Houserule: Influences

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Houserule: Influences

Post by Paladin (ST1) on Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:02 am

Replacing the Contacts and Allies merits in our game is the Influence system; a means by which control can be exerted on aspects of the Urban Environment of London and the mortals that live in it.*

Since you can lose them and there is only a limited amount available, these do not cost XP.

With appropriate background, some player characters may begin play with some influence. However it should be noted that it might not only be the player characters that have access to these areas of influence on Society.


*With thanks and acknowledgement to the ST team of the Phoenix Rising.

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Gaining an Influence

Post by Paladin (ST1) on Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:03 am

To gain an influence requires a number of successful actions equal to the level of influence you are attempting to gain, and you may make no more than one action to gain a specific Influence in a month.

There is no draw unless the Influence is ‘full’, in which case there is a contested draw (see below). You cannot specify who you will not take influence from in the event that there is a contest.

Feel free to take actions towards multiple influence fields within the same month, however only one Influence can be gained in a month.

The most you may hold in a single Influence is equal to your maximum Attribute limit (usually five). Your total amount of controlled Influence dots cannot exceed the sum of your character’s Social and Mental attribute dots, as this is the most they can keep track of.

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Defending an Influence

Post by Paladin (ST1) on Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:04 am

Defending your influences does NOT require an action; assuming that your character is active in the city. (This is defined as the Player attending the previous game or submitting actions, and is contingent on the Character not being absent for any reason i.e. learning from a non-local Mentor).

Where an Influence is contested due to being overfull, all in the influence draw Influence + associated Attribute + associated Skill - Action penalties.
All contested influence draws will be made by the STs.

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Influences List

Post by Paladin (ST1) on Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:08 am

The list of Influences and their associated Attributes and Skills are as follows;

