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 Merit: Influence

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Posts : 304
Join date : 2012-02-29

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PostMerit: Influence

Influence Merit dots represent a group of individuals that may be associates, friends of convenience, people who owe your character a favor, or those your character knows how to manipulate. Each acquisition of this Merit is dedicated to one category of influence in an organization, society, or circle. The various influence realms are listed in the tables below. In order to have influences in more than one realm, you need to purchase this Merit multiple times, each written on your character sheet declaring which realm of influence and the number of dots assigned to that realm of influence.

Your character cannot possess influence dots greater than the sum of your Physical, Social, and Mental Attribute dots combined. This limit counts against all of your total influences - your combined levels of influence cannot exceed this total. After all, there are only so many things you can manage at once.

Players may use a number of influence traits each month (from game day into the following month, prior to next game) equal to twice their Influence dots. When you exercise influences during the game or downtime, you expend influence traits in the form of endeavors. When you exercise influences during the game for an immediate outcome, you may be required to enter a challenge in addition to expending influence traits. The use of your influences during a game session may require your character to take time out during the game as determined by the Storyteller.

The level noted on the charts below is both the number of influence traits it takes to perform an endeavor and the minimum influence dots required to be able to make use of that endeavor. With several influence dots, you can perform many small endeavors or a few significant ones. Certain levels of influence gift you with items, money, or aides. Unlike the Resources Merit, money and equipment garnered with influence does not come automatically each month. If you want a steady income from influence, you must direct your influence in that direction continually, and this income does not come with any associated trappings of wealth. (You’d have to buy a house and car separately, for instance.) Aides garnered with influence generally help for only one specific task, and they usually have the equivalent of only a few skill dots in their area of expertise as determined by your Storyteller.

The influences endeavors listed on the charts below are guidelines. Each higher level of endeavor is typically of greater power than the level before. Unless an endeavor is itemized later in the chart, creativity might let you perform an endeavor of the equivalent power level for an equivalent cost. Each realm of influence has its own specialization, and the endeavors listed below are not the only endeavors that can be performed for each influence. However, endeavors not listed below are subject to Storyteller approval and interpretation. A Storyteller can adjust the cost of your endeavor as needed for game balance or other factors. Additionally, plot and story factors can influence the ability or cost to perform endeavors.

You can manage various government agencies and bureaus. By dealing with public servants and through social programs, you can spin red tape, bypass rules and regulations, or twist bureaucratic regimentation to your advantage. Bureaucracy is useful in operating or shutting down businesses, faking or acquiring permits and identification papers, or manipulating public utilities and facilities. Government clerks at the city and county level, utility workers, road crews, surveyors, and other civil servants are potential contacts and allies.
Level 1:
• Alter/trace utility bills;
• Expedite minor processes that take time;
• Take advantage of minor bureaucratic loopholes.
Level 2:
• Alter birth certificates/driver’s licenses;
• Temporarily close a small road or park;
• Have inspectors sent to locations;
• Cause delays in applications,
• Acquire public aid (each Influence Trait spent converts to one Resource Trait*).
Level 3:
• Create false ID’s (not licensed officials), death certificates, marriage licenses, passports;
• Close a public school for a day;
• Shut down a small business on a violation (for a week, additional traits can extend);
• Connect/disconnect utilities on a block.
Level 4:
• Create false land deeds and titles;
• Initiate phone taps;
• Initiate an IRS/DOI/BIA investigation;
• Get untraceable utility service;
• Bog down a lawsuit or investigation in red tape;
• Initiate a department-wide investigation.
Level 5:
• Start, stop, or alter a city-wide program or policy;
• Shut down a big business on a violation (for a week, additional traits can extend);
• Rezone areas;
• Destroy records of a person at the city level;
• Stop a federal investigation locally.

Church (Religion Specific)
Although the modern church has arguably less control over temporal society than it did in the Middle-Ages, church policies still exert considerable influence over the direction of politics and communities. Knowing the appropriate people gives a character insight into many mainstream religions, such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Shinto, or Buddhism. When you exercise Church Influence, you can change religious policy, affect the assignment of clergy, and access a variety of lore and resources. Church Influence includes ministers, priests, bishops, church-sponsored witch-hunters, holy orders, deacons, and various attendees and assistants.
Level 1:
• Identify secular members of a given faith in local area;
• Use a church as a meeting place;
• Find an AA meeting;
• Get a priest’s phone number;
• Pass as a member of the clergy;
• Peruse general church records (baptism, marriage, burial, etc.).
Level 2:
• Identify higher church members;
• Track congregation members;
• Suspend lay members;
• Get coffee/bibles for 100 people on short notice;
• Meet with a member of the clergy wherever you want.
Level 3:
• Open or close a single place of worship (religion specific - church/temple/mosque);
• Access private archives of the church;
• Meet with the Bishop (or equivalent);
• Get a house ritually sanctified;
• Manipulate a church-owned charity;
• Dip into the collection plate (each Influence Trait spent converts to one Resource Trait*);
• Access private information and archives of the church.
Level 4:
• Discredit or suspend higher-level members;
• Find an average church-associated hunter or exorcist;
• Start a heresy/witchcraft investigation;
• Manipulate regional branches of the church;
Level 5:
• Organize major protests/boycotts;
• Manipulate regional branches;
• Access ancient church lore;
• Identify/meet someone capable of miracles;
• Get detailed information on a church-sponsored hunter group.

