The groups in Floor 13 are analogous to the groups in the card game Illuminati. In the reboot, I’ll make more explicit the group characteristics such as violent, conservative, weird, criminal, secret, ancient etc.
In Floor 13 however the groups vary from the mundane (the Automobile Association), through to the ancient mystical and secret societies (like the Bavrian Illuminati) to the very real and dangerous (Irish Republican Army).
At the time (or should I say, back in the day), Floor 13 hit only a small amount of flak for dealing with real world groups, and not confining itself to a pretend universe. Mixing the two didn’t seem to elicit any comment. Deus Ex did it very successfully later on - I didn’t even realise that FEMA was a real government organisation.
But apart from adding flavour, what do groups do in Floor 13 exactly?
You can get an idea of the scale and seriousness of a plot by the groups involved. However angry Mumsnet get, they will not attempt to launch a zombie apocalypse. But ultimately groups represent some kind of persistence within Floor 13, as you may face the same group through a number of plots.
As players of the original game may remember, the Director General was ironically also a member of a secret society (I can’t remember if I was influenced in this by the role playing game Paranoia. )
Of course, you won’t know if characters are members of secret groups unless they are revealed from existing intelligence, or if your infiltration of a group is successful.
Disinformation applied over time can reduce the effect a group has in the news, and even create some positive stories.
Next time, I’ll look at.. ha ha, I’m not that organised.