Please Note: World Systems is currently undergoing a massive revision.
In Factions, match outcomes decide the future of Runeterra and determine how the story plays out next. We’ve implemented several world systems to add some specificity and reliability to this process. You definitely don’t need to pay any attention to this stuff to enjoy playing Factions, but if you’d like some more immersion, you may enjoy it.
Here are the primary world systems:
- Politics — Tracks the Favor each faction holds with the League. Factions rely on Favor when petitioning the League, for example to add a new Champion to their lineup. The Politics system also controls what happens when the League issues sanctions.
- Commerce — Provides a rough measure of each faction’s wealth and commercial influence. Commerce is a flexible, consumable resource that can be used to boost other rolls.
- Industry — Used to track the progress of tasks such as constructing new buildings or replenishing lost military units.
- Espionage — This includes snooping around, stealing secrets, exposing conspiracies, planting bombs, assassinating targets with yordle blowguns, and all that sort of thing.
- Research — Governs magical, technological, and hybrid research, as well as other forms of investigation, such as solving mysteries.
- Military — Despite the League’s efforts, sometimes factions do resort to armed conflict. There are also plenty of scary monsters out there who aren’t very heedful of international diplomacy. This is where the military system comes in.
The basic principle for all of the above: the more matches a faction wins, the better off it’ll be. These systems allow Summoners to focus their gains in particular areas, and add some flavorful lore developments into the mix. Sometimes, a random dice-based system will produce events that a deliberate author would never have thought up.
Naggarok, the World Systems lead, maintains a helpful summary GDoc with information on each faction’s current standings.
The Factions calendar lays out when World Systems events occur. A summary follows:
- Friday — Dice Rolls. Most of the World Systems involve dice rolls. These happen on Friday, and are conducted by Naggarok.
- Every Other Sunday — League Petitions. Every other Sunday, the factions have an opportunity to submit petitions to the League. This is conducted via poll. Only factions that are active in the current arc can submit petitions, or support or oppose the petitions of other factions.
- Every Other Sunday — Espionage. On Sundays when no League petitions are being declared, factions can decide which Espionage operations to conduct. “NPC” factions (those not playable in the current arc) can conduct espionage and be targeted by espionage operations.
Here is the World systems info for the major factions.
We’ve also charted out each factions overall strengths in the following areas, tied to the key world systems:
- Military. Troop strength and capability for armed conflict on land. (Navies are marked separately.)
- Research. Magical and technological research ability. Sets base weekly research and affects how much changes in the Balance of Power affect research rolls.
- Industry. Used for creating structures, training and equipping units, and similar endeavors.
- Commerce. Business acumen and profit sense. Determines how much money the faction rakes in each week due to general commerce, and affects the amount of benefit gained from trade projects.
- Espionage. Determines the faction’s odds of success spying on or sabotaging others, or preventing similar covert acts against it.
- Navy. This is the faction’s naval strength. It is covered by the Military rules.
Factions have a set number of points divided up among these categories. The total number of points varies according to their status:
- Superpower — 400 points. Demacia, Noxus, Zaun.
- Great Power — 350 points. The Freljord, Ionia, Piltover.
- Minor Power — 300 points. Bandle City, Bilgewater, the Shadow Isles, Shurima.
More detailed descriptions follow.
Bandle City is the primary yordle civilization. Yordles are adorable little creatures who thrive on community, friendship, and snuggles. They are easily lured into traps by delicious confections. When tempting cupcakes are not involved, they are quite clever, and have a relatively high level of technology, which they combine with magic to create “hextech”. Piltover and Bandle City collaborate closely on hextech research. Scientifically minded yordles often journey to the great academies of Piltover, where the most cutting edge research and development is undertaken. Some, such as Rumble, resent Piltover for “stealing” Bandle City’s best minds, and want to see Bandle City surpass the so-called “City of Tomorrow”.
For the Mothership: Yordles are teensy and lovable, but they will fight ferociously to defend their homeland. Yordle military strength is tripled, rather than doubled, when defending their home territory.
Piltover–Bandle City Alliance: When petitioning the League to add a Champion found on Piltover’s Core or Secondary rosters, Bandle City rolls twice and uses the better result.
- Cosmic Balance: A deep understanding of the balance between Order and Chaos reduces the Failure Level on failed Danger Level checks arising from research by 50%.
