Ressources and Reputation

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jiyunatori jiyunatori's picture
Ressources and Reputation

So far, I have handled ressources and reputation the same way : Skill + Stress track, buying stuff / asking for a favor is resolved as an attack against the skill concerned by the transaction.

But I don't like that.

See, I feel like the very idea of having two economic systems (classic and reputational) confronting each others is a very important part of EP's setting, and the game mechanic should reflect that - especially with Fate.

By using the same game mechanic to manage both systems, I am clearly not doing that, and it doesn't help the players to grasp how different reputational economy is supposed to be.

It got me thinking about what makes Rep different. In the context of service exchanges, gaining rep is done by being consistently reliable, and keeping your rep is about reciprocity. Someone from the network has been there for you when you were in need - now it's your turn to be there for the others.

How can we translate that to Fate ? Clearly, my first attempt at rep does a poor job relaying this feel - but to be honest I don't think the original system does much better: beeing able to burn rep in order to get something effectively turns rep into a currency, which IMO defeats the purpose.

I think pulling a favor from the network should not cost you reputation - instead, it should increase the likelihood of having someone knock at your proverbial door to get your help on something.

Early proposal: getting favors could translate to piling up boosts with free invokes on your head. When you turn someone down, you have to pit your Rep against hers, and she may use some of the boosts you have on your head, thus increasing the likelihood of Rep damage.

I can see how this could be used to trick someone into doing something they don't want to do, or attacking someone's Rep by asking them to do something they can't do just to force them to fail. Do we want this ? Maybe, maybe not. My proposal definitely needs more work - but I think a game mechanic of this kind could serve the story much better than a renamed ressource skill.

What do you think ?

Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
I think the rep economy

I think the rep economy should be viewed as an economy. It is a give and take system.

The main difference is that everyone can pay you. In the traditional economies, a lawyer helping a lot of poor people is pro bono work while helping one rich client can really bring in the credit - but in a rep economy, it can easily give as much working for the weak or bettering society as working for the powerful.

I also think that the whole "random people come to you and ask you for help" is very problematic in terms of telling good stories and the people at the table enjoying themselves.

jiyunatori jiyunatori's picture
> I think the rep economy

> I think the rep economy should be viewed as an economy. It is a give and take system.

Fair enough.

> The main difference is that everyone can pay you. In the traditional economies, a lawyer helping a lot of poor people is pro bono work while helping one rich client can really bring in the credit - but in a rep economy, it can easily give as much working for the weak or bettering society as working for the powerful.

If I get it right, you are saying that no matter who you help, you will get a rep boost. There is effectively no "highest bidder" to acquire your services because there is no currency involved, no exchange. Thus, the choice of who you will help is solely based on your ethics. You don't have the excuse of doing bad things "for the money", because they are not inherently more lucrative.

But then, what is the point of having a high rep ? Will it make others more likely to help you ? If so, how ? Just to be clear, I'm not talking about the EP mechanics for handling rep - I'm talking about how a Rep network would actually work.

- Is it just a tacit social contract, "give respect to those with high rep because they deserve it", and it translates to a willingness to help "famous people" ?
- If you can burn some rep to get people to help you, what does that mean in game terms ?
- Some kind of rep bounty for others to catch ? that would turn rep into a currency and fall back to regular economy.
- The equivalent of spamming everyone with CAPSLOCK MESSAGES until someone concede to help you so you just shut up ? Isn't it a bit silly ?

> I also think that the whole "random people come to you and ask you for help" is very problematic in terms of telling good stories and the people at the table enjoying themselves.

Well, keep in mind that those random people are managed by the GM, so you could see it as an easy way to hook players onto something, or add complications to a situation …

Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
jiyunatori wrote:> I think

jiyunatori wrote:
> I think the rep economy should be viewed as an economy. It is a give and take system.

Fair enough.

> The main difference is that everyone can pay you. In the traditional economies, a lawyer helping a lot of poor people is pro bono work while helping one rich client can really bring in the credit - but in a rep economy, it can easily give as much working for the weak or bettering society as working for the powerful.