Manipulating markets, stock reports and investments is a hobby of many, especially those who use their knowledge to keep their wealth hidden. Although your actual available money is a function of your Resources, you can use Finance Influence to start or smother businesses, crush or support banking institutions, and alter credit records. Clearly, such power over money is not to be trifled with. Fortunes are made and destroyed with this sort of power. Examples of associates in this field include bank managers, structured finance analysts, VP accounting managers, trust-funds officers, bank tellers/clerks, investment analysts, market risk managers, or loan and mortgage officers.
Level 1:
• Learn about major transactions and financial events;
• Raise capital (each 2 influence traits spent converts to 3 Resource Traits*);
• Learn about general economic trends;
• Learn real motivations for many financial actions of others.
Level 2:
• Trace an unsecured small account;
• Raise capital to purchase a small business (single, small store);
• Open a dozen accounts all over town;
• Run a credit check on someone.
Level 3:
• Purchase controlling share in a small business (a few small branches or a single large store or service, once per 4 months);
• Identify a person’s collateral properties;
• Get an insider stock tip;
• Create a high security bank account.
Level 4:
• Manipulate local banking (delay deposits, alter credit ratings);
• Interfere with specific stock transactions;
• Cause an IRS/SEC audit or investigation;
• Ruin a small business (once every 3 months);
• Purchase controlling shares in a medium-sized business (once every 4 months).
Level 5:
• Manipulate an aspect of city-wide banking (shut off ATMs, arrange a bank “holiday”Wink;
• Stop an IRS/SEC audit or investigation;
• Ruin a medium-sized business (once every 4 months);
• Purchase controlling shares in a major company (once every 4 months).

Some creatures rely on connections in the medical community to acquire blood or other biological tissues. Necromancers and practitioners of arcane arts may also require body parts or medical data to further their studies. These sorts of research and development fall under the purview of Health Influence. Coroners, doctors, lab workers, therapists, pharmacists and specialists are just a few of the folks found in this field. Please note – cold blood in the Vampire: The Requiem requires several pints to equal one vitae.
Level 1:
• Access a person’s health records;
• Fake vaccination records and the like;
• Use public functions of health centers at your leisure;
• Get a single vitae of mortal blood (each additional vitae requires 2 additional traits);
• Get medical supplies (latex gloves, biohazard stickers, syringes);
• Be first in line at the ER;
• Get a wheelchair van delivered.
Level 2:
• Access some medical research records;
• Have minor lab work done;
• Get a copy of a coroner’s report;
• Instigate minor quarantines;
• Get an ambulance to make a run with no record;
• Get a doctor to make a house call;
• Acquire the blood of a specific donor.
Level 3:
• Alter the results of tests or inspections;
• Make minor alterations medical records;
• Get a gunshot wound treated quietly;
• Schedule patients for surgeries without their permission.
Level 4:
• Instigate a minor quarantine;
• Acquire a cadaver;
• Have people institutionalized or released;
• Start a CDC/AMA investigation;
• Completely rewrite/create/destroy medical records;
• Abuse grants for personal use (each 3 influence traits spent converts to 2 Resource Traits*);
• Have minor medical research performed on a subject;
• Shutdown a small businesses for “health code violations” (one week).
Level 5:
• Institute large-scale quarantines;
• Have a special research project performed;
• Shutdown a medium business for “health code violations” (one week);
• Stop a CDC/AMA investigation;
• Close a doctor’s office or two.

