Spider Dreams

Slade Stevens' ...Overworld: Cultures

A glimpse at what is left of the world as we know it...

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Slade Stevens'




The Cultures


There are five cultures in "Slade Stevens' Overworld".  The CorpStates, the Overworlders (rebels), the Metagenics ("the Evolved," mutants), the Subearthers, and the Off-Worlders.


CorpStates:  These are the domed cities inhabited by the ruling culture.  The CorpStates control the manufacture, production, and distribution of goods and services.  Within the CorpStates, modern civilization has continued and advanced, notably in art and science.  The CorpStates are often attacked by small raiding parties of Overworlders and Metagenics.  They combat this minor problem by recruiting reconnaissance agents and soldiers to seek out and destroy any potential threats.  (The inhabitants of the Overworld who keep to themselves are left unmolested by the CorpStates; only when their interests are directly threatened do they send out the teams of agents.)  They have found that the superstitious inhabitants of the Overworld are easily controlled through the CorpStates' image-building campaign.  Their research has shown that creating a uniform appearance for their main reconnaissance agents has led to the inhabitants of the Overworld believing them to be supernatural creatures.  Most of these agents are deployed in solo missions, and the Overworlders and Metagenics believe that it is one individual, rather than a group of uniform individuals, who are scouting.

Within the CorpStates, everything is provided to the consumer-associates.  Basic needs, like food, shelter, and clothing are automatically distributed.  Anything that is not considered to be necessary for survival may be purchased from a consumer-associates salary bank.  Films, books, works of art, and other entertainment are relatively inexpensive, as they are relatively easy and cost-effective to reproduce.  A happy consumer-associate is a productive consumer-associate.  Employment and education are graded in levels; jobs are as diverse as the individuals who are able to work.  (Those who are, for any reason, unable to produce for UNICorp are eliminated from the CorpState.  However, UNICorp makes every possible effort to find a way to make its consumer-associates productive.)  Other luxuries, such as a private vehicle or large living spaces, are in higher demand, as they are limited in number.  (Virtual estate is more affordable than real estate.)


Overworlders:  This is the collective identity of all cultures (factions) outside of the CorpStates.  This includes everything from communal settlements to individual drifters.  The main subculture of this faction are the Rebels, who struggle against the power of the CorpStates, work to protect the settlements from the dangers of the Overworld, and who explore the forgotten places of the planet.  The society is generally feudal in nature, although many systems of government (from tyranny to anarchy) exist.  Without a money-based economic system, the inhabitants of the Overworld have adopted a communal spirit.  While small battles might occur between rival settlements, there is more of a "mass survival" mentality.

The majority of Overworlders are hunters or farmers, fishermen or food collectors.  The less common professions include artisans and tradespeople.  Artists exist, generally as religious leaders, or within the religious community.  Where the consumer-associates view UNICorp as a deity, the Overworlders see UNICorp as the great evil.  There is no unified concept of a deity (or pantheon).


Metagenics:  These Overworlders encompass a range of former humans.  Some Metagenics (also known as "the Evolved," though this term is used almost solely by the Metagenicsmost members of the other cultures refer to them as "mutants" or the more derogatory "spawn") are the descendents of the unlucky few who survived in the worst areas of the Fall, the people exposed to various types of radiation, biochemical weaponry, or disease.  Others are the by-product of failed eugenics experiments conducted by UNICorp, and dumped into the Overworld.  Both types are usually disfigured in some way, ranging from slight to monstrous.  Every surviving Metagenic has acquired some type of preternatural ability.

Metagenics arent trusted by the members of the other cultures.  They are outcasts, at best shunned by the other inhabitants (including other Metagenics).  A few small nomadic bands have formed, though they are uncommon.  A handful of the Evolved have formed tenuous friendships with other cultures, and these are grudgingly accepted near the Overworlders' settlements, but never among the other Overworlders.


Off-Worlders:  Before the Fall, UNICorp utilized the space colonies (set up by various governments on space stations, the moon, and Mars) to increase their profits and production.  After the Fall, the UNICorp and CorpState's advertisements continued to exert an influence on the culture of the Off-Worlders.  Products have achieved a nearly deified status, while the advertisements themselves evolved into a form of entertainment.

The technology of the Off-World colonies grew exponentially, although UNICorp is unaware of the leaps that science has taken.  (UNICorp believes that the colonies are much like the Overworld societies, that they fell apart after instant communications were cut off with the Off-Worlders.)  Biomechanical pets were developed, and evolved at an astonishing speed as they adapted to life outside of the biospheres on the moon and the terraformed continents of Mars; the more distant colonies on Europa and Io orbiting Jupiter were nearly wiped out by their own creations.  Eugenics advanced beyond UNICorps capabilities, and new foods, fuels, and medicines were developed.  The Off-World colonies have come close to becoming truly Utopian.

Communications between the Off-Worlders and UNICorp are in written form, carried on shipments to and from UNICorp.  These are generally simply invoices.  Information exchange is rare between UNICorp and the colonies, unless it effects a shipment of goods.


Subearthers:  In the twentieth century, governments constructed deep underground cities (such as Mount Winter and New Erewhon) for their leaders to go in the event of a nuclear holocaust.  Replacement governments were put into place in these enclaves, in case the leadership didnt survive a nuclear war.  They were upgraded as the twenty-first century progressed, and became fully self-sufficient.  When UNICorp rose to power, these subterranean cities were forgotten.  After the Fall, twentieth (and early twenty-first) century society continued.  The Subearthers expanded their territories through mining and linking their cities together, thousands of feet beneath the earths surface.  Some of the Subearthers cities happened on links to the CorpStates, and the Overworld at large, and they began to establish limited trade compacts with those cultures.  The Subearther cities are completely self-sufficient, however, with life-support systems, hydroponic farms and sunless ranches, and a money-based economic system (though barter and trade are still common practices).

Where the CorpStates have unified society in every way, the Subearthers continue to encourage diversity.  The most obvious example of this is seen in language and communication.  The CorpStates and various Overworld cultures use Esperanto as their sole language.  The Subearthers commonly speak English, and most of the population speaks at least one other language (either as a second language, or as native speakers).  The CorpStates control information and learning with the iron grip of a miser.  The Subearthers' greatest asset is their accessibility to books and libraries.  (Overworlders have a utilitarian approach to learning.  If it can be applied to survival, it is worthwhile.  Otherwise, its useless and a waste of valuable time.  The Overworlders' literacy rate is about one percent.  The rest of the population can neither read nor write, except for a few simple words.)

The Cultures: d20 compatable

The Classes and Skills: d20 compatable


Table of contents:

Slade Stevens' ...Overworld introduction

Slade Stevens' ...Overworld: The World and Ecology

Slade Stevens' ...Overworld: Economies

More game rule information coming soon...