PCs as Vaylen FoNs?

Just did a World Burning session today, and we ended up with these concepts:

Noble ruler of the planet, trying to hold the nobles together to maintain status quo

Business magnate trying to keep the economy alive

Anvil Lord wanting to unite the planet’s military

Insurrectionist looking to free the workers from the tyranny of the government

The last one we decided should be a FoN for the Vaylen side, and the others are all FoNs for the Human side (There’s also one other FoN for the Vaylen side, although I’m thinking we might need to add another). Does that sound kosher?

I strongly urge you not to split the players between Vaylen and Human on the first time out. It’s playable, but it adds another layer of navigation on top of a very rich (and heavy) game.

Change the concept. I’m serious. If you want that player to enjoy those 6 sessions to the fullest, change the concept.


The character is not a Vaylen, of course, just it seems his tack would be seen as “helping” the Vaylens currently. He’s not the featured FoN, either. He’s already stated some intention of switching sides.

I think part of it was that I hadn’t fullly absorbed the FoN purpose when we had the meeting (jet lag probably wasn’t helping, either). I’m pretty sure he meant to witch sides sometime before the end of the phase. (we’re playing a 1 phase game)

If the player wants to be “up for grabs” between the Vaylen and Human sides, then don’t make him a figure of note.
He can still roll dice for the Vaylen side.

You’ll probabably want to have two more dedicated Vaylen FONs to push the players (3 Vaylen figures total), because you’ll need the help and players love good villains. I’d recommend a psychologist.

The only way it might work is if the player starts off with the Vaylen and it is expressly understood that he will be brought over to the human side in the course of play. (As in the first session!)

Otherwise, change the concept.

That’s interesting. In our game, the PCs aren’t a cohesive group, though they are all on the Human side. In play, several see each other as enemies and a number are “working with” Vaylen FoNs to pursue their own ends. The whole thing is quite twisted.

It has seemed to work so far based on the underlying understanding that no matter what is going on in play, the PCs actions are undermining the Vaylen and eventually they will be the ones who stop them (or not). On the other hand, the Vaylen FoN who are also not a unified group are doing things that help the Vaylen (whether they know it or not).

This seems very much like the split between the result of the manuever and the results of the scenes.

Is this kosher or are we doing something wrong?

What y’all are doing sounds awesome to me.

There is a real weight to the stories when the human side players are consciously working against each other and with the enemy.

How about a Vaylen traitor as a player-character? In other words, the character is burned up using the Vaylen lifepaths, but it is definitely on the human side and even potentially a human Figure of Note?

Lady Sheva says at one point to Philippe d’Artois that Vaylen don’t turn on each other, but given the society described in the rules, I can certainly imagine one clan sending an agent to frustrate the schemes of another clan – which puts that agent on the human side, just as a human can be on the Vaylen, either because he’s a traitor helping them knowingly against humanity (e.g. Philippe d’Artois) or a “useful fool” helping them unwittingly because of his blind pursuit of some inter-human agenda (e.g. the Lord Steward in Faith Conquers).

They’re still on the Vaylen side. This isn’t like two miners who want the same claim. It’s like two doctors who want to publish about the same patient. They might undercut one another to any extent that doesn’t harm the patient, but they won’t let the patient die or go to another hospital.

So your Clan X Vaylen might deny visas for Clan Y, but they will not unmask them as Vaylen, and so on. Probably even if Clan Y achieves a total victory, Clan X can still negotiate a share based on their fingers being on-planet and publicly seeming to help.

See also this thread:

So, the way I meant to finish that post…

In a typical case that sort of infighting still puts them on the same side. Vaylen are more unified than humans. But in a really vicious case, you could potentially have a Vaylen character who wanted to break his rivals upon the rock he would make of this world, so that his clan’s fleets could swoop in and take their other worlds, and then, with the power and resources gained from that, reduce this one. He might be on the Human side in Invasion, then later you could do the Usurpation and Invasion that he’s been planning for.

I think the break-point between “on Vaylen side, doesn’t like other Vaylen FONs” and being on the human side comes when you stop wanting some vaylen to win and not others, and start wanting the humans to destroy them some vaylen.

That makes a lot of sense to me. This is an existential conflict.