I’ve created this series of character sheets, you see…

I have a character sheet for characters — that one should seem obvious — but I’ve also created “character sheets” for dungeons, plots/rumors, and most recently — factions or settlements. I say “or” because they’re functionally the same.

I hadn’t really thought about it before, but every backwater village the PCs tramp through is a “faction” in its own right. You have to figure that as you get larger settlements like towns or cities, they’re simply composed of more factions.

An urban adventure is akin to a megadungeon.

Maybe this was obvious to others but I’m still piecing things together myself.

I’ve always admired the idea of factions from afar but could never make them work in my campaigns. I think this was probably because I didn’t have enough of the right kinds to appeal to my players. I think where I was failing was in having only one or two present — you need three or four to provide options.

How will your players ever know to care about something unless they’re given the context — several competing factions — to compare and contrast?

But factions are hard to make. As with everything else that’s hard to generate “on the spot” for GMs, I’ve been developing a faction generation system — technically the same as my settlement generator. The key was bringing them together.

A faction or settlement is a group of people that needs stuff.

How do you know what they need? Well, this is a great question and best answered with Trades — there are eight sectors covering the major aspects of civilization, if gods had sphere (or domains), these are what the spheres would be.

Not every sector is strictly necessary — but they become moreso the larger the settlement gets, or as more factions become involved in local politics.

You can easily create problems for one faction by creating a second.

Not that factions or settlements can’t work together, it’s just that they often have difficulties doing so — the more factions rub up against each other, the more they tend to specialize — or there isn’t enough work to go around — then polarize.

You can also figure that as factions grow and specialize — say thanks to good relations with their neighbors — that the loss of a neighbor might create a new need for them that adventurers might be able to meet.

Once I actually have more to put on the sheet, I’ll provide a sample.