  • Bureaucracy – This encompasses influence over local government and utilities companies.  The associated Attribute is Manipulation and Skill is Politics.
  • Bureaucracy:
    1: Trace Utility bills
    2: Fake a birth certificate or licence
    Disconnect a single small residence's utilities
    Close a small road or park
    Get $250
    3: Fake a death certificate, passport or working visa
    Close a public school for 1 day
    Shut down a minor business on a violation
    4: Initiate a phone tap
    Fake land deeds
    Initiate a department wide investigation
    5: Start, stop or alter a city-wide project or policy
    Shut down a big business on a violation
    Rezone areas
    Obliterate records of a person
  • Church – This encompasses influence over local religious organisations.  The associated Attribute is Presence and Skill is Academics.
  • Church:
    1: Identify most secular members of a given faith
    Pass as a member of the clergy
    Peruse general church records (Marriage, burial, baptism etc)
    2: Identify higher church members
    Track regular church members
    Suspend lay members
    3: Open or close a single church
    Find the average church-associated hunter
    Dip into the collection plate ($250)
    Access private information & archives of a church
    4: Discredit or suspend high level church members
    Manipulate regional branches of the church
    5: Organise major protests
    Access ancient church lore & knowledge
  • Finance – This encompasses influence over banking, the finance industry and local IRD.  The associated Attribute is Wits and Skill is Academics.
  • Finance:
    1: Learn about major transactions & financial events
    Raise capital ($1000)
    Learn about general economic trends
    Learn real motivations for many financial actions of others
    2: Trace an unsecured small account
    Raise capital to purchase a small business
    3: Purchase a large business
    4: Manipulate local banking (Delay deposits, alter credit ratings)
    Ruin a small business (Or reduce Resources 1-3)
    5: Control an aspect of city-wide banking (Shut off ATM's, arrange a bank "Holiday")
    Ruin a large business (Or reduce resources 4-5)
    Purchase a major company
  • Health – This encompasses influence over local hospitals, blood banks, rest homes, pharmacies and funeral parlours.  The associated Attribute is Intelligence and Skill is Medicine.
  • Health:
    1: Access a person's health records
    Fake vaccination records etc
    Use public functions of health centres at your leisure
    2: Access some medical research records
    Have minor lab work done
    Get a copy of a coroner's report
    Investigate minor quarantines
    3: Corrupt results of tests or inspections
    Alter medical records
    4: Acquire a body
    Completely rewrite medical records
    Abuse grants for personal use ($250)
    Have minor medical research performed on a subject
    Institute large-scale quarantines
    Shut down businesses for "Health code violations"
    5: Have special research projects performed
    Have people institutionalised or released.
  • High Society – This encompasses influence over Clubs and the Entertainment industry.  The associated Attribute is Presence and Skill is Socialize.
  • High Society:
    1: Learn what is trendy
    Obtain hard-to-get tickets for shows
    Learn about concerts, shows or plays way before they are made public
    2: Track most celebrities or luminaries
    Be a local voice in the entertainment field
    "Borrow" idle cash from rich friends ($1000)
    3: Crush promising careers
    Hobnob well above your station
    4: Minor celebrity status
    5: Get a brief appearance on a talk show that's not about to be cancelled
    Ruin a new club, gallery, festival or other posh gathering
  • Industry – This encompasses influence over manufacturing and commercial enterprises.  The associated Attribute is Wits and Skill is Crafts.
  • Industry:
    1: learn about industrial projects or movements
    2: Have minor projects performed
    Dip into unions funds or embezzle petty cash ($500)
    Arrange small accidents or sabotage
    3: Organise minor strikes
    Appropriate machinery for a short time
    4: Close down a small plant
    Revitalise a small plant
    5: Manipulate large local industry
  • Legal – This encompasses influence over the courts and legal personnel and proceedings.  The associated Attribute is Manipulation and Skill is Subterfuge.
  • Legal:
    1: Get free representation for minor cases
    2: Avoid bail for some time
    Have minor charges dropped
    3: Manipulate legal procedures (Minor wills & contracts, court dates)
    Access public or court funds ($250)
    Get representation in most court cases
    4: Tie up court cases
    Issue subpoenas
    Have most legal charges dropped
    Cancel or arrange parole
    5: Close down all but the most serious investigations
    Have deportation proceedings held against someone
  • Media – This encompasses influence over print, broadcast and web-based news media.  The associated Attribute is Manipulation and Skill is Expression.
  • Media:
    1: Learn about breaking stories early
    Submit small articles
    2: Suppress (But not stop) small articles or reports
    Get hold of investigative reporting information
    3: Initiate news reports & investigations
    Get project funding & waste it ($250)
    4: Shut down stories & projects before their public release
    5: Broadcast fake stories locally
    Kill small local articles or reports completely.
  • Occult – This encompasses influence over any arcane elements that have leaked out into the mundane world and any cults around it.  The associated Attribute is Intelligence and Skill is Occult.
  • Occult:
    1: Contact and make use of common occult groups and their practices
    Know some of the more visible occult figures
    Research a Level 1 rite
    2: Know and contact some of the more obscure occult figures
    Access resources for most rituals and rites
    Research a Level 2 rite
    3: Know the vicinity of certain supernatural entities and (Possibly) contact them
    Access vital or rare material components
    Milk impressionable wannabees for bucks ($250)
    Access occult tomes & writings
    Research a Level 3 rite
    4: Research a Level 4 rite
    5: Access minor magic items/fetishes/etc
    Research a Level 5 rite
  • Parliament  - This encompasses influence over the Houses of Parliament and national government.  The associated Attribute is Intelligence and Skill is Politics.
  • Parliament:
    1 - Minor lobbying; Identify real platforms of politicians and parties; Be in the know
    2 - Meet small-time politicians; Garner inside information on processes, laws and the like; Use a slush fund or a fund-raiser ($1,000)
    3 - Sway or alter political projects (local parks, renovations, small construction)
    4 - Enact minor legislation; Dash careers of minor politicians
    5 - Get your candidate in a minor office; Enact encompassing legislature
  • Police – This encompasses influence over law enforcement personnel and organisations.  The associated Attribute is Wits and Skill is Investigation.
  • Police:
    1: Learn police procedures
    Hear police information and rumours
    Avoid traffic tickets
    2: Have licence plates checked
    Avoid minor violations (First conviction)
    Get "Inside information"
    3: Get copies of an investigation report
    Have police hassle, detain or harass someone
    Find internal secrets
    4: Access confiscated weapons or contraband
    Have some serious charges dropped
    Start an investigation (Including a phone tap)
    Get money ($1000)
    5: Arrange major investigations (including personnel)
    Arrange setups
    Instigate internal investigations
    Have officers fired
  • Street – This encompasses influence over homeless people, minor gangs and petty criminals.  The associated Attribute is Wits and Skill is Streetwise.
  • Street:
    1: Open an ear for the word on the street
    Identify most gangs and know their turfs & habits
    2: Live mostly without fear on the underside of society
    Keep a contact or two in most aspects of street life
    Access small-time contraband
    3: Get insight into other areas of influence
    Arrange some services from street people or gangs
    Get shotguns or some uncommon melee weapons
    4: Mobilise groups of homeless
    Panhandle ($250)
    Get hold of a Handgun, Rifle or SMG
    Have a word in almost all aspects of gang operations
    5: Control a single medium-sized gang
    Arrange impressive protests by street people
  • Transportation – This encompasses influence over public transport, taxi and freight companies, ports and airports.  The associated Attribute is Presence and Skill is Crafts.
  • Transport:
    1: Know what goes where, when & why
    Travel locally quickly & freely
    2: Track an unwary target if they use public transportation
    Arrange passage safe (or at least concealed) from mundane threats
    3: Seriously hamper an individual's ability to travel
    Avoid most supernatural dangers when travelling
    4: Shut down one form of transportation temporarily
    Reroute money your way ($500)
    Track a target who is using non-private means of transportation
    5: Reroute major modes of travel
    Smuggle with impunity
  • Underworld – This encompasses influence over serious criminal activity including drug deals, smuggling and organised crime.  The associated Attribute is Manipulation and Skill is Intimidation.
  • Underworld:
    1: Locate minor contraband
    2: Obtain pistols, serious drugs, stolen cars
    Hire muscle to rough someone up
    Fence stolen loot
    Prove that crime pays ($1000)
    3: Obtain a rifle, shotgun, or SMG.
    Arrange a minor "Hit"
    Meet someone in a local criminal organisation
    4: Make white collar crime connections
    Fence expensive/rare items
    5: Arrange gangland assassinations
    Hire a demolition man or firebug
    Supply local drug needs
  • University – This encompasses influence over the education system from schools to universities including campuses and staff.  The associate Attribute is Intelligence and Skill is Academics.
  • University:
    1: Know layout & policy of local schools
    Have access to low level university resources
    Get records up to high school level
    2: Know a contact or two with useful knowledge or abilities
    Have minor access to facilities
    Fake high school records
    Obtain university records
    3: Call in faculty favours
    Cancel a class
    Fix grades
    Discredit a student
    4: Organise student protests & rallies
    Discredit faculty members
    5: Falsify an undergraduate degree


