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All Rules in Organizational Influence

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Influence Points and Ranks

Source Ultimate Intrigue pg. 109
The organizational influence system uses influence points to track the opinion of an organization concerning the PCs. When the PCs first interact with an organization, they typically start with 0 influence points, and hold no control over the organization’s actions. If the PCs demonstrate their value to the organization, they can gain influence points, representing their growing ability to call in favors. If the PCs repeatedly fail or work against an organization, they lose influence points (see Gaining Influence Points and Losing Influence Points). The PCs’ influence point total with an organization can be a negative number—the lower the total, the more resources the organization is willing to commit to actively oppose the PCs.

The PCs’ influence points help determine the number of resources an organization is willing to commit to help or hinder them, but it is not the only component of that calculation. If the PCs seek to build a positive relationship with an organization, they may find themselves limited in what benefits they can gain until they perform certain tasks. For example, most organizations limit the number of resources they commit to nonmembers, so PCs may need to officially join to gain access. On the other hand, an organization at odds with the PCs should not provide the same response to minor insults from the PCs as it does to the PCs crippling one of its major operations. The nine influence ranks presented below take into account tasks that the PCs may accomplish to pass to fundamentally alter their relationship with an organization (see Table 3–1 under Favors for examples). To reach a new influence rank, the PCs must accumulate (or lose) a certain number of influence points, as decided by the GM, and perform any required tasks that the GM sets. See the sidebar Influence Thresholds below for guidelines on setting the required number of influence points for each rank. The possible influence ranks, and their meanings, are presented below.

Influence Thresholds

The number of influence points required to shift from one influence rank to the next sets the pace for how quickly the PCs’ power in organizations can change. The three main factors that play into setting influence thresholds are the length of the campaign, the interest level of the players in exploring their interactions with organizations, and the power and personality of the organization itself. Short story arcs generally require lower thresholds than long campaigns. Some groups of players would rather slowly earn influence within a difficult organization, while others would rather see how quickly their PCs can become powerful in multiple organizations. Finally, within a campaign, weaker organizations typically allow the PCs to gain influence ranks more quickly than prominent ones.

With all of these factors in mind, the following ranges provide guidelines for determining the number of total influence points a character must gain to reach positive ranks, or lose to reach negative ranks. These thresholds are for a weak organization. For a moderately prominent organization, multiply the numbers by 2. For a strong organization, multiply by 3, and for a preeminent organization, multiply by 4. For more details on deciding the prominence of an organization, see Prominence.

Rank 1 or –1: From 1 to 5 total influence points.

Rank 2 or –2: From 3 to 8 total influence points.

Rank 3 or –3: From 7 to 12 total influence points.

Rank 4 or –4: From 13 to 18 total influence points.

NPC Attitudes

The PCs’ influence rank with an organization determines the typical starting attitude of members who have heard of the PCs. The starting attitudes of individual members may vary.

Hunted, Hated, or Disliked (Rank –2 or below): Hostile.

Known Opponent (Rank –1): Unfriendly.

Unknown (Rank 0): Indifferent.

Known Ally (Rank 1): Friendly.

Respected, Admired, or Revered (Rank 2 or above): Helpful.