Factions. Are they fun?

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Factions. Are they fun?

Post  Honest John Stag on Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:46 pm

I really enjoyed the whole alliance making and rivalry aspect that grew up between the different coloured sashes in the Pirates. I made a whole new bunch of friends and got to role-play with a wider group of people. I'd love to see the faction aspect of the event develop, what does everyone else think?
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Re: Factions. Are they fun?

Post  Honest John Stag on Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:15 pm

For me at the last event it seemed that there were about six factions:

  1. The Black sash Pirates
    The Purple Sash Pirates
    The White Sash Pirates
    The Blue Sash Pirates
    The Townsfolk
    The Militia


Here's some of my thoughts on factions and some suggestions on things to think about.

The Townsfolk
Following on from the NPC thread http://thepirates.forumotion.net/general-discussion-f1/non-player-characters-how-can-they-best-be-used-t16.htm
I love the idea of the Mayor as heading up the Townsfolk faction. I think it gives the towsfolk and unaffiliated characters something to fall behind and have fight their corner. Not everyone wants to be a pirate or Militia, the Mayor should essentially be the representative of all these other folk. That would by default include traders.

The mayor may take a bit of unfavourable view to the Kings revenue men taxing everyone dry and may be in cahoots with smugglers (brandy for the parson etc) Personally I'd favour a dpc starting this role off to show how it should be done. An election for Mayor could make a good third or forth event subplot.

The Mayor should not have control of the militia or the judiciary but have to negotiate for their services just like everyone else.

The Militia

As a playable group, and a faction its own right, the rank structure does all that is needed. But I'd be interested to hear what those people who played militia thought about it and what ideas they have for improvement.

Pirate Factions

With the Pirate factions, well having some kind of faction leader would be a great idea in my book. Of course, the challenge for anyone doing that is to stay alive long enough to lead their faction. Mutinous crews and treacherous first mates are part of the mythos of course. There are two ways to put pirate leaders in place. 1) start the event with Pirate captain DPC in play. 2) Set the game in such a way to generate leaders from the playing group.

1) If you start with a Pirate captain DPC on day one scene one for each faction, my suggestion would be that the DPC's brief is they are recruiting. This gives the players the choice to choose which faction (which Captain they want to serve). Lets say there are three captains they each have 30 sashes of their own respective colours (the refs can keep an eye on how the numbers are panning out). The players are briefed that by the end of Friday they must have chosen a sash or likely be cast from the township as vagrants. This gives you a lot of play on Friday night as players size up the Captains; working out who will make them rich or who they can murder and take over from. In turn the Captain's can set the players little tasks to do to prove themselves, anything from knife fighting to yarn spinning. Because, after all if you earn your place on that crew it feels better.

Some players will procrastinate and want to put off their decision until the following day. Having the Captain's being very clear that you choose who to sail with on the Friday night or the consequences will be dire(vagrancy will have you flogged out of town), adds some drama. If the Press gang are about and targeting anyone without a sash even better. For those players who get pressed or who don't arrive until time-out Friday or on the Saturday, they are simply slotted into a faction as normal via a visit to the office first thing.

On the Friday night the majority of the monster team could play Captain's crew (there job is to talk up their respective factions and keep order). You would need minimum of three crew per captain but ideally five to be truly intimidating. Your Friday night would I expect have quite allow militia presence unless players had opted for those roles. At the end of the Friday these NPC crew can bugger off to the ships where they will stay until the last day (freeing these people up to play other roles such as militia or any other protagonists). If a player murders the DPC captain so be it, but he will have to face hard nose sailors on the last day so he better have made sure he's got the rest of the players behind him or can do some fast talking indeed.

For players who have conceived of their characters as Captain's in their own right and specifically gone out and bought a big hat with feather for instance, there is absolutely no reason why there backgrounds can't have had them being a captain of a mighty ship in the past, but as they have not arrived at the event with a ready made crew of 30 it's would be fair to say that they don't have enough game resources to be captain of anything more than a row boat. Hopefully having the big hat would mean that they would covet the Captaincy even more and play their damnedest to get it.

2) As per the last event the sashes are handed out at registration, keeping an eye on the numbers in each group to ensure there is some balance. Having the players required to pick a leader from amongst themselves could be great fun. Giving each faction its own camp, and its own treasure chest (to guard or to be raided) helps set up some form of identity.Whether they do it by knife,election or lot is upto them. But having someone at the top gives the players even more fun dynamics to play with. The trick here is having a convincing IC reason to chose one captain to sit above the others. For me the best reason is the Captaincy itself. In other words one Captain per pirate faction. At the last event, the place was awash with captains and the rank seemed pretty meaningless. Anyone it seemed could call themselves a Captain even if they essentially had a crew of three. Having the players having to determine who their Captain for their faction will be on the day could be amazing fun, let alone the fun they would have choosing first mates, bosuns and quartermasters etc. The difficulty here is they may not bother or that the flow of players arriving at different times mean that late arrivals feel put out.

