1d100 Sword, Sandal and Planet Tropes

That previous list of planetary romance tropes was fun and useful, but Planet Karus is the kind of science fantasy where we are on an alien world that was once technologically advanced but has collapsed back into barbarism after a long-forgotten cataclysm of some sort. The level of civilizational development is now roughly similar to the ancient world: Mesopotamia, ancient Greece, Rome… So we need a list of tropes that smashes together the sword and sandal genre (also known as peplum) and planetary romance. So that’s what I got ChatGPT 4 to do for me, take the description of both genres as input, and generate 100 commonplace ideas for this sort of non-existent genre, which I might call sandal and planet going forward. Here they are below, unedited.

  1. Mythic Heroes in Space: Similar to Hercules in ancient settings, but now they’re interstellar adventurers with a blend of mythical strength and space-age technology.
  2. Ancient Ruins on Alien Planets: Discovering remnants of ancient, advanced civilizations on distant planets, echoing the ruins of Rome or Greece.
  3. Space Chariot Races: Adapting the iconic Roman chariot races into high-speed, anti-gravity vehicle competitions on alien worlds.
  4. Interstellar Gladiator Arenas: Combining the gladiator battles of ancient Rome with high-tech, interplanetary settings where warriors from different planets compete.
  5. Galactic Empires and Feudal Societies: Empires spanning multiple planets, with a social and political structure reminiscent of Ancient Rome or Greece.
  6. Mythological Creatures as Alien Species: Creatures from ancient mythologies reimagined as alien beings with unique abilities and cultures.
  7. Lost Technology as Magic Artifacts: Artifacts of lost alien technology that are perceived and used as magical objects by less advanced societies.
  8. Star-Crossed Alien Love: Romantic tales reminiscent of chivalric romances, involving characters from different planets or species.
  9. Planetary Oracles and Prophecies: Merging the concept of oracles and prophecies from ancient myths with alien worlds, guiding or misleading space adventurers.
  10. Space Odyssey: Epic journeys across the galaxy, echoing the travels and trials of heroes like Odysseus, but set in a vast cosmic landscape.
  11. Alien Colosseums: Enormous, technologically advanced arenas on alien planets where interstellar versions of Roman gladiatorial games are held.
  12. Interplanetary Councils of Gods: A pantheon of powerful beings from different planets, reminiscent of Greek or Roman gods, influencing or meddling in galactic affairs.
  13. Star-Faring Centurions: Soldiers or space marines styled after Roman Centurions, upholding the law of a vast interstellar empire.
  14. Celestial Charioteers: Heroes or gods traveling across the stars in vehicles reminiscent of ancient chariots.
  15. Desert Planets with Ancient Cultures: Worlds that mirror the sandy landscapes and ancient cultures of North Africa or the Middle East.
  16. Planetary Oracles and Seers: Individuals with the ability to predict or influence future events, regarded with awe and fear on various planets.
  17. Space Vestal Virgins: Guardians of sacred alien artifacts or knowledge, similar to the Vestal Virgins of ancient Rome.
  18. Galactic Olympics: Interplanetary competitions that are a mix of ancient Olympic Games and futuristic sports, showcasing physical and technological prowess.
  19. Interstellar Trade Agoras: Marketplaces on different planets resembling the Agoras of Ancient Greece, centers for commerce, culture, and political discourse.
  20. Planetary Feuds and Wars: Epic conflicts between planets or star systems, mirroring the famous wars of ancient history, like the Trojan War or the Punic Wars.
  21. Mystic Space Priestesses: Revered female figures who combine elements of ancient priestesses and mystics with a cosmic perspective.
  22. Alien Beast Hunts: Extraterrestrial versions of mythological beast hunts, where heroes face off against strange creatures on distant planets.
  23. Galactic Senate Intrigue: Political maneuvering and power struggles within a grand senate or council, echoing the political drama of Ancient Rome.
  24. Starborne Philosophers: Thinkers and scholars who travel the galaxy, spreading wisdom and engaging in debates reminiscent of those in ancient Greek academies.
  25. Celestial Temples and Shrines: Sacred places of worship or significance on different planets, echoing the architectural grandeur of ancient temples.
  26. Intergalactic Chariot Convoys: Caravans or fleets of space vehicles, serving as the interstellar equivalent of ancient trade routes and caravans.
  27. Mythical Trials in Space: Heroes undergoing a series of trials or labors across different planets, akin to the labors of Hercules.
  28. Planetary Conquerors and Emperors: Ambitious leaders or emperors who seek to expand their rule across multiple worlds, similar to the conquerors of ancient history.
