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Old June 30th, 2009, 06:35 PM
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Default Introducing Influence

[Yes, another one of those threads of mine ...]

While adapting the Mongoose Traveller rules to my setting, I have come to
the conclusion that the Social attribute does not really make much sense in
my setting's rather egalitarian society where an aristocracy does not exist.

Therefore I now intend to replace Social with Influence, an attribute that
measures the ability of a person to influence other persons, institutions and
organizations.

This ability will be modified according to:

- the distance between the characters "base" (usually homeworld) and the
location where he wants to use the ability,

- the difference between his "sphere of influence" (e.g. diplomacy, military,
a specific field of science) and the "sphere of influence" of the person(s) he
attempts to influence.

For example, the council chairman of a colony has a high influence within the
colony, somewhat less influence on a neighbouring colony world, and even
less influence on far away Terra.
And since the council chairman's "sphere of influence" is "diplomacy and poli-
tics", he has more influence with the neighbouring colony world's politicians
than with its local military leadership or its scientific institutions.
So, his influence would be highest among the other politicians of his colony,
and lowest with a scientific institution on Terra.

Each character would start with almost the same basic Influence score, de-
pending probably on his terms of service in his "sphere of influence" (his ex-
perience in that field), his highest skill level in his "sphere of influence" (to
reflect whether he is a well known expert or just an unknown nobody) and
perhaps his general background (being rich should help - since we use the
rules' ship shares as colony shares, this would not be difficult to determine).

A character could probably have two (rarely more) Influence scores, depen-
ding on his biography - the council chairman mentioned above could have
been a famous scientist before his election into that office.
However, in such cases I would probably reduce the Influence score for the
field the character is not active on over time until it is almost zero.

Influence would change during the campaign. Successes like being elected in-
to a high office or making an important discovery or invention would increase
the Influence score, while blunders and desasters would reduce it according-
ly.

Well, at least that is the basic idea. I have not yet any idea how I will trans-
late this idea into numbers and game mechanics, but I do not think that it
will be very difficult, especially since I am not attempting to write a very de-
tailed system.

Thoughts would be most welcome.
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Old June 30th, 2009, 09:00 PM
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And a first attempt at numbers ...

The basic Influence attribute would be 7.
+ 1 if the character has served at least 2 terms in his "sphere of influence"
+ 1 if the character has a relevant skill of at least level 3
+ 1 if the character has invested at least 5 colony shares in the colony
for a maximum beginning Influence attribute of 10 (which would give him
a DM of +1 for the social skill used to influence someone).

- 2 if the character attempts to influence someone outside his "sphere of in-
fluence
- 2 / - 4 if he attempts to use his influence on a nearby planet / a far planet

So a beginning character with an Influence attribute of 10 would get a +1 DM
for an attempt to influence someone in his "sphere of influence" and on his
homeworld and no DM if he attempts to influence someone outside his "sphe-
re of influence" on his homeworld.

He also gets no DM for an attempt to influence someone on a nearby planet,
no matter whether this person is in his "sphere of influence" or not.

For an attempt to influence someone within his "sphere of influence" on a far
planet he would get no DM, but for an attempt to influence someone outside
his "sphere of influence" on that far planet he would suffer a DM of -1.
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Old July 1st, 2009, 09:14 AM
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CosmicGamer CosmicGamer is offline
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Unless I missed it, how about a + for rank. Very important within your sphere of influence and even a scientist would know the difference between a private and a general from a nearby world.

What is the Influence difference between a laser rifle and a letter opener?

Last edited by CosmicGamer; July 1st, 2009 at 09:18 AM..
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Old July 1st, 2009, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicGamer View Post
Unless I missed it, how about a + for rank. Very important within your sphere of influence and even a scientist would know the difference between a private and a general from a nearby world.
True, I just forgot to mention it because it is unimportant for our campaign,
but it would have to be a part of a more "general" system for other settings,
too.
Quote:
What is the Influence difference between a laser rifle and a letter opener?
Ah, that would depend very much on the specific circumstances. A letter
opener at my throat is much more likely to influence me than a laser rifle on
a neighbouring planet ...
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Old July 1st, 2009, 05:46 PM
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I something similar but retain the term Social Standing. This would be a combination of social ability and networking talent, divorced from social class.

It seems it is possible to somewhat redefine the attribute descriptions if not the actual terms under the TLL....
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Old July 1st, 2009, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klaus View Post
I something similar but retain the term Social Standing. This would be a combination of social ability and networking talent, divorced from social class.
I also considered retaining the original name, but the German version's "Sozial-
status" is too closely connected with the concept of social classes to be used
for an attribute based far more on influence, so I finally decided to change it
into "Einfluß" (influence) to avoid misunderstandings.
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