Mappa Mundorum: A Taste of Flavor

Last night I finished the Horus page.  (Today’s plan is to write the Incidents rules and at least two more planets.)  Atany rate, I thought I’d post that page as a preview of the more detailed flavor of the game, so here goes:


The inner-most planet, moving swiftly in a tide-locked orbit around the sun. Half a sea of molten rock, half a frozen tundra, with communities of mystics scattered along the barely-livable meridian. A few trading outposts have been placed on this planet.

The native population of Horus are almost entirely of Egyptian stock, and most follow a nearly Gnostic version of classical Egyptian religion. There is a small Semetic minority, practicing a religion that is vaguely Abrahamic, but quite distinct from Terran religions.

The culture of the Mystics disdains most technology in everyday life, but is not unwilling to make use of it in emergencies.


The Mystics of Horus can see the future, or into the minds of others…provided the price is right.

On Horus, any Agent may exchange Luck or Starlight for Secrets on a 1-to-1 basis.

Luck is Trump on Horus

Recent History

Most of the orders on Horus are reclusive and insular even during the best of times. During the Martian War, even the more outward-looking of them remained steadfastly neutral, providing medicine and succor to the wounded of both sides.


Here are a few examples of Sites that can be used for Incidents on Horus. Feel free to go beyond these as the Narrator of Horus if you choose.

● Trading Posts (any) – All of the powers do some trade on Horus, for information or artifacts.

● Pilgrimages (any Terran)- Some religiously-inclined people have chosen to adopt the beliefs of the Mystics, or co-opt them into their own belief systems.

● Archaeological Digs (any) – While the Mystics show disinterest in the ancient ruins long the habitable ring, most other powers find them fascinating.

● Shipwreck (any) – Landing on Horus is more difficult than on any other planet, and the surface outside of the ring more dangerous, but wrecks may be survivable if help arrives quickly.

● Monestary (Order of Hotep)


The Planet Horus is about information. Incidents and Outcomes here should likewise revolve around information: long-buried secrets, communication, prophecies, and conspiracies should inform play here. Here are a few idea seeds for Horus Incidents:

● A Mystic has seen corruption at the Imperial Academies of the Undying Empire. Will the news be suppressed or made public? Will either France or the Undying Empire have the audacity to violate the Mystic’s Order’s sovereignty, risking a war?

● Mercenaries in support of one side in a brushfire war on another planet seek to buy knowledge of the other side’s plans. Will they succeed and end the war on their terms, or cause it to escalate and spread? And what interest do the Superpowers hold in the outcome?

●A working piece of prehuman technology has been discovered in an ancient ruin, one powerful enough to alter the balance of power. What price will be paid to keep it out of-or into- the wrong hands?

●Pilgrims from different religions compete over what they both claim is a Holy Site on Horus. The Mystics, vehemently against the idea of war on their planet but powerless to stop it on their own, seek assistance from the Superpowers.

●Diplomats seeking to end a long-time conflict have agreed to meet on neutral ground, on Horus. But one of the ambassador’s Seabird has suffered a malfunction, crashing it in the lifeless tundra or sweltering deserts beyond the habitable ring. Can they be rescued? And who might benefit if they aren’t?


The only spacefaring Power on Horus is the Order of Hotep. Their brand of Mysticism has lead them to intimate knowledge of medicine and the human body, skills they provide freely to those in need.


2 Responses to “Mappa Mundorum: A Taste of Flavor”

  1. Jonathan Walton Says:

    Hey, I really like this planet write up. How many of these are you planning on doing? Because, unless I’m playing more than 6-8 sessions, seems like I could run a whole arc / campaign on a single planet.

  2. mappamundorum Says:

    Five planets. (Horus, Astarte, Earth, Baal, and Osiris). The first four correspond obviously to ones we know; the last is an extra planet hidden away in the Asteroid belt.

    I did Astarte (along with the final couple of pages of rules) today, and will probably at least get a running start at Earth before knocking off, leaving the last two planets for tomorrow.

    I’m glad that the setting feels deep to you. I think that game setting design is all about constructing a Potemkin Iceburg, and it’s good to think that I’ve succeeded here.

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