Sunday, February 5, 2017

How do you handle factions and factional issues in your campaign?

Pope Francis (R) meets Robert Matthew Festing, 
Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta 
during a private audience at the Vatican June 23, 2016. 
  REUTERS/Gabriel Bouys/Pool/Files

This Reuters Article grabbed my attention. In part that was because we don't hear much about the Knights of Malta (or the Hospitallers) as a religious order with power, wealth, and status. For the average American their only connection with the Knights is likely to be some vague recollection of them being the source for the McGuffin in the movie version of the Maltese Falcon.  In part it struck me as a reminder that the Catholic Church is not now (and never was) a uniform, homogeneous, monolithic organization with one goal and one aim. 

The more I read of history, the more I find easy simplification misleading if not flat out impossible. Understanding and then accurately representing historical factions are two things I find challenging in gaming. Many of the issues that were important to people back in the day are have become passe or even incomprehensible to us today. And factions are frequently linked to the politics of the great houses and royalty or used by those houses in ways that make easy analysis and representation impossible. The factions of days gone and their concerns are likely to strike us far more like the silliness of the Big and Little Ender factions in Gulliver's Travels. The factions of his day that Swift was satirizing are long gone from our popular consciousness rendering his satire opaque and silly to us rather than bitingly sarcastic and topical as he intended.

In my Honor+Intrigue campaign I've used lists, handouts, and diagrams to convey and display information to my players. 

  • GMs what have you used to convey to the players what their characters would know of the issues and factions in your campaign setting?

  • Players what have you found helpful or unhelpful to your understanding of issues and factions in the campaigns you've played in?

No comments:

Post a Comment