Sunday, January 2, 2011

One-Page Factions

I got to thinking you might share factions with other DMs much the way you share dungeons.  I envisioned something like an illustrated family tree with brief, abstracted notes on the members.  So I whipped up a draft:

The lines are meant to provide space to record traits and poker personality information.  The meter in the corner is meant to record the party's reputation with this faction as per rorschachhamster's suggestion.  Put them all together and you might use it like this (partially filled out):

A few problems: a faction like a guild or abbey will be very large and so these would only be the most powerful members or the lowest rung that low level characters are most likely to run into.  Second, after reading about medieval monasteries for about an hour this morning, I realize that working out these traits and relationships is a piece of cake for me as a DM, what I really need help with is abstracting the heirarchy and roles within these various historical organizations.  So, this is sort of a solution in search of a problem.  I suppose it might still be useful for DM record keeping.

I think I mentioned wanting an abstracted village long ago, add to that a convent/monastery, mages guild, thieves guild, etc.  I think I'm going to have to make them myself.


  1. ...hmmmm...

    I feel like a simple "scorecard" for each organization might be good. Like a list of members who've shown up in the game so far and a few lines about what's happened to them. Then every once in a while you can look at it and go "ok, where's The Temple of The Violet Flame" going these days...

    ...oh, that gives me an idea for something else.

    A pleasure as always, Telecanter.

  2. You could make a link to so that we'd have a guide to your markings.

    What I would find useful: stats for typical mooks of the faction.

  3. Thanks Zak, that means a lot.

    Sorry Red, put in links. And yeah, I didn't think of that but that's a good idea, to have some abstracted roles: the pawns and lieutenants of the particular organization.

  4. You might want to take a look at the way CHESS is organized in Villains and Vigilantes. Could provide some ideas.