Here you will find all basic procedures for submitting influence requests to Dark Eclipse. All Influence requests must be made in accordance with these rules; failure to do so may result in delay or rejection of the request, with or without notice. Management of Influence requests is partially done by computer, which means you must be precise. All Influence requests MUST be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by the Wednesday immediately preceding a biweekly game. In particular, requests will NOT be honored at game or otherwise in person. If you lack computer access, you must still submit Influences through email, either with a friend's help or with public facilities.
After every game, every player is awarded a number of Influence points in every Influence category (including Contacts) equal to the Permanent level of that Influence category on the player's sheet. These points may then be spent on Influence actions. Points expire at the end of the calendar month, to prevent hoarding of points. For example, if a player has 2 dots of Police, 4 dots of High Society, and 5 dots of the Contacs background, then after every game, that player will recieve 2 Influence points in Police, 4 in High Society, and 5 in Contacts.
Email Header FormatEdit
Put the character name and date of the game for that half of the month in the Subject heading, and place your name, chronicle, and date again in the body. The date in the subject line must be the date of the game PRECEDING the Influence request.
Example subject: Influence for Joe Bob: 07-08-2011
Example body start:
Chronicle: Tampa: Dark Eclipse
Date of request: Wednesday July 20, 2011
The more common type of Influence actions are non-targeted. These are the possible actions found in the Influences section of Laws of the Wyld. When requesting the action you'd like to have accomplished, use the wording and numbers in Laws of the Wyld, such as: Underworld 5 - Hire a Firebug. Please do this for each action you are using of each type. All influence actions cost the indicated number of Influence points. You may not use an action of a higher level of permanent Influence than you control, no matter the total number of temporary Influence points you have accumulated. For example, if a player has a Police of 3 and spends no points in the first Influence cycle of the month, after the second game of the month, that player will have 6 Police Influence points, but can only spend them on Police Influence actions that cost 3 points or less. See example email below for more details.
As players and even NPCs may interact with each other through Influences, the extended Influence rules on pages 64-69 of the book Dark Epics will be used. These extended rules consist of a set of additional actions, which can be used in any Influence category. Some of these new actions are designed for use against other PCs or NPCs using Influence; they are described in the bulleted list below. Players should keep in mind that they do NOT have the opportunity to respond to an action that is directed at them; the only way to defend against an action is to have your defenses already up when it is necessary. In this way, players are "flying blind."
For example, the Attack action is used to attack a player's Influence. Suppose player Alice Attacks player Bob's Influence for the Influence cycle in the first half of September. If Bob does not, in this cycle (the first half of September), have enough defenses in place, then when actions are resolved, Bob will receive notification that an Attack has succeeded against him. In the 2nd half of September, Bob may react in any way he wishes, but he DOES NOT have the opportunity to Defend against the Attack already made. The successful Attack in the first half of September has resolved, and Bob must deal with the consequences. One prudent action Bob MAY take is to spend points on the Defense action, in anticipation of another Attack (more details below).
- The following are actions that you may perform any time:
Watch - Use this action to watch for a particular action. You may watch for any non-targeted action, as well as the extended actions Attack, Block, Follow (only those following you), Growth, and Watch. For a Watch to be successful against an action, the number of points spent toward the watch must exceed the number of points spent by the target character to conceal that action (with the Stealth ability). Success grants knowledge of the action and the right to Trace the character. If Watch fails against one action because of Stealth, it does not affect its detection of other actions.
Block - Use this action to prevent a specific action from being taken by any character. For a Block to be successful, the Blocker must spend MORE THAN the number of points in Boost that the target has spent on that action. You may only Block actions which you could take yourself. As with Watch, one character's overcoming this action does not invalidate the action as a whole.
Combine - You may loan your Influences to another character on a 2-for-1 basis. For example, if Alice has a Finance of 5, she can spend two points and loan Bob a single dot of Finance, or spend 4 points and loan him 2 dots. This does not enable Bob to do higher level actions than his Permanent level, however.
- Trace - Use this action to find the identity of someone who you have made some sort of Influence contact with. This includes Blocking or being Blocked, succesfully Watching an action, being Attacked or being loaned Influence (in the example given for Combine, Bob would have the right to Trace Alice). You may also Trace a character that allows you to do so. For a Trace to be successful, the points spent toward the Trace must exceed the points spent by the target on Conceal or Stealth, whichever is higher. A successful Trace gives basic information about the target's Influence in the given category, as well as the ability to conduct Follow and Attack actions against the target.
