Monday, January 14, 2013

Perfect Families (rivalries within organizations)

If you look at the write up for Fletnern, you will see many organizations within the world. Religions, merchant cartels, military organizations, governments, etc. Each is written up with its powers and abilities as well as its goals and desires. But are they really that uniform? Are they really “perfect families” or is there some strife in there? The militaries - do they all believe the same things? More to the point, are the leather clad archers ever jealous of the steel armored heavy cavalry? Rivalries are a natural part of life. Some are good natured, but often they are not. Seldom are they based in fact, but they could be. Maybe the knights make up the cavalry and they come mainly from noble families. Well those guys are going to be eating far better food than the infantry or archers. In fact, the horses might be eating on par (or better) than the archers. They may all work together during the battles, but afterwards, their various officers might be willing to do some underhanded tricks to try and advance their units. Come on - This is politics after all! Especially when it comes to the bad guys, loyalty and fairness go right out the window. If some organization is generally underhanded, then they will be underhanded within their own organization too. So why does it matter? The different factions within an organization can lead to missions. A couple of examples: There is a weapons manufacturer associated with the “evil” army. They craft all the armor for the men and some magic for the officers. They also have an R&D department. The R&D guys should be the smartest smiths and enchanters. What if they start doing some evil testing on the townsfolk, but they are keeping it secret from the military? If you send in stupid player characters, they might get into a fight with the entire army, when the smart, detective-like PCs will figure out it is only a handful of bad guys within the bad organization. They might even get military commanders to help them stop the R&D guys. What if the captain of the archers is jealous of the captain of the infantry? What would he do? Would he kill his rival and create a detective mission? Would he hire assassins (creating that style of mission)? Would he discredit his rival causing the infantry officer to seek help from the PCs? And these examples are only within the military. Religious, political and economic organizations could be equally bad. The point is this - You have probably created a whole bunch of organizations within your game world. When you need more conflict and strife - try looking within those organizations. A handful of traitors can cause all sorts of trouble, requiring an “independent” group (of PCs) to be needed to sort the matter out. And the best thing, is that you probably wrote out half the stuff you needed already.

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