Part of the reason for giving settlements character-like stats was to make it possible for existing combat rules to represent conflict between them. Now I might extend the rules to hypothetical “Factions,” and then those same combat rules could be used for resolving violence between them.

So, what is a settlement?

I threw together some different character development stuff back in October, marking 9th, 19th, and 29th levels for Stronghold, City-State, and Godhood, respectively. This builds on that idea — coupled with “increasing scope.”

At 9th level, a character (PC or otherwise) can establish a base of operations to promote themselves from a “Personal threat” to a “Local” one — I figure they’re probably endangering far greater numbers of people by that point.

A lone PC with a stronghold that slowly regenerates followers should be able to threaten a village (300-500 people) with patrols and periodic raids.

At 19th level, a character gets their own city, which makes them a “Regional” threat. Then at 29th level, they attain divine rank and become a true “Global” threat — this is all I figure a PC can achieve without developing infrastructure.

I guess what makes this weird — for me, anyway — is despite my trying to root everything in quasi-realistic-slash-comprehensible values, the scale keeps going right past the ends of the earth and its seven billion-plus inhabitants.

Right. Anyway. Could the system eventually be used to represent galactic-scale conflicts? I don’t know, but it’s certainly cool to think about.

Let’s go right back to the idea that settlements might be factions, that said factions might be founded by individuals, that those factions might be based around a location (like a stronghold!), and so on, and so forth.

Well, to better shape those settlements-and-or-factions, some sort of race/class system would be helpful. Societies actually have classes for groups of people… Social Classes! (lol) We have upper and lower classes, the clergy, and outlaws.

The first three are referred to as the “Three Estates,” and I added the fourth one myself. The Press sometimes considers itself the Fourth Estate, and I consider them to be full of crap. I don’t think the “middle class” counts either because they’re defined mostly by what they are not…

The middle class “are not” as rich as the upper class, “are not” of the cloth like the clergy, and they “are not” as poor as the lower class.

In other words, they “are not” a social class unto themselves. Outlaws are, however. See the rest of the classes divide easily into things they are or aren’t — upper classes are the privileged elite, the landowners, and so forth. The lower classes are servants and laborers. The clergy are set apart by their beliefs.

And outlaws break the rules of society that the other three follow.

So there are four classes of factions and/or settlements. Coincidentally, they ALMOST follow the faction types I previously defined — tyrants, bandits, orders, tribes, and knights. But I’ve basically combined upper class elements of tyrants and knights, and the belief aspects of knights and orders.

I now have four social “roles” comparable to PC combat roles.