Your character belongs to a culture. You can choose one
from the selection below, or make up your own. Some char-
acters may even take their culture as an extra, giving it stat
blocks and skills, and using it to take actions: see Chapter
17: Cultures for more.
During character creation, your character’s culture helps
determine his cultural aspect, and provides suggestions
for his genotype and occupation, his demeanour and
language, and equipment and clothing. You don’t have to
follow these suggestions, but if you want to go with some-
thing else, check with your GM — you may need to explain
your choice in your character’s back-story. Your character’s
culture also indicates his initial tech index (page 116).
The Commonality Culture
This is the culture which unites the many worlds of Com-
monality Space. Originating on Old Earth and the Core
Worlds, it now incorporates the many populations which
have been rediscovered during the Expansionary Era. It
includes the cultural contributions of divergent races and
species, and worlds which have achieved Stage Four Cul-
tural Integrity (page 308).
Characters from the Commonality culture are the norm
in Mindjammer, and probably the most comprehensible
to 21st century minds. They have the widest behavioural
range, an unquenchable self-confidence, optimism, and
belief they’re doing the right thing, and access to the tech-
nology and sophistication to back it up.
Cultural Aspects: Humanity Is Transcending; A Light for
the Many Worlds of Space.
Genotypes: Commonality Human, Xenomorph, Syn-
Demeanour: Conservative, controlled, diverse yet alert
Tech Index: T9 (Second Age of Space).
Occupations: Culture Agent, Sci Tech, Spacer.
Equipment: Advanced, discreet; Mindscape implant,
The Core Worlds Culture
In many ways, the Core Worlds culture is the “true” Com-
monality culture — that of Old Earth and the ancient
colony worlds of the Old Commonality before the discov-
ery of planing. It’s thousands of years old, complex and
full of incomprehensible hierarchies and traditions. Many
individuals have been enhanced to the extent they may no
longer be fully human; most view the chaos and conflict of
the Fringe with confusion, fear, and disdain.
Cultural Aspects: The Old Ways Are Best; The Core
Worlds Are the Commonality; Status and Reputation Above
Genotypes: Commonality Human, Synthetic, Hominid.
Demeanour: Hyper-conservative and regimented, with
byzantine customs, unreadable.
Tech Index: T10 (Age of 3-Space).
Occupations: Administrator, Citizen, Diplomat.
Equipment: Complex and distinctive, status-linked
clothing; Mindscape implant, unusual enhancements
The neo-cultures, also known as culture worlds, are a
special phenomenon in Commonality Space. Created from
worlds with vibrant cultures, they’re engineered as defen-
sive bastions in areas of intense cultural conflict. They share
the Commonality’s core values, and are subcultures (page
296), but are highly distinct, often with strong ethnic defini-
tion, unique languages and customs, and an insistence that
they’re right and everyone else is wrong.
Some neo-cultures are unique, found nowhere else in the
Commonality; others derive from ancient Old Earth cultures,
in particular the Autumn Cultures which preceded the First
Commonality and formed the core of the Great Diaspora.
Cultural Aspects: True to My Roots; Ours Is the Light;
Neo-Shinean: Inscrutable Conformists; Self-Denying so
Humankind Can Transcend; Neo-Franchian: Joi-de-Vivre;
Passionate; Indignant; Neo-Yoosan: Gung-ho; Adventurous;
Frontier Spirit; Neo-Anglic: Stiff Upper Lip; Tolerant; Proud;
Neo-Yarpeen: Bureaucratic; Inclusive; Relaxed.
Genotypes: Commonality Human, Non-Commonality
Human, Xenomorph, Synthetic, Hominid.
Demeanour: Variable; often foreign to the local envi-
Language: Varies. May speak Universal.
Tech Index: Any, usually at least T4 (Industrial Age).
Occupations: Ambassador, Artist, Zealot.
Equipment: Culturally distinctive clothing and gear;
some neo-cultures allow enhancements (including Mind-
Out beyond the Commonality Fringe lie millions of stars,
and thousands of lost worlds, colonised by slowship in
the First Age of Space and waiting for Rediscovery. Most
are mired in barbarism or at best pre-industrial cultures,
but every so often a lost colony is rediscovered which has
achieved or retained technological sophistication, some-
times including slower-than-light interstellar travel.
A character from a lost colony culture is in a unique situ-
ation: either his world has only just been contacted, and he
represents the vanguard of visitors to Commonality Space;
or he’s from a world still unknown, arrived in the Common-
ality by some unknown means — smugglers, adventurers,
uncontrolled Fringe World exploratory missions. The Fringe
is wide, deep, and porous; sometimes people make it
through without the Commonality catching on.
Cultural Aspects: Fiercely Nationalistic; Inferiority Com-
plex; Resistant to Change; Xenophobe.
Genotypes: Mostly Non-Commonality Human or Homi-
nid; Xenomorph and Synthetic possible.
Demeanour: Often bewildered or in culture shock;
daunted or angered by the Commonality’s size and power;
sometimes excited, often naive.
Language: Usually an unknown tongue, sometimes
related to an ancient Old Earth language. May know a
smattering of Universal, usually with a thick accent.
Tech Index: Any.
Occupations: Barbarian, Contact Specialist, Outer
Equipment: Culturally distinctive and often backward
clothing and gear; no Mindscape implant, usually no
enhancements (see tech index).
When the Commonality rediscovers a lost colony, it begins
incorporating it into mainstream Commonality culture.
Values are changed, societies manipulated, and the world
made ready to take its place alongside other member
worlds. Integration is managed by SCI Force, the Security
and Cultural Integrity Instrumentality (page 285); from
Rediscovery to final cultural integrity, the world is known as
a rediscovered world.
Rediscovered worlds all began as lost colonies — some
recently, others up to two centuries ago. They have a Com-
monality presence, perhaps including the Mindscape and /
or a Temple of Universal Mind (page 195), and usually some
technological uplift. Not all rediscovered worlds are open
to visitors; culturally dangerous or fragile worlds are subject
to embargo (page 343) or even quarantine (page 344),
with interdiction measures to ward away trespassers.
Cultural Aspects: Nostalgic; Overcompensating; Hungry
for Novelty; Familiar yet Exotic.
Genotypes: Mostly Non-Commonality Human or
Hominid; Commonality Human, Xenomorph, and Syn-
Demeanour: Hodgepodge of local and Commonality
styles and behaviours; something “not quite right”, element
Language: Usually unique, perhaps related to ancient
Old Earth language; Universal as a second language.
Tech Index: Usually at least T4 (Industrial Age).
Occupations: Fringe Worlder, New Trader, Rogue.
Equipment: Mix of local and Commonality gear, Com-
monality versions of traditional items or local versions of
Commonality equipment; possible access to the Mindscape
and enhancements, depending on tech index and embargo.