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For continued inspiration along the lines of threads like "Design a God for PE", "Design a Monster", "magic weapons in PE" and "creatures in PE" I thought it might be fun to share our ideas for a faction or organisation in PE.

 

Guidelines:

Mention the Name of the organisation, some of its history, its goals and practises, and how the player might encounter the faction ingame.

 

I'll start.

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The Skywatchers

The Skywatchers is a cult of monks seeking portends and omens in the clouds.

Many years ago, let's say lost in time, a monk of great wisdom and power was meditating in the clouded mountains.

It was during this trance that he noticed a story transpire in the clouds. A great and ancient battle was slowly wafting past him.

 

Naturally he mentioned this when next he came down for resupply.

And naturally he was ridiculed and hounded for it.

Returning to his perch he tried to see what he saw before. But nothing came.

Rather than dismiss it as a moment of madness, he kept at it, until eventually in trance, he saw another story

A knight galloping across a field of flames. It was a different story, out of another time.

Over time, he began to attune his senses to the clouds

And when eventually he came down, he declared

 

"Tomorrow this kingdom will end"

 

suffice it to say that he was right, and he was ignored no more.

It was from then that the cult of Skywatchers was founded, they are found on high purchases and in open fields, watching. Most of the time nothing much happens. They might chuckle at an amusing cloud story or shed a tear at an ancient drama being displayed in the sky.

 

but occasionally, rarely, the clouds are prophetic, and the sky-watchers move.

 

They meet annually and freely share what they've learned, and record it vigorously. Every tale, every event, and every portend. And they then seek out those whom they believe it applies to, in order to inform them.

 

Ever esoteric, they're mostly left alone and ignored. A farmer in a field will be wise enough to plow around the madman lying in his field staring at the sky, day and night, and in the rain, and even on a mostly cloudless day.

 

Some of the Skywatchers find it more convenient to hermitage(?) themselves. One of the wealthier students has built an observatory and imaging implements to record the shapes.

 

Mostly the Skywatchers are valued for their contributions outside their more bizarre habits; Expert meteorologists, bird and insect experts, astronomers, and story tellers, the Skywatchers have plenty of time to develop these other skills for which they are known. And while they are useless most of the time, they contribute enough to maintain their standing as eccentric, but learned men.

 

The player might encounter a Skywatcher out on his travels, looking up and mumbling incoherently "I already know that one", may consult one for information about a local insect plague or what lovely weather it is, or a crackpot might come at the player and tell him He's the long lost heir to lord mcfuddlysomethingskinstonderpson.

Colourful characters, the most interesting time to encounter them is on their annual meeting, in a beautiful open air observatory built by one of the wealthier members, where they have debates on varying topics and, as the evening wears on and they get drunk, the unfairness of being such unappreciated geniuses.


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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Truculent Onion Raiders

 

This is an aggrieved faction of Orlan farmers who had their land holdings unfairly pilfered, ruined, and outright stolen by other races. They now engage in a form of guerrilla warfare by raiding the stocks of lands they still consider their own: destroying crops, stealing poultry, breaking eggs, burning barns, filling in wells, and crippling livestock. They make very effective use of converted farm implements as weapons, including flails, forks, and scythes. To conceal their intentions, the TOR employ a specialized farmer's cant/slang that involves frequent references to various vegetables and farming terms.

Edited by rjshae
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"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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There's no law against anyone killing themselves.

or risking their life voluntarily.

 

And there's more idiots than we need anyway.

So why not make a buck of off them?

 

Unregulated by the Church of Ladamo, the ring of the fierce is an organisation which thrives on voluntary bloodsport. They have four arenas in which anyone can join and try their luck in fights to first blood, fights till someone gives up, and, most profitable of all, fights to the death.

 

There's single combat, there's tag team combat, there's team combat, there's free for all, and all of it for the entertainment of a bloodthirsty and most importantly, paying crowd.

 

Anyone can join, though the entry fee is designed to scare of the weak and the desperate, around this a criminal enterprise has arisen to provide the entry fee to the desperate souls, in order for part of the winnings. More 'Athletes' are indebted to the thieves guild than participate on their own merit. Slave owners have been known to enter their slaves into the fights. the "to the death" part would discourage match-fixing, except that some entrants are truly desperate to save their families, so even match fixing occurs.

 

It doesn't matter, "the crowd goes wild" and money keeps flowing.

 

Participation has a few rules. Don't leave town while you're still in the race. A contract lasts for five fights, almost no-one lasts more than eight fights, though a few well organised teams are currently standing on fifteen. And only rely on your own skill and weapons. Failure to kill an opponent in a deathmatch when he's defeated incurs a steep penalty from management.

Participants get free food and accommodation around the ring. And the popular gladiators are encouraged to go to certain establishments, where their presence attracts fans who eagerly will buy them a next round.

Not appearing for a fight will incur a penalty so steep that only an idiot will think of crossing The Ring of the Fierce.

