I have found that crews who have their own agenda and work for their own goals make for more interesting campaigns than crews who are mostly doing jobs for other factions. But, at least for me, this own agenda usually didn’t develop as naturally as I was hoping for.
The chapter on Starting Situations suggests creating a conflict or triangle of factions and throwing the PCs somewhere in the middle. So these factions have goals and the crew will probably help one of them and hurt the others. But what about the crews own goals? After around the third session I sat down with my players and discussed this and we actively tried to come up with goals the crew themselves could have in the context of the unfolding situation in the city.
I also feel this comes harder for certain types of crews. Hawkers probably want to dominate their market, push out competitors, etc (I don’t remember the Bloodletters ever working for someone else). We don’t even have to talk about Cults. But Shadows? Assassins? Their business inevitably means doing jobs for someone else and advancing their agenda rather than your own.
What’s your experience with this?