Getting rid of the social debt

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jiyunatori jiyunatori's picture
Getting rid of the social debt

I really like the speed/cost/quality dilemma. If I get it right, social debt's purpose is to keep track of those times when you chose "cost" as a detriment.

Here is an alternative version, using a regular stress track. The idea is to make the "cost" disapear.

* succeed with style : quality and speed, no cost on your rep
* succeed or tie : quality or speed, no cost on yout rep
* succeed at a cost : quality or speed, and you take enough stress to get a tie (you cannot buy more than a tie with stress)

As usual, if your stress track is full, you may take a consequence to get what you want - but it's gonna be really bad for your rep. You will have to take care of it as it won't fade away like stress does.

I think this alternative version serve pretty much the same purpose, but only using regular fate core tools.

As a sidenote : taking care of the consequence could be done by lowering a rep score. Or, if there are no rep scores (even more streamlined!), the next minor milestone could be used to swap down the networking skill to represent the rep hit.

Quincey Forder Quincey Forder's picture
there's already three stress scales to worry about

There's the physical, mental and system stress scales to juggle with
I'm not sure it'd be a good idea to add another one. Those will be confusing as they are to new comer to FATE (I know I was confused by them, until my bud Greg Laabs of Thursday Knights streams explained them to me).

The way Rep works kinda reminds me of the skills Modes from Atomic Robo (plenty of NPC and mooks to pick from that game, by the way). That made me think. Wouldn't it be simplier to have a pool of Reputation points that you would use like Fate Points, regardless of the Repnets
the amount of points (or refresh) would be equal to the sum of the ratings in each Repnet.
a plunge of rep in a network would be translate by loss of a X amount of points from the pool, like the refresh cost of a morph on the Fate Points Refresh. But contrary to the Refresh, it wouldn't be replenished after a session or a story arc or scene (whatever basis you use) but until the character regain the rep lost

For physical representation use tokens of different color than for your Fate points pool.

How does that sound?

Q U I N C E Y ^_*_^ F O R D E R

Remember The Cant!

bblonski bblonski's picture
Interesting Idea

Interesting idea, but how do Rep points differ from Fate points? Can you use Fate points in place of Rep points? What happens when you run out of Rep points?

Abusing a Rep network should have consequences, which to me says it needs to cause stress. I think an extra stress track is easier to keep track of than a separate pool of Rep points or the social debt scores. Diaspora has a wealth stress track that worked fairly well. Anytime you tried to buy an item, you would get it no matter if you made the skill check or not, but any failed shifts would become wealth stress damage which could cause consequences such as being hunted down by Jabba the Hut or being frozen in carbonite. The wealth stress track has to clear slower than others to make it work. Disapora, I believe, had wealth stress clear when you sold stuff or at the end of the session after the last time you took wealth stress, so you had to play through an entire session without taking wealth stress to have it clear on it's own.

I think that system works even better for Eclipse Phase since there is a lot of emphasis on how abusing a social network can result in all sorts of social consequences. All we really need is a mechanism for handling the separate rep networks so it's easier to get things from a network where you are well liked. This could be as easy as invoking faction aspects on rep checks, or we could add actual rep scores that reduce the cost of the favor.

Aldrich Aldrich's picture
Similar points are covered in

Similar points are covered in this conversation:

http://eclipsephase.com/ressources-and-reputation

I'm a fan of the "stress track + networking skill" approach. Whether that combo means "inner system wealth rating and credit score" or "outer system rep network score" should be easily distinguished by character aspects.

Three stress tracks is an OK number to juggle. Really, it should be a question of how important "acquiring things" is to your particular game's narrative.

This might be wandering off topic a bit, but if you wanted to minimize the number of stress tracks you could take FAE's approach and combine the physical and mental stress tracks into one track. Remember, Fate stress tracks are not "hit points" and "mental health points" - they're a narrative pacing mechanic, like literal "plot armor".

bblonski bblonski's picture
Aldrich wrote:

Aldrich wrote:

Three stress tracks is an OK number to juggle. Really, it should be a question of how important "acquiring things" is to your particular game's narrative.

The EP setting definitely puts focus on "acquiring things" so I think it would probably be justified in most campaigns. Diaspora had a 3 stress tracks and it never seemed to be a problem.

Aldrich wrote:

This might be wandering off topic a bit, but if you wanted to minimize the number of stress tracks you could take FAE's approach and combine the physical and mental stress tracks into one track. Remember, Fate stress tracks are not "hit points" and "mental health points" - they're a narrative pacing mechanic, like literal "plot armor".

You could run the whole thing with FAE if you wanted. Fate is so hackable that you can freely swap components from FAE or other Fate games without too much trouble. However with the focus on the horror elements, I kind of like the idea of a separate mental stress track.