strata-backgrounds(1) strata-backgrounds(1)


custom backgrounds for the Strata campaign


A set of backgrounds for characters in the Lancer TTRPG set on the planet of Strata, a twice-colonized diasporan world.

A note before we begin

All of this information is just a jumping-off point to get our creative juices flowing. We can keep, change, and discard whatever we want once we get started.

A Brief history of Strata

Strata was settled twice by humans. The two distinct cultural groups descended from each wave of settlement have a tense relationship that has at various times boiled over into armed conflict.

  1. The First Expansion Period

    The first time was overseen by the Union Administrative Department in the year 2683u during the first expansion period. A group of colonists boarded a generation ship bound for the most distant planet yet identified for colonization. In the year 3429u, travelling nearly 600 lightyears, the descendents of the first people to board that generation ship arrived. The new inhabitants named their world Strata. Having long lost contact with Union and Cradle, their culture began to drift, with much cultural significance attached to their new homeworld.

  2. The Second Committee

    In the year 2880u, open conflict between Union and a surviving Old Humanity colony result in a hardline Anthrochauvanist takeover of Union, which results in the dissolution of the Central Committee, who are replaced by the Second Committee.

  3. Second Expansion Period

    Faster than light travel is discovered in the year 3130u, and perfected by 3200u, beginning the Second Expansion period under the Union Colonial Mission. As a small part of the single largest movement of human life in history, a highly advanced and fully automated colony ship is sent to Strata. The second wave of settlers are born from gestational pods after the arrival of the colony ship in the year 4430u. Made in the image of Second Committee, the technologically advanced second wave of settlers establish themselves as the dominant class of Strata.

  4. Third Committee Period

    Far from Strata, the Hercynian Crisis in 4500u leads to a 90 year civil war in the heart of Union. In 4591u, Second Committee agrees to terms of surrender. The Third Committee renews Union's committment to the utopian pillars, dissolves the Union Colonial Mission, establishes the Department of Justice and Human Rights, and the Union Administrative Department.

  5. Today

    The year is 5016u, in the last 80 years Strata has established some form of diplomatic relationship with Union and is navigating the complexities that come with joining a wider galactic community.

Strata has only recently come into contact with other human settled worlds; rediscovery of the Utopian pillars, the opening of new trade avenues, and interest from off-world powers have stressed the tensions between Strata's two groups of settlers.


Here follow a selection of potential character backgrounds that relate to the history and unique circumstances of Strata. Feel free to select one of these instead of a background from the core book. The backgrounds here are inspired by figures from real Cold-War history, mecha anime tropes, and conversations I have had with you, the players.

  • Off-Worlder

    You are not from Strata, but you have a business, familial, or personal relationship with someone from this planet that has brought you here. How long are you intending to stay? Do you come regularly or is this your first time? Do you have conflicting ties off-world?

  • Military Academy Student

    The military offers a great avenue for advancement for young descendents of the second-wave settlers. By enrolling in the military academy, you have pledged yourself to the service of your people, and follow in the footsteps of a proud tradition. Are you a true believer or did you enlist for some benefit? Are you a legacy? What does your family have to say about your commitment?

  • Journalist

    Something doesn't seem right and you've been drawn into a sprawling investigation; just when you were going to get a big break, your source was found dead. What were you investigating? Why did you become a journalist? Are you a professional or an ameature? How did you learn to pilot a mech?

  • Professor

    You teach at Strata's only public university. What do you teach? How do you feel about the historical and present-day tensions between the descendants of the first and second wave settlers? How did you learn to pilot a mech? Were you involved in a past conflict?

  • UAD Negotiator

    You are a rookie member of the Union Administrative Department, and work primarily to negotiate peace or settle disputes. You specialize in diasporan worlds which have recently begun re-establishing contact with Union. Who was your mentor? Why did you join the Union Administrative Department? Are you from a union core world or a diasporan world? Do you have a history with Strata?

  • Trader

    You work one of the newly established trade routes near Strata, and are stuck longer than expected waiting while your goods are held up. Where are you from? How long have you been waiting already? Do you like or hate it here? What do you trade?

  • Laborer

    Like many descendents of the first-wave settlers, you labor in a dangerous industry in poor conditions. Tensions between the bosses and your fellow laborers have risen to a fever pitch and threaten to boil over into conflict. What kind of work do you do? Why do you perform such dangerous work? Do you have a family to support? Are you directly involved in the conflict?

  • Nepo Baby

    One or both of your parents are important people to the powers that be. They have provided a sheltered and priviliged life for you. However, you have reservations about what they do and have been feeling rebelious. What do your parents do? Are they grooming you to follow in their footsteps? If you could do anything, what would you do? What is the coloquial slang for people like you?

  • Outlaw

    You are on the run. Planets like Strata are wonderful places to lie low and disappear. How long have you been here? Have you attracted unwanted attention? What did you do? Does anyone know your history?


Strata is a highly volcanically active world. The seas teem with alien life, but the surface only has life brought to this world by humans. Rich with minerals, the soil has taken well to agriculture, but large-scale industrial agricutlure is a recent development in Strata's history. Thus, most of the surface only has sparse plant and animal life


Thank you for reading this far :)

I am so excited to get started with y'all that I couldn't help but write this page. I hope you find it helpful!

~ glfmn