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Okay, so you've been accepted into the game, and you're ready to face a system unlike any other. Are you ready? Going into FactionRPG, you might be a bit overwhelmed or confused on how to begin. Don't worry. The game tends to flow pretty naturally once you get started, but if you want a gameplay guide, here's a little something to get you started.
When building your faction, it is important to consider the face that you will represent to the public, and the full import of all the assets which you have placed on the table. The value of hidden assets is something to consider heavily. Any asset which is not hidden can be targeted by other assets, and either destroyed or compromised. One of the first issues to consider is that low-value assets are vulnerable to attack. Damage, however, is not your primary concern. Rather, Infiltrate attacks against low-value assets can render your hidden assets suddenly...unhidden. And you'll be none the wider, stripped of secrecy like the Emperor in his new clothes. So, although it may seem counterintuitive, it's actually sometimes better not to hide your more powerful assets, instead saving points for weaker assets to maintain secrecy.
On the other hand, your public face might be an even more concealed one, hiding away your ace in the hole, a massively powerful asset that you plan to spring upon the foe. Without low-value assets to be infiltrated, your own massive asset should be roughly safe. For now. This also provides a simple way around the problem of infiltration attacks: if you keep a low-value asset visible, and surround yourself with high-value assets in the shadows, using Enhance to boost the defense of that low-value asset, and even increase its value, while your low-value asset conducts operations without suffering the penalty for being hidden. It's all up to personal taste.
Your public face, however, will be very important. Have a lot of visible assets, and you give the impression that your faction is quite possibly very vast, or else you have a lot of confidence or a lot of help from other factions. This face will affect the tone of your negotiations, which I'll discuss in a section later. It's good to emphasize, though, that secrecy is an important factor in your strategy.
Sample Builds (content to be added later)
There's a few concepts which you'll find to be very helpful. In a way, they are the building blocks of negotiation. The advice here is not truly specific to FactionRPG, but rather general advice that applies in any negotiation situation. Wield these weapons, however, and you'll be a force to reckon with.
What you can see and what you can't see are important to the game. Any game becomes much simpler when you know everything about the players involved. Thus, we come to the first rule of secrecy: More information is always a good thing. The more you know about your opponents, the better you can plan your movements and negotiations. This allows you to potentially blindside them with your superior knowledge, as well as exposing their plans to allies. Profile-sharing is an incredibly valuable resource with regards to this first rule.
Of course, you can't truly blindside someone if they already know that you know, and promptly shroud their assets. This is the second rule of secrecy: Conceal information about yourself as much as possible. This applies most easily to your knowledge of other factions. If you don't need to tell a third party that you have a profile on another faction's asset, secrecy tells you not to do so. Concealing information also means that you have to weigh the cost of shrouding your own assets. By doing so, you weaken them, but you also gain the benefit of concealing information about yourself. This goes under the third rule, however...
Secrecy is not an absolute value. No matter what, you should never strive to keep everything about yourself secret to everyone. Secrecy must always be weighed against the benefits of asset power and also trust. The best way to gain trust with a faction is to commit information about your own faction to them. The benefit that this provides is not easy to measure, and has to be something you figure out.
Commitment is another tool that you can use as a strategy. Players like it when results or attitudes can be guaranteed. When you commit to a course of action, you send a clear signal that influences the decisions of others. A successful commitment strategy will shape the strategies of your opponents, sending an irrevocable message. The first rule of commitment is simple: Never back down. In order for your commitments to have any weight, they have to be very believable. Either this is because you have established a reputation, or because the actions you publicly take send an irreversible message. Also keep in mind the strategy of "burning bridges". When you eliminate escape, you communicate that you have dedicated yourself to a fight. This means that you scare away factions who aren't willing to drag a conflict out into a long fight, and that you can be approached by factions who otherwise wouldn't realize that you are actually against a common foe.
A second rule to follow is this: Do not commit without sacrifice. A commitment without sacrifice is no commitment: it's common sense. If you commit by taking an action which will cause loss to your own cause, such as rendering an asset public. Obviously, a commitment is not to be taken lightly. It can, however, be a very valuable action. One sample of commitment is sharing profiles on your own assets with another faction. A less dangerous form is sharing a profile of an asset belonging to another faction. Keep in mind, though: the more expensive the loss, the larger the commitment displayed.
Finally, Commit for a reason. One of the best reasons to commit is to communicate with unknown factions who have similar interests to your own. If, for instance, you publicly unveil a secret asset belonging to one of the factions, this marks you as an enemy of that faction, which means that this faction's enemies will realize you also have an enmity against them, regardless of what is said. Talk is cheap. Commitment is golden. You could also commit to test another faction's commitment. If you can show them that you are willing to put all of your resources behind a vendetta, they may seek peace terms.