|#1bonemageJan 20, 2004 22:55:52||Ok as I am getting primed to run my first full scale Planescape adventure in classic Planescape. I know a good deal about post faction war Planescape with the banishment and reshaping of the factions. Now a question that has started to linger in my mind is how do these factions stay viable? It seems that numerous times especially in the main setting boxed set it refers to Sigil as being the base of power for the factions. |
Now this makes sense because with the wide expanse of the Planes how can these factions hold together. First off a large number of faction members are simply badge wearing run of the mill members living their lives. To compare them to politics we have many Democrats and Republicans the majority of whom have little to do with the party other than talking to a friend in a restaurant and voting. Many Faction members are likely to be the same and if suddenly their faction is banned from Sigil, they are going to have a hard time no matter what they believe to just leave behind their home and job to carry the faction onward. So they have a big issue with maintain their “casual” membership.
Now ever more difficult to explain is how do they continue to be as important. First off Sigil was the lifeblood of the old factions. The reason these were important is that they dominated Sigil in many ways which we can all agree is a very important place for planar travelers to be. Now that they are no longer in Sigil how do they maintain a base of power anywhere where they will have the same influence? No Sod is going to have to put up with them as much because now they have no central base of operations in which to reach people. This added onto the problem they may very well have lost the big broad support base they once had to work with.
What do you guys think?
|#2zombiegleemaxJan 21, 2004 1:18:20||Well, with their reduced presence in Sigil comes an increased presence on the planes. I think that was part of the original intent of Faction War, to move more of the focus from Sigil onto the planes.|
I definately wouldn't worry about any faction having a base of power. Many of the factions had holdings outside Sigil even before they were kicked out. The Doomguard has fortresses on each of the four quasielemental planes adjacent to the negative energy plane. The Fated have theirs in Ysgard. The Harmonium is strong throughout Arcadia. Even the Anarchists had their retreat on Carceri.
As for how they are "important", it's the same as any organization. They have to provide people something, and in their case what they provide (what they've always provided, even while they were in Sigil) is a viewpoint, something to believe in. They can, of course, provide other, more practical things too. I'm sure the Harmonium has used their experiences from the streets of Sigil to help them police the lawful upper planes. The Fraternity of Order, with their voluminous archives of knowledge will doubtlessly have nearly every sage on the planes wanting access to their libraries. The Athar and Revolutionary League will probably be much the same as they were, only they'll be working in gate towns and throughout the great ring, rather than in Sigil. In fact, operating on the planes means their efforts may have real effects on the landscape, like the Harmonium's disasterous mistake with the third layer of Arcadia.
|#3wyvern76Jan 21, 2004 2:26:04|
Originally posted by Bonemage
I haven't read Faction War, but I've never gotten the impression from what I've heard about it that the rank and file of the factions were kicked out of Sigil. To follow your analogy, if the Democratic and Republican parties were somehow suddenly removed from political power, that doesn't mean that every Democrat and Republican in the U.S. would be forced to emigrate.
|#4bonemageJan 21, 2004 11:10:56||True but my point is that without these members the factions would be weaker. Also once they are spread out what makes these groups special so to speak. The Campaign setting boxed sets mentioned some other lines of thoughts that weren't factions. It's just that now these guys are spread all over the planes I would argue that would significantly hurt their impact on the planes. The Harmonium is now in Arcadia meaning plane walkers who don't frequent there may never be exposed to them for good or bad. Know what I mean?|
For recruitment purposed, expanding power and etc. Sigil was their wild card. Now it seems the factions are just like a thousand or even a million other groups, armies, religions, or whatever wondering out on the planes. There is very little that makes them special from these other groups any more.
|#5zombiegleemaxJan 21, 2004 12:07:07||Many of the Factions still hold strong in Sigil. Some are just testing the Lady's edict to see how far they can go, others are posing under different names. The Sensates, for example, still operate the Civic Festhall, under the guidance of Annali Webspinner, the Sigilian leader of the Sensates. However, there, they call themselves the Entertainer's Guild. There are a few others who are still there, but I forget who they are.|
And the factions are still fifteen of a million different groups running around the planes. They always have been. Long ago, there were so many factions that the Lady ordered them all to reduce their number to fifteen. Now, even though the factions are exiled from Sigil in one form or another, they're no less important than they were before. They've always been fifteen of a million different groups. The importance is, they're by far the BIGGEST fifteen of these million groups.
