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  • Status and Resources

    First of all, sorry if this topic has been discussed before. I have searched on the forums for some similar topic under the keywords "resources status" and have found nothing.

    Now, to the question I have: doest the Status merit, depending on the group you have status, give a salary, or it has to be reflected by the resources Merit?

    The CoD book says, on Status
    Second, she has access to group facilities, resources, and funding. Depending on the group, this could be limited by red tape and requisitioning processes. It’s also dependent on the resources the particular group has available.
    But it says nothing on salary.

    Also, the CoD book says, on Resources,
    She might live in an upscale condo, but if her income is tied up in the mortgage and child support payments, she might have little money to throw around
    Also, the money has to come from somewhere.

    I find this incoherent. Imagine the following situation:

    I imagine a dialog between narrator and player like this:
    - N: Ok, you got Resources 5. Where this money comes from?
    - P: I am the president of a multinational, a Bruce Wayne type.
    - N: Ok, but you have to buy Status 5 on the Company.
    - P: I have no points left! Mmmm... then I buy Status 5 (CEO of the company) instead of resources 5.
    - N: Ok, but if you drop Resources to 0 you would not be able to portrait that "Bruce Wayne" character you want.
    - P: What? But he is the CEO, he has to have a big salary!
    - N: Sorry, Resources 0 is Resources 0. This means your CEO expends all his salary, you will have to tell how this happens.
    - P: Then I keep Resources 5.
    - N: Ok, where this money comes from?
    - P: I am a CEO.
    - N: Nope, if you want to have influence in a company, you have to buy Status 5.
    - P: So, you are telling me that I have to spend all my 10 points on Status 5 and Resources 5?
    - N: Yep.

    Ok, this is a extreme situation for an example, but what happens when a player wants to portrait a police, detective, doctor, gang leader... people with influence, and to reflect that influence they send points on making the detective a better detective, giving allies and contacts to the gang leader... and... Resource 0, really?

    How would you manage it?

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Originally posted by dourden View Post
    How would you manage it?
    By not trying to start with a concept that requires Resources 5 + Status 5, just like I wouldn't start with a concept that requires multiple maxed-out Disciplines or 10 in a power stat.

    Edit: To elaborate, there's no requirement for the CEO of a company to have Status 5 within it. Maybe he's new, maybe he's not very good at his job, or maybe he's just a total recluse. Vampire touches on this a bit with the example of a Sheriff having more Status than the Prince of the City, but trying to force a Status 5 requirement for being in the 'top' position is really boxed-in thinking.

    There's also no requirement for Resources 5 to come from a job that would naturally lead to status, anyway. Trust fund kids, lucky investors, etc all exist.
    Last edited by lnodiv; 12-30-2016, 06:07 AM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by dourden View Post
      Now, to the question I have: doest the Status merit, depending on the group you have status, give a salary, or it has to be reflected by the resources Merit?
      Status does not inherently grant you a salary or the Resources Merit, because Status is used to represent any number of different types of organizations. Not all of them are going to follow the corporate structure where the more authority you have in the organization the more likely you are to pull significant (or any) money from it, and some situations where that would be "normal" might not even apply.

      For example,a character could be a lawyer and the son of the president of a hospital, and said lawyer does pro bono work for the hospital. The combination of his parent's clout and the respect earned by his volunteer work would be measured by the Status Merit, even while he explicitly draws no money from this and it would be at best (due to tax right offs) tangentially related to his Resource rating.

      As well, as you note, having a salary does not equate to a Resources rating. Your Resources represent your extra cash after you've covered your needs and obligations.

      If a character is the CEO of a company and thus has Status 5, but doesn't take any dots in Resources, it means that character's current financial obligations - regardless of how many zeros are attached to that job title's salary - don't leave any cash left over to be enjoying the wealth such a position is associated with.

      Also, remember that while Resources is very useful, mechanically there's nothing you can get with Resources that you can't get by other means; it'll just be slower and have more consequences. A high Status low/no Resources character can use their Status to all sorts of effect, but unlike Resources it will face scrutiny. A CEO that uses their Status to use company money to pay of various expenses that gets too sloppy with justifying them as related to the business (or just does it too often for too much) has a board to answer to, or an IRS audit to look forward to.