If I get it right, you are saying that no matter who you help, you will get a rep boost. There is effectively no "highest bidder" to acquire your services because there is no currency involved, no exchange. Thus, the choice of who you will help is solely based on your ethics. You don't have the excuse of doing bad things "for the money", because they are not inherently more lucrative.

Exactly. Plus, "good deeds" that help larger numbers of people will give you more rep than just helping a single individual - and if you start to piss off large numbers of people you get negative rep. The "helping a few CEOs make tons of money by bankrupting swathes of people" just doesn't work in a rep economy.

Quote:

But then, what is the point of having a high rep ? Will it make others more likely to help you ? If so, how ? Just to be clear, I'm not talking about the EP mechanics for handling rep - I'm talking about how a Rep network would actually work.

That's how I see it, yes. Today's currencies are mostly fiat currencies, they're backed by no real value but only your expectation that someone else with still trade goods and services for it in the future. It's the same way with rep, you expect to get more help from people (and be generally well liked) if you accumulate it.

Quote:

- Is it just a tacit social contract, "give respect to those with high rep because they deserve it", and it translates to a willingness to help "famous people" ?

This is an open question. Note that there's also the opposite problem, that people who get smeared publically can get huge amounts of negative rep, perhaps unfairly or at least without any proportion to the harm they actually did.

People who take a dim view of rep networks believe it turns into a popularity contest and slavery to public opinion. I personally prefer that rep networks aren't just a single number and/or it weighs rep modifications with proximity across lots of dimensions. So you might have a colleague score, a seller score, an artistry score, a charity score, and a social network score, and people would look at the different scores in different circumstances. So someone you worked with or sold something to would have a much higher impact on your "effective rep" than someone who just saw a youtube video of you doing something. A bit like today - when you're selling something, your ebay seller's rating matters more than your number of twitter followers.

Quote:

- If you can burn some rep to get people to help you, what does that mean in game terms ?

I figure that the rep networks track if you're asking for more than you're putting in, in some way. Rep networks might be very advanced, like a more or less complete transaction record that an AI goes through to determine your "rep worth".

Quote:

- Some kind of rep bounty for others to catch ? that would turn rep into a currency and fall back to regular economy.

(I think you mean this related to burning rep) That's a good question. It could be that, or perhaps you flag a request as "this would really help me out, I need help very badly". Helping people in dire need would have a bigger rep effect for the helper. For the requester, begging like that and giving more rep than usual is also flagged on their profile, and when you do that, you better go out of your way to help other people later (otherwise, everyone just say "this is really super duper important to me"). It seems like a basic implementation of honest signalling.

Also remember, you still don't get the "regular economy" effect of rich people being able to pay magnitudes more than poor people (and if someone really has a ton of rep to burn, well they earned it helping out and contributing).

Quote:

- The equivalent of spamming everyone with CAPSLOCK MESSAGES until someone concede to help you so you just shut up ? Isn't it a bit silly ?

It would be silly, but I'm sure you'd just get ignored and dinged for doing that.

Quote:

> I also think that the whole "random people come to you and ask you for help" is very problematic in terms of telling good stories and the people at the table enjoying themselves.

Well, keep in mind that those random people are managed by the GM, so you could see it as an easy way to hook players onto something, or add complications to a situation …

Sure, but in reality it is difficult placing so many hooks, and getting an adventure or a complication, either it is not viewed as a cost because it is interesting, or the cost is the rest of the table getting annoyed at the player. "Argh, why did John have to ask for a Fury as a Favor, now we have to spend two hours doing this really boring stuff". But really, I think a lot of the time it would just be forgotten about by the GM.

I would greatly prefer a mechanical solution that affected your chances and options for getting favors, and the quality of them. A stress track that regenerated slowly and complications (or whatever those things you get when you don't have room on your track, I'm a bit weak on my FATE terminology) that played into your dealings with people from the network sounds like just the right thing. The difference between the two economies would be how you regenerated damage and what complications you got.