|#6bonemageJan 21, 2004 12:22:40||No where have I seen it suggested they are the biggest (at least so far) seems like they were simply the biggest or most powerful that were in Sigil when the great upheavel happened. So again it comes back to being in Sigil being a large part of their power base. However if you could point me to information about them being bigger than other groups that would explain part of my question at least...|
|#7zombiegleemaxJan 21, 2004 14:26:20||Okay, not all of the Post FW factions were in Sigil before the Faction War.|
The biggest example of these is the Ring-Givers who were a sect that operated out of Ysgard. They had no base in Sigil (that I am aware of) and no faction power. In fact, probably the only reason they're considered to have anything in Sigil now is because their new factol, Jeremo the Natterer, is one of the richest bloods in the City of Doors. The Ring-Givers never had power in Sigil -- they weren't a faction -- but that hasn't stopped them from rising to full faction status now. Even before the FW, they were a pretty big sect. Now with the dissolution of a few factions, the merging of others (Singers + Godsmen = Mind's Eye) , and the splitting of one more (Sodkillers + Sons of Mercy = Mercykillers), and thanks to Jeremo, the Ring-Givers have gotten enough clout, politically and popularly, to become a full-fledged Faction.
What's to keep sects such as the Ragers and the Incantifiers from rising from Sect status to Faction status? They just don't have the popular support that the true factions do.
|#8taotadJan 21, 2004 14:49:52|
Originally posted by Bonemage
I very much agree to your statement, but for the sake of argument, one could say that the factions of Sigil represent some sort of generalized belief.
A lot of people don't believe in gods - athar
A lot of them thinks that life is meaningless - bleakers
Many likes laws - Guvners
Some of the more specialized sects of the planes are interesting, for sure, but I don't think they stand for something as general as the Takers for example.
That would give the original factions better odds in the race for belief, wouldn't it?
|#9bonemageJan 21, 2004 15:29:15||That all may very well be true and I am not saying the factions aren't something to be reckoned with. I simply believe without their hold on Sigil they are much weaker than before and aren't likely to influence the planes as much as they once did. They will however continue to have some kind of affect but now they are much more spread out and perhaps more isolated on particular planes than in any central location where they all might clash. Not going to find too many godsmen wandering around near Power's realms or many Guvners on the Planes of Chaos. |
Whereas when they were all in Sigil they had easy access to the multiverse, each other, and had a base somewhere that affected others in a grander fashion.
|#10zombiegleemaxJan 21, 2004 19:05:12||You understand the point completely, Bonemage. The reduced presence of the factions was one of the main reasons for Faction War, in my opinion. If you read the ending part of the adventure it notes how the team was planning on leaving them for a while (imo probably doing a lot more on the inner planes, as some of the last accessories were about them and the ethereal) and that while they'd plan on eventually getting back to the factions, they're not nearly the presence they were before it. |
My advice--join the Planewalker's over on the infinite staircase. We might not be a faction but we have a much cooler name .
|#11Shemeska_the_MarauderJan 21, 2004 19:43:37||Ah and you have a guildhall in Sigil now, and a fast growing members list along with the new place. ;)|
And you all beat me to the punch in answering the question, there's precious little for me to say. :D
Maybe this means I'm getting a life offline. Or it just means that my connection got cut off by roadrunner for the past hour or so. *chuckle*
|#12zombiegleemaxJan 21, 2004 21:24:02|
Originally posted by Bonemage
Like I said, though, many of the factions still have holds in Sigil. The Sensates (Entertainer's Guild), the Ring-Givers (through Jeremo the Natterer, one of the richest bloods in Sigil and, I believe he has a council seat), the Merkhants (a sect, not a faction but if I recall, Zadara is also a council member), the Ciphers (Factol Rhys is the new chairwoman of the Sigil council), all still play major roles in the ways of the City of Doors. There are actually many other factions that still have major holdings in Sigil. In fact, I think one of the Mercykiller splinters still operates out of Sigil.
Bottom line is, the factions haven't lost their power in Sigil. It's just that the balance of that power has shifted and the perception isn't what it used to be.
|#13factol_rhys_dupJan 21, 2004 22:03:03||I don't know. I mean, it's nice that there's more attention to the rest of the multiverse now, but Sigil was such a great city, and it really deserved its position as the center of the multiverse. And the Factions really stood at the heart of Sigil. Now, they're nothing more than Sects with a lot of members. I think Sigil really lost something, and I think the city is worse off for having lost that piece of its character. Now, it's just a dingy city with a lot of portals and a mysterious ruler.|
That's why I hope someone does writeups for the old factions. I like both versions for their charms, but I definitely see where fans of the old Planescape are coming from. I'm glad the feats can be used in multiple factions, etc.