High Society
The glitterati at the top of society move in circles of wealth and elegance. Many people find such positions alluring, and they indulge in the passions of the famous and wealthy. Access to famous actors, celebrities and the idle rich grants a certain sway over fashion trends. Combined with Fame, a modicum of High Society Influence turns a character into a debonair darling of the most exclusive social circles. Among these circles, one finds dilettantes, artists of any stripe, old money families, models, rock stars, sports figures and jet-setters.
Level 1:
• Obtain hard-to-get tickets for shows;
• Get the lowdown on obscure sub-cultural trends;
• Be the first to get that CD/DVD/Blu-Ray;
• Hear about parties;
• Learn about who’s who;
• Learn about concerts, shows or plays well before they are made public.
Level 2:
• Track celebrities and luminaries;
• Be a local voice in the entertainment field;
• Get invited to the right parties (+1 to the feeding test for vitae at game start; add an additional +1 for each additional trait spent);
• Sit in the front row;
• Get the sneak preview;
• “Borrow” idle cash from rich friends (each 2 influence traits spent converts to 3 Resource Traits*).
Level 3:
• Crush promising careers;
• Get backstage passes to anything;
• Have rich people ask you for trend advice (Allies x1 for one month); • Be well-known in a subculture or social scene;
• Hobnob well above your station.
Level 4:
• Achieve temporary minor celebrity status (Fame x1);
• Skip lines and get VIP treatment everywhere;
• Get hit on by beautiful people;
• Know who is doing what with who;
• Set minor trends.
Level 5:
• Appear on a talk show;
• Ruin a new club/gallery/festival/other society gathering;
• Have an annual must-attend party with everybody there;
• Meet visiting celebrities in their hotel rooms.

The grinding wheels of labor fuel the economies and markets of the world. Machines, factories and blue-collar workers line up in endless drudgery, churning out the staples of everyday living. Industry Influence sways the formation of unions, the movements of work projects, locations for factories, and the product of manufacturing concerns. Union workers, foremen, engineers, construction workers, manual laborers, and all manner of blue-collar workers exist among these ranks.
Level 1:
• Learn about industrial projects and movements;
• Union membership;
• Borrow portable tools;
• Learn a trade;
• Get a night job;
• Get your car fixed cheap.
Level 2:
• Have minor projects performed by small crews;
• Arrange small ‘accidents’ on the job site;
• Get an expert welder to do a job for you;
• Be known as a good member to a single union;
• Dip into union funds/embezzle petty cash (each 2 influence traits spent converts to 3 Resource Traits*).
Level 3:
• Get a union thug to break something;
• Organize minor strikes;
• Appropriate a blast furnace for a short time;
• Get some weapons/vehicle/armor/torture devices made;
• Appropriate machinery for a short time.
Level 4:
• Get a pair of union thugs to burn something down;
• Close or revitalize a small plant;
• Take over a small plant for two weeks;
• Get anyone booted out of any union;
• Initiate an OSHA/EPA inspection.
Level 5:
• Get half a dozen masked union thugs to kidnap/terrorize someone;
• Manipulate a large local industry;
• Organize a major area strike;
• Manufacture a dozen items,
• Stop OSHA/EPA inquiries.

Since many of the operations that supernatural characters tend to undertake are at least marginally illegal, a good amount of sway over judges and lawyers is indispensable. Those who dabble in legal influence often pull strings in the courts to make sure their questionable practices go unpunished. Of course, a little legal influence is also excellent for harassing an enemy’s assets. Such influence ranges from law schools and firms, to lawyers, judges, district attorneys, clerks, and public defenders.
Level 1:
• Get free representation for small cases;
• Have a lawyer who answers his phone in the middle of the night;
• Sue people for messing with you;
• Learn about someone’s holdings/legal status.
Level 2:
• Avoid bail for some charges;
• Have minor charges dropped;
• Get a quiet settlement when being sued;
• Get a lawyer to build a complete file on someone;
• Create a screen to slow investigations;
• Access public or court funds (each Influence Trait spent converts to one Resource Trait*).
Level 3:
• Get good representation;
• Manipulate legal procedures (wills, contracts, etc.);
• Start a state investigation;
• Have a lawyer with assistants drown someone in legal briefs.
Level 4:
• Issue subpoenas;
• Tie up court cases;
• Have most charges dropped;
• Cancel or arrange parole;
• Start a federal investigation of some sort;
• Stop a state investigation.
Level 5:
• Close down a federal investigation;
• Have deportation proceedings held against someone;
• Get warrants revoked;
• Hide ownership of anything;
• Find a legal weakness to exploit.