  29. Space Amphitheaters for Public Discourse: Forums or public spaces on planets where citizens gather to discuss and debate, akin to the forums of ancient Rome.
  30. Alien Oracle Networks: A system of oracles across different planets, each with their unique methods of divination and prophecy, interconnected in a cosmic network.
  31. Interstellar Epic Poems: Stories of heroic deeds and adventures, shared across galaxies in a style reminiscent of ancient epic poetry.
  32. Cosmic Spartacus Rebellion: A galaxy-wide uprising led by a charismatic leader, mirroring the historical figure of Spartacus and his rebellion.
  33. Alien Olympians: Powerful extraterrestrial beings who are worshipped or revered like the gods of Olympus, each ruling over different aspects of the cosmos.
  34. Galactic Legionnaires: Elite warriors or soldiers who serve in a spacefaring legion, maintaining order across planets, akin to the Roman legionnaires.
  35. Planetary Pythia: Mysterious figures on various worlds who serve as sources of wisdom and guidance, similar to the Oracle of Delphi.
  36. Spaceborne Epic Battles: Large-scale conflicts in space, evoking the grand battles of ancient epics with a mix of futuristic weaponry and tactics.
  37. Celestial Sybils: Prophetic women who offer cryptic predictions and guidance, respected and feared across different planets.
  38. Interstellar Agon: A term for the conflict or struggle central to a story, taking place across planets and involving a diverse cast of characters.
  39. Mythical Bestiary of the Stars: A collection of strange and wondrous creatures from different planets, each with its own mythology and lore.
  40. Galactic Colossi: Enormous statues or constructs on various planets that serve as monuments or guardians, reminiscent of ancient colossal statues.
  41. Space Oracle Stones: Ancient stones or artifacts scattered across planets, offering cryptic guidance or power to those who decipher them, much like ancient oracles.
  42. Planetary Gladiator Schools: Training academies on different worlds where warriors learn the arts of combat, echoing the gladiator schools of Rome.
  43. Star Wanderers: Nomadic tribes or individuals who traverse the cosmos, akin to the wandering peoples of ancient times.
  44. Interstellar God-Kings: Rulers of planets or star systems who are worshipped as deities, similar to the divine rulers of ancient civilizations.
  45. Cosmic Pantheons in Conflict: Rivalries and wars among different groups of deities or powerful beings, each controlling different aspects of the galaxy.
  46. Galactic Oracles and Curses: Mysterious curses or prophecies set by cosmic oracles that drive the destinies of planets and their inhabitants.
  47. Astronomical Myths and Legends: Stories and legends about the creation of stars, planets, and galaxies, mirroring the mythologies of ancient cultures.
  48. Alien Amphitheaters of Debate: Venues on different planets where philosophical, ethical, and political debates take place, reminiscent of the forums and public spaces in ancient Greece and Rome.
  49. Spaceborne Heroic Duels: One-on-one combat between heroes or leaders in space, drawing inspiration from the duels of ancient warriors and heroes.
  50. Planetary Vestiges of Ancient Empires: Remnants of long-gone civilizations on distant planets, echoing the ruins and relics of ancient empires on Earth.
  51. Celestial Augurs and Diviners: Individuals with the ability to interpret omens or signs in the cosmos, guiding spacefarers and planets, similar to Roman augurs.
  52. Interstellar Pilgrimages: Journeys undertaken by characters across the galaxy to sacred sites or planets, echoing religious or spiritual pilgrimages of ancient times.
  53. Galactic Senate Debates: Political and philosophical discussions in a central governing body, mirroring the debates of the Roman Senate or the Athenian democracy.
  54. Mythic Space Beasts: Enormous and legendary creatures inhabiting the vastness of space, akin to the mythical monsters of ancient lore.
  55. Star-Driven Prophecies: Foretellings that drive the fates of entire planets or galaxies, similar to the prophecies that played key roles in ancient myths.
  56. Alien Labyrinths and Mazes: Complex and mysterious structures on various planets, challenging adventurers like the labyrinths of myth.
  57. Cosmic Choruses: Groups or entities that narrate or comment on galactic events, similar to the choruses in ancient Greek tragedies.
  58. Planetary Founding Myths: Legends about the founding of colonies or civilizations on new planets, inspired by stories like Romulus and Remus or the founding of Athens.
  59. Interstellar Exiles and Wanderers: Characters banished from their planets, wandering the stars in a manner reminiscent of ancient heroes in exile.
  60. Galactic Dionysian Festivals: Extravagant celebrations or festivals on various planets, reflecting the revelries and ceremonies of ancient cultures.
