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Guide to the Five Factions

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Emerald Enclave, Harpers, Lords' Alliance, Order of the Gauntlet, Zhentarim...these five factions are mentioned in the vast majority of fifth edition publications and are available as player factions. This document attempts to consolidate and build off of the official fifth-edition faction rules, some of the better ideas from the legacy Adventurers League rules, and some other legacy and third party publications to make it easier to incorporate factions into your adventures. It can also serve as a template for most any other homebrew faction a designer may create. It includes:

  • Renown rules
  • Individually for each faction:
    • Summary of each faction including sample representatives
    • Faction perks for agent ranks 1-5
    • Group Patron benefits
    • Quests that can be done as active faction assignments as a group or as and downtime activity for individual players
    • Information on prominent locations
  • Handouts, both to be printed and physically handed to players at the table, or emailed digitially:
    • Physical Handouts: i) Faction cards, ii) paper bird template with folding instructions to turn a faction missive into a paper owl as a fun handout to assign a mission
      Harper faction card
      Harper wax sealPaper Bird
    • Digital Handouts: i) a phone PDF for each faction that can be emailed to players as a handy reference on their phone; ii) faction missive template to email faction letters (similar to the paper bird, but not near as fun); iii) Player Interaction Aid: Each faction comes with a D&D Beyond magic item that includes a faction insignia with descriptions of all that faction's perks, which provides the players with an easy reference (whether they subscribe to DDB and add it to their character or just save the link as a reference)...promoting character involvement and keeping the faction in the player's conscious when developing its character.
  • 3 subfactions
    • Zhentarim Doom Raiders, as discussed in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist.
    • Emerald Enclave Instars, including two monsters with D&D Beyond links: the moth and the butterfly.
    • Order of the Gilded Hand, as discussed in Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide.

Bregan D'aerthe, Gray Hands, Xanathar Guild. 

If you find this publication useful, the other three main factions discussed in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist are covered in a sister publication here (also includes Force Grey and Deep Delvers subfactions).

Red Wizards of Thay. 

The Red Wizards of Thay as a player faction are covered in a sister publication here.
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Reviews (2)
Discussions (2)
Customer avatar
Joshua I December 27, 2022 12:54 am UTC
PURCHASER
What exactly is a "faction loot satchel"?
Reply
Customer avatar
Heath I December 27, 2022 2:03 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi, thanks for checking out the product. The faction loot satchel is described in the back in the magic item section.
Customer avatar
Heath I November 21, 2020 7:36 pm UTC
CREATOR
Made numerous edits throughout to update for season 10 of Adventure League and to incorporate features from Darkhold: Secrets of the Zhentarim - https://www.dmsguild.com/product/324679/Darkhold-Secrets-of-the-Zhentarim
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File Last Updated:
August 30, 2023
This title was added to our catalog on March 20, 2020.