Hello DMs and players. I have a few few musings, wondering and ideas on how to make my factions function in a medium sized hex crawl I’m running. So far, players are not traveling as far as I as I imagined them doing, but I’ve not made any long distance connections or dropped any hooks, so I hope to get them going further soon.
The campaign is following some of the conventions of a West(east in my case) Marches campaign: They are as far East as civilization goes, there’s an small home base town ,the further East you go the weirder things get, almost everywhere is hostile or so raw as to prevent the civilization the PCs are coming from to spread here.
I grew up playing AD&D and followed editons as they came, so I’m bred on big plot based adventures. I don’t want that and love emergent story telling I’ve experienced with my last few years as an OSR-style gm, but I want a little more energy than just the players dinking around in a persistent world that responds to them.Faction seem to be a way to inject some “story” or through lines and help the world feel more alive without railroading the PCs.
I have these factions busy in the world:
1 Rebels gathering strength to strike back West at the Captiol
2. Evil Shrooms trying to assemble their Demon Spore and suppling the rebels with bioweapons (See Matt Finch’s Demonspore)
3. Cultists of Despair trying to find magic to end everything
4. Slaad incursions that cause huge disruptions, planar and planetary overlap and whom the Cultists mistake as gods. They are capricious and plague this area every few hundred years.They have destroyed many burgeoning cultures in this wild land. Of course, now the Stars are Right!
5. Non human members of a fallen empire who are starting to have a reawakening (hopefully catalyzed by the PC’s)
6. Their successors who dwell in the once abandoned capitol city.
So, I have some questions about how you all use factions or your ideas on using them them:
- Do you introduce them ASAP or have PC’s bump into them while exploring?
- Do you ‘gamify’ their actions outside of character interactions to see how they ebb and flow in power, and location? An example would be World’s without Number’s system for running factions
- Do you give the players an idea that they are a cohesive group right off the bat, so they have an idea of what they represent?
- Do you come up with guidelines of the group’s ethos or how they generally act?
- Any other thoughts or suggestions about factions in a larger environment?
Thanks for sharing your ideas in advance!