Influence/Reputation system?


  • Pitcrew

    Has anyone played a game that had a system for influence and reputation (not Status: Whatever) something dynamic that was changed for better or worse by players in game actions? Was this fun? Totally not fun? How did it work and what did you like or not like about it? Did other players have ways of influencing it (Like if Player A acted like a complete jackass in public, could Players B, C, and D who were in the scene do something to make his reputation go down? Or up respectively if he did something awesome)

    Tell me your stories, ideas, methods. The only game I have played on with anything like this was Blood of Dragons (yes, yes I did), but it was only partially complete and I was never quite sure how it was operating.

    Thanks thanks!



  • I've always wanted to have an influence system where there was a giant phone book of contacts. So you didn't have a contact in the Mayor's office, you might have his secretary. But so could other people. So one day the secretary might just say "You know what? Fuck off. I've been doing so much for you that I could loose my job if I keep it up. You want this, Bob wants that. I'm done for a while!"

    I think it would be awesome, but very staff intensive.

    I think my oWoD Vampire roots are showing.


  • Coder

    Darkmetal implemented a player-maintained Renown system for (oWoD) Werewolf.

    It was horribly abused and people would stir up a storm whenever they were down-voted, so rank ended up meaning nothing.



  • In tabletop I use 'rep points' whenever players do something badass in front of NPCs. They can redeem rep points for favours at varying costs. If they get into the negatives, they're seen as a mooch/poseur.


  • Pitcrew

    Every time I've seen it it's been so soundly ignored that I can't remember how often I've seen it.


  • Pitcrew

    Hmm. Horribly abused by players is not good. The tabletop thing seems fun but hard to implement on a MUSH. @il-volpe has seen it but nobody cared. So far, not promising.



  • @Gingerlily
    The MET system I play in for LARP and what i'm using for TheatreMUSH has status and reputation insofar as 'within your faction' that fluctuates and can be affected by players as you do fucked up shit. Hitting with Negative Status and stuff, which imposes actual in-game sanctions and rewards for being a jackass backbiting vampire, gets a LOT of play in the LARP.


  • Pitcrew

    @Bobotron said:

    @Gingerlily
    The MET system I play in for LARP and what i'm using for TheatreMUSH has status and reputation insofar as 'within your faction' that fluctuates and can be affected by players as you do fucked up shit. Hitting with Negative Status and stuff, which imposes actual in-game sanctions and rewards for being a jackass backbiting vampire, gets a LOT of play in the LARP.

    Tell me more?



  • @Gingerlily
    The Status system in MET: Vampire the Masquerade is built around social play and rewarding you for making good on what you do, and punishing you for fucking up.

    You get lauded by positive Status, which gives you a variety of social (and sometimes mechanical) benefits, like allowing you to talk to your superiors without permission, to offset an offense when you fuck up, and a number of things.

    You bet punished by Negative Status when you fuck up and can't offset it. Most Negative Status imposes some type of social punishment, though you can go so far as to get ejected from your sect for fucking up too much. There's also some interesting political play with some Negative Status, where people whoa re backstabbing vampire bitches to people with those specific Negative Status getting a special Positive Status for insulting and belittling the fuckup.

    Overall it works really well for play in my experience, and I've been using in in live-play with a 30 or so player game for over 2 years. You'd need to tweak it to allow every joe to give positive/negative status a little though, since ia lot of it relies on people in positions of power giving out the status (harpies, prince, seneschal, elders, etc.)). You can look at it here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1t3t1c455rcnlcw/METVtM Status.pdf?dl=0


  • Pitcrew

    Cool, thanks so much!


  • Pitcrew

    The Influence part of the system of Blood of Dragons works by having each player come out of CharGen with a base Influence score, created through a formula that looks at House, certain Assets and Flaws and official positions. Influence can be spent on the Rumor system (influenced by code from Sanguinis Nobilis) and also gained or lost through targetted positive or negative rumors, but this only affects the current score, not the base score, and over time Influence gradually returns to the base score. Changes in status, such as a marriage or a new position, is the only way to permanently alter the base score. Influence can also help a character in gaining a better than expected marriage or a new position as Staff takes it into consideration when approving such requests.

    By having the base score be the equilibrium that Influence strives to return to over time, there's no possibility of players colluding to use rumors to completely destroy someone's position permanently; that would actually take the character suffering a permanent change in status, such as losing their place at court or being disinherited.