If you want that big difference, I think I'd do something really drastic, and use a stress track for favors and ACTUALLY TRACK YOUR CREDIT BALANCE! It's storytelling heresy, I know, but it really would do the trick ;)

banjo666 banjo666's picture
Tradional and Rep Economies

I think the "traditional" economy and the Rep Economy could be handled as boosts (for minor benefits) or as possible extra Aspects ?

You set a TN that must be reached to acquire the item of equipment you want, as an Overcome action.
On a Fail result you either don't get the item or get the item at a serious hit to your rep or finances or even incur a debt to something or someone. A consequence that remains until "paid off".
A Tie results in you getting the item but with a consequence that will effect your next purchase, then disappear.

So an aspect like "Filthy Rich" (traditional) or "Great Rep" could be used to help you if invoked or hinder you. "Your Filthy Rich, you pay for it." "You have Great Rep, can you do me a favor ?"

Acatalepsy Acatalepsy's picture
To me the most important

To me the most important aspect of the Reputation economy, the key difference between it and the traditional economy, is that it reacts to what you do. The traditional economy can be represented just fine by the Resources skill (maybe with some Wealth stress boxes, or an aspect that represents strained resources if they abuse it). The reputation economy must react, somehow, to the player's actions. I think that the logical way to represent this is through consequences - I've got a FATE hack I've been writing and part of the section on Rep looks like this now:

Eclipse Fate wrote:
In game, this manifests two ways. One is that players have Reputation stress tracks and consequences. This is a one point stress box, a 1 point (mild), 2 point (moderate) and 3 point (severe) consequence. Additional points of the Networking skill provide an additional 2-point and 3-point stress box at +1 and +2 Networking, and an additional 1 point (mild) consequence at +5 Networking. Unlike with normal consequences, Reputation consequences aren’t necessarily bad. They’re simply that: consequences of your actions, reflective of how the Solar System thinks of you. Reputation is also less mercurial than mental or physical consequences. Reputation stress tracks and mild consequences refresh every session, not every scene; moderate and severe consequences refresh every scenario and campaign (ie, between significant milestones), respectively. Unlikely other consequences, they don’t need to be ‘healed’; they just...go away, as the solar system collectively forgets or stops caring about what you did seven months ago.

Reputation isn’t (usually) attacked directly. Most of the time, events that happen in-play cause the player to develop reputation. The GM assigns the event a rating, which is the number of shifts the player is ‘hit’ with. Players can choose to soak those shifts using stress and consequences normally, and the GM and player work out what the specific consequences are. For example, let’s say a Gatecrasher rescues a first-in team, and the GM rates that as a Good (+3) shift in rep. The player wants to make use of all of that rep, but decide that they’re saving their severe (+3) consequence for something special. They then take a mild (+1) and moderate (+2) consequence, which end up being The Talk of Chat Noir’s Bars and Big Damn Hero.

If the player doesn’t have the space to take a hit, and risks being ‘taken out’, any shifts left over overwrite the player’s other reputation consequences - but unlike taking them on a blank slot, the player gets little input on what happens. In this case, the character has been swept up in the events, and loses the ability to control how they’re viewed; this might result in an inflated reputation that will pale in comparison with the reality, or a (deserved or undeserved) reputation for being a jerk.

...and then those reputation consequences are part of what you use to get stuff, in addition to taking Reputation 'hits' to acquire goods and services; consequences gained from such interactions will likely be IOUs of some form, reputations for being needy, or other things that might come and bite the characters in the ass somehow (and cause story things to happen).

This isn't a war ordinary humans can win. This is the future. Death's an inconvenience, now. Nothing more.

bblonski bblonski's picture
Key difference

I think one of the key differences is that Rep networks are actually a vector to be attacked. In a world where everyone is essentially immortal, attacking someone's Rep is actually the most effective way to permanently get rid of them. EP Core even hints at this, but doesn't really give you many rules for attacking someones Rep. I think EP Fate could actually do better here.

The other important distinction is that Rep depends on who you interact with and which identity you use. The reason cred is still useful is it works across factions except maybe in some anarchist habs and you can still use it if you are using a fake identity.

