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SYS:> Backgrounds

 
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I-KP



Joined: 25 Sep 2003
Posts: 3770
Location: Iddheim

PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2005 12:32 pm    Post subject: SYS:> Backgrounds Reply with quote

I'm gonna bring in Backgrounds for the resumption of GHOST. The blurb on what they are can be found below (in blue - note that the text is written genre non-specifically). This will be a simple thing to work through: essentially you'll all get a bumber of BG points (spent on a one-for-one basis) based on age and how much you've been about up to the present day (expect between 10 and 30 BG). One is not obliged to have every BG shown below.

Here's my estimation of how many BG points each character might get / the maximum allowed to be put into any one BG (pending protestations):

WATTS, Albert ĎGuví (Tony) #1022-3401-8810-2220: 25BG/8
MASAMARA, Isumi (NPC) #1022-4423-3578-4000 : 19BG/8
TAIKI, Hanamo (Mikey) #1022-1157-9700-1675: 18BG/4
TUCASARMA, Yoshi (Cat) #1022-8821-4572-1164: 15BG/4
OTSUKA, Akio ĎJonnyí (Kev) #1022-9984-2100-0254: 20BG/8
??????, Yosama (Martin) #3333-6621-5045-8748: 10BG/2

<!------------------------------ The Science Bit ----------------------------->

Background (BG) Points are spent IN-GAME to define, provide and/or cement a resource within set spheres of influence (i.e., you cannot draw on a particular kind of resource that, according to your PORTRAYAL, your character does not have connections with). Once BGs are spent the resource is defined as either Permanent[1] (the effects last indefinitely) or Transitory (the effects are not long lasting or are 'used up' immediately).

BGs are gained via DT. After a DT period the player will be informed how many BG points they will get and which areas that they are allowed to spend them in, as defined by the actions in the DT. For example: a DT spent tending one's own affairs may release Contacts, Means, Backing, and Retinue; a DT spent on campaign in a strange land may release Contacts, Allies, Reputation; a DT spent working the corridors of power may release Contacts, Allies, Influence, Reputation.

BG points are earned per DT at a rate of 1 to 5. Exceptionally long DT periods may yield more - the GM will rule in such cases.

Story given BG (such as saving the King's life - gives momentary Fame) can be cemented by spending one related BG point (just the one, not the normal worth cost as all the ground work has already been done) at the time of the award (or after the next DT) otherwise the effects will be very brief.

BG points can be horded but no more than 8 can be held unspent in any one BG area.

A starting Character should be allowed a certain number of BG points to start off with. It is up to the GM how these are defined, and how many. A good place to start would be somewhere between 10 and 30 points in total.

[1] Any Permanent BG spend must be justifiable in-game. For example: you can't have the King's Aide as an 8 point Ally if IN-GAME he is a mortal enemy!

Sol is about to petition the House Of Representatives to accept his new bill. Itís going to take a great deal of schmoozing and heís going to have to rely on his reputation to carry this one through. [The GM decides that this is going to require 4BG from Influence and 4BG Solís Reputation in order to stand any chance of pulling this one off. The GM then decides that, with the above paid in full, that the TASK to convince the House Of Representatives will be FORMIDABLE(5). Solís Player decides to tackle this test with the maximum 3 SOCIAL Free EFFORT along with his Professional Politics COMPETENCE(+2). If Sol where not able to pool the required BGs to stand a chance at thins then the GM could have decided to up the difficulty of the TASK instead.]

As in the above example, this reflects that some jobs require substantial BG availability before any attempt at a TASK RESOLUTION can be made. In other situations the expenditure of BG may not be connected to a TASK:

A close personal friend of Sol is in a spot of bother: heís in trouble with the Baron and owes a substantial amount of cash. If he canít pay up itís the Debtorís Prison from him! Sol wants to bail out his friend Ė he feels thatís the least he could do considering what this fellow has done for Sol in the past. [The GM informs the Player that this will require 2BG from Backing or Means.]
Sol liquidates some assets, makes the payment and saves his friend from the Calverston (Calverston Lane Debtors Prison).



-Allies (Permanent)
People who have allied themselves with you/you house and/or your cause. These people can be called on for assistance and will give it when and where ever they are best able without requiring anything done in return.
Allies BG will be slow in coming, perhaps one of the rarest BGs. DT's that involve the use of existing Allies will rarely result in new Allies BG.

