Factions

Faction Design

Introduction

Factions are locations that have been organized under a centralized power to support one another and provide resources. Factions are also useful for supporting players, providing them with supplies, quests, power, or completing favors on their behalf. While many factions may be pre-existing, players and GMs are more than welcome to create their own factions. 

You can use the information below to create, modify and track the factions that exist in your campaign. 

Faction Overview

Faction sheets are used to track the details of each faction. Note that if a faction has more than one type of authority, each is tracked on it’s own sheet.

Each faction sheet contains the following details:

  • Faction Name: This is the name of the faction

  • Authority: This is what type of authority the faction sheet is tracking: Civil, Magical, or Cultural

  • Level: This is the faction’s level with that Authority type.

  • Stockpile: This is the amount of stored resources the faction has.

  • Concepts: These are the different concepts the faction has bound under its authority type. 

  • Locations: These are locations that the faction controls. These locations exist as places that can be visited on the map. Each location has a letter number pair associated with it to make locating its place on the sheet easier. It is recommended that these references are put on the map to make looking up out of the way locations quick and easy. 

  • Tier: Each location has a tier level showing how many resources it can produce and features it can support.

  • Resources: Each location has a resource that it produces. 

  • Feature: Features are notable benefits or threats that the location hosts, willingly or not.

Authority

Authority refers to what type of power the faction wields over a location. The authority type of a faction determines what resources they are able to exploit, as well as making certain features easier to construct. There are 3 types of authority that a faction can hold: Civil, Magical, and Cultural. If the faction has more than one authority type, each one is tracked on a separate sheet. 

Civil authority is the power of law and industry. They control industries such as mining, farming, and crafting. This type of authority is typical for kingdoms to hold. 

Magical authority is the control over founts of magical power and elemental spirits in a location. This power is harnessed through magical rituals and arrays. 

Cultural authority is that of guiding beliefs and styles of people. These combined beliefs can force the world to change when properly harnessed, similar to how an individual is able to use ki. 

Level

Factions have levels to track their skill with a given type of authority. Factions may have separate levels for each type of authority (Civil, Magical, Cultural.) These levels are tracked on their corresponding sheets.

A faction’s level determines the highest tier of features the faction is capable of constructing. Note that they can still construct lower tier features. Refer to the table below to determine the highest tier feature that faction can craft under an authority type.

Level

Features

1-5

Tier 1

6-10

Tier 2

11-15

Tier 3

16-20

Tier 4

Levels for factions are calculated slightly differently depending on the resource type they use. See the table below:

Type

Level Conditions

Civil

Total number of unique Civil resources

 (Maximum: 5 times Highest Tier Location)

Cultural

Total number of locations

(Maximum: 5 times Highest Tier Location)

Magical

Total number of unique magical founts

(No Maximum)

The term Unique refers to the number of different resources or magical founts, and not the total number of resources or magical founts. For example: having two locations producing iron, and five locations producing wheat would still only count as 2 unique resources. 

Stockpile

A faction’s stockpile represents the amount of resources that they have stored up for use. Stockpile is typically spent adopting new faction concepts and constructing new features. By default:

  • Factions gain stockpile equal to the highest tier of features they have access to, plus 1.

  • Factions have a maximum stockpile equal to the faction’s level. 

Stockpiles of Civil resources are represented by their stored supplies and wealth. Stockpiles of magical resources are usually represented by large spell arrays holding huge amounts of mana. Stockpiles of Cultural resources are represented by the willingness of the populous to accept a new idea and add it to their worldview.

Concepts

There are 10 faction concepts that represent different focuses that factions can put their resources towards. Each concept has the following information:

  • Name: This is the name of the concept

  • Type(s): Can be any of the three Authorities, or a combination of them.

  • Description: A short description of the concept.

  • Features: A list of features, broken down into four tiers . Each has a name, resource, and description. Features are purchased individually (see Features).

Each Faction begins with 1 Concept that shares the same Authority with at least one of the Concept’s Types.