  61. Celestial Oracles and Cosmic Visions: Mysterious figures who receive visions of the galaxy’s future, guiding heroes and empires, akin to the oracles of ancient times.
  62. Interplanetary Chivalric Orders: Knightly orders that uphold codes of honor and justice across planets, reminiscent of medieval chivalry blended with space exploration.
  63. Alien Cults and Mysteries: Secret societies or cults on different planets with rituals and beliefs echoing the mystery cults of ancient civilizations.
  64. Galactic Myth Retellings: Classic myths from ancient cultures reimagined in a cosmic setting, with gods, heroes, and creatures transformed into interstellar entities.
  65. Space Arena Champions: Warriors or heroes who gain fame and glory by competing in deadly games and contests held in space arenas.
  66. Planetary Epics and Sagas: Long, narrative poems or stories detailing the adventures and feats of heroes across the galaxy, akin to the epic tales of old.
  67. Interstellar Delphic Maxims: Wise sayings or principles that are respected across various cultures in the galaxy, similar to the maxims of the Oracle of Delphi.
  68. Cosmic Temporal Games: Competitions or challenges where participants manipulate time or travel through different eras, akin to the time-bending myths of ancient cultures.
  69. Alien Heroic Journeys: Characters undergoing a series of challenges and transformations as they travel across planets, reflecting the hero’s journey archetype.
  70. Spaceborne Tribal Alliances: Coalitions of planetary tribes or clans, forming alliances or conflicts that mirror the tribal dynamics of ancient societies.
  71. Stellar Oracles and Cosmic Enigmas: Mysterious figures offering guidance or posing riddles based on celestial phenomena, akin to the enigmatic oracles of ancient times.
  72. Galactic Conquests and Campaigns: Epic campaigns of spacefaring civilizations to conquer or explore new planets, mirroring the conquests of ancient empires.
  73. Interstellar Pantheons and Mythos: Diverse sets of deities and mythological stories that vary from planet to planet, each with unique cosmic lore.
  74. Alien Gladiator Rebellions: Uprisings led by gladiator-like figures against oppressive rulers on distant planets, inspired by historical revolts like that of Spartacus.
  75. Spaceborne Philosophical Schools: Centers of learning and debate on various planets, where philosophical ideas are exchanged, akin to the ancient Greek academies.
  76. Celestial Festivals and Galactic Games: Grand celebrations and competitive games held across the galaxy, echoing the festivals and athletic competitions of ancient cultures.
  77. Planetary Founders and Legendary Heroes: Founding figures of planetary colonies or civilizations, revered like the legendary founders and heroes of ancient cities.
  78. Interstellar Epic Quests: Long and perilous journeys undertaken by characters across the galaxy, seeking artifacts, knowledge, or destiny, similar to quests in ancient epics.
  79. Cosmic Sybils and Seers: Revered individuals who possess foresight or mystical knowledge, guiding characters and civilizations, akin to the sibyls of ancient myth.
  80. Alien Temple Cities: Sprawling cities on distant planets centered around massive temples or religious structures, reminiscent of ancient temple cities like Athens or Rome.
  81. Galactic Oracles and Astral Prophecies: Mysterious figures who interpret cosmic events and make predictions affecting entire star systems, echoing the role of oracles in ancient societies.
  82. Interplanetary Heroic Epics: Grand narratives that tell the stories of heroes’ adventures across different planets, inspired by epic poetry from ancient cultures.
  83. Celestial Monuments and Relics: Majestic and ancient artifacts or structures on various planets that hold significant historical or mystical value, akin to the monuments of ancient civilizations.
  84. Spacefaring Centurions and Commanders: Military leaders who command fleets or armies in space, drawing inspiration from the disciplined and strategic minds of Roman centurions.
  85. Alien Olympic Trials: Competitive events held on different planets, testing the physical and mental prowess of participants in a manner reminiscent of the ancient Olympics.
  86. Planetary Romance Sagas: Long and intricate tales of love, betrayal, and adventure set on exotic alien worlds, reflecting the depth and complexity of chivalric romances.
  87. Interstellar Political Intrigues: Complex webs of political maneuvering and subterfuge among different planetary governments, mirroring the political dramas of ancient republics and empires.
  88. Cosmic Temples and Shrines: Sacred places dedicated to various deities or cosmic forces, serving as centers of worship and pilgrimage across the galaxy, similar to the temples of ancient civilizations.
  89. Galactic Gladiator Legends: Stories of legendary gladiator figures who become heroes or symbols of resistance in various star systems.
  90. Spaceborne Oracle Cults: Groups or sects that form around the teachings or predictions of a particular space oracle, akin to the religious cults of ancient times.