Directing media attention away from one’s activities is a key component of survival for some supernatural creatures. Putting specific emphasis on certain events can put an enemy in an uncomfortable spotlight or discredit a rival. With Media, you can crush or alter news stories, control the operations of news stations and reporters and sway public opinion, with DJs, editors of all varieties, reporters, cameramen, photographers, news managers and broadcasters at your disposal. At the Storyteller’s discretion, Media Influence may also allow access to the more technical areas of television, radio or possible major News resources.
Level 1:
• Learn about breaking stories early;
• Submit small articles;
• Know a few reporters to tip;
• Be on college radio;
• Get a letter to the editor published in an underground free press.
Level 2:
• Suppress small articles or reports;
• Get investigative reporting information;
• Get a photographer to show up;
• Have a reporter in your pocket;
• Get research done on a subject;
• Trace personal ads.
Level 3:
• Initiate news investigations and reports;
• Access media production resources;
• Get an editor to alter facts or cause typos;
• Get a TV news crew to show up with satellite feed;
• Make an independent film;
• Obtain project funding and squander it (each Influence Trait spent converts to one Resource Trait*)
Level 4:
• Initiate a fake city wide front page article;
• influence story selection;
• Get a TV series to do a local episode;
• Get radio personalities fired;
• Kill an underground magazine;
• Use local news broadcasts to spread misleading information.
Level 5:
• Broadcast fake stories (local only);
• Initiate a statewide news investigations and reports;
• Get newspaper people fired;
• Affect the storyline of a TV show;
• Change a radio station’s format;
• Gain control of an unaffiliated local TV station;
• Stop any one story;
• Kill any local articles or reports completely.
The hidden world of the supernatural teems with secrets, conspiracies, and unusual factions. Obviously, most supernatural creatures are aware that strange things exist out there by dint of their very existence, but acquiring hard knowledge of such things is difficult. By using Occult Influence, you can dig up information to improve your knowledge, get inside the occult community, and find rare components for magical rituals. Cult leaders, alternative religious groups, charlatans, occultists and new-agers can be found here.
Level 1:
• Acquire information about the practices and beliefs of a non-secret occult group (including paranormal investigators);
• Acquire high-quality, but common ritual components
• Get general information about an occult topic
• Acquire operational information on a non-secret occult investigative group (ghost-hunters, etc.).
Level 2:
• Acquire information about the practices and beliefs of a secret occult group;
• Obtain a private meeting with a leader of a non-secret occult group (including paranormal investigators);
• Keep tabs on a non-secret occult group (including paranormal investigators);
• Acquire high-quality, uncommon ritual components;
• Attract a few followers to join a coven.
Level 3:
• Obtain a private meeting with a member of a secret occult group;
• Manipulate a non-secret occult group to do your bidding;
• Verify whether a particular occult figure possesses actual power;
• Acquire high-quality rare or vital ritual components;
• Milk impressionable wannabes for bucks (each 3 influence traits spent converts to 2 Resource Traits*).
Level 4:
• Obtain a private meeting with a leader of a secret occult group;
• Arrange a meeting with an occult figure of note (and barter for their services);
• Acquire information from an expert on a particularly arcane occult topic;
• Gain temporary access to a minor magical item.
Level 5:
• Manipulate a secret occult group to do your bidding (curses, etc.);
• Arrange a meeting with an occult figure of significant note (and barter for their services);
• Gain insight on how and where to obtain a relic;
• Gain temporary access to a moderately-powerful magical item;
• Gain information on a minor magical item for sale/trade/barter.

“To protect and serve” is the motto of the police, but these days, many people have cause to wonder who is being protected and served. That said, Police Influence can be very handy in protecting one’s holdings or raiding the assets of another. Police of all ranks, detectives, clerical staff, dispatchers, prison guards, special divisions (such as SWAT or homicide) and local highway patrol officers make up these ranks.
Level 1:
• Gather police information and rumors;
• Have traffic tickets expunged;
• Delay police response time to minor incidents (domestic dispute, petty theft, etc.);
• Find incarcerated people;
• Get information about a neighborhood from a beat cop.
Level 2:
• Acquire registration information on a license plate;
• Have minor charges dropped;
• Raise or lower the frequency of policy patrols;
• Get an off-duty cop to provide security for a single night;
• Get a desk sergeant to provide scheduling and patrol information;
• Have dispatch ignore calls for minor incidents (domestic dispute, petty theft, etc.);
• Get rap sheets;
• Learn about current investigations;
• Get copies of cold case files;
• Get “inside information.”
Level 3:
• Delay police response time to major incidents (bank robbery, multiple gunshots, etc.);
• Get copies of a current investigation report;
• Have police hassle, harass, book, or detain someone;
• Initiate a local criminal investigation;
• Have a detective tail someone;
• Learn about Internal Affairs investigations;
• Have a major helicopter search performed;
Level 4:
• Access confiscated weapons or contraband;
• Have dispatch ignore calls for major incidents (bank robbery, multiple gunshots, etc.);
• Start an FBI/ATF/DEA investigation;
• Start an Internal Affairs investigation;
• Have serious charges dropped;
• Frame someone for a felony;
• Learn the identity of undercover cops;
• Call in a SWAT team;
• Make a police station your temporary haven;
• Obtain money, either from the evidence room or as an appropriation (each 3 influence traits spent converts to 2 Resource Traits*).
Level 5:
• Institute major multi-branch investigations;
• Arrange setups/stings;
• Have officers fired;
• Stop a local FBI/ATF/DEA investigation;
• Frame someone for a series of felonies.

