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Old 11-28-2020, 09:47 AM   #11
Gold & Appel Inc
 
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
Going around just randomly murdering non-allies is something which probably should have penalties too, like creating an Enemy out of a surviving friend.
Or, y'know, out of everybody who doesn't want a randomly homicidal lunatic around...
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Old 11-28-2020, 12:17 PM   #12
Plane
 
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

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Originally Posted by Balor Patch View Post
My first inclination is to do what DFRPG did with Signature Gear: make Ally a perk.
I think it was already possible to make Allies/Sig Gear perks in Basic if designed properly? SE and DF

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Originally Posted by Balor Patch View Post
The tricky part of that is that Ally has been stretched from proper NPCs to include summonable generic minions. In that usage it is more like an attack power then a relationship.
P41's "converts Allies from a social trait to a supernatural ability" sounds like it might not be social anymore, requiring it to be either physical or mental: I'd wager mental due to the concentrate maneuver, unless you added something like Requires HT roll to switch it over.

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Originally Posted by Balor Patch View Post
the points that pay for spell-raised zombies are the points that were spent on learning the spell
If that were the case I don't think you'd even need to cast the spell? The points would guarantee allies come hang out with you even if you can't engineer the circumstances.

It seems more like you have an ability to dictate scenarios where you can "spend points" (even though you actually don't, as casting it doesn't raise your point total, being 0pts as DF9 says) sort of like what Dominance does (buy Allies w/ Slave Mentality) or what Possession w/ Chronic enhancement does (buy Puppet and perhaps traits which are prereq for Puppet)

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Originally Posted by Balor Patch View Post
Some spells let you blow stuff up like Innate Attacks, some spells let you have zombies follow you around like Allies. That's why the PC bought the spell, and the Magery + IQ to make it work.
There seems like a functional difference between "I'm a mage who knows Zombie 30 but never encountered a corpse so I have no minion helpers right now" and "I'm a mage who knows Zombie 15 and encountered 100 corpses so I have 100 minion helpers right now" though.

The difference is like whether you just have the potential to create allies, or have put in the work to actually get them.

The "payment" for an ally seems moreso the resources traded in actually using the spell/skill like materials (corpse, maybe Magic Ingredients if using that optional rule) and energy (whether it comes from you, the ether or elsewhere) and casting time.

In many cases one can't simply purchase an advantage w/o context, in addition to whatever it costs you often need "side costs" to generate circumstances for that purchase, B291 "Adding and Improving Social Traits" standard is "must meet such NPCs during your adventures and earn their trust" for example. This would apply even if the Ally cost 0 character points (like some Dependent Allies) but Zombie has alternative demands to that since you don't need to RP earning their trust since they are just created trusting you due to their Slave Mentality.

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Originally Posted by Imbicatus View Post
The thing is that the zombie spell doesnít give you a full ally. It gives you a mindless robot that is for all intents and purposes a disposable meat sack
Mindless robots can still be allies, they're just lower-value, which is why Minion is a +0% enhancement for them.

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Originally Posted by Imbicatus View Post
Itís good for cannon fodder, but itís also a social stigma to be seen with one and if you raise an army of them there will be other factors like Ďgoodí adventuring parties go on a quest to slay the necromancer.
I don't think that's meant to be an offscreen-disadvantage, DF9p13's template for a Necromancer lists Social Stigma amongst some of the options for them.

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Originally Posted by Imbicatus View Post
Just as the necromancer doesnít get disad points for the enemy group,
they donít have to pay ally points for the zombies they create in play
Where's it say having a recurring enemy wouldn't lower a necro's point value? That seems like a clear distinction between a famed necromancer who has earned the enmity of a squad of paladins vs the secret necromancer who merely has a potential enemy if his Secret becomes known.

Or a necromancer in a society which is fine with necromancy in which case you don't even take Secret.

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Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
Or, y'know, out of everybody who doesn't want a randomly homicidal lunatic around...
Yeah, in a sense people who fear random murderers have some kind of sub-perk level of almost-acquainstanceship and mutual service toward one another, that's got to be how supporting law and order w/ taxes works.

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Are you supposing thereís some hidden built-in complex system using Advantages and Disadvantages for the standard magic system?
Are you hoping to justify getting free Allies by not getting standard plot protection for them?
Zombie already in a sense seems nearly like a free Ally without plot protection.