  • Coder

    @Bobotron said:

    @Gingerlily
    The Status system in MET: Vampire the Masquerade is built around social play and rewarding you for making good on what you do, and punishing you for fucking up.

    You get lauded by positive Status, which gives you a variety of social (and sometimes mechanical) benefits, like allowing you to talk to your superiors without permission, to offset an offense when you fuck up, and a number of things.

    You bet punished by Negative Status when you fuck up and can't offset it. Most Negative Status imposes some type of social punishment, though you can go so far as to get ejected from your sect for fucking up too much. There's also some interesting political play with some Negative Status, where people whoa re backstabbing vampire bitches to people with those specific Negative Status getting a special Positive Status for insulting and belittling the fuckup.

    Overall it works really well for play in my experience, and I've been using in in live-play with a 30 or so player game for over 2 years. You'd need to tweak it to allow every joe to give positive/negative status a little though, since ia lot of it relies on people in positions of power giving out the status (harpies, prince, seneschal, elders, etc.)). You can look at it here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1t3t1c455rcnlcw/METVtM Status.pdf?dl=0

    RfK tried to use the MET status system as written and it worked 'ok' while the game still had a relatively small population but as the game grew it became increasingly impossible for the Prince/Harpies to actually keep track of what was going on and properly award/deduct status.

    What I'd like to experiment with is a system where every character on the game is allowed to make one positive vote and one negative vote each time interval, these would be public and optional. In theory this could create an effective crowd-sourced harpy that would help make everyone in the game aware of what's been happening.

    @Thenomain said:

    It was horribly abused and people would stir up a storm whenever they were down-voted, so rank ended up meaning nothing.

    The biggest problem with the Harpies/Prince besides the difficulty in keeping track of recent events, is that their players would get OOCly hassled over their decisions. Every month we had to remind players that any issues they have with Prince/Harpy decisions is an IC issue that should be handled by confronting those characters IC. In the end we decided to implement a 1 beat fine for any OOC complaints about status.

    The core of the issue seems to be that many players become emotionally invested in their characters success and treat any failure to succeed on the behalf of their character as a failure of their own, rather then a new avenue of RP to explore.

    Another related issue is that it's hard to make reputation meaningful on the scene level. It's not uncommon for characters to treat the most respected person in the city like street trash, either because they're not OOCly aware of the status of that person or because they just don't like their own characters reaction being decided by a number, it's similar to how everyone just ignores everyone with Striking Looks.


  • Pitcrew

    @Groth said:

    The core of the issue seems to be that many players become emotionally invested in their characters success and treat any failure to succeed on the behalf of their character as a failure of their own, rather then a new avenue of RP to explore.

    Ugh, yeah. This is the worst. And I know because I have both seen it and allowed it to affect me. I've gotten upset over stupid stuff like that. I try not to let it happen anymore. I don't have the kind of time it takes to worry about that shit anymore, as a, you know, grown adult. But damn, yeah.

    Another related issue is that it's hard to make reputation meaningful on the scene level. It's not uncommon for characters to treat the most respected person in the city like street trash, either because they're not OOCly aware of the status of that person or because they just don't like their own characters reaction being decided by a number, it's similar to how everyone just ignores everyone with Striking Looks.

    This is also an issue. I think the only real way to do it is constantly remind people, and have staff constantly remind people. But that can get preachy/insistent/annoying, so... It's an issue. Something very visible would help, but then it turns into "I have this color on my short desc because I'm special" and I just... ugh.


  • Admin

    @Coin An issue with that is that in MU* there tend to be too many people whose status and/or appearance is special. When everyone you meet has Striking Looks, or Resources 5, or Status 3+ in games which allow it to be simply bought then such traits are cheapened universally.

    I mean I want to play these things out but if my character is surrounded by revered wealthy supermodels eventually he gets over it. You can't be in awe all the time.


  • Pitcrew

    Well, yeah.

    But if you limit the amount of people who can have those things, everyone pitches a fucking fit. So.



  • +1 to @Arkandel. This was a HUGE thing on TR. People would complain constantly that they weren't given their due attention for whichever stat. They seem to fail to realize if that you meet up with Rich Supermodel #842 every day for lunch... you're going to eventually stop being awed and amazed by their looks/wealth/status/etc.

