Controlling your faction: Anecdotes?

A thought exercise/exploration regarding what the limits of “Take Action: Faction” gets you. My players seem hesitant to buy into my interpretation of what you can and cannot do with/to a faction you’ve activated, so I thought I’d open it up for discussion.

The book says this about activating a faction (p.433):


[LEFT][/SIZE][/FONT][/SIZE][/FONT]Destroying the faction for the remainder of the phase seems fairly self-evident: The group is disrupted, leaders are killed, or the group is otherwise unreachable. It’s a dead end of sorts, although I’d certainly still allow Circles rolls into those factions.[/LEFT]

[LEFT]But just how far does “under the activator’s control” get you?[/LEFT]

[LEFT]Faction assets are called out in the text. In most cases this is almost certainly only color, based on the shared narrative space everyone’s negotiated. There are human assets as well as physical. But…questions:

[LEFT]* Do you still have to burn tech that’s being provided by the faction? If so, what’s the benefit of “using the faction’s assets”? My intuition on this is that we’re talking not about specific tech, but color-level stuff (access to buildings, maybe specific Macguffin-type tech that has no mechanical impact, etc.). [/LEFT]

[LEFT]* Do you still have to Circle up members of the activated faction? Even named ones? If not, just how much of the faction could you bring to bear at any given moment?[/LEFT]

[LEFT]* Can you redefine elements of the faction, and if so, by how much? In our current game, I’ve suggested the players could (if they wanted) convert their “theocratic institutions” faction from MH to Heresy. I’ve also suggested I could take my “organized crime” faction and hull the lot of 'em in a color scene or in my maneuver’s sequel. But is that too much?[/LEFT]

[LEFT]What’d I’d really like to hear is stories from other peoples’ games about what they’ve done with factions they’ve activated. I thought I had a good idea of what was possible and expected, but maybe I’ve got it all wrong![/LEFT]



I interpret faction activation similarly to technology for the controlling side. The controlling side can call up as color assets like personnel and resources, but if those assets affect the dice, they have to be gained via circles or other dice rolls. In our game, the Vaylen activated the ‘slaves and serfs’. The faction rose in revolt soon after becoming a tool I could use to throw conflicts at the players. One of the Vaylen FONs is a slave; he became the slave revolt leader. And he’s human, so he’s not exactly working for the Vaylen, but he is unknowingly in contact with the Vaylen and is supported by them. The slave army is in effect a portion of the Vaylen ground forces. The presence of the army is ‘color’, when they fight battles the army leader rolls Tactics against other NPC leaders to see what happens. As the Vaylen acquire slaves, they are hulled without rolls in color scenes. And as the still serving slaves return to their estates, they hull various NPCs in color scenes.

I’m thinking, where it becomes necessary to Circle up NPCs from factions you control, mechanically speaking it’s probably worth +1D advantage. I might even extend that bonus to the roll to buy up your affiliation rank in those factions.


In my recently-wrapped game, I activated the Military Junta faction early on. It didn’t really come up that much, but the way it ended was really cool. I think I may have made a Circles roll or two when normally I wouldn’t have, and failure on some Circles rolls for PCs within the Junta usually meant the guy was a Vaylen agent.

It meant that the Military Junta was riddled with Vaylen, and when the PC took control of the world in a military coup, it all played right into the hands of the Vaylen…