A Student’s Guide to Societal Collapse

So, your society is collapsing. Don’t panic! Here’s a simple student’s guide for surviving the death of your civilization!

Step 1: Save those books!

In the Afterscape access to knowledge of the before-times will be crucial. With the right books you can convince the ignorant masses that you are a prophet or a god, which will greatly increase your chances of survival and overall quality of life. Science, History and Religion textbooks will be most useful. Books may also serve as kindling in desperate situations. So save those textbooks after you finish your classes this semester!

Step 2: Declare yourself a chieftain

It may seem awkward, but go ahead and get a head start on this one! Once the basic elements of your civilization’s power structure crumble, anyone that says they have authority will be hailed as a leader. If anyone asks questions be sure to remember that mercy begets love but fear demands respect. It also helps to own some gold.

Step 3: Arm yourself

Once you’ve established control over your small tribe, you will need to learn to protect yourself and your fledgling nation. Trust me, you won’t be the only one trying to restart civilization, so get ready to fight! If you can get access to pre-collapse weapons these are best, but if you don’t have any lying around you can always fashion a spear or mace out of household items.

Step 4: Brainstorm the tenets of a new religion

Will your people be peace-loving? Warlike? Will they fear eternal punishment? Live for pleasure? Its all up to you in the Afterscape! We recommend something polytheistic (this will help you explain the nature of the universe while avoiding pesky logical inconsistencies! Also you can become a god when you die. Win-win.) Avoid long god names so you can remember and pronounce them. If you can get some incense this always helps with establishing a sense of mystery. Don’t forget to include a version of Hell! The specifics are up to you, but this will help you keep things orderly.

Step 4: Reproduce!

Don’t worry about that condom this time! It will be important to sire an heir as quickly as possible. A succession crisis is the last thing your small post-civilizational fiefdom needs. Pick a fertile mate and get to work! Encourage your people to do the same. Every new kingdom needs an army, after all!

Step 5: Conquer

So you want to reclaim the glory of your former civilization? You’re going to need to subdue some neighboring lands to have that kind of power. With plenty of weapons, a state religion and lots of kids running around this shouldn’t be too hard! It never hurts to redirect the ire of your subjects toward a foreign enemy, so if people are getting ornery just pick another kingdom and take some land!

Final Step: Have fun!

Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses. A wise student can navigate the end of their civilization and still have a great time! Remember, you’re just a kid, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to succeed right away. We’re all new at this! Just follow these steps and the coming Dark Age could very well be the time of your life.

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