Friday, April 1, 2011

Factions Part 3

Today we continue enumerating the origins of the Factions we looked at last time and the time before:

The Faberists work for House Solfidley, follow the Seeding Manual's Book of Growth, and desire Revolution. This is a concept I've had kicking around for a while -- it came forefront for a time in the playtest campaign, because one of the PCs is a revolutionary who sees Arbron Solfidley, the revolutionary leader I'd created, as not going nearly far enough. This gave me the central conceit of the Faberists, that they haven't overthrown the government because not enough of them can agree on how to do it or what to replace it with. "Faber" comes from the Latin word "faber," meaning "craftsman" or "smith" -- inspired in part by the character "Faber John" from the obscure young adult book A Tale of Time City (which I really should go back and put in the "inspirations" section of this post. Of note is the Seeding Manual (more on it here), which actually covers two different factions -- my justification is that, like the Bible, different parts of it emphasize different things.. and the Book of Growth can be interpreted to advocate revolution.

The Fallows have their own organization, and follow The Seeding Manual's Book of Fallow, emphasizing a return to nature. Here is the other one based on the Seeding Manual. Here the idea is to relax and find harmony with the world, instead of trying to push it to change like the Faberists. Fallows here is a simple pun of "fallow" -- that is, a farming term meaning "to lie dormant or unused" and "fellows" -- that is, people. I like it.


The Free Agents are associated with the Free Agency (maybe), have no religion, and advocate freedom. They are a non-faction, a semi-demi-group of people who share only the fact that they don't like to be organized into groups. This a notion that is largely to give players an option that's not really a faction, for those who would feel too hemmed in by the factions -- but I may eliminate it and just let players associate with no faction at all... thoughts? Sound off in the comments!


The Godless are associated with the Academy of Artful Sciences and follow Practical Theosophy, aiming to learn about the universe and the gods. As I mentioned in the post on Practical Theosophy, the theosophers are determined to make sense of the universe through the experimental method. I love the idea that these guys have claimed a slur against them -- Godless -- and turned it into their name, much like the gay community has with "queer" and the African-American community with "nigger/nigga." Don't have much else to say on these folks at the moment, except that I really like them.


The Publicans work for House Trelius and practice The Unfortunates Revelation, trying to advance the cause of altruism and philanthropy. Here we have a name -- publicans -- which is an old Latin term that came into my mind unbidden and refused to leave. The original publicans were actually tax collectors, but the use of the word "public" as used today implies charitable work to me, so I'm repurposing the name. "Trelius" again comes from the Everchanging Book of Names (Latin setting), and the Unfortunates Revelation is another splinter off the Church of the Blinding Light, this one specifically created for the Publicans -- and I don't know anything about it except that it emphasizes the plight of the downtrodden.


The Sabercrats work for the Hotblood Gang, follow the Iversdotter Revelation (or possibly not), and work towards imperialism and war. Sabercrat is a fun little word I came up with a while back, as the first political party enumerated for the City. Obviously, it's a portmanteau of "saber" and the suffix -crat (meaning “member of a ruling body,” or “advocate of a particular form of rule” according to Dictionary.com), most familiar to us Americans from the "Democrat" political party. The Sabercrats are an odd duck and may need some rejiggering: on the one hand, most warhawk political parties are made up of the rich and powerful, wanting to increase their power by taking over other countries. On the other hand, the most militant bloodlines I've identified in the City are in the lower and middle-classes: the Kipmen and Iversdotters, and I think the Kipmen deserve a voice, as the other lower-classes have the Faberists (Rurals) and the Egoists (Grate-Scratchers) to represent their interests. Hence the fact that, at least for now, the Sabercrats are associated with the Kipman Hotblood street gang, and follow the Iversdotter Revelation which is, obviously, most closely associated with the Iversdotters. There isn't currently another religion which seems to fit the Sabercrats any better, but the Iversdotter Revelation is also associated with the Thief-Binders [next post. Be patient], and I'm trying not to associate one religion with multiple factions. Of note is that the City of Lives is a trading power, not an imperial one -- but the Sabercrats want to change that, to make the City of Lives the dominant power in the Realms from a purely military standpoint (difficult considering the City has no standing army).

Okay, that's enough for today. Next time, we finish up the Faction "origins" and look at the first Faction in depth