Any person winning ten fights gets a Fierce token for which they can come and go to the arena and its related establishments for free, and always get a spot in a fight if they so choose. Such a token will come with a fair bit of reputation as well.

 

While the church of Ladamo is currently not in control, they are trying to get a foothold in the business, and they're either trying to sabotage, stop or overtake the organisation

 

Some find the practise barbaric, but it's hard to argue with the revenue The Ring of the Fierce makes, and smaller arena's have been cropping up across the land, and find themselves quickly under the "protection" of the RotF.

In time they might find themselves the victims of their own success, but for now, times are good.

 

The Ring of the Fierce does hire guards, bouncers, bodyguards, scouts and recruiters, and they maintain an understanding with local organised crime, allowing free access to 'evaluators' who come to check out the fighters and calculate the odds. In return, the RotF gets part of the proceeds. It's a mutually beneficent business arrangement: The RotF doesn't get into an expensive fight with organised crime, and together they make a strong fist against any working against their interest.

 

The player might encounter the Rotf as a participant in one of their arenas, work for the organisation collecting debts, finding recruits, or investigating foul play, or as a member of the organised crime, checking out the fighters, fixing matches, poisoning athletes, breaking bones, sabotaging the church of Ladamo. Or as a member of the Church of Ladamo, sabotaging the fights, coercing or persuading officials to install the church as arbiter of either the gambling, the refereeing, or the entire practise.

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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Btw, many of the posts in the "Design a god for PE" thread would also constitute a faction. If there's a demand for it, I will post some of those here.


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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Wizards are good at everything

At least that's what they believe. Some of these wizards have chosen to employ their vast skill in a mercenary way.

 

They are assassins.

The Cabal of Borders is a powerful organisation, whose goal is to keep any political powerhouse in check, weak, resentful of their opponents, and angry. Because angry, weak, and ambitious men and women make for the best customers.

 

While the group has their own goals, the assassination business funds much of their work, and it has become the main source of power and revenue for an organisation controlled by wizards who, ultimately, only see it as a means to an end.

 

But the world's population is growing, new lands are constantly being discovered, and organisations of all kinds are racing to claim them. And that inevitably leads to conflict.

 

And conflict is the Cabal of Borders' business.

The Clergy of Hezeng wishes to rule a trade port currently under the administration of the clergy of Hocard?

The Cabal might be contacted

The Ring of the Fierce is tired of the encroaching Church of Ladamo?

The Cabal is willing to help

 

As long as no-one wins, the Cabal wins, and so they only accept destabilising work, though obviously this is not something they advertise.

 

The Cabal recruits capable assassins, people of all walks of life, to do the dirty work. The Cabal wishes to infiltrate most organisations, because work is much much easier if you already have someone in place when a contract comes. More importantly, it's one of the ways the organisation learns of job opportunities, while remaining in the shadows themselves.

 

Payment is up front, there's no promise of success, and there is never to be any contact between the parties except through intermediaries and anonymous communications.

 

In a nondescript basement, locked by many mechanisms, the Cabal has their weapon of last resort, rarely used, it's a monster of their creation called the Madness Assassin

They don't like to use it, more often than not it's more trouble than it's worth.

But... For the right price...

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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The smiths guild

 

Goldsmiths, blacksmiths, armour smiths, weapon smiths, foundries, all of them are likely to be member of the smiths guild.

The guild protects its members by setting standards of quality and pay, by insuring members against fire, by stockpiling resources to hold the members over during times of scarcity, by cataloguing knowledge, by finding apprentices for masters and journeymen, and finding masters and journeymen for would be apprentices. And by sharing large orders, so the orders can be filled faster, and work can be shared amongst members.

 

Which is especially useful if a minor lordling suddenly decides to outfit his entire little army, or the Clergy of Hezeng founds a new port city and needs a large amount of work done.

 

Yes, in a world of craftsmen, guilds make sense.

 

Entrance into the guild is fairly easy: if you practise any kind of smithing you better pay the fee and join. If you wish to apprentice your second son, you can present him at the guild-hall.

 

The guild has the ear of the local rulers, and works as a union for the smiths.

Membership is divided into parts: Members (further divided into Apprentice, Journeyman, Master, Grandmaster-which holds automatic promotion to upper council member) guild's upper council, all grandmasters, every member with at least twenty journeymen working for him, and members of excellence, which is basically a reward for meritorious deeds done for the guild, rarely given out, and sometimes political in nature. And lastly, there's the guild's administration. The administrators don't hold any vote and are just employees running the day to day affairs of the organisation. Although the lead administrator holds a council seat.

 

Apprenticeships last about four years, after which an apprentice has to demonstrate his abilities with an apprentice piece, after which he is promoted to journeyman

Journeymen are allowed to set up their own business, or continue working for a master.

In order to become a master, you're expected to have worked for at least fifteen years (exceptions are made) have your own business establishment, and employ at least five journeymen and two apprentices at any given time.