Adding Concepts

 By spending stockpile equal to half their level (rounded up), a faction may purchase another concept. Factions that share the same Authority as the Concept’s Type have full access to the concept. Those that do not share any types may access the features at one tier lower. Those features also operate as though they are 1 tier lower than the location they are placed in. For example, a faction with the Magical authority may access up to Tier 2 of the Blessing concept at level 11. Note that in some cases, there is no lower tier version of a feature. These operate as normal.

Locations

Locations are physical places that are home to resources under a faction’s control that one can visit on a map. Each location has a tier (1 to 4) associated with it. This tier dictates the number of resources that it can produce and the number of features it can support. 

Locations require resources for support. A tier 1 location will use its own resources to support itself and the location above it. Each tier above that (2-4) will use their resources to support the next tier location. Refer to the table below: 

Tier

Requirements

1

None

2

5 resources produced at tier 1 locations

3

5 resources produced at tier 2 locations

4

5 resources produced at tier 3 locations

For example, B3 (Tier 1) will support a tier 2 location at H2 with a single resource. The tier 2 location at H2 will support the location at I1 with its resources, and so on.

Constructing Locations

Factions may choose to construct new locations in unclaimed territories. These locations start at Tier 1 and take 1 strategic turn to build. Typically, if it was built in the same territory as a natural resource, it starts producing that resource when completed. Otherwise, resources must be built. Please refer to the Resource section for each authority type’s rules for constructing resources. 

Upgrading Locations 

When a faction meets the requirements to support a tier 2-4 location, they may select any existing location from a lower tier to upgrade. This raises the tier of that location to the tier the faction can now support. This costs 1 strategic action in addition to the following requirements:

For a Civil location: it must have at least half the population it would need for its new tier by the end of its faction turn.

For a magical location: it must perform rituals or rites and must expand its size to meet the new tier’s requisites. This costs stockpile equal to the location’s current tier.

For a Cultural location: It must be based in a civil location with a tier equal to the new tier of the cultural location that is being upgraded. This costs stockpile equal to the location’s current tier.

When a location is upgraded, it retains all resources and features it had before being upgraded. 

Degrading Locations

Locations may also downgrade. Tier 1 locations that aren’t producing a resource have an upkeep of 1 stockpile per strategic turn. If the upkeep can’t be paid, or the player refuses to pay for it, the location is abandoned. 

Tier 2-4 locations that are supported by less than 5 resources have an upkeep of 1 stockpile per missing resource per turn. If this cannot be paid, lower the tier of the location down to a level where it could be supported.

When a Tier 2-4 location degrades, it must reduce the  number of resources it produces to its new tier. The faction chooses what resources are no longer produced. This may also cause the location to be unable to support features as well. In such a case the faction chooses which features are no longer maintained, losing their benefits.

Location Types and Sizes

Locations vary depending on what authority they operate under.

 Civil locations are population centers like towns and cities. Their population sizes are listed below:

Tier

Civil Location Population Tier Size

1

Between 10 to 1 000 people

2

Between 1 000 to 100 000 people

3

Between 100 000 to 10 000 000 people

4

Greater than 10 000 000 people

Magical locations are towers, caves, and dungeons of sufficient size to hold the required spell arrays to capture magical energies. Their Location Size is listed below:

Tier

Magical Location Tier Size

1

Between 2-5 rooms and 1-2 floors

2

Between 6-50 rooms and 3-10 floors

3

Between 51-200 rooms and 11-100 floors

4

At least 200 rooms and at least 100 floors

Cultural locations are civil locations where a particular culture has managed to claim dominance (over half the population are part of the culture). Their Location Sizes are listed below:

Tier

Cultural Location Tier Size

1

Village or Town (Civil Tier 1)

2

City (Civil Tier 2)

3

Megacity or Metropolis (Civil Tier 3)

4

Megalopolis (Civil Tier 4)

Trade Routes

Locations (especially Civil locations) interact with other locations using Trade Routes. Each location sends the bulk of the resource it produces to the location it supports. It also sends some of that resource to its neighboring locations. In other words, locations that support the same higher tier location are often exchanging the goods they produce amongst one another using trade routes.

