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100 Secret Societies For a Sci Fi Setting


Secret societies have existed all throughout history, and they have taken many forms, and pursued many goals over the years. While some of these societies have had relatively public faces, others have existed only as rumors, hidden in plain sight behind secret passphrases and esoteric symbolism. These societies have been both big and small, and they've focused on a variety of goals and causes, ranging from mutual aid societies, to attempting to bring about political change, to a kind of shadow guild for maintaining trade secrets among those who have been inducted into their ranks.

While we may think of these organizations as relics of the past, the conditions for secret societies being formed never truly go away. Whether it's political upheaval, the persecution of a minority, the criminal nature of their activities or just carrying on traditions and rituals onto the next generation, there are likely always going to be secret societies. Some of them will be big, some will be small, some may be relatively benign (or even helpful), while others could be mysterious, shadowy or downright deadly if someone who isn't a member discovers their existence.

Whether your game is set among the concrete canyons of a sprawling metropolis, in the corridors of space stations or even on far-flung colonies on alien worlds or strange moons, there's a chance those places boast secret societies. They might be shadowy allies to your players, they might be antagonists trying to stop them from reaching their goals or your players might even be part of these organizations, acting as agents in their proxy wars. You may even choose to have these societies present simply as background flavor, adding a little more depth to your setting. Whichever option you choose, though, the following secret societies are there to serve your needs!

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  • The Hammerhands: There are worlds where possession of weapons carries significant legal penalties for those who get caught packing heat. The suppression of these populations brings a lot of tension to the populace, and the Hammerhands were originally formed as a kind of pressure release valve for those tensions. The society formed underground fighting pits, but eventually their violence boiled over into the streets, and the resulting political strife undermined the restrictive regimes whose policies had given birth to the Hammerhands in the first place. While dismissed as mere "fight clubs" by many in power, the cells of this secret society have spread, and the things they've accomplished using purely mundane tools have led to more than a few members of the political elite suddenly disappearing from public life.
  • The Council of The Stage: History is recorded in books, but it is remembered by the people in stories and tales. Those who direct the way these stories are told shape this narrative, and they control the present by controlling the way people perceive the past. The Council of The Stage, if you believe the stories, is a shadowy cabal of powerful people who decides what stories will be told, and which ones will be kept silent, allowing them to pick and choose what the public sees, and what it doesn't. What makes this particular group so insidious is that, even if the Council itself is made up, someone is still making these decisions regarding which stories enter the public discourse, and which parts of history languish unseen in the darkness, deemed too controversial (or merely unprofitable) to be committed to the stage and screen.
  • The Hooded Brethren: Executioners have long worn hoods in order to obscure their identities, and to represent the final nature of their grisly task. The ranks of the Shennari people on Pharun Secundus had a tradition where their executioners wore strange, stylized hoods. Though the Shang-Tai (sword bearers) have been officially disbanded for centuries, there are tales of hooded figures seeking out those who have broken taboos, and taking their heads with cuts so clean they could only have been done with a monomolecular blade. What the Hooded Brethren supposedly do with these heads is something that has been lost to the annals of history, and none of the heads taken have ever been found for researchers to investigate.
  • The Crocodile Society: Named for a dangerous, reptilian creature who can float unseen and motionless until it strikes, this society seeks to infiltrate the ranks of public services and government offices. They're said to have found toeholds in various branches of the military, health and safety departments, law enforcement and even the judiciary, with their agents remaining quiet and unsuspected until the society gives them a command. The very nature of this society makes it a difficult foe to fight, as there's no telling where their representatives are, or even what their goals might be aside from the pursuit of power, and control.
  • Asteroid 86: An organization spoken of in invite-only chatrooms, and mentioned on obscure message boards, Asteroid 86 is supposedly a dedicated society of cryptographers and puzzle solvers. Nets will occasionally buzz with activity over riddles and simulations that are rumored to be used as recruitment tools for this society, seeing who is clever enough to weave through their layers to earn an invitation to join. What happens to those who manage to follow all the clues to the center of their labyrinth, though, is the stuff of deepnet myth.

One page is the front cover, one the front matter and one is ads.

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File Last Updated:
September 13, 2023
This title was added to our catalog on September 16, 2023.