d10 Unusual Asteroids

William T. Thrasher
I'd tap that asteroid.

You know how it is. You're hiding from a patrol craft deep within a solar system's asteroid belt and all you can see for kilometers around are boring old tumbling rocks. Well, not any more! The next time you want to add some veriety to asteroid fields, planetary rings, or another field of space debris, just roll a d10 on the table below!

  1. Crystal - The asteroid is made from quartz-like crystal. There is an equal chance the crystal is mundane, a useful industrial material, or psychicaly resonant. Roll another d10 to determine the crustal's color: 1) Red, 2) Orenge, 3) Yellow, 4) Green, 5) Blue, 6) Indigo, 7) Violet, 8) Black, 9) Rainbow, 10) Clear.
  2. Radioactive - The asteroid is composed of radiactive elements and can be processed into fuel. There is a 30% chance the asteroid glows. Roll another d10 to determine the radiation level: 1-2) Low, 3-5) Medium, 6-8) High, 9-10) Severe. If the radiation level is Severe, a chunk of the astroid can be used as fuel without processing, thouhg continued use of such unrefined fuel will eventually play havoc with the reactor.
  3. Inhabited - Strange exomorphic organisms live within the asteroid. There is a 25% chance the asteroid bares marks that suggest habitation (bore holes, waste mounds, tracks, etc.). Roll another d10 to determine what lives within the asteroid: 1-3) 2d10 space wasps, 4-6) a void dragon, 7-9) 1d6 star vampires, 10) a giant space slug.
  4. Ice - The asteroid is composed primarily of water ice, possibly the remains of a comet. There is an equal chance the water is pure enough to drink without processing, requires processing to be potable, or thourouly contaminated with a toxic mix of trace elements. There is a 15% chance an infectious microorganism is preserved within the ice.
  5. Derelict - The asteroid is mundance, but the remains of a crashed starship is imbedded in its surface. Roll another d10 to determine the nature of the wreck: 1) unmanned probe, 2) escape pod, 3-4) shuttle craft, 5-6) small FTL cruiser, 7-8) medium FTL freighter, 9-10) large FTL military vehicle. If the wreck is anything other than an unmanned probe, there is a 35% chance a sensor sweep detects 2d6 life forms in stasis. There is a 20% chance the wreck is a decoy set up by pirates waiting to ambush any vessel who moved in close to investigate.
  6. Cultural Relic - The asteroid has be carved by a mix of hand tools, weapons fire, and industrial equipment into a massive art object. Roll another d10 to determine the nature of the object: 1-2) graven image of an alien god, 3-4) monument to a historical figure, 5-6) memorial to a martyr, 7-8) abstract sculpture, 9-10) advertisement for a product or service avalible on a nearby planet.
  7. Mineshafts - The asteroid shows signs of mining, including open shafts, stripped outcrops, and clusters of scree. There is a 50% chance the asteroid is marked with a claim beacon. There is a 20% chance the asteroid is still being worked by 1d6 miners and 1d6 mining robots.
  8. Target Practice - The asteroid's surface is marred by weapons fire, from the telltale pockmarks of defensive lasers to the glowing impact craters of atomic missiles.
  9. Loadstone - The asteroid is highly magnetic, interfearing with sensors, navigation, and communications for kilometers in all directions. Any starship that lingers too closely will be pulled toward the asteroid, or will find the asteroid pulled toward itself depending on the relative masses of the two objects.
  10. Agragate Cluster - The asteroid is not one large object, but a cloud of small objects randing in size from dust motes to fist-sized chunks, all bound together into a loose formation by their own minute gravity. Roll again on this table to determine the composition of the cluster, adjusting any other feartures accordingly (e.g. an agragate cluster derelict may contain the flagmentary remains of an atomized starship, or may have an intact derelict buried in its center).