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  1. Elsethread, @Joerg made the following excellent point, that I thought deserved its own thread and discussion... Here's the thing: we actually have only a single data-point -- the Earth, Terra -- to know what a "normal" habitable world (what Star Trek calls a "Class M" planet) looks like. Drake equation notwithstanding, we don't actually have DATA in-hand that there is even one other world that fits the "Class M" fiction. Personally, I *want* it to be correct, but I'm keenly-aware of it as a VERY retrograde "armchair-science" pseudo-fact. But even if we conclude that Drake was broadly "correct" (even if a few details were a bit off): we have *ZERO* evidence of what sorts of worlds are "typical." Is ours? Or is ours a weird outlier? The Earth is about 7/10 water, so we call it a "water world;" but what if 99% of all "Class M" planets turn out to be 99% surface-water? Maybe Terra is nearly a desert-world... Or maybe 2/3 to 3/4 surface-water is the norm, and to be a "water world" a planet has to be 93% surface-water...\ Etc Etc Etc... *** *** *** How you set that "norm" for your campaign could have big implications for your universe!
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