Influence and Merits

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Allies, Contacts, Mentors, Mortal Status, and Retainers are sometimes referred to as Influence Merits. Not only can these be used at game in creative ways, they also can be incredibly useful in Downtimes.

=Using Influence=
Retainers, Allies, and Contacts can be used once at game and once in the downtime session. There are three standard ways to use Influence, as listed below.

  • **[[#Equipment Bonuses]]Equipment Bonuses**
    • The Influence Merit acts as a mundane Equipment bonus to a relevant Downtime action.
      • This bonus will apply to each roll within the Downtime action.
      • The bonus equals the dot rating of the Influence Merit.
    • You are still considered the primary actor, so any Patrols that bypass your Stealth will see that you were behind the action.
    • Contacts cannot be used this way.
  • **[[#Supplanting Skills]]Supplanting Skills**
    • This allows you to use the Influence Merit in place of your own skill.
      • The Influence Merit replaces your rating and does not add to it.
        • Example: Vampiro has Intimidation 1 and would like to do a Blood Attack. He could bring along his Dot 4 Intimidation Retainer, which allows him to act as if he has an Intimidation of 4 for that Downtime.
    • You can still use other Influence Merits as mundane equipment bonuses.
      • Example: If Vampiro also had Underworld Allies 3, he could use that as a mundane equipment bonus on the above Blood Attack.
    • You are still considered the primary actor, so any [[eotp-larp/Patrol|Patrols]] that bypass your Stealth will see that you were behind the action.
    • Contacts, Mentors, and Mortal Status cannot be used in this way. Only Allies and Retainers can.
  • **Full Delegation**
    • When doing this, the Influence Merit is sent off on their own to complete the action themselves.
      • Because of this, any Kindred who discovers the Merit during a Patrol would only hear that the Influence Merit performed the action.
        • A specific Downtime would have to be done the next Downtime session to figure out who was responsible.
    • Influence Merits used in this way cannot receive support from any sort of coordinated actions or equipment.
      • They can be used to provide a bonus to other actions, however.
    • The effectiveness of the Influence Merit is based on its dot rating.
      • Level 1: 1 action success, 0 stealth successes.
      • Level 2: 1 action success, 1 stealth success.
      • Level 3: 2 action successes, 1 stealth success.
      • Level 4: 2 action successes, 2 stealth successes.
      • Level 5: 3 action successes, 2 stealth successes

=Specific Influence Merits=

Allies

  • //Allies are a group of regular mortals who live on their own but do favors for you, using the way they think it should be done within the confines of the job they are a part of, and they should never know of Kindred or the Masquerade. //
  • Allies are specified into one of eight Key Areas (Political Causes, Social Causes, Police, Underworld, Media, Spiritual, Industry, and Medical). Their thematic element is dependent on the player’s preference.
  • As you buy more dots in the Ally, the Ally becomes more effective.
  • Usage: Each Ally Merit can be used ONCE at Game (or in a following Downtime session. Its use is refreshed at the start of Game by a Narrator or Storyteller, similar to Willpower.

Contacts

  • Each dot of Contacts represents a single Key Area (Political Causes, Social Causes, Police, Underworld, Media, Spiritual, Medical, and Industry) that your character has connections with.
  • As you buy more dots of Contacts, each Contact becomes more effective //and// you gain access to more Key Areas of information.
  • If you find you wish to change a chosen sphere within your Contacts, you can spend DTs equal to 6 minus your current dots in Contacts to change 1 sphere for another (ex. Contacts 1 takes 5 DTs to change, while Contacts 5 takes 1 DT to change). This encourages people to buy up Contacts instead of relying on this method for getting a new sphere with a low Contact rating.
  • In Downtimes: Contacts can be used once per each group of Contacts (which is equivalent to each dot of Contacts that you possess).
    • When you do so, each group acts at the full rating of the Contacts Merit.
    • Contacts are limited in that they can only be used for gathering information.
  • In Downtimes: Contacts can be used to spy on another character’s activity in a specific Key Area in the current Downtime session. More details can be found here.
  • In Downtimes: Contacts CANNOT be used to do a standard Patrol of a Regency.

