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Faction Ideas

Discussion in 'World Building' started by bumblefish97, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. bumblefish97

    bumblefish97 Scribe

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    What are some types of factions that would be must haves or good additions to my type of setting? It's dark fantasy (mainly gothic horror), the time setting is mainly early modern (1500s to 1700s) but with a few cultures less advanced than that and an empire that is more 1800s. I already have a faction that is a militant church-related organization made up of inquisitors, witch hunters, and vampire slayers but need help with ideas for more
     
  2. Night Gardener

    Night Gardener Sage

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    Revenue Collectors.... Night Watchmen... Guilds...(think trades, like blacksmiths and masons). Prospectors/ treasure hunters/ raiders. Woodsmens, or Outlaws.

    And, if you have a militant church, they need something to be militant against... so, a logical faction would be the heretics, witches, etc. I would also have a faction devoted to demystifying science and questioning church militants/ validity.
     
  3. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    The Aristocratic/Oligarch faction - nobles, wealthy merchants who are terrified at the prospect of a mass uprising of the lower classes, countering such with secret police and draconian laws.

    The Enlightened - patterned after the secret societies that pretty much laid the groundwork for 'modern civilization' back in the 16th-18th centuries. Natural philosophers, liberal priests, inventors, and social activists - Freemasons are a fair example.
     
  4. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    You could have a faction within the church vying with its predominant militant faction, having a different vision for the way things should go.
     
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  5. bumblefish97

    bumblefish97 Scribe

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    I've got like the various witch covens, vampire covens, and heretical cults and things they hunt, not named any yet but they're there. And yeah those other factions sound good too
     
  6. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    What is a faction? More specifically, how do you distinguish between a faction, a trade or occupation, a cult, a legal status (outlaw), and a social status (noble)? To me, a faction is a division *within* a group. Most commonly, factions arise over ideological differences--anything from differing ideas about strategy within a political group (e.g., use of violence among revolutionaries), to differing ideas about tactics in a gang of bandits.
     
  7. bumblefish97

    bumblefish97 Scribe

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    Mainly the way I tend to distinguish/view factions is like so using WoW for example, you've got like the Argent Dawn etc, so I guess organisations really. Or like in Elder Scrolls, you have the dark brotherhood and so on
     
  8. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I thought so. Factions make sense in games. Not so much in novels.
     
  9. bumblefish97

    bumblefish97 Scribe

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    Yeah the setting was originally built with games in mind but I decided I wanted to try and do a franchise and figured a novel series might be a better place to start than a game, especially as writing is another thing I enjoy, but still for that reason a lot of the stuff in the world itself was done with game mechanics in mind.
     
  10. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Sometimes I put too much emphasis on a particular word. Use "faction" if that's convenient. But what are you really looking for here? Are you just looking to identify various groups in the world who would have in-built reasons for conflict? Rival kingdoms, for example?
     
  11. bumblefish97

    bumblefish97 Scribe

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    Not so much whole kingdoms. More like inner organizations you might find in a particular nation or particular city even or possibly spread across the world, like really just any group like that which would fit my type of setting. I guess guild is an appropriate term for example something like the assassin brotherhood in assassin's creed
     
  12. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    The WoW type of faction could make sense for a novel if there is some overriding goal that all the groups share.

    Let's say there's a world that contains a divine talisman. Whoever controls this talisman has automatic good luck, better health, a closer and stronger tie to the magic of that world, etc. And let's say that this dynamic has existed for as long as memory; over many hundreds of generations, there's been this kind of ongoing war for control, going back and forth between multiple factions. Through history, some factions gaining this talisman have engaged in expansionism, and some factions have used the benefits for defense and isolationism instead. Occasionally, maybe even a secretive faction has gained possession and used the benefits of the talisman, which they've kept hidden, for some other reason—e.g., a faction of wizards and university professors once used it to increase their life spans and enable deeper exploration of the magic and science and knowledge available to them.

    A faction organizes around a principle, principally to gain benefit from numbers or at least from combined skills. So contemplate the various organizing principles and the people who would seek to benefit by joining a faction. Different members within a large faction might have different motivations—some might indeed seek benefit of numbers, combined wealth, whatever, rather than the founding principle and goal of its leaders. But having an overarching raison d'être can help you conceive of the potential for a faction. A single, common goal in the world might help you consider this because it offers a single, powerful reason for being; but, you can also come up with a list of different goals. Also, perhaps some of these goals will bring some factions into conflict with one another, whereas some factions might have separate goals and avoid that particular conflict—of course, this will raise the possibility of alliances of convenience, from time to time.
     
  13. Miles Lacey

    Miles Lacey Sage

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    Within the church-related organisation you could have several factions including those who think the militant faction doesn't go far enough, another faction that agrees with the ideas of the militants but not their methods and a third faction that agrees with some of the militant group's ideas but not others. You would have other factions that would be the flip side of the coin. Militant vampires, witches and heretics who think of humans the same way the church-like militants think about them to moderates who think a more rational approach should be taken.
     
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