11ARPER5 ORDER OF THE GAUNTLET EMERALD ENCLAVE LoRDs' ..ALLIANCE ZHENTARIM
from that spoken in the neighboring kingdom. This
m ight make communication (and diplomacy) between
rwo kingdoms significantly more difficult.
Widely used languages might have ancient versions,
or there might be completely different ancient tongues
that adventurers find written in tombs and ruins. Such
languages can add an element of mystery to inscriptions
and tomes that characters encounter.
You might invent additional secret languages, besides
Druidic and thieves' cant, that allow members of certain
organizations or political affiliations to communicate.
You could even decide that each alignment has its
own language, which might be more of an argot used
primarily to discuss philosophical concepts.
In a region where one race has subjugated another,
the language of the conquerors can become a mark of
ocial status. Similarly, reading and writing might be
restricted by law to the upper classes of a society.
Factions and Organizations
Temples, guilds, orders, secret societies, and
colleges are important for.ces in the social order of
any civilization. Their influence might stretch across
multiple towns and cities, with or without a similarly
wide-ranging political authority. Organizations can
play an important part in the Jives of player characters,
becoming their patrons, allies, or enemies just like
individual non player characters. When characters join
these organizations, they become part of something
larger than themselves, which can give their adventures
a context in the wider world.
ADVENTURERS AND ORGANIZATIONS
At the start of a campaign, backgrounds are a great
way to connect adventurers to your world. As the game
progresses, though, background ties often become less
Factions and organizations aimed at player characters
are a way to keep higher-level adventurers connected
m your world, providing ties to key NPCs and a clear
agenda beyond individual gain. In the same way,
Yillainous organizations create an ongoing sense of
menace above and beyond the threat of solitary foes.
Having different characters tied to different factions
can create interesting situations at the gaming table, as
lo ng as those factions have similar goals and don't work
in opposition to one another all the time. Adventurers
representing different factions might have competing
interests or priorities while they pursue the same goals.
Adventurer organizations are also a great source of
special rewards beyond experience points and treasure.
Increased standing in an organization has value in and
of itself, and might also come with concrete benefits
such as access to an organization's information,
equipment, magic, and other resources.
Factions and organizations that you create for your
campaign should grow out of the stories that are
important to the world. Create organizations that your
players will want to interact with, whether as allies,
members, or enemies.
As a starting point, decide what role you want an
organization to play in the world. What is it all about?
What are its goals? Who founded it and why? What do
its members do? Answering these questions should
SAMPLE FACTION: THE HARPERS
The Harpers is a scattered network of spellcasters and spies
who advocate equality and covertly oppose the abuse of
power, magical or otherwise.
The organization has risen, been shattered, and risen
again several times. Its longevity and resilience are largely
due to its decentralized, grassroots, secretive nature, and the
autonomy of its various members. The Harpers have small
cells and lone operatives throughout the Forgotten Realms,
although they interact and share information with one
another from time to time as needs warrant. The Harpers'
ideology is noble, and its members pride themselves on their
ingenuity and incorruptibility. Harpers don't seek power or
glory, only fair and equal treatment for all.
Motto. "Down with tyranny. Fairness and equality for all."
Beliefs. The Harpers' beliefs can be summarized as follows:
One can never have too much information or arcane
- Too much power leads to corruption, and the abuse of
magic in particular must be closely monitored.
No one should be powerless.
Goals. Gather information throughout FaerCln, discern
the political dynamics within each region, and promote
fairness and equality by covert means. Act openly as a last
resort. Thwart tyrants and any leader, government, or group
that grows too powerful. Aid the weak, the poor, and the
Typical Quests. Typical Harper quests include securing
an artifact that would upset the balance of power in a
region, gathering information on a powerful individual or
organization, and determining the true intentions of an
ambitious political figur~ or evil spellcaster.
CHAPTER l I A WORLD OF YOUR OWN 21