A master can become a grandmaster by making a masterpiece. A masterpiece demonstrates not only his exceptional abilities, but is expected to be something special, something which furthers the trade by offering new invention, new application, and exceptional quality. (such as a new firing method for steel)

 

Some Grandmasters hardly work anymore, as it is a title for life, and comes with a guild-paid pension(basically tenure)

Amongst these is a grandmasters is a weaponsmith who has an eye for those exceptionally bright souls who can create their own identity weapons. He cultivates them for his own pleasure, and because he appreciates skill. It is a rare honour to be trained by this grandmaster.

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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You hash these things out pretty nicely, JFSOCC. :)

 

I'll try my hand... (This is based upon the "Souls" section of the Project Eternity Wiki. I took some liberties with any details not provided there.)

 

 

The Twiceborn

 

More a bestowed label for a class of people than a chosen name for a faction, the Twiceborn are those individuals within which multiple souls coexist. In most known cases, ancillary souls are bound to the host vessel at some point after birth, though in very rare instances the souls may be born directly into the host. Any known instance of a 2nd ancillary soul binding to a host has resulted in the death of the host. There are those who would study and better understand this entire phenomenon, but most of the Twiceborn are met with fear, scorn, and even panicked hostility. They are sometimes referred to as Echoes, usually with derogatory intent. Interestingly, certain Twiceborn claim superiority over "normal" folk, and often refer to them as Halfborn.

 

For these reasons, the Twiceborn tend to keep to themselves and attract as little attention as possible, which can be quite difficult depending on the nature of the ancillary soul. At times, it is more fragment than whole (a "vagrant" soul), causing rather unpredictable bouts of behavior or the sporadic activation of dormant abilities (sometimes leading to fires, injuries, or deaths). Those bearing such a fragment are sometimes called Whispers. In other cases, the ancillary soul is "awakened" and constitutes a complete consciousness, memories and all. An awakened soul may share the vessel peacefully with the "prime" soul, or there may be a conflict for dominance. A Twiceborn bearing an awakened ancillary soul is referred to by some as a Prolific. Those Prolific who are deemed stable enough are often hired as bodyguards or agents by the rich and/or "important," as they tend to possess abilities and potency far beyond that of most singular souls.

 

Despite many Twiceborn not claiming any affiliation, there are those among them, calling themselves The Kindred, who collaborate in relative secrecy for the benefit of all Twiceborn. This includes the accommodation and care of troubled Whispers, as well as the containment of reckless Prolific who would serve (intentionally or not) to tarnish the already bleak social status of their brethren. The majority of their battles, however, are fought against various religious groups. Almost all negative perception of the Twiceborn can be traced to major religious groups, from the belief that they're spiritually unclean and are being justly punished by the gods to the belief that they're affiliated with Necromancy or are seeds of evil itself.

 

 

 

And because forum morale is important, I propose:

 

The Gilders Guild

 

"Making non-gold things gold since 2493 AI."

Edited by Lephys
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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Mind Streamers

 

A society of Ciphers who believe that the true form of the universe is veiled from physical senses so they perceive the world solely through their minds. They sail through the waves of thought emanated by all sentient beings, reach into the darkest depths of the mindscape, pierce hidden realities, and trace upon strands of fate connecting all souls.

 

Prospective members must undergo an extensive training process in which they endure prolonged periods of isolation and sensory deprivation. If they pass the trials and are initiated into the society, they are allowed to return to the outside world but they must have their entire body wrapped up in special cloth to prevent them from using their physical senses. They must rely almost entirely on their psychic powers to perceive and interact with the world. Any exposure or accidental use of their physical senses can greatly hinder the development of their psionic capabilities.

 

If an initiate is able to completely avoid using their physical senses for a year, they are elevated to the level of adept. Over time, the adept's psychic powers increase dramatically but their physical senses and abilities begin to atrophy. Typically, their psychic powers increases relative to the loss of their physical senses and capabilities. When an adept permanently loses all five physical senses, hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch, they are elevated to the level of master. It is believed that the most powerful and experienced Mind Streamers are able to achieve psionic apotheosis by completely freeing themselves of their physical forms.

 

Some initiates also choose a more harrowing path that allows for faster ascension of their psychic prowess. Instead of waiting for their physical senses to atrophy, they elect to remove or destroy their sensory organs, most often one by one but sometimes eliminating all senses at once. Such an abrupt and permanent change to their perceptive faculties allows their psionic powers to grow unrestricted. Thus they are able to fulfill their potential much faster than other initiates and can often reach even greater mastery of their mental skills. However, some cannot handle the sudden change and suffer mental breakdowns.

 

The psionic capabilities of Mind Streamers are significantly more impressive than that of normal Ciphers. They are able to focus their telepathic abilities to perceive light, sound, smells, and objects that are far beyond the limitations of physical senses. Their ability to reach into the minds of others is unparalleled and they can pierce into the depth of one's soul with but a thought. Although they have allowed their bodies to deteriorate, they can use their telekinetic powers to augment their physical capabilities so that they can react as fast as they can think or increase their strength through will power. Some Streamers are even believed to possess true precognitive abilities.

