Factions Database in Notion

Welcome back to our build out of a D&D campaign management system in Notion. The last case studies have been describing the databases for locations and sublocations. Today, we turn our attention to the factions database.
Factions are a key element of our D&D games. Powerful villains can have organizations backing them. Guilds become economic powerhouses within their sphere of influence. Royals are supported by a network of courtiers, spies, and advisers that make up the court. These are all examples of factions that make up your game world.
Some factions will have greater importance in your stories than others. But you should capture any that come into regular play. To do that within Notion, I created a Factions database. Factions are similar to people, yet different. Like people, factions have goals and desires. Factions are essentially a collection of people that share a common set of goals. And they work together to realize them.
They also have a typing that falls in line with characters. Sir Reginald is a knight (character). The Order of the Silver Star is an order of knights (faction). Most factions, like most characters are regional. They have a sphere of influence that extends across a certain geographic area. Beyond that, they lack the power or resources from operating there. On the same hand, most characters belong to a geographic area. Yes, you can have factions or characters that transcend borders. But most are unable to for one reason or another.

Descriptive Properties

Here are the descriptive properties I include in my factions database.

ColumnProperty TypeDescription
NameTitleThe faction’s name.
TypeMulti-SelectThe type of faction. Examples include: religious order, thieves guild, villainous organization, cult and so on.
SizeSelectGeneral descriptor of the faction’s membership size. Ranges from tiny to huge.
ReputationSelectClassification of the faction’s reputation within its area of operation. Ranges from notorious to highly regarded.
InfluenceSelectInfluence is a general measure of the faction’s power within its area of operation. Ranges from minimal to great.

Relational Properties

Factions tie to a lot of different databases in my Notion system. They include:
  • Characters. Which characters are a part of the faction?
  • Locations. Where does the faction have influence within the game world?
  • Sublocations. Likewise with locations, do they control any sublocations?
  • Allies – Factions. Self-relation to the Factions Database. Factions can work together. Does your faction have any other factions it counts as an ally?
  • Enemies – Factions. Self-relation to the Factions Database. Factions often oppose each other. Does your faction have any enemies among the other factions in your game?
  • Player Characters. Are the PCs members of any of your factions?
  • Fronts. Is the faction creating any fronts in your game world? Note them.
  • Events. What events make up that front? Note them here.
  • Allies – Immortals. Does the faction have any allies amongst the all mighty? Religious organizations are a good example.
  • Enemies – Immortals. Does the faction have any enemies amongst the all mighty? Religious organizations are [still] a good example.
  • Secrets. Have you associated an secrets with the faction? Make the connections.
  • Adventure Notes. As you tie the faction into your adventures, you will want to connect them to your notes. This lets you quickly reference the important factions at the game table.
  • Campaign. If you are running multiple campaigns, link your factions to the appropriate ones. This helps you filter and create views as necessary.
  • Encounters. If you are using random encounters, you might have the PCs run into the faction. Tie the random encounters into areas within the faction’s sphere of influence.
  • Media Tome. There are lots of resources out there that have ready-to-go factions. If you borrow one or are inspired by a third party source, you can reference it here for easy review later.

Here is a sample of the factions database:

Factions Notion Database

Notion Templates for Factions

You will want to capture different information for your factions based on their type. For a villainous organization template you will want to track it’s front. What are they up to? What are they planning? This is perfect information to show in your villain template. An economic guild, doesn’t have full fledged dastardly plans. So, in most cases, you can skip the front. But you might need to include information about their wealth and trade in the template.
Here are the templates that I’ve structured for my factions database. I don’t think I have it perfect. But for now, I’m sharing where I’m at:
  • Villainous Faction
  • Martial Faction (Military, Mercenary Order, Knight Order)
  • Religious Faction (Cult, Religious Order)
  • Economic Faction (Guilds, Thieves Guild)
  • Government Faction (Government, Royal Court, Spy Network)
  • Magic Faction (Mage Order, Druidic Circle)
Remember, capture the information that you need to run your factions at the table. There is no need to write reams of history, or create a 40 character fleshed out roster for your faction. In your templates, you can borrow the ideas from the Universal NPC Template. Factions are like characters after all.
What are the faction’s goals? Where is the faction location? How are they chasing their goals (resources)? What is the faction’s background? Keep it simple, and relevant to your game.
Next time, we’ll cover the Immortals database.

Further Reading on Notion:

Creating a Template

My D&D Notion System Blueprint

Items Database

Feature Art Credit: Ede László