This is tracked on the faction sheet through letters. A location shares its resources with all other locations on the sheet that share a letter with it using trade routes in addition to the location they are supporting. For example, a town at D1 producing Wheat would send it primarily to H4 with a trade route, but would also send it to D2-D6 using trade routes. 

Tier 4 locations are special, in that they have trade routes with the tier 3 locations that support them as well as the tier 2 locations that support those tier 3 locations. 

Resources Overview

Each location may produce a number of resources equal to its tier. These resources are either Natural, already existing in the environment, or Constructed, made by people. Natural resources may still be constructed.

Each authority type has its own unique rules for how it interacts with resources, and each will be covered in its own section. Below is a short overview each:

Civil: These resources are types of industries such as farming, mining, or smithing. 

Magical: These resources are types of founts, or places that harness the power of founts. 

Cultural: These resources are beliefs or styles such as religion, fashion, or folklore. 

In addition to supporting their locations, resources are used to purchase features. Please refer to Features, under the heading, Positive Features.

Resources for Civil Locations 

There are 3 natural and 3 constructed resource types produced by towns and cities:

  • Food (Natural): These are resources that provide food. Some examples would be Elk, Wheat, and Tuna. Most places produce enough food to support themselves; having a food resource means they have a specific type that they produce enough to export. 

  • Material (Natural): These are resources that provide construction materials. Some examples would be Stone, Iron, and Wood. Having a material resource means that the location has access to large amounts of the resource and can export it.  

  • Luxuries (Natural):  These are resources that are rare and sought after. Some examples would be Gold, Spice, and Wine. These resources are rare, and unless a location has the resource, or it is part of a trade network with the resource, they lack that luxury. 

  • Population (Constructed): These resources refer to people who live in the town or city, but work elsewhere. Some examples would be Soldiers, Servants, and Migrant Workers. Towns and cities generally  have enough workers to support themselves; these locations specifically can spare workers and allow them to work in other locations.

  • Expertise (Constructed): These resources are craftsmen and scholars. Some examples would be Blacksmiths, Tinkers, and Nobles. It is expected that each town has enough of these people to support themselves. These locations specifically can spare these individuals to operate in other locations

  • Hospitality (Constructed): These resources are places where others come to visit, either for relaxation, when passing through, or meeting others. Some examples would be Trading Posts, Tourism, and Refuge. Each town and city generates enough wealth to sustain itself. These locations specifically can afford to let wealth travel to other locations without harm to their economy or service. 

Resources for Magical Locations 

There are only 1 natural and 2 constructed resources produced at magical locations:

  • Founts (Natural): These are locations where two ley lines cross, mixing and spilling out. Founts can be easily harnessed by mages and ritualists to do impressive works. Founts are used for tier 1 locations.

  • Array (Constructed): These are locations where artificial ley lines from the surrounding area bring the power of founts to a location to be remixed into new and interesting forms. Each must be a mix of two of the primal elements that are used to support the location where the array is constructed. Arrays may not be constructed at tier 1 magical locations. 

  • Demesne (Constructed): These are locations that can be constructed where all 6 primal elements are being produced by arrays (For example a Sun array, a Cloud array, and a Death array). They count as producing all 6 primal elements at once. These can only be built at tier 4 magical locations. 

Furthermore, each of these resources produces 2 primal elements (Light, Fire, Air, Water, Earth, Dark), which count as the resource type. The names for each combination are listed below:

Light

Fire

Air

Water

Earth

Dark

Light

Holy

Fire

Sun

Power

Air

Force

Lightning

Void

Water

Life

Purity

Cloud

Ice

Earth

Creation

Magma

Flesh

Plant

Metal

Dark

Moon

Destruction

Night

Poison

Death

Infernal

Magical locations send their resources to the location they support with an artificial leyline that starts at the location producing the resource and ends at the location being supported. The leyline functions as normal with the exception that it does not generate founts when it intersects other leylines. 

