Coming up with factions for a game can be one of the most exciting and tricky aspects I have found in my time tinkering with rules. When I had my fledgling ideas for Project Out Of Time I jotted down initial factions – these are they...
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These will be your starter faction – the baseline – the faction by which all others are measured. These are often small independent operations, bounty hunter types or freelance teams. They don't have access to the best weapons or armour, but will instead rely on careful planning and hit-and-run tactics to get the job done.
The private army of the mega-corporations, these guys will be the complete opposite of the Treasure Hunters in many ways. They are the heavy weapon specialists, with heavier armour, but they're slow – a sledgehammer to crack a nut! They'll also be expected to deliver more than their opponents as their masters have invested a lot more cash.
The concept of being able to travel back in time opens up all kinds of opportunity to derail history. The whole practice would need to be policed in some way, however futile. We need some time cops! The question here is whether this faction consists of SWAT type dudes, or whether to go down a Grammaton Clerics route (if you haven't seen the film Equilibrium stop reading this and go watch it now), or maybe a combination? Their mandate would not be collecting Nandrocite so much as taking down 'bad guys'.
They are an alien race who are made up in part of the Nandrocite energy. They consider the raw Nandrocite deposits to be sacred – the mortal remains of their fallen – and will not allow others to touch them. This faction will lean towards the more high tech gear, with the idea that they are fast but fragile. Again we have a faction that may not be looking to collect Nandrocite in the same way as others, but certainly looking to get involved. I also toyed with the idea that these were an NPC faction that could enter the arena to mess up the best laid plans of others.
A Borg-like alien race would find a great need in a power source such as Nandrocite. They would rely more on personal shields than armour and be able to research weaponry and equipment much faster than rival factions. They're unlikely to have the same troop morale issues that other races might but may rely more on being within a certain radius of the leader in order to function properly.
This faction could take many forms, so much so I have no strong direction for it in my head right now. I like the idea of it being an almost free for all – the sandbox faction – where you get to try out all sorts of combinations of individuals. There would have to be some sort of honour code though - where betrayal was not an option (or maybe the opposite where it was every man for himself!).
There's plenty more scope for factions and races within the structure of the game, but this is where things started. More soon!!