Faction Logic in Fallout 4

Faction: Finally, we’ve infiltrated the Institute! Time to blow this shit up!

SS: But … this place is incredible. It might truly be mankind’s last hope.

Faction: This place has terrorized the Commonwealth for years! We’re blowin’ it up!

SS: But Father’s dead. The people have already surrendered. Some of them have even evacuated.

Faction: Time’s a wastin’! Gotta blow it up!

SS: But there are some pretty good people here. Not everyone is like Father. Very few of them, in fact. Maybe we can learn to put aside our differences and work together for the betterment of mankind.

Faction: I’m hookin’ up the bomb!

SS: There are animals in here, too. Plants and food substitutes. Purified water. Farms and heat lamps. There’s also a lab where scientists were studying the FEV virus. Maybe we can find a way to reverse it. Forever.

Faction: Tick-tock, tick-tock.

SS: Hmm, what this? Says on this terminal that they were working on a cure for cancer, and the results were promising. It looks like they’ve almost cracked the code on–

Faction: BLOW IT UP!!!!

I like that if you play the TES games backwards the Dark Brotherhood’s method of introduction devolves

Skyrim: Kidnaps you in your sleep and brings you to an abandoned shack to test you by making you kill one of three people who may or may not be innocent

Oblivion: Breaks in to your hotel room and wakes you up to give you an invitation to join their murder club

Morrowind: stabs you in bed

A Summary of all the Fallout 4 Factions
  • Minutemen: Oh, you have a son lost out in the Wasteland, presumably in the clutches of an evil organization that everyone lives in fear of? Well, in that case another settlement needs your help.
  • Railroad: We're actually pretty decent and we want to help synths live in freedom with no bloodshed. Now that's out of the way, go fuck up literally the entire Brotherhood of Steel.
  • The Institute: We're just nerds, but, like... EVIL nerds...
  • Gunners: Oh, you wanted to travel in peace? EAT LASERS YOU DICK
  • Raiders: *Sees a Power-Armour-clad, Gatling-Laser-wielding, self-healing death machine charging at full speed towards them*
  • Diamond City: *insert snarky comment about you being an outsider here*
  • Goodneighbor: We're the most chill dudes in the Commonwealth as long as you don't fuck up our shit.
  • Covenant: Suspicious? What's a suspicious I've never even heard of that why don't you stay forever in our lovely home where nothing bad ever happens not even remotely related to synths at all hahahahaha
  • Vault-Tec: Come in... *heavy breathing* to a lovely place... where everything... is okay... *proceeds to kill all its inhabitants*
  • Pillars of the Community: Give us your shit. That's-that's it. There's nothing else to it. Just give us your shit you asshole. Just give us-just give us your- JUST GIVE US YOUR SHIT NOW JUST-

Developing believable groups within a society

There have been many famous, infamous, and secretive groups within fiction. If you’re trying to create clubs, factions, gangs, sects, guilds, brotherhoods, or any sort of organized group within your story but need a little boost getting the depth and nuances fleshed out, then I’m here to help. 

Where did they begin?

  • Start with an idea. A person or a group of people came up with an idea, a philosophy, a passion. Who were they?
  • They began recruiting, rallying others (a few other people, or large groups) around their idea. How difficult was this? How receptive were those who heard? How open about their new idea were they?
  • They formed an official organization. What mission statement did they write? How was a leader or group of leaders selected? How much disagreement was there in the earlier states? How did they find and/or claim a headquarters? What rules did they start out with, if any?
  • How did they adapt to growth over time? Was the growth fast or slow, if it happened at all? How did rules or structure need to be adjusted as the numbers grew?
  • If the primary goal or mission was met, how did they adjust and redefine their purpose?

How do they function, once established?

  • How has their origin shaped who they are as an organization today?
  • How do they interact with the world at large?
    • Are they a secret society? 
    • Are they at odds with the law?
    • Do they run their town/village/country, whether directly or indirectly?
  • Who can join? What does joining require? Is there a “probationary” period? How are new recruits treated?
  • Is there any training or education that proceeds (or precedes) initiation?
  • How are they funded? 
    • Through illegal means
    • Through the government
    • Through private donations
    • Through the church
    • Through the (legal) work of their members
  • Do they have an official or unofficial religious affiliation?
  • Do they have an emblem or a sigil, some symbol of their loyalty. How is that mark treated? How commonly recognized is that symbol?
  • How free to live one’s own life is a member once they’ve joined? How much of a day-to-day impact does the membership have?
    • Can they still work their old job?
    • Have their old friends?
    • Stay with their families? Or perhaps the families join as a unit?
    • Keep their home? Perhaps they still live in it, but it becomes property of the guild? 
  • How ubiquitous is the mission statement? Is it quoted frequently?
  • What is the consequence for leaving the group? Or for disloyalty?