Resources for Cultural Locations 

There 6 constructed resource types produced by holy sites:

  • Notable (Constructed): These are types of people that have become famous within the culture, with legacies lasting long beyond their passing. A Notable would have influence comparable to da Vinci (Artist), Aristotle (Philosopher), or Muhammad (Prophet).

  • Expression (Constructed): These are everything  fashions and construction styles, to songs and plays. Some examples would be Folk Music, Togas, or Stone Columns.

  • Tradition (Constructed): These resources are traditions that have taken hold in the culture. Some examples would be a Harvest Festival, Handshakes, or Nightly Worship

  • Institution (Constructed): These resources are minor factions that move along with the culture. Some examples would be The Church of Light, The Adventures Guild, or humble inns

  • Attitude (Constructed): These resources inform the way the culture views certain aspects of the world. Some examples would be ‘True men drink’, ‘Respect your elders’, or ‘Help the needy’

  • Odditity (Constructed): These resources are odd parts of the culture that stick out, but don’t fall into the other categories. Some examples would be Loud talkers, Large families, and Green eyes.

Cultural resources are shared across all Cultural locations controlled by the faction. However, the Cultural resource a location produces is the focus of that specific location. For example, a Cultural faction may have tier 1 locations producing Weekly Gatherings, Tithes, and Daily Prayer. Each of those would be found at all locations. However, each tier 1 location would have a focus of one of these aspects, choosing to focus more on Daily Prayer, or Tithes, or Weekly Gatherings

Note: if the faction loses a location that produces a Cultural resource that isn’t produced at any other location, that resource remains on the faction sheet, still a part of the culture. If 6 turns pass before a location produces it, then the resource is lost, as it fades out of the faith. 

 Constructing Resources

Factions may construct resources. For Civil and Magical factions, takes 1 strategic action in addition to any stockpile cost to build a resource. For Cultural locations, it costs 1 strategic action in addition to any stockpile cost if the resource is unique or being built outside a Civil location. If not, and it is being built in a Civil location, they may pay only the stockpile cost. Note that your faction does not need to control that Civil location.

Note that a resource can be constructed at the same time that its location is being built. The stockpile cost varies depending on the situation. 

Stockpile Cost to Construct Resource

Civil

Resource

Situation

Cost

Food

All

5

Material

All

5

Luxuries

All

5

Population

Has a trade route bringing in food

1

Population

Doesn’t have a trade route bringing in food

3

Expertise

Has a trade route bringing in materials

1

Expertise

Doesn’t have a trade route bringing in material

3

Hospitality

Has a trade route bringing in luxuries

1

Hospitality

Doesn’t have a trade route bringing in luxuries

3

Constructing Resources (Continued)

Stockpile Cost to Construct Resource (Continued)

Magical

Resource

Situation

Cost

Fount

All

15

Array

All

3

Demesne

All

1

Cultural

Resource

Situation

Cost

Any

Resource is part of current culture

1

Any

Resource isn’t part of current culture

X*

X* This costs stockpile equal to the faction’s tier

Features Overview

There are 3 kinds of features that locations may have: Positive Features, Negative Features and Special Features. A location may only have a number of features equal to the number of resources the location produces. 

Positive Features are the ways locations distinguish themselves, affecting the world around them. From armies to floating castles, to guardian angels protecting a town, these features represent the power factions possess.

Negative Features, by contrast, are problems that the factions are struggling with in individual locations. Examples include having bandits in the hills stealing from passing merchants, a dragon leaching off of an inferno fount, or a branch of the faithful that have fallen into depravity. Features may be cleared by players. 

Special Features are used to track information about locations such as which other faction owns a location that sends its resources to one of your locations. 

Positive Features

Each Positive Feature has 3 parts: A name, a resource, and a description. The name is used to reference the specific feature. The description explains how the feature works. The resource notes which type of resource should be used to support that feature. When a feature is built in a location with that resource, the cost to build it is half of that faction’s highest tier, rounded up. If a feature is built in a location that lacks that resource, it costs that faction’s tier instead. Features can be built at the same time as the location they are being built at.

