Blog 13 - Factions: The Bene Gesserit

The latest Blog is out and this one takes a look at the Bene Gesserit.
From the wording it suggests that the next few blogs are going to be focussed on the various factions that a character can be part of as well as their House.

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Yup, we’re going to deal with what I call the faction characters, although they are not always about specific factions. They are the characters with weird powers and abilities, like BG sisters, Mentats etc.

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That is my favorite art yet! :heart_eyes: Great idea for a blog series Andy!

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I’ve been thinking about the Bene Gesserit as I plan my campaign. My current group has no issues with characters having dual allegiances which might mean they are not fully aligned with what other characters may want to achieve, but I have played in groups where this tug of war between competing factions has caused major issues between Players, not just characters.

What are peoples experiences of adding such conflict to within their groups? I’ve never dealt with it from the GMs side of the table but is it something that is best to just avoid with certain groups or are their session 0 tools to help diffuse the problems it can bring?

Gosh, I have to go way back for something similar, but I can see things like you describe happening in a setting like Dune.

One campaign I ran with FASA Star Trek was set in the Klingon Empire with their titular expansion. The player characters were all angling for promotion within the hierarchy of that feudal state that is a Klingon warship. Everyone was trying to assassinate or otherwise do away with each other. With my players at that time I knew it could get out of hand with this setup (they all wanted to play this way mind you, with gleams in their eyes).

When we ran a set piece mission they principally played nice to succeed and ensure survival. Afterwards, the intrigue would begin for “interstitial” events. Side-meetings with me on how and what they were plotting against the other players.

This could have devolved into some hard feelings, but luckily I knew these players pretty well and going into it in a session 0 (not called that at the time), got everyone together and had them agree to treat any assassinations, airlock ejections, and transporter buffer disintegrations as good fun and all part of the game experience. No hard feelings, we will all laugh riotously at this when we look back at the campaign, etc.

So, as GM I had to forcefully set the tone that this was all about the intrigue experience and to cause all sorts of mayhem for the chuckles. Do not get too attached to your characters folks as they may not last long.

It worked. But I will say it had to be the right group and with an up-front pact to take it all in good fun. It has to be clear, concise and agreed to.

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