- Strategic Hexplosives: Hexplosives, but more strategic. Useful when assaulting a stronghold. Also buffs Megling Commandos. [Danger Level +2%]
- Lunar Base: After refueling the Mothership using pyrikhos-based fuel, Bandle City has built a hamster tube city on the moon.
- Poro Farms: Bandle City has figured out how to create refrigeration systems that keep poros pleasantly cool even in warm climates. It now sells poros as pets across Valoran, in cooperation with the Freljord.
- Yordle Submarines: Bandle City has constructed a fleet of submarines to help search for the lost Atlantean civilization. These subs are also handy for exploration and defense.
Sanctioned (Shurima): Bandle City broke its treaty with Zaun and joined Demacia and Piltover as they attempted to seize Zaun’s pyrikhos mines by force. Although their motivations were laudable, they have been punished for directly violating an edict of the League. The following sanctions are in effect for Part VI of Factions:
- Half of their Commerce gains go to Zaun until they pay off a 50 Commerce debt.
- They start Part VI with 0 Favor.
Secret (woke up Nefara) (30): Curious yordles from Bandle City violated a League edict concerning the Floating Pyramids of Shurima. They blew open the entrance to the Great Pyramid of Akhtal and explored within, accidentally awakening the dread Lich Queen Nefara.
Bilgewater is a maritime city-state and plays a major role in global trade. It also secondarily represents other aquatically inclined civilizations.
On the Account: Bilgewater get a 50% discount when hiring mercenaries using Commerce.
Parrrrrrliamentarians: When using Bribery to enhance a petition to the League for a new Champion, any Secrets thereby acquired come at half severity. Everyone just sort of expects it.
Secret (Arcane Contraband) (10): Some smugglers with incriminating connections to Bilgewater’s leaders run a black market trade in forbidden artifacts.
Law, order, justice, and unity are Demacia’s highest ideals. It is a militaristic city-state bitterly opposed to Noxus. It is arguably the most “heroic” faction, and has sacrificed much to protect weaker factions against aggressors. It does have a darker side: Demacia regulates its citizens’ lives closely, and demands total commitment to their assigned duties. Honor and standing are determined almost entirely in relation to the state.
Ceruleana’s Blessing: A powerful ocean spirit named Ceruleana has granted Demacia her favor. Though she has become more cautious in exercising her power of late, she is a valuable source of information.
Loyalty: Demacians are utterly devoted to the state. Espionage and sabotage actions against Demacia must be rolled twice (for both success and for determining whether or not the agent is caught), using the worst result in each case.
Grand Levy: Demacia can replenish its men-at-arms units at double speed. (Industry gains are doubled while reinforcing lost men-at-arms units.)
Holy Inquisition: Demacia is very cautious about its magical research. Whereas most factions have at least a 5% base Danger Level, Demacia’s base Danger Level is 0%.
- Cosmic Purity: Demacia has mastered holy banishing magic. In battle, Demacia instantly obliterates d10 Strength of undead or Void units. It also has heightened resistance to necromantic or Void magic: for example, Zaun’s Pharmakon II rolls are more difficult (8 on d8 required, instead of 6 on d6) versus Demacia.
- Secrets of Shurima: Demacian sages have discovered new information about Shurima and its fall. It was able to recruit Nasus to its side. [Danger Level +1%]
- The Dawnbringers: Demacia has assembled an army of paladins led by Kayle, dedicated to cleansing Runeterra of Void demons and the undead.
- Freljordian Pact: Demacia and the Avarosan have an alliance, which protects Demacia’s northern border and allows it to sometimes call Freljordian Champions onto the Fields of Justice on Demacia’s behalf.
- The Velocitronic Rail (Piltover): Piltover has built a hextech train line running back and forth between the City of Progress and Demacia. The trip takes less than a day in each direction. This increases trade between the two factions, and would allow Demacia to rapidly deploy troops to defend Piltover against an invasion.
Sanctioned (Shurima): In response to a prophecy of apocalypse, Demacia attempted to seize Zaun’s pyrikhos mines by force. Although their motivations were laudable, they have been punished for directly violating an edict of the League. The following sanctions are in effect for Part VI of Factions:
- Half of their Commerce gains go to Zaun until they pay off a 150 Commerce debt.
