FactionRPG v3.6

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These rules are obsolete. Please see the latest rules here: FactionRPG

FactionRPG is a political roleplaying game in which each player takes on the role of a powerful faction which must work with and against the other powers in the region in order to accomplish its agenda. Everything of value in the game is represented as an asset, and it is by using assets to attack or defend other assets that a faction furthers its goals.

The game is played in two continually alternating phases: a negotiation phase (in which players attempt to collaborate with and mislead each other) and an action phase (in which each player secretly assigns orders to their assets). At the end of each turn the results of the actions are published, the status of all assets is updated, and another round of negotiation begins.

This page discusses FactionRPG's similarities with and differences between both Diplomacy and Primacy.

Contents

Game Play

What is FactionRPG?

A game of FactionRPG is a game of deceit and manipulation, alliances and betrayals, intrigue and politics. The game itself is played out as each player takes on the role of a powerful faction within a region and must negotiate with the other powers in order to accomplish their own, secret goals. Players spend most of the time simply roleplaying with each other, as they send representatives of their factions to communicate with the other factions, and no rules are needed for this. However, at regular real-life intervals, players will be required to commit to how they are actually going to direct their faction's resources to act, regardless of what they have promised to other factions. A deterministic mechanic exists to resolve conflicts that arise between the factions, each player is updated with what they know about the state of the region, and another round of negotiation begins.

In order to keep the game interesting, the stakes are high and the time lines are short. There will be too much to do and not enough time to do it in. You will have to step on the toes of others to get things done, the question is whose toes are you willing to step on and how will you react when, not if, someone steps on yours.

The goal of FactionRPG is to provide a setting-generic, diceless, player versus player, roleplay-intensive game that heavily favours players who co-operate with others instead of trying to resolve conflicts independently. To reflect this the mechanic essentially obligates players to interact with each other because it is simply too difficult to get everything done by yourself: if one faction competes directly with one another, a tie will result in no progress being made on either side. However, two or more factions that combine their efforts will find the mechanic rewards them by making their actions much more difficult to counteract.

The mechanic also attempts to provide a great deal of narrative flavour while remaining relatively simple and extremely generic. Any type of asset, whether it be financial resources, political influence, a team of ninjas, a well-equipped facility, or a fanatical group of followers, can perform any type of action. This is meant to allow players to be extremely creative when explaining how certain assets are able to accomplish certain feats, giving them the ability to tell a rich and interesting story without a letting the mechanic get in their way.

For all this talk of mechanic, the interaction between players as they roleplay members of their factions is the bread and butter of this game. The mechanic exists to adjudicate conflict between players and to provide quantifiable goals with tangible results, but it should never replace or diminish the game's focus on the ongoing dialogue between the various factions.

FactionRPG is a game system designed to model the interaction between entire groups of influence within the same region. The game is played in two continually alternating phases: a negotiation phase and an action phase. During the political phase players interact with each other in-character to deal, scheme, and share (dis)information. Each political phase will end when a real life deadline occurs, at which point all players must have, privately, decided upon the actions they want their assets to perform. Then all of those actions are resolved simultaneously by the game master(s). Players are updated with what their faction knows has happened during the action phase and a new political phase begins.

Each game turn represents about one day's worth of activity in a city, one week's worth of activity in a large region, or one month's worth of activity over a continent, depending on the setting and scope of the particular instance of the game. Though actions are actually going on throughout the day/week/month in-game, all actions are resolved simultaneously as far as the mechanic is concerned.

Negotiation Phase

Players negotiate deals which basically consist of promises regarding which orders will be given to which assets. At this time, profiles and assets may be exchanged. Such negotiations can continue until a real life deadline is reached, at which point trading ceases, all orders and their narrations must be submitted, and the Action Phase begins.

... Victory will hinge on [your] ability to make the right choices or sacrifices... Collaboration... will often turn out to be crucial to winning.

A few rules must thus be observed at all times... Declarations of intent ("I heard those <blasphemous> Saxons are on the march again, I will put them down!") can be made freely; resources ("My Men-at-arms are strong and ready, my Lord") and capabilities ("What a laughably puny Black Knight I see across this bridge!") can all be discussed openly, as long as your comments are general and nonspecific [to the game mechanics].