 

Despite their great psionic prowess, they also have many weaknesses. Their powers require a great deal of concentration and they cannot focus on one ability or sense without sacrificing others. Their more powerful abilities are very draining and can only be maintained for short periods of time. They are also completely helpless if their psychic abilities are somehow blocked or disabled.

 

Mind Streamers congregate in confluxes of unusual energy, where other worlds and planes of existence permeate through the membranes of this reality. Their bastions are shrouded in illusions with architecture unbound by the laws of nature. Though they value their privacy, they do not actively try to hide their existence. Some Mind Streamers also offer their services to others, often as detectives and investigators. They can find for others objects that have been hidden, lost, or forgotten, whether it be ancient artifacts, arcane lore, or things more esoteric and ephemeral such as fleeting dreams, idle thoughts, or even lost souls.

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 Although they have allowed their bodies to deteriorate, they can use their telekinetic powers to augment their physical capabilities so that they can react as fast as they can think or increase their strength through will power. Some Streamers are even believed to possess true precognitive abilities.

That is the only part I dislike, because it's too overpowered. Otherwise, cool :)


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
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Brotherhood of the Black Lotus

 

The Brotherhood is a xenophobic order of monks who live in a mountaintop citadel that is only accessible by wicker basket. They are ancient exiles from a larger sect who came to this isolated place to nurture their dark secrets and escape persecution. In their cloud capped complex, the monks strive for ultimate power by training vigorously day and night and praying to their merciless god who they believe grants them their powers.

 

The cruel training routines of the Black Lotus are the stuff of dark legend; the rigorous routines, harsh environment and reduced oxygen often kills acolytes, ensuring that only the very strongest advance to become full adepts. The rituals to advance in rank involve months of fasting, praying and endurance running, followed by days long stretches in the lotus position without any food or water, stretching their physical endurance to the absolute limit. New recruits are tattooed with a black lotus flower on their forehead, and teardrops running down the face indicate those of advanced rank.

 

When the monks travel to settlements to get supplies, they are greatly feared by the locals as they are often arrogant and quick to redress any perceived insults with physical force. Their training gives them amazing endurance in the comparatively warm and high oxygen environment, and their combat skills are based on ancient, forbidden techniques and honed by a century of Black Lotus experimentation.

 

The Black Lotus have many secrets besides their combat training, as they have delved deeply into the forbidden arts of resurrection. The monks have discovered a method to trap the soul before it can leave its body in a magical gem, eventually allowing the soul to control the body from afar - but there are some problems with the procedure. Firstly, the person must undergo a lengthy ritual designed to eliminate all traces of fat and water from the body, a process so agonizing and harrowing that only a long time Black Lotus devotee could hope to survive long enough to complete it. Once the soul is ensnared, it doesn't automatically have a strong enough connection to the body to direct it, which turns the body into an out of control killing machine - so the monks bury the body for years until the soul can form a connection. Finally, the method is not foolproof and does result in some degradation of the personality. In some cases, the subject must be destroyed as the person is too damaged to ever regain themselves. Despite these shortcomings, they have used the method to preserve their leader and he rules the Black Lotus to this day.

Edited by maggotheart
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Your party has set down at a fine establishment after a long day of travel.

You're exhausted, and in need of some good entertainment and
some solid food. The troupe does OK, but its nothing special.

The musicians take a break.

A man walks on stage, suddenly it's getting quieter.

In a flourish, the lights are somewhat dimmed. the last voices are stilled.

The man's voice is soft, yet it reaches the ears all the way in the back

"On my honour as a man," the ritualistic words begin "I swear this tale is true"

"It was not too long ago, in Dyrwood, that I came across a man..."

 

When the tale finishes, you're almost astounded to find yourself at a table,
your food is cold, untouched, and your head is full with questions. But when you try to find the man who held his audience rapt attention, he's
gone. The innkeep smiles "He'll be back sometime. He pays a silver for any story he hasn't heard before."

 

The Hakawati are storytellers.

They travel the world, and they seek more stories to tell. They love myth, fables, epics, poetry and jokes but mostly, they love true stories.

 

Expert story tellers, they've got an ear for the interesting ones. They seem nomadic, but do have a base of power, unbeknownst to most.

(a fairly secluded mansion in the middle of Big Big city 2, walled and only accessible by those wearing the Hakawati uniform and knowing the codes.)

You see, the Hakawati might go out to tell and seek stories, to serve as biographers and scribes, as bards and entertainers, but they always come back home

And they commit their stories to paper as they were committed to memory.

 

And they know many secrets.

An offshoot of the Church of Hocard They are led by a mysterious figure (yay)

Who uses the vast knowledge of the true tales to further her own power. She's known as the talespinster.

And she uses the tales her cult learn, to stir people to action, character assassinate powerful politicians, to mock and destroy them in the eyes
of the public. But also to build tragic heroes. Or move public opinion. She does this to help those in power she believes are more deserving of it.

