I recently posted a blog with a flowchart to the Old City. In this blog, I basically listed the factions in each are of the Old City, but not how they interact. In this older blog I talked about how a few of the denizens interact. I think it is time to talk extensively about these getting tied together.
The main factions in Mord Mar are:
Goblins/Hobgoblins/Bugbears are all loosely allied. They are all goblin-kin and can use a goblin mirror if nearby.
Orcs have 4 tribes that infight, but still man posts enough to control their own section of the city.
Gnolls control their own section of the city, but are looking for something. The control of their section of the city is just a means to that end.
Crazed Humanoids are exactly that. They have held this place for generations, sending warriors into the city to fight the evil races. Extremely chaotic, they don't know that Var Nae has survived. They believe any adventurers to be 'tomb raiders' and attack on sight.
There are also several minor factions in the Old City:
Baen's Circle (hags)
It is also expected that individual DMs add more to their Mord Mar as they see fit. (There are also some very powerful creatures that are individuals inside Mord Mar. They are not listed here, and will be put into a future blog.)
But, as a whole, how do all of these fit together? The groups' general disposition toward each other is here:
Crazed Humanoids hate everything, and attack relentlessly until one side is dead. All of the goblins, orcs and gnolls fear this faction.
Goblins/Bugbears/Hobgoblins are loosely allied with Hobgoblin leadership. Hate Orcs and Gnolls and will attack on sight (as long as a leader is present).
Orcs hate goblinoids and gnolls, and will attack on sight, even stopping infighting to do so.
Red Ants and Black Ants are colonies fighting for the same territories. The red ants are overwhelming the black ants. Neither group engages directly with any humanoids.
Drow send adventurers in similar to Var Nae's Adventurers' Guild. They engage in typical adventurer tactics, and generally avoid large scale battles. They have been known to take bribes to help one side or another.
Undead are relegated to the Temples District. This district is (nearly) completely sealed off, and they take little or no part in the greater Mord Mar landscape.
Baen's Circle of hags are self serving. They have an agenda outside of Mord Mar (that has been covered in an earlier playtest and will be revealed later). They too can be bribed to change the fortunes of war.
Var Nae: sends adventurers in to reclaim territory, artifacts, historical documents and other noteworthy McGuffins. Var Nae interacts as an outside force making incursions inside a hostile territory. The city does not have cohesive goals, instead goals are generally specified by adventurers going into the Old City.
Residential District: Controlled completely by orc clans. There are several clans that are fighting amongst each other. The short list as of right now:
Black Heart Tribe: a badly equipped clan, weakened by the best warriors taking the best mates and leaving due to bad leadership.
Black Eye Tribe: the splinter group from the Black Hearts. Growing in power quickly, by convincing warriors from the other tribes to join them.
Crushed Dwarf Tribe: The most populous of the orc tribes. Their best warriors are defecting in large numbers to the Black Eyes.
Fire Eye Tribe: A matriarchal tribe. Few of their warriors are defecting, and the Fire Eyes have been amassing gold for something. They have also captured 8 Giant Red Ants and trained them to guard their treasure.
Barracks District: Controlled by hobgoblins. Originally from the goblin mirror, the hobgoblins moved further into Mord Mar and took control of the barracks. This district seemed perfect: training grounds, places to repair weapons and armor, and an ample food source (that's for another blog though). The hobgoblins watch over their allies the goblins.
Guilds District: Controlled by gnolls. The gnolls are holding the territory and searching for something. (Will be revealed after the playtest moves through this area.) The Dire Apes have their home in this area as well. The gnolls have learned to leave the apes alone, and have even traded information and supplies.
Shops District: A veritable war zone. Currently the hobgoblins are winning here, with help from the goblins and limited support from the bugbears. The Black Eye Tribe have the potential to turn the tide in favor of the orcs. The gnolls are also ready for a full assault. This is the next zone they intend to search. The crazed humanoids frequently come to hunt here as well. Giant Rats, both types of ants, and several other vermin are frequently found here, scavenging meat from the corpses.
Embassies District: Controlled by bugbears. It is unknown at this time if these bugbears are a single large group, or smaller factions. They are known to be particularly cruel, even for bugbears. No prisoners have ever been reported.
Manors District: The major factions generally avoid this area. The main route is partially blocked by a gelatinous cube that sits in a permanent fog, waiting for the hapless to literally walk into it. The gnolls have discovered this, and move it with torches when they want to enter the area. Baen's Circle holds their lair here, as well. Although they avoid conflict, they are always happy to have new slaves (and in fact have at least a few from every major race in Mord Mar>)
Warehouses District: Controlled by crazed humanoids. Once primarily dwarven stock, they are now mixtures of dwarf, halfling, human and elf. I probably will use the "dark" creatures for these, seen here. These creatures attack any other humanoids on sight. They believe AG members are either 'grave robbers,' or 'foul figments of the past.' And they still hate the other races.
Finally, while on the subject of the Old City, I'm thinking about an amusement style map for this level. Here's one from Six Flags. It allows flexibility and not making a map the size of Detroit. I think its a better solution than the flow chart I mentioned in an earlier post.