Faction Histories

Last time on our Faction System walkthrough, we showed you how to give your faction a unique quirk and discovered what your faction offers new recruits

This time we’re going to delve deep into your faction’s past and give it a history to give it past that feels believable and makes your faction relatable.

Reconstructing the Past

There are two sections into discovering your faction’s history. The first is to roll for how old your faction is, which will say how many significant events have occurred in your faction’s history; and the second is to roll for what those significant events were. If you have a lot of significant events, that can lead to a lot of rolling, but the events have a far greater impact than just lore. Each event will modify your faction’s skills and stats so that those stats look like they’ve organically grown over the course of your faction’s history. We won’t go into the stats in this update, so sit back and enjoy the lore.

Faction Age

An easy roll to make, but with huge ramifications. The age of your faction is given as keywords rather than specific timeframes, and this allows your GM to adapt it to whatever genre of campaign they are running. For example, an urban-gang centred campaign can mean an “Ancient” faction is only 100 years old, while a campaign set in a world perpetually stuck in the middle ages could mean an “Old” faction is 1000s of years old.

With regard to the number of events next to each age, you can never have less than 1 event. Since the number of events is pseudo-random, it can mean that a Recent faction has more significant events than an Ancient faction, but remember that these are significant events, not just any old event.

01-10: Ancient (1d10 events)
11-25: Old (1d10-1 events)
26-40: Vintage (1d10-2 events)
41-55: Established (1d10-3 events)
56-70: Young (1d10-4 events)
71-85: Recent (1d10-5 events)
86-100: New (just 1 event)

Significant Events

Fairly straightforward rolls here. Roll on the table for each significant event in your faction’s history. The first event you roll is also the reason or impetus behind your faction’s creation; while the last event is also the most recent thing to have happened to your faction, just before it enters into your story.

In the full mod, each option here will have a nice paragraph detailing all the sorts of things the event can mean, but for now, we’ll just give you the Reader’s Digest version.

01-05: Rise
06-10: Fall
11-15: Champion
16-20: Fiend
21-25: Battle Won
26-30: Battle Lost
31-35: Creation
36-40: Destruction
41-45: Ally
46-50: Rival
51-55: Wisdom
56-60: Lunacy
61-65: Miracle
66-70: Cataclysm
71-75: Loyalty
76-80: Betrayal
81-85: Bribery
86-90: Blackmail
91-95: Sprout
95-100: Shrivel

Rise: your faction rose the ranks of society, or found a way to increase its diplomatic influence and reputation
Fall: your faction lost face, lost influence and lost reputation
Champion: the leader(s) of your faction were great and noble heroes to the world at large, to only a few people, or just to your faction
Fiend: your faction’s leader(s) were villains of the highest order, and your faction is still notorious for their actions
Battle Won: as the name says, your faction won a great battle (physically, socially, diplomatically, magically, spiritually?)
Battle Lost: or your faction lost a battle and still bear the scars
Creation: your faction was involved in a significant endeavour that resulted in the creation of something spectacular
Destruction: your faction destroyed something valuable and important to a lot of people
Ally: your faction found a friend in another group or organisation
Rival: your faction made a lasting enemy out of another organisation
Wisdom: it was a golden age of philosophy, strategy, poetry, science or anything else scholarly for your faction
Lunacy: your faction descended into lunacy and degeneracy that would make Nero proud
Miracle: your faction was at rock bottom when something spectacular and explainable brought them back from the brink.
Cataclysm: like a meteor from outer space (maybe literally), something came along and ruined everything for everyone in your faction
Loyalty: it was a trying time for your faction, but the loyalty of the members are still remembered to this day
Betrayal: it was high time for mutiny and your faction was turned on its head
Bribery: wheels needed to be greased and money had to be spent. Was your faction bribed or did they do the bribing?
Blackmail: as with bribing, was your faction involved in a scandal or did they exploit someone else’s to bring fortune to themselves?
Sprout: your faction had an influx of new members
Shrivel: there was an exodus of members fleeing your faction

Exemplar

As of the last post, we found that our Righteous Prophets, the smuggling ring inside a police force was a racial supremacist group that entrapped new recruits into joining. Let’s see what has happened to them over the years.

With a roll of 11 we know our Prophets are Old, so we can say that while they weren’t around from the very beginning of the police force’s creation, it didn’t take long for them to set up shop. That means we get 1d10-1 events and we rolled a 5, so 4 events it is. A 20, a 68, a 74, and a 94 tell us that we have Fiend, Cataclysm, Loyalty and Sprout. Now let’s put them together to see what the history of the Righteous prophets were.

The first event tells us how the faction was founded, and ours was founded by a Fiend, which makes total sense with what we’ve seen of the Prophets. An utterly corrupt and degenerate policeman decided police-life didn’t offer enough, and so started his own criminal enterprise. Then, however, we get to Cataclysm and it all nearly fell apart. Since they are inside a police force, we can say that this was when the police discovered there was a criminal syndicate operating right under their noses and arrested nearly all of them. The faction looked like it was on its last legs. Eventually, however, the police would have moved onto other matters and decided they had gotten all the Prophets. With time to rebuild, it would have taken great Loyalty from its members to stand together and recreate the smuggling ring… but here we run into a problem, why would there be loyalty if they all were recruited by entrapment? The key thing to remember here is that the options we have been rolling for in past posts is what the faction looks like when they enter the story, not how they started. So we can say that the Prophets didn’t always start by recruiting its members by entrapment, that could have come later… which neatly segues into the final event that happens just before the Righteous Prophets enter the campaign: Sprout. They suddenly gained a lot of new recruits when the old guard rebuilt the faction. This is where we can say they decided to use entrapment in an effort to quickly build themselves back up again to a point where they could be a force to be reckoned with.

And that’s it for this update. Have a go at discovering the secret or not-so-secret histories of your faction and tell us what interesting options you discovered. In the next update, we’ll touch up the faction and tie everything together.

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Remember that you get to choose what we work on after the Faction System has been made, so CLICK HERE to vote!

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