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March 18, 2011

A player’s guide to social classes

by Game designer

One of the few simple steps, when starting a game, is to choose the social class of your character. Sometimes it’s difficult to make the good choice, especially when you’re a beginner with a brand new character. To help you, we are going to quickly describe the seven different available classes . When you’re finish to read this article, you will know how to make a coherent choice and fully understand how this class system will help you to improve your role playing.

In our distant future, the society has undergone considerable changes. In the Futurity role playing game there is an elaborate and complex social system that combines elements of occupation, culture, family affiliation and political power.

Your class choice is mainly determined by your genotype. So you cannot change from one class into another during the game. It is only permitted to join members of any class for your business or duties. Unfortunately, discrimination based on social classes, is prevalent in most parts of the known universe. Some character can face severe problems, such as segregation and violence against them.

Showing your class choice on the character card is pretty simple : write the appropriate letter in the reserved zone of your character’s card. Now we’re going to look at each of these classes, but first you can have a look at the following graphic quick study.

Quick RPG population study

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Alpha class. You must write a A on the character’s card. This is a only human class which deliberate about mankind together or at/with the Intergalactic Parliament, or, in such planets as are self-governing with the authorities. In number this class is small, but in wisdom and uprightness it bears the palm from all others; from this class are selected their planet’s governors, stellar system governors and deputies. You will find in this class the Intergalactic Administration top management and the wealthiest human families. It’s a good choice for a daddy’s boy character type.

Beta class. You must write a B on the character’s card. They organize everything that goes on in the known universe or on the planets; and they report to the appropriate chamber of the Intergalactic Parliament, where people are governed by the Intergalactic laws , or to the local authorities, where they are independent. To these it is illegal to make any false report; yes you can face an immediate death penalty. This is a good choice for a character gifted with psychic abilities. In this class, all penhumans have psychic abilities. Average human generally work for the Intergalactic Administration

Epsilon class. You must write an E on the character’s card. Shortly, these are the pioneers, explorers of the unknown space, adventurers of the deep space, and these dwell neither by orbital stations nor on the planets. They are nomads and get their living on unknown planets, and they pay taxes from their minerals or plants; they hunt also exo life forms. There is a little more human on this class, there were look at weird by the others, they are independent and seems to have their own rules, sometimes difficult to understand. They look at the penhuman of their class as nearly equal.

Lambda class. You must write an L on the character’s card. This social class is the default choice if the character has a penhuman genome. They are at the bottom of the social scale and perform jobs that no human wants such as mining in a meteor field,  working on lethal exocultures, toxic waste management… Take a minute to think about all the dirty jobs the future can offer… They lived in special quarters in orbital station and assigned district on planets. They are not allowed to access to genetics modifications. They  tended to avoid intermarriage, sharing of food and drinks, or even close social interaction with other than their own. Most of the penhumans did not see themselves as socially inferior of the others in any way. If at all, it was the other way round and most of them have traditions, myths and legends to support their sense of identity and cultural uniqueness.

Sigma class. You must write an S on the character’s card. The settlers compose the majority of this social class. These being the most numerous. They don’t care about intergalactic space regulations or wars, but they till the land; and they pay the taxes to the intergalactic administration and to the cities, such as are self-governing. If there is an planetary conflict among the population, they may not touch these workers, and not even devastate the land itself. But, in such a case,  some of them are making war and slaying all comers, and others close by are peacefully ploughing or gathering the fruits or shaking down apples or harvesting. This is a basic choice suitable to nearly almost all character of the penhuman type. There is also a few human minority who belongs to this class which are for instance : organized crime members, pirates, slave traders…

Tau class. You must write a T on the character’s card. This class is made of industrials, artisans and shopkeepers. Basically, these are workers, and pay tribute from their works. Weapons makers are generally paid by the community or directly by the Intergalactic Administration. You can find in this class are the spaceshipwrights and pilots who navigate only in a define stellar system. You can find a lot of gifted penhuman here, generally specialized workers. You can also find in this ruthless human businessman, who can sell an empty stellar system to an alpha class member.

Omega class. You must write an O on the character’s card. This is the soldiers’ class, next after the sigma class in number; these have the greatest freedom. They practise military pursuits only. Their weapons ? Others build for them, and again others provide spaceships; others too serve in military bases, those who work on armed vehicles and maintain their weapons, guide the planetary assault ships, and keep in order and drive the combat shuttles. Humans found in this class are generally all officers, sometimes because of a sanction, they can be non commissioned officer. The vast majority of penhumans of this class are cannon fodder.

Just for the “look and feel”, I strongly suggest using the Greek alphabet when writing a social class on a character’s card – meaning using the lambda, sigma omega letters. The following picture shows you how to do that properly and the relative influence of each classes between each others.

What is the real influence per social classes ?

This social class system should not be confused with more elemental aspects such as nobility or genotypes in that members of all classes may not belong to the same genome –except for the alpha class . If you have any question about this system, feel free to ask your questions below.

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