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OSR

12 Factions & Organizations for your Campaign, Part 2

For your player characters to join and get new abilities, classes, items, etcetera.

Entrance to the Silverspoon Dojo? Or a secret pathway to the Junkyard? Feature image from: Wikimedia Commons.

Following the previous article, this is the second post on our series bringing twelve factions and organizations for player characters to join and get new benefits, in a diegetic manner – tied to the campaign setting and dissociated of abstract settings such as level and XP.

5. The Junkyard Scavengers

  • Type: the Junkyard is a plane where things, and beings, lost or discarded end up appearing; some groups of scavengers either live in the Junkyard or know how to get there.
  • Nature: if one’s in the Junkyard, it’s easy to join a scavenger group, but the ones that know the ways out of the plane keep their knowledge away from the curious.
  • Goal: to make a living, or even to strike rich, with whatever they find in the Junkyard.
  • Requisites: none; any kind of unfortunate soul may end up as a scavenger.
  • Admission: some groups may apply a test, requesting a hard-to-find object, to avoid getting newbies that don’t know how to live in he Junkyard.
  • Benefits: having people to trade items, information and safe haven is vital to survive in the Junkyard; the groups who know how to leave the plane are also of capital importance to those who ended up in the Junkyard, by accident or not.

6. The Gardeners of Zyx’s Lab

  • Type: Zyx was a researcher, and a magic-user specialized in spells transmuting living beings; the gardeners tend to the spellcaster’s botany lab, even after they disappeared years ago.
  • Nature: the gardeners are a closed faction, still waiting for the magician’s return (so that they can get paid); that said, sometimes temporary associates are admitted to deal with problems away from the lab.
  • Goals: to tend the plants at the botany lab, to stop plantoid lifeforms to escape, to bring back those who did so.
  • Requisites: none; any knowledge an associate needs for a job is taught by the gardeners.
  • Admission: the signature of a temporary job’s contract.
  • Benefits: the gardeners don’t pay their associates with gold (since they don’t have it either), but with some plants with magical proprieties, such as magic seeds (see below).

Bonus: Magic Seeds (magic item)

Seeds enchanted with magic.

  • Once planted: grow after 3d4 days into a beanstalk with 1d6 seeds (plus 1d6 more seeds if properly tended).
  • As ingredients: can be mashed, pulped, etc. to brew potions and similar magic items; can be sold at a high price to alchemists.
  • Effects: vary with the kind of seed: some need to be consumed, others need to be thrown or shot.
  • Ammo: when used as ammunition to missile weapons (like a sling or a slingshot), deal additional 1d6 magic damage.
d20Seed TypeEffect
1FlameThrown: seed catches fire, lights its way, burns flammable things.
2FrostThrown: seed freezes itself and whatever it hits; surfaces become slippery, including small bodies of water; living beings must save versus paralysis or freeze for a turn.
3StinkCracked open or thrown: seed releases gooey, stinky fluid that doubles random encounter rate until washed away.
4PoisonConsumed or applied to weapons: eater, or a living being hit by an envenomated weapon, must save versus poison or die.
5GlamourConsumed: eater enchanted to become more interesting; +1 to reaction rolls for a day; fae aren’t impressed.
6LeechThrown: vines grow on the victim, draining 1 HP per round until it’s pulled away.
7ShardConsumed: crystalline or rocky protuberances grow on the eater’s skin, tearing apart clothes and providing AC 5 for 1d4 turns.
8SpicyConsumed: eater develops a random psychic power* for a day; eater’s eyes become blue.
9DuskConsumed: eater develops infravision, can see invisible beings and objects, and through magical darkness, up to 60′, for 1d4 turns, only at night or underground.
10BrightCracked open: seed shines brightly, like the Light spell.
11JuicyConsumed or cracked open: seed releases high amount of nutritious liquid, that restores 1d6 HP and satiates who drinks it (they can skip the next consumption of food/water rations).
12SkullThrown: undead hit by the seed are turned (use the level or HD of whoever threw the seed as the cleric’s level to obtain the possible results on the Turning the Undead table).
13GrowthThrown: if seed falls on fertile soil, or amidst plants, vegetation grows on the place, like the Growth of Plants spell.
14ScalyConsumed: scales grow on the eater’s skin, providing AC 7 for 1d4 turns; scales can change colors to match surroundings, giving the eater a 4-in-6 chance of surprising their foes.
15FangConsumed: eater grows fangs for 1d4 turns, giving them a bite attack that deals 1d8 damage.
16BloodCracked open: releases a copious amount of thick blood (enough to fill a waterskin), but only if the seed is full (with a bright red color); if it isn’t, instead its porous surface absorbs any blood it makes contact.
17ShellCracked open or thrown: releases a barrier of antimagic (around the place or being it hits), like the Anti-Magic Shell spell; the barrier can’t be dismissed before its duration ends.
18ShiftConsumed: if the eater dies, they’re instantly brought back to life, but in a different shape (like the Reincarnation spell); seeds of this kind work only once per eater, even after they reincarnated.
19PaleConsumed: if the eater dies, they’re brought back as a ghost, tied to their dead body by a silver string; as long as the string is intact (it can be damaged by magic, as well as the attacks of incorporeal undead), they can be surely resurrected (no need to roll on any “chance of resurrection” tables), regardless of time passed or the state of their body; seeds of this kind work only once per eater, even after they are resurrected.
20Giant(If rolling a random kind of seed, roll the d20 again to confirm this result.) Planted: a colossal, meandering beanstalk grows in one round, leading to the floating castle of a cloud giant.
What a stench! Image from: Zelda Wiki. All rights from Nintendo and Capcom, usage here constitutes fair use.