However, you must never reveal or discuss the explicit values of [your assets or actions], or volunteer any other specific game information not readily available to your fellow players. For example, you should never say, "I have 3 Grails, let me have this one" or "I'll trade your three Fight 2 cards for my Fight 5".

... You should act of your own free will and conscience. Regardless of your brethren's advice, wishes or threats, you may always embark on the course of action of your choice. It is permissible to lie about your intent or your resources at hand (a particularly useful ploy for a Traitor)..."

Shadows Over Camelot Rulebook, Page 8

Action Phase

All of the actions assigned to each asset occur simultaneously, the status of all assets is updated, objectives are checked for completion, intelligence is updated, and a new turn begins. The actions of hidden assets will only be known by factions that have a profile on the hidden asset.

The Action Phase is split into two steps.

Attempt Step

Narrations for all Action Attempts are due at this time. The turn is processed and the results of actions that require result narrations or decisions to be made are given to the appropriate players.

Result Step

If an action has failed, it falls to the defending player to write an Action Result Narration that tells how the action was thwarted. Further, in some cases, players need to make decisions, such as where to distribute value gained from destroying an asset with the Damage action. Once these decisions have been made and the Result Narrations have been submitted, the results of all actions are revealed to the appropriate players and the next round, beginning with a new Negotiation Phase, begins.


Actions

Everything of value in FactionRPG is represented as an asset. Your faction's political, martial, financial, magical, and technological resources as well as any other kind of influence is represented by a number of assets of varying values. The number and value of the assets you control determines the health and influence of your faction. Succeeding in FactionRPG requires players to make the right decisions about how they are going to use their assets to their full potential each turn based on what you are expecting other factions to do with their assets.

Every asset can be assigned a single action each turn, and any asset can be assigned any type of action. In this sense assets are generic, however the in-game description of how assets accomplish actions varies considerably depending on the description of the asset. Actions, and therefore assets, allow you to affect assets that belong to other factions or your own faction, and in doing so accomplish your faction's objectives.

Each asset has a positive number, called its value, which represents how powerful the asset is relative to other assets.

Each asset can either be public or hidden. The actions of public assets are known by all factions. The actions of hidden assets are only known to the faction possessing the asset and any faction that has a profile on the hidden asset. Assets can be hidden using the Shroud action and profiles can be gained on hidden assets using the Infiltrate action. Any faction that possesses a profile on an asset can choose to expose the asset and render it public.

Each asset has a description that is known to all factions that can see the asset.

Action Strength, Asset Defense

  • an Action's Strength = sum of the value of all public assets collaborating on the action <math> + \,</math> half the sum, rounded down, of the value of all hidden assets collaborating on the action
  • an Asset's Defense = value of the targeted asset + the sum of the strength of all Defensive Actions targeting the asset

Targeting Actions

The target of an action must be either:

  • an asset visible to you (either public or one on which you have a profile),
  • an entire faction (this is "a shot in the dark", which randomly targets one of a chosen faction's hidden assets and has no effect if the chosen faction has no hidden assets),
  • or a new 0-value asset (but only when creating new assets using Enhance)

(In)Visibility

Actions are either public or hidden. Public assets, and their actions, are visible to all players. Hidden assets, and their actions, are only visible to their owners and those factions that have a profile of the asset, and to everyone else, those assets are invisible. Hidden actions, therefore, can be anonymous and deniable if the targeted faction does not have a profile on the attacking assets.

Hidden assets only contribute half of their value (rounded down) to the strength of any action they perform. The strength is halved only after all other considerations are taken into account, however. A hidden action will have half the strength (rounded down) the action would have had if it was performed publicly.

A hidden asset may be assigned a public action, in which the asset becomes immediately becomes public and it contributes its full strength to the action. Public assets cannot perform hidden actions. When an asset becomes public, all factions immediately lose their profile on the asset. This is because having a profile on a public asset provides no advantage, and further, if the asset ever becomes hidden all profiles on it would be lost in any case.

Public assets and actions are denoted by being written in bold. Hidden assets and actions are denoted by being written in italics.

