25 Unexplored Planet Adventure Seeds

Picture Credit: JoeyJazz

If space is the final frontier, then planets are the points of interest. We have another Adventure Seeds for you today; Unexplored Planets! While a broad topic, I wanted to showcase a variety of set ups and adventure intros that could easily be swapped.

My biggest challenge with this set was not recoloring past ideas as “____, but on a strange planet.” Coming up with ideas that could uniquely only happen or were a bit more likely to happen on a planet with no known areas was a challenge and a treat, and I really enjoyed exploring the unexplored in my mind.

Not too many assumptions this time around; use the context of each seed to frame the planet’s features and circumstances, and feel free to swap out details. Some of these will inherently require the players to be the first to the planet, while others seem more suited to the players hearing about the fates of those who went first. In any event, you should be able to switch these details around as needed for your own game!

And lastly, if you enjoy our Adventure Seeds, why not upgrade from 25 to 30? Every month when we post our monthly Adventure Seeds article we post an additional 5 seeds over at our Patreon as a small way of saying thanks to those who support us! So if you want 5 more ideas for your adventures on unexplored planets (or just want to support us so we can keep giving you content), be sure to join!

And now here are the adventure seeds:

  1. Initial energy readings indicated valuable metals deep below the planet’s surface. Corporations raced to set up mining operations and make the most of the rush, but after a few unlikely deaths many are on edge about foul play.
  2. Reading the radio frequencies coming from the planet would indicate a lively city near the landing zone. After arriving, there is no sign of civilization and an overwhelming number of mayday calls sound off from seemingly nowhere.
  3. A new ore was discovered and mined on an unexplored planet, but now crystals are growing out of people and creatures exposed to it. It is extremely painful and they are losing their minds wall chanting about “the vault”.
  4. A crash site containing a vessel of unknown origin was explored and a voice recorder was recovered. Most of the recordings were undecipherable, but one distinctly makes reference to the names of the crew who explored the crash.
  5. An explosion in the recently surveyed alien ruins alerted all that the ancient technology there was dangerous. The site of the explosion however seems untouched and there is no sign of anyone who would have been in the area.
  6. First contact with a primitive species has them treating the explorers who found them as gods to be worshiped. Now they are refusing to let their gods leave, going as far as entombing them inside temples with no exits.
  7. After exploring a planet by foot, the ground team is shocked to find a miniature replica of their own ship just lying on the ground. Even more shocked is the team still on the ship putting out a distress call that a giant hand is picking them up off the ground.
  8. Giant worms native to this planet have been found eat metal indiscriminately. While they seem to have no desire to eat organic material and the crew is safe, all who touch down on the planet find themselves stranded and their work unable to be cataloged.
  9. Strong windstorms rip across the planet, emitting strange noises. When recorded and played backwards it contains dialogue from throughout history and space embedded in it.
  10. Shortly after landing large tentacles protrude out of the planet, grasping at any and all ships. Activity reading show that the planet is actually alive! And to make matters worse, it’s moving towards the nearest populated star system!
  11. After being sent to scout and find where an enemy faction is operating out of, it is discovered that the closest planet is actually hollow and hiding a hidden space station. They were able to make it inside, but now they are lost in the tunnels and are sending distress calls for rescue.
  12. A lone remote facility of a long, lost expedition dots the surface of an otherwise barren planet. Once entered, the dormant AI inside excitedly welcomes back the explorers thinking it their former operator and asks for a status report for their assassination mission.
  13. All of the foliage on the planet seems to bend out of the way of foreign life; entire forests bend and twist to put distance between themselves and explorers. That is, until vines shot out and pulled the crew and their ship under the planet’s surface.
  14. The expedition to find a new, habitable planet was going well until the clouds came in, melting anything that tries to pass through them. Only a small hole in the clouds is visible, and there isn’t a spacecraft that can fit through and carry everyone out.
  15. A rare and quickly depleting fuel source was found on a dangerous planet, and the miners needed an escort and guard while there. Unfortunately, the local fauna did not like this and wrecked the mining operation, leaving the fuel open to those brave enough to chance the planet.
  16. The metal hatches covering the planet did not seem to open or react to anything until music was played in their proximity. A song from millennia ago was the key to opening the first hatch, and now historians are racing to find old music to try and open the others.
  17. A newly discovered planet covered entirely in water has a host of strange aquatic creatures living in undersea caves. Researches are paying top dollar for any who can aid in finding test samples, so much so that many are questioning why such a high reward would be given for a simple escort mission.
  18. Very few signs of life show themselves on the surface of the planet, but a sure sign of death is the large piles of bones scattered about. After a researcher was pulled into a pile screaming, few have wanted to go back out and explore the planet.
  19. A planet-like structure made entirely out of living metal was found full of functioning AI. Many different types of robotics are found to be living in a mirror of a natural ecosystem, wondering who or what caused this to be.
  20. A suspected smuggler hideout has been found on an isolated planet and tons of goods have been confiscated. Days later death threats have come pouring in from uncountable signal sources with no traceable location.
  21. A planet has been discovered with a remarkable feature: lakes made out of semi-corporeal energy. Anything dipped into the lake becomes either supercharged or destroyed and already people have come from all over to try and throw themselves into the lake.
  22. A formerly active planet that has been marked barren for centuries was revisited, and with it was found hangar bays of unknown mecha. While old, they appear to be outfitted with advanced weaponry and can even navigate through realspace more easily than current models.
  23. After detecting intelligent lifeforms on a planet and landing, it was discovered that humans, although strange in many ways, were the inhabitants. After working around a couple language barriers, it is come to be found that all of these humans thought they had died and were in some form of afterlife.
  24. After landing on the planet’s outer, dusty surface, the ship and crew sink through down to the actual surface of the planet. The pollution in the atmosphere is so dense that light spacecraft can feasibly land on it, but the source of the pollution remains to be seen.
  25. Planets have been disappearing, and the strange audio that accompanies the planet right before it goes missing has started around a nearby desert planet. Since the traces left behind indicate that the planets are being moved more than being destroyed, researches are seeking out explorers to be on the planet when it disappears and reestablish contact.

Liked these? Be sure to check out past installments here! And as always, please let us know what type of adventure seeds you’d like to see next!

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