Today, picking up where I left off, we head into chapter 8, a short piece of organizations. The best use of this is likely to help you build your own by using those presented as examples; there are only three listed.
The first one listed is clearly meant primarily as a NPC group, although it does mention PCs being a part of it as a beginning to their story. It’s the Order of Reconciliation, based out of Corso, which operates as a mix of Nulumriel’s secret police and the last defense against the really nasty evils unleashed by the Fall. Some of them are no doubt good people dedicated to protecting the civilians of the Nightland, but let’s be honest – the Nightland is pretty much a caricature of hell on earth as a society, the entire society operates on bribes to set temporary laws, and the odds of a police force not being as corrupt as they come is a joke. Genuinely good – or tolerably not-horrible – people won’t be part of this; they’ll be busy fleeing to other places where they don’t have to worry about the government killing them on top of the Afterworld’s nightmares.
That aside, their codes technically include the protection of the innocent and the prosecution of false divinity, both of which could be the goals of good people. The bit involving loyalty to a sorcerer who thinks “Laws are for people who pay” is pushing it, though. I can see a PC being part of this as a part of their history, I admit. PCs, despite Monte Cook’s objection to the phrase, really are murderhobos quite often. Even the good ones come up with some amazing justifications for their deeds being acceptable.
The main benefit of being one is the ability to detect divine shifts by concentration, and to hide one’s own shifts from others of the order. This isn’t without merit, but getting caught is likely to get you burned alive.
The next organization is the Adherence, the polar opposites of the Order of Reconciliation. Believers in the old gods, they have certainty that this is a trial and that the gods will return if the people remain faithful through these troubled times. They operate in the Nightland via a decentralized cell network, like any organization of spies or rebels, to avoid the wrath of the Reconciliators.
Two significant benefits of the group, outside of the actual listed benefits, are the solid knowledge about the old gods that the members ensure gets passed on to others in the group and the collections of divine cyphers and artifacts they collect. Where the Reconciliators would destroy the items, the Adherence outfits their members with them. Not a bad reason to join up, although many members see the claims of new gods as vile lies and heresy. Some are willing to accept the idea, if the new deities are willing and able to take on the duties of the old ones.
Officially, Adherence members get an asset benefit in place of a skill, letting them work better toward the organization’s goals. While this isn’t as handy as that of a Reconciliator hiding their own divine shifts, it gets added to by the two unofficial benefits.
The last organization is the Guild of Sleep, an organization of spellcasters who sift dreams for knowledge and power. Prior to the Fall, they likely explored Nod when it was submerged in the Aether; now they explore it with much greater risk, as the King of Nod has taken a direct dislike to them. It seems he might fear them discovering his secrets and perhaps endangering both Nod and himself.
They exist in a state of war with the King of Nods, sending psychic constructs to battle as they try to sift dreams for whatever they seek; the official benefit of the guild allows them to trade out learning a new skill for the ability to learn about things by dreaming about them. One would presume they also teach lucid dreaming as a skill, in case someone wants to spend XP on that, among other Nod-related skills.
That’s it for this chapter; tomorrow we’ll be heading into the mechanics of the setting, from the tidbits about GMing for deities and the new character Types to the section on Dominions, which appear to be how a character attains their divinity.
Check back then!