Utopia Descending has been created with what we like to call the “Three Tier” system in mind when it comes to player costuming and the Pillars that they play. Each pillar has been divided into three different tiers that are, mechanically speaking, nearly identical. You will notice that each Pillar has 3 options with 3 very different costume possibilities and levels provided. This allows players to choose between tier one: low costume requirements; tier two: invested costume requirements; and tier three: high costume requirements. This is all without having a mechanical difference between the different levels.
Tier one option of a particular Pillar might require just fake nails and fake teeth (inexpensive and easy to find). The next stage, tier two, might require the fake nails, fake teeth, and then also a moderate to large degree makeup application. The third stage of a tier may require the fake nails, fake teeth, makeup, as well as prosthetics or latex applications.
While each tier may look different, all three tiers of a Pillar are all mechanically identical. While local game organizers and story tellers may write plot that effects just one tier of a Pillar, and while in character all three tiers may treat each other differently, all three options are available at the same mechanical level of equality.
The three tier system has been written for costuming, as well. We understand that putting together a full “costume kit” for a game you are trying for the first time can be expensive. With this in mind, we have created a three tier system that allows for a low cost introduction basic outfit, as well as the opportunity for higher costume investment for Pillars that are mechanically the same.
Active combatants in a Lost Territory are typically dressed in some version of what has come to be called “See-gees,” a shortening of SCGs – Standardized Combat Garments. From there, metahumans of different Pillar backgrounds and corporate identities will accentuate and supplement themselves with appropriate accessories and layered garments, as befits their personal idiosyncratic style and resonates best with corporate marketing.
The first and most common level of SCG is easy and accessible for new players to emulate: black or camouflage pants (not jeans), gray undershirt, black tank-top overshirt, and a black jacket in cold weather. This outfit can be considered the “basic level” of in-character costuming, and can be assembled for less than fifty dollars.
Players who wish to improve their SCG to a more involved level should consider adding lightly armored (“flak”) vests or jackets, and long trench coats for a sci-fi military feel. The very highest level of SCG costuming would involve a full “near-future cybersoldier” assembly, complete with dark glasses, sleek leather trench coat, strapped-on gear, and a polished, professional appearance.
The most important thing to note is that aside from the basic level of SCG costuming, none of the below is REQUIRED to play. A Tier 1 metahuman of any Pillar can absolutely look almost exactly like a normal human, and there is no stigma attached to choosing not to delve deeply into costuming or makeup. Players are encouraged to expand their appearance at their pace, to the level they enjoy, and feel as comfortable in the world of Utopia Descending as it is possible to be.
Please note that many of the tier 2 or tier 3 costumes allow for a great amount of freedom and flexibility in terms of elaboration and basic design. Because of this, we ask that costumes be created with basic safety in mind: even if your character lacks eyes, ears, or even a head, you should be able to see, hear, and move well enough to navigate the gameplay area safely. If you are a player who enjoys more American Free-Form or Parlor style play, instead of higher action and combat style of play, you may want to consider investing further into tier 2 and 3 Pillars and costuming to help further your role playing experience.