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JustinThomason December 21st, 2014 08:59 AM

Organization Question - How Would You Handle This?
I've just started up Paizo's Kingmaker adventure path (wilderness exploration/kingdom building).

As part of the background at the start, and most probably more intwined as the campaign progresses, I'm building up a wide array of political factions that the PCs will have varying degrees of interaction with - eventually hoping for a Game of Thrones sort of vibe.

Basically there are five Major Houses and each of those houses have multiple (6-12) Minor Houses that are sworn to them. Right now I'm detailing each House as a Government group (or whatever the default topic type is - it has the little Roman forum looking building icon). I'm planning on using the Relationship connections to chart the public and private attitudes of the different houses.

My big problem right now is trying to make some sort of hierarchy that makes sense and keeps everything somewhat neat. I'm thinking maybe group lists, but I could also see just making the Major Houses the containers for their associated Minor Houses.

I also need to figure out how best to handle all the NPCs that will be associated with the various Houses. I've got some cast lists, but they seem too separated from the group lists.

Any ideas welcome. At this point, I've not done much more than create the topics, so now is the time to make the changes in the organization.

Thanks for the input.

Teresa December 21st, 2014 10:51 AM

I'm not sure whether my suggestion will be useful, but...

Will the minor houses be able to change affiliation? if so, then perhaps it would be best to use relationships instead of containers.

I tend not to like list-topics for they kind of remove the fantasy immersion feeling, so I try to use ideas such as creating my own Atlas (the topic is an excerpt from the book that gives whatever information listed with my world's "flavour").

With that in mind, perhaps you could adapt the list-topics, or create your own, in order to have a kind of report on connections/affiliation/etc on a given moment (in my world there are some secretive groups which sell information so I'll be putting the historical information on hierarchies and alliances as their archives and sell-able reports, thus making it also useful as quick indexes. I will have Group's Archive as top container with a list of reports/chronicles/etc. per decade and century, as well as non-sell-able reports from spies; the next containing step is location, then century, and finally the reports.)

Obviously, my approach will make a lot of use of filters so these topics will have to be tagged detailedly.

evildmguy December 24th, 2014 04:59 AM

I had to enter data like this for the Council of Thieves AP I ran and I did as JT suggested and put the minor houses in as contained by the major houses. I also did relationships, though, but it allowed me to see at a quick glance who was under what at that moment.

I also created a top level list called independent, for those houses that were trying to stay neutral between the two factions.

AEIOU December 24th, 2014 07:40 AM

I too would create the major houses as Group containers with the minor houses as Groups contained within. I'm not sure I'd use government groups though. Maybe the top faction or alliance level. I'd like differentiation between criminal, military or commerce or whatever. And if these are inherited noble houses you may consider family groups. One reason is you can quickly see how much "power" a faction has in a certain area at a glance -- one faction has a single commerce while another has six tells you which one is going to suffer most from a naval blockade.

I would link Individuals to these houses through relationships. And by the nature of political intrigue campaigns, that's going to get messy. I'd recommend one (or more) links for loyalties plus public/private viewpoints for each.

I would not contain the Individuals in the houses unless you plan to treat everyone as property. Marriages, divorces, adoptions, orphans, hidden heirs could be a challenge with containers and may reveal connections you don't intend to reveal.

I'd set the Cast Lists up by major faction or groups of houses. And I'd place Individuals in these factions based on what their public leaning is (even if they secretly are movers/shakers in another faction). If the groups are large and fluid, it's good as they can move back and forth without causing alarm to the players.

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