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Luddite

Influence for resource acquisition - debate

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but it sounds like most of the opposition is based on the word 'Influence', as if that can only represent flashing badges and yelling "I'm with the Inquisition, gimme stuff!", rather than being an abstraction of 'having whatever is needed in this particular situation: cash, credit, negotiable commodities, etc'.

 

 

As i stated in the OP, i'm not opposed, just looking for views on how to make the RAW work.

 

You mention abstracting whatever is needed in this situation...well, as i said, i'm not interested in 'ignore the rules' solutions here, but rather how to make the RAW work.  As it stands you have to make an Influence roll for EACH individual item transaction, for each acquisition of each item.  If you want to use the RAW to acquire 50 sets of armoured bodygloves, that's 50 Influence tests.

How do you make this work?

EDIT:  OK, here's something i tried to work through.  One of my players would like to purchase a modified weapon, a 'back-up las pistol'.

 

So...

 

Las-pistol - Common

With the following modifications

Compact - Avg 

Red dot sight - Scarce

Silencer - Plentiful

 

How do the requisition rules work to acquire this weapon?

Edited by Luddite

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Without listed values, you have no idea what the relative value of objects are. You have no frames of reference whatsoever in that regard, and there's a host of situations that you simply can't handle believably in a narrative.

What's wrong with assuming Availability equals relative value? Does this matter really require a more detailed resolution?

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Without listed values, you have no idea what the relative value of objects are. You have no frames of reference whatsoever in that regard, and there's a host of situations that you simply can't handle believably in a narrative.

What's wrong with assuming Availability equals relative value? Does this matter really require a more detailed resolution?

While this seems okay because I can see the imperium being farily utilitarian with regard to rarity=value, it kind of fails because the rarity values don't necessarily scale linearly. So the best you can do with relative values is say something of x availability is less valuable or more valuable than something else.

Also, for the OP's question of how to make things work by the RAW, you don't. The rules didn't take feedback about those issues during te beta into account, and they fail to work for multiple acquisitions or for valuing items.

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Ah, so you mean relative value in the sense of "one lasgun is worth three grenades or ten ration packs", right?

 

Yeah, this system doesn't do that, but I don't think it's really something that will come up in most people's games.

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Well, it's more of a problem of what happens if someone gets a single very valuable item and sells it. If he only gets a one time benefit from it, that can only be used to acquire one item. And how much of a benefit should he get? The system has a lot of gaps. You can't even approximate values beyond less/more, and this becomes even harder to do if their availabilities aren't sequential.

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Ah, so you mean relative value in the sense of "one lasgun is worth three grenades or ten ration packs", right?

 

Yeah, this system doesn't do that, but I don't think it's really something that will come up in most people's games.

If you read upwards, it's actually something that might come up in a lot of games fairly often. Without any kind of solid base for comparison, you can't approximate values at all, no matter where in the Imperium you are. What's a lasgun worth on Port Wander? I have no idea.

 

There's a lot of situations where a complete straight-up abstract system just falls apart as part of a narrative, where scarcity of wealth becomes incredibly relevant, and Influence/Infamy/etc. just doesn't cover it.

Not to mention if you want to do something that isn't strictly and completely covered by the campaign setting's assumptions. Take Only War for example. The squad defects. But the system has absolutely no contingencies for when the Logistics Rating stops making sense.

And Dark Heresy 2 is the same. It falls apart as soon as the Influence system is questioned or when it doesn't make sense in relation to the narrative.

Wasn't there a rule in Black Crusade that you can trade an item of equal or better rarity for a bonus on an Acquisition roll?

It does. Which lets you trade off a power sword you don't want for a salamander you don't need. Nevermind that you can't break it apart, it's for Acquisitions in relation to carting that item of equal or lower availability then and there, whereas listed relative values would allow you to approximate a range of situations where you need to acquire or hoard your resources. Edited by Fgdsfg

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Wasn't there a rule in Black Crusade that you can trade an item of equal or better rarity for a bonus on an Acquisition roll?

Rules as written, though, this would usually be a waste of the trade, because you can only acquire one item at a time. You can choose to trade one more valuable item for just a CHANCE at a less valuable item, or just a CHANCE at an equally valued item.

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I have a distinct feeling you're trying to fit a square peg through a round hole. The system lets you acquire anything you want without having to trade in anything you have, so why do you insist on trading it in anyway?

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Because in the story you may get ahold of something that you want to trade. It's a case where the mechanics aren't supporting the narrative and are in fact restricting it. And I say this as someone who LOVES gamist systems like warhammer fantasy roleplay 3rd.

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Because in the story you may get ahold of something that you want to trade. It's a case where the mechanics aren't supporting the narrative and are in fact restricting it. And I say this as someone who LOVES gamist systems like warhammer fantasy roleplay 3rd.

Is it really an important enough part of the narrative in a game centered around rooting out cults and conspiracies that you can't just ignore it?

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OK, so i'm getting the distinct view that the RAW are unworkable is that correct?

 

So...

