Influence (Ix), organisations, and impersonalisation

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Influence (Ix), organisations, and impersonalisation
« on: June 19, 2011, 02:00:13 AM »
Has anyone experimented with an Hx-like mechanic for creating relationships between characters and larger organisations or factions? As in, characters build up Ix through interactions with various factions throughout the game, which they can use to gain favours and support.

I'm thinking of implementing a system like it in my Rogue Trader hack - to represent the characters building influence amongst vast, galaxy-spanning Imperial organisations like the Munitorium, the Inquisitor Ordos, the Adeptus Mechanicus, the Imperial Guard, etc. - but I worry that the risk of this approach is creating a less personal, NPC-focused approach to building up relationships with these organisations. When characters have a specific "Influence with the Imperial Guard" statistic, I worry they'll be less likely to care about their specific relationship with Warmaster Iridian Holt... to some extent, this should be obliviated by "to do it, do it", but it still seems like a valid concern.

Does anyone else have any experience with such mechanics in play or in design?
+++THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Ambition knows no bounds.+++

Rogue Trader: Apocalypse

Re: Influence (Ix), organisations, and impersonalisation
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2011, 05:11:22 AM »
I've done something like this for my hack, using the following two moves:

When you offer tribute to an organization, roll+intent. On a hard hit, take +1 favor with them. On a regular hit, choose 1 and take +1 favor only if you fulfill it:
  • officially join up with them
  • pledge your support for a dangerous mission
On a miss, somebody still doubts your dedication.

When you seek aid from an organization, roll+favor. On a hard hit, it's an honor to help or they owe you from back when. On a regular hit, they do it, but take -1 favor. On a miss, they can't or won't help you.

"Tribute" is of course stolen from Dungeon World, and comes in different flavors like support (commit troops, ships, food convoys or other large-scale resources to the cause) or knowledge (offer new research or old secrets that are relevant to the organization's interests). The design goal is that getting what you need to offer tribute will in itself require either committing substantial resources, or going on an adventure.

Also, "help" is somewhat GM-defined, you can't be sure that they'll always do exactly what you want them to, only that they WILL do something directly helpful. "We can't commit our entire army at this time, but we will send a regiment to supplement your own troops" sort of thing.

Re: Influence (Ix), organisations, and impersonalisation
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2011, 09:57:03 PM »
Interesting!

I've been fiddling with a police procedural hack, where "Juice" as in how much suction you have with the higher-ups is represented by a stat. A floating stat like Hx would be an interesting way of doing it too.

I'd make gains a bit more nebulous, like "At the end of each session, decide if the gods of the police are smiling down upon you (take Juice+1) or if they wax wrath (Juice stays the same).

Re: Influence (Ix), organisations, and impersonalisation
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2011, 12:07:49 AM »
Here is what I've done so far; a somewhat more elaborate set of rules inspired by Tael's rules and Matt Wilson's rules in his Vanguard hack. They're more elaborate because the social setting of Rogue Trader is more elaborate, and I hope the rules work to convey that sensation.

In actual play, the rules haven't lead to an impersonalisation of organisations as I feared - I think to do it, do it covers this ground fairly well. To further avoid this, I asked players to detail who their contacts were in organisations when they drew on influence moves, and what they do to earn their favour.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2011, 01:34:34 AM by theloneamigo »
+++THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Ambition knows no bounds.+++

Rogue Trader: Apocalypse