A faction is a group of creatures that have the same overall reaction types (friendly, hostile, or neutral) to other creatures, before personal reputations are considered. Faction relations are initially established by a module's builder in the Toolset (under the "Tools" menu), and are not often changed while a game is played. (This is in contrast to personal reputation, which cannot be set in the Toolset, and which is changed by several reasonably common methods.) In addition, each party of player characters (PCs) is considered a faction, even though these factions are not defined in the Toolset.
Reaction types affect who attacks whom as a module plays out. Friendly feelings toward a creature will cause an immediate drop in personal reputation towards anyone who is seen attacking that creature (even if in self-defense), resulting in hostility towards the attacker. Seeing a creature considered hostile will generally trigger a fight with that creature (or flight from it), although this can be changed through scripting. A neutral reaction type causes neither combat nor a reaction to another being attacked.
Some factions are flagged as "global" (or "global effect"). When a faction is so flagged, any hostile actions taken against one member of the faction will affect the attacker's personal reputation with all members of that faction. Otherwise, hostile actions only affect personal reputations with creatures that witness the action.
Faction reputations are not necessarily reciprocal. For example, the standard defender faction is friendly towards the standard commoner faction, but the commoner faction is neutral towards defenders. This means that a commoner who is attacked would be helped by a defender, but a defender who is attacked would not be helped by a commoner. Such a situation is easier to spot in the Toolset's basic faction editor when the "Full Detail" option is checked. When changing these settings, text appears under the chart to clarify from and towards whom the setting applies.
Standard factions Edit
There are four standard factions defined in every module. They are by default flagged as global.
- This faction is intended for most enemies. It is by default friendly to itself and hostile towards all other factions (including PCs).
- This faction is intended for the common inhabitants of cities and towns, and other such non-combatants. It is by default hostile to the hostile faction, friendly towards itself, and neutral towards the other standard factions (and PCs).
- This faction is intended for the guards and military of cities and towns, and other creatures who will defend commoners. It is by default hostile to the hostile faction, neutral to PCs, and friendly towards the remaining standard factions.
- This faction is intended for non-player characters that have a special role to play in a module, such as those who sell equipment to PCs. It is by default hostile to the hostile faction, neutral to PCs and the commoner faction, and friendly towards itself and defenders.