The Fifth World

Creating a Family

For more on families in the Fifth World, see the encyclopedia entry

If you’ve played before, you can continue your saga by using the same family you played before. If not, you’ll need to begin by creating a new family. That process begins with us exploring their history together, from the near future through four centuries of crisis and adaptation. When we finish, we will have eight customs that our family keeps that have come from our history together, with each custom rooted in one of our five most important values.

In each era we begin with a question about how our ancestors dealt with its challenges. We answer this question by placing them somewhere on a spectrum between two extremes. No family ever lived by either of these extremes to the total exclusion of the other, though many favored one much more than the other. In the first era, discuss how you think you, people around you, and the people near you most prepared to deal with civilization’s collapse would react to these pressures. In subsequent eras, discuss how those people would deal with those new problems. Mark where you think they would fall on the spectrum.

On each side of the spectrum, you’ll find a question asking you what sort of customs your family still carries on that began in this era of their history with some examples. If your family follows a path closer to the left or right side of the spectrum come up with two customs as a group that answer the question on that side. If your family landed in the middle between the two extremes, come up with one custom to answer each question. Each custom should answer the question and reflect one of the five values. Each question shows examples of customs that reflect each value. You can use one of these, but more often you’ll want to come up with something unique that reflects the history and character of your family and its territory. The best customs suggest obligations that your family must carry out, skills that they must master, or opportunities that they will have to define themselves.

History has an impact. From one era to the next, you cannot move more than one segment at a time. If you choose the far left option in one era you can only choose the far left or middle in the next era. Likewise, if you choose the far right option in one era, you can only choose the far right or middle in the next. From the middle, every choice lies just one segment away, so from there you can make any choice you like in the next era.

When you’ve gone through all four eras, your family should have eight customs in total. In each game, each custom gives you the chance to ask a question associated with its value that you might not otherwise have the opportunity to ask.

If you have enabled JavaScript, you can use our online tool to create a family:

Create a Family

Otherwise, you can download and print out the family sheet and family history below.