Look and Feel
If nothing else, read this:
- Anything in the armoury is appropriate to a greater or lesser degree - if you feel it looks wrong, dress it down with additional layers.
- Any medieval costuming is entirely appropriate
- A functioning costume can be put together from a charity shop easily - go by the following watchwords:
- No logos
- Scarves, leather and robes are your friends.
- Avoid formal wear, including formal shirts.
- Armour is up to the skill level you bought in it, rather than the precise phys-rep.
- If it isn’t clear that you are wearing armour, we will issue ‘Tags’ that denote the level of armour that you are wearing.
- Any writing on your costume should be in mirror writing, or (look) hand embroidered or painted on
The main costume theme would be Hope over despair. This is a world that declined, but one where there wasn’t a longstanding world-weariness or horror. There was, however, a move towards relying on oneself, and the small group, due to the failing of large institutions. This shouldn't be mistaken for selfishness - in fact, it was generally more compassionate, as one’s actions and the impact they had (for better or worse) were drawn into stark relief.
Whilst designing this setting, we have attempted to allow people to re-use existing kit. Anything that was suitable in Breaking Worlds, the previous system, is likely to also be suitable in this setting; although adding small modern touches as described below would be appreciated.
In order to clothe themselves, members of the Outlook have four main options:
- Weaving is relatively advanced, and the local flora is bounteous in its plant fibres.
- Animals give a large supply of hides and furs.
- Machines around the Citadel exist which can, for example, dye clothing; produce simple clothes, including ones which mimic wool, fur and leather, as well as unique styles; and spit out weapons and armour.
- Finally, there exist a lot of buried, or poorly hidden, relics of times long past, some handed down and others newly found.
As such, styles can vary quite heavily.
Conspicuous consumption is not really a thing in the Outlook, due to the plentiful nature of the resources; this is not always the case elsewhere. Your clothing should aim at seeming practical, overall, and wearing impractical clothing is not a sign of status. (This especially means that if you wear something on your head other than a hat, it’s because you want it there; headdresses are not the norm, and if you want your head to look adorned, a few flowers or a hat would be more appropriate). At the same time, this means that what you wear is what you want to wear, there are no “sumptuary laws”. Feel free to wear a single piece of jewellery, and claim that it is a family heirloom, or a symbol of your tribe.
One or two items of plain modern clothing (think chinos, knitted jumpers or explorer jackets) are appropriate, if paired with other items. Denim and camouflage are inappropriate, but fleecy tracksuit bottoms are fine. Try and put a fantasy twist to anything that is overly modern. For example, wearing a cape with a knitted jumper, or greaves over chinos.
There are a lot of flowy and wrapped fabrics, because they layer very well.
Basic Clothing Rules
Clothing tends towards the simple rather than the fancy, but there are a lot of well made and rugged clothes; many Tribes make outfits to last for life, maybe more than one life. Most costumes are tried and tested, designed to last in the elements, often based around the following ideas:
- Layers - that you can adapt to the heat (taking on and off)
- Portable - so you can carry your life around with you if you need to
- Useful Accessories - Goggles, compasses, backpacks- any non-computerized technology that makes one’s life easier out in the wild.
- Cleanliness - Almost no one has clothes that aren’t clean- people take good care of what they wear, as it is a statement of identity and pride in oneself.
- Individualism - Without brands, a lot of clothing is personal, and made for the individual rather than in any specific style. More generic clothing manufactured by the machines around the Citadel is matched with whatever is most practical with it, not what might traditionally ‘match’
- Any printed writing must be mirrored. However, you can have 'Outlook Script' writing on your costume- however, this will have been done by hand, and is thus liable to be a bit rough and ready.
- Pronoun Badges- Many individuals write their pronouns on badges, and attach them to their clothes. This is highly encouraged, and very appropriate.
Some people do wear distinctly ‘pretty’ clothing- these people are often courting the attention of AI, by borrowing some of the styles their holograms are found in. Admittedly, this often appears to have no effect on the way an AI treats someone.
Machinery as adornment
You can adorn your look, sparingly, with such items as:
- Non-functioning watches, as bracelets or hanging from clothing.
- CDs (or parts thereof) used as highlights for outfits.
- Wind-up torches.
- A little bit of wiring.
- Carrying a tin, canteen, thermos, or a canvas bag for use, although try to cover up any non-mirror writing, or scratch it out.
- A single, non-electric, relic that matches your profession, eg a sewing kit, a tape measure, knitting equipment, a stethoscope.
The important thing is none of these should be the only element of your look- they should be something that dresses down something medieval, for example.
Pieces of modern body armour may be appropriate, but please avoid it looking like a uniform, and especially don’t wear anything that might make people uncomfortable when you’re seen on the Meadows. A single pauldron or gauntlet would look far more appropriate than the entire set. Armour is based on the level you bought up to, rather than the precise phys rep. If you attach technology to your armour, of course, we will ask that this be phys-repped in some way.
The machines in the Outlook often seem to release small pieces of chained maille, and full pieces of metal, sometimes in easy-to-wear shape, so medieval and Dark Age armour is also appropriate; your character may attach significance to the providence of said armour.
A Tribe is a shared grouping - often a genetic one, though it is always possible to choose your family. Accordingly, Tribes often share a lot of clothing, not least because they passed down the same manufacturing techniques. If you are aiming to be in a Tribe with someone else, you can pick one shared aesthetic that is easy to copy - for example, you all wear a particular coloured scarf, or carry a particular type of whistle. Again, this isn’t a uniform; more a demonstration of family solidarity.
