It’s been a long time since I had anything comprehensive (or coherent) to say on the progress of my game system, so let’s put some things out there.

So far I’ve discussed character and dungeon creation, so it’s time to talk about the third piece of this big puzzle — faction generation.

Factions occupy an awkward place in games (and the real world for that matter) because they are groups of people and simultaneously larger than their contributing membership — and nothing without them.

I’ve been wrestling with representing factions in-game for a long time now, and what I have now should be fairly simple, flexible, and capable of scaling. Like characters and dungeons, you roll 6 scores for a faction.

You may have noticed a pattern here, with each generation method involving the rolling of six scores — but it goes beyond a simple parallel (or worse, copy-pasting the process). They must “summarize” a faction at a glance.

The scores of a character, dungeon, or faction are intended to be descriptive — but if you’re unsure about the “science” or “history” of a faction, you can compare them to the Intelligence and Charisma scores of a character.

Settlements are also modeled using the faction system — the chief difference between a faction and a settlement being a central location.

You can model tribal foragers, a bandit gang, or a quaint elf village.

Factions are important for a number of reasons (not the least of which is handing out quests) but they serve as a place to “plug in” character Trades.

Yeah, that’s a big one. The same Trades that players choose when they create their PCs are used to give form and purpose to factions. Say a PC chooses the Renegade (Bandit) Trade — it follows there are (Criminal) factions made up of multiple characters with the corresponding Trade.

The correlation between Trades and factions can be as concrete or tangential as you please — you can use the faction generator to model an “aristocracy” of Aristocrats. A character needn’t belong to a faction to practice a Trade, but if your world is like the Discworld, it might be “Strongly Suggested.”

What factions really come down to however, is “economy.” If characters are an expression of agency, and dungeons of ecology — factions are an expression of economy. They provide powers beyond that which a character can do singly.

There are 6 assets — representing abstract types of power wielded by factions: labor, goods, favors, magic, land, and lore. These represent the products and services which can be purchased by PCs, trading on the gold piece level.

Finally, as a group of characters can form an adventuring party, or a number of dungeon blocks forms a megadungeon — a number of factions can form a larger settlement, whether you prefer a network of guilds or a city-state.

You can even create a faction of factions — effectively a government.