|#14Shemeska_the_MarauderJan 21, 2004 22:12:34||Well hopefully my own take on post FW Sigil will satisfy some that the City of Doors, nor the factions have any intention of fading. The Kreigstanz is still very much alive, just new faces to join the old ones and some new rules for the game to follow.|
"And Zadara on the council? If that gets a seat I'll eat my own tiara."
|#15zombiegleemaxJan 21, 2004 22:20:24||Can I have a quick explanation as to why there are still factions in Sigil. I thought the Lady banned them all from operating? Did she recind the ban?|
|#16Shemeska_the_MarauderJan 21, 2004 22:34:13||Well they were banned from having any official power within the City of Doors. The phrasing of the Lady's Edict was somewhat hazy and so most of the factions have at least some marginal ties within the city, if not enough pull still within certain guilds etc that they walk a fine line between obeying and defying the will of The Lady.|
Of course the Ring Givers were not apparently among those subject to the edict after FW as they exist as a full fledged faction within the city and have yet to come to harm.
|#17zombiegleemaxJan 22, 2004 15:16:00||Yay, a new guildhall. Finally getting some more of the respect we deserve. |
All I can say now it it better not be in the hive.
|#18Shemeska_the_MarauderJan 22, 2004 17:28:48||Nope, Market Ward IIRC.|
|#19zombiegleemaxJan 22, 2004 18:21:38||Well I'f I could chime in to add a somewhat draconic opinion, I'd say that of the 15 factions, many are so similiar that its amazing they didn't all merge like the Signers and Godsmen did. |
For instance, the Xaosects and the Indeps.
On the other hand, there are sects which possess unique views which I feel should be a part of core Planescape.
Examples include the Campaigners(I created these guys), the Revivalists(check out http://www.mimir.net/sects/revivalists.shtml for these guys), among others.
Making the Ring-Givers a faction in 3rd edition was a start, but I'd add more.
Besides, since the lady's first edict regarding the factions was to limit them to 15, and her second(No Faction may exist as a political entity inside Sigil) has pretty much made the entire "factions are just sects with influence inside Sigil" point moot. There really is nothing separating the two catagories anymore.
Instead, for 3rd edition, I'd redefine the two catagories. Rather than Factions being large sects with a power base inside of Sigil, I'd make them pretty much what a sect used to be(Sects and Factions are now the same thing), however, I'd call orginizations like the Wild Hunt, the Wardens, the Anarch's Guild, the Guardians, the Prolongers, the Primals, and the Order of the Planes Millitant sects. Why? Because each is essentially a small(relatively speaking) group organized for a specific purpose or goal. I'd also put the Ragers and Opposition into this catagory, since their beliefs prevent them from growing, and therefore, being considered a faction.
for example, hows this for a faction?:
The Warmongers, The Warriors
Sect Symbol: Two Swords crossed over a red shield with a blue infinity symbol engraved on its surface.
Some say War is Hell. But look around the multiverse and what do you see? Conflict without apparent end. Sure, it is most obvious in Acheron or the Blood War, but Wars are a part of life on most Prime worlds, and in the Inner Planes as well. Even Sigil is not immune to this universal truth. War is the true meaning of existence. Even in nature, conflict abounds. To servive, a species must hunt and kill, or be killed. This is true with sentient bashers as well. If you want to survive, you fight, if you wish your love-ones to have the best lives themselves, you fight to make it happen. Conflict, war is constant, even when its not of a physical nature.
The Campaigners are a large sect that in Planar terms, grew almost overnight. Formed shortly after the Faction War ravaged Sigil by a charismatic General on Acheron named Hazious, this sect of soldiers, philosophers and common folk preaches the one universal truth in there eyes: War is Life.
Class/Alignment Restrictions: Any Lawful or Neutral, all classes, unless forbidden by creed or with conflicting beliefs(Example: A Priest of a God/Goddess of Peace, or a person who opposes war on philosophyical grounds)
Sect Allies and Enemies:
The Campaigners count the Order of the Planes Millitant as an ally, for both believe that you must fight for what you believe in. The Sodkillers, sharing the Campaigner's view that survival is fighting, are also natural allies. The Dustmen, seeing as they believe that this life is not the true life, and that the only true life lies in true death, are natural enemies with the Campaigners, who see life as a struggle fulled with Conflict. The Dustmen see the Campaigners as one of the reasons this life can't be the true life, while the Campaigners see the Dustmen as weak beings who would rather give up and die than fight to survive, and have you believe that such an existence isn't really living. The Doomguard, believing in the eventually descuction of the Multiverse, view the descuction caused by war(and the sect's beliefs) with delight. The Campaigners, in turn, are somewhat neutral with the Doomguard. Also, the Harmonium and the Campaigners are pretty much polar opposites. The Harmonium wish to end all conflict and bring Harmony towards all, while the Campaigners view conflict as the universal constant, and necessary for survival. With the Harmonium weakened from the Faction war and the Campaigners growing at an almost unreal rate, the Harmonium wouldn't dare challenge the Campaigners now, but they do view the Campaigners as a threat to the peace and harmony they are trying to achieve, and you can guarantee they will do something about it once they have recovered from the faction war...