Rep networks also tend to automatically maintain themselves where cred needs a job to maintain. I'm not sure what the best way to represent the difference mechanically would be. Stress tracks would probably work well for rep. I'm not sure what to do about cred. I doubt anyone actually wants to count money so probably another stress track or just a straight skill role. Depends if you want to be able to take consequences from using credit or not. Not really a lot of other options.

My own ideas on the matter is to have a Networking skill tied to a rep stress track. The twist is that the rep stress track must be divided among the various rep networks. This way a person who is good at Networking is good at getting what they want no matter who they deal with, but they can get more from the networks they have more rep with. They can also invoke faction related aspects to help work their networks.

zarkow zarkow's picture
Stress track Rep

I really like this! The only downside I can see would be the risk of getting too crunchy to really fit the fast-and-furious Fate system...

I mean, a large part of a credible (and interesting!) Rep system is that you've got to keep track of your Rep in a whole bunch of specific social networks! A separate Stress Track for each one? Is that workable? Maybe it is!

/David Bergkvist, Göteborg, Sweden

bblonski bblonski's picture
zarkow wrote:A separate

zarkow wrote:
A separate Stress Track for each one? Is that workable? Maybe it is!

It will probably take some play testing to figure out. It might be sufficient to have a single stress track and simply invoke faction related aspects. This might even make more sense. I always thought it was kinda weird that your rep in different networks didn't affect each other. You would think people would want to know if you've been over-exploiting your rep networks recently, no matter which network it is. It would be easy enough for a muse to look all your rep scores.

zarkow zarkow's picture
Rep network categories?

Some networks might affect each other, if they have a high degree of common membership, but just having one single Rep track would be too much of an abstraction I think...
Maybe the networks could be grouped into categories or something?

/David Bergkvist, Göteborg, Sweden

bblonski bblonski's picture
Depends on how you handle it

Fate is pretty abstract. I imagine you will roll networking vs a target number and any unmet shits will be marked on your stress track. In that case, someone with high networking could call in small favors all day and be fine. Even if you have multiple stress tracks, most people probably wouldn't have rep in all the tracks. I think you'd have the same number of stress track boxes (3-5), the only difference would be to split them among several networks or all grouped into one.

Ranxerox Ranxerox's picture
KISS

Having multiple stress tracks for rep seems like a fine optional rule for people who want to get into the economics of things, but it seems overly crunchy for a standard Fate game. Heck, even a single stress track for wealth in Fate Core is an optional rule to use "[i]f you really want to get crazy". I'm not poo-pooing the idea, I'm just saying it's not something for all games.

On a side note, any decent rep system would have features built into its algorithm to make it difficult to trash someones rep unless you can show that the person did something that is clearly something that is clearly egregious. Otherwise, people being people, there are always going to be subfactions to any group, and they would be trashing the rep of members of rival subfactions all the time.



Ranxerox Ranxerox's picture
More thoughts on reputation

As I see it, the vast majority of reputation based exchanges will be initiated not by the person receiving the favor but the person giving it. In a reputation based economy the object is to be excellent to the people around you. So if you see someone who looks puzzled, you offer them a solution; you see someone who looks bored, you offer them entertainment; you see someone who is in a jam, you help them get out of it. Then the receiver of the favor tips some rep to the giver and their muse tells them what the going rate is for the service render. Of course people with high reps will be offered more favors than people with low reps, but since people are in the habit of being excellent even people with low reps will have nice things done for them. Only people with strong flags placed on their reps will not get offered favors at all.

Of course it not always going to be obvious to others what favors you need, so you will need to ask for these favors. Still, unless you have rep to burn I don't see people going up to other people and asking for favors with difficulty values greater than mediocre very often. Probably more the norm would be to put the favor you wanted up on the mesh. Then it can be viewed anyone you encountered whose AR setting are set to show favor request, and by people you don't encounter who are interested in performing that type of favor or are interested performing favors for people like you.

