STAR ARMY

A community for military sci-fi & space opera roleplaying

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guide:creating_a_faction

Creating A Faction

If you thinking about making a faction, please be mindful that there are a number of minor played factions short on players, and a new played faction might further divide the site's player base. For this reason, we recommend that, if you wish to create a new faction, you start out by making them a background faction. You can always upgrade them later to a played faction if you can recruit people to join in an RP.

At the same time, there's a need of more diverse (more alien) background ones because existing factions are fairly similar. The easiest way to make a new species obviously inhuman is to give them non-human heads. If they have a human head, there should be some plausible reason why they look like humans.

Creating Played Factions

Be willing to work hard. Respect the process. Ideas formulate easily. Making those ideas into a reality is a long, arduous process which is largely thankless. You need to look inward and seriously ask yourself if you have the determination to work at something for months or even years before it picks up enough steam to run on its own.

  • Unrealistic expectations are the death of a creation. Expect to start at the bottom of the ladder and slowly work your way up. There are no shortcuts.
  • Understand that you will have to run a plotship, so you're going to do double duty as FM/GM. Can you handle this workload?

Fill A Niche

Your faction/race should work to benefit the setting, to fit as a piece in the grander puzzle, not to act against it. What does your faction/race contribute to the community that fills a need? Your ideas are important, but remember that when you submit something for approval, it isn't only about you but how your creation serves the whole.

  • Many factions/species fall by the wayside because they don't appeal to the player base at large. Usually, a faction/species is created by one person and this results in a narrowing of perspective.
  • While you're making your creation, step back several times and ask yourself these questions: How is my creation going to get players? What interesting things can I highlight that make the casual observer stand back and go “Wow. That's something I can really sink my teeth into.”?
  • Think of what you can do with your creation after they're approved. What exactly are they going to do? What roleplay stories can you tell?

Balance Originality and Familiarity

As more and more species/factions are created, they tend to bleed together and there's a greater need to have your creation stand out. But if your species is too foreign, players will have difficulty relating to and identifying with them.

Take comments from the NTSE community, admins and players. Pitch ideas. Find out what gets their interest and what is a little too far out there. Work within these boundaries as you craft your creation.

Worldbuilding

Here's some things to consider when making your faction:

Questions:

  1. Who hates who and why?
  2. Who are the outsiders in your society and who are the insiders?
  3. Where is the friction? This will be where stories and RP opportunities can flourish.
  4. What makes people care about this faction?
  5. What's life like for everyday people?

Suggestions:

  1. Put plot hooks and “kegs of dynamite” everywhere
  2. Humanize your faction enough that players can relate to its people.
  3. Start small and build outward.
  4. Start with a change and think about what other things would change to make that work.
  5. Star Army is a vast and mysterious universe. Revealing a mystery should open more mysteries.

Adversaries

When writing up enemy factions, be sure to include:

  • Group Leaders
  • Personalities and motivations.
  • Stats for a sample member.
  • Stats for a tough member
  • Notes about different weapons and armor.
  • Range of Damage Capacity (HP).
  • A list of typical names for their members

Nurturing New Played Factions

The three keys here are: finding players, generating momentum and keeping things together.

Find a cause to rally behind.

Now that your faction/race is created, you need to work on getting players. One of the biggest things you can do is create something that binds the elements of your creation together. It could be a war, it could be a critical cultural event or something else entirely, but make it something that all players can get behind. If nothing else, it serves as a critical reference point to bring everyone back to.

Create a strong, unifying figurehead

All causes need leaders to put a face on them. For your faction or species, make someone who represents the cause and pushes it forward. If not one person, make several notable PC/NPCs who represent the 'essence' of the species/faction. And make them visible. Very visible. Leaders need to be seen.

Honor Your First Few Players

  1. The first few players who join your faction will make or break it. Goodwill, as well as negativity, is contagious. Work hard to make them happy.
  2. One of the easiest ways to do this is to let them in on the process of managing the faction/species. Give them power, little by little at first. (This becomes important later on). Make them feel like they have a say in matters. Nobody likes being yanked on a leash.
  3. Run your plot. Show that you're active and dedicated enough to see things through.

Emphasize fun first. The rest will follow

Players come up with wild ideas. Aethersperm, Admiral Davis's Fishsticks, national holidays celebrating gun exchange. These little touches add so much to a faction/species. Some will be a bit messy. Just run with them. Throw them against the wall and see what sticks. Your players will appreciate your flexibility. Give your faction character and a sense of humor.

Now that your faction/species has wings of its own, it's time for the endgame. These are two of the hardest steps, but they are two of the most essential ones.

Democratize the process

If and when you've reached a point where your creation no longer needs you tending to it so closely. It's time to respect what your creation has become and step into the role of adviser instead of leader. Advise, do not demand.

Tom: What I did with Nepleslia was form a group of trusted players who I treated as equals. These were players who were with me from the early days of Nepleslia and who I worked closely with. Because I had treated them so well in the past, let them in on the process, they respected my opinions when I brought them up. I only stepped in directly when there were disagreements and an 'official' ruling had to be made. And because a foundation of goodwill had been built over the years, everyone respected the decisions made. If you've made it to this point, you've done a great job.

When it's time, walk away

You can't be by your creation's side forever. There comes a point when the community takes over and your faction becomes something greater than what you originally imagined. It'll move in directions you hadn't anticipated. The worst thing you can do is cling to your creation. It's hard to do, but be willing to let go and step away.

  • Place the faction/species in the hands of your trusted players with the understanding that they too, will have to do this same thing some day. That way, the faction/species will continue to grow years after you've left and become a self-sustaining force in the community.
  • This isn't saying that you can't come back. Just don't feel entitled. You know your community will welcome you back if you've done a good job.
guide/creating_a_faction.txt · Last modified: 2016/10/16 14:03 by wes