    @Coin That's because everyone wants ALL the shinies. Frankly, some of the most fun I've had was playing a dirty, poor, homeless, scrawny, average-looking characters. Then again, I've also found that I largely hate playing bullshit social scenes where you (empirical) try to awe/cow/overwhelm everyone around you with your awesomeness and stats. I'd rather go steal an artifact or kill Monster of the Week and loot their corpses or drag race cars and have the cops show up or anything that could have some potential meaning to the character. And at this point I'd rather not RP than have to attend one more 'charity' function set up so people can show off how pretty princess special snowflake they are.

    Syndrome said it best, ladies and gents. When everyone is super... no one is.


  • Pitcrew

    @Miss-Demeanor said:

    +1 to @Arkandel. This was a HUGE thing on TR. People would complain constantly that they weren't given their due attention for whichever stat. They seem to fail to realize if that you meet up with Rich Supermodel #842 every day for lunch... you're going to eventually stop being awed and amazed by their looks/wealth/status/etc.

    @Coin That's because everyone wants ALL the shinies. Frankly, some of the most fun I've had was playing a dirty, poor, homeless, scrawny, average-looking characters. Then again, I've also found that I largely hate playing bullshit social scenes where you (empirical) try to awe/cow/overwhelm everyone around you with your awesomeness and stats. I'd rather go steal an artifact or kill Monster of the Week and loot their corpses or drag race cars and have the cops show up or anything that could have some potential meaning to the character. And at this point I'd rather not RP than have to attend one more 'charity' function set up so people can show off how pretty princess special snowflake they are.

    Syndrome said it best, ladies and gents. When everyone is super... no one is.

    Yeah, I agree. I've had a lot of fun playing both rich and poor, etc. But a lot of people use games to fulfill their own little fantasies--and especially try to force those fantasies on others.

    How many poor characters have suddenly found themselves the recipients of a wealthy lifestyle because a rich PC felt like it?



  • @Coin said:

    @Miss-Demeanor said:

    +1 to @Arkandel. This was a HUGE thing on TR. People would complain constantly that they weren't given their due attention for whichever stat. They seem to fail to realize if that you meet up with Rich Supermodel #842 every day for lunch... you're going to eventually stop being awed and amazed by their looks/wealth/status/etc.

    @Coin That's because everyone wants ALL the shinies. Frankly, some of the most fun I've had was playing a dirty, poor, homeless, scrawny, average-looking characters. Then again, I've also found that I largely hate playing bullshit social scenes where you (empirical) try to awe/cow/overwhelm everyone around you with your awesomeness and stats. I'd rather go steal an artifact or kill Monster of the Week and loot their corpses or drag race cars and have the cops show up or anything that could have some potential meaning to the character. And at this point I'd rather not RP than have to attend one more 'charity' function set up so people can show off how pretty princess special snowflake they are.

    Syndrome said it best, ladies and gents. When everyone is super... no one is.

    Yeah, I agree. I've had a lot of fun playing both rich and poor, etc. But a lot of people use games to fulfill their own little fantasies--and especially try to force those fantasies on others.

    How many poor characters have suddenly found themselves the recipients of a wealthy lifestyle because a rich PC felt like it?

    Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. And having your character express disdain or lack of want for it is nearly always met with a scoffing 'but everyone wants to be rich!' or 'but you'll grow to love it' kind of remark.


  • Tutorialist

    I know you said not "status" but it's basically the same thing -- LAmush: A House Divided had a +status/rep system where you could vote/down vote other vampires. It linked directly to a +rumor system so you could investigate who was saying what.

    It was either ignored or horribly abused.



  • @Coin said:

    This is also an issue. I think the only real way to do it is constantly remind people, and have staff constantly remind people. But that can get preachy/insistent/annoying, so... It's an issue. Something very visible would help, but then it turns into "I have this color on my short desc because I'm special" and I just... ugh.

    The other way to deal with this is to do the thing I've been advocating since the new system came out and make the Doors system mechanically meaningful.

    Status gives you a bonus to social rolls.

    Doors are an excellent way to try and achieve a social outcome.

    You might hate that motherfucking detective, but that motherfucking detective can still be a pretty imposing dude. You might have heard a thousand and ten stories about Mr. Smith that makes you inherently treat him as a monster, but somehow he still charms you.

    Remind people that their desires are not the final arbiter of what happens to the character, the system is.

    Part of this is people just not being willing to do those things and enforce outcomes. There's no one perfect method, of course. Someone will always be unhappy with something. But at least this way, status has some real crunch.