We’ve a lot of great suggestions for Factions, who we hope will really be the main drivers of activity on our new Colony World. We’re starting to firm up the rules for how they will interact, using, as base, the Fate system, because it’s quick, easy, and gives us some interesting options. If you’re not a rules person – do not fear! – interesting worldbuilding trumps all, and these exist to give us a framework for conflict and resolution, not an overriding law for it.
A faction represents a movement, organisation or just collection of like-minded indviduals who can exert influence over the life, culture and goverment of the Colony.These can be anything, really – Political Parties, Churches, Social Clubs, Unions, large employers, that sort of thing. Any given citizen will probably be a “member” of more than one, so not only do they battle it out directly but also for the hearts and minds of the populus.
A faction is determined by a number of “Aspects” which describe what they are and some Attributes that put a number to it’s influence in certain areas. The two can combine when we make rolls for faction conflict or crisis resolution (see later) .
All aspects are mechanistically equal (ie, they do the same thing) but in terms of generating them there is are a series of guidelines to make sure you get a rounded picture of the organisation. These are:
Defining Aspect – This is the core statement of what the faction is.
A – Attitude – How does the faction behave? How does it view the rest of the Colony?
B – Background – Where did the faction come from? How did it get started?
C – Core Purpose – What does the faction do? What is its main reason for being?
D – Danger – What threatens it? What sort of weakness does it have?
Generally, these should be interesting and broad, but not overwhelmingly powerful. For instance “Most Powerful Company on the Planet” is too powerful and too dull, but “Aspires to the the Most Powerful Company on the Planet” tells you a lot about the organisation and how it is likely to behave, as well as being useful to invoke (again, see later) in wider circumstances.
We are also assigning Factions attribute points, to give a base to roll dice from and to help further differentiate them. At the start of the game a Faction will have 4 points to split between:
Physical: The ability to exert its will in the physical space – force of arms or demonstrations, but also logistics, espionage.
Mental: The ability to know or make things – manufacturing, research and development, knowledge bases and communications.
Social: The ability to sway the hearts and minds of the populous, but also access to wealth, power and connections.
So, for a (totally original and not ripped off in any way) example:
Example: Future Oppressive Police Marshalls.
Defining Aspect; Jackbooted Guardians of Law and Order
A – “I am The Law!”
B – Risen from the Ashes of Social Collapse
C – The Rule of Law at all Cost
D – The Peoples Hearts Yearn to be Free!
Physical: 3 (it exerts a monopoly of force over it’s chosen city)
Mental: 1 (It has full access to the cities manufacturing and R&D, although not directly)
Social: 0 (it doesn’t care what people think of it to the point of callousness)
Seems simple enough, right?
Stats and Dice Rolls are not something we intend to be a major part of the game – the focus is to be narrative worldbuilding, but at the same time we don’t expect everyone just to agree all the time. In fact, that would be pretty dull! So these will tie into how we move through crisis, and how factions influence the development of the Colony, which we will cover next time.