Factions are groups within a fictional universe that are vying for control. This control can be a thing of politics, religion, magic, or other ideology. Some factions tend to get along, while others seek to destroy one another. Some factions wish to do things within the constraints of the law, whereas others seek a more violent and revolutionary approach to things. Consider adding these factions to your game.

  1. Convocation of Thorns: A group of druids which is trying to take over the world using thorn overgrowths. They use their mysterious ability of “speaking through thorns” to coordinate their activities with one another throughout the kingdom. Evidence of their activity can be seen with thorn covered roadways, forests, and castles. Instead of the normal scimitars and sickles druids usually use, this group uses thorn-like rapiers. Their Elven leader is seeking to stop the advancement of the other races by destroying buildings through judicious use of his thorn growth ability.
  2. Brotherhood of The Taint: a group of people and monsters that has willingly accepted The Taint into themselves for the purposes of gaining power. The Taint, when accepted grants an ability based on who or what accepts it, but in exchange expects the individual to spread its message of worldwide destruction. In the upper echelons of the organization, the members are writing masses of living Taint, corrupting or outright destroying anything they touch, The Taint taking completely over who and what they originally were. In order to safely interact with anything, these members of the Tainted need to have suits which contain their overflowing power. Their street level agents, on the other hand, may be subtly influenced, such that even to the point that even the highly observant might not notice.
  3. Musical Maestros: a group of musicians trying to spread their musical masterpieces throughout the world, uniting their power through the music of the spheres. The problem is that not everyone in the group is seeking to create harmony. Some are actually trying to undermine the harmony created and thus shatter the world through their music, and in the chaos that results take over.
  4. The Shields of the Paramour are an ensorcelled group of extremely skilled fighters whose job it is to protect and serve The Paramour, a medusa-siren of untold skill, power, beauty and ambition. Her ambition is to control the Emperor from behind the scenes. She was once a courtesan, but found her calling in influencing the men whom she slept with. Her voice is so alluring the strongest willed men and women succumb to her influence. Her touch is so addicting, so intoxicating that nothing else will due once she touches the person. She has spies hidden throughout the surrounding kingdoms that report back to her what’s going on. Should her ambition and power continue unchecked, she will ascend to the gods. Her personal Shields, unless deep undercover, are known by the full-plate they wear with complete with helmets that completely cover their head without eyeholes.
  5. The Technomancers are a group of mages that use technology to enhance their magic. Their goals are to promote technology, thus replacing the gods. Many of their technological breakthroughs are simple, but work quite effectively. In order to spread their gospel of technology, they have set up factories to mass produce their wares and get them into the hands of the masses. What the people buying these things don’t realize is that by buying and using these trinkets, incorporating them into their lives, they’re subtly buying into the Technomancer’s goals of undermining faith in the gods.   
  6. The Raging Wolves are a group of werewolves that have embraced the curse of lycanthrope and become fearsome warriors in the process, mastering the curse to the extent that they can change at will – even to the point of being able to change some aspects of themselves, while leaving others unchanged. The members of this group are combine this mastery of their lycanthrope with the ability to rage as a barbarian. Their goals are to keep others out of the tundra plains where they reside, unless they’re willing to leave their pristine wilderness alone. They will hunt down those who enter their wilderness with the efficient fury of a pack of wolves on the hunt.
  7. The Monks of Frostburn Reach and the Monks of the Bluestone Caldera are two groups, that at first glance would have nothing in common. The first group lives in the Frostburn mountains seeks to bring cold logic to the world, a place where emotions have no place. To achieve this point, Monks of Frostburn Reach has embraced cold-based powers to suppliment their monk studies and adopted weapons that allow them to climb sheer ice walls effortlessly. The other group lives in the Bluestone Caldera (a place that is geologically similar to Yellowstone National Park for reference) that seeks to embrace all emotions in their extremes. To achieve this point, the Monks of the Bluestone Caldera have embraced fire and earth based powers and adopted weapons what allow them to reach their opponents from afar. The first group seeks apocalypse by ice, the other by fire. Either group, if encountered, may be seen using extreme tactics in order to fulfil their faction’s goals and to recruit others into their cause. If given the means and enough time, either faction may succeed.     
  8. The Void Mages are a group of mages that have been contacted or sought out the Void, which is a malevolent entity that sits at the edge of existence seeking the nonexistence of everything. Destruction is, at day’s end, a poor substitute for wiping everything clean and leaving nothing in its place. Their magics unravel the very fabric of reality, warping existence into something unrecognizable, all the while leaving the mage in full control of the situation.
  9. The Chess Masters are a group of elite strategists who seek to control fate of the kingdoms through the armies they wield. They don’t care about the individuals whose entire lives they have changed through their machinations when they have lost. They simply disappear in the confusion and pick another king to influence. They can often be identified by their chess motifs.
  10. The Maiden’s Valkyries are an exclusive and effective group of female warriors chosen by the Maiden, a mysterious becloaked figure who sets them on missions in their dreams for a cause only she is aware of. Due to the nature of their meetings, only they are aware of their secret mission. Until they are to act on the mission, no one suspects who they are. When their mission is activated their apparel changes in a flash of light and they become fully armed and armored. After their mission is over, the change is reversed and they leave, no one the wiser.
  11. The Society of the Plague is a group of individuals dressed in a Plague Doctor costume. But instead of trying to suppress outbreaks of the Plague, they actually infect people, and use their abilities to make the strains that people are carrying more virulent. Even in areas that Plague Doctors are known to be, they can be found out by an increase in the cases in areas where they visit. If confronted, they will try to infect their attackers before escaping.

 

Look over these different factions, and find some ways to use them to add world changing politics, magic, disease, or mystery to your game.

 

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  • Tim Baker

    These may make good 13th Age icons for folks who are looking for an alternative to the default Dragon Empire setting.

  • MTi

    Oh the possibilities!!!

    The Chess Masters is really, really interesting. They can combined with Game of Thrones or Game of Houses (from the Wheel of Time series) intrigue.

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