Influences - Clarification

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Influences - Clarification

Post by ST Jonah on Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:13 pm

I can't make with the Justin-Speak. I'm sure he can elaborate if necessary. Consider this a mini-primer for using influences in Heartland Alliance. No we are not going to Dark Epics. Ask questions on this thread and we can get some stuff outlined.

1. Your influences are more powerful than what the book says. They have the capacity to break the mold of the small list of items that the book reads. Moving above and beyond what your minions are capable of will require roleplay. However the bigger the chance/gap, the bigger the reward/failure. Just keep that in mind.

2. We will never remove permanent points from your sheet in this area. While numbers may flux down (and in some cases even up) depending on actions taken, these changes will not be permanent. You spent points in something that isn't k3wl p0w3rz. We like that.

3. There are things you are capable of doing with influences beyond what LotW: R states. The list provided is not an all inclusive list. Creativity = Reward. You may...

* Investigate the difficulty of completing X task.
* Research top dog in a particular field.
* Research any ripples being made in your pond.
* Prevent weaker actions from making a ripple in your pond.
* Temporarily disable someone through a well thoughtout plan.
* Temporarily boost someone through a well thoughtout plan.

4. Abilities like Law, Finance, Bureaucracy, etc. will only help augment your Influence actions. For example if Person A requests to do a full department review for corruption but doesn't have any Law ability, they're also going to slap themselves on the wrist for not finding a loophole to get their guys through. However Person B doing this, and has augmenting abilities, will ensure his folks come out smelling like roses and the other folks involved are crippled.

5. There are glass ceilings with influences. Once that ceiling is hit, only Level 1's will be allowed until those at the ceiling decide to raise said ceiling.

6. Your enemies sometimes have influences too. In these cases, situations you may enter will have a set difficulty level. They are sometimes smart. Sometimes they are not smart and their plans also backfire. No one is perfect.

7. Because people have influences to use, a trial period is going to begin with this portion. This will last for 3 months and will be reviewed by the staff at the end of the 3 months. Influences will be responded to every Tuesday and Thursday (or sooner/later depending on RL situations). Influences that are submitted to us at 10:00PM EST or after on the Thursday prior to Heartland Alliance will be ignored. During this trial period leading questions will be provided with your initial Influence submisison. We will guide you more towards this system by asking plans and presenting options to help you along with your Influence submission.



Last edited by ST Jonah on Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Influences - Clarification

Post by Rochambeau on Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:51 pm

My two cents:

I really like the flexibility you're outlining with this new influence system. It's pretty frickin' sweet. I just have one question at this point in time that's really more out of academic curiosity than anything else.

When you say there's a "glass ceiling" with influences and only level 1 influences will be allowed once the ceiling has been reached, what do you mean by that? Can you make that a little clearer for someone who's adamantly refused to play the influence game because it's usually too convoluted and confusing? kthx.

~Laura
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Re: Influences - Clarification

Post by Essence on Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:55 pm

Also, is there any bonuses to Kin vs. Garou? I ask because in other games I've played in they took into account that people don't like Garou due to their Rage and one of a Kin's main purposes is to be that go-between between worlds.

If not, no big deal. I always thought it was kind of a cool detail.
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Re: Influences - Clarification

Post by ST Jonah on Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:02 pm

Glass Ceiling:

Say Lima has a strong Industrial presence, but a weak High Society Presence. We would assign that Industry Influence has 40 levels available for our game, but High Society only has 15.

If Joe Bob, Frankenstein, and Dracula all have 5's in both of these areas they haven't reached the Glass Ceiling for Industry, but High Society has been reached.

Now General Lee wants to come in with 3 levels of High Society influence because he wants to be an elbow rubber and 4 levels of Industry Influence because he's a metal worker. Because the Glass Ceiling has been hit with High Society, we'll only allow General Lee to walk in with 1 level of High Society.
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Re: Influences - Clarification

Post by ST Jonah on Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:07 pm

Kin vs. Garou:

Glass Walkers get an influential advantage because they just work well with influences. They're allowed to purchase influences with little to no justification.

