Thousand Worlds – Cultural Norms

A rich and interesting part of the Thousand Worlds campaign is the discovery of bizarre cultures that populate its stars. The setting harbors a vast array of atypical science fiction planets, with stories rich in unsettling themes that most players are simply not used to. When I started my campaign, I parsed out these cultural descriptions piecemeal over several weeks. In hindsight, I think it would have been better to deliver this information faster, clearer, and in a more accessible manner. This is some of the background stuff that puts the players’ minds in the state you, as GM, want them. It gets people in the mood that you are going for, gets them thinking along the same lines that you are, and whets their appetites to jump out and explore your universe.


  • The planet of Worlorn is in a slowly decaying orbit around its sun. As a result, its winters grow colder every year. It is a dying world with a doomed population.
  • The Golden Theta did great works upon one of the two lost colony worlds. They created a new Not-Man species capable of living within dark tunnels underground.
  • The Vendalian Masters seek to cheat death by employing clones and stealing the bodies of outworlders in the Trial of the Mind.
  • The Grand Library of Avalon houses the greatest collection of records and information from before the Interregnum.
  • No one goes to Old Earth.
  • The culture of Arion is extremely devout and worships dragons.
  • A psychic entity preys on the people of Shkeen, taking their bodies as nutrient in exchange for granting each citizen 10 years of supreme bliss.
  • The people of Shrakky have a history of suffering cruel experimentation by the hands of the Golden Theta. Their society now believes in the sanctity of genetics and blood-purity, leading to near constant interplanetary war over racism.
  • The surface of Croan-Dhenni is a mechanized nightmare of automation where organic life is treated as a sickness to be cured.
  • One of the lost colony worlds was seeded by the Golden Theta with genetically altered Fire Wyrms to combat the deadly Ice Wraiths of the native inhabitants.
  • Thisrock is a savage, crime-infested hellhole run by thugs.
  • The twisted Genemancers of Prometheus are feared across the galaxy. Raiders from this planet fly out among the stars in search of fresh genetic material to add to their stocks.
  • Provinaa was once a densely populated center of learning and scientific achievement. It was devastated by the Golden Theta during the Double War and is now a giant petri dish of the universe’s worst plagues.
  • Thor is a desert planet whose original purpose in the Earth Empire has long been forgotten. In the wake of the Interregnum, the people here now are concerned only with finding enough water so as not to die of thirst.
  • The people of Rhiannon struggle to maintain thier civil society in the face of plundering space pirates and raids by power-mad Promethean Geneticists.
  • The people of Norn live an agrarian life and are obsessed with gladiatorial games.
  • The Kimdissi are known as liars and thieves. Many families are called Mockmen, possessing the ability to change their facial features at will.
  • Life on New Pittsburgh is driven by the reanimation of corpses. All manner of perversions may be had here.
  • The surface of the world of Slagg is 80% melted, irradiated deserts caused by concentrated nuclear bombardment during the Double War.
  • Baldur was cracked apart in the Double War by a Fyndii superweapon. Now it is a ring of asteroids connected by space bridges thousands of miles long.
  • The surface of Old Hranga is an ever-broiling sea of conflict among the hundreds of freed Slave Races battling for supremacy. It is said that a cabal of Hragan Minds still live in the tunnels deep underground.
  • The people of Darkdawn have a deep respect for the arts and their place in society. They have geo-engineered entire mountain ranges to produce somber harmonies from the sound generated by passing winds.
  • Greywater is a forgotten Double War military outpost in a hellish swamp world battling. The people there live their lives in constant struggle against the hive-minded fungal overlords of the planet.
  • The warrior culture of High Kavalaan greatly reveres expert craftsmanship in stone, the bonds between men who fight together, and the protection of the clan.
  • Aath has a pristine landscape and unrivaled source of natural resources.
  • The hyper-military culture of Bastion revolves around worship of Bakkalon, The Pale Child, and the superiority of the Human Species above all others.
  • Corlos is a lush planet where a higly spiritual and peaceful sentient species lives in harmony with nature. They build their villages centered on obsidian pyramids for some unknown reason.
  • The Suthlemese revere the sanctity of life above all else. Their population now numbers in the hundreds of billions. The people of Suthleim live a life rampant with starvation and cannibalism.
  • Once the greatest military training grounds of the Man-realm, Wellington is now a bombed out shell of its former glory.
  • Jamison’s World is a lush, oceanic planet. The wealthy elite live on scattered islands and ignore the large, main continent where the planet’s native sentient species resides.
  • The planet dubbed Bitterblooms was hit hard by the Interregnum and is now a frozen wasteland where ill-equipped Hrangan Slave Races, now freed, try to eke out a living.

About C. Steven Ross

C. Steven Ross is the founder of Triumph & Despair. View all posts by C. Steven Ross

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