Ascendancy has numerous factions that can affect play, though only factions with an interest to player characters shall be detailed with the Ascendancy faction rules.

Paizo put out a supplement called the Faction Guide, which details a mechanic called Prestige; a way of expressing reputation, wealth and influence socially, rather than monetarily. Ascendancy is using these faction rules with some modification.

Unlike the fame and reputation system (introduced in Ultimate Campaign) explained on the Fame and Reputation page, the Faction prestige system specifically encompasses each listed faction, while the fame and reputation system is a measure of your general public outlook in a specific region. Depending on the situation, adventure or role play completed, you may be awarded points for one or both of these systems. They are tracked separately.

Prestige Awards

At its most basic representation, a single Prestige Award is worth roughly 300 gp worth of services or 150 gp worth of goods. Your faction prestige can expressed in game as favors owed, and his ability to influence others and make use of the faction’s resources. The exact application of Prestige Award will vary greatly and 1 Prestige Award in one organization is not worth the same in all circumstances as it is in another organization. Prestige Awards are measured in two groups: Total Prestige Awards (TPA) and Current Prestige Awards (CPA). By default, you have a TPA and a CPA of 0 in every organization in the campaign. Anytime you gain 1 or more points of Prestige with a particular group, both your TPA and your CPA increases by the appropriate number. The TPA is your overall reputation within the group and will only decrease in response to some transgression or social faux paw against the organization. Your CPA, however, is a representation of your reputation right now and will decrease as you use your Prestige for assistance and favors.

Your TPA within an organization must always be equal to or greater than your CPA. If it ever becomes less than your CPA, you loose an amount of CPA to make it equal again.

Gaining and Earning Prestige

In order to have Prestige, you must be a member of an organization, either officially or through close association. Different organizations have different sizes, realms of influence, access to different resources and different requirements for their members. While some organizations have strict guidelines as to what kind of perspective member they will accept, others are far more open. Some have ranks that must be obtained for greater ranks or rewards to be unlocked and others do not. Not every character may be suitable to join every faction, nor every faction suitable to every character’s desires. Prestige Awards are typically earned through actions that are beneficial toward the organization, and vary greatly depending on what happens in the campaign that’s of interest to the faction. It is also possible to gain Prestige Awards without earning them in the traditional since. This would apply for situations where someone regularly tithes an appropriate amount or donates a significant amount of resources to the group. Simply being a long standing member has its rewards. The amount of TPA/CPA gained in any instance is at the sole discretion of the GM.

You get a +1 circumstance bonus to Diplomacy checks with other members of your organization for every 10 TPA you have. You gain half this benefit with organizations that are allied with yours, rounded down, but you get a penalty for you Diplomacy checks with members of your rival organizations (if any) equal to -1 for every 10 TPA you have. You may be restricted on certain awards from allied factions, since many reserve their best boons for full members only.

Losing Prestige

You can loose prestige for betraying faction secrets to outsiders, causing the death of a faction member, stealing from or lying to the faction, allying with an opposing faction or other such behaviour. A typical penalty would be the loss of 1-3 TPA and CPA. In extreme situations, you may incur a decrease of 5 TPA/CPA or 10 TPA/CPA for major transgression, including the loss of associated ranks of privileges.

Spending Prestige Awards

Any Prestige Awards that you have acquired can used anytime you are able to contact your organization by spending your CPA. However, the request is much more expensive if it does not pertain the areas of influence that the organization covers. You can’t spend CPA if you can’t directly contact members of your organization that can deliver the requested awards to you. Prestige Awards are difficult to obtain in small settlements, and the CPA necessary in settlements less than 5,000 people increase by 5 (except for the Wildwood Lodge; the exact opposite is true for them, as prestige awards increase by 5 in communities larger than 5,000 people).

You may not spend CPA during combat. It is also possible for you to spend your prestige award even if your dead. This would represent you having made prior arrangements with the faction to recover or raise the body.

You may not pool your prestige awards. They are independent for each character, and you cannot give an award spent through this system to another character.

General Prestige Awards

In addition to the faction-specific awards that can be spent on by referring to the individual faction’s page, each faction also has the following generalized list of awards:

CPA Cost Benefit Comments
1 +4 to one skill check Cannot be combined with other skill checks
1 Purchase a single item (or service such as part of planar ally spells) worth 375gp Characters can’t spend multiple PA for more items costing 750gp
1 Wealthy cost of living for 1 month Cost of living covers 1 month
2 Purchase a single item (or service such as part of planar ally spells) worth 750gp Characters can’t spend multiple PA for more items costing 750gp
2 Extravagant cost of living for 1 month Cost of living covers 1 month
5 Retrieval of a dead body to a faction-controlled location

Standard Faction Costs

Under normal circumstances, you are capable of purchasing standard equpment from the equipment chapter of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, including equipment made from special materials, such as mithral, +1 weapons, armor and shields; and 0 or 1st level oils, potions and scrolls at caster level 1.

Aquired NPCs

Services and awards that result in the presence of NPCs or animals include appropriate gear for their class and level and all living expenses for them. For double CPA cost, those NPCs listed as serving for 1 day can serve for 1 week, and those listed as serving for 1 week can can serve for up to 1 month. The character is expected to return any NPCs or mounts and their gear to the faction when finished with them. If you return less than 50% of the mounts, gear or NPCs aquired, you loose a minimum of 1 TPA and a maximum of 5 TPA.

Ascendancy Factions

During the course of the Ascendancy campaign, players may run into several types of factions, including major, minor and enemy factions. They are detailed below.

Major Factions

The following factions are considered major players in the campaign. Players may advance within them and gain suitable rewards.

Minor Factions

The following factions are considered minor in the campaign. They are present as background filler or are not large/famous enough to warrant creation of faction benefits.

Enemy Factions

The following factions are considered enemy factions in the campaign. They may be major or minor players, but the information listed under each entry assumes the characters will never gain any prestige with these factions.

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