- The following actions may ONLY be taken once a successful Trace has been made. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Attack - Use this action to attack someone's Influence. For an Attack to be successful, the Attacker must spend MORE THAN the total of the target's Permanent level of the Influence in question and the number of points in Defend that the target has spent. If an Attack is successful, then the target's permanent Influence goes down by one. This will not result in a loss of XP; if a successfully Attacked target wishes to regrow the lost Influence point, it will not cost XP to do so, though the Influence rules for gaining Influence must still be followed.
Follow – Use this action to watch a target character's Influence actions. For a Follow to be successful, the Follower must spend MORE THAN the target has spent in Stealth. If the Follow action is successful, then all of the target's influence activities for that particular influence will be revealed.
There are a few ways to grow Influence, or more specifically, to gain the right to buy Permanent dots of an Influence. All Permanent dots of Influence cost 1 XP. However, unless your character is a Glasswalker (Tribal Advantage), you must have a justification for buying Influence. Generally speaking, Scenes, Influence Actions, and Growth points can earn you this right.
- Scenes - Sometimes, doing something with Influence will require actual roleplay with an ST. Sometimes running a scene is optional; a player may want to get more detailed information by asking questions of an Influence contact in real time, or just build an actual relationship with the contact beyond "guy I ask for money" or "bureaucrat I bribe/blackmail for information." Whatever the reason, running actual Influence scenes carries greater risks and rewards. The possible upside to running scenes is that if you succeed in endearing yourself to your contact, for example, you might gain the right to buy more dots in the appropriate Influence, reflecting a contact more willing to help you out, or more insight into the Influence, etc. However, a scene can have negative results, including loss of Permanent Influence, temporary loss in the ability to use that contact or do certain actions, on temporary inability to grow that Influence further.
- Influence Actions - Generally speaking, players cannot gain the right to buy Influence JUST by doing actions; see the Growth action below. However, for more complex endeavors, if they succeed, a player may gain credibility within the right community, or insight into who to talk to and how to approach them, which at ST discretion may be reflected in the ability to buy further Influence.
- Growth - One of the new Influence Actions in Dark Epics is the Growth Action. This avenue of growing Influence is slower than the others, but more reliable. In addition to Influence points, which automatically are awarded every game and expire every month, all players have, for each Influence, a Growth pool. A Player may use the Growth Action to convert Influence points into Growth points. In any cycle, a player may spend 1 XP and a number of Growth points equal to 3 times their current Permanent Influence, and gain one dot of Permanent Influence. Growth points do NOT expire with any regularity, though they may "go stale" at ST discretion. This means that if an Influence is abandoned for a period of months, STs may decide to penalize a player by lessening a player's Growth Pool in that Influence.
- Buying new Influences - Except for the Glasswalker Tribal Advantage, rules for gaining the right to buy NEW Influences are more fluid. In general, STs need only "a good reason" to let a player buy new Influences. That could mean either of the first 2 bullets above, being introduced to an Influence contact by a PC or NPC (such as an Influence contact already known to the player), or use of an Influence action in a way which intersects with the desired Influence. In particular, the Street 3 action "Gain insight into other areas of Influence" is useful for this, though it will probably be a little more complicated than just using the action, since that would devalue the Glasswalker Tribal Advantage.
The Contacts Background has 2 roles in the game of Influence: Downtime and Gametime.
- Downtime - During downtime actions, players are awarded a number of Contacts points equal to their Permanent level of Contacts, similar to Influences. These points may be used as Influence points in ANY Influence categoriy or categories, but may only be used for information-gathering actions. Subject to the information-only restriction, a player's effective permanent level of all Influences is equal to their Permanent level of Contacts. Contacts points may also be combined with Influence points in any way without penalty.
- Gametime - During Gametime, all players receive a number of In-game Influence points equal to their current Permanent level of Contacts. These points expire at the end of the night, but may be spent at any time during the night as if they were normal Influence points (Not Contacts points!) in any Influence category or categories, and at any level or levels, that the player possesses.