Altering party platforms, controlling local elections, changing appointed officers, and calling in favors all fall under the purview of Political Influence. Well-timed blackmail, bribery, spin-doctoring and sundry other tricks are the stock in trade on both sides of this fence. Some of the likely associates include pollsters, lobbyists, activists, party members, spin-doctors and politicians from rural zoning committees to the assistant under-mayors of major cities.
Level 1:
• Get a lobbyist to push an agenda with a small time politician;
• Learn about upcoming bills, proposals, and projects;
• Identify real platforms of politicians;
• Learn the identity of major donors to campaigns;
• Get political demographic information;
• Get campaign swag (signage, buttons, stickers, etc.).
Level 2:
• Arrange a private meeting with a small time politician;
• Sway political projects;
• Manipulate local committees;
• Use a slush fund or fund-raiser to get funds (each 2 influence traits spent converts to 3 Resource Traits*).
Level 3:
• Alter political projects;
• Get a quick passport or permit;
• Identify non-public agendas of an elected or appointed official.
Level 4:
• Enact minor legislation;
• Dash careers of minor politicians;
• Be a major player in a suburb or district;
• Arrange dinner with a city councilmember or judge;
• Start a federal bar inquiry.
Level 5:
• Get your candidate in minor office;
• Enact more encompassing legislation county-wide;
• Control a block of votes on City Council;
• Be a major obstacle to any candidate in the city;
• Meet with the city Mayor.

Ignored and often spat upon by their “betters,” those in the dark alleys and slums have created their own culture to deal with life and any outsiders who might intrude. When calling on Street Influence, you use your connections on the underside of the city to find the homeless, gang members of all sorts, street bookies, petty criminals, prostitutes, residents of the slums or barrios, and fringe elements of so-called “deviant” cultures.
Level 1:
• Have an ear open for the word on the street;
• Identify most gangs and their turfs and habits;
• Know your way around homeless shelters;
• Read graffiti and understand it.
Level 2:
• Live mostly without fear on the underside of society;
• Access small time contraband/drugs;
• Identify any illicit substance;
• Obtain fast cash from small crimes (each Influence Trait spent converts to one Resource Trait*).
• Know the survival obstacles of any given neighborhood.
Level 3:
• Arrange some services from street people or gangs;
• Learn where to buy pistols or melee weapons;
• Get a building staked out by homeless watchers;
• Put a rumor out on the street;
Level 4:
• Mobilize groups of homeless;
• Have a word in some gang operations;
• Mark a specific person who enters a downtime area for harassment; • Know who sells shotguns or rifles;
• Get a gang to protect someone;
• Plant drugs on someone with a pickpocket.
Level 5:
• Initiate drive-by shootings;
• Identify regular police informants;
• Start a small two-gang shootout;
• Start a small riot;
• Use the homeless as couriers/information networks/infiltrators;
• Find out who sells SMGs.

Most supernatural creatures make their homes in defensible parts of cities. Traveling across the wilderness is difficult without this influence, with the problems of marauding werewolves and other supernatural threats. Getting access to special supplies and services can also take a measure of Transportation. All these things can be controlled with a bit of sway over truckers, harbors, railroads, airports, taxis, border guards, pilots and untold hundreds, as well as more mundane aspects like shipping and travel arrangements.
Level 1:
• Know what goes where and why;
• Know a cabbie, subway conductor, airport employee, or chauffeur so you can travel locally quickly and freely;
• Recognize shipments that are unusual or unscheduled;
• Get tickets for sold-out rides.
Level 2:
• Track a target who is using public transportation;
• Arrange passage within the city safe from mundane threats;
• Get specific information from transportation companies;
• Have a limo or Cab available for the night.
Level 3:
• Seriously hamper a single individual’s ability to travel for a few days;
• Travel inconspicuously;
• Smuggle one package every two weeks;
• Have an armored, light-proof limousine or suburban available.
Level 4:
• Shut down one form of mass transit for a few hours;
• Have a driver with a high speed vehicle available;
• Arrange trucker/pilot/shipping strikes;
• Smuggle one shipping crate every two weeks;
• Route money your way (each 3 influence traits spent converts to 2 Resource Traits*).
Level 5:
• Smuggle with impunity;
• Keep a helicopter on station;
• Make someone fitting a description unable to catch a cab for one day.

