Sunday, June 3, 2012
Designing a Planet Part 9 - Minor Factions
Following right on the heels of the previous post comes one on Minor Factions. This will largely be defining the difference between the two and how minor factions can be used and created. The literal variation between the two is how large the groups are or influential (influence and power being the key elements though size could play a role if you wanted it to). The details of minor factions allow for more minor factions than powerful ones (in fact it is almost required that the powerful ones are outnumbered) and the minor groups play a lesser role in the story. What they can do however is provide a group that focuses on an element that you wanted to develop but couldn't find anywhere else to do it, creating an interesting and unique niche. These lesser organizations can provide special help that even the bigger ones can't because of their more intimate connections in a specific field where the powerful factions are more general and widely connected.
When creating a minor faction all of the elements for creating a powerful faction are still in play, the only thing to remember is that everything is scaled down mostly. Perhaps one or two of the minor factions are actually just as powerful as the bigger ones, they simply don't act and are actually more behind the scenes and rarely intervene and so are considered a minor organization because of their lack of activity and not their influence. This would be a very rare group so do not create too many lethargic groups, most are power hungry or whatever and always doing the best they can to pursue their ends and trying to become one of the powerful factions.
Perhaps the single most important detail to remember about designing a minor faction is how the lot of them will all interact and compete with each other and how they can individually change the setting or the story and how they might act together to bring about an end that perhaps even one of the powerful factions couldn't. Sometimes minor groups are able to accomplish things that no other could alone.
The distinction between minor and powerful factions needed to be made, but because the process is the same I do not believe that I need to write up an example minor faction.