It is easier for Kin to buy influences vs. Garou. However this is also based on tribe. If you're a wendigo kin wanting to buy University Influence we may have a problem.

With the increase in 'difficulty' more RP and justification will be required. There'll be time limits on things too depending on the level put forth in increasing, initiating, etc.

A vague order of ease with buying influences:

1. Glass Walkers & Kin to Glass Walkers
2. Homid Kin to City Tribes
3. Homid Garou to City Tribes
4. Lupus Garou to City Tribes
5. Homid Kin to non-purelander tribes.
6. Homid Garou to non-purelander tribes.
7. Lupus Garou to non-purelander tribes.
8. Homid Kin to purelander tribes.
9. Homid Garou to purelander tribes.
10. Lupus Garou to purelander tribes.
11. Red Talons (All)
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Re: Influences - Clarification

Post by Rochambeau on Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:10 pm

Gotcha. That makes perfect sense, and I really like that sort of arrangement. Is there anything that can be done by the lowly level 1's to increase the glass ceiling? Banding together other level 1's? Applying pressure with other influences? Using contacts and allies?

I'm just curious to know what sorts of flexibility is offered with this.

And Wasta brings up a very good question, too. I'm interested to know, Wasta, how you've seen Kinfolk get bonuses on handling influence, especially since I believe LotW: R lists Kinfolk as a background that's pretty exclusively related to managing more influences.
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Re: Influences - Clarification

Post by Essence on Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:19 pm

^Like all of this...
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Re: Influences - Clarification

Post by Essence on Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:20 pm

@Laura: I like this system more but the one I've seen used is a phantom dot or two of influences in actions. This makes WAY more sense as the ST can just take it into account one way or another and it's not simply about points.
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Re: Influences - Clarification

Post by ST Jonah on Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:22 pm

Raising The Glass Ceiling:

It can be done with planning and utilization of other influences.

For example if General Lee wants to use his University Influence to making his school top dog in the area, that in turn will have an effect of drawing more national attention to it. Charlie Sheen may show up and speak there. James Woods may want a hall named after him. Ghandi may come back from the grave and haunt the Dean of Admissions. Regardless of the specifics of who comes and visits, it will garner the attention that folks in the High Society circles will begin to hear. From that it snowballs into raising that Glass Ceiling and soon General Lee can buy his influences up too.

Alternately the people that hit the Glass Ceiling already can also say "I have level 5 of X, I want to throw a party and get more people here...permanently!" (but more detail, y'know) and that would also work in raising the Glass Ceiling.
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Re: Influences - Clarification

Post by Essence on Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:46 pm

As a note, I've played in a lot of different games and actually having an ST understand the influence system to a point that they can get you answers this quick is amazing.

I totally understand why a lot of people burn out or give up on the influence game. It's complicated, cumbersome and house rules make it extremely confusing. I'm looking forward to playing it just as soon as I can earn XP! Smile
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Re: Influences - Clarification

Post by Anselm Walker on Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:47 pm

When I was playing an Influence heavy guy in a Vampire game I mapped out how to get new influences in a similar manner.

"I'm way into High Society because I'm a musician. That mean's if I throw a Gala I can meet politicians and media insiders. Now that I know Politicians they can introduce me to Bureaucrats and Lawyers."

That idea expanding into whole categories helping to raise and lower other categories is neat. More realistic influence system is win.
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Re: Influences - Clarification

Post by Essence on Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:51 pm

This.

It can get ridiculously cool too:

"With my University 2, I make sure the President of the local university is at my High Society 3 party. Fortunately, due to my rumors, I know the university is looking to expand on it's security. I drop a line to my Police 1 contact that the Chief might be interested in the work for his off-duty officers. All of this could encourage the Chief to show, making him available for me to meet and bump my Police up substantially."
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Re: Influences - Clarification

Post by ST Jonah on Thu May 05, 2011 12:42 pm

As a reminder - Today is the last day Influences will be answered.

Influence e-mails will be neglected after today.

Influence spends will have to be made during game on Saturday.
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