Planes of Power
A children’s rhyme about the factions…
Anarchists love fire and blade, They pull down those who’ve got it made.
Athar spit in the preacher’s eye, Whilst false powers bleed and die.
Bleakers laugh and go insane, There’s no point cuz life is pain.
Ciphers act on whim and hunch, Weird and mystic are that bunch.
Dustmen’re nought but cold hard death, Life is so much wasted breath.
Fated count the jink they make, Never give if you can take.
Godsmen tumble end o’er end, Seeking always to ascend.
Guvners order realms of dreams, Making rules and counting beans.
Hardheads are an ordered lot, March left, march right, no time for thought.
Indeps are a motley crew, Bloods and berks and shouters too.
Red Death saw your dirty deed, They’ll make you pay until you bleed.
Sensates reach to feel it all, True bloods stand, while bubbers fall.
Signers think we’re in their head, But we’ll remain when they’re all dead.
Sinkers revel in decay, By entropy we’ll pass away.
Xaosmen embrace discord, Random chaos is their word.
Sigil’s guarded by She Who Flays, The Lady rules, now and always.
Factions in this game replace the 5 Forgotten Realms factions in the DMG. These Factions, like those, have beliefs and goals. Your PC can advance within your chosen Faction by gaining Renown. Renown can give you rank, abilities, or influence. It is worth noting that you can screw up and lose Renown as well.
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 have 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 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.
So… the list of Factions and a summary of their beliefs.
Athar The gods are frauds. The unknowable truth lies beyond the veil.
Believers of the Source All creature are tested, ascending or descending in an eternal cycle.
Bleak Cabal There is no meaning to the multiverse. The only truth lies within.
Doomguard Entropy is the natural state of the planes. Fighting this creates suffering.
Dustmen This “life” is a lie full of suffering and attachment. Seek the True Death .
Fated A man makes his own destiny. With enough will anything is possible.
Fraternity of Order Knowledge is power. Know the laws of the planes and control them.
Free League No one has the ultimate truth. Find your own way. Live free or die.
Harmonium Harmony is the meaning of the multiverse. Seek an end to conflict.
Mercykillers Justice leads to perfection. Punish the guilty, protect the innocent.
Revolutionary League Truth can’t be found until we cast down the corrupt and mighty.
Society of Sensation The planes don’t exist beyond what can be sensed. Senses are truth.
Sign of One The mind imagines the planes. We create our own realities.
Transcendent Order Action without thought reveals the cadence of the planes.
Xaositects Chaos is truth, order delusion. Embrace the chaos.
All Faction Headquarters have public areas – accessible to visitors and those who have business with the faction – and private areas, which are accessible only to faction members. A person looking for information into a faction could do worse than visit the public areas of the faction headquarters – most such areas have factotums available willing to discuss faction philosophy, current events, and provide general information about goings on in the faction. Visiting such areas is typically free.
The Factions are also willing to provide guides for some visiting dignitaries. These guides are factotums trained for such duties, bloods well trained in the ebb and flow of the city and who know their way around town. These factotums are specially trained to show the dignitaries a good time – the better to loosen their tongues and extract whatever information or favor the Faction needs out of them. Such services are not for hire by anyone, however, and are provided only on special occasions for special individuals.
You have joined – and often work for – your faction. More importantly, you have demonstrated enough belief that the Multiverse itself. Please note that the pre-requisites here are ranks granted by your Faction. These must be earned through roleplay.
Namer: you’ve joined a faction. Anyone can take this.
Ranker: you’ve completed a Faction mission
Factotum: you’re a full-time factioneer. You regard faction business as your full time employment (even if you don’t get paid much).
Factor: you’re a High Up in your faction. Factors govern places and day-to-day business of the faction and often work with their Factol and other factors to govern the affairs of the faction.
Your Faction has taught you The Basics. You gain training in a skill, tool, language, or ability associated with your faction (or more than one). If you are already trained, you gain Expertise (as per the Rogue ability of the same name) instead. Several factions offer additional abilities as well.
1. The Athar: Spellcasting ability to Counterspell and Dispel Magic against divine sources. Tool proficiency (choice). Language (choice of Celestial, Infernal, or Abyssal).
2. The Believers of the Source: Religion. Artisan’s tools (choice).
3. The Fated: skill of choice.
4. The Fraternity of Order: Planar Cosmology. Language: Modron
5. The Free League: any 2 tool or languages of choice. Faction Tout background feature (or choice if you already have that).
6. The Mercykillers: Insight, Investigation, & Survival (for all: only when pursuing lawbreakers).
7. The Sign of One: Insight. Language (Choice)
8. The Society of Sensation: Perception. Musical Instrument (choice) and Gaming Set (choice).
9. The Transcendent Order: Initiative.
You have learned to adapt your beliefs to your adventuring career. For this and future levels, you may choose one of the following abilities and add your Faction level to your base class level when determining how a level-dependent ability functions. You must choose an ability that belongs to one class you currently have.
Barbarian: Rages per day & Rage Damage
Bard: Bardic Inspiration
Cleric: Divine Domain progression
Druid: Wild Shape
Fighter: Extra Attack
Fighter: Martial Archetype progression
Monk: Ki Points & Monk movement
Paladin: Sacred Oath progression
Rogue: Sneak Attack
Sorcerer: Font of Magic & Metamagic
Warlock: Spells Known & Invocations known
Any Spellcaster: Spell Slots per day (but not spells known). Also, learn one of your class’s cantrip. (Classes without cantrips may learn 1 cantrip from the class list of spells they have access to. Paladins may learn a Cleric cantrip and Rangers may learn a Druid cantrip.)
Your beliefs empower you. When you gain this ability, you gain an additional attunement slot for magic items.
You have learned to fully tap your beliefs, and those beliefs make you a better person (“better” is a relative term in this case). You can use this to take one of the following options:
1) Increase the maximum allowed for 1 ability score (i.e. 20 to 22 or 22 to 24). This does not increase the score.
2) Improve your worst ability score by +2 or your two lowest ability score by +1 each.