For my science fiction world generator, one of the hard bits has been coming up with names for some of the settlement types. I’m trying to be at least a little bit consistent in the naming, if only for my own sanity.
For what I’ve current working on, I’ve decided to use the term Outpost to refer to settlements which are specifically designed for a single purpose, and which haven’t grown beyond that. A few of the Outpost examples for secluded settlements are given below.
A Monastic Outpost is a religious settlement that is part of a greater, galaxy spanning religion, that has built a place to worship and study their god far away from the distractions of civilisation.
Several small domes mark the entrance to a subterranean vault within which dwells 151 nuns who have dedicated their life to their religion. Within are massive echoing chambers surrounded with alcoves and twisting passages. The nuns here are dedicated in the celebration of their God, living a ascetic life, forgoing luxuries and worldly concerns.Monastic Outpost on Kuiper world of Erepraf Belt A-i
This is different from break away cults and small religious groups that are trying to escape persecution (justified or not) and have built their own settlement. A Monastery isn’t seeking to break away from anything, or looking for independence, it is happy to remain part of the religion, it’s monks just want a bit of peace and quiet.
Monastic outposts are generally self-sufficient, and quite safe and fairly boring. There may be other settlements in the system, though they tend to be secluded types who don’t want to socialise.
There often aren’t many things to trade, though spare parts for life support systems, as well as study materials and sometimes digital trade (in religious and philosophical texts) may be wanted.
The star port type will generally be E, or at best D.
A Prison Outpost is generally an Imperium controlled state prison, used for the incarceration of long term prisoners from a multitude of different worlds. For efficiencies of scale, they can be quite large, and are often quite dreadful places to visit.
A large prison designed to house inmates not wanted elsewhere. The 400 thousand held here have a minimum imprisonment of 30 years. It is a blocky, stone, mostly windowless tower, which descends beneath the surface as much as it ascends above it. Allegedly nobody has ever escaped this place.Prison Outpost on Kuiper world of Imoneg Belt A-i
They mostly rely on the fact that they are surrounded by a vacuum for security. They are also rarely self sufficient, requiring food and other supplies to be delivered on a regular basis. This means that in the event of losing control of the prison, food shipments can be simply stopped forcing the prisoners to seek agreement or starve.
Systems with prison outposts are often considered Amber or Red zones, due to strict regulations on travel. Trade with prisons is normally limited to government sanctioned vessels, and private traders are rarely welcomed.
The star port type will generally a very secure D.
An Outlaw Outpost has been setup by a criminal gang for use as a base of operations. They often have defences, and regular shipments of supplies from their own contacts.
This is a small outpost setup by a band of outlaws. Set on a world nobody else wants, it is a simple base set into the world’s surface, and mostly underground. Such settlements are quite common, and tend to be short lived. They are heavily reliant on supplies being shipped in from off-world, rather than producing anything themselves. There is no single person in charge here, instead multiple factions vie for control.Outlaw Outpost on Selenian world of Shacadequ V/a
Private traders aren’t discouraged, but trading with them can sometimes be dangerous. The more sensible ones try to form a reputation for being trustworthy, since it leads to repeat business, but if they get the impression that a trader is working with law enforcement groups, then punishment can be swift.
Such outposts tend to be larger the further they are from civilised sectors. Smaller ones in civilised space can be quite short term, and are normally created by criminals taking over an abandoned outpost of another type.
They are often part of a bigger gang or criminal group, which may have political connections that make clearing them out difficult. As long as they keep to themselves, and aren’t too obvious in supporting local criminal activity, then local governments will leave them alone.
Systems such as this will generally be listed as Red zones. The type of star port will range from E to a ramshackle D.
An Elite Outpost is one which is inhabited by only the top echelons of society. Populations tend to be small, and they are home to one or more reclusive trillionaires who want somewhere private to live.
Several domes of crystal cover a twenty thousand hectare park of lakes and sandy islands. Crystal structures around the edges contain the homes of the obscenely wealthy families that use this as their holiday retreat.Elite Outpost on the Selenian world of Etubgem IV/a
They are fantastic places to behold – if you are allowed anywhere near them. Trade is minimal, and often brought in on private trade vessels. They tend to specialise in the consumption of luxury goods, and produce nothing or worth themselves, though sometimes such trillionaires act as patrons to artists who may produce works which are available for sale.
Some may have exotic private zoos or museums which will always be on the lookup for animals or items to put on display, whether legal or not.
They will generally a supporting population of a few thousand, for handling the day to day management of the outpost.
The star port type can be hard to classify, though are normally listed as D. Quality of services tend to be extremely high, though they are geared towards catering to a small number of private vessels, rather than generic trade.