Lets look at the case of people who are interested in helping people like you, because it gets into the flavor of rep that you have. Lets say you were a dev on the popular AR game Zombie Quest, and to use a pre-Fall example you need a ride to LA. So you put your ride request up on the mesh and based on your status as a dev for Zombie Quest, pretty much everyone who has listed Zombie Quest as a strong interest of theirs see your request and soon you have more ride offers than you know what to do with. Now lets say that you weren't one of the the main developers but were instead one of several hundred animators that worked on Zombie Quest. Now only Zombie Quest fanatics are going see your request, but you still might get the ride from one of them, or from someone interested in animation, or someone who like the fact that you are a member of your local soccer league. Still, if this is a mixed economy, don't be surprised don't be surprised it they ask you to chip a few credits for the ride.

Okay, so lets say you need a specific favor but don't want the everyone to know you are looking for this favor. Well, just as you can filter what sort of favors request you see, you can also filter who see your favor request. So you could set up the request to exclude certain groups (say friends of your wife) or only to include certain groups (say people with criminal rep and the tag discreet). This is potentially risky so you probably want to vague about you request until you have spoken to the person, and some request are too sensitive to put up on the mesh at all. Those extremely sensitive request are the exception to the rule, in that they are best handled in a face to face favor request.

Getting back to the EP Fate conversion thing. Since most of the time favors will just be offered or you will put the favor out on the mesh and someone will take you up on it, the type of rep you have isn't usually going to matter too much. The flavor of your rep will influence who steps forward to help you, but it is the amount of rep that you have that is going to determine whether or not you get helped.

Only, if you are seeking a service that can be gotten with only a single type of rep (don't assume that just because something is a corporate service it can't be gotten other types rep) or you have a flavor of rep that just doesn't mean anything in the habitat you are on, will the flavor of your rep matter. Probably these circumstances will be rare enough that a game mechanic for different types of rep won't be needed in most campaigns. If I have an aspect that says anarchist, just assume that most of my reputation request will be answered by anarchist or people who want anarchist rep for their own reasons and leave it at that.



zarkow zarkow's picture
Well put!

I like this reasoning. Thank you for laying it out so clearly! It's sometimes easy to forget the importance and all-pervasiveness - and thus usefulness - of Aspects. Of course they should play a significant role in how Rep is roleplayed!

I've been thinking though. An important difference between a Rep economy and a currency economy is that Rep is not a currency. You don't lose Rep by using it, like you do with money. Instead, Rep is really a formalized honor system. Rep is gained by behaving in a manner appreciated by others - being awesome, according to the norms and values of the social networks you're a part of. Conversely, Rep is lost by behaving in a shitty way - not by for instance spending too much resources or demanding lots of effort from others, per se. Making others go out of their way to help could just as easily be "great leadership" or "visionary fire" as it could be "needyness" or "irresponsible waste of my time".

This is represented in our games systems as one score, going up for Awesomeness and down for Shittyness. But is it reasonable that positive and negative Rep should be tracked on one single scale?

Consider, say, a highly controversial politician. Ve could easily be extremely liked and respected by some (indicating a high Rep), while being reviled by others (indicating a low Rep). What if we track both scores independently instead? One positive and one negative? After all, it's hardly the same thing to be hated/loved as to be a complete nobody; though a single-track system does not differentiate between them.

/David Bergkvist, Göteborg, Sweden

bblonski bblonski's picture
Highly controversial

Highly controversial politician sounds like a aspect to me. Invoke for a bonus with some groups and compel as a complication for others. I think the stress track represents more of a social debt from calling in too many favors or getting involved in a scandal. I don't think you have to track positive and negative rep separately.

I would also think that players will want more control on initiating rep favors. In Ranxerox's example, you might not want a ride from any old fan as they might try to steal game assets from you to leak to the other fans for more rep. You might want to seek out a reputable and discrete transportation service. The higher the rep, the more reliable and discrete the service. If they do a good job, you give them rep to maintain their high rep score. If you lead them into a firefight because you are really an undercover firewall agent transporting Titan artifacts, you might get a rep hit because you did not share all the risks involved and you get marked as risky to do business with.

Ranxerox Ranxerox's picture
zarkow wrote:I like this

zarkow wrote:
I like this reasoning. Thank you for laying it out so clearly! It's sometimes easy to forget the importance and all-pervasiveness - and thus usefulness - of Aspects. Of course they should play a significant role in how Rep is roleplayed!