Features may have different effects depending on the tier of the location where they are built. This is notated in the feature’s description. When a faction builds a feature from a concept that has a different Type than the Faction’s Authority, that feature counts as being built at a location one tier lower. For example, if a Civil faction were building a feature from a Magical Concept in a tier 2 Civil location, the feature would function as though it had been built in a tier 1 magical location.

For factions with multiple authority types, positive features are a way for one type to support another. For example, the faction’s Magical side may have a feature that creates Civil resources that support the Civil side’s locations. 

Negative Features

Negative features occur either naturally when there is an open feature slot next to a resource, or when one faction attempts to undermine another. While these features don’t harm the location's ability to support another location, they do prevent any positive features from being constructed in that slot. In addition, for each negative feature a faction possesses, their level is lowered by 1. Note that this can affect their maximum stockpile, their ability to construct new features, and their income, but this will not affect the features already constructed. These effects will remain until the negative feature is cleared. 

When a faction wants to undermine another, they may attempt to sabotage an existing feature. They must have a unit nearby able to damage the feature. Features have a defence of 5+5 times the level of the location of the resource, a stress limit of 1, and are unable to take an action. If they are able to destroy the feature in the faction turn, they may immediately spend 1 point of stockpile per level of the location to create a negative feature.

Outside of this, the GM may place a single random negative feature on any open feature slot next to a resource once a strategic turn at their discretion (Default there should be a 20% chance, so a 2 or less on a 1d10).

Special Features

Special features are used to denote non-ownership of a location. Specifically, when a faction gives control of a location to a player, or if a player gives control of a location to an NPC, the situation calls for special rules.

On the main faction’s sheet, it is noted in the feature section who owns that faction. A new sheet (for the player or NPC) is made, or a pre-existing sheet can be used if appropriate. If their location supports other locations, those locations and resources should be noted on their sheet, writing the faction name in the feature section. 

Smaller factions can contribute to a larger faction. A larger faction that gets resources from smaller fractions should write the locations it gets its resources from on their faction sheet as if they were part of the faction, but note in the feature section what faction controls the smaller locations. These smaller locations still count towards the level of the larger faction. However, these larger locations do not count towards the level of the smaller faction.

When this is done, the faction giving up the land may make a suggestion on what feature should be built. In the case of NPCs, the GM may roll a d10 for each resource in the location and reference the following table for results:

Results of Handing Off a Location

Roll

Situation

1-3

Builds the highest tier feature they can. Determine which using the dice roll (each feature is numbered)

4-5

Builds the highest tier, cheapest feature possible (The faction handing off may break any ties) 

6-7

Doesn’t build a feature

8-10

Follows the suggestion of the faction handing off

Features Ranges

There are 4 ranges features may have: Local, Extended, Regional and Vast. Local features only affect the location they are built at. Extended means they affect everywhere in a 20 mile radius. Regional means they affect everything in a 20 mile radius of the location and everything in a 20 mile radius of any location connected to that location by a trade route. Vast means that you draw a boundary around the location and each location that it has a trade route with. This boundary is a straight line between each of the outermost locations. Everything inside that boundary and within 20 miles of it is affected by the feature. 

Changing Supply Lines

You may change what location a given location supports. This allows you to move locations around on the faction sheet. This costs an amount of resources equal to the tier of the location being moved and takes a faction turn to complete. 

Non-Authoritarian Rule

Players may choose to adopt a non-authoritarian style of control for Civil and Cultural factions. Doing so increases the resource income by 1 for factions levels 1-10 and by 2 for factions levels 11-20. However, this means that the player must resort to campaigning in order to implement their ideas. Please refer to the campaigning section for details.

Skimming Off the Top

Players that control a Civil faction may choose to gain 3+the tier of their highest tier location in wealth at the start of the strategic turn. Doing so prevents the faction from gaining stockpile that strategic turn. 

Missions

Missions are a type of strategic action where you ask an NPC to build or upgrade locations, resources, and features on your behalf. They can be a useful way of building your faction.

