A Mobile World is a world capable of moving under its own power. Essentially, a planet or planetoid that is a spaceship; alternately, a spaceship large enough to qualify as a world. Does not have to be a starship, though those are not disqualified.
The exact cutoff varies, but there is general agreement that merely using a planetoid as a spaceship hull is insufficient. The defining characteristic is size or mass. A planetoid hull spaceship with a diameter of 500 kilometers (the dividing line between "planetoid" or "planet") would certainly qualify, while one with a diameter of only 1.0 kilometer would not, according to most sources.
There are two competing schools of thought regarding mobile worlds.
- One postulates that, if they existed, they would be more spaceship than world, and would generally be laid out like the largest civilian ships known, just much larger. (...It is difficult to imagine a military purpose for such a large ship, other than destroying entire worlds, which seems too inefficient and wasteful for a civilization capable of building such a titanic object.)
- The other boils down to, "start with world, add massive engines", suggesting that the majority of the architecture would be whatever the world was prior to being made mobile; this has been depicted numerous times as a feature added to a tent world, with some heat and light source to sustain life on the planet when it is removed from its original system.
In both cases, a lack of known examples leads to speculative design.
Probable Planetary Orbit & Climate
There are many legends, rumors, and the odd Old Spacer's Tale of mobile worlds, as well as fictional portrayals. As of 1105 there are no proven and documented instances in Charted Space, though there have been observations of certain other parts of the galaxy which could be explained by the presence of one ore more mobile worlds (...among other theories).
Legends of the Sky Raiders
Sky Raiders: During the early stages of the First Imperium the Loeskalth culture absorbed a great deal of science and technology indirectly from the Vilani and founded a small empire which embraced, at its height, most of their home subsector. 
About -4200, the Vilani consolidation destroyed the Loeskalth Empire and absorbed the civilization into the mainstream of Vilani culture. An aggressive and warlike race, the Loeskalth resisted but were ultimately overwhelmed. 
Recent evidence has shown that the last pocket of Loeskalth resistance built a large asteroid starship which set off on a sublight voyage across the Great Rift after the final Vilani triumph. The descendants of the refugees on this ship later became the so-called Sky Raiders. 
The Yaskoydri Experience
The Yaskoydri Technocracy claims to have been invaded by one circa 250. As of 1105 the records are in less than pristine shape, even at the time there was debate as to its designation, and the ship was completely destroyed by sending it into a star (obliterating any primary evidence), so many suspect this may have merely been a large ship and not truly a mobile world. There is allegedly one surviving witness, Tiji of the Tijian Khaganate, but many who have heard this claim question the likelihood of a human being surviving for so long even with anagathics (as opposed to a series of clones or body doubles with no first hand memories of 250), especially one who has been the target of multiple assassination attempts - and in any case, his need to save face to maintain rulership of his Khaganate makes him an unreliable witness.
No information yet available.
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- Marc Miller. Worlds and Adventures (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), TBD.
- Marc Miller. Scouts (Game Designers Workshop, 1983), TBD.
- Marc Miller. T5 Core Rules (Far Future Enterprises, 2013), TBD.
- EXTERNAL LINK: Beowolf's Libary Data Website (defunct)
- Author & Contributor: Adrian Tymes
- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science