I've been thinking though. An important difference between a Rep economy and a currency economy is that Rep is not a currency. You don't lose Rep by using it, like you do with money. Instead, Rep is really a formalized honor system. Rep is gained by behaving in a manner appreciated by others - being awesome, according to the norms and values of the social networks you're a part of. Conversely, Rep is lost by behaving in a shitty way - not by for instance spending too much resources or demanding lots of effort from others, per se. Making others go out of their way to help could just as easily be "great leadership" or "visionary fire" as it could be "needyness" or "irresponsible waste of my time".

This is represented in our games systems as one score, going up for Awesomeness and down for Shittyness. But is it reasonable that positive and negative Rep should be tracked on one single scale?

Consider, say, a highly controversial politician. Ve could easily be extremely liked and respected by some (indicating a high Rep), while being reviled by others (indicating a low Rep). What if we track both scores independently instead? One positive and one negative? After all, it's hardly the same thing to be hated/loved as to be a complete nobody; though a single-track system does not differentiate between them.

I really liked what you had to say about the difference between a rep economy and a currency economy. Spot on.

Negative and positive rep scores? The value of put a number (or ladder step) to someone's positive rep is it provides a game mechanic for determining whether or not they can get a favor done for them. What do you see as the value of quantifying their negative rep? Under what circumstances would you roll against your negative rep?



Ranxerox Ranxerox's picture
bblonski wrote:Highly

bblonski wrote:
Highly controversial politician sounds like a aspect to me. Invoke for a bonus with some groups and compel as a complication for others. I think the stress track represents more of a social debt from calling in too many favors or getting involved in a scandal. I don't think you have to track positive and negative rep separately.

I would also think that players will want more control on initiating rep favors. In Ranxerox's example, you might not want a ride from any old fan as they might try to steal game assets from you to leak to the other fans for more rep. You might want to seek out a reputable and discrete transportation service. The higher the rep, the more reliable and discrete the service. If they do a good job, you give them rep to maintain their high rep score. If you lead them into a firefight because you are really an undercover firewall agent transporting Titan artifacts, you might get a rep hit because you did not share all the risks involved and you get marked as risky to do business with.

Well, you can look at peoples rep scores before you accept a favor from them. So, if they are the sort of person who is likely to steal from you, this will likely be reflected in their rep scores and you can pass on that ride and hope someone more trustworthy offers you a lift.

Still, your point, that player character live more interesting lives than most people and consequently require more interesting favors, is a valid one. As such they will often need to carefully craft their mesh favor request as to make them visible only to the select few that have means to do the job and the track record to show that they can be trusted... and, yes, sometimes that won't be enough and the players will have to approach people face to face to ask for favors. That's good, because approaching a local triad leader on her on turf and asking a favor makes for a much more interesting role-playing experience than going through 10 AF's version of Craigslist to get it done.



bblonski bblonski's picture
Do they need to be separate?

I've been thinking more about this, and I've started to question if there should even be a mechanical distinction between rep and credit. Instead of trying to add a mechanical difference between the two, maybe we should accept that they are more similar than different and that Fate does not handle the subtly between the two very well. I know this flies in the face of traditional EP, but hear me out.

Both credit and rep essentially do the same thing mechanically. Both are largely interchangeable in play. The core book has rules for exchanging rep to/from credit, so even if you are in a location that does not accept one or the other, you can usually get what you need with a little legwork. Characters are expected to have some amount of both Rep and Credits, but the ratio of each doesn't seem very important unless you are playing a specific character type such as an Oligarch or SimStar. If you are playing such a character, you probably have a aspect or stunt you can use to represent having vastly more credit than rep or vice versa.

If players have separate skills and stress tracks for rep and credits, it would only split character resources between two skills that are essentially the same. If it was me, I would only take skill ranks in one skill and use Fate's narrative freedom to explain how I can always use that skill in the given situation. For example, I'd simply offer a bribe instead of ask for a favor. It might make it more difficult in some situations, but it is still probably more efficient picking one skill at a higher level than both skills at lower levels.