The Mob possesses the public asset 2-Thugs and the hidden asset 3-Drug Trade.
The Cops possess the public assets 1-SWAT Team, 1-Beat Cops, and the hidden asset 2-Undercover Officers.
What do I see? Visible Target Invisible Target
Visible Source Attempt and Results Attempt only
Invisible Source tangible Results only nothing

Note that if you can see the Target but not the Source, you will only be informed of tangible results, such as a change in value or a change in ownership. If the attack merely has intangible results, such as a profile being gained on your asset, you will not be informed that the attack even took place. This allows one to spy on a hidden asset without the target knowing that they are being observed.

This is especially relevant when a hidden attack fails. Because there are no tangible results that the defender can see, the defender will not even know that the attack was attempted.

Collaboration

Only by collaborating with other factions can you make use of their specialties. Furthermore, you can accomplish a great deal more when you combine your efforts than if you try to accomplish your goals alone because the strength of your actions will be increased by every asset that participates in it, even if those assets belong to other factions.

In order to collaborate, all assets must be assigned the same action on the same target and each player must explicitly state when assigning the action at least one of the other factions involved. In this way, collaboration can be "chained": two factions can collaborate without knowing that each other is going to collaborate as long they are both linked by a common faction that is collaborating with both of them.

Many players may collaborate on a single action. Beware the potential to be left holding the bag if the factions you intended to collaborate with do not follow through with their commitments.

Note that other factions will only know that assets have collaborated on the same action if they can see at least two of the assets that were involved on the action. In other words, if you use a public asset to collaborate with a hidden asset, those factions who can only see the public action will not know that the action was a collaboration.

(examples needed)

Transferring Assets

By appending "TRANSFER TO (faction)" at the end of an order, the asset will be seized by the named faction after performing its orders.

Narration of Action Attempts

For each asset you control, you must submit a narration for its action in the following format. If more than one of your public assets have exactly the same orders, you may include them in the same narration, but hidden assets must always have their own narrations. Copy and paste the following tags into your post and fill it in as described below.


[fieldset=N-Asset(s)? PUBLIC/HIDDEN? ACTION? N-Target? WITH (faction(s))]narration for this specific asset

[spoiler=Result]
Action Strength = ?
Target Defense = ?
[/spoiler][private=naturax]notes[/private][/fieldset]


N-Asset(s)
the value and name of the asset(s) attempting the action listed as value-name, for example, 1-Thugs, or, 3-Batman + 2-Robin. Only list your own assets.
PUBLIC/HIDDEN?
either PUBLIC or HIDDEN. If you assign a public action to a hidden asset, it will be immediately rendered public. Hidden assets add half their value to the strength of the action. Each hidden asset must always be given its own narration.
Action?
either DAMAGE, INFILTRATE, SHROUD, or ENHANCE
N-Target?
either a specific asset listed as value-name or, if you are taking 'a shot in the dark', the name of the faction whose hidden asset you will randomly target
if you are creating a new asset, the target is 0-(name of new asset)
WITH (faction(s)) <optional>
only necessary if you are collaborating with (an)other faction(s). You must list them in order for the strength of the actions to be combined, otherwise they will be handled as separate actions. You are always considered to be collaborating with yourself and you do not need to list your own faction.
this will only be visible to factions that can see two or more of the collaborating assets. If a faction can only see one collaborating asset, the "With" parameter will not be seen by them, such as when a public asset collaborates with a hidden one.
narration for this specific asset
Include an in game narration of the actions done by your asset(s) in their attempt to accomplish their goal, but do not narrate the results or consequences of the action.
Result
this will be filled in by the GM
notes
here you must provide additional information to qualify your action, such as:
  • if you are performing a defensive action and want to exclude any faction from being affected by the increase in defense this turn, list them
  • if you are creating a new asset that will belong to another faction, list that faction
  • if you are performing a damage action, list the assets in the order you wish them to receive any bonus gained from destroying the asset
[fieldset=4-Batman + 2-Alfred PUBLIC DAMAGE 3-The Joker WITH Wayne Enterprises](shared narration for both Batman and Alfred)

[spoiler=Result][/spoiler][private=naturax]if the target is destroyed: Alfred, Alfred, Batman[/private][/fieldset]

Narration of Action Results

For each asset you control that has been targeted by an action, the game master will provide the results of the action in terms of the game mechanic. If the action was successful, no additional narration is required, as the attempted action succeeded. If the action was unsuccessful, the player who owns the targeted asset provides a narration that describes how the attack was thwarted. The GM will ask you for this narration and append it to the narration of the action's attempt.

