Hey folks! After eyeing it for a while I picked up US and am really digging it.

Hey folks! After eyeing it for a while I picked up US and am really digging it.

Hey folks! After eyeing it for a while I picked up US and am really digging it.

I was wondering if anyone had hacked the Faction aspects. I was thinking of remixing which kinds of beings (and playbooks) go with which of the given Factions, and/or what those factions’ deals are. There are some (cool and flavorful) setting assumptions baked into Urban Shadows there, but I immediately imagined messing with them.

It seems to me factions based on origin/metaphysics and behavior, e.g, werewolves, vampires, and specters are all once-human creatures who care about territory and usually are tied to crime. I think those two themes determining factions makes a lot of sense for how the mechanics tie to the fiction, so, what if the fiction changed?

The simplest hack would seem to be shuffling which playbooks go where, which an MC could do in consultation with the players at the first session or unilaterally, in the same way they might edit a type of being out of the setting when they don’t present all of them to choose from. Moving a playbook would mean that default behavior for those beings (PCs and NPCs) changes to align with their new Faction. As you go deeper you might have to rewrite some things to reflect the fiction (ex: group advancements, faction moves). Any problems with that in general? Any pitfalls to look out for? Any other approaches?

Here are some examples of what I’m thinking of:

*What if werewolves come from a tie to otherworldly spirits, related to the world of the fey? Drop tainted from the Wild faction and move werewolves there.

*What if all vampires were of the psychic variety, an ability that is acquired and/or developed along similar lines to oracles and wizards (whatever that is in the setting)? Move vamps to Power.

*What if specters and tainted shared in common their connection to the underworld, as inmates and jailers? Make a new faction (Infernal?) that they both live in, and make faction moves for it (possibly by cannibalizing Wild and/or Night).


Footnote: I did find here a cool take on it (by Aaron Griffin, but I’m not sure how to make sure I’m tagging the right one) where you invent power groups first session and replace factions with that. It wasn’t quite what I was looking for. I think it gives up too much of the “faction as a community” aspect in exchange for distinct power groups, which is a good but different thing, and I want to try it the first way.


I searched for “Faction” and “Hack” in this group and didn’t find anything else, but if there’s something I missed please link it!

One thought on “Hey folks! After eyeing it for a while I picked up US and am really digging it.”

  1. Thomas, I’d also like to try this after a season or two of playing.

    I think there term “Faction” may be misleading, like you mentioned with the community comment. I don’t make my vampires and werewolves on the same team, I make them “get each other.” Everybody works together, and it’s normally a tense affair. But the higher a player’s Faction roll, the more they can predict from that supernatural community.

    That said, I’d gleefully change it too. Your game, etc.

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