It seems like even "Favor" (which you lose after Ally helps you, unless you rolled a 3/4 on the FoA .. a good reason to roll even if you take x4 constantly, and actually making "6 or less" favors the most economic investment since you only lose your point on a 5 or 6) has some limited amount of plot protection: you still probably keep the perk if the one owing you a favor is killed off before they can deliver on it.

DF9p15 for example charges 6 points for the Ally Group of 5 servitors (10% or less) which uses a cost of 0.4 with x3 (1.2) for 15orless and is x5 for "size of group". There's a -10% power modifier there but that's not enough to save 1pt at such a low cost.

This is more costly than I would expect from standard magic due to the "Servitor Skeleton" and "Servitor Zombie" being 25pts instead of -162/-168 (M152)

Those seem to represent "I made a normal zombie but then they got better over time" which I think you could approach as "the spell gave me a 0pt ally then i had to pay points to retain them when their point total rose above 0" rather than "they didn't function like an ally until I paid for an ally".

Using the lowest possible (0.2) cost for a single <5% ally, since you will need to round that up to 1pt regardless of what FOA you choose, you may as well take x4 (0.8) for constantly.

Paying for that is easy: a <0pt dependent (B131) has a base value of -15. You can minimize their importance (only requiring "good" loyalty toward "acquaintance" dependents) to slash that to -7.5 (half) and then further with FOA (1/2 again for 'quite rarely' 6 or fewer) to -3.75.

The sum of that would be -2.95 points which wound round up to -2 points to gain a 0pt ally who is always available to help you yet rarely (6 or less) causes trouble for you.

To interpret weak allies as working that way is ungenerous to necromancers so I'm wondering if I could either find an even lower kind of FOA (maybe 1/3 value of dependents who appear on a 5 or less? dunno) so it would work out to 0.

Maybe something like "Not Dependent [3.75]" w/ "requires IQ roll -10%, maximum duration 1 hour -10%" knocking the price down to 3 points. Effect being in cases where you roll 6 or less and they would normally cause trouble for you: that trouble is held off for as many hours as you can pass IQ rolls, you're smart enough to compensate for your zombie's incompetence.

I guess that puts you ahead by 0.05 cp but that doesn't seem unreasonable for the added time/effort you would spend actually locating usable corpses plus ramifications of their misuse. Unless you actually purchased the corpse rights, you're basically stealing it, and stealing stuff should come with some risks of ramifications from those who don't want you stealing that thing.
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Old 11-28-2020, 03:06 PM   #13
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
I think it was already possible to make Allies/Sig Gear perks in Basic if designed properly?
No. Modifiers on an Advantage can reduce the cost of the trait to [1], but Perks cannot have Modifiers.


Quote:
"converts Allies from a social trait to a supernatural ability" sounds like it might not be social anymore, requiring it to be either physical or mental
GMs can treat traits in whatever way suits them, but RAW does not require it.



Quote:
If that were the case I don't think you'd even need to cast the spell? The points would guarantee allies come hang out with you even if you can't engineer the circumstances.
No. Points pay for a trait to operate as described, which in the case of spells involves a roll.


Quote:
There seems like a functional difference between "I'm a mage who knows Zombie 30 but never encountered a corpse so I have no minion helpers right now" and "I'm a mage who knows Zombie 15 and encountered 100 corpses so I have 100 minion helpers right now" though.
Yes, they are different cases. What of it?


Quote:
The "payment" for an ally seems moreso the resources traded in actually using the spell/skill like materials (corpse, maybe Magic Ingredients if using that optional rule) and energy (whether it comes from you, the ether or elsewhere) and casting time.
The payment for an Ally is CP. The payment for the ability to cast spells according to their descriptions is CP.


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...in a sense people who fear random murderers have some kind of sub-perk level of almost-acquainstanceship and mutual service toward one another, that's got to be how supporting law and order w/ taxes works.
Your analysis is inverted. Character rules model people, people don't model rules.


Quote:
Zombie already in a sense seems nearly like a free Ally without plot protection.
You've noted a superficial similarity that does not lead to the equivalence you seek to draw. Game-wise, creating zombies is no more 'Ally-like' than buying a pet, hiring a detective, or having guards due to paying Cost of Living.

You appear to be attempting to operationalize mere similarities between things while ignoring that they are fundamentally incommensurable.
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Old 11-28-2020, 10:28 PM   #14
Plane
 
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
No. Modifiers on an Advantage can reduce the cost of the trait to [1], but Perks cannot have Modifiers.
generally... so maybe B100's "cannot" softened?

If base cost multiplied by FOA or size happened to amount to 1 that prob shouldn't prevent using modifiers on the ally.