A PC spends one strategic action to assign a mission to a willing NPC of their choice. The PC decides how many things they would like the NPC to do and writes down how many strategic actions it would take for the PC to do it themselves. That number, plus 1, represents the number of Steps it would take to complete the mission. Steps are how players track mission progression. As well, if there are any additional costs to building a feature/location/resource, that must be paid at time of mission assignment.

 The player must note their level at time of mission assignment. The DC of the overall mission is set to 3 + (5 * the highest tier that a location/resource/feature is being built at during the mission parameters) unless outside factors cause the GM to alter it. 

Each Strategic Turn, the player rolls 1d10 + the NPCs level at time of mission assignment. On a Success, the mission proceeds one step. On a Failure, the mission does not progress.

Missions (Continued)

If the player has a result more than 5 above the DC, the mission has had a critical success. The mission proceeds forward an additional step this strategic turn, for a total of 2 steps. 

If they roll a 1 or have a result more than 5 below the DC, the mission has had a critical failure. The PC must spend a strategic action or go on an adventure to rescue the mission. If there is more than one mission in this state, the player must choose one mission. The mission that is saved does not progress but remains intact. Missions that were not saved are cancelled, and all progress and stockpiled spent are lost.

A mission is complete the moment that the mission has the required number of steps. It is at this time that locations/resources/features built and/or upgraded may be notated on the faction sheet.

Concept Index

The following are links to each of the different concepts along with notes of what type of concepts they are. 

Protection (Cultural, Magical)

Blessing (Cultural)

Harmony (Cultural, Civil)

Secret (Civil, Cultural)

Military (Civil)

Enlightenment (Civil, Magical)

Apparatus (Magical, Civil)

Genesis (Magical)

Seclusion (Magical, Cultural)

Wonders (Cultural, Civil, Magical)

Faction sheet

Faction Name

Authority

Location

Resource

Feature

Level:

Concepts:

Tier 4 (J1)

Stockpile:

Location

Resource

Feature

Location

Resource

Feature

Tier 3 (I1)

Tier 3 (I2)

Location

Resource

Feature

Location

Resource

Feature

Tier 2 (H1)

Tier 2 (H4)

Tier 1 (A1-A6)

Tier 1 (D1-D6)

A1

D1

A2

D2

A3

D3

A4

D4

A5

D5

A6

D6

Location

Resource

Feature

Location

Resource

Feature

Tier 2 (H2)

Tier 2 (H5)

Tier 1 (B1-B6)

Tier 1 (E1-E6)

B1

E1

B2

E2

B3

E3

B4

E4

B5

E5

B6

E6

Location

Resource

Feature

Location

Resource

Feature

Tier 2 (H3)

Tier 2 (H6)

Tier 1 (C1-C6)

Tier 1 (F1-F6)

C1

F1

C2

F2

C3

F3

C4

F4

C5

F5

C6

F6

Alt Faction Sheet

Faction Name

Authority

Stockpile

Level

Concepts

Concepts

Resource

Feature

Location

Feature

Resource

Tier 4 (J1)

Resource

Location

Feature

Feature

Location

Resource

Tier 3 (I1)

Tier 3 (I2)

Resource

Location

Feature

Feature

Location

Resource

Tier 2 (H1)

Tier 2 (H4)

Tier 1 (A1-A6)

Tier 1 (D1-D6)

A1

D1

A2

D2

A3

D3

A4

D4

A5

D5

A6

D6

Resource

Location

Feature

Feature

Location

Resource

Tier 2 (H2)

Tier 2 (H5)

Tier 1 (B1-B6)

Tier 1 (E1-E6)

B1

E1

B2

E2

B3

E3

B4

E4

B5

E5

B6

E6

Resource

Location

Feature

Feature

Location

Resource

Tier 2 (H3)

Tier 2 (H6)

Tier 1 (C1-C6)

Tier 1 (F1-F6)

C1

F1

C2

F2

C3

F3

C4

F4

C5

F5

C6

F6

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