The world of crime offers lucrative possibilities to strong-willed or subtle leaders. Anyone talented or simply vicious enough to do so can traffic in guns, money, drugs and vice. Underworld Influence lets you reap the benefits of all manner of illegal dealings, and its ranks are filled with drug-dealers, bookies, hit-men, fences and organized criminal gangs.
Level 1:
• Locate minor contraband;
• Find an illegal card game;
• Know a hooker that’s not a cop;
• Get someone’s car stolen and chopped;
• Know what to do with a stolen credit card;
• Fence loot.
Level 2:
• Obtain pistols on short notice (Resources still required);
• Obtain serious drugs;
• Obtain a stolen car;
• Know a wise guy;
• Send someone a free prostitute;
• Obtain a few stolen credit cards or skim from illegal dealings to get cash (each 2 influence traits spent converts to 3 Resource Traits*).
Level 3:
• Get two local thugs to rough someone up for you;
• Know how to obtain a rifle, shotgun, or submachine gun;
• Know where a fence/chop shop/whorehouse/illegal casino is located;
• Arrange a minor “hit;”
• Meet someone in “the Family.”
Level 4:
• Make white-collar crime connections;
• Get four local thugs to shoot a place up for you;
• Control a single crime ring for 2 weeks;
• Get a place immunized from organized crime.
Level 5:
• Get eight local thugs to make someone disappear;
• Arrange gangland assassinations of non-made guys;
• Get a professional firebug to burn something down;
• Get someone’s car wired to explode;
• Supply local drug needs.

Institutions of learning and research are the purview of the University Influence. Access to the halls of learning can grant any number of resources, from ancient languages to research assistance to many impressionable young minds. School boards, students from kindergarten through college, graduate students, professors, teachers, deans, Greek orders and a variety of staff fill the ivy-covered buildings.
Level 1:
• Access to low level university resources;
• Obtain copies of school records;
• Get students’ social security numbers;
• Identify experts in various fields.
Level 2:
• Have minor access to facilities;
• Fake high school records;
• Obtain college records;
• Know a contact or two with useful knowledge or skills;
• Fake a registered class schedule;
• Access the dorm room of any student (+1 to the feeding test for vitae at game start; add an additional +1 for each additional 2 traits spent).
Level 3:
• Call in faculty favors;
• Cancel a class;
• Fix grades;
• Discredit a student;
• Get a term paper written;
• Get an expert to spend time researching for you;
• 24-hour library access.
Level 4:
• Organize student protests and rallies;
• Discredit faculty members;
• Influence the tenure committee for any professor up for tenure;
• Have a team of grad students attempt your strange project;
• Abuse grants for personal use (each 3 influence traits spent converts to 2 Resource Traits*);
• Use campus a couple cops as private security.
Level 5:
• Falsify a degree;
• Have the run of facilities and campus assets, including dangerous materials;
• Get a fraternity banned from a campus;
• Change campus policy;
• Access rare books;
• Empty the campus for eight hours.

In addition to the endeavors listed on the influence charts, characters may perform the additional endeavors listed here. It is important to note that influence can only affect other influences of the same type. A character can use his Street Influence to affect another player’s Street Influence, but he would have a hard time getting it to interact with a player’s High Society Influence successfully. See Boost for crossing influences.

To grow influence in a category to the next level, a number of traits must be spent equal to the next level of the influence squared. For example, to grow from a level three to a level four requires sixteen traits. [4 x 4 = 16]. Unlike other endeavors, traits spent for Growth can be banked from month to month. When you bank traits thus, they accumulate until you reach the number required for an increase. If you meet the number of traits required to increase to the next level, the influence level improves by one at the end of the month. To grow a level 1 in an influence, the character must have other characters Loan them traits and bank 2 traits before gaining level 1 for free.

Mechanics Example: Cheyenne has three levels of Street Influence, meaning she would need sixteen traits banked to get to level four. In one month, she spends four of her six traits on Growth (four banked). In the next month, she spends four more traits on Growth (eight banked). In the month following that, she spends all six traits on Growth (fourteen banked). In the fourth month, Cheyenne spends two more traits on Growth, meeting the requirement to achieve level four. At the end of the month, her Street Influence dots improve by one. Cheyenne could have grown her Street Influence a little faster if she had spent all of her traits on Growth each month.