Note that the social penalty that all Werewolves possess based on their Primal Urge is also a factor in a character's Influence draw pool, as the majority of influences involve social interaction with humans. The less human your character is, the more difficulty s/he will have with maintaining influence.


Last edited by Paladin (ST1) on Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:12 am; edited 2 times in total

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What you can do with Influences

Post by Paladin (ST1) on Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:09 am

Influences, as a default, allow you to gain Rumours about what’s going on in that area of society. This is automatic and does not count as a use of the Influence. Influences can be used in the following ways:

Use the Influence to manipulate events in that area of society or obtain something that the influence can provide, e.g. Licenses from the Bureaucracy influence or researching a Ritual with the Occult influence. The STs are the final arbiter of what you can or cannot do with your influence. This is not an action.

Search the Influence to see who else has their fingers in that particular pie. This will require a contested draw. If the person searching gains more successes, they notice the other person’s influence and if they have met them, will recognise who it is. If the defender gains more successes, they will know that someone is searching and if they have met them, will recognise who it is.

Attack an Influence to drive out another influence holder from the field. This requires a contested draw. If the attacker gains more successes, the defender loses a dot in the Influence, must take actions to regain it and does not know who attacked them. If the defender gains more successes, they realise that they have been attacked and if they have met the attacker, will recognise who it is. Note that to attack a specific person’s influence, the influence must already have been discovered by a Search the Influence action, by a successful defence during such an action or by other means (see below).

Block an Influence to prevent another Influence holder gaining further in the Influence. This results in a contested draw when another Influence holder attempts to gain in the Influence, even if the Influence is not ‘full’. If the Blocker gets more successes the attempted gain fails and it appears to the gainer that the Influence is ‘full’. If the Gainer gets more successes, the gain succeeds normally and the Gainer realises that someone was attempting to Block and if they have met them, recognises who it is. To attempt to Block a specific influence holder, their existing holdings must have been discovered by a Search the Influence action or other means as above/below.

Lend an Influence to another influence holder in the field. This is usually done where a cooperative attack is being attempted by a group upon a powerful influence holder. The recipient gains successes from the draws of those who are lending influence to any Influence action (see Teamwork WOD p 134) and also counts as having the extra draw for the purposes of defence, however they must have the capacity to control ALL of the loaned Influence dots in addition to their own. This can also be used in an attempt by a group to defend against an Attack or Search action. Note that a large measure of trust is required for those lending their influence as the recipient is now counted as having discovered the influence holding without need for a Search action. In addition, the recipient will be automatically successful in an attack action (see above) against any currently loaned influence.

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Re: Houserule: Influences

Post by Paladin (ST1) on Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:41 pm

If you wish to Lend an Influence in order for someone else to Use the Influence at a higher level than they are already, then you must loan them a number of dots equal to each missing level.
For example, to increase their level from 2 to 3, they must be loaned three dots. Multiple characters can loan to one character. However, as above, they must have the capacity to control ALL of the loaned Influence dots in addition to their own.

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Re: Houserule: Influences

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