Action Resolution

Each Action Phase, the actions of every asset is resolved "simultaneously" in the following fashion:

  1. Assign a defense score to every asset (equal to its value at the start of the turn plus the sum of the strength of all defensive actions targeting it)
  2. Determine the results of every action by comparing the strength of each action to the target's defense as determined above
  3. Apply the results of every action at exactly the same time

The exception to this is the specialization Efficiency which increases an asset's value (but not with respect to defensive actions targeting it) and therefore its defense before the results of every action are determined.

The Mob assigns: "2-Thugs PUBLIC DAMAGE 1-Beat Cops".
The Cops assign: "1-SWAT Team + 1-Beat Cops PUBLIC SHROUD 1-Beat Cops".
2-Thugs have a defense of 2 (value 2 + defensive actions 0) and 1-Beat Cops have a defense of 3 (value 1 + defensive actions 2).
The strength of the action "2-Thugs PUBLIC DAMAGE 1-Beat Cops" is 2.
When compared to the defense of the target equal to 3, this will result in the attacking assets losing 1 value (see Damage below).
The strength of the action "1-SWAT Team + 1-Beat Cops PUBLIC SHROUD 1-Beat Cops" is 2.
When compared to the value of the target equal to 1, this will result in the targeted asset becoming hidden (see Shroud below).
2-Thugs become 1-Thugs. 1-Beat Cops become 1-Beat Cops.

Damage (Attack Action)

Damage attacks represent the myriad of ways one can cause harm to an asset, for example: burning down a warehouse, infecting a population with a virulent disease, polluting the water supply of a village, tampering with the mechanisms of a doomsday machine, tarnishing the reputation of a political opponent, etc. The exact nature of the damage done depends heavily on the asset doing the damage and the target of the attack.

This action allows you to reduce the value of the targeted asset, potentially destroying it, in which case the value of the attacking assets can be increased in the process. However, there is a risk that the assets making the attack will be damaged, or possibly destroyed, instead.

If the target is destroyed, the value of the asset is divided between the attacking factions proportionate to the amount of strength they contributed to the action, rounded to whole numbers in favour of the factions that contributed the most strength to the action. A faction may choose to distribute the increase of value among any of the attacking assets, even those that belong to other factions. However, you must decide which assets will receive the increase in value when you submit your orders. See narrating action attempts.

DAMAGE Effect without Specialization Alternate Effect if one of the attacking assets has Specialization
<math>\text{Strength} \geq (\text{Defense} + \text{Value})</math> The targeted asset is destroyed. At the end of the turn, the attacking faction(s) gain(s) combined value equal to the value of the destroyed asset proportionately divided between them which can be used to increase the value of any assets that participated in this attack. Cannibalize: Any asset(s) belonging to the attacking faction(s) gain combined value equal to the value of the destroyed asset proportionately divided between them.
<math>\text{Strength} > \text{Defense} \,</math> The targeted asset loses value equal to (Strength - Defense).
<math>\text{Strength} = \text{Defense} \,</math> The attack fails and has no effect.
<math>\text{Strength} < \text{Defense} \,</math> The attacking asset(s) lose combined value equal to (Defense - Strength) randomly divided between them. Tactics: Instead, the attack fails and has no effect. None of the attacking assets are reduced in value.
The Mob and The Cops collaborate on a Damage action against The Zombies.
The Mob assigns: 2-Thugs + PUBLIC DAMAGE 4-Shambling Corpses WITH The Cops, and
3-Drug Trade HIDDEN DAMAGE 4-Shambling Corpses WITH The Cops, contributing 2 + 3/2 = 3 Strength to the action.
The Cops assign: 2-Bomb Squad + 2-Special Patrol Group PUBLIC DAMAGE 4-Shambling Corpses WITH The Mob, contributing 2 + 2 = 4 Strength to the action.
There are no defensive actions assigned to 4-Shambling Corpses.
The Damage action has a total strength of 7 against the target's defense of 4.
Because the target will lose 3 value, the attacking asset(s) gain 3 value.
The Cops contributed 4/7 of the strength of the action therefore gain 3*(4/7) = 2 value to add to any assets that participated in the action.
The Mob contributed 3/7 of the strength of the action and therefore gain 3*(3/7) = 1 value to add to any assets that participated in the action.
4-Shambling Corpses becomes 1-Shambling Corpses.
The Mob elects to make 3-Drug Trade become 4-Drug Trade.
The Cops elect to make 2-Special Patrol Group become 4-Special Patrol Group.