- Every member of the Diamond Tribe carries their personal black box, so that if they die their memory can be preserved. They often wear robes, to conceal machinery within.
- The Seil Tribe all have a pouch for chalk and a length of rope, the bare necessities for climbing. Many wear gloves, and often have matching sets.
Daniel and Tania want to both belong to the same Tribe. They decide that one of the shared parts of their Tribe is that the people who are in it are skilled hunters, so their costuming should reflect that element of their background. Daniel decides that they want to go down the route of an archer, and wears baggy clothing that allows them to conceal arrows. Tania, on the other hand, thinks her character will be up close and personal, so wears a greave and carries a large spear. The shared element they decide on is binoculars, as their tribe does hunting over long distances. To reflect the fact they are hunters, they both agree to wear mostly dark colours, like greens and browns, and have a brightly coloured sash round their forehead so their tribe knows not to attack them by accident when they are skulking around.
Techgnostics often carry around a lot of machinery, which they can use to interface with AIs - this is called a medium. However, due to the nature of their fragile, precious (and jury rigged) status, many carry them inside boxes, or other forms of adornment. OOC this means you don’t have to phys-rep a huge pile of computer, but IC this allows for a choice of styles: from more religious inspired reliquaries, to a technologically stuffed biscuit tin.
- Samantha wants to play a Dead Strain Techgnostic. She gets an old Manilla Folder, tapes it up with masking tape and black bin bags, giving her a functional ‘medium’ for her interaction. She puts in some items that rattle about when she shakes it, to create the illusion of technology inside it.
- Key, on the other hand, would like something they can play around with when interfacing with AIs. They get together a bundle of wires, wrap in some fairy lights throughout, and attach a battery pack. They now have a way to create glowing circles, as well as wires to ‘attach’ to AIs they meet.
- Ed is a busy student, and doesn’t have time to make anything, and borrows one of the glowing light pyramids that the refs have - giving him a tool to use in interfacing.
Your character will have seen what AIs wear - largely the difference is that they don’t layer what they wear, as they don’t need protection from the elements. They have more of a tendency towards robes, tabards, and block colours, projecting a very uniform aesthetic.
Those based on living people can wear very eccentric doublets and hose, or elaborately tailored outfits. Fundamentally AIs’ fancy clothing goes towards the medieval and renaissance, rather than the 21st Century.
Any medieval outfit can be justified by ‘I saw an AI wearing it and wanted to wear it too.’
If you are a gene-strain, you will invariably have mutations that mark you out as different from the traditional model of humanity. They are often connected to a specific area of the body, and have a patchy tendency to them - think like Futurama, in terms of areas of the body looking human, and others looking more monstrous or animal.
Thus, a full animal face mask would not be appropriate, but fangs and fur around the eyes would be.
Most of this can be done with face paint, to signify scales or fur, gloves to give the impression of a mutated arm, and horns that can be worn to change your silhouette.
Example Kit Build
Help! I need to find some emergency kit for my character in Cambridge!
- Go to Next, and buy one of their cheap t-shirts with the buttoned collar, or a simple blouse with minimal frills.
- Go to the marketplace, and look for the ‘hemp’ stall - buy one of their shirts, in any colour.
- Go to Primark, and buy a pair of chinos or a skirt in a neutral colour.
- Go around charity shops and look for a top layer of some variety - good things include leather coats, ‘capes’ (find a throw and pin it around your neck) or a dressing gown that works outdoors
- Get a belt, preferably in brown, and use it as a loop to hang pouches off. This can include dice pouches.
- Get a pair of heavy duty boots. No one minds if you wear things below the ankles that are a bit more modern looking, so you can wear trainers if needed
- Look for the scarf stall, and buy any of their scarves that have a clear and obvious texture to them. Dyed fabric is also ideal. Throw it around your shoulders.
- Get a distinctive item - a fancy and chunky necklace, for example, or a pair of goggles - say it is a family heirloom.
- Borrow a weapon from the armoury
Things to avoid
- Fallout, Flash Gordon, Star Trek
Whilst we are going for a sci-fi feel that might come close to pulp, we want to make it clear that the look we are aiming for should not be reminiscent of grungy “recent” post-apoc like Fallout, or of futuristic-feeling space-faring sci-fi such as Flash Gordon and Star Trek.
Bodysuits, power armour, and formal modern outfits (no matter how dishevelled) are all inappropriate.
Aesthetics to be avoided
- “Tribal” makeup
- IC, distinctions between Tribes are not so stark, OOC it could be confused for mutations, and, most importantly, it will likely be misappropriation if not done really carefully
- Final Fantasy 13 and similar JRPGs
- The outfits are designed around showiness, not practicality.
- This is cannibalised modern technology, not a return to old looks.
- OOC religious (or cultural) symbols
- Nothing that anyone off the street could look at and identify. This includes: no warbonnets, no similar headdresses, no clearly modern religious symbology; if in doubt, don’t
- Formal modern outfit.
- Although modern clothing is appropriate, we would rather avoid elements regarded as ‘formal’- that is jackets, ties, suits. Waistcoats fit, in isolation, as they have a practical layering effect
- Camouflage and Denim
- We would rather people avoided these, as they have a distinctive look that we feel is inappropriate for this game