You use Watch when you want to notice a certain influence endeavor in New Philadelphia from the charts listed above. Your influence must be of sufficient level to perform that endeavor before you can watch it. A Watch will let you know when and how often the endeavor is attempted in the city for that month, and you will even discover uses of the endeavor that occurred earlier in the same month before the Watch was instituted. The total number of traits spent on the Watch define its level. You can also use Watch to look for the following endeavors: Attack, Block, Follow (only those targeted at you), Grow, and Watch.

Mechanics Example: Mark decides to spend one of his four Church Influence traits into a Watch this month. He decides to watch for individuals attempting to contact church-associated hunter groups. Because Mark is paranoid, he decides to put up a level-two Watch on the Watch activity to see if anyone else is doing the same thing. Mark’s Watch for individuals attempting to contact church-associated hunter groups doesn’t get him anything. His second watch (the one on the Watch endeavor) notices his own Watch of course, and discovers that someone has put up a Watch to notice anyone attempting to peruse general church records.

You can use this endeavor to establish the identity of a character whose influence you have come into contact with. You cannot simply guess that a character has an influence in a particular category and then attempt to Trace it. You must first have come into contact with it in one of the several ways. This can be accomplished by suffering an Attack from the target’s influence, by noticing one of the target’s endeavors with the use of Watch, by stopping one of the target’s endeavors with a Block, or by having one your own endeavors stopped by the target’s use of Block. Additionally, if someone ever Loans you influence traits with Loan, you can Trace them. Finally, if the target ever tells you in great detail about his influence (i.e., agrees to let you Trace it), you can perform the Trace. The total traits spent on the Trace define its level. If the level of this Trace exceeds the highest level of Conceal put up to guard the influence that month, the Trace is successful. Success tells you the influence owner’s identity, and whether their influence level is higher than your own or not. Using Trace is specific to one city. If you have succeeded in a Trace on an influence, you may not simply relay that information to someone else for his or her influence to make an Attack on. The information is too complex for them to relay to their own influence contacts without them actually performing a Trace themselves. If you have performed a successful Trace, you can relay enough information for someone else to perform a Trace with his or her own influence.

If you want to keep an eye on what someone is doing with his influence, you can attempt to follow them with your own. Follow is similar to Watch, except that it only keeps a lookout for endeavors performed by a single influence. To follow someone’s influence, you must have a successful Trace on it already. To use Follow, assign a number of traits to establish the level of the endeavor. The Follow endeavor will reveal all activities performed by the targeted influence, less any activities hidden with an equal or higher level of Conceal.

Conceal is added to endeavors to counter the use of Follow and Watch. If the number of traits spent to add Conceal to an endeavor equals or exceeds the level of the Follow or Watch, the endeavor remains undetected. Conceal can be applied to any of the endeavors on the charts, as well as to Attack, Block, Follow, Grow, or Watch.

Mechanics Example: Donny wishes to use his Finance Influence to raise the capital to purchase a small business. Doing so would normally only require two of his five Finance Influence traits, but because Donny doesn’t want anyone else to know what he’s up to, he throws in the other three traits for Conceal. If someone had instituted a Watch of level three or less to notice that activity in the city, she would not detect Donny’s sneaky acquisition of the capital. If the observer had put up a Watch of level four or higher, Donny’s Conceal would not have hidden him from her prying eyes. Descriptive Example: When Donny made his character, he decided to have his Finance Influence be represented by his controlling interest in a large acquisitions company. When writing out his influence activities for the Storyteller, Donny describes the added Conceal as using a large network of dummy corporations through which to move the money so that it could not be tracked back to him through his acquisitions company.

You can attack another’s influence with your own, provided you have previously traced the target influence. To attack, you assign a number of influence traits, and that number becomes the level of the Attack endeavor. If the level exceeds the victim’s influence level and any Defend traits spent to protect it, the victim drops a level of her influence at the end of the month. Traits banked for Growth are lost as well, even if they would have given the victim a new, higher level influence at the beginning of the next month.

You use the Defend endeavor when you fear that someone is going to Attack your influence. To employ this special endeavor, assign a number of traits as the level of the defense. The level of any Attacks directed at that influence must exceed the Defend level plus the level of your influence in order to be successful.

Mechanics Example: Eric fears that someone is going to attack his Underworld Influence (4-dots) this month, so he puts up a defense to protect it. He assigns three of his eight Underworld traits to the defense. An incoming Attack must now be level eight or higher to affect his influence.

