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Effects of High Social Standing in a non-feudal TU

Golan2072

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Reading this thread I've thought about my Solar Triumvirate TU and the lack of formal nobility in it. MTU is (atleast in the Triumvirate polity) a capitalistic one (and quite monopolist too, with the big corps and the government dominating most of the economy) rather than a feudal one. Technically speaking, under Solar Triumvirate law, all citizens are equal; unofficially, ofcourse, there is much inequality - while you cannot inherit a title, you could inherit money, and if your father is a big share-holder in a megacorp, you inherit ALOT of money. Also, significant megacorp shareholders (as well as military head-honchos and high-level government officials) yeald a significant degree of official and unofficial power.

So, in addition to DMs to social tasks in the UGM System (and possibly negative ones to Streetwise tasks if the riffraff see you as an overbearing snub [sp?]), what should I give characters with SOC 10+? I recall thumbing through a friend's copy of Cyberpunk 2020, where Corporate characters had a "resources" stat/skill (IIRC) that allows them to use semi-official channels to get certain things done. I also recall thumbing though "Dark Conspiracy" at a convention's book stall, which had a similar system of resources.
 
If SOC is tied to wealth, you might also think about the Wealth system used in D20 Modern. Of course, this also means you are determining PCs purchasing power through a stat. If SOC represents wealth, it needs a much steeper exponential curve at the top end.
 
SOC doesn't nescerily denote wealth; a high-ranking naval officer or government official might not be VERY wealthy (fat salary, but not millionare-grade wealth), but would have political/bureaucratic/military influence instead.

Big wealth usually brings big SOC, but not nescery the other way around (though high SOc usually denotes a position with a very comfortable salary, to say the least).
 
A high SOC could also mean somebody is well-known and well-respected. That could be a Nobel laureate or an Olympic champion or famous rock star.
 
Your Solar Triumvirate sounds like it has some things in common with the US. So, looking around, I see that people with more money generally have a higher SOC, though that depends on how they spend their money and time, too!

Aside from that, community leaders can have SOC -- even ones that aren't city officials. Popular advocates for popular causes (I'm thinking of people like Martin Luther King Jr) could be considered to have an above-average SOC.

Judges might have an above-average SOC.

Immigrants might be considered to have below-average SOC. In other words, SOC seems to become a bit subjective when there's no King to rule on the matter.
 
I would use it as a DM to interaction rolls primarily. It might also be used to guide their personality/role. A person with high SOC and low INT might have a problem with DYKWIA. A person with high SOC and high INT might use their clout for charitable purposes. A character with high SOC might have a hard time not being recognized when they enter the starport. Etc.....
 
Originally posted by robject:
Your Solar Triumvirate sounds like it has some things in common with the US.
More things in common with the 1950's US or the 1950's France (today the big corps far outshadow all other elites); think along the lines of the following two themes - "Military-Industrial Complex" and "Old Money". The Old Money - the big megacorp shareholders, typically remaining "in the family" for a long time - are a bit like OTU nobility, but the difference is that, on one hand, their status comes from their economical control (BIIIIIG monopolies) and not the other way around, and, on the other hand, they are not the only ones in power (they are just one of three major power groups, the other being the Military and the Bureaucracy). Ranking military officials (similar to RL Israel today) have alot of power, yes, this includes political power, in their hands too. And the ranking bureaucrats control the System directly. Its a traditionalist, elitist system, but there are *some* ways up - such as climbing through the ranks in the Military (rare, but possible).

Popular advocates for popular causes (I'm thinking of people like Martin Luther King Jr) could be considered to have an above-average SOC.
Popular advocates for popular causes have high SOC if they are liked by the "system"; otherwise they might get positive DMs when speaking to their supporters, but think of this - will being the leader of a popular opposition party make you an easier time when dealing with the ruling circles and/or the state apparatus?

Judges might have an above-average SOC.
Judges would probably be appointed (usually by the planet's Governor) for having a "high SOC" to begin with, not the other way around (subject to the level of corruption - a mobster could become judge in the right level of rotten administration).

In other words, SOC seems to become a bit subjective when there's no King to rule on the matter.
Yes, it is a bit more subjective than in the purely feudal OTU, but society is still very stratified - but its more of being part of "the old boys' club", having a big military rank or having financial clout than of having a title. And yes, you might lose SOC more easily IMTU than in the OTU (if the power faction you were part of has lost a power struggle with another faction, for example). It's a bit like the Party Standing in the Solomani Confederation.

