Fate Rep

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bblonski bblonski's picture
Fate Rep

I was thinking about emulating Rep in Fate recently, and I came up with a new idea. Characters need a Networking skill, a Rep stress track, and ~3 Rep ranks that they can divide between 1 or more Rep networks.

Whenever they ask for a favor from a rep network, roll Networking against the cost of the favor plus the total number of favors they've asked from their network during the session the exceeds their rep rank in that network. Rep rank is equal to the number of favors you can ask for without penalty. So a character with 3 Rep in a single network could ask for 3 favors without penalty, then would add +1, +2, +3, etc for each additional favor after that.

Failing the roll would still get the favor, but would take Rep stress equal to the failed shifts. Rep stress would only clear at Significant milestones or at the end of a session as long as the character has not asked for any favors that session.

Additionally you could use multiple rep ranks on a single favor for a bonus, so, for example, you could use up 2 favors for a +1 on a single favor.

There is a little bit of bookkeeping in keeping track of rep stress and how many favors the character has asked of each rep network, but I don't think it would be too hard to track. It helps differentiate players so that a player with a low Networking but high rep might be a better in some cases then a character with just a high Networking, but the high Networking character will be better at asking for more favors overall. Any feedback?

GabrielKeen GabrielKeen's picture
Alternatively, and this is a

Alternatively, and this is a radical idea but just might work:

What if reputation/credits were modelled by refresh?

This is unusual territory, but it makes a lot of sense. All those companions, gear and morph extras? You've paid for them out of refresh. What if that reflects the extent to which you've tapped your actual resources? The lower your starting fate points, the more favours/debts you owe other people; have an aspect reflect this, that can be compelled, and voila. In game, any time you want an ally or an item statted up for you: pay the refresh cost, and justify it in the fiction, and you can have it.

I'd also recommend a separate Contacts or Networking skill to reflect your ability to find people (not allies) who can get you information - but these won't owe you anything, unless you pay the refresh cost, which reflects you spending money/rep. Hit 0 refresh, and nobody will loan you money or trust you to repay them. If you're a character with high refresh, you have an unblemished credit record and owe nobody favours.

In most Fate games, this wouldn't make as much sense because your extras are less connected to the world. Why should oweing someone a favour make you poorer; won't they take your money? But in Eclipse Phase, reputation and money are exchangeable, and there's almost always someone watching.

The place where this starts to break down are non-extra stunts. It's not intuitive why my being a specialist academic with +2 to investigate rolls related to neuroeconomics should make me poorer. Not sure how to handle this. Either you'd have to come up with a justification like 'non-extras stunts are your investments in yourself', or you'd have to make an arbitrary restriction of a certain number of personal stunts that all characters take. Still, I think this might be a price worth paying. Refresh as Rep has a very Fatey simplicity to it.

Edit: The more I think about this, the more I like it. In transhumanity's future, all your capabilities come from someone (Hyperelite? Your parents could afford the right genes. AI? Your designers.) To support this, I'd rename Trouble aspects to Obligations: who do you owe for your capabilities?

bblonski bblonski's picture
GabrielKeen wrote:To support

GabrielKeen wrote:
To support this, I'd rename Trouble aspects to Obligations: who do you owe for your capabilities?

This reminds me of Technoir, where have to take favors from your connections at the start of the game in order to buy equipment when you build your character and those favors later come back to bite you in the butt.

I'm a bit worried about using fate points directly as in game currency though. What happens when you use all your fate points in a fight? How does that translate into suddenly not being able to get favors. What about when you have a refresh? Why do you suddenly have a bunch of extra rep? Does selling things and doing favors for people get you extra fate points?

The v2 playtest got me thinking about this again. At first I was surprised that there isn't a split between most of the rep networks, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. All the rep networks do is make your reputation easily and publicly accessible. There isn't a whole lot of reason to handle rep different than the Contacts skill in Fate core expect keeping in mind that you rep is immediately available to anyone you give identity to, opening it up for liberal compelling and invoking.

GabrielKeen GabrielKeen's picture
Fate points wouldn't get you

Fate points wouldn't get you anything: it's Refresh that matters, that is the currency. More accurately, it's your credit. Using your points in a fight wouldn't change anything; causation works the other way around. If you have low refresh, you owe people a lot, and your resources are tapped. You have to earn some short-term goodwill before you can do much else. If you have high (unused) refresh, you're not socially encumbered, you can take action quickly.

A refresh would happen when there's enough downtime to rest and re-equip. You go back to your 'background level of indebtedness'. That does imply a different, more prescribed pacing constraint on the GM than usual.

Selling things... if you give up things you've paid for with refresh, you could get fate points.

Doing favours for your aspect contacts would represent you paying interest on your debt. Doing favours for other people... I guess on a big enough scale, there's your level up condition, how you earn extra refresh!

I agree that this you'd have to sort through several concerns to make this work; it would require careful thought. I think it would do a good job of telling very specific stories, about origins and obligations. It's not especially generic, though.

bblonski bblonski's picture
Oh sorry, I misread. I think

Oh sorry, I misread. I think this is sorta how the v2 playtest works. You have to invest refresh into morphs and stunts. You can still ask for minor favors with just a simple roll though, which I think is important since I'd expect players to take several minor favors in a session.

GabrielKeen GabrielKeen's picture
Right, it is sorta how the v2

Right, it is sorta how the v2 playtest works, in practice. What I'm saying is that we should call it out explicitly, and tie it in to the fiction.

The problem is judging minor favours. If you have a skill that reflects how wealthy you are, and you take it at a high level, you want to be super wealthy. You can afford a death ray, or an army of androids! But obviously that's impossible to balance, so wouldn't be allowed. Why have a skill for it, then? Better to have your skill just reflect your reputation; the crowds you hang out in; perhaps even your associated lifestyle.

bblonski bblonski's picture
GabrielKeen wrote:Right, it

GabrielKeen wrote:
Right, it is sorta how the v2 playtest works, in practice. What I'm saying is that we should call it out explicitly, and tie it in to the fiction.

The problem is judging minor favours. If you have a skill that reflects how wealthy you are, and you take it at a high level, you want to be super wealthy. You can afford a death ray, or an army of androids! But obviously that's impossible to balance, so wouldn't be allowed. Why have a skill for it, then? Better to have your skill just reflect your reputation; the crowds you hang out in; perhaps even your associated lifestyle.

So how would you handle situations like asking the Argonauts for specific research data, or arranging travel or room & board? Anything that would get a +1 or +2 mechanic boost should pay refresh for, but what about mundane gear? Just automatically get it or use Persuade?

cyclopean cyclopean's picture
Trying this out

So combining a buncha stuff from this thread, here's what i'm gonna try for a slightly more robust rep system:
-Add a 2 box social stress track.
-Current refresh = the number of favors you can call in for "free" (without risking stress/consequences) per session. This resets every time your refresh resets. Intended as a simulation of available funds/rep/etc in a given period
-Cred or civ-rep/i-rep rolls are still used to successfully gain access to "hard to find" items
-After gaining access to the number of favors equal to your refresh, any further cred/rep requests risk stress/consequences on a failure. Insignifcant favors won't be included in this, unless a character is being especially obnoxious in demanding stuff of their networks.
-Characters with a rep and/or cred score of 5 or higher will gain a bonus "social only" consequence slot (the same as the bonus mental slot for high will characters), as well as the 1-2 bonus social stress boxes as with will/somatics