 

How do you manage resource acquisition for your PCs?

 

How do you manage investigation issues around financial affairs, criminal bookkeeping etc.?

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Because in the story you may get ahold of something that you want to trade. It's a case where the mechanics aren't supporting the narrative and are in fact restricting it. And I say this as someone who LOVES gamist systems like warhammer fantasy roleplay 3rd.

Is it really an important enough part of the narrative in a game centered around rooting out cults and conspiracies that you can't just ignore it?

 

 

I don't want to bean count resources and I'm fine with abstracting them out. The problem is that this abstraction is missing rules that were in all previous incarnations of it, and that it is unable to cover cases that come up fairly frequently in gameplay. Here, I'll list some investigation examples:

 

-Your group takes out a drug cult and one of the seedier members wants to try selling the drugs. How do you reflect the (at least short term) reward from that?

-Your group wants to acquire a set of guardsmen armor to infiltrate a regiment suspected of mutinous leanings. How do they acquire those? By rolling 1 at a time for each suit? Does that seem very fun?

-Your characters are investigating a woman dealing in obscure items from across the galaxy. They attempt to sell her an artifact or steal and pawn off one of her artifacts. How are you going to work out what they get for it?

-Your group is on one of the thousands of unique imperium planets. What advice is given for how rarities might be affected?

 

The problem is that the abstract resource system is only half-baked in how to handle things, and is missing critical rules for things that will come up in gameplay frequently.

 

 

OK, so i'm getting the distinct view that the RAW are unworkable is that correct?

 

So...

 

How do you manage resource acquisition for your PCs?

 

How do you manage investigation issues around financial affairs, criminal bookkeeping etc.?

 

-If you're bartering for things, just use a social skill to acquire something.

-If players acquire a resource like money or something they can sell, give it a value from +10 to +60. Allow the player to use that bonus in increments of 10 on any number of rolls until the bonus has run out.

-Allow automatic acquisitions of items based on influence bonus, as noted upthread.

-As the GM, assign penalties to purchasing multiple copies of an item. You can either make a list of penalties for different amounts, or just wing it, depending on how you and your players feel about it. Here's a basic chart I am making up on the spot.

Single Item: +0 to roll

The below penalties can only be used to acquire multiple items if the item is something you could otherwise automatically acquire based on your influence bonus.

An item for each acolyte: -10

An entire game session's supply/one week's: -20

An entire campaign's/adventure's supply: -30

A lifetime supply of something: -40

-If you're doing things like criminal book-keeping, just treat it as an in-story thing. Come up with a number that seems thematic and roll with it. Make your own copy of the criminal's financial logs and give it to your players. Just assume 1 throne=1 of whatever the basic currency in your country is and go from there.

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I don't want to bean count resources and I'm fine with abstracting them out. The problem is that this abstraction is missing rules that were in all previous incarnations of it, and that it is unable to cover cases that come up fairly frequently in gameplay. Here, I'll list some investigation examples:

 

-Your group takes out a drug cult and one of the seedier members wants to try selling the drugs. How do you reflect the (at least short term) reward from that?

-Your group wants to acquire a set of guardsmen armor to infiltrate a regiment suspected of mutinous leanings. How do they acquire those? By rolling 1 at a time for each suit? Does that seem very fun?

-Your characters are investigating a woman dealing in obscure items from across the galaxy. They attempt to sell her an artifact or steal and pawn off one of her artifacts. How are you going to work out what they get for it?

-Your group is on one of the thousands of unique imperium planets. What advice is given for how rarities might be affected?

 

The problem is that the abstract resource system is only half-baked in how to handle things, and is missing critical rules for things that will come up in gameplay frequently

Out of all these examples, only the bolded one is something I'd consider an actual issue, especially since it was handled by previous renditions of the system.

 

All the rest are either things outside the scope of the game (again, why are you trying to steal/sell things when the game tells you it doesn't matter and you shouldn't be concerned with that?) or things that can be easily adjudicated on the fly (changing rarity due to the quirks of a particular world).

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Out of all these examples, only the bolded one is something I'd consider an actual issue, especially since it was handled by previous renditions of the system.

 

All the rest are either things outside the scope of the game (again, why are you trying to steal/sell things when the game tells you it doesn't matter and you shouldn't be concerned with that?) or things that can be easily adjudicated on the fly (changing rarity due to the quirks of a particular world).

 

 

...you don't even have to be playing with D&Ders to encounter players who want to steal things. Players may also be given rewards in the form of resources, which the game mentions nothing about. Do you really expect the players in your games to never want to do anything with an item other than acquire it?

 

What happens if you have a player who is a thief and they pickpocket someone. Or they steal a relic from the governor's mansion. Or anything like that. Thieves/scum are pretty iconic members of an acolyte group. Are you saying that all they can do with that stuff is sit on it because the game says it doesn't matter?

 

And the problem is that the game has this abstract system and then fails to give advice on adjusting it to the quirks of a world. Like it just gives you a system that completely fails to mesh with the context of the setting.