Primary Plane of Influence: Acheron(On a plane which pretty much reprisents war incarnate, this should come as no surprise)
The Sect was founded on one of the smaller Cubes near what is now the Iron Fortress of the Sword's Edge. Orginally a Orcish war fortress, Hazious and his sect have converted it into their temporary sect headquarters. Hazious hopes to take advantage of the turmoil resulting from the Faction War and turn his sect into a Faction, complete with a Sigil headquarters.
Hazious was once a commander in the Harmonium. He was considered a model officer by his superiors in the faction, and seemed to be on the fast track to promotion. As a faction member, you could not find a more fanatical man than Hazious.
Hazious was also highly favored in Religious circles. As a Paladin, Hazious was even more fanatical than he was as a member of the Harmonium!
Then it happened. War erupted on the streets of Sigil between the Factions. This event totally shook Hazious' beliefs in a harmonious Multiverse. Hazious wandered the Planes for months, forshaking his faction and his God, until stumbling upon a small encampment of Orcs on Archeron, fighting for their lives against a group of Baatezu and their slaves.
Still believing in honor, Hazious rushed into the battle, sword drawn, and began fighting alongside the Orcs, thinking to even the odds. Then it hit him. Was this what he would spend the rest of his days doing? Ever since the Faction War, Hazious had been fighting for his life in his self-imposed exile, fighting to survive against everything from angry fiends to starvation. Is conflict the universal constant, is harmony simple wishful thinking by cowards who refuse to see the truth?
Hazious quickly found the answer to his questions was yes in his mind, and then dropped out of the battle and found a place where he could make his voice heard.
From atop a hill overlooking the battlefield, Hazious spoke the few sentiences which are now the sect's motto:
"All beings fight to survive, or die trying. If you disire survival, if you wish to live, you fight."
Hazious then, upon realizing that the battle had ended, and all were focusing on him, continued:
"Slavery is the pressing of the will of the strong upon the weak. I implore you who are weak, take your anger at your enslavement, and turn it into strength, the victors will never fear enslavement again, for the strong cannot be shackled."
And within seconds, the slaves joined the Orcs in fighting the Baatezu, and soon the battle was over.
The Orcs and former slaves became the first members of the Campaigners that day, and since then, the sect has grown to near-faction status, with Hazious bringing his message to the many warring groups of Acheron.
General Hazious of the Campaigners
Male, African, Age 35
Alignment: Lawful Neutral(Good tendacies)
Class: 25th level Warrior
It is believed that Generel Hazious has super-natural powers of a mysterious nature, as anyone who hears his speeches seems to feel compelled to join the Campaigners, and it takes a being of strong convictions to resist. Even beings with potent Magical resistance fall victim to this effect. Fortunately for the other sects and factions, Hazious rarely goes out recruiting himself, as he now has the privledge and responsibility of running the Sect.
General Hazious has limitations to his powers however,
1. Hazious' power is divine in nature. While Hazious is no longer a Paladin, and has forshaken his god, Hazious has picked up a follower of sorts in divine circles. It is unknown which God is supporting Hazious and his cause, but logically I'd think I'd be a God of War or something along those lines.
Conclusion: Hazious' power doesn't work near the Spire, or in Planes not connecting to Acheron(Arcadia, Mount Celestia, Bytopia, Elsyium, Beastlands, Arborea, Ysgard, Limbo, Pandemonium, The Abyss, Carceri, The Grey Waste, Gehenna, The Prime, The Ethereal, and every Inner Plane)
2. Hazious' powers do not work on fiends of Chaotic bents(Tanar'ri, Gehreleths, Zilasi, Slaad etc.)
They do however, work on Baatezu and Rakshasa, especially Baatezu.
A weird fact about fiends that join the Campaigners: They behave more Lawful Neutral than Evil. Meaning, they are less malicious than normal. Its unknown why fiends that join the Campaigners would put aside most of what makes them fiends after joining the sect