Infiltrate (Attack Action)

Infiltrate attacks represent the myriad of ways one can gather information about an asset, for example: bugging a conference room, examining clues left at the scene of a crime, exploring the wilderness, interrogating prisoners, prospecting for mineral deposits, spying on individuals, etc. If enough information is gained, you can turn the target asset to your cause, for example: bribing those in the enemy's employ, luring automatons into a trap, poisoning a politician's mind with hypnosis, etc.

This action allows you to gather profiles on hidden assets. If the action is exceptionally successful, then you may also outright seize control of the asset. The faction that contributed the most strength to the action decides which of the attacking factions gains control of the asset. In the case of a tie, the faction that decides who gains control of the asset will be decided randomly.

Beware of the risk, however, that if your attack is thwarted, your assets may become damaged or compromised.

INFILTRATE Effect if action is targeted Effect if action is "a shot in the dark" Additional Effect if one of the attacking assets has Specialization
<math>\text{Strength} \geq (\text{Defense} + \text{Value})</math> The asset is seized by one of the attacking factions and all attacking factions gain another profile at random. Defender does not know the attack was made if the asset was simultaneously shrouded this turn, otherwise the owner gains a profile on the asset. Gain a profile on the asset. Defender does not know the attack was made. Interrogation: Also, the attacking factions gain another profile on a hidden asset belonging to the faction that had control of the targeted asset.
<math>\text{Strength} > \text{Defense} \,</math> Gain another profile at random or learn that the defending faction has no other hidden assets. Defender does not know the attack was made.
<math>\text{Strength} = \text{Defense} \,</math> The attack fails with no effect and the defender is not informed about the attack.
<math>\text{Strength} < \text{Defense} \,</math> Defender knows which faction(s) made the attack. Defender may choose one of these options:

a) The attacker knows the attack failed. The attacking assets lose total value equal to (Defense - Strength) assigned randomly among them.

b) Attacker thinks the attack has no effect and the attacker thinks the defender does not know the attack was made.

c) The attacker thinks the attack was successful and thinks that the defender has no (other) hidden assets.

d) The attacker thinks the attack was successful and the defender chooses which additional profile(s) are gained (the defender may choose to give two additional profiles if any of the attackers have Interrogation). The defender randomly gains a number of profiles on the attacking assets equal to (Defense - Strength).

Planning: Instead, the attack fails with no effect and the defender is not informed about the attack.

Shroud (Defensive Action)

This action allows you to simultaneously defend an asset from attack and hide the asset, thereby making all other factions lose their profile on the asset. A shroud action will always succeed in increasing the defense of the target: the strength of all shroud actions are automatically be added to the defense of the targeted asset. However, this does not guarantee that any other actions targeting that asset will fail.

The Shroud action can also be used to hide an asset and remove any profiles that have been gained on the asset. If the strength of the shroud action exceeds the value of the targeted asset, then the asset becomes hidden and all profiles on the asset are lost. However, if a faction other than the owner makes the asset hidden with the Shroud action, that faction gain a profile on the asset. In other words, if you hide an asset that belongs to another faction, you know how to find that asset. You cannot hide an asset from yourself.