  91. Interstellar Charioteer Races: High-speed races across the galaxy, where participants pilot advanced spacecraft in competitions reminiscent of ancient chariot races.
  92. Cosmic Pantheon Alliances and Rivalries: Alliances and conflicts among different groups of deities or powerful beings from various planets, akin to the intricate relationships of ancient mythological pantheons.
  93. Galactic Senate Oratory: Skilled speakers and debaters in an interstellar senate, drawing inspiration from the famed orators of ancient civilizations.
  94. Alien Heroic Odes and Ballads: Poetic compositions celebrating the deeds of heroes from different planets, similar to the odes and ballads of ancient poets.
  95. Planetary Cultural Festivals: Vibrant celebrations on various worlds that showcase the unique cultures and traditions of different planets, echoing ancient earth’s cultural festivals.
  96. Spacefaring Philosophers and Sages: Wise individuals who travel the galaxy, sharing knowledge and philosophies, much like the traveling philosophers of ancient times.
  97. Interstellar Archeological Expeditions: Missions to uncover the history and artifacts of ancient civilizations on distant planets, similar to the archeological explorations of Earth’s past.
  98. Cosmic Prophecy Fulfillments: Events unfolding across the galaxy that fulfill ancient prophecies, intertwining the destinies of planets and their inhabitants.
  99. Alien Myth Reenactments: Dramatic performances or rituals on different planets that reenact their myths and legends, akin to the theatrical traditions of ancient cultures.
  100. Galactic Epic Chronicles: Extensive narratives that chronicle the histories and mythologies of various planets and civilizations in the galaxy, mirroring the comprehensive chronicles of ancient times.

1d100 Planetary Romance Tropes

Just a quick one—I fed ChatGPT 4 the planetary romance description on TV Tropes and asked it to generate a list of one hundred ideas commonplace to the genre. Here they are below. Maybe of use to some referees like myself who occasionally need a little help while prepping their next science fantasy or sword and planet D&D session.