      I find this incoherent.
      You're going to have to explain this. What is incoherent here? Status is your position with an organization. Resources is how much spending cash you have available to you. The only possible incoherence you've demonstrated is introduced by your hypothetical player's expectations, not the book.

      Ok, this is a extreme situation for an example, but what happens when a player wants to portrait a police, detective, doctor, gang leader... people with influence, and to reflect that influence they send points on making the detective a better detective, giving allies and contacts to the gang leader... and... Resource 0, really?
      Part of the rules of the game are to set an even starting point for player characters. This inherently means certain concepts are not appropriate as baseline 0 XP starting level characters. If you can't make what you want with the dots available, the options you have are to cut back on your character a bit, or talk to your ST about running a game with starting XP so you can have more stuff.

      How would you manage it?
      I'm honestly not sure what the problem is beyond, "I might not have enough points to make my character!" which isn't a matter of Status and Resources in particular. And I handle that issue by working with my players that have this issue (usually ones not used to point-buy systems) to try to figure out a pared down version of the concept that they can make with the available dots/starting XP or find a different concept they'd enjoy that doesn't have this issue if that can't work.

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      • #4
        So, I understand then that:

        Status = Influence, NOT hierarchy
        Resources = extra cash left. NOT salary.

        Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
        You're going to have to explain this. What is incoherent here? Status is your position with an organization. Resources is how much spending cash you have available to you. The only possible incoherence you've demonstrated is introduced by your hypothetical player's expectations, not the book.
        I said it is incoherent because I associated and understood the Status merit with a position in the hierarchy aof an organization, and not as an Influence indicator. Your explanations has helped to understand this a lot.

        So, correct me if I am wrng with the following examples:

        The favourite waitress of a gang leader could have Status 4 on the gang, not because she is on top of the gang, but because she has influence on the opinions of the gang leader, and no one wants to have problems with her. Also, she's so nice and charmfull that everybody in the gang has the "no mess with Betty" sentence programmed in their brains.

        The mentioned CEO could have a Mansion, 5 expensive cars, butlers and maids, and a private jet... but resources 0 because all the money goes to maintain his style of life, right?

        Or he could have Resources 5 but Status 1 on the company because, although been the CEO, he is tied to the decisions of the shareholders or the real owner of the company, and is so closely looked with a magnifier lens that he cannot go to the toilet without filling a form.

        A boy with Status (Memorial Hospital) 2 could be a loved volunteer in the urgecies of that Hospital, so much that when he needs help, he got it from the staff of the urgencies (nurses, doctors,cleaners...)


        Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
        Part of the rules of the game are to set an even starting point for player characters. This inherently means certain concepts are not appropriate as baseline 0 XP starting level characters. If you can't make what you want with the dots available, the options you have are to cut back on your character a bit, or talk to your ST about running a game with starting XP so you can have more stuff.
        I forgot this part. Thanks

        As you say, I will handle this with the players to explain better the concept.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by dourden View Post
          So, I understand then that:

          Status = Influence, NOT hierarchy
          Resources = extra cash left. NOT salary.

          So, correct me if I am wrng with the following examples:

          The favourite waitress of a gang leader could have Status 4 on the gang, not because she is on top of the gang, but because she has influence on the opinions of the gang leader, and no one wants to have problems with her. Also, she's so nice and charmfull that everybody in the gang has the "no mess with Betty" sentence programmed in their brains.

          The mentioned CEO could have a Mansion, 5 expensive cars, butlers and maids, and a private jet... but resources 0 because all the money goes to maintain his style of life, right?

          Or he could have Resources 5 but Status 1 on the company because, although been the CEO, he is tied to the decisions of the shareholders or the real owner of the company, and is so closely looked with a magnifier lens that he cannot go to the toilet without filling a form.

