Archives of Nethys

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Infinite Worlds / Plains

Plains Worlds

Source Galaxy Exploration Manual pg. 77
Many plains worlds are likely created by the same forces that form typical plains, but on a global scale. A planet’s molten core may have vented long ago, covering the surface in smooth layers of lava rock, or an atmospheric anomaly might have evaporated a formerly oceanic world’s surface water. Perhaps melt or glaciation from polar ice caps takes the places of alluvial plains. Origins might be stranger still, such as a rhizome hive mind that shapes the world to its needs or an extraplanetary gravitational force that flattened great portions of a world.
Shared origin doesn’t have to mean a uniform surface. Uninterrupted wind currents are likely a large part of plains-world ecology, carrying seeds, soil, or even fauna across the globe. These might leave clear physical markers, such as windborne seeds that take root in colossal rivers of plant life that in turn attract migrating herds. The same winds likely interact with the planet’s axial tilt and temperature bands to produce diverse regions; it’s perfectly feasible for arid grasslands, tree-studded savannas, and tundras of bioluminescent lichens to exist on the same largely flat world. Lakes, rivers, and underwater aquifers likewise influence surrounding regions. For instance, subterranean water or a reservoir of homogeneous biomass would enable lush surface growth.