SHROUD Effect without Specialization Alternate Effect if one of the defending assets has Specialization
Automatic Increase the defense of the target this turn by the strength of the action. You may specify a list of factions who will ignore the increase in Defense. Ambush: Instead, increase the defense of the target this turn by twice the strength of the action.
If Strength > Value and the asset was not successfully attacked this turn by any faction who does not ignore the increase in Defense At the end of the turn the targeted asset becomes hidden and all profiles on it are lost. The defending factions gain a profile on assets they hide.
ANY HIDDEN ACTION Effect without Specialization Alternate Effect if one of the defending assets has Specialization
Automatic Assets performing hidden actions add half their value to the strength of the action. Hide in Plain Sight: Assets performing hidden actions in collaboration with you add their full value to any hidden actions instead of half their value.

Note: You may specify a list of factions who ignore the increase in Defense, and if you do, successful attacks made against this asset by those factions will not stop the asset from being Shrouded. This allows a public asset to be simultaneously Shrouded and Infiltrated by hidden assets, and therefore possibly seized without knowing who stole it.

The Mob already has a profile on 1-Beat Cops because it is a public asset, so they can target it with an action
The Mob has two hidden assets: 4-Thugs and 4-Drug Trade
The Mob assigns: 4-Thugs HIDDEN INFILTRATE 1-Beat Cops and 4-Drug Trade HIDDEN SHROUD 1-Beat Cops
The Mob elects to have themselves (The Mob) ignore the increase in Defense of 1-Beat Cops from 4-Drug Trade HIDDEN SHROUD 1-Beat Cops
There are no other defensive actions assigned to 1-Beat Cops
The Infiltrate action has a total strength of 2 (4/2 due to the Infiltrating asset being hidden) against the target's defense of 1
The Shroud action has a total strength of 2 (4/2 due to the Shrouding asset being hidden) against the target's value of 1
Because the target's Defense+Value is 2 and the total strength of the Infiltrate action is higher than or equal to it (2), the attacking assets seize 1-Beat Cops
The Cops have no hidden assets, so no profiles are gained
Because the target's Value is 1 and the total strength of the Shroud action is higher (2), the targeted asset (1-Beat Cops) is now hidden
The Cops loses control of asset 1-Beat Cops and are simply given a narration of its loss - they are not aware of who seized control of the asset

Enhance (Defensive Action)

This action allows you to simultaneously defend an asset from attack and increase the value of the asset by one. This increase in value only takes effect at the end of the turn and does not affect the targeted asset's value or defense with regards to any actions taken this turn. Regardless of how many different Enhance actions are targeted at an asset, an asset can only have its value increased once per turn.

Enhance actions are the only actions that can target a new 0-value asset (which is considered creating a new resource from "the aether") in order to create new assets. If this Enhance action is public, the resulting asset will be public, and if the action is hidden, the resulting asset will have the same visibility as the action. However, any attempt to create new assets that would cause the total number of the faction's assets (counted at the start of the turn) to exceed its reach will automatically fail, even if the faction's reach is reduced during that turn. A faction can create as many assets in a single turn as its reach will allow. You may choose to create a new asset on behalf of another faction, in which case their reach will be checked instead of yours.

The Mob has a 5-value asset and 2x 2-value assets, and therefore has 3 assets and a reach of 5. The Mob can create at most 2 new assets this turn.
The Cops have 2x 3-value assets, 2x 2-value assets, and 3x 1-value assets, and therefore have 7 assets and a reach of 3. They cannot create new assets this turn.
ENHANCE Effect without Specialization Alternate Effect if one of the defending assets has Specialization
Automatic Increase the defense of the target this turn by the strength of the action. You may specify a list of factions who will ignore the increase in Defense.
If Strength > Value and the asset was not successfully attacked this turn by any faction who does not ignore the increase in Defense At the end of the turn, the value of targeted asset increases by 1. Efficiency: The increase in value occurs at the beginning of the turn and contributes to the asset's strength and defense this turn (but not with regards to defensive actions targeting it). If a new asset is created in this way, it can be given an order this turn.

Upgrade: If the excess strength of the action is sufficient to increase the asset's value again at its new value, it continues to do so until there is not enough strength left.