          A boy with Status (Memorial Hospital) 2 could be a loved volunteer in the urgecies of that Hospital, so much that when he needs help, he got it from the staff of the urgencies (nurses, doctors,cleaners...)
          I see no need for correction. They're all good examples of Status-Resources imbalance ("imbalance" for lack of a better word)


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          • #6
            Also one more thing to look over Status understanding - even in supernatural societies it's more 'you are having large influance on our faction', than direct level of hierarchy. In Mage Order books, various titles have needed Status levels, but then are accompanied by statement that 'those levels are for average representatives - character can have higher or lower Status in Order, but will have repercussions. Lower Status than needed will be not take seriously on they positions and those higher will have unexpected influance on running of organisations'. Still, if you have granted correct Title or Positions, you will have in my eye slightly better standing on claiming of character that have official Position much lower than you - but only slightly.

            It's basically scenes like from Harry Potter and Order of the Phoenix - both Minister of Magic and Dumbledore have more or less the same Status 5 ( British Consilium ), only Minister have his official Title, so he makes legal procedures by his words. But Minister still is afraid of Dumbledore's speech, as he knows that what this wizard says has ENORMOUS impact on British mages on general, simple just him being really liked Principle of Hogwarts ( would be only Status 3 Title, but Dumbledore still would have like Status 5 on his sheet ).
            Last edited by wyrdhamster; 12-30-2016, 08:00 PM.


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            • #7
              I would like to go a little further, to a general principle on the game stats.

              Merits aren't about describing your character. They are about the advantages your character can reliably count on, from a mechanics stand point. So it isn't what your character is or does by itself, but what it can do in the game, as a game.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                I would like to go a little further, to a general principle on the game stats.

                Merits aren't about describing your character. They are about the advantages your character can reliably count on, from a mechanics stand point. So it isn't what your character is or does by itself, but what it can do in the game, as a game.
                This is an important point to keep in mind as well. To use another Social Merit as an example, a character doesn't have to have Anonymity to live off the grid. Anonymity just gives mechanical bonuses to a character who does live off the grid. A character doesn't have to have True Friend to have a deep, meaningful relationship with another character. True Friend just gives that relationship mechanical benefits. You don't have to have Resources 5 to be filthy stinking rich, Resources 5 just gives you a mechanical benefit for that money.


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                • #9
                  Bruce Wayne in the movie Batman Begins can be seen as an example of both 5dot 0dot paths. He has 5 dots in resources (spends money on expensive cars, buying restaurants on a whim & dating supermodels) with 0 dots in status (the company CEO considers him an inconvenient waste at best). Drop his blatant spending to represent 0 dots in resources, but his 5 dots in status explains why Fox is willing to provide him with all of Batman's fancy equipment. Gaining material items through status just means that technically you will have to return it...eventually.

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                  • #10
                    CEO will get butlers and maids and super cars, but you won't be able to easily get that Resources 5 Obscure Occult thing without a roll.
                    Trick is, your CEO Status probably will give you a bonus to the roll that will replace the "instant resources spend no question asked" ability of Resources. Your character is a super businessman with Status 5 and no resources, and needs lots of cash right now? Make a Persuasion roll to make a great business deal that will give you some cash, and if you fail, you can always ask for some interesting Condition to reflect using up your stuff.
                    Its kind of like a Police Officer should probably get a gun as a part of their "outfit", while a Journalist will not.

                    EDIT
                    Basically, imagine that Status will give you a sphere of influence that allows to grab things that logically fall under it, while Resources is universal, no questions asked ability to procure things just based on their cost alone. Like, I'm not going to tax a character whose status is "Famous independent journalist" for expensive cameras, but she is not getting a gun out of it. She might, however, try to do a Streetwise roll with a Status bonus to represent "yeah, I asked Bro-Gun to get me a gun, I did him a favor earlier by doing a nice article on his Bro-Music" or something. Use it as an excuse to flesh out characters, not ban options.
                    Last edited by WHW; 12-31-2016, 09:42 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                      I would like to go a little further, to a general principle on the game stats.

