A bewildering array of worlds are known to the Imperium. From hyper-technological democracies to drudging medieval worlds, many planets offer their fealty and devotion to the immortal God-Emperor of Man. The Imperium covers such an utterly vast area of the galaxy that it is almost impossible to conjure an image up of a “typical” Imperial world. In truth, no such thing exists. Amongst the millions of worlds of man, there is an endless variety. Agri Worlds, for instance, are little more than vast farms, producing food for the good of the Imperium. Similarly, Mining Worlds produce ore and raw mineral for use in the vast factories of the Forge Worlds. Pleasure Worlds even exist, lands with such delights that only the upper crust of Imperial nobility will ever see them. Paradise, however, comes at a price, for temptation and heresy may be rife in such places. Some Imperial Worlds are utterly remote, having had no contact with the rest of humanity for centuries. As a result, cultural and societal differences are expected from planet to planet, even between those in the same solar system.
The closer a world lies to Holy Terra – the home planet of mankind – the more important, advanced, and well governed it is likely to be. Those far-flung planets on the fringes, on the other hand, are likely to be Frontier Worlds, left to their own devices much of the time, and lying under constant threat of attack, both physically and spiritually. Many worlds have a technological base akin to Holy Terra, while many more have devolved into feudal backwaters with little more than black-powder technology. Such worlds make excellent recruitment grounds for the Imperial Guard, Space Marines, and Inquisition, as nothing assures obedience quite so well as fear. Upon such planets, the Ecclesiarchy is surrounded by an atmosphere of superstition, demanding fealty to the immortal God-Emperor who, for many citizens of the Imperium, is so distant to as to be little more than a myth.
Most major scientific advances come from the rediscovery of forgotten secrets from the Dark Age of Technology. The reliance on these ancient templates creates a mishmash of tech-use on many planets. For example, a planet’s industry may be powered by a gigantic monorail, yet they are incapable of reproducing the technology at a smaller scale and rely upon horse-drawn carriages to move goods and people. Most Imperial Worlds are ruled by a planetary governor, who assumes absolute control by birthright or election. The nobility frequently assume all positions of power and prestige on a planet, while the lower echelons of the class structure comprise workers, militia, fanatics, slaves, and dregs. While many planets are free of the levels of scum that infest Hive Worlds, those closer to the Emperor’s grace harbour countless numbers of crazed individuals – workers who have lost their place in a zero-tolerance society, or who realized that the galaxy is not only unimaginably vast, but also full of hate and hostility towards mankind. Such realizations often lead to paranoia or outright madness, and Imperial Worlds are rife with broken individuals, prophets of doom, criminals, and gutter-trash.
With religion, superstition, and fear dominating so much of society within the Imperium, deviancy is rarely tolerated. People place their faith in good, honest hatred to guard them against the manifold horrors of the universe. Man swarms in vast numbers, working, praying, eating, and sleeping in an endless cycle, each soul forming a faceless cog in the endless grinding machinery of the Imperium. Law and Order within society is often kept by the Adeptus Arbites. Sometimes, however, more remote worlds employ civil militias instead. On such worlds, mercenaries – even off-worlders – are hired to bulk out the standing garrisons that not only provide domestic security but also their manpower tithe for the Imperial Guard.
Imperial Worlder Traits:
Blessed Ignorance: Your wise blindness imposes a -5 Penalty to Forbidden Lore (Int) Tests.
Superior Origins: You gain +3 Willpower.