I see SOC IMTU as "distance from the Oligarchy" (that is, the higher the SOC, the closer you are to "the high places") combined with a "Credit Rating" (that is, how well respected and "upstanding citizen" you are).
 
For a Soc range of 2-18 (2d6 roll + modifiers due to muster out rolls and gains in service [which should be more rare than OTU, IMO])

Q. Who of 1950's US would have top levels in SOC?
Government: President(18), Vice-President (as head of Senate)(18), Speaker of the House (18), Chief Justice of the Supreme Court(18), Secretary of Defense(17), Secretary of State(17), Secretary of the Treasury (17), other Secretaries in the Cabinet (16), Head of CIA (16), Director of FBI (16), Undersecretary of Defense (14-15), Chief of Covert OPs at CIA (15), Govenor of a big/powerful/populous state (New York, California, Texas) (15), Mayor of NYC/LA/Chicago (14), Governor of smaller state (Ohio, Utah, RI (14), Mayor of smaller metropolitian city (St. Louis, Nashville, Denver) (13), etc.

(Getting late, I'll finish the post tomorrow.)
 
Wealthy people of a class tend to all hang out together. Subsequently, they know each other, at least by reputation and probably by a few (or more) meetings. While less so in the case of the newly rich (or those who've worked their way up to that status), people who qualify under the moniker "old money" certainly apply to this.

Think about the modern United States, for instance. Technically, this country does not have a system of nobility. We in democratic countries like to believe everyone is equal. In practice, the difference between most of us and the true "upper classes" is quite marked. There are those in this country who are, for all intents and purposes, nobles. Their kids all hang around in certain places in Aspen, Colorado during the winter, they all tend to have homes in certain areas of Martha's Vineyards. There's certain schools they all go to. The list goes on and on.

People of higher Soc would probably find some way to benefit from this: They can probably phone someone who knows someone and pull in favors, get meetings set up, and so on. They can certainly get their friends hired in some capacity by just talking to others in their peer group. The kinds of doors friends like this can open for you really isn't something that most of us can imagine easily. It's not just a Cyberpunk 2020 "Resources" it goes a lot further than that. You'd probably need like a stat that would be like Streetwise, except for the opposite end of the social spectra.
 
Originally posted by epicenter00:
People of higher Soc would probably find some way to benefit from this: They can probably phone someone who knows someone and pull in favors, get meetings set up, and so on. They can certainly get their friends hired in some capacity by just talking to others in their peer group. The kinds of doors friends like this can open for you really isn't something that most of us can imagine easily. It's not just a Cyberpunk 2020 "Resources" it goes a lot further than that. You'd probably need like a stat that would be like Streetwise, except for the opposite end of the social spectra.
So, we are talking about both a DM to Carousing/Liaison/Admin/Bribery AND "resources"/"Influence", right?
 
Just remember, 2-4601, the benefits given to the socially powerful and wealthy need not be balanced with those in the lower classes in any way. In fact, I'd go so far as to say they shouldn't. People with high SOC should basically get the world on the silver platter.

Most of us in 'democratic' countries like this whole "sirs" and "dames" thing but in the end, besides the honorific, there isn't much change between SOC14 and SOC4. This is utter bunk.

Once you introduce the system and the players start complaining, "Hey, why is it that Lord Soandso gets everything and I don't?" people will understand the real thing about "haves" and "have-nots."
 
Originally posted by epicenter00:
Most of us in 'democratic' countries like this whole "sirs" and "dames" thing but in the end, besides the honorific, there isn't much change between SOC14 and SOC4. This is utter bunk.
Remember that power is very unevenly distributed even in a 'democratic' system. Its just far more unofficial - it isn't your legal right, its the people 'in high places' you know, the financial clout you have, the respect your military rank (if any) commands from military men even if you are retired. 'Democracy' brings a degree of legal equality, but it leaves many other ways for the "haves" to outshine the "have nots". Never underestimate the power of money, or of an "old boys' club".

And now, add huge financial monopolies (i.e. large corporations) to the mix, complete with their higher management echelons and big shareholders, and you will get nobility in any way but the official title. You don't get a 'fife', you get 'shares'. Get alot of them, and you have income, and an influence in an economical machine that could easily pull strings in the government. Not to mention big-time military contractors who have very deep connections within the military.
 
