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Sharing and pooling merits: how to?

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  • Sharing and pooling merits: how to?

    I searched for it but I didn't find an answer in the book (maybe I missed).

    But how do you handle it?

    How many characters with Resource 3 do you need to have the same amount or Resource of a Characters with Resource 4? How many characters with Status 3 do you need to have enough push do deal with a man who has Status 5?

    There is any official rule about it?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Undead rabbit View Post
    I searched for it but I didn't find an answer in the book (maybe I missed).

    But how do you handle it?

    How many characters with Resource 3 do you need to have the same amount or Resource of a Characters with Resource 4? How many characters with Status 3 do you need to have enough push do deal with a man who has Status 5?

    There is any official rule about it?
    If a Merit allows pooling (which I don't believe Resources does, if memory serves), then the dots are just added together. For example: Three players pooling one, one and two dots of Safe House will end up with four dots in their shared Safe House.


    Bloodline: The Stygians
    Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
    Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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    • #3
      Most of the Merits which can be mechanically "pooled" are either Safe Place and its derivative Merits (Havens, Hallows, Hollows, Hovels, Hootenannies) or bolted into the organizational rules, like Geist's Krewe Merits. In both cases, they simply gather into a lump sum which is accessible by the investors collectively. Merits aren't divided among characters, and so conversely, there's no rules for Merits to be consolidated like you describe.

      Status is explicitly asymmetric. It doesn't matter how many desk clerks and shift managers you gather together, you can't overrule the chief executive officer. If you want to use group action to overthrow the leader, you have to do it the old-fashioned way, with social pressure and/or bloody knuckles. The organization structure itself will not help you do this; it is there to resist.

      Resources tells you how much sum Availability worth of discretionary goods and services you can call on in a given session without stretching your budget (one item with Availability up to your Resources dots, plus free usage, within reason, of items with Availability two dots less than your Resources) and how much you can acquire by stretching your budget (one item with Availability a dot higher than your Resources). Using the Larceny services as an example, one character with Resources 4 can afford to hire thieves to steal a relic under guarded protection (an Availability 4 service) every session without having to dip into his savings. One character with Resources 3 can only do that by dipping into a month's worth of savings and stretching her budget for another month (effectively temporarily dropping to Resources 2). One character with Resources 2 definitely cannot afford to do that at all as a discretionary purchase. The Resources 2 character would have to resort to extreme measures, like remortgaging his house.

      The system isn't so granular as to use Resources dots to measure how much total worth you have in assets. It's just your discretionary buying power. Availability dots aren't interchangably summable: a single flashlight is an Availability 1 purchase, but that doesn't mean that if you have four flashlights, you can sell them to throw an Availability 4 athletic competition. Resources doesn't exist to put a ceiling on what you can acquire in-game, it's a convenience establishing that you can easily get these goods and services without effort. If your Resources is insufficient, you need to expend effort: pitch to your Storyteller what caper you're going on or what sacrifices you're making to afford that attack helicopter, because it doesn't matter how many desk clerks and shift managers you pool your money with, their spending money for the week doesn't cover military surplus craft.

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      • #4
        If you wanted to house-rule in more Merit sharing:

        First, I'd start with the WoD pooled Backgrounds concept of having an Anchor, that is something that the pool is built around (generally this would be a Merit itself, Resources for a business, Mentor for the group orienting around a leader, etc). The Anchor's pooled rating is the maximum value members can pool in other Merits. If you're pooling together to run a small business that's currently only worth Resources 2, you can't pool 3 dots worth of Allies in the local business community, just 2.

        Second, unlike normal pooling, the maximum rating a given character can draw on is the highest rating contributed. If a coterie of vampires is organized around a powerful Elder patron (Mentor), and get some second-hand status off it, if the contribute 2, 1 and 3 dots into a pool of Status, there's 6 points of Status to go around, and nobody can draw more than 3 at once. This addresses some of the issues with pooling Stupid Loserman brings up.

        It should work for something broad than MCI, and more PC controlled than something like Order Status from Mage (which isn't a bad model for pooled Merits one a larger scale).

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        • #5
          In first edition Resources had a monthly dollar value:
          • - $500
          •• - $1,000
          ••• - $2,000
          •••• - $10,000
          ••••• - $50,000
          When this question comes up in game I generally just refer back to this, so I'd let five Resources 3 characters tap their Merit to collectively purchase an Availability 4 item or service.

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          • #6
            In first edition merits had an exponential exp cost, such that five characters getting resources 1 cost a third of what one character with 5 did.

            Actually looking at it that whole chart is weird. Assuming a group pooling resources you're better off with everyone getting one dot up until the total exp spent would be enough for one character to buy 4, and then it's better to have one loaded character bankrolling the rest.

            In second edition I find it somewhat strange that two groups who have spent the same amount of exp on a merit get wildly different mileage out of it depending on whether it's spread among five characters or concentrated in one. But I find resources a frustrating merit in general because it has a flat cost to increase but multiplicative returns.

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            • #7
              Returns aren't truly multiplicative anymore since costs are simplified into Availability dot ratings, and different Availability ratings represents different nonconvertible tiers. That means any kind of pooling of different Resources Merits would have to be based on some arbitrary conversion rate, which the Resources Merit itself goes out of its way to avoid. If you want a system for pooling Resources dots, you'll also have to completely rewrite the effects of Resources because it doesn't give a fuck about conversion rates.

              Right now, five people that each has Resources 3 can collectively buy five items or services with an Availability rating of 3 or less, as well as a reasonably unlimited amount of Availability 1 items and services.


              Bloodline: The Stygians
              Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
              Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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              • #8
                Five people with resources 1 can buy 5 availability 1 items or services. One person with resources 5 can buy an unlimited amount of availability 1 2 or 3 items or services as well as one at availability 4 or 5. Same exp but the latter is able to acquire vastly more.

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                • #9
                  At Resources 1 you can buy a one dot item or a two dot item with a drawback, while at Resources 2 you can buy a one dot or a two dot item without drawbacks or a three dot item with a drawback. You can't get more items, and you only increase the range of available Availability ratings from 2 to 3, a 50% increase for a 100% increase in XP costs. The second dot is technically worth less than the first. Which is obviously not true since the perceived worth of higher dot items should more than make up for that, but perceived worth isn't measured by the system.
                  The increase to Resources 3 is definitely huge since you suddenly get an infinite (within reason) amount of one dot items, but each increase after that doesn't grant you more items, they just change which dot ratings you could get items from.

                  The actual worth of each dot is highly subjective, but (with the exception of the increase of two to three dots) kinda in the same way each dot of Safe Place is highly subjective. Each dot grants flat modifiers that equal the dot rating of the Merit, meaning it's technically completely additive and linear. Yet the perceived value of a five dot Safe Place can actually be worth more than five times that of a one dot Safe Place because the penalty to invaders have increasing returns in how much they lower the chances of the invader scoring a success when breaking in.


                  Bloodline: The Stygians
                  Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                  Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    When it comes to Resources in a group, I like to pool them with the rule that two people with the same dot rating have effectively one higher dot rating (i.e. two people with 1 dot of resources have effectively 2 dots together, two people with 4 dots have effectively 5). This shows how Resources is not a linear increase, and although not a perfect system, incentivizes players to buy dots in the merit as a group rather than individually.

                    Additionally, core books from C:tL 2e onwards mention Resources as a "pool-able" merit, although they follow a linear progression (page 111 and 124 are the relevant pages in C:tL 2e)


                    Consumer of lore, myth, history, tales and songs. Pronoun ambiguous Constantly Out in the Grapes™

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