Upgrade Example:
Batman has the Upgrade specialization and controls the asset 8-Wayne Enterprises.
8-Wayne Enterprises targets 1-Robin with an Enhance action.
No other assets collaborate on the action, so the action has a strength of 8.
2 strength is required to increase its value to 2, and 6 strength remains.
3 strength is required to increase its value to 3, and 3 strength remains.
4 strength is required to increase its value to 4, but only 3 strength remains, so the action ends.
1-Robin becomes 3-Robin.

Factions

A faction in this game is loosely defined as any large organization that holds influence within the city, region, or country in which the game is played. In a present-day city factions could include political bodies, criminal syndicates, law enforcement agencies, religious organizations, media outlets, and corporate interest groups. In the dark future factions are almost only competing megacorps. On a high fantasy continent factions could include enormous guilds, entire kingdoms, churches, wizardly orders, and powerful villains.

For the purposes of FactionRPG, a faction collectively has at its disposal a great deal of influence and a vast pool of resources. Even if the leader of the organization is removed, the faction as the whole continues to exist and function. The most important aspect of a faction in this game, however, is the organization's goals, drives, and methodology. If a large group of people get together and do not affect change in their city/region/continent we call that a club. For this game to function every faction must intensely desire to influence the city/region/continent one way or another.

Every faction is composed of a number of assets. 'Asset' is the generic term used to describe any means the faction possesses to exert influence in the city. Influence in this game is defined by the ability to affect assets by protecting them, reducing their effectiveness, increasing their effectiveness, hiding them, gathering information about them, or stealing them. All of these actions are performed by assets on other assets. A faction without assets cannot exert influence. If you choose to make the leader of your faction an asset, beware of the possibility that this asset will be killed or, worse, captured by another faction and turned against you.

Any faction may possess hidden assets with which they perform hidden actions, allowing them to attack anyone from the shadows with impunity. However, factions may gather intelligence on hidden assets by using the Infiltrate action, and if such an attempt is successful, will gain a profile on the asset. Having a profile on an asset means that you can target the asset even if it is hidden. Also, you will be aware of all actions attempted by profiled assets even when it does not target your assets. You may share your profiles with other factions during the Negotiation Phase, however this information is very valuable and should be treated as currency.

A faction in this game also possesses a number of characteristics which are described in the rest of this section.

Objectives

Every faction needs to have a desire to influence their environment. In terms of the game mechanic, this influence can be expressed by the state of assets that belong to particular factions.

Description

Every player controls a faction that has enough influence to have developed a reputation among the other factions in the city/region/continent. Be it friend or foe, everyone else knows the name of the organization and will have a rough idea of their role and modus operandi.

Therefore, every faction must have an in-game description that all other players have access to which represents the fact that each of the factions has at least a vague understanding of who they are competing with for influence.

Contact Points

Though an extension of a faction's description, but worthy of its own category, every faction must have at least one contact point. This serves an extremely important in-game function: since the vast majority of the game play is roleplaying between the players, members of their factions need to have a way to communicate with each other. Contact points provide an in-game scene or venue in which roleplaying can happen, which is why they are held with special regard in the game.

Contact points do not have a mechanical representation. They cannot be destroyed or hidden and there is no way that a faction can be made to lose all contact with other factions. This does not prevent a faction from being destroyed, but since contact points serve an out-of-game purpose, they cannot be hindered from functioning regardless of the state of the faction on the whole. Interaction between the factions at contact points does not use the game mechanic whatsoever, since the only thing that actually happens at a contact point is communication, though that communication can take any form the players wish to narrate.

By default all scenes played at contact points are private, though any player may choose to make a public display at any contact point.

Specialization

Each faction chooses a single specialization which allows that faction to achieve exceptional results or avoid spectacular failure on a particular type of action. Factions can benefit from the specializations of other factions by inviting factions with the appropriate specialization to collaborate on actions of that type.

Reach

A faction is limited by the number of assets it is able to create, though there is never any limit to the number of assets a faction can possess. The value of the largest asset that belongs to each faction is the value of the faction's reach. A faction cannot create new assets if adding an additional asset would cause the number of assets the faction controls to exceed its reach.