And while she entertains the masses, she subtly influences them. Making some lords unpopular, while boosting others.

 

And she NEVER uses lies.

On her honour, all tales are true.

 

Her Hakawati serve as her agents, as her spies. Because if someone has a tale to tell, a Hakawati will listen. And people love to tell Hakawati
their tales.

And so these storytellers get to be privy to all the dirty court intrigue, the rumour mill of the commoners, the windfalls of entrepreneurs, the life story of scouts and soldiers and
officials and whatever secrets they didn't realise were valuable.

 

And so her library of tales grows, filled with trade secrets, personal secrets, political intrigue, business opportunities, a criminal database, a database filled with useful people.

And since no-one knows the true nature of the Hakawati, not even the lower ranked Hakawati themselves, they remain loved for the services they
provide. As scribes, as entertainers, as biographers, as rumourmongers.

 

They keep doing their work, and the right things happen.

 

A player will encounter the Hakawati when they have an interesting tale to tell, which the Hakawati are eager for, or when a story or rumour the Hakawati tell leads the party to a quest (which the Hakawati might have orders to move someone to do) and then back for more potentially rewarding rumours. Or if the player wishes to join or are asked to join
the faction, which will require some impressive speech skills.

 

It is unlikely the player will ever encounter the talespinster directly or learn of her ultimate designs (though maybe in the sequel)

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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The Reminiscant - A society dedicated to recovering and reawakening memories, talents, and knowledge from past incarnations. They believe that this pursuit is not only pratical, but enlightens individuals by aiding them in transcending time, place, and other divisions such as race and gender.

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The Generic Shady Badasses

 

This once powerful and respected guild of criminals has fallen upon hard times, and has been forced to retreat into the shadows. Inevitably however, rumor of their existence survives but naturally all authority figures simply laugh off such preposterous propositions. Don't let yourself be fooled; these guys definitely have a secret hideout somewhere. Maybe if you happen to run around committing random acts of violence or crime they may take notice of you, or perhaps they have you marked as a potential initiate from the beginning. The hideout has some intricate mechanism allowing only those that possess a certain mark or code to enter, and is probably located in the sewers or some other dark location where property value is low. Whether they claim to feed the appetite of some kind of evil deity, or to be contract killers, freelance pickpockets, or quasi-Robin Hood figures, rest assured that the one real reason that anyone would bother to join this organization is simply to bolster their dark and/or evil persona and to try to look badass. Let's not forget: evil people are just as capable of friendship and brotherhood as good people, but they are a bit less trusting and more exclusive, which likely means a set of trials for anyone aspiring to join their ranks. The most important indicator of such a group is some sort of dark-colored costume resembling Batman, or a hooded cloak (which may be referred to as a shroud), although there are some cases that they instead to wear normal clothing so that they can blend into the crowd. Even though this organization will usually offer some nice rewards and entertaining quests, the only real reason you should consider having your character join is if you conceived the character as a generic shady badass in some kind of transparent effort to make a glorified self-insert character that matches your own lack of strength and book smarts.

Edited by mcmanusaur

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Your boundless wit has once again served you well in showing how inferior we are for wishing to roleplay shady badasses with self insert characters. But I was hoping you'd contribute something more serious. Your mocking tone suggests you know better, so show it.

------

The Horticulturists

 

A bit of a misnomer, but the name stuck.

 

A group of rich second and third sons travelling the world seeking butterflies and orchids for their gardens back in the old world.

Styling themselves quite the naturalists, the horticulturist work alone, hiring locals in a constant quest for one-upmanship in collection specimen of species not seen in the old world, and crating them back to their homeland.

Love of adventure, a romantic world view, more money than sense, and an overbearing parent to escape from and desire to make proud is all you need to join. But mostly it's a small club of gentlemen who know each other and are in friendly competition for finding the most exotic animals and plants.

 

They've established an institute for flora and fauna near Big Big city 1, where a fine, large and well tended garden and greenhouse is built as the centrepiece of the Institute.

All these old boys have their finds delivered here, where they are catalogued, studied and released into the ever growing garden complex. Eventually the animals and plants are intended to be moved back to old country. but until then, the institute is growing, as is our knowledge of these magnificent lands.

 

That the locals look at the horticulturists with amused curiosity seems to be lost on them. Ooh-ing and ah-ing at critters even a child knows are as common and quite possibly, part of a plague.

That said, the institute has some exceptional specimen, and exquisite drawings of plants and animals encountered in the wild, a taxidermy department which would humble the most devout hunter, and they're paying the bills of these expeditions without any complaints or even questions.

You gotta love old money.

 

The player might encounter the Horticulturists in the middle of the wilds, on an expedition, or in a small frontier town, trying to hire the locals, or hearing of their desire for unique specimen, might provide them at their Institute building. The player might be hired as protection for these expeditions, especially rangers and druids are popular candidates, as they can help like no other.

