Karma, which can be viewed from the command window, is an indication of relations between your faction and others. It serves as nothing more as an indication and the faction founder can choose what to do with the information as they please. The only exception to this are NPC factions, which may declare war as soon as the karma reaches -100%, allowing them to attack.
You can forge alliances within TextSpaced by increasing your karma with other factions. This happens naturally by supporting them in battle, completing missions for them or general good relations. Providing your karma with another faction is positive the founder can solidify the alliance within the command window. Conversely, the founder can declare war on another faction at any point providing they are not already allied, this means all faction structures and enlisted ships will attack the faction on sight as well as banning those players from your systems (blocking them from using services).
The most common time karma will change is if captains from one faction break the systems rules set forth by another faction, such as mining being disallowed.
Within a faction ranks can be set, these being Ensign, Commander, Captain and Admiral. Players that are born at a colony will automatically start the game at the rank of Engisn. These roles enforce certain actions the player can and cannot do, which are listed below.