Faction Themes

The end of the first run of Reloaded felt like there was major shifts in the original four factions that didn’t get realized and that we now get to see. I find this being the thig I’m honestly most excited about since I think we’re going to see more horizontal movement in mechanics across factions.

Law Dogs have become underground heros that operate outside regular channels. I think we’re going to see them become folk heros that don’t necessarily wear badges.

Morgan are the new law in town. The regulators fill the void in upholding the letter of the law that Abram and his ilk left.

Sloane now control Gomorra for better or worse and it’s all business for them. A cut of the action from everyone else is the name of the game with profit and eliminating the last of the Dogs as end game.

Fourth Ring are the biggest shift. No long lead by a demonic megalomaniac they now are a brotherhood of hunters that focus on tracking and consuming their prey. This is the faction I’m also most excited to see the next steps for.

So, any other thoughts from the community?

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Splendid idea for a thread! :slight_smile:

One issue here is that a number of reasonably frequent posters (including me) are restricted in what they can say as they are also playtesters! I do think you correctly identify that some themes were being introduced in Blood Moon Rising and were expected to get further support/important pieces in SB13-15.

Interested in thoughts people had - themes that excited them, mechanics from BMR that they thought needed more cards to be fully fleshed out, fears that factions would start to overlap and seem less distinct ec.

I’ll aim to join this discussion more once we’ve had some of the previews David Lapp mentioned in his blog (http://pineboxentertainment.com/2017/02/21/a-letter-from-david-lapp-community-manager/).

Obviously this thread seems more about mechanics, but mechanics and theme are linked so this Q&A thread with the story team is also worth browsing if you haven’t seen it: http://community.gomorragazette.com/t/swan-song-doomtown-story-q-a/1236/72


I’m not excited about Eagle Wardens getting Kung fu. I just don’t see that working functionally in game, or faction flavor wise. I really like having sub keywords for spells, like hymns, and melee hexes. I really want to see more mystical gadgets. I have recently been extremely surprised by horse decks, and I think Morgan is in an excellent place there, but other factions could get a little help with horses .

Yeah, I’m still confused about the decision to put a lone kung fu dude in with eagle wardens. If anything I could see law Dogs getting a few now that they’re renegades. It may be too soon for the dramatic swing that the first four are getting to also be applied to the two latecomers.
That being said I wouldn’t mind seeing their mechanics migrating to the first four factions. Vertical growth for the mechanics more than for the factions themselves.

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Kung fu definitely shouldn’t have been ported to Eagle Wardens. While I generally don’t like the mechanic that much and would prefer for the 108 righteous bandits to shift more towards miracles, I can’t deny that the kung fu mechanic feels like a signature of the faction. It’s like if the MCC suddenly focused on bounties. I’d much prefer if the Eagle Wardens focused on a sidekick archetype, given that sidekick mechanics already fit with the faction theme of defense. It could sort of be like how the MCC focuses both on gadgets and ponies. Speaking of ponies, I would love if horse decks got more focus with the release of regulators. I understand that a lot of people don’t want hand manipulation to become too strong, but I think there’s a lot of unexplored design space focusing on the movement aspect of horses. Anything with horses, really. I would really like if the 108 could explore hymns more, and I feel like the new Tao of the Bull will work as high value kung fu actions that allow the melding of kung fu and miracles.

While I’m not involved now, I did help with the shift to EW kung-fu and I can easily explain the reasoning behind it. Unlike Doomtown classic, we don’t want skills to be limited to one faction only, such that only MCC can play gadgets or only The Fourth Ring can play hexes. Therefore we wanted at some point to allow a second faction to focus on KF, albeit in their own fashion. Given that the story team was going for an alliance between EW and 108, it felt like the natural fit. The ultimate plan was eventually for EW to dabble more into KF while 108 could play a bit more with blessed as well as Abomination tech.


I’ve heard the reasoning, but I have to respectfully disagree with putting it in DTR, and what we have so far. (Yes I know cancellation screwed things up). Long story short, for game play I have to ask ‘Why?’. If your running kung fu, why do it in EW instead of 108. If your running EW, why run Kung fu instead of Shamen?

Same reason why people play Slucksters instead of T4R. Or why they play Gadget Dogs, etc. Some people like that faction’s overall playstyle, or they like that faction’s take on the mechanic more, or just want to try things out for fun.

Also, I don’t like the idea that we create a mechanic and effectively limit it to a single faction. That’s just lost potential.


Each of the secondary factions for a mechanic seems to use it in a different way, I don’t see any reason to believe that the same thing couldn’t be done successfully with Kung Fu. Honestly, it feels like a waste to not have a faction with Kung Fu as a secondary mechanic.


Dogs have low value gadgets and/or gadget weapons, Sloan hexes are strong only in shootout, 4R can make mystical gadgets.

I feel like introducing it at this point would take every EW card for the next 8 sets to get half the support as 108. Too what end and purpose, how would it really help the faction?

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How do you figure?

How did Sloane hexes or LD gadgets help those factions? It’s the wrong question to ask. We were expanding the gameplay laterally.