You can always use narrative to highlight the difference between rep and credits with aspects and consequences, but mechanically I think we just need a skill roll to get things and a single stress track to give consequences if you do it too often. I think that might be the best solution unless we're willing to actually count credits. What do you think? Blasphemy?

zarkow zarkow's picture
Burn the witch!

Yes, I call blasphemy.

I do see your point, but IMHO the differences and indeed inherent incompatibilities between the Old and the New Economies is one of the main features of EP. For this reason alone, game mechanics regarding the two should not be mixed together.

However, I'm not entirely sure that the Rep system necessarily needs to be represented as a Resources type skill at all. It might just be a regular Socialize skill roll against a difficulty, augmented by relevant rep-affecting Aspects or Stunts.
While Old economy credits might be a stress track - because that's more like a "physical" resource that can run out.

It all depends on how detailed you want it - but I consider it important for the True EP Feel that these systems are in some way separated.

/David Bergkvist, Göteborg, Sweden

zarkow zarkow's picture
Two sets gets my vote

After thinking some more, my current stance (subject to change without prior notice) is that I'd prefer a system with two separate stress tracks, and two governing skills to match; Resources and Networking. Because I can easily imagine all kinds of fun developing from taking Consequenses to both! Though what exactly would it mean to be Taken Out by the Rep Track? Hmm...

Aside from the fact that the two economic systems are based on different basic principles and thus should be roleplayed differently (even if the dice-rolling mechanics are similar), there is also the detail that Rep and Creds are usually used for aquiring *different* stuff and services. You won't ever use Rep to get a fine meal, for instance; because where Rep is in use, people live in a post-scarcity economy where any kind of luxury meal is provided at short notice from the nearest cornucopia machine. In the domain of the Jovian Junta, you're gonna have to pay for that burger, son. And this brings me to the final point: Creds and Rep are *localized* to specific parts of the Solar System, and vary wildly in usefulness depending on where you are. This is a good thing - it means that in order to be able to get stuff and services everywhere, different player characters must probably *specialize* in one type of economy, fostering a cooperative spirit and speading the limelight when the troupe travels.

I no longer think multiple stress tracks for all the different rep networks is desirable however. That should be covered just fine by Aspects and background info.

/David Bergkvist, Göteborg, Sweden

zarkow zarkow's picture
Two sets gets my vote

After thinking some more, my current stance (subject to change without prior notice) is that I'd prefer a system with two separate stress tracks, and two governing skills to match; Resources and Networking. Because I can easily imagine all kinds of fun developing from taking Consequenses to both! Though what exactly would it mean to be Taken Out by the Rep Track? Hmm...

Aside from the fact that the two economic systems are based on different basic principles and thus should be roleplayed differently (even if the dice-rolling mechanics are similar), there is also the detail that Rep and Creds are usually used for aquiring *different* stuff and services. You won't ever use Rep to get a fine meal, for instance; because where Rep is in use, people live in a post-scarcity economy where any kind of luxury meal is provided at short notice from the nearest cornucopia machine. In the domain of the Jovian Junta, you're gonna have to pay for that burger, son. And this brings me to the final point: Creds and Rep are *localized* to specific parts of the Solar System, and vary wildly in usefulness depending on where you are. This is a good thing - it means that in order to be able to get stuff and services everywhere, different player characters must probably *specialize* in one type of economy, fostering a cooperative spirit and speading the limelight when the troupe travels.

I no longer think multiple stress tracks for all the different rep networks is desirable however. That should be covered just fine by Aspects and background info.

/David Bergkvist, Göteborg, Sweden

bblonski bblonski's picture
zarkow wrote:Because I can

zarkow wrote:
Because I can easily imagine all kinds of fun developing from taking Consequenses to both!

Generally consequences are shared across all the stress tracks.

zarkow wrote:
Though what exactly would it mean to be Taken Out by the Rep Track? Hmm...