1BG Low ability and connections, in comparison to yourself.
2BG Moderate ability and connections, in comparison to yourself.
4BG Equal ability and connections, in comparison to yourself.
8BG Superior ability and connections, in comparison to yourself.
16BG Near unrivalled ability and connections, in comparison to yourself.

-Backing (Transitory)
Persons or organisations that sponsor/bankroll you and/or your house/affiliates when undertaking activities that benefit both you and your Backer. A Backer may have certain rules or conditions that you must abide by to obtain the purse.
Backing BG will be earned at a steady rate by spending DT working with / for / or relating to the interests of your Backer(s).

1BG Barely comfortable Backer, financially speaking.
2BG Fairly comfortable Backer.
4BG Comfortable Backer.
8BG Wealthy.
16BG Exceptionally wealthy.

-Contacts (Permanent)
Contacts are useful people in useful positions that you can draw upon for assistance and/or information. Contacts are not like Allies as they will require something in return. The benefit of a Contact is that they can be from ANY sphere (GM has final veto).
Contact BG can be quickly accrued (depending upon the nature of the DT activities). Almost any kind of DT activity can result in Contact BG.

1BG Low ability, in comparison to yourself.
2BG Moderate ability, in comparison to yourself.
4BG Equal ability, in comparison to yourself.
8BG Superior ability, in comparison to yourself.
16BG Near unrivalled ability and connections, in comparison to yourself.

-Influence (Transitory)
If your word is to carry weight within an organisation you must have Influence, otherwise you may as well be talking to the cook's dog.
Influence BG will be award at a steady rate for DT that involves working within organisations matching the spheres of influence defined in your Portrayal.

1BG Word is barely audible over the clamour of other voices.
2BG Your word carries some weight but usually only if supported by others.
4BG Your word carries weight enough on it's own to draw attention.
8BG Word carries considerable weight and often gets heard.
16BG Word is given the utmost attention and consideration by all concerned.

-Means (Transitory)
A measure of personal assets that can be utilised or liquidated in times of need. Means can also be drawn from that of your closest relations (e.g. offspring, parents, spouse) but there may be conditions.
Means BG will be slowly accrued during DT just as a matter of course (esp. if you have someone else looking after your affairs). Personal DT attention will yield richer fruit, i.e., more Means BG.

1BG Barely measurable assets.
2BG Some wealth that is almost certainly tied up in fixed assets.
4BG Respectable wealth that is mostly tied up in fixed assets.
8BG Considerable worth that is often tied up in tangible assets, with some liquid wealth.
16BG Impressive amounts of liquid wealth and fixed assets.

-Reputation (Transitory)
Reputation is a measure of how well you are regarded by a house/organisation. With a good Reputation you may find that said house/organisation is more likely to offer services or assistance. Reputation can precede you so it does not always have a positive or desired effect.
Reputation will only be gained for DT that is spent breaking new ground within areas where your Reputation is important. Simply 'coasting' on previous Reputation uses will not be profitable.

1BG Some in your sphere may have heard of you.
2BG You are known within the majority of your sphere and some may even regard you in a favourable light.
4BG Within your sphere you are pretty well known and well regarded.
8BG You are regarded by many as one of the mainstays of your sphere.
16BG Your name carries great weight and precedes you within this and other related spheres.

-Retinue (Permanent)
Anyone in a position of power needs people to help him with the tasks of every day life. This background represents the accessibility to staff whose services are so very useful. Retinue expenditure can represent a selection of Staff or the quality of one specific, important Aide, Maid, Manservant. It should be noted that an equal level of Means will be required in order to maintain Retinue for any significant period of time (they are to be paid after all).
Retinue BG will be slowly accrued during DT just as a matter of course (esp. if you have someone else looking after your affairs). Personal DT attention will be more effective, i.e., more Retinue BG.

1BG A pretty woeful selection of staff, almost all but inept. Or you have a single aide, servant or assistant of pitiful, in relation to yourself, quality.
2BG A handful of fairly swarthy staff, some show aptitude. Or you have a single aide, servant or assistant of low, in relation to yourself, quality.
4BG You command a small but competent staff. Or you have a single aide, servant or assistant of fair, in relation to yourself, quality.
8BG You command a respectable number of reliable staff. Or you have a single aide, servant or assistant of equal, in relation to yourself, quality.
16BG You command an impressive contingent of servants, aides and other staff. Or you have a single aide, servant or assistant of exceptional quality.