@jayjester, I can understand the concern on expanding skills/KF to new factions (may end up weak and potentially “waste” card slots), but I think Design showed they could pull this off successfully with Sloane Hexes and 108 Blessed was off to a good start. I think drifters and Doomtown’s flexible deckbuilding (anyone can access Hearts/Deeds/Actions) mean lots of the tools for a given theme are open to everyone, so it just needs dudes printed.

Because there are existing Hearts/Diamonds/Clubs to support a given skill suite/Kung Fu and dudes start in play, you only need a critical core of dudes to introduce it to a new faction. I like this, as it means spells (high and low value!) aren’t just 4R cards - they show up in Sloane, MCC and even the odd LD deck at times thanks to drifters. It gives Doomtown’s deckbuilding flexibility and means a larger proportion of each set is useful to a variety of factions.

A few starting dudes plus some more expensive back-up dudes and you’re away! Most of DTR’s Outfits are flexible enough to be used with a variety of themes (good design). For example, there wasn’t a need to print a Sloane Gang Huckster Outfit, as they worked well out of the existing outfit. Sloane can use high value hexes effectively too.

Sloane Hexes are good in the noon-phase too: Blood Curse/Shadow Walk/Sight Beyond Sight.

As for the specific example of adding Kung Fu to EW, Flush Desires · DoomtownDB has a good reputation on OCTGN (I’ve yet to test this exact deck, but tested something close to this recently due to its popularity online). It realistically has 5 dudes who’ll be attempting KF checks (I’m excluding Xiaodan Li as he’s a bullet catcher), so with Wei Xu, Mahogany Jackson (drifter) and a few more KF dudes EW would have been able to build a deck with similar non-dude tools. Would have taken maybe an Arc (3 saddlebags plus pinebox) and would have used up only half of EW’s dude slots, even without a second drifter with KF.

One thing that had always impressed me what the way in which many dudes were designed to function in different ways.

As an example, Wei Xu could work really well with Mariel Lewis even in a deck that doesn’t otherwise include Kung Fu.

I think as long as that general design goal is maintained, I wouldn’t mind some experimenting with factional longitude.

Besides, even towards the argument of opening up flexibility for viable starting posses, if an ‘off-faction’ skilled dude has ‘under-costed’ stats, even a single point of influence can ‘balance’ him or her against the rest of the factions because they will have to pay upkeep - the interior balance of the game itself actually solves some of the problem here.


Yup. Wei Xu, Mariel, Zachary Deloria, Jake and your choice of 1-coster makes for a good EW starting posse for non-shaman stuff.

Didn’t mean to derail this thread into trashing on EW Kung fu. It’s mostly a personal distaste, and as mentioned, I can’t judge what is yet to be.

I like the abomination tech 108 was getting into, the values just felt difficult to build around.

Frankly one of the big reasons why i love that game so much is the awesome job the designers have done on the sets, allowing a ton of creativity in the deckbuilding process. And the support for new themes s a big part of that (as you can see by my sloaneslide deck and the blessed 108 i’m currently building) :slight_smile: . So a big thank you to the designers here on an awesome job, for me Doomtown have the best designed sets of any card game currently in print without a doubt.

And yes please, more of new orientations for our factions please. I tried building Kung fu out of Eagle Warden recently, it needs help. I mean, more than any other new themes. :slight_smile:


No worries, interesting point and I can sympathise with frustration at seeing cards you’re not interested in using up slots in a faction you care about.

You’re right that we should get back on track, so what kind of themes would you like to see explored more for various factions?

I feel like the whole “economic powerhouse” aspect of MCC was completely dropped, and would love to see it come into it’s own outisde of gadgets. Realistically, Sloane has gotten the big money houses.

Alternatively, the concept of a horse faction and/or dudes that get buffs for having certain goods types would be neat to see in MCC. It looked like they started getting that early on, then it kind of fell by the wayside.

For 108, I’d like to see… something. Outside of kung fu, they never managed to grow into a cohesive theme. Yes, slide, but that’s a deck not a theme.

For LD, I’d like to see blessed with influence, and miracles that don’t rely on blessed rating when we have a bunch of blessed 0 dudes. I’d like to see the Order of St. George get a LD home, or find a place in LD as well, and I’m hoping that new closer ties to PEG will allow that to happen.

Overall, though, just give me more economy. Let me be able to afford to recover from a shootout gone bad. Current game is too much “all in” on one shootout for my taste.

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EW is the Native American faction. Yes, there is a secret society aspect with non native dudes. It’s jarring to say “This is the Native American faction that have powerful shaman warriors who secretly fight back the evils trying to consume this world, they also have Kung fu!” Gameplay wise, kungfu and most spells mix like oil and water. The only Kung fu dude so far is terrible at using rabbit fu, is a draw, so Zhu Tao isn’t that great, and his value fails half of Bull Demon King.

Constructively I will say I really like using influence in interesting ways, like with …Its who you Know, and Zachary.

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I think it would be interesting to see deputies in Morgan since they appear to be taking over as the law in town, such as it is.
For the fourth ring I think shamans might fit in with the connection to nature and hunting, but maybe not since they err more on the side of hexes.