Construction materials

What are household objects even made out of?

Manufactured materials


Although fossil fuel extraction has long since faded in the Sixth World, plastics are still common and cheap due to production techniques that harvest biological polymers from renewable sources such as genetically engineered micro-organisms. They behave similarly to current-day plastics, and span a wide range of applications from glass-like polycarbonate, thin films used for packaging, and harder plastics used for household objects.

However they’re slightly inferior to oil-based plastics. They discolour easily after prolonged UV exposure, and tend to be either softer or more brittle. After prolonged use, they can leave a greasy residue to the touch.


Due to ease of recycling and still-abundant natural resources, most metals – aluminum, iron/steel, lead, nickel, tin – are still as common in the Sixth World as they are today. The dawn of commercially viable asteroid mining is making precious metals much more abundant than previously, so the price of gold, silver, tungsten, titanium, platinum, and other rare earth minerals has started to fall.

Forged high-end steels have been somewhat eclipsed by superior nano-fabricated variants (see below).

Nano-fabbed exotics

Nanofabricated materials such as metal/carbon alloys, ceramics, and aerogels can exhibit tremendous mechanical properties. Nanotechnology allows for very precise formation of lattice crystals that lead to immense tensile and compressive strength, superconductivity, and more. Although these materials are very expensive, this makes them highly desirable in advanced building construction (eg. supertall buildings and arcologies) and other exotic projects (eg. the platform-to-Earth tether for the Skyhook space elevator.)

The materials are mostly made in orbit, as they require large areas of hard vacuum for the nanobots to work effectively. They can only be made by the richest megacorps, and they are careful not to compete with each other too effectively, in case they erode their fat profit margins. See Limiting the Tech Level for details.

Natural materials


The emergence of various Awakened species has, naturally, led to them being killed for their hides, with a value roughly approximate to how dangerous the animal in question is to hunt. Basilisk, cockatrice, afanc, and deathrattle leather is particularly prized amongst those looking for the perfect material for their status symbol personal vehicles.

Meanwhile, decline in animal farming means cow leather has become significantly more expensive. Almost all the “leather” jackets most wageslaves or SINless can afford are synthetic pleathers.

Fakes also abound. According to market research, the amount of “dragon leather” goods on sale in any major city at any given time vastly exceeds the total amount of dragon hide in the world, including all the Great Dragons.


Although the Awakening did much to rekindle life in north America’s greatest forests, it also made those forests highly dangerous places, teeming with hostile wildlife - magical and otherwise. Consequently, the price of wood as a building material has increased sharply.

The only kinds of wood ever used in lower- or middle-class homes is pressed particleboard as a cheap building material; even that is uncommon. Upper-middle-class wageslaves might have engineered wood floors or walls made from quick-grown farmed breeds like bamboo or fir. Only the richest wageslaves can hope to own anything made of hardwoods, either manufactured new or antiques. Naturally these are now potent status symbols.