 

A player can join the faction of Horticulturists freely, if they can cough up the annual fee for the Institute to help pay for the maintenance of the grounds, which requires a fair amount of gardeners, the salaries of the experts and taxidermists and the like. And is required to provide the insitute with at least one unique specimen of animal and plant each year. Expeditions you'll have to fund yourself.

Standing within the institute is purely based on merit, with the standing determined by total number of species brought into the organisation.

 

Because of their old-world money, the organisation has many high-society connections and anyone desiring to climb the social ladder could consider the institute as an opportunity to do so. As the old-boy network maintains cordial relations with many high born nobles and some powerful organisations patronise the institute.


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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The Colourists
 
The Colourists are a strange but eh... colourful group.
The Colourists are a group of artists who wish to do away with all drabness in society. No more brown and grey, They wish to see a riot of colours.
Oh sure, the colours may complement and compliment each other.
But the time has come for colour.
 
Generally seen as a minor nuisance, these eccentric pranksters are considered vandals by some, as their graffiti is considered to deface some of the buildings.
And finding your home painted orange and blue overnight might come as a shock to some.
 
Society has varied views on the Colourists, some find their eccentric pranks to be amusing, others hate them with a passion, some find them merely annoying, and others consider their work to be art.
 
Although sometimes arrested for vandalism, the Colourists don't see what they're doing as criminal, but rather as "sprucing up the place" And as a public service.
 
There's a group of them that hangs around in one of the Big Taverns, There they discuss art, with each other and anyone who gets dragged into the conversation, it's where they tease each other with friendly challenges, and tell tales of their exploits. This includes the frequent prison visits some members seem to be willing to suffer for their art.
The quality of the Colourists' "art" varies by member. Some create intricate paintings on the walls of a building, while others merely find buckets of paint, and pour it from the roof of an unsuspecting victim's house.
Mostly they do target the uglier areas in town, but not every members seems to 'get it', which is why the reputation of the Colourists is so varied.
Most recently, one of the less appreciated deeds was to repaint the expert friezes of the Temple of Hocard. This did not go down well. And while the merry band of Colourists have debated to keep some of their members in check, there's no real leadership and they can't stop any of their members from doing what they want.
Besides, your standing and reputation in the Colourists is determined by your guts. And it takes a lot of guts to paint that hideous town hall overnight, more so than some house in the slums
 
Joining the Colourists is as easy as painting a building in bright colours. (preferably one you don't own)
and then bragging about it in the tavern, where a constant game of inebriation and one-upmanship is taking place.
Colourists are dressed in bright and mostly fine clothes of superior quality, though the poor are just as welcome as the rich.
They're an eccentric and friendly bunch, prone to mischief and trouble.
 
Currently the debate is about what colour is superior, Red and Blue are dominating the discussion, and allegiances within the group are shown on your sleeve, literally, since the colour you dress in denotes the allegiance (Bloods and Crips)
 
The player may encounter the Colourists by helping one of them find a patron while working for the church of Goh, By getting drawn into the pointless debates while visiting the tavern they frequent, by hearing "it's the guards! RUN!" and seeing a few colourful idiots run past you streaming paint and leaving behind a partially painted wall, by being asked to investigate the vandals who defaced the temple of Hocard, or by finding your player-house suddenly more colourful than you left it.
 
The Colourists could perhaps benefit from a better leadership structure, rules and regulations, a patron, or a real job. Or perhaps their art flourishes only without societal constraints. Joining the Colourists, the player could influence the future of the organisation, and it's eventual power.

Edited by JFSOCC
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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
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The Paintakers

 

A group of disciplined women which derive their powers from suffering great pain. They're constantly maintain a level of agony close to the edge of their sanity. Slightly more pain, and their mind breaks and they go completely mental, Slightly less pain and their impressive skills falter.

 

The Paintakers have found a technique by which they can draw out the pain of others and feel it themselves. This does not negate the damage suffered one whit.

The Paintakers train as healers and fighters both,

They train as healers because that is how they make a living. It is easier to operate on someone who doesn't feel pain, and this is a good way to stock up on the exquisite torture.

The Paintakers fight by striking the weakest parts of their enemies body (here the medical training helps a great deal) and their enemies won't even know how badly they're hurt until it is too late. (Should the player find themselves in combat with a paintaker, their displayed health won't change but their actual health will)

 

The Paintakers only take women on as trainees, though for some reason, very few are interested. They can be found anywhere where healing is known to be done. (battlefields, hospitals, some temples, etc)


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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Eternal Lords and the Twilight Sentinels

 

The Eternal Lords are an ancient cabal of powerful necromancers and undead who established the laws of necromancy and the Twilight Sentinels are a combined intelligence, police, and military force created to enforce those laws.

 

The Eternal Lords have witnessed the rise and fall of countless necromancers. They have seen every nation united against the necromantic orders and they have seen the undead sweep across the world and nearly snuff out all life. Neither scenario appeals to them. They do not wish the vast knowledge and wisdom of the necromantic orders to be lost nor do they wish to see the world become a barren inert wasteland without progress or growth. They want the necromantic orders to thrive along with the rest of the world.

