The Planet


Dashgad is a small world, a moon of a large gas giant named Masia. It is uniformly cold, hovering around freezing most of the time. The low gravity of 0.37G means a thin atmosphere, although it is breathable by humans with a compressor mask. Although only 8.30 parsecs from Earth, it was overlooked as a colony site until very recently.

Dashgad is very dry, with almost all the water being locked up in polar ice caps. Although fairly close to Earth, the hostile conditions prevented the advent of colonisation for hundreds of years. Dashgad's star is a K4 V type named Apge.


Native life on Dashgad is unusually undiverse. Only three macroscopic life forms are readily evident:
  1. A nameless green weed which covers much of the ground.
  2. "Stiltgrass" - like 3 metre high bamboo, about 30cm in diameter.
  3. "Dashgoats" - six-legged insectoids a bit over 3m high.
Dashgoats feed on stiltgrass by standing over a stalk and slowly lowering their bodies as they digest it with enzymes. This takes several days, after which the dashgoat feels its way to an adjacent stalk. Having no predators, dashgoats are blind and harmless. They reproduce asexually by developing eggs on their backs. They produce so many young that biologists assume there are periodic starvation die-offs to prevent overpopulation.

Humans have not introduced any off-world species to the wild.


Dashgad is a recently colonised world, with a current population of only 632 humans, 546 of whom live in the main settlement of Smit Town. The other 86 run dashgoat farms scattered across the planet. Smit Town is located underground in an excavated cavern, kept pressurised with a standard atmosphere.


Dashgad is not at all self-sufficient. It imports most of its food. Its only export is dashgoat egg powder, which is the only reason the colony exists at all, for it is a valuable pharmaceutical anti-oxidant.

The egg powder industry has, however, allowed a good deal of wealth to flow into the world. If you ignore the facts that humans cannot live on the surface and the gravity is too light, Dashgad is not a bad place to live. The economy is diversifying and growing as the population slowly but steadily increases.


Dashgad is a small colony world under the jurisdiction of Arawne. It is administered by one Sara Hercule, who runs the colony as a tight ship. With so few residents, community policing is enough to prevent most crimes, and weapon regulations are fairly lax.

The major corporate force on the world is Smit Holdings, which operates just under half the dashgoat egg industry. There is some friendly corporate rivalry between Smit Holdings and the other egg export companies, but day-to-day affairs in the town are peaceful enough.

There are as usual some minor rumblings for independence but, as a tiny colony only some 20 years old, serious movement in that direction has not gathered much popular support. Realities of living mean Dashgad will probably remain a colony for at least a few more decades.

GURPS is Copyright © by Steve Jackson Games Incorporated.

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