- Half of their Industry generation goes to Zaun, until they have supplied 100 Industry.
- They start Part VI with 10 Favor.
- They may not deploy their army, or dispatch more than a small fraction of their fleet (e.g. for escort purposes), without succeeding on a Difficulty 160 petition to the League.
Secret (Garen/Kat) (5): Garen and Katarina have an inappropriate manaless relationship.
The Freljord is an inhospitable northern realm, mostly frozen tundra. It is home to three warring sub-factions: the Avarosan, a kingdom precariously allied with Demacia; the Winter’s Claw, a belligerent nomadic tribe; and the Frostguard, a mysterious entity led in secret by Lissandra and covertly allied with the troll tribes.
The Frostguard: This should almost be in red. As far as just about anyone knows, the Frostguard are secretive Freljordian sages, keepers of its secrets and masters of ice magic. Lissandra is actually up to sinister Disney Villain schemes which for some reason include freezing the planet. Although the Freljord’s Research stat is very low, every now and then Lissandra will toss them a small tech, usually in order to induce them to do something that she wants. Her price? Oh, nothing, really. Just Ashe’s Voice! BUAHAHAHA! (Note: Lissandra’s schemes are not a Secret for system purposes. It would take at least a big research project or two to expose her evil plans.)
Poro Farms: Trade links have begun to materialize between Bandle City and the people of the Freljord, thanks to enterprising yordle merchants. Poros have become a popular new pet in many parts of Valoran. (Commerce +10.)
Secret (Raids on Demacia) (10): The Winter’s Claw has raided Demacian villages on their border. Each time, they left no witnesses alive, but other evidence could be found.
Ionia is an insular realm with several sub-factions somewhat loosely allied under Karma’s leadership. It seeks balance and harmony, at home and abroad, though its focus is on the former and it does not share Demacia’s zeal for intervening in world affairs. Its magic is arguably the most refined and powerful in Valoran.
Balanced Diplomacy: Ionia is represented before the League by exceptionally gifted diplomats, such as Karma, who have a knack for maintaining the delicate balance of power. Ionia’s leaders are often seen as the voice of reason in contentious disputes. When supporting or opposing another faction’s petition to the League, the impact of Ionia’s success is increased by 50%. Also, Ionia gains 5 Favor whenever one of its petitions (or another faction’s petition that it supports) is granted, and whenever a petition it opposes fails.
Astral Blessing: Ionian soldiers take 30% fewer casualties than normal when fighting on their sacred isle.
Secret (Assassinations) (10): A team of League observers went missing in Ionia. They are believed dead. Officially, there’s no proof that it wasn’t simply some kind of tragic accident, or an encounter with thieves.
Noxian society values strength above all. It is a fiercely (often bloodily) meritocratic civilization that embraces conflict and competition. Like Demacia, it is ruled by a military dictatorship. The most powerful subfaction is made up of “Reformists” who argue that Noxus has become too ruthless and bloodthirsty through its alliance with Zaun, pursuing the “efficiency” of biochemical weapons and industrial militarization at the expense of the pursuit of true individual strength. The Noxian military, once rivaled only by Demacia’s, has been all but destroyed by the Void invasion and its catastrophic defeat in Shon-Xan.
Ruthless: Noxian forces inflict 20% of their total Strength in extra casualties.
Secret (Assassinations) (25): Noxus conspired with Zed and the Order of the Shadow to brutally murder dozens of key Ionian military and civilian leaders in preparation for a surprise assault during the war for Shon-Xan.
Secret (Garen/Kat) (5): Garen and Katarina have an inappropriate manaless relationship.
Piltover is the most technologically advanced faction. It is a mercantile state with strong military allies.
The Whites of Their Eyes: Piltover’s rifle units (riflemen, expeditioneers) roll twice and use the higher result.
Piltover–Bandle City Alliance: When petitioning the League to add a Champion found on Bandle City’s Core or Secondary rosters, Piltover rolls twice and uses the better result.
- Airship Armada: Piltover’s airships can strafe enemies with their ultravelocity aircannons (dealing 2d15 damage) and swiftly deploy troops to distant battlefields via airlift.
- People of Tomorrow: Piltover has developed bio-augment technology that gives its soldiers superhuman abilities.
