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Archlyte

Factions: Do you use them?

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I am playing with the idea of listing all the factions in the Corell System so that I can have a bit of a map as to the PCs relationship with them. I can see this being a headache, or a boon, but I don't have much experience with it because I normally don't make a tool for it. Anyone use a faction sheet for the party, and if so what is helpful and what is not in your opinion. I also welcome anyone telling me it's a bad idea, I could still not use it. Thanks for any input. 

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I use in my game a couple of hutts from different clans, the black sun with at least one or two black sun vigos (there is 19 total ) also the imperials and rebels. There is more factions. But going too deep is sometimes not helping. If your players are digging up, it's another story

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I have been thinking about it for a while as well. I was researching existing tools last week and I stumbled upon those two articles from Monsters and Manuals:
http://monstersandmanuals.blogspot.fr/2011/08/relationship-hexmap.html
http://monstersandmanuals.blogspot.fr/2012/02/how-i-run-sandboxes-in-city-part-i.html

I haven't tried it yet but I liked the idea of letting players piece it together with the GM as the campaign unfolds.

Did you end up with a satisfying way to map the factions relationships?

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I have an adventure laid out which involves factions. If I had my original PC party it would be executed differently that it would be if I were to do it now. I kept it to 3, of which one or two could be convinced to join with the PCs to resolve the problem present. 

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1 hour ago, p0lowww said:

I have been thinking about it for a while as well. I was researching existing tools last week and I stumbled upon those two articles from Monsters and Manuals:
http://monstersandmanuals.blogspot.fr/2011/08/relationship-hexmap.html
http://monstersandmanuals.blogspot.fr/2012/02/how-i-run-sandboxes-in-city-part-i.html

I haven't tried it yet but I liked the idea of letting players piece it together with the GM as the campaign unfolds.

Did you end up with a satisfying way to map the factions relationships?

Oh man this is amazing. I was just going to use a numerical system and only relate it mainly to the PCs and have the counter faction register a negative number, but this is soo much better. Thank you p0lowww

 

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48 minutes ago, Archlyte said:

Oh man this is amazing. I was just going to use a numerical system and only relate it mainly to the PCs and have the counter faction register a negative number, but this is soo much better. Thank you p0lowww

 

You're welcome! Glad you found it useful :)

Regarding the creation and structure of factions themselves, this post from Strange Flight has been a great inspiration: https://strangeflight.blog/2016/11/14/low-prep-traveller-factions-basics/
It's meant to be used in Traveller campaigns but with a few modifications it can work in other games as well, and especially Star Wars.

2 minutes ago, themensch said:

I love factions, and I use Scapple to do an FBI-esque pictureboard showing relations to the characters and each other.  It makes an awful mess, but it sure is fun to see the fruits of the PC's labors pay off in graphical form.

Interesting! What granularity does your graph achieve? Do you mix high-level factions and specific characters?
I'm currently experimenting with mapping my factions relationships with MindNode, but Scapple looks great too! I'm going to give the trial version a go this weekend.

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2 minutes ago, p0lowww said:

Interesting! What granularity does your graph achieve? Do you mix high-level factions and specific characters?
I'm currently experimenting with mapping my factions relationships with MindNode, but Scapple looks great too! I'm going to give the trial version a go this weekend.

Well, it's just a relationship map, it's probably nowhere near as fancy and complex as it sounds.  It's a digital representation of this.

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1 hour ago, themensch said:

Well, it's just a relationship map, it's probably nowhere near as fancy and complex as it sounds.  It's a digital representation of this.

That looks great! Does it take much effort to maintain it during / between sessions?

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2 hours ago, p0lowww said:

That looks great! Does it take much effort to maintain it during / between sessions?

Well that's just some random image off google, I don't want to spill the beans in case my players decide to gather intel!

It does take a little effort, but just adding a few boxes and linking them is pretty easy to keep up with.  One might be able to use a mindmapper for the same but I find the constraints too much for this purpose, but they excel for brainstorming.

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I was thinking "FBI" relationship map too while reading this.

How complex your map becomes depends on how complex you want it to be.

Mind you, that one map on the display is likely from a TV show and it represents the individuals from ONE faction.  You may feel the need to make multiple maps for your campaign.

 

Another tool to play around with, if you want to keep everything on the computer would be something like "PowerPoint" or Open Office's "Impress."  With both you can create pages and on each page, add org boxes and then connect them with various arrows.  Also, both tools allow you to add text pretty much anywhere on a page.

 

Hmmm.  Most interesting.  I hadn't considered this question, nor the use of this tool, but I might just have to do that for my campaign . . . ;)   Thanks.

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On 7.12.2017 at 8:11 PM, p0lowww said:

That looks great! 

Because it is designed to look great, not to be useful. 
I am pretty sure that Scapple (and other tools like OmniGraffle, etc) actually does the relationship diagram in a more practical way. For a pure GM use I would actually focus on practicality over coolness. A piece of paper with hex fields and intelligent grouping of the map seems to be actually a good idea to keep things easy and tidy. 

If you want your players find something, making the diagram itself a puzzle is actually a fun idea. In that case go all out with the graphical props as well, they serve as visual distraction. 

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7 hours ago, Mark Caliber said:

I was thinking "FBI" relationship map too while reading this.

How complex your map becomes depends on how complex you want it to be.

Mind you, that one map on the display is likely from a TV show and it represents the individuals from ONE faction.  You may feel the need to make multiple maps for your campaign.

Yeah, I definitely modeled it after that, but it became so much more.  Colors mean things.  Ranges mean things.  Types of lines mean things.  I bet there are half a dozen items in the key, with plenty of room for improvement.  I'm thinking the next step is layers.  Fortunately, this campaign is on hiatus so I have some time to mull it over.  

I bet something like draw.io could be a great free place to mess with this concept.  

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