Just some ideas, interested to hear what people think.
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Re: Factions. Are they fun?

Post  Dre on Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:48 pm

There were a few of us light blue sashes - about eight or nine total - but most of the others had to leave on Sunday.

I like the idea of having a townsfolk 'faction' - with the Living History aspects which could be played up it might provide a good counterpoint to the scurvy action going on. It also makes for an alternative for players who don't want to necessarily get into fights but who want to roleplay during the event. And the mayorship is something that pirate factions could get behind as well, either overtly or covertly. After all the mayor could decide that wearing a certain sash colour is suddenly taxable...

Pirates I don't think need a defined structure for their leadership. Ideally when booking you should be given the option to identify the Captain you follow but due to mortality rates it's probably best to keep things fluid. Infighting can be good, and it helps balance large factions when nobody is quite sure who's in charge...

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Re: Factions. Are they fun?

Post  Barkeep on Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:10 pm

I will be honest - and following the vitriol shown on the Rule 7 boards - a little hesitant ...
I approached the game as a player as well as a trader/bar - and picked up early that there was a township which was overrun with Pirates ..
and as the Abbott - granted a little dodgy - it was my job to survive and do our best to out-pirate the pirates....
I was asked whether I had based the Abbot on the Rev Dr Syn and to some extent I suppose I had.

I therefore always saw the town folk as a group who had to survive the pirates - and thus we ended up with the giddy kipper and the Soothsayer in our support group.
I Firmly believe that there is a role for the towns people to be a faction in their own right - though following comments elsewhere it may be that it should be made clear that we are players as well as traders...
My tuppence ...
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Re: Factions. Are they fun?

Post  Admin on Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:30 pm

The traders/townsfolk as far as I am aware were always part of the game and will remain so. If we increase the living history presence then the townsfolk will become even more important. Some ideas allowing for other ways to earn/acquire coin may have to be investigated. We have some time to do this but ideas and contributions are as ever very welcome.

Nice to see you here Iain.

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Re: Factions. Are they fun?

Post  Emma on Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:35 pm

Personally I'd run a mile if we had formally organised and balanced factions.
Lorien Trust and Curious Pasttimes do that, and you end up having OOC reasons for things you struggle to justify IC (beyond the usual "we're doing this because of OOC safety/It'll be fun.").

Besides, we're pirates, we're not known for consistent rules and balance. Having the flexibility of fluctuating numbers and getting to jump ship was triffic fun last event. Smile

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Re: Factions. Are they fun?

Post  Admin on Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:14 pm

I think faction is perhaps the wrong word and because of people's experience in other systems automatically conjures up images which are nothing to do with BB&B. The original rules called for different types of pirates, bandits and brigands with different characteristics, dress etc but everyone wanted to be a pirate so the bands were an essential way to make the game happen. Some form of obvious banding is required to make the game mechanics with regard to taxation etc work and provide a basic structure to encourage people to do things. Remember we have just 48 hours next time to compress in the excitement, sneakiness, robberies and derring do that would take weeks in the real world.

I don't think anyone is suggesting "formally organised and balanced factions" any more than the balance that was attempted at BB&B1. Everyone should also remember that they don't have to involve themselves in any of the interband squabbling etc and could just come along and be rogueish in their own right if they wanted. It seems to me that some people like direction, targets and objectives whilst others just enjoy the anarchic situation. What we had at Widley should offer something for everyone but we should be realistic enough to accept that it will never offer everything for everyone which is why healthy discussion and the bouncing around of ideas is essential and invited.

As both the plotline and history of the event progress some of these things will take on a life of their own anyway - oh exciting times ahead! Twisted Evil

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Re: Factions. Are they fun?

Post  Honest John Stag on Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:06 pm

Barkeep wrote:I will be honest - and following the vitriol shown on the Rule 7 boards - a little hesitant ...
I approached the game as a player as well as a trader/bar - and picked up early that there was a township which was overrun with Pirates ..
and as the Abbott - granted a little dodgy - it was my job to survive and do our best to out-pirate the pirates....
I was asked whether I had based the Abbot on the Rev Dr Syn and to some extent I suppose I had.

