It’s been a while since I addressed these.

For a long time, it was really just that I couldn’t get a handle on where the characters in a faction came from, so now that I’ve kind of decided “they already existed and only recently organized,” I need to figure out what they can do.

Whatever it is, it has to be fun, simple, and . . . easy?

Is “simple and easy” redundant? Let’s assume it isn’t.

So, one of the first big changes here is that I’ve kind of figured that factions need to be “unsustainable” by nature. Part of this is definitely influenced by a recent change in personal philosophy. Kind of sad, and personal. Moving on!

Basically, we begin with the assumption that a faction requires a great deal of resources to begin, and will gradually run down until it’s replaced. Factions lead short, brutish lives. “Shorter and more brutal than people,” let’s say.

Just if we’re being funny.

But seriously, the idea goes along the lines that imposing order is costly and time-consuming. It kind of is. I mean like, “realistically.”

One of the attributes I’ve assigned to factions is “Capital,” as a kind of hit point. In order to do pretty much anything, a faction must spend Capital. The trouble comes in trying to get it back. Factions continually “bleed” their Capital.

I might use a thing like uh, “Subsistence strategies,” as a basis for some of the basic faction powers. I’m taking an Anthropology class this semester, so it’s relevant to my study. Foraging, pastoralism, horticulture, agriculture.

Stuff is expensive.

And I think, in the end, factions only last as long as they have leadership and infrastructure. I have an idea for leadership, but infrastructure is eluding me.

Like, one of the things I kind of want to do is make foraging “actually pretty efficient” for a nomadic faction. Like if you were playing a little game of Civilization by yourself. But if you want to see growth, you need to settle.

And settling creates all kinds of problems.

So, I’ve talked about “Assets” before, with regard to factions.

There’s Needs, Cash, Labor, Goods, Favor, Magic, Land, Lore, and Power. You could think of them like RTS resources. Factions trade Capital for Assets.

I figure there are a couple ways I can do this.

If I go the Magic: the Gathering route, then factions generate a certain number of “natural resources” each turn. They can spend those to take actions, and spend Capital on the rest. It works like Mana and Life Points. Tried and true solution.

If I go the Settlers of Catan route, then instead of “naturally” generating resources, factions trade their Capital to the “bank” at unfavorable rates until they’ve got allies to offer them a better exchange rate. This has an appeal.

The former approach has a “slow burn” which can be exploited once a faction has established itself, making “getting into the game” difficult.

Kind of like the American economy.

The latter approach allows factions to overextend themselves and die quickly, but also allows for greater intrigue potential as factions change leadership.

Kind of like the American political system.

You know, when I put it like that, I kind of want to combine approaches. Maybe I’ll make it so that resources can be purchased at unfavorable rates (encouraging cooperation), but allow factions to purchase sources of “natural resources.”

Still thinking about it.