Drama takes many forms. And by all means, politics is no exception. There is no denying the power of factions vying for dominance, tricky games of diplomacy that seek a common goal, the fear of relations failing in the event diplomacy isn’t enough, the relief of different groups joining under common goals, the behind the scenes backstabbing and trickery that pulls the strings and the front and center conflict that comes from all of it. Of course, gamers are no stranger to politics either, in or out of game. But, for the purposes of this blog post, we shall focus on the in-universe topics. And on the subject of setting, you’re bound to find something to pull from. Ranging from the meeting room drama mixed with warfare found in A Song of Ice and Fire to the escalating fire pit that is the Factions of Planescape, one can pull something from anyway. But, perhaps you want to start on something from scratch?
So, where to start? First, one could create a plethora of different perspectives for your worlds and examine how they contend with each other. As with all ideas, they will attract their followers. Sooner or later, one set of ideals will likely take the crown. But, not everyone is happy, nor should they be. And from there, lines become drawn as plans too are drawn. How does one procure power? Why is your faction more worthy than another? What lengths will you go to ensure control and relevance? Who are your allies and who are your enemies? Is there hope for cooperation? Why do you remain dedicated to your cause? Do conflicts stay to the shadows, building something of a cold war? Have they heated up, unable to sustain themselves through deception and intrigue? All of these are viable questions for building the politics and groups of your world. And by all means, they aren’t the only ones. These are just a few ways I’ve mused on these matters. If you find another way that works for this sort of worldbuilding, please use that! In fact, please share too!
So, who operates what in your games? What groups vie for what spots? What conflicts have bubbled from all of this? Game stories, mechanics, ideas and more are all welcome! But, due to the controversial nature of such a topic, I do again request you maintain this within an in-game universe. Last year was already rough. Let’s leave our own baggage at the door and roll some dice together… And bash each other’s heads in over who killed the Crown and who will take their place!
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