Race and class don’t make a whole person on the planes. A body’s got to have a philosophy, a vision of the multiverse and what it all means. Sure, a fellow can get along without it, but how’s he ever going to make sense of the whole thing and find his own “center of the multiverse”? How’s he going to know his friends from his enemies in places where what he stands for can mean everything? A body’s got to haev a place to stand in order to see the majesty of the whole thing. On the streets of Sigil, and beyond, philosophies are more than just ideas. They’re groups — factions with leaders, goals, powers, and attitudes. Every faction has its own way of seeing the multiverse and has its own powers to match. Some of them get along, others don’t, and some could care less about the rest of the multiverse.
Factions in this game are treated like like Affiliations (see the Players Handbook II), advancement within the faction can depend on stats, accomplishments, actions, and demonstrating or following one’s beliefs, even to one’s own detriment. Factions provide a basher with a way to understand the planes. It’s not the same as alignment, but it can be close. Factions are organizations with benefits and restrictions. Every faction has a leader, known as the Factol, whose position is purely dependent upon dedication to the philosophy, not upon level or class. Some factions are more organized than others, and at least one — the Indeps — isn’t really a faction at all.
Every planar player character must start with a faction, and once a faction is chosen, the cutter is pretty much stuck with it, so he or she should choose carefully. Those who change from one faction to another inspire about the same confidence as Benedict Arnold – they’re hated by old companions and mistrusted by new ones.
Prime characters don’t automatically start with a faction, the factions aren’t all that well known in the prime-material world, and those who come from that plane will automatically find themselves considered Outsiders.
Each faction described in the above entries is organized as follows:
Official Faction Title
(Alternate and slang names, not all complimentary.)
Faction philosophy: This gives a quick summary of what the faction believes.
Primary Plane of Influence: This is the plane where the faction has the most power. Generally, this location is the plane with the alignment most similar to the faction’s philosophy. Each faction’s headquarters in Sigil is also noted here.
Allies and Enemies: The factions don’t exist independently of each other. Some find their philosophies mutually favorable, while others hold beliefs at odds with one another. While factions rarely fight each other directly, rivals may not always be cooperative.
Eligibility: Listed here are the game requirements that must be met for a character to join the faction.
How to join: Clues for primes who want to know what they’re getting themselves into in order to fit in.
Namer Benefits/Restrictions: The basic benefits for belonging to the faction that are unique to that faction.
|X or more ranks in SKILL
|Performed a certain task
|Each successful mission undertaken for the faction
_The above table will outline the basic behaviors that advance the character within the faction, the total regard of the character to the faction is represented by their faction score. This table is not an exhaustive or complete list, merely the general behaviors, accomplishments, and achievements that the faction appreciates and encourages in it's members. Characters who have achieved the necessary score and performed whatever other tasks required will advance in their faction rank._
Faction organizations differ, but all tend to fall within the basic structure of Namer, Factotum, Factor, Factol. Factions are led by a Factol. Other high-ranking faction members are called Factors, and mid-level faction members are called Factotums. The lowest-ranking members are called Namers because many of them have only a tenuous faith in their faction's philosophy and are thus members in name only.
Characters who advance their rank to Factotum will additionally be able to see the following table, as they have proven themselves trustworthy with the basic darks of the faction.
|Faction Score||Title: Benefits and Duties|
|0-5||Namer: Benefit1, Restriction|
fn1. Specific task or requirement aside from faction score needed to advance to this rank.
fn2. Sometimes all that is needed other than the necessary faction score is a vacancy in the position, where members of that rank are limited.
fn3. With rare exception, there can only be one Factol in a faction. Some factions elect a new leader, others fight over the position.
Benefit1: Namers get certain basic benefits for joining a faction.
Restriction: Namers often find their behavior restricted in a certain way in accordance with their faction philosophy.
Benefit2: From here on, there are generally only benefits.
Benefit3: Some factions have more ranks, and thus more benefits than others.
Benefit4: Other factions have fewer benefits, though theirs may be more powerful.
Benefit5: Sometimes advancement in a faction is very easy.
Benefit6: Other factions are very formal, and take a long time to rise up in the ranks.
GENERAL FACTION BENEFITS
Looking for the Xaositect’s faction headquarters?
Come with me – you’re under arrest.
- Minnith, a Harmonium officer
In addition to the specific benefits described in each entry, all factions have certain common benefits, the rewards of belonging to a group. Being part of a faction has rewards that go along with the philosophy. Some of these are particular to a basher’s outlook on life, but nearly all factions have some rewards in common.
The most obvious of these benefits are the fellowship and sanctuary of the faction headquarters. This is more than just a meeting hall, although it serves for that, too. Most faction headquarters provide services for the needs of the followers as well.
Information: There’s a lot of dark about the planes. Where to find portals in Sigil, where those portals lead, and spell keys for the different planes are just of few of the things a cutter needs to know before setting out on an adventure. Some of this a body can pick up from the chant on the streets, or maybe buy from a traveler in a shady tavern, but a berk never knows when some sharper’s going to bob him with forged information. It’s much better to go to one’s faction headquarters for what a body needs to know. Sure they charge – nothing’s free – but they don’t cheat their own.
Employment: Most factols figure it’s bad advertising when their members are unemployed too long. Looking shabby and poor doesn’t attract that many new followers, and out-of-work partisans can create all sorts of trouble. It’s pretty common, then, for the faction headquarters to keep an ear open for potential jobs. Planars know that troubles can often be solved by taking them to the right faction. Got problems with undead? The Dustmen are probably best for the job. Somebody escape the slippery claws of justice? Tell the tale to the Mercykillers. For a cut of the profit or some up-front jink, a fellow can get connected with a potential employer through his or her faction headquarters.
Healing: Another common practice of the factions is to keep a few like-minded clerics at their headquarters. Most factions believe in taking care of their own, so the clerics are there to provide healing, lift curses, cure diseases, divine secrets, and perform other nonadventuring tasks within their power. It costs – and it can cost a lot – but at least the service is reliable.
Miscellaneous: In addition to these services, there’s a host of little things a faction can do. There’s advice, companionship, spare beds, and occasional hot meals. A headquarters ain’t an inn, though, so don’t expect to set up shop there. A night or two is tolerated, but after that a berk had better find some jink and get himself a proper room. There are also some things that won’t happen at faction headquarters. They’re not in the business of loaning money or gear, especially not to adventurers. Oh, a lot of factions are rich, and some maintain sizable armories, but that’s for their own emergencies. They won’t attack other factions, either – at least not directly. Most factols aren’t too keen on seeing a bloody creed war waged in the streets of Sigil, except maybe the Xaositects and the Doomguard. Factions don’t interfere with the government of Sigil, either. In fact, some of them are part of that government, but a body can always find advice on who to garnish and how much to offer. Finally, factions don’t send out rescue parties. Get in trouble out on the planes and a berk’s on his own – unless, of course, he’s got something the faction really wants.
Sects and Factions
Functionally, a Sect and a Faction are the same thing. The primary differences are size and location. Factions are Sects that are allowed by The Lady of Pain to operate within Sigil, and their interests are multiversal in scope. Sects either lack sanction from The Lady of Pain to operate within Sigil in an official capacity or have a more narrow scope such as an interest in one plane or region. None the less, there are enough members of the sect that their collective belief on their philosophy grant them the same kind of powers and benefits that faction members enjoy. Having sanction in Sigil is a big deal, because that kind of exposure gives you serious gains in numbers. Factions are dramatically larger than Sects. Over the course of a bodies life, even a seasoned Planeswalker will run into significantly more Faction members than Sect members.