This time we’re going to start delving into the gameplay of factions by looking at their Skills.
The Five Faction Skills
As the heading says, each faction has five main Skills that it, the players, and the GM can use during gaming sessions.
Reputation: This is the main social skill for the faction. Think of it as the Diplomacy Skill sized up.
Notoriety: If Reputation is Diplomacy, then Notoriety is Intimidate. High Notoriety can also trigger events.
Treachery: This is mainly used for Treachery events, but players can use this to stir up mutinies and the like inside the faction.
Wealth: Other than the base building we’ve covered, this works much like a player’s Wealth Skill.
Might: How offensively powerful your faction is. How well it would fare in a conflict.
One thing to keep in mind with these Skills, is that the players will be able to use all of them for their own PCs, not just for the faction. Need a bit of extra cash to buy something, dip into the faction’s Wealth Skill. Need some extra muscle on a mission, that’s why the Might skill is there. Not the greatest talker, but your faction’s notoriety is high? Then use the Notoriety Skill. In this way, the better the faction becomes the more useful it will be to the players. Keep your faction strong and you will get stronger.
During faction generation, you will roll for each of the faction’s five Skills. Then your faction’s history, and the base building will increase and decrease those skills. Just as with the sneak-peek at the Wealth Skill last time, the roll table for the Skills are as follows:
The most straightforward of the five Skills and the one we are going to cover in a bit more detail in this post.
At its most basic, Reputation is the faction’s Diplomacy Skill. If the faction (as a whole) wants to negotiate and deal with other factions and organisations, it uses its Reputation Skill. The higher its Reputation, the more easily it will deal with other factions.
For the majority of gameplay, however, Reputation will become an added Social Skill for the player characters. Whenever a PC wants to deal with a character, or group of characters, in a non-aggressive and non-threatening manner, they can use their faction’s Reputation Skill instead. This simulates that even if a person’s social skills aren’t up to scratch, the very fact that they represent a larger faction with a good reputation, they can still get away with quite a lot.
But just because you can get away with a lot doesn’t mean you can get away with everything. The key phrase above was “non-aggressive and non-threatening”. If a PC want to threaten another character with the might and power of their faction, then you can Notoriety. The other key thing to note is that using Reputation as a PC automatically makes that PC become a type of ambassador for their faction. They are representing their faction each time they use Reputation. This means that if you aren’t in control of your faction, the head boss might not be too keen on you using the faction’s name each time you want a discount at a store, or bribe a guard. In the same vein, overusing Reputation for trivial things will eventually do your faction’s name some real harm, causing its reputation to sour and the Reputation Skill to decrease. It’s a powerful tool, so use it wisely.
Another way to use Reputation is to get jobs/missions for the PCs. Rather than canvassing a city, asking every innkeep and tavern bartender for their latest gossip, the PCs can roll a Reputation Skill Check to drop their faction’s name here and there and see if someone will come running after hearing that these mighty heroes have stepped into town.
The Righteous Prophets.
With a roll of 36, the Prophet’s Reputation Skill Level is only 10. Their name is mud, but this suits this group of scumbags. What it does mean, is that they can’t rely on their faction’s reputation to get them by. They have to do the real haggling and negotiation themselves. It does give them a fairly immediate goal, though: they need to get their reputation up higher so that they can get better contacts, better deals and better jobs.
And that’s it for the quick intro to Skills and the Reputation Skill. Tell us what you think about it, what your faction Reputation Skill Level is and how you plan on using it.
Next time we’ll see what can happen if your faction’s Notoriety gets too high.
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