<!------------------------------ /The Science Bit ----------------------------->


Please feel free to make your opinions known.
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Last edited by I-KP on Tue Apr 11, 2006 5:29 pm; edited 2 times in total
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I-KP



Joined: 25 Sep 2003
Posts: 3770
Location: Iddheim

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2005 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BACKGROUNDS:

Here are a few example BACKGROUND distributions for all characters. We can talk about the distribution if you're not happy but the sum of all remains fixed:

ALBERT WATTS, The Guv (Tony),
Allies 4
Backing 0
Contacts 8
Influence 4
Means 2
Reputation 6
Retinue 1
(Sum 25)

TAIKI, The HasMat Expert (Mikey),
Allies 2
Backing 2
Contacts 4
Influence 2
Means 4
Reputation 4
Retinue 0
(Sum 18)

YOSHI, The Greasemonkey (Cat),
Allies 1
Backing 1
Contacts 4
Influence 3
Means 1
Reputation 4
Retinue 1
(Sum 15)

JONNY, The EMT (Kev),
Allies 2
Backing 4
Contacts 4
Influence 3
Means 2
Reputation 5
Retinue 0
(Sum 20)

YOMASA, The Temp (Martin),
Allies 1
Backing 0
Contacts 5
Influence 2
Means 1
Reputation 1
Retinue 0
(Sum 10)

[ANDY's CHARACTER] (Andy),
(Sum 17)
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Twisted



Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 2332
Location: Sitting in a black leather armchair

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2005 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Immediate problem would be with Means 4, why the hell would I be with them? Smile

Can I have a Nu-Switzerland Bank Account..or just smeg loads of cybernet gear? Smile
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I-KP



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Twisted wrote:
Immediate problem would be with Means 4, why the hell would I be with them? Smile

Can I have a Nu-Switzerland Bank Account..or just smeg loads of cybernet gear? Smile

<Alomst clicked the EDIT button again! *phew*>

Means represents your accessible funds and/or liqudateable assets. If you wish to covert some of this into gear then that's fine (after all, that's what they're for). Four may sound like a lot but it's not because once you spend them they're gone. The only way to recover Means is through assets-grabbing style downtime - which is unlikely given Taiki's current job and life situation. Call it a measure of what's 'left over' from his former life.

If you would prefer that the points are shifted then that's up to you (1 for 1, just reallocate). This would be fine, as that's why I posted that list up; to get people thinking about it.
Wink
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Church



Joined: 05 Oct 2003
Posts: 1075

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That all seems fine for Jonny,

one question - I take it the means increase in DT is for wages & benefits - so your position in the company would dictate the base increase in means, is this increase linked to your starting means?

For Clarity: Does The Means background influence the rate that measn are gained during DT?
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I-KP



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every time we have some DT we come to an agreement as to which Backgrounds are released, i.e., which Backgrounds you can put DT points into based on what you say your DT objectives/actions were. This is the same for all Backgrounds. (An exmaple of this can be found in the blue text above.)

Wages & Benefits for employment during DT may not actually release the Means Background unless you are living well under your earnings. It is assumed (but may not always be the case) that you are working to support your current lifestyle. However, specifiying that you are 'tightening the belt' for a while might justify the release of the Means Background.

The Means Background simply reflects assets, liquid or fixed, and cash that can be called upon in times of need. Burning off Means should be seen as 'selling up' to a certain extent. Also, your current rating in Means could also be a good measure of the level of pocket money, i.e., no Means 0 indicates you are totally broke but Means 4 could be interpretted that you have money with which to pay the day to day expenses of a fairly comfortable lifestyle.

It's a fairly loose and relative system to a certain extent. All down to what feels right.

It should be noted that the above BG ratings range from 0 to 16, not 0 to 8. (Basically, what is written down as being 8 will be 16 now. I will get round to editing the above soon to avoid confusion.)
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Church



Joined: 05 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oki - sounds fine - so in the normal course of a game you wouldn't be using up your means BG, unless something out of the ordinary came up. cool. Wink
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I-KP



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Church wrote:
Oki - sounds fine - so in the normal course of a game you wouldn't be using up your means BG, unless something out of the ordinary came up. cool. Wink

Something out of your character's ordinary, yes that's right.

(Above values altered now.)
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