Probably infomorph indentureship or being painted as a Titan spy and having all your backups deleted. It's probably the worse way to be taken out honestly.

zarkow wrote:
Creds and Rep are *localized* to specific parts of the Solar System, and vary wildly in usefulness depending on where you are. This is a good thing - it means that in order to be able to get stuff and services everywhere, different player characters must probably *specialize* in one type of economy, fostering a cooperative spirit and speading the limelight when the troupe travels.

You can literally ask for the equivalent amount of credits as a favor, so I think you can fairly easily exchange for whatever is used locally. You can get whatever you need with both as long as you are willing to jump through some hoops to do the conversion. Stuff that Fate usually hand waves because it's not very interesting.

Fair point about character specialization. I think there are more meaningful things to specialize in though. You will probably be better at getting things from your faction, regardless if you use credits or rep to do it. The interesting part is what your relationship with the different factions are rather than if you use credit or rep. A high rep or high credit character will probably be pretty play much the same in the inner system. I think aspects represent the relationships to different factions better and are the more interesting thing to focus on.

I've also tinkered with the idea of using just aspects and fate points for rep. This is a more natural way of handling favors in some other Fate games, where you have aspects like "____ owes me a favor" or "friends in low places" that represent you contacts and you spend fate points to invoke your aspect to call in a favor. I think I like the stress track + skill more personally, but might be an option for some players who want to streamline even more.

jiyunatori jiyunatori's picture
Ok, so many interesting posts

Ok, so many interesting posts since my last connection ! This is where I am now.

EP's rep score is a game mechanic. In practice, rep is spread across many networks (much more than the 6 described in the books) and can't be summarized to an objective numerical value. If such a score exists in game, it is highly volatile and subjective, calculated on the fly by your muse as some kind of "trust barometer".

With that in mind, the Networking skill expresses your mesh presence and your capacity to put it to good use. The associated stress track (let's call it reputation) is your "karma". If you have some stress, you probably pulled big favors recently and you'd better even things out soon if you want to keep your rep clean.

So far, there is no distinction between the various rep networks, which kinda sucks. But the aspects can do that ! You are a "Struggling Anarcho-Syndicalist" looking for a place to lay low in the slums of New Shangai ? For sure this aspect will help ! In a way it is even better than having compartimented rep networks because it is much more flexible and favor dependant.

As for game mechanics, I would go with a networking roll against the favor's difficulty to see what you get, and then roll the favor's difficulty against your networking to see if you get some stress / consequences.

bblonski bblonski's picture
@jiyunatori

@jiyunatori
Sounds pretty solid. My one suggestion would be to make it a single roll. The character get's the favor either way, but on a failed roll they take the failed shifts in stress. This follows the Fate philosophy that failure should be interesting. Failure resulting in not getting your favor is not interesting, but failure meaning you still get the favor, but at cost to your reputation, is more interesting.

Ranxerox Ranxerox's picture
@bblonski

Agreed.

zarkow zarkow's picture
I like!

Beautifully simple!

Can we come up with a list of example Consequences for rep failure hits?

/David Bergkvist, Göteborg, Sweden

bblonski bblonski's picture
Here some ideas
  • I owe the Autonomists some favors.
  • The Argonauts are annoyed with me.
  • My connections are drying up.
  • The Triads are sending someone to collect a debt.
  • Huge debt to the hypercorps.
  • Accused of being a Titan spy.

I think there is a lot of freedom here depending on the situation and which faction you are dealing with.

jiyunatori jiyunatori's picture
bblonski wrote:@jiyunatori

bblonski wrote:
@jiyunatori
Sounds pretty solid. My one suggestion would be to make it a single roll. The character get's the favor either way, but on a failed roll they take the failed shifts in stress. This follows the Fate philosophy that failure should be interesting. Failure resulting in not getting your favor is not interesting, but failure meaning you still get the favor, but at cost to your reputation, is more interesting.

I Still have trouble wrapping my head around the idea of turning failures into succes at a cost, but it is clearer with the examples you just gave.

bblonski bblonski's picture
Just thought of a good one

zarkow wrote:
Can we come up with a list of example Consequences for rep failure hits?

* Stolen/wanted morph

I can't believe I didn't think of this one sooner.