s
Rotation Period: 21.65 hours
Axis Tilt: 24.25°
Hydrosphere Water: 50%
Atmosphere Type: Dense reducingPressure154.15 kPa (1.52 x earth)
Composition79.3% carbon dioxide, 20.7% methane, trace other gases
Climate Type: Standard
Min Temp: 287 K (14 °C)
Avg Temp: 296 K (23 °C)
Max Temp: 301 K (28 °C)
Civilization Type: Scientific Research Station
Tech Level Spacefaring (orbital spacecraft, cybernetics, laser weapons)
Special Features: Planetary rings
Zarkonnen’s Planet Generator: A simple generator that has no user-specified settings. It spits out a simple summary of the planet (geographic features, notes on life forms) and some generic game statistics (industry, science, size, habitability). It also creates a cool linking rotating world, complete with cloud effects, but the inability to link to a particular planet makes it impossible to reference in-game
A sandy desert lit by a bright blue sun. Deep canyons cut into the planet’s crust. Clusters of grey fronds. Massive herds of three-legged, brown beasts move across the planet in time with the seasons. Their heads have three horns. There are many dormant volcanoes.
- Habitability: 50%
- Size: 5
- Industry: 6
- Science 3
Jarett Gross’ Procedural Planet Generator: Looking for something more abstract? Check out Gross’s planet generator, which builds planetary illustrations based on several different shape types (triangles, hexagons, flat hexagons, pop-out hexagons) as well as a variety of planet and noise properties.
Experilous’ Planet Generator: Experilous offers another hex-style map, but this one lets you specify options like “tectonic plate count”, “oceanic rate”, “moisture level” and “Heat level”. Once generated you can quickly change between three map projections: glob, equal-area map, and Mercator map. The tool also gives you different displays to show types of terrain, tectonic plates, elevation, temps, and moisture.
Hypertext d20 Fantasy World Generator: This generator will build a full-fledged fantasy world map — complete with named cities, seas, rivers, and ruins — from a few starting parameters, namely the percentage of water and ice featured on the world. You can turn of extras like the city, hex, and label generation, but either way its great fodder for your next global hexcrawl.
Featured Image Meta
A fractal map created by the Planet Map Generator.