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Let me put it this way: I'm an avid World of Darkness player. In case you're not familiar with it, resources in WoD are graded on a scale of zero to five, and you can acquire any item rated below your wealth level without putting a strain on your wealth - if you want to buy something valued at the same level as your Resources rating, you lose a dot of Resources. That's pretty much the whole system.

 

One of the many characters I've played was a vampire financeer. He started the game with Resources 5, meaning I couldn't realistically get richer within the rules of the game - money and economy were basically rendered a non-issue by me starting with that trait. Didn't stop me from roleplaying my character being on the phone with his stock broker several times per game session, investing money in various businesses or demanding exorbitant fees for my services to other vampires. Once again, neither of those actions affected my wealth mechanically, but I did that anyway because that was the kind of character I was playing. I had a lot of fun with that and never felt the resources system lacking.

 

So what I'm saying is, it's not that the Influence system doesn't work, it's that it doesn't work at the level of detail you expect it to work at, and while you're entitled to your opinion, it's not a flaw per se.

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So what I'm saying is, it's not that the Influence system doesn't work, it's that it doesn't work at the level of detail you expect it to work at, and while you're entitled to your opinion, it's not a flaw per se.

 

 

And so....as my OP asked, if its not flawed, how do you make it work RAW?

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So what I'm saying is, it's not that the Influence system doesn't work, it's that it doesn't work at the level of detail you expect it to work at, and while you're entitled to your opinion, it's not a flaw per se.

 

 

And so....as my OP asked, if its not flawed, how do you make it work RAW?

Roll Influence to acquire items, represent any material rewards through Influence increases. Don't get into details, just wing it.

Edited by Morangias

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I don't want to bean count resources and I'm fine with abstracting them out. The problem is that this abstraction is missing rules that were in all previous incarnations of it, and that it is unable to cover cases that come up fairly frequently in gameplay. Here, I'll list some investigation examples:

 

-Your group takes out a drug cult and one of the seedier members wants to try selling the drugs. How do you reflect the (at least short term) reward from that?

-Your group wants to acquire a set of guardsmen armor to infiltrate a regiment suspected of mutinous leanings. How do they acquire those? By rolling 1 at a time for each suit? Does that seem very fun?

-Your characters are investigating a woman dealing in obscure items from across the galaxy. They attempt to sell her an artifact or steal and pawn off one of her artifacts. How are you going to work out what they get for it?

-Your group is on one of the thousands of unique imperium planets. What advice is given for how rarities might be affected?

 

The problem is that the abstract resource system is only half-baked in how to handle things, and is missing critical rules for things that will come up in gameplay frequently

Out of all these examples, only the bolded one is something I'd consider an actual issue, especially since it was handled by previous renditions of the system.

 

All the rest are either things outside the scope of the game (again, why are you trying to steal/sell things when the game tells you it doesn't matter and you shouldn't be concerned with that?) or things that can be easily adjudicated on the fly (changing rarity due to the quirks of a particular world).

If only the bolded is an issue, how would you resolve the others? Because none of them are outlandish things - they're entirely something a lot of characters might engage in.

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If only the bolded is an issue, how would you resolve the others? Because none of them are outlandish things - they're entirely something a lot of characters might engage in.

Selling drugs: if the amount was significant, give the guy an extra Influence point to represent the money he made.

 

Selling an item to a shady dealer: it doesn't really matter what the players gain materially, because the real gain was advancing the plot of the investigation anyway.

 

Stealing an item from a shady dealer and selling to someone else: either an item is interesting in itself, or it's not significant enough to warrant a material reward. Still advances the plot, which is what matters.

 

Adjusting for local economy: this is an agri-world, so all food items are one step easier to acquire. It doesn't have a big garrison, though, and not a lot of market for weaponry, so everything more complex than las and SP pistols is one step harder to get.

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So what I'm saying is, it's not that the Influence system doesn't work, it's that it doesn't work at the level of detail you expect it to work at, and while you're entitled to your opinion, it's not a flaw per se.

 

 

And so....as my OP asked, if its not flawed, how do you make it work RAW?

Roll Influence to acquire items, represent any material rewards through Influence increases. Don't get into details, just wing it.

 

 

'Just wing it'?  How is that dealing with RAW?

 

Also, i'll restate the example i posed above:

 

One of my players would like to purchase a modified weapon, a 'back-up las pistol'.

 

So...

 

Las-pistol - Common

With the following modifications

Compact - Avg 

Red dot sight - Scarce

Silencer - Plentiful

 

How do the requisition rules work to acquire this weapon?

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Well, acquiring modified weapons is an actual flaw in the rules, just like acquiring multiple pieces of same equipment. Really annoying, in fact, since both were reasonably covered in Rogue Trader. By RAW, it seems you just roll once per each item, including modifications, which, again, is not an optimal way of handling things.

 

As for winging it, such is the nature of the Influence system that you have to grade the players' growing importance on an abstract and arbitrary scale, i.e. wing it. It may not be up to your tastes, but it is how the system works and you don't objectively need more detail than that.

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