Happy writing, kiddos!

Check out the rest of the Brainstorming Series!
Magic Systems, Part One
Magic Systems, Part Two
New Species
New Worlds
New Cultures
New Civilizations
Politics and Government
Map Making 
Belief Systems & Religion
War & Conflict
Science & Technology

The Truth’s Never Been this Hard

Request: Please could you write a Four/Tobias x reader where (Y/n) is best friends with Tris and is in love with Four, but refuses to admit that due to her friendship with Tris. When Four requests the three of them be put on trial in Candor using a truth serum, (Y/N) is nervous, but believes nothing about her feelings will come up, but they do.

For: Anon

Word Count: 1342

Originally posted by lifessong95

Everything was so complicated.

Tobias was in love with Tris.

Tris was in love with Tobias.

Not that hard right?

At least not until someone realizes that you, Tris’ best friend, was also in love with Tobias.

Then things got wonky.

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When joining the realm of Mythaura, you will be prompted to join one of two warring factions. Each one sparring over control of the mysterious element, Aura.

The Vanguard -  A faction whose origins hail from the now ancient Rune Wars. Their group is founded on a doctrine - honor, unity, order. Their goal is to uphold the law of the Aura - a decree forged from wars that came before. Each leader of this faction are often descendant of once great warriors, this is no different for the current leader, Reine. A young Griffin who was recently ordained into leadership.  Even though he is comparably young to the leaders that came before, Reine is fiercely devoted to the cause of The Vanguard and often looked upon as a great mentor.

The Call - A faction which birthed from smaller splinter groups who believe that the law of the Aura is a barrier for true potential. They assert that unrestricted use of the mysterious element will push their civilization into greatness, for knowledge, strength and peace. The splinter groups came together to form The Call after their leader Esris - A battle-hardened dragon who was exiled from her previous life and raised a call for uprising. Her influence and tenacity quickly earned her many followers and soon became a beloved leader.


The main problem with Planescape is its vast strangeness. There’s a lot to explain and not enough space to fit it all in. The initial box set makes a heroic effort but it was never going to be anything more than an appetizer. In fact, the whole set of Planescape accessories and sourcebooks feels like it is just scratching the surface.

The Factol’s Manifesto (1995) is a much-needed deep dive into the factions that reside at the heart of the campaign setting. Here, finally, is everything you need to know, and then some – colorful maps of their headquarters, their chains of command, their leaders, their philosophies, their goals, their nefarious plots. The book brilliantly embellishes Zeb Cook’s original broad strokes into a vivid painting of politics and ideology.

The book is entirely illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi and you can see his art improving already. His palettes are a bit more varied, his compositions a bit more energetic, his anatomy a bit more dimensional. His trick of using dabs of pure white pigment to act as highlights, causing the illustrations to pop off the page, is used here with surgical precision to great effect. Of the Planescape books I own featuring DiTerlizzi’s art, this was long my favorite (no longer, but we’ll come to that).

The downside of Planescape fleshing itself out is that all the many thrilling potential possibilities start settling down into boring old facts. The Factol’s Manifesto very much lays the groundwork for the Faction War adventure, which essentially wraps up the Planescape campaign setting. Re-reading the books with fresh eyes, war was an inevitable conclusion for Sigil – I am not sure it was wise for TSR to chart the course of that war with a canon-changing module. Better to present all the variables and let the DMs sort out the particulars for themselves.

Another downside: this book seems to be the start of the book cover designed to look like a mystical tome trend. It is tolerable here but, come Third Edition, it turns hideous.


A/N: I hope this makes any sense at all but I just can’t stop writing things about water. It’s summer, after all. And hot. Outrageously handsome (fictional) men don’t really contribute to that but well… screw it!

Words: 668
Warnings: none

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