Faction rules

Talk about any rules that don't directly fall under personal combat
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Stempest
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Faction rules

Post by Stempest » 02 Mar 2018, 23:13

Another conversation starter, because for all the good reasons for the forum being quiet, I would like it less quiet :)

So when I was challenging the wealth rules a while back, there was mention of keeping the wealth rules and faction rules in line with each other. We have never seen the faction rules, but I thought I'd ask a couple of questions:

1. For our illustrious authors, any thoughts on what you'll be trying to achieve with the faction rules? What aspects of factions you would like to emphasise?
2. For all the players, what would you like to see in terms of factions?

I confess I have had an unhealthy fascination with domain games in RPGs ever since I stumbled across a copy of Adventurer Conqueror King System (ACKS) on my games store shelf 3-4 years ago. I now own most of the domain rules / games with domain rules I am aware of, including but definitely not limited to Pendragon, ACKS, Hellfrost Domain Management for Savage Worlds, Houses of the Blooded and A Song of Ice and Fire RPG. Oh, and Ars Magica (a different kind of domain, really).

I think my fascination with domains has been because I felt that perhaps if players had a home that they had an affinity for and wanted to look after, they'd curb the murder-hoboing a bit, because their new enemies will always know where to find them. But perhaps there's something in there that is the same thing that makes MMO computer game players flip for customised player housing.

What would I like to see in faction rules? I think my shortlist would be something like:
    -Doesn't impose itself too much in terms of admin. The ASOIAF rules are the best I've seen in this respect, while more deterministic games like ACKS can be a chore.
    -Integrates with any warfare rules that arise. That is, there are ways of working out what troops you can muster, and can generate fortifications that plug-in to any warfare rules.
    -In an ideal world, some way to make your domain your own. Deciding whether to build a church or a fort in your barony, whether to tax heavily or lightly. Those sorts of things.

What are others hoping for?
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Benedict
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Re: Faction rules

Post by Benedict » 03 Mar 2018, 06:58

Personally I hope that the Faction system will be closer to a Troupe subsystem rather than a Domain subsystem.
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Stempest
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Re: Faction rules

Post by Stempest » 03 Mar 2018, 08:43

What exactly do you mean by Troupe system?
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Benedict
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Re: Faction rules

Post by Benedict » 03 Mar 2018, 08:48

A cast of secondary characters along with the main PCs, where a player can use either his main or a secondary character to shape the story. All characters being part of the Faction. You could call it a character tree or whatever sounds best. Also have character actions have an impact on Faction.

Note 1: That of course doesn't exclude Domain style play. Especially with Maintenance Cycle time formating a Domain -style play comes naturally. I just miss the point of how a low/mid rank Faction member can make serious choices. Domain play is obviously the province of the Leader of said Faction.

Note 2: The main problem I see with a Faction system thought is that will be harder to GM mixed parties of Faction members and freelancers; it will be difficult to maintain focus, keep everyone happy, and give everyone a fair amount of spotlight time within the story.
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Re: Faction rules

Post by Stempest » 04 Mar 2018, 00:25

I think "lower ranked" characters having less ability to make choices that affect a faction is just a truth, and one needs to decide whether they want to be making decisions for the faction or not. And I'd go so far as to suggest that in mos cases I can imagine, it's a pretty binary situation. That is, one of the characters (or a council of them) is the head of the faction and making decisions at that level, or they are not. And if they're not the head of the faction, then all of a sudden it is no longer really domain play. Even if the group of characters are the children of the king, or a special group of "problem-solvers" acting on his behalf, if they're taking orders from someone, then the king may as well be one of any "quest-givers". I may be speaking in extremes a little bit, but I think that is generally going to be the case.

Similarly, I think it IS very difficult to have parties composed of characters with a variety of social rank. The easiest way is to have a lower-ranked party accompanied by, say, a noble that lost his land or the like, but then that noble isn't really operating as you would expect a normal "noble" to, he's operating more like a vagrant or mercenary anyway, albeit with a nicer suit of armour. I think this is another one of those things where sometimes it makes sense to strongly suggest to players that they need to have a discussion about who their GROUP is and what the group's common goals are. A few years ago I decided that I'd get all my groups to do character generation at the beginning of a campaign at the table together(rather than before the session), as I've found it really helps with that. (Even discussing over email doesn't allow for the same discussion).

On a side note, I must confess that I'm not generally a fan of troupe play. I've done it with Ars Magica, and with ACKS, and it becomes really easy for a player to just treat any character other than either his "main" character, or his favourite, just as pawns in the game. They don't necessarily develop an affinity/affection for all of them. With just one character, though, there is a bit more attachment. At least in my experience.
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EinBein
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Re: Faction rules

Post by EinBein » 07 Mar 2018, 09:58

Stempest wrote:I now own most of the domain rules / games with domain rules I am aware of, including but definitely not limited to Pendragon, ACKS, Hellfrost Domain Management for Savage Worlds, Houses of the Blooded and A Song of Ice and Fire RPG. Oh, and Ars Magica (a different kind of domain, really).

You forgot a classic: Birthright!
And a more modern approach in Mutant: Zero Hour.
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Re: Faction rules

Post by Stempest » 08 Mar 2018, 07:52

EinBein wrote:
Stempest wrote:I now own most of the domain rules / games with domain rules I am aware of, including but definitely not limited to Pendragon, ACKS, Hellfrost Domain Management for Savage Worlds, Houses of the Blooded and A Song of Ice and Fire RPG. Oh, and Ars Magica (a different kind of domain, really).

You forgot a classic: Birthright!
And a more modern approach in Mutant: Zero Hour.

I did indeed neglect to mention Birthright, which I do own but have never had the pleasure of playing. (Actually, of those domain games I own, the only ones I HAVE had the pleasure of playing so far are Ars Magica (which was enjoyable) and ACKS (unfortunately less pleasant, but not the fault of the ruleset)).

Mutant Year Zero... I actually have the DriveThruRPG page for it open right now (and did before reading your message) with intent to buy during the GM's Day sale.

I don't suppose anyone with the inside scoop is able to give us any tidbits on the S&S faction system. (I know they've got other more important things going, but I can always ask :)
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