**Fame**

  • Fame provides a mundane equipment bonus, similar to Mortal Status, but across all Influential spheres.
  • This bonus is capped at +3 and can only be combined with equipment bonbuses from WIllpower or Resources.
  • Additionally, Fame cannot be combined with bonuses from Mortal Status.
  • Fame is not limited to Socialize/Persuasion rolls; however, on a Natural 1 in the Downtime, your presence will be immediately alerted to any patroller (and very likely Downtime Chatter).

Mentors

  • The mechanics for Mentors have been revised and can be found [[eotp-larp/Mentors|here]].
  • Mentors can be used only once every two months either at game or in Downtimes unless the PC performs additional designated tasks for the Mentor.

Mortal Status

  • Mortal Status acts as an Equipment bonus for Downtimes. This applies to any applicable custom DT (such as research in that sphere), as well as to Patrols, Blood Wars, and Sites (for Influential Sites, it must be a matching sphere).
  • Mortal Status can be used as a bonus any number of times per Downtime session, unlike Allies, Retainers and Contacts.

Retainers

  • //Retainers are a single person who is completely loyal to you and will do whatever it is you ask, and that loyalty makes it ok if they happen to know of Kindred and the Masquerade.//
  • Each Retainer either has a single Skill associated with the Retainer, is purely for Haven Security purposes, or is a Possession Suit..
  • As you buy more dots in the Retainer, the Retainer becomes more effective.
  • If you have Dominate 5, you may keep a single (and only 1) character sheet on [[http://www.cheval.railsplayground.net|Seneschal]] to represent their “possession suit” Retainer. The specific rules for this option are are found on the Retainer Stats for Possession page.
  • At Game: Each Retainer merit can be utilized ONCE per Game session.
  • In Downtimes: A Retainer performing an action in the Downtime may be visible, and their name would be revealed on Patrols.
  • In Downtimes: Each Retainer merit can be used ONCE per Downtime session.

Resources

  • Every month, a player may receive their monthly resources level on their resources card by attending a game.
  • In Downtimes: Money spent on a Downtime action may act as an [[Equipment Bonuses#Cash|Equipment Bonus]].

=“Attacking Influence Merits”=

  • Attacking Influences is entirely possible. This decreases the effectiveness of other people’s influences in one form or another. We have no hard and fast system in place for story purposes, but the general method of attacking influences is as such
    • Step 1: Find their influence. This can be done through downtimes, or by meeting them in game
      • I.e. If someone lends you their Herd, you know where it is and can attack it. After the attack they probably change their herd up and at that point you don’t know where it is anymore.
    • Step 2: Attack using a flavorfully appropriate pool. ST’s have final say on what goes and what doesn’t. Influence also works, as per their autosuccess rules. In general, Allies are harder to attack and Retainers and Mentors. If you are curious about what will and won’t work, ask the ST’s before DT’s are due.
      • “I use my Entrancement pool to start seducing away their Retainer” or “I use my Allies: Police to tie up his Allies: Underworld in legal trouble.”
    • Step 3: Profit! In general, expect for each 2 success you acquire in attacking to reduce their effectiveness by 1 dot. This is not permanent damage, but can be repaired as outlined below.
      =[[#Regaining Lost Influence]]“Repairing” Influence Merits=
  • Influence Merits can be killed or rendered inactive through actions at game or in the Downtime. The damage (as specified by the Storyteller) can be undone by spending a number of Downtime actions equal to the autosuccess level of the Influence Merit being repaired. (ex: Mentor 4 requires 4 Downtime Actions to restore, Retainer 4 takes 2 Downtime Actions to restore) This represents time spent by the character making new friends, finding the perfect minion, or beseeching a new Elder to assist your cause
  • For Resources, which doesn’t provide autosuccesses, follow the repair rules as per Allies.
  • This system can also be used to change Retainer’s specializations. E.g. A “Firearms retainer” to a “Socialize retainer”

Influence and Merits

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