Factions in a Fantasy Setting I just found my old notes for a campaign I enjoyed running very much. This game world used rules based on D&D of course, but had many house rules to make it different from other games. Factions represent the various groupings of people that are segregated by socio-economic aspect of this game world. Deciding the social rank of a character can be random or chosen by either the individual player or GM. Factions can give benefits (faction Points) on top of in-game rewards, to those that belong and seek to plunge characters into Faction Vs. Faction plots as well. Factions can often serve to enhance existing campaigns or offer some Adventure Hooks if you feel the need to have a change of pace.What are Factions?: Every facet in life has various groups that band together for special purposes. Some do so out of the need to survive, while others for the need to control all they see before them. Each character has the option to belong to a faction, depending on social rank, and can gain promotions and special event benefits from the expenditure of such points. These points do however require loyalty from the faction member and sometimes causes conflict with their particular sense of right and wrong, or even may result in far more devastating issues. Each faction has a Spirit of Reprisal, which is housed in a unique, special item of power. The leader of each faction can send for the spirit to exact revenge and always carries this magical device. Joining a Faction requires a roll to see which faction is open to them based on Social Rank or chosen at random if you like.

Factions- 

Confederate: You for some reason always find yourself on the other side of any issue, particularly when it comes to the issues that must be faced day to day within society. Although very few members ever work together, most are organized and well equipped to carry out their sense of justice. Your duties are clear and the goals you uphold will further your cause, no matter the result. This faction is home to most of those that seek justice or destruction of any enemies within their own lands.

Characters belonging to this faction are divided by racial/social economic lines and often have unpopular beliefs but willing to do anything to make them a reality. Confederates are on the fringe of every issue and generally do not fit into social circles due to their own beliefs. They hail from any type of person or social rank and they easily can pass off their affiliation of their faction as another.

Confederate: Joiner 

Leader: Old Man

Social Rank: Any

Freebooter: Life is an adventure and you mean to find entertainment and challenges no matter what the source or destination. You find city life to be boring and predictable and tend to wander off in search of hidden riches, preferring not to work. Many fill the ranks of this faction for it is generally open to anyone that has sense enough to know their place and obey the laws. Many adventurers find themselves recruited to join this faction, but many in society are defaulted into this organization at birth because they lack wealth or political clout.

This faction promises vast amount of work in many venues. Freebooter’s often have no specific agenda as a group and enjoy adventures of less restrictive natures compared to the more fanatical factions. They have few rules of operation, some of which are standard for example: Do not murder or steal from one another. Obey the laws, and more run of the mill ways to operate.

Freebooter: Fellow

Leader: Handler

Social Rank: Lower class, Lower Middle Class, Upper Middle Class.

Maven: Your time is spent doing odd jobs and seeking payment on contracts from secret cabals and unknown benefactors. Although your duties often lead to adventuring abroad, you enjoy the ease in which you can find wealth within the city from those willing to part with it. Those with a knack for surviving on the streets and have an uncanny method to gather information or obtain hard to get items often find themselves recruited into this faction. Maven’s tend to operate in the lower levels of society, often doing the dirty work for others above their station. They more or less follow a  thieves guild type of structure, but do not punish independent work.

Maven: Agent

Leader: Digger   

Social Rank: Lower Class to Lower Middle Class

Subtopian: Like many of your kind, you seek fortunes and to be a law abiding and a productive citizen. Your life style is mundane and the monotony of city life has gotten the better of you. Although your fortunes and notoriety is better than a freebooter, you just can not find a way to rise above your station in life. Many professionals, craftsmen, artist, and the like find themselves in this faction, caught in the middle of the social strata. Subtopian’s have less financial issues than the poor but continue to strive towards riches beyond their dreams. Often times they work for their betters in the hopes of receiving advancement and keeping those beneath them from climbing over them.

Subtopian: Brother/Sister 

Leader: Impresario   

Social Rank: Lower Middle Class, Upper Middle

Trafficker: You spend most of your time in the city, selling your wares and securing a better means to support your life style. No Trafficker would be caught dead wearing anything not in style or living in the poorer sections of town. You will sell anything to anybody, even anybody to anything. This faction is for the more sophisticated and well groomed professional whom has talents and ability in many fields. Those with a mercantile or intellectual background often get recruited into this faction. Traffiker’s are among the most wealthy of citizens within a faction. They are shrewd, scheming, successful business men. Most of their work they receive furthers their own goals of financial independence, but they seek to gain nobility status at all cost.

Trafficker: Constituent 

Leader: Proprietor   

Social Rank: Upper Middle to Upper Class

Social Ranks (D20)-   

  • (20) Upper Class: These persons have come upon wealth in their immediate past, or their parents past, and benefited from an enriched life. They have little political sway, except that which they buy. They do afford respect from many in their own rank, and from those who wish to do business with them. They are viewed with little respect from above, and many below them dislike them. They have smaller residences with less staff than the Noble born. They often attract a retinue of guards whom seek to advance themselves through employment. Upper Class characters start with 250 coins plus 1d8 x 50 extra coins.
  • (18-19) Upper Middle Class: This class refers to beings who are better off than most. Their family has had a profitable business, and they are financially stable. Upper Middle Class characters are viewed well by most everyone, though competitors might give them pause. They have little political influence, but in general, do not attract a retinue unless they hire them. They start with 125 coins plus 1d8 x 25 Extra coins.
  • (14-17) Lower Middle Class: Characters are working hard, and living a fair life. They have little respect from people higher than them, and they have no political power. They run small shops, or work in other peoples businesses. They are a strong, hardworking backbone to any city. Lower Middle Class Workers start with 50 coins plus 1d6 x 20 Extra coins.
  • (1-13) Lower Class: The most common state for any being. They earn just enough to stay alive. Working for others, or eking out a living on a small parcel of land. The Poverty stricken save a little for the future, and have enough on hand to pay taxes. Beings in Lower Class start with 1d20 x 6 Extra coins.

Faction Advancement (Optional)–    Each faction has certain duties which the characters must do to gain these points and there for move up in the ranks within each faction. Faction points are a method to reward characters added rewards that can be used to increase particular aspects of each character. The exact amount of points earned for a character depends on the particular mission or task that is in need to be accomplished. Faction points also can be used in the course of play, not just between adventures. No character may have more than 6 points accumulated. Examples for uses of Faction Points are below. Feel free to add your own.

Uses for Faction Points:

Regain Spells – Only one extra spell per level can be purchased this way, and the cost is 2 points plus 1 point per level of the spell purchased.   

Re-due – A second chance is granted to carry out a botched task, or to re-roll a failed attack, saving throw, or any check. Costs are 2 points per use.   

Extra Action – Take an extra standard or move action Costs are 3 points. 

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