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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
No. Points pay for a trait to operate as described, which in the case of spells involves a roll.
I was responding to Balor's "points that pay for spell-raised zombies are the points that were spent on learning"

I don't think the points spent on learning a spell are necessarily points spent on achieving the outcome of a successfully cast spell, mostly because Zombie can create as many zombies as you need, so if a zombie ally actually had a net positive value then Ally Group value multipliers would eventually exceed the 1 point you might have spent on the spell.

That's why I think it's more like Dominance: you're not paying for allies because circumstances for using Dominance or Zombie may never come up (value never arrives for you) or it may come up hundreds of times.

If you lack bonus CP to buy those you kill with Dominance it's a similar situation: the GM could let you buy them as 0-point dependent allies (+1/-1) where your ability gives you a situation to engineer those allies with a means other than RP (violence) just as Zombie does (magic).

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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
Yes, they are different cases. What of it?
Having a million zombie servants, just like having 100 million dollars, even if it somehow works out to a net 0 point value (metatrait/feature) in either case for various reasons, could still be broken down into the respective benefit/drawback components.

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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
The payment for an Ally is CP. The payment for the ability to cast spells according to their descriptions is CP.
Allies cost more than CP though, gaining certain traits in play also requires a circumstance appropriate to allowing you to spend those points.

If it takes 800 hours of RP (in-game: 100 days) to get an ally to trust me before GM allows spending those bonus CP, then I might quantify that as sort of an "1 cp entry free" equivalent, since I might've otherwise spent those 800 hours getting +1 cp to some skill via On the Job Training.

If the GM allows it after a smaller amount of time, then that 'entry free' could of course be a lot lower. I'm not sure how often it is you're allowed to re-check Reaction Rolls on NPCs to try and brute-force whatever high number a GM thinks you should get b4 they're amiable enough to buy as an ally.

- - -

To use an example: if I cast Fireball and use it to kill an Enemy, that gives me the right to buy off that enemy if I have the bonus CP to pay for it. Paying to be able to cast Fireball didn't buy off any enemies, though if I had a "0 point enemy" the GM would probably just cross them off.

0pt enemies could be stuff like 50% power (base -5) merely watching (1/4 = -1.25) who appear on a 6 or less (1/2 = -0.75) since that rounds up to 0. I think you'd need a couple of them (like a nosy neighbor living on either side of your house) for it to amount to even a quirk (-1.5 rounds up to -1)

If I don't pay to buy off Enemy, then all it bought me was temporary reprieve from that enemy while the GM assigns a new enemy to fill the foid.

I think the actual payment for the ally is the use of an ability, and if you gain a 0pt ally from it, then a dependent ally is the only kind of ally that could be, since non-dependent allies always cost at least 1 point.

It's like you're taking up a -1 point debt to pay for a 1pt advantage, and that point debt immediately converts into your new ally very rarely appearing to you in a dependent state. Outside of that there'd be no RP penalty to neglecting them.

To make those instances even rare, one interesting house rule might be that if you do roll 6 or less and they appear as a dependent, to allow a successful FOA roll for an ally to cancel that out.

That's not how it normally works (B131 "helpful and troublesome at the same time") and that's definitely more exciting/interesting but could get very distracting, so having "appearance as dependent" merely result in "cancels appearance as ally" would cut down on a lot of cluttered book-keeping for someone trying to GM a guy with 10 zombie allies.

This would still give a "dependent" outcome on rare situations where that passes and ally fails, of course, and it could be rare enough even for large numbers not to cause excessive complications.

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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
Your analysis is inverted. Character rules model people, people don't model rules.
I'm not sure I understand why order wold matter... like if you want to define two "No More than 75%" (base -2) as "Multiple Dependents" (x2 = -4) who are merely Acquaintances (1/2 ) which is a -1 disadvantage for the baseline x1 (9 or less) FOA and if you further made that FOA 6 or less, that 1/2 multiplier would reduce it to -1

That's a quirk of perhaps "occasionally I help out my elderly parents who I don't care much about out of a sense of social obligation" (acquaintance, not even friends much less loved ones) but which might pay for a "Potential Advantage" normally costing 2 points. You could make that a Schroedinger's Advantage, so the GM might decide how Karma pays that off for you.

It's not necessarily likely that the GM will necessarily stat every slightest (6 or less) acquaintanceship you make. Since he might throw these at you without rewarding you points, he could just as easily let you "buy them off for free" since they had sub-1