Descriptive Example: When Eric made his character, he decided that his Underworld Influence would be represented by his control of the Lasciano Family, a major organized crime syndicate. Fearing an Attack, Eric writes a description of his Defend endeavor, detailing how he is having all of the family members lay low for a while, out of the sight of other crime families and the authorities.

You can use your influence to prevent influence endeavors from taking place for that month. Any endeavor may be blocked, provided that blocker’s influence level is at least equal to the endeavor’s level on the chart. The Block’s effective level is the total number traits spent toward it. A Block will affect all attempts at the selected endeavor during that month; anyone attempting the blocked endeavor in the city will not succeed unless they have added enough levels of Boost to meet the level of the endeavor plus Block. Multiple Blocks against the same endeavor type are not cumulative in effect. If more than one Block is put in place on the same endeavor, use only the highest level when calculating the success of those attempting the endeavor.

Boost is simply a term used to describe spending additional unneeded influence traits to perform an endeavor, just in case someone has put up a Block that needs to be overcome. If the traits spent into Boost equal or exceed the level of the Block, the endeavor is successful. The Block does not go away if one endeavor beats it, though. It can still be effective against any additional attempts at that endeavor in that month.

Resources can also be spent as Boost traits but only one for one per level of Resources. Like they say ‘money makes the world go round’ and so too does it help grease the wheels of influence to get things moving.

Crossing influences is also rare but not unheard of; with a proper well-written description of how another influence could aid and Boost a separate influence category’s endeavor, it may be allowed by the Storyteller. This has a very costly assistance conversion of two traits spent from one influence into one trait of Boost into another. (Note: The Boost endeavor is only used to overcome the Block endeavor. It cannot be spent towards growth of influence.)

Loan allows you to aid the influence endeavor of another character. No endeavor on the charts can be attempted by a character that doesn’t have the required influence level according to that chart. For every two traits that you spend on Loan, the character you are helping gains one trait to use toward his endeavor. A character can spend no more than 20 traits toward a single endeavor in any given month, including all traits spent for modifications such as Loan.

Mechanics Example: Corey has four dots of Political Influence. He wants to enact some minor legislation in the city, which would cost him four of his Political Influence traits for the month. Corey has already used five Political Influence traits this month, so he doesn’t have enough. He asks a friend to loan her Political Influence to his. Cynthia has only two dots, but she loans them both to Corey. Since the number of traits loaned is effectively halved when using Loan, Corey nets only one extra Political Influence trait for the month, but that’s all he needs to enact the minor legislation.

For the purpose of these rules, influence traits spent on endeavors return at the beginning of every game after they are spent. This period of time will remain constant, giving all of the players the same opportunity to employ their influences on a regular basis. The Attack, Follow, Grow, and Trace endeavors should only be resolved at the end of the month. This limit gives everyone a chance to put up levels of Conceal, Defense, and Watch, and it lets the Storyteller take everyone’s influence endeavors into account so that he can produce better descriptive results of each person’s endeavors.
Endeavor Prerequisite Allows/Affects Affected/Defended By
GROW None Increases influence dots over time; traits may be banked from month-to-month BLOCK
WATCH WATCH can only be performed on a particular, specified endeavor WATCH can be performed on endeavors on the charts, ATTACK, BLOCK, FOLLOW*, GROW & WATCH CONCEAL, BLOCK
TRACE TRACE can only be performed after contact with other’s influence (ATTACK, WATCH, BLOCK, LOAN, described in detail) Reveals the identity of the possessor of the specific influence traced; allows later use of FOLLOW and ATTACK endeavors BLOCK
FOLLOW A successful TRACE must have been previously performed Reveals all activities performed in the current month by the targeted influence CONCEAL, BLOCK
CONCEAL CONCEAL must be added to another endeavor Added to an endeavor on the charts, ATTACK, BLOCK, FOLLOW, GROW or WATCH; counters the use of FOLLOW and WATCH BLOCK
ATTACK A successful TRACE must have been previously performed Reduces the influence dots of the targeted influence if ATTACK level exceeds the dots + DEFEND traits DEFEND, BLOCK
DEFEND None Increases the number of ATTACK traits required to successfully reduce your influence dots BLOCK
BLOCK BLOCK can only be performed on a particular, specified endeavor Prevents the use of other endeavors unless BOOST equals or exceeds the BLOCK BLOCK, BOOST
BOOST BOOST must accompany a particular, specified endeavor Allows an endeavor to overcome a BLOCK if BOOST traits equal or exceed the BLOCK level BLOCK
LOAN None Allows the transfer of influence traits to another character; divide traits in half while loaning BLOCK

* A character may only WATCH for the FOLLOW endeavor being used on their own influence.
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