Saturday, December 27, 2014

Becoming a Functionary

It has taken me some time, but at last I feel I have put together a set of working rules to determine the acquisition, amount of responsibility and punishment for incompetence where holding a position within the state or kingdom is concerned.  Enjoy.

Take special note of the links for influence and incompetence on the linked page - particularly the latter, as I'm proud of the method I finally settled on for working out results.


kimbo said...

Hi Alexis,
This is my regular go-to blog for a good read. These last few posts have been gaming gold. The civic political game opens a whole new dimension. (each position simply oozes the potential for adventure hooks).

two questions:

These rules apply to interaction with individuals and entities.

You do have in mind a further subset of rules for the CREATION of an entity by a PC? whether short or long term: spy network, guild, cult, free company, pirate crew, bandit group, political party.

Re the functionary positions requiring fighter class.

Would not the requirement be for job specific skills rather than class specific? e.g. for the executioner: axe, tulwar, noose, garotte or throwing off the tarpian rock; depending on local custom. And there are other functions - corporal punishment and torture. Not necessarily related only to fighter class.

Best regards for the new year

Alexis Smolensk said...


The rules here are primarily for managing the general large-view issues of getting the job and how much the job requires of the player. Depending on the player's interests and motivations, role-play would mean either skipping over the daily grind of working (while the player campaigns or achieves other purposes) or running the actual day-to-day events. I prefer not to box the player's game play in any more than I have, letting the player and party set the tone. I suspect that players would most likely use this rule set in order to temporarily place themselves into positions in order to achieve some purpose of their own. And, as you say, for the adventure hooks.

Of course a player can begin their own political entity, from scratch. This has always been true in my world. The rule set above would then work to describe the NPC's contribution to the player, once the player established such an entity (time off that the NPC is entitled to, etcetera).

There's probably an oversight in the above that wages/pay is not included. That's something that will ultimately require rules as well.

Maxwell Joslyn said...

Alexis: I like the competency system a lot. Have more to say but also against pressing deadline, will expand.

I have initial thoughts on "wages and pay," as you bring up in your comment above; if you already have some thoughts to share on that, I would like to hear what your implementation details might be.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Just now, I have no real thoughts on the subject - just putting it up there on a shelf where I can ignore it. If you have some ideas, Maxwell, go ahead . . . but since I don't have any expectation of a player taking advantage of the ability any time soon, I'm set to put my energies elsewhere.

Maxwell Joslyn said...

My germ of an idea is this: relate pay to rarity of profession. This can be done by making reference to the probability of obtaining a certain result on the Father's Profession Table in your character background generator. (Assumption: probability of getting profession X on that table is more or less equal to proportion of people who hold profession X.)

Let P(job X) = probability of getting job X on your table.
Let G = monthly salary in arbitrary units.
Let specific salary for job X = g = G/P(job X)

If the probability of getting "prince" is 1/10,000 or 0.0001, then monthly salary for a prince is G/0.0001 = 10,000*G.

If P(baker) = 500/10,000 = 0.05, then g = G/0.05 = 20*G.

The numbers may need massaging, but the important part is that cost is related to rarity. You do similar calculations with your trade table, no? e.g. if a certain item calls for a silversmith, then the number of silversmith references in the world is taken into account in the price of that item. In the same way, hiring a baker takes into account the number of bakers: here I've done that with proportions, but you might do that with references. I chose proportions because while I know that "prince" is on the d10,000 table, it is probably not on trade table, and this might be the case for other functionary positions.

Alexis Smolensk said...

That seems a perfectly reasonable experiment, Maxwell. Simple and practical.

I'll keep it in mind and come back to the issue when I am at that stage in my reworking of trade tables (incorporating it).