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Yora
2013-01-19, 07:04 AM
Every time I come back to creating some organizations and factions for my setting, I always end up with the problem of having 30 ideas for evil and dark grey organizations, but for good ones all I can think of are either Harper-style spies and commandos who fight evil organizations in secret, or alliances of druids/wizards/jedi that oppose of the spread of unnatural evil forces. And all the settings I go through for ideas also always come down to only those two ideas.

What other concepts are you using for good organisations in your games?

ArcturusV
2013-01-19, 08:35 AM
Well, there was the Explorer's League. This was an organization who was dedicated towards "Civilizing" the world, mapping out every last inch of it and making sure there wasn't a single region which didn't have a thriving outpost in it. A mission that would have taken 100 years or more easily in that setting, if they had everything go right, which it never did.

I had the Cabal in one setting, a group of magi and scholars who had learned of an apocalyptic prophecy and sought not to thwart it (They believed, rightly it ended up, the prophecy couldn't be avoided) but to make sure that some remnant of life and culture survived it. Successfully at that.

There is always of course the typical Knights Hospitallier thing, orders dedicated to healing.

Of course the Order of the Golden Heart in one of my settings. Basically a weird mash up of Salvation Army and Miracle Poppers who went around trying not to smite evil but raise the standards of living where they go, help out the poor, down, and out.

Just a few off the top of my head.

Synvallius
2013-01-19, 03:26 PM
A guild of inventors and scientist/wizards that create new magical and non-magical devices for the betterment of humanity.
A league of woodsmen that keeps rural areas safe from traveling monsters, and helps lost travelers and defends trade caravans.
A religious organization that pursues peace between nations, offering its priests up as negotiators, ambassadors, and impartial mediators.

Vonwalt
2013-01-19, 03:33 PM
I favor the knightly order style, of which the Knights Hospitaller (or maybe the Templars) are probably the most famous. My setting has dozens of bands of itinerant knights who travel the land, defending small villages, guarding caravans, and aiding kings who they deem particularly virtuous or in line with their order's beliefs. The other place I draw a lot of inspiration from are secret societies of the 17-1800's; philosophers concerned with unravelling the mysteries of the world and using their knowledge to better mankind.

Yora
2013-01-19, 05:01 PM
Maybe my problem is actually that I'm working on an Iron Age setting. "Evil Cult" and "Good druid association" are probably the only common organizations in such societies, and you can come up with additional evil cults that hate each other quite easily. :smallbiggrin:

Vonwalt
2013-01-19, 06:30 PM
Maybe my problem is actually that I'm working on an Iron Age setting.

If that's the time, I have a few ideas... What about a secret society of smiths and metalworkers? Or an organisation of history-keepers, bards and storytellers?

Amaril
2013-01-19, 07:29 PM
The bard/storyteller organization I like a lot. I'm assuming this is for Ancient Lands...?

A slightly more detailed take on an organization of storytellers that I think is well-done could be something along the lines of the Edema Ruh from The Name of the Wind. I guess they're not really an organization so much as a culture, but they seem to incorporate people from all sorts of ethnic and geographical backgrounds, and they certainly share the common motive of preserving and advancing art and stories. Just my thoughts.

thethird
2013-01-19, 07:40 PM
Is this for your ancient lands setting?

Why don't make some group of Historians? They might travel around trying to gather info on how stuff works or who leads what tribe or what cult. They don't necessarily need to be Good/Stupid more in the side of funny guys that are only interested in gathering knowledge and telling stories. Perhaps they can share how to cultivate some herbs with some savages or teach them the basics of survival, but they are more interested in learning/teaching than monetary gain.

In the same line spirit collectors? Some sort of byzarre pokemon trainers roaming the wilds collecting spirits in areas of tall grass and then using them as commodities to help villagers.

Yora
2013-01-20, 04:49 AM
If that's the time, I have a few ideas... What about a secret society of smiths and metalworkers? Or an organisation of history-keepers, bards and storytellers?
Those are certainly ideas. But what would they do? They could hire mercenaries to force freelance competitors from the market and guard their opperations, but those would be rather modern activities and they wouldn't really take active roles in the events that PCs get drawn into.

ArcturusV
2013-01-20, 04:54 AM
Could be that they are in a "Spread World Peace" racket. Using their stories to show the similarities between different tribes and peoples, trying to maintain regular events like the Olympics of your world, etc. Along with the loftier goal of "Spreading Knowledge".

Or if you meant the smith/metal workers I'm seeing the idea of a secret society which is trying to manipulate events behind the scenes in a grand scheme. An underground organization which shares knowledge (And limits who can use their arts) in order to accomplish their goals. What they goals might be is hard to say. But probably less in the "World Domination" racket. Maybe something like trying to keep some divinely mandated secret knowledge out of the hands of evil? Like the secrets past on of the legendary Forging Techniques (Steel, etc)?

HKR
2013-01-21, 09:45 AM
Just take a look at some real-world NGO´s. Some of them qualify as good organizations. Take the red cross for example. They go to every warzone to treat the wounded and help the refugees without taking any part in the fighting. Imagine a pacifist order of clerics of many different good religions sworn to protect innocent lives in warzones.

Tvtyrant
2013-01-22, 03:12 PM
The Lovers of Knowledge? (or the Party for Parchment and Papyrus, etc)

The organization is not primarily involved in searching for lost knowledge, or arcane advancement, or even in the further development of literature. The primary focus of the Lovers of Knowledge is to provide free education for children across the known planes. Backed by a variety of wealthy donors, the Lovers of Knowledge pay the salaries of innumerable scholars so that they may provide free education to largely ignored populations.

zzuxon
2013-01-23, 11:17 PM
A society of good Arcane spellcasters and psionicists who help people with their powers and try to give Arcane Magic and Psionics a better name.

Zap Dynamic
2013-01-24, 12:32 AM
Have you considered what people might hold up as virtues in your setting? There could be a group inspired by each virtue (played straight and proud or more of a subtle thing...either would work). The same thing goes for honorable professions in your setting. As for getting those groups to act on the world stage, all you need to do is amp up the importance of their missions as needed.

Dulenheim
2013-01-25, 11:08 AM
My method of creating organizations is, firstly, asking myself who the leader of that organization is, what does s/he wants to achieve, and what means does s/he employs.

Other questions you could ask yourself are:

How old is this Organization?
Are they accepted or despised by the communities around them?
Do they have a rivalry with another Faction?