  1. Ancient Alien Artifacts: Mysterious remnants of lost civilizations.
  2. Feudal Future: Societies with medieval-like structures in a futuristic setting.
  3. Lost Technology: Advanced, often misunderstood technologies from a bygone era.
  4. Alien Flora and Fauna: Unique and often dangerous wildlife native to alien planets.
  5. Interstellar Travel: Journeying between stars or planets, typically with advanced spacecraft.
  6. Mystical Powers: Characters with abilities that blur the line between science and magic.
  7. Planetary Romance: Epic adventures set on exotic, far-off worlds.
  8. Spacefaring Hero: A protagonist who travels and explores the cosmos.
  9. Alien Cultures: Interaction with societies of alien beings.
  10. Dying Earth: Worlds at the brink of ecological or cosmic collapse.
  11. Space Opera Elements: Galactic-scale drama and adventure.
  12. Chivalric Codes: Honor and valor in a futuristic context.
  13. Lost Colonies: Human settlements that have lost contact with Earth.
  14. Unexplored Territories: Vast, unknown regions of alien planets.
  15. Feudal Politics: Power struggles and intrigue in a space-age kingdom.
  16. Heroic Quests: Epic journeys with a significant goal or purpose.
  17. Cross-Planetary Romance: Love stories that span different worlds.
  18. Sword and Planet Combat: Traditional melee combat in a futuristic setting.
  19. Space Pirates: Outlaws and raiders in the far reaches of space.
  20. Hidden Civilizations: Secret societies or cultures on alien worlds.
  21. Space Castaways: Characters stranded on unknown planets.
  22. Revolutionary Movements: Uprisings against oppressive regimes.
  23. Interplanetary War: Conflicts that span multiple planets.
  24. Space Exploration: The discovery and exploration of new worlds.
  25. Alien Gods: Deities or god-like beings from other worlds.
  26. Cultural Exchange: The sharing of ideas and customs between different species.
  27. Space Knights: Warriors upholding a code of honor in space.
  28. Terraforming Projects: Transforming alien worlds to support human life.
  29. Alien Languages: The challenge of communicating with extraterrestrial beings.
  30. Psychic Abilities: Mind-reading, telekinesis, and other mental powers.
  31. Rogue Planets: Worlds drifting outside of any solar system.
  32. Space Tyrants: Ruthless rulers commanding vast interstellar empires.
  33. Ancient Prophecies: Foretellings that drive the plot and character actions.
  34. Galactic Mysteries: Enigmas and secrets spanning the cosmos.
  35. Alien Ecology: The study and interaction with alien ecosystems.
  36. Dimensional Travel: Movement between different planes of existence.
  37. Interstellar Empires: Massive, galaxy-spanning civilizations.
  38. Planetary Gods: Deities associated with specific worlds or celestial bodies.
  39. Space Nomads: Cultures and peoples who travel the stars without a home planet.
  40. Cybernetic Enhancements: Use of technology to enhance physical and mental abilities.
  41. Time Dilation: The effects of relativity on space travel and aging.
  42. Cosmic Events: Supernovas, black holes, and other astronomical phenomena.
  43. Space Colonies: Human settlements in space or on alien planets.
  44. Forbidden Knowledge: Information that is dangerous or forbidden to possess.
  45. Alien Alliances: Partnerships or coalitions between different alien species.
  46. Planetary Defenders: Heroes who protect a world from external threats.
  47. Space Monsters: Gigantic or dangerous creatures inhabiting space.
  48. Cosmic Balance: The delicate equilibrium between opposing cosmic forces.
  49. Star-Crossed Lovers: A love affair hindered by the vastness of space.
  50. Alien Religions: Belief systems and practices of extraterrestrial origin.
  51. Interstellar Trade: Commerce and trade between different planets.
  52. Space Academies: Institutions for training spacefarers and explorers.
  53. Alien Artifacts: Objects of unknown origin and purpose from other civilizations.
  54. Space Espionage: Spying and intelligence gathering in a galactic context.
  55. Biomechanical Technology: Integration of biological and mechanical systems.
  56. Galactic Federation: An alliance of planets or species for mutual benefit.
  57. Cosmic Lore: Ancient and mystical knowledge about the universe.
  58. Starship Battles: Combat between spacecraft in space.
  59. Alien Hierarchies: The social and political structures of alien societies.
  60. Space Mythology: Legends and myths set in the backdrop of space.
  61. Astro-Archeology: The study of ancient civilizations through their spacefaring remnants.
  62. Teleportation: Instantaneous travel between distant points.
  63. Artificial Intelligence: Sentient machines or computer systems.
  64. Galactic Prophecy: Predictions about the fate of the galaxy.
  65. Space Witches/Wizards: Individuals wielding mystical powers in space.
  66. Interstellar Diplomacy: Negotiations and treaties between different planetary races.
  67. Star-Crossed Species: Romantic or familial bonds between different alien species.
  68. Quantum Anomalies: Strange phenomena based on quantum mechanics.
  69. Celestial Phenomena: Unique and awe-inspiring events in space.
  70. Alien Bestiary: A collection of diverse and exotic alien creatures.
  71. Space Smugglers: Individuals who transport illegal goods through space.
  72. Cosmic Cults: Groups devoted to worshiping or venerating cosmic entities.
  73. Interdimensional Beings: Entities from different dimensions or realities.
  74. Space Outlaws: Criminals and renegades living outside the law in space.
  75. Galactic Ruins: The remains of ancient and powerful civilizations.
  76. Artificial Planets: Man-made or altered worlds.
  77. Space Archaeology: The study of ancient remnants in space.
  78. Hyperspace Travel: Faster-than-light travel through another dimension.
  79. Exotic Energy Sources: Unconventional and powerful forms of energy.
  80. Celestial Guardians: Beings or forces that protect the cosmos.
  81. Galactic Disasters: Catastrophic events that impact multiple worlds.
  82. Alien Enigmas: Mysteries surrounding extraterrestrial life and culture.
  83. Space Rebellion: Revolts against galactic authorities or regimes.
  84. Cosmic Consciousness: Awareness or intelligence that spans the universe.
  85. Interstellar Nomads: Groups or individuals who wander the galaxy.
  86. Planetary Mysteries: Puzzles and enigmas specific to a single world.
  87. Space Rangers: Law enforcement in the vastness of space.
  88. Astrobiology: The study of life in the universe.
  89. Galactic Cartography: The mapping and exploration of the galaxy.
  90. Alien Conspiracies: Secret plans or schemes involving extraterrestrial beings.
  91. Cosmic Artifacts: Powerful and mysterious objects from across the universe.
  92. Interstellar Refugees: People fleeing their home worlds for various reasons.
  93. Space Mercenaries: Soldiers for hire in interstellar conflicts.
  94. Astro-Engineering: The construction of massive structures in space.
  95. Galactic Legends: Stories and tales passed down through galactic history.
  96. Celestial Events: Occurrences in space with significant impact.
  97. Alien Philosophies: Unique and diverse ways of thinking from different worlds.
  98. Space Hazards: Dangers and challenges inherent in space travel.
  99. Interstellar Communities: Groups of species or civilizations living in harmony.
  100. Cosmic Destiny: The preordained fate or future of the universe or its inhabitants.