                      Merits aren't about describing your character. They are about the advantages your character can reliably count on, from a mechanics stand point. So it isn't what your character is or does by itself, but what it can do in the game, as a game.
                      Is this true? It sounds like Merits are about describing your character:

                      Merits are important facets of your character that do not fall under other traits. - p.26

                      Wouldn't that suggest a character could, say, be an expert in Firearms but not have the dots to back it up? Be a genius at INT 1? Or to take it a step further, to be a Alder Vampire, but just not have BP, Disciplines, or Vitae? Unless you're suggesting that Merits are some special set of traits that don't have to match the character/follow the same rules as other traits (i.e. needing to exist).

                      Which is... odd (to me), but okay. That idea raises a few questions, though.

                      How, then, to address narrative discrepancy? Or what should the ST say to Player A with Resources 5 who is wondering why they have Resources 5 when Player B is wearing Dior and driving a McLaren on Resources 1?

                      Don't get me wrong; I get what's being said. That a character could be good-looking or well-off, but just not get dice bonuses. It just seems like everyone would be good-looking, beach-bodied, rich, and well-connected. And if that's the case, doesn't it devalue those that have spent XP on those things? Narrative license is great, but doesn't that also drive players to just spending on powers and combat stats? If they can just narrate social qualities without spending?

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                      • #12
                        You totally can be a rich freelancer who uses Expression Rolls to generate Cash Equipment, without any kind of Resources Merit.

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                        • #13
                          Sure, and the Availability and Procurement rider is a whole other can of worms. Letting one trait supersede another in every instance is just bad mechanics.

                          You can just change the example if you like, to, say, Eidetic Memory, or Language, or Striking Looks, etc.

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                          • #14
                            In 1E there was Luxury Merit that let you live like a multimillionaire, without needing of stable Recourse to buy things. Seers of Throne were famous for using this on behalf of Exarchs.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by grey_goose View Post
                              Is this true? It sounds like Merits are about describing your character:

                              Merits are important facets of your character that do not fall under other traits. - p.26
                              Sure, Merits can help describe your character, but they're not essential to do so.

                              Originally posted by grey_goose View Post
                              Wouldn't that suggest a character could, say, be an expert in Firearms but not have the dots to back it up? Be a genius at INT 1? Or to take it a step further, to be a Alder Vampire, but just not have BP, Disciplines, or Vitae?

                              Unless you're suggesting that Merits are some special set of traits that don't have to match the character/follow the same rules as other traits (i.e. needing to exist).
                              A character with no dots in Firearms won't be able to be an expert marksman because they'll be failing most of their Firearms rolls. Playing a genius character with Intelligence 1 would be difficult, since one of the traits that helps form your mental dice pools is low, but it could be made up for with more dots and Specialties in Mental Skills and maybe some relevant Merits. As for playing an elder vampire with only Blood Potency 1 and 3 dots of Disciplines, that's simple. You recently woke up from a long Torpor, which reduced your Blood Potency to 1, and the fog of ages has addled your memory, so while you may once have had more Disciplines, you've forgotten how to use them. I've had such characters in my games before, they can be quite fun.

                              Originally posted by grey_goose View Post
                              Which is... odd (to me), but okay. That idea raises a few questions, though.

                              How, then, to address narrative discrepancy? Or what should the ST say to Player A with Resources 5 who is wondering why they have Resources 5 when Player B is wearing Dior and driving a McLaren on Resources 1?
                              Well, player A can basically buy whatever he wants whenever he wants. Player B can only acquire equipment through other means, like leveraging Status or Allies. What kind of clothes he wears and what car he drives are basically just flavor text.

                              Originally posted by grey_goose View Post
                              Don't get me wrong; I get what's being said. That a character could be good-looking or well-off, but just not get dice bonuses. It just seems like everyone would be good-looking, beach-bodied, rich, and well-connected.
                              Why would they That sounds like a horribly boring game. Don't your players what to try different sorts of characters?

                              Originally posted by grey_goose View Post
                              And if that's the case, doesn't it devalue those that have spent XP on those things? Narrative license is great, but doesn't that also drive players to just spending on powers and combat stats? If they can just narrate social qualities without spending?
                              No, it doesn't devalue that XP because it doesn't give you the benefits that the XP does.


                              Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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