7. The Megomi (Meeting Group for Mirrored Individuals)

  • Type: the Megomi is, as its name says, a meeting group for people who had experiences with the Mirrored World – a twisted reflection of the original world (call it baseline, prime material plane, or what have you), rumored to be home for doppelgangers and other shapeshifters, and even stranger beings.
  • Nature: the Megomi is a secretive group, since its members fear the horrors they met in “that place” (as they hush it, as if waiting to call unwanted attention).
  • Goals: to support each other, to deal with problems related to “that place”, to discover more of it (but without going mad in the process).
  • Requisites: to have dealt with the Mirrored World in some way, like meeting one of its inhabitants or even going there.
  • Admission: if one needs their help, they’ll find and invite them; even if the invitation is refused, they’ll leave it open for when it’s needed.
  • Benefits: the support group can help one deal with their difficult experiences; scholarly and knowledgeable members can also help with valuable information regarding “that place”.

8. The Silverspoon Dojo

  • Type: it’s a dojo run by sensei Raithir; it’s located in a cave behind a waterfall, in the middle of a dense forest, deep into the wilderness; the place is self-sustained, rarely needing help from the outside.
  • Nature: the dojo is open to anyone that seeks it and is accepted by the sensei.
  • Goals: to awaken, develop and refine its students’ body (through martial training), mind (through psychic abilities) and ethics (through circunstantial awareness – when it’s right, or wrong, to meddle in a given situation).
  • Requisites: none; characters of any ancestry, background, gender, etcetera may try to join the dojo, as the sensei does not discriminate.
  • Admission: applicants must, though, pass a test handed by the sensei, intended to make them face the weaknesses of their hearts.
  • Benefits: characters who join the dojo only gain XP for treasures if they’re taken from rich beings who brought suffering to others and given to those in need (e.g., the hoard of a dragon who stole and terrorized villages is brought back to the villagers); other benefits include:
    • martial training: after 1d6 months, the character can use any weapon, and their unarmed attacks deal 1d4 damage;
    • psychic abilities: after 1d4 years, the character gets a psychic power*, chosen by the player with the GM’s approval;
    • silver spoon: bestowed by the sensei only to their best disciples, this small silver spoon can, in the hands of a skilled psychic, grow to the size of a quarterstaff; the enlarged spoon counts as a staff +2 that slightly improves* (a small bonus, of +1 or +5%, is enough) the psychic abilities of its user.
Yep, totally inspired by the Mewtwo from the Pokémon Adventures manga. Image from: Bulbapedia. All rights from Nintendo, GF and TPC, usage here constitutes fair use.

* Use your favorite rules for psionicism and psychic abilities.

Join me next week, for the third and final part of the series, with the remaining four factions and organizations.

By ashzealot

Tabletop roleplaying games are my main blogging interest... for now! Primarily posting in English, but will sometimes do it in Portuguese. I'm also: Brazilian (and I voted for Haddad), very leftist, white cishet (but count me in as a bipoc/lgbtqa+/queer ally). Pronouns: he/him (ele/dele).

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