 

Despite their goals, they do not serve some vague notion of balance. Their concerns are practical and sometimes utilitarian. They are fully aware of how the powers of necromancy can fuel one's ambition and how a necromancer's isolation from the living world can drive them towards callousness and insanity. They also know of the fear and hatred that many harbor against necromancers and the undead, and how it can lead to persecution of those who practice the craft. They see the danger on both extremes and wish to avoid them.

 

The Eternal Lords believe that in order to prevent conflict between necromancers and the rest of the world, they must ensure that necromancy is integrated into society and becomes a useful if not integral part of people's lives. To this end, they have established a set of laws and codes of conduct for necromancers to follow and the Twilight Sentinels were created to enforce these laws. The laws stimulate that necromancers can only operate in regions where they are allowed by the local government. There are precise restrictions on who necromancers are allowed to raise. They can raise those who agree to become undead and contracts must be drawn. They may only raise the unwilling when the person is a condemned criminal or brigand, and occasionally they are allowed to raise enemy soldiers who die in wars. They may (and are encouraged to) lend their undead minions to perform duties for the public good such as working in areas hazardous for the living, carrying out dangerous jobs, and protecting people from bandits and wild animals. They must also avoid necromancers who violate these laws.

 

The Twilight Sentinels work mainly to enforce the laws of necromancy and hunt down violators but they do not force anyone to serve the Eternal Lords nor do they require necromancers to be initiated by them. They will also try to compensate people for damage done by rogue necromancers and undead. Over time, the Eternal Lords have expanded the operations of the Twilight Sentinels in an effort to increase people's acceptance of necromancy by having them help the local populous with other problems or working as mercenaries to protect them from outlaws or other dangers.

 

The Twilight Sentinels have bastions in many of the cities and towns that accepts their presence, as well as locations near where necromancers are known to operate. They recruit people of almost all professions, even artists and bards, and any law abiding person can work for them. One does not need to join them in order to work for them as they offer independent contracts. However, joining them has many benefits and opens many additional opportunities. In order to join, one must prove their worthiness to the organization and sign a contract pledging to serve them when called, follow their code, and to never reveal their secrets to outsiders. Termination of the contract is possible but may carry a price based on someone's position within the organization and violations carry heavy punishments. Being a part of the organization means access to their bases, stores, teachers, as well as better paying but more dangerous missions. However, the true benefit of membership is access to necromantic orders and undead societies that are friendly to the Twilight Sentinels. Many of these societies have masters of many different crafts such as artists, smiths, mages, and warriors, all of whom possess unrivaled knowledge and skill earned over many centuries, and some of whom are willing to sell their knowledge or services.

 

Although they possess great power and influence, Eternal Lords are by no means the absolute authority on necromancy and there are many places beyond the reach of the Twilight Sentinels so the enforcement of their laws is not always guaranteed. While some necromancers follow the laws for fear of punishment, many do it willingly because the increased acceptance of their craft has diminished public fear and hatred against them and has allowed them to operate more openly without fear of persecution.

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The Cartel

 

A collection of big and influential companies and other organizations that together control the markets, prices, distribution of both legal and illegal wares. Through this network, most things can be obtained, slaves, food, drugs, clothes, weapons, medicine, etc. They operate in all the big cities, and if you are new and planning on starting a business, you will have to hope that you get their blessing and accepting their protection is a must. Accept or face dire concequences. Not being a part of this organization can mean anything from "accidents" to your business locales, or "accidents" involving you or your family members. They don't bother with smaller shops or street vendors, they don't pose a threat in the market, but get too much attention and you might get a surprise visit when you least expect it.

 

The Cartel's leaders are focused on business and making as much money as possible. Therefore, they don't use brute force unless it is the only way to convince someone. Threats are very common, but also very effective. Most people know that when the Cartel has visited you, it is most wise to accept. There have been relatively few deaths related to people refusing to join. In some instances, The Cartel simply takes over the business and throws the victim out of their shop right then and there.

 

Telling the authorities what has happened is like hitting a dragon with a feather duster. It is impossible to know who is a member and who isn't. Talking to the wrong person could hurt you even more. The organization has members ranging from noble lords to crime lords. They might loathe eachother, but they do know that working together will fill their pockets.

 

The Cartel has a board consisiting of 8 of the richest people in the regions. This board changes every 3 years. If they are still the richest people, then they can stay in their postion for another three years. Unfortunately, while deaths might not be usual when forcing businessmen to join the organizationl, backstabbings and betrayals whithin the faction are more common. That means that you might rise in power and gain extreme riches, but it is at the risk of losing your life. Many deaths have been recorded that involve betrayals within the faction. One would think that this would weaken The Cartel, but usually the smartest people are usually the ones that survive assassination attempts. If it is found out who is the person behind a failed coup, that person is not killed. Instead they get a tatto on their chest. The tatto is an emblem of The Cartel symbol. He or she are then thrown into a slave camp. Usually, a person that recieves a punishment like this ends up dead in less than a day.