- The Velocitronic Rail: A high-speed levitating hextech train now connects Piltover and Demacia.
- The next phase of the project will connect Bandle City and Demacia.
- The Lost Legion: Riven led a large number of Noxian refugees and wounded veterans to Piltover, seeking a cure for their Void sickness and a new home after the loss of Shon-Xan. Piltovian medicine has successfully treated them. The “Lost Legion” has been re-equipped and granted residency in Piltover. This gives Piltover a new military unit, and also catalyzed the development of arcane medicine, cutting in half the effectiveness of (e.g.) Zaun’s techmaturgical biochemical ordnance when used against Piltover (or those fighting alongside it.)
- Ionia’s Favor: Ionia and Piltover historically have had a very cold, distant relationship. This has begun to change. This opens up a new research tree for Piltover, as the two factions combine their expertise to search for ways to repair the cosmic balance.
- Ultraceramic Armor: By studying armordillo anatomy, Piltover has synthesized an artificial version based on pyrikhosian ceramic. This reduces casualties considerably. Normally, units “knocked out” as casualties in battle are lost 33% of the time and retreat 67% of the time. Now, Piltovian units are lost only 20% of the time, retreat 60% of the time, and return to battle in fighting condition 20% of the time.
Sanctioned (Shurima): Piltover fought alongside Demacia when it attempted to seize Zaun’s pyrikhos mines by force. Although their motivations were laudable, they have been punished for directly violating an edict of the League. The following sanctions are in effect for Part VI of Factions:
- Half of their Commerce gains go to Zaun until they pay off a 50 Commerce debt.
- They start Part VI with 10 Favor.
Secret (bio-experimentation) (15): Piltover strives to maintain a reputation for scientific ethics and caution. It bent these rules during the Hextech Revolution in the pursuit of its People of Tomorrow project. While they did little that Zaun does not do openly, revealing this secret would embarrass them and tarnish their reputation.
The Shadow Isles
“The Shadow Isles — they say they don’t exist.” Well, no, Elise, nobody says that, at least not anymore. In fact, several Shadow Isles Champions fight in the League of Legends. There’s a Field of Justice in the Shadow Isles. And beginning with the Ceruleana dispute, the Shadow Isles have secured official status as a League nation. Summoners who are willing to bargain with the likes of Karthus and Elise can offer their services in exchange for access to powerful necromantic magic, enough to offer a chance at a kind of immortality, or perhaps to be reunited with a dear one lost to death.
Chthonian Hordes: The necromancers of the Shadow Isles have an abundant supply with which to replenish their armies. Their Industry is doubled when replacing lost units.
No Peace In Death: If it wins a battle, the Shadow Isles raises one third of the total Strength of slain units as undead. (Gain units of Strength equal to one-third of the defeated army’s total average Strength at the start of the battle. Does not work on other undead units or Void monsters.)
Bloodless: The Shadow Isles are not good at making impassioned speeches or urging everyone to just trust us on this one, nor do they possess a shared humanity with which to make a broad appeal. The Isles cannot burn Favor to boost petitions.
Mortal Bargains: The Isles have their hooks in many powerful individuals, whether because they supply them with life-prolonging magic, pledge to make them an undying lich when their mortal body fails, or hold the soul of their beloved in their clutches. They may choose to reinforce any League petition (including a support/oppose action) they make by invoking these connections. If so, they roll twice and use the higher roll, but also acquire a level 10 Secret. If any of these Secrets are revealed, they lose access to this ability for the next two weeks.
Secret (Council corruption) (20): Many wonder exactly how the Isles convinced the Council to grant them entry into the League, and suspect that underhanded dealings with the Council or other important League officials were involved. This could be quite the damaging revelation if someone were to find proof.
Secret (Petition to add Amumu) (20): The Shadow Isles is believed to have exercised undue influence over the Council and other League states when it pushed through its petition to add Amumu to its Nyroth roster.
Secret (Ionian Libraries) (15): The Isles encouraged certain Ionians to read books, which is always bad.
The mysterious Shurima Desert has not yet truly asserted itself as a faction, but there is talk that this could change. A new Champion named “Azir” has entered the League of Legends, calling himself an “Emperor” and apparently trying to gather support for recognition of a new Shuriman state. This hasn’t yet drawn much attention—the League is full of crazy people already.