I therefore always saw the town folk as a group who had to survive the pirates - and thus we ended up with the giddy kipper and the Soothsayer in our support group.
I Firmly believe that there is a role for the towns people to be a faction in their own right - though following comments elsewhere it may be that it should be made clear that we are players as well as traders...
My tuppence ...

I know the vitriol you speak of and was disappointed that the lady in question chose to express herself in such away on those boards. And I'm glad that has been left there and a more productive discusion is happening here. My thoughts are that from what I saw, the game was played well by everybody and apart from some misunderstandings (that got blown out of proportion) it was an extremely enjoyable time.

Playing the outcome of the heist on the crimson moon I found very enjoyable and it was made so by the fact that the pirate players were acting as a faction and the traders were Players too. Hat's off to you for running a real business and finding time to engage and add fun as a character as well, all without compromising either. It added so much to the event.
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Basically

Post  Hunter on Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:44 pm

I am not going to write another massive post because I am tired and I have work to do but I will point everyone to my post here:


I will make an additional post here soon but basically as a first timer I loved the event and would encourage its continued existence in its current format as an accessible one that may increase the involvement of new people.

A few tweaks maybe and a bit more honesty (o/c) but basically it was excellent.

Thanks for such a great time, Captain Hunter will be back and he will be scary.

Good plundering for you all.

Cap'n Hunter

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erm

Post  Hunter on Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:46 pm

Well my address for the post on Rule 7 didn't show but I'm sure you can all find it.

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Re: Factions. Are they fun?

Post  Admin on Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:56 am

Hunter's posts on Rule7 are here.

http://forums.rule7.co.uk/Topic92326-81-6.aspx#bm93582


To post a link - click on the link button in the toolbar above the window you are typing in. A drop down menu appears, paste the link into the bar on the drop down and click OK. Voila, link posted. (The system has several advantages not least of which is it stops spam links)

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Re: Factions. Are they fun?

Post  Dre on Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:30 am

So I've noticed that the booking form for the website offers a discount price exclusively for people willing to play Robbers/Bandits (£30, like returning participants).
I'm not sure whether this is the best kind of incentive for players. If nothing else, there are other factions under-represented (i.e. smugglers, trappers). Is there a reason why there need to be more Clansmen in the system?

Was just wondering what other people thought about this.

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Re: Factions. Are they fun?

Post  Admin on Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:42 am

Martin's decision is based on an urge to get people to diversify away from being pirates to add some mare variety to the game. I agree that it might be better if the smugglers and trappers were offered the same incentive and will suggest it to him. Martin does read the forum and will shortly be registering to post.

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Re: Factions. Are they fun?

Post  Benjamin Parts on Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:56 pm

Well, I for one would love to see a Jacobite mayor.
Who will be arrested by the militia as soon as he tried to pay crown taxes to the wrong king. Twisted Evil

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Re: Factions. Are they fun?

Post  master_flash on Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:27 am

The factions were certainly a lot of fun, I expect they will be more so at the next event even without tweaks as the returning players will be more likely to engage in alliances and other clandestine dealings.

I liked the idea mentioned elsewhere of 'horizontal' factions that run across the established factions. The example mentioned was of devotees of the lobster cult. Other options might be various NPCs spy networks (the colonel, the judge etc.) or various secret societies a la the freemasons. All these factions would have their own, secret, win conditions designed to further the plot development.

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Cults

Post  Honest John Stag on Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:43 pm

lol speaking of cults, who can forget the 'Upside Down Men', subtle, but hilarious.
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Re: Factions. Are they fun?

Post  Barkeep on Wed Aug 05, 2009 2:41 pm

Ah - the mysterious upside down?

upside down

and more..

and more..

who or what is responsible???

The Abbot is thinking of holding an exorcism..

Abbot
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Re: Factions. Are they fun?

Post  uǝɯ uʍop ǝpısdn ǝɥʇ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:26 am

¡ɹǝqɯǝʇdǝs uı uɹnʇǝɹ 11ɐɥs ǝʍ pǝɹnssɐ ʇsǝɹ
¡pǝsıuboɔǝɹ buıǝq ʎ11ɐuıɟ ǝɹɐ sʇɹoɟɟǝ ɹno sɯǝǝs ʇı '11ǝʍ 11ǝʍ 11ǝʍ
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Re: Factions. Are they fun?

Post  Barkeep on Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:42 am

that is really cool !
I am impressed
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Re: Factions. Are they fun?

Post  uǝɯ uʍop ǝpısdn ǝɥʇ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:54 am

¡uɐ1d ʇxǝu ɹno ǝǝs noʎ 1ıʇun ʇıɐʍ
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Re: Factions. Are they fun?

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