 

The Cartel are so big that the authorities, or at least the honest officials that want nothing to do with them, can't do much. They can sometimes stop a few of their operations, but then The Cartel just pops up in a new place. The biggest probelm with The Cartel is that they can effect most of the markets as much as they want. This means that availability of different items, and the pricing can sometimes hurt the general population. This is expecially evident during troubled times like war. The Cartel thrives in times of war because they can raise the prices of essentail everyday wares to ridicilous prices and make a hefty profit. People are starving? It doesn't matter when you can get extra money from it.

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The Unmakers [Lawful/Neutral Faction]

 

Formed exclusively from godlike lineage, this secretive band of brothers devote their lives to the eternal crusade of dismantling powerful artifacts and scattering them throughout the land.

Ever concealing their identity, The Unmakers tirelessly thwart those who would seek the abuse of power, be they heroes and villains alike. Many a relic-hunter, ambushed and stripped bare, has experienced first hand, the terrifying enigma of...The Unmakers.

Adventure Hook: Reforging constituent parts into a powerful weapon may lead The Unmakers to seek you out. And only a cautious diplomat would dare strike a deal, swearing an oath to return the weapon once a powerful threat has been neutralized.
 

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Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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Alignments, nooooooo!

Faction, nice :)

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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The Society of the Sword

 

This faction started out as a group of honorable mercenaries for hire who wanted to advertise their services to the King and local nobles at a time when the Royal Army was weakened by the events of the Long War. Roving bands of amoral mercenaries were plaguing the country, extorting the king and locals and generally having free reign to do as they pleased while the military was otherwise engaged. They started the Society as a club whose members were bound by certain rules of honor, and who were required to meet certain standards of combat excellence.

 

As time went by and their reputation grew, the King paid them handsomely to deal with the various mercenary bands and bandit gangs who were running rampant through the land, allowing them to expand. By the time the Long War ended and the military was restored to full strength, the Society was firmly entrenched as a feared and respected local force for stability and justice (albeit at the point of a sword).

 

The members of the Society must be fighters, and they train constantly to keep their prowress in battle sharp. They are tough but fair, expensive but effective and neutral in political matters while supporting the stability of the cities where they have chapterhouses. In some places, they act as a local police force if there are none present (for a fee of course). Any member who breaks their rules (by drinking in public, engaging in any criminal behavior or doing anything else that might reflect badly on the Society) are severely sanctioned - up to and including the penalty of death, depending on the severity of the breach. The Society will not accept any mission that might tarnish its reputation or break any of its rules.

 

Some of the best and most well known weapon masters in the land are a part of the Society, and members of the Kings Royal guard and other important positions are sometimes drawn directly from its senior leadership, and vice versa.

 

While the Society is generally respected, there are those who opine that their modern incarnation are too close to the political leadership of the country, and accuse them of murder, deceit and complicity in other crimes. There have been many attempts by more clandestine organizations to tarnish and cripple the Society, or drive a wedge between them and the King.

 

The symbol for the faction is a simple sword standing point up inside an iron ring, representing their martial prowress (the sword), determination (that it stands upright) and humility (the simple design of the sword and iron ring).

Edited by maggotheart
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A thought about factions: rather than just presenting the player with their standings among different factions, make them go and have a few rounds at a pub. The rumor mill will then present their current standings among the neighboring factions.


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Alignments, nooooooo!

Faction, nice :)

 

Sometimes it's easier to describe it the old way, so most folks can see at a glimpse where they fit within a standard scale.  Most factions would obey their own laws, so describing them as lawful is not necessary. But they could also obey the "laws of the land" to some extent, and if those laws clash with their own laws, then they might slide back on the standard scale into what used to be called neutral territory. Either way, it'd be useful to visually see where the party rates within each faction, with some sort of sliding scale, or thermometer.


Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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Sometimes it's easier to describe it the old way, so most folks can see at a glimpse where they fit within a standard scale.  Most factions would obey their own laws, so describing them as lawful is not necessary. But they could also obey the "laws of the land" to some extent, and if those laws clash with their own laws, then they might slide back on the standard scale into what used to be called neutral territory. Either way, it'd be useful to visually see where the party rates within each faction, with some sort of sliding scale, or thermometer.

I'd almost rather not see a linear scale. I mean, you can fear someone and offer them a wide birth, AND you can revere someone and offer them a wide birth. Or, you can want to help someone purely because your interests align (the enemy of my enemy is my friend), or because you actually value them as an ally.

 

So, hmmm... maybe a pie chart, with various aspects (Fear, Adoration, Intrigue, etc.)? Heh. I dunno. I'm being partially silly, but, also, I'm really wondering the best way to represent that.

 

Annnnnnnnywho, we now return you to your regularly-scheduled programming.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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