If Shurima were to be selected, it would be essentially a “blank slate” faction that the Champions involved would have to try to build up. Maybe they could join forces with Nefara to create some sort of creepy undead civilization. Maybe they could restore its original splendor and invite others to come settle it. It would all be especially awkward given that the League has just finished carving up most of Shurima’s territory.
Nobody freaking lives there. Not yet, anyway.
There is a place between dimensions, between worlds …
The Void is a terrifying alien realm brimming with wild magic and ravenous supernatural beasts. The reckless use of battle magic in the Rune Wars that preceded the formation of the League of Legends has torn into the fabric of reality around Runeterra, allowing some of these horrors to slip through from the Void.
When Demacia tipped the scales in favor of Order, the cosmic balance violently asserted itself: a great portal split the sands of Icathia and out poured an army of Void monsters with Malzahar at their fore. Icathia is now a nightmare realm crawling with Void demons and insane prophets.
The gleeful reign of mad science has turned Zaun into an exciting but terrifying place. It rivals Piltover in technological prowess, and is far less inhibited when it comes to pushing the boundaries of ethical or sane experimentation. These experiments, and the contamination they have spread, have led to the emergence of many strange creatures, from mutants to techmaturgic automatons.
Reckless Research: Zaun has a very high Research stat, reflecting its reckless pursuit of progress. However, it pays for this with a significantly heightened risk of catastrophe. Most factions have a base Danger Level of 5% per week. Zaun’s base Danger Level is 10% per week. Because of how Danger Level checks work, this not only increases the frequency of disasters but also their severity.
Commercial Empire: Zaunites are good at having fun, and they’re happy to supply some of that fun to you if you’ve got the cash to pay for it. From cutting-edge fashions to arcane beverages like ThaumaKola to hex-inked comic books, Zaun’s products are in great demand across Valoran. Zaun gains double the usual amount when converting Industry into Commerce by producing trade goods.
- The HexKorps: Zaun has constructed a mechanized pyrikhos-fueled army.
- Void Energy: Zaun gains a +20% Strength boost when fighting the Void.
- Extradimensional Theory: Zaun has a basic grasp of the cosmic dynamics of the Void and celestial beings. It is somewhat “smite-proof”, and can do things like close Void rifts. Sometimes.
- Warpgates: Zaun can rapidly move troops via warpgate. It has built warpgates in Zaun itself, in Shurima, and in the Freljord. It can use its Hyperspace Tunnel technology to transport people or objects without a receiving warpgate, though this is risky, costly, and much more limited in scope.
- Pharmakon II: Zaun has used arcanoelixirs to create a new breed of psi-mage. Before a Tournament or Featured Match, Zaun can roll a d6 to try to psi-blast an enemy Champion in such a way as to simulate ordinary summoning sickness. On a roll of 6, they are successful. (Against Demacia, it’s an 8 on a d8, due to Cosmic Purity.)
- PsiKorps: Zaun possesses an elite force of psionic secret agents empowered by specially formulated Pharmakon II.
- Infinity Engine: A Void-driven propulsion system, one crucial system for designing spacecraft. Also provides a significant Strength bonus to Zaun’s war zeppelins.
- Noxian Decontamination: Zaun has developed the technology to begin the process of decontaminating Noxian territory that was poisoned during the Void War.
- Solar Codex: With Xerath’s help, Zaun has discovered the Solar Codex, an interdimensional spellbook that contains the secrets of ancient Shuriman magic.
Sanctioned (Shurima): A Void rift inside Zaun’s pyrikhos mines nearly destroyed Runeterra. The League isn’t happy about that. The following sanctions are in effect for Part VI of Factions:
- They start Part VI with 25 Favor.
Secret (Voidpocalypse) (50): Not only several major Zaunite corporations, but also members of the Council of Zaun itself, were aware that there was a serious risk of cosmic disaster created by their reckless pyrikhos mining. If evidence of this got out, it would be very damaging.
Secret (Pharmakon II) (15): The League would not be happy if it learned about Zaun using its psi-mages to take enemy Champions out of action. So far, Zaun has managed to maintain the illusion that it’s just a series of bouts of summoning sickness.
Artwork from the League of Legends wiki; I believe it belongs to Riot, and Factions asserts no ownership over it through what we believe is fair use here.