Don't remember where I read this (probably back in my Human Geography days), but I always liked the comparison of Capitalism to Feudalism.

Legally, you have equality in a democracy, but once you enter the workplace you're back in a feudal environment. Everyone has their place, the lower orders obey their overlords without question and accept that they are worth exponentially less.

Salaries are an accurate measure of SOC, but they tend to be private. The easy way to tell is to compare the quality of chairs in an office.
 
Once you go to a high enough level (SOC 13+) in the SOC scale, salaries end being a measure of social standing - property does. The richest men around don't get their money as a salary - they get it as direct profits from their property, profits from investing their capital in the stock market and dividends from shares held in corporations.

And if you go low enough (SOC 1), you get people who simply have no job - beggars, chronically unemployed persons, petty criminals and so on.

But for SOC 2 to 12 you are quite correct - most of these people will be employed by someone else and will get a salary which would reflect, more or less, their social standing. Even if self-employed (a rare thing in the corporate-dominated Solar Triumvirate), the more 'respectable' the profession (say, a Lawyer as opposed to a Plumber), the higher the wage goes usually.

I am also thinking about allowing players to 'buy' SOC (to a limited degree), by spending alot of money on 'dressing up', frequenting high-class establishments, throwing high-class parties and so on.

One benefit of belonging to the upper classes (SOC 10+) would be the possession of shares, trust-funds and/or life savings, giving a constant amound per month as interest and/or dividends. That would be some rule-of-a-thumb that'll give characters this money automatically if they have the SOC, in addition to retirement pay from services.

Another measure of SOC would be the willingness of a bank to give you credit and/or loan you money, and the conditions and interest of such a loan.
 
@Employee 2-4601:
There is a rule in T20 that says, if a character spends more than they need to keep up their lifestyle, they can temporarily raise their SOC.
IIRC normal upkeep is Cr100*SOC per month, and the SOC "afterburner" is Cr250*SOC (the new SOC, that is) per month.

There is also a feat for the Noble class, Trust Fund, that gives a character Cr200*SOC per month, or can serve as collateral for a loan of MCr1*SOC.

Sounds pretty much like what you have in mind.
 
For a Soc range of 2-18 (2d6 roll + modifiers due to muster out rolls and gains in service [which should be more rare than OTU, IMO])

For Economic based social levels:
Mega-corporations (Equivalent to today's top 150 companies in Fortune 500 list. For companies listed 151-500 lower SOC by one per category. For companies 501+ lower SOC by two per category.)

Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operations Officer=17
Member of the Board, Chief of Operations-Europe/Asia/etc. (or nations/states for 501+ listed companies)=16
Director of Operations-US/France/etc. (or states/districts [like Northern California/ East cost/ West coast/ Mid-west/ etc.] of 501+ listed companies)=15
Manager of Operations of US regions (East Coast/ West coast/ Mid-west, or states)=14

For those listed as assistants to above (like the Assistant Chief of Operations-Europe [15] or Assistant Manager of Operations-East Coast [13]) will have a SOC one less than their superior.

For a Traveller based economy similar to the Imperium (multi-sector polity) one can use the following:
Mega-corporation (Ling Standard, GSbAG, Tukera Lines, etc.)
Chairman of Board, CEO, CFO = 17
Boardmember, Chief of Operations: Sector = 16
Director of Operations: Sub-sector = 15
Manager of Operations: 4-5 world group = 14
Chief of Operations: world (Mora, Regina) = 13
Manager of World Region/Continent = 12

For TU's with single sector sized polities:
Mega-Corporation
CoB, CEO, CFO = 17
Boardmember, Chief of Ops: Sub-sector = 16
Director of Ops 4-5 world group = 15
Manager of Ops: world = 14
Director of Ops of World Continent = 13

Subtract one from SOC if the company is basically one sized smaller in scope. (For example a sector wide company in an Imperium sized polity would have a CEO with a SOC = 16, a Chief of Operations: world = 12. For a sub-sector company in a Imperium type of setting will have a CEO = 15 and Chief of Operations: world = 13.)

I personally do not believe that even the highest of SOC based on economics will be equal to the highest of SOC within government. In other words no CEO of a mega-corp will have a SOC of 18.

Hope this helps.
 
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