5 Tips for Worldbuilding Factions
Crit Academy discusses 5 Worldbuilding Faction Tips from Roc Humet over at World Anvil! Organizations are extremely important in any setting. Governments, companies, religions… they’re the ones who rule over your world. They set things in motion. They DO things! And more importantly, they’re utterly memorable for your players and readers and give character to your worldbuilding. Join us as we give our cover these tips and top it off with our own thoughts and ideas!
However, creating a whole organization can feel a bit daunting, right? Well, in this post, I’ll make worldbuilding factions much easier for you! We’ll talk about how your organization works, but also how it looks from the outside and how it relates to other factions. Let’s unpack that!
ALL ORGANIZATIONS HAVE GOALS AND IDEALS
An organization is a group of people that come together to do something —that’s the faction’s goal.
WORLDBUILDING FACTIONS WITH RITUALS
Rituals and traditions are an obvious element of organizations like religions and cults. However, you can find them in any other kind of organization too.
RIVALS AND ALLIES
Relations between organizations are an essential part of worldbuilding factions. Make a list of all known organizations in your world and decide what kind of relationship they’ve got with the faction you’re creating. These decisions will have an important impact on the world.
GIVE YOUR FACTIONS A PERSONALITY
Personality isn’t just for characters. Guess how you can make your faction feel more alive? Give it personality! For a faction, this is mostly how their members might look or sound like. Think about how they dress, which social class they come from, what kind of training they have (if any), and their general outlook on life. Lost for ideas? Make sure to use goals, rituals, and traditions as inspiration!
…BUT AVOID CHARACTER STEREOTYPES!
Now, it’s critical to avoid character stereotypes. If you’ve watched Avatar, you’ll know that there are several characters from a single nation but they all have distinct personalities —and they still don’t feel disconnected from their home nation!
This means that the personality of a faction should be generic enough that it could be developed in many different directions.
USE SYMBOLS FOR WORLDBUILDING FACTIONS
All factions want to be known in a certain way, that’s where symbology comes in. Symbols have two goals: to create a sense of unity within the organization, but also to influence how other people see them. Think of the feeling you want other people to have when they see the faction’s symbol, and then pick an element related to the faction that carries this feeling.
Of course, symbology is not just the logo of the faction! Other elements such as mottos and anthems are equally important. After all, one of the most iconic lines of Game of Thrones is “Winter is coming”. Want even more symbols? Think about guild tools, holy relics, and royal regalia.
All in all, worldbuilding factions is a crucial part of any story —both for writers and GMs! But once you have these 5 tips in mind, you’ll have a faction that not only is well integrated with the world, but also has a memorable personality. Remember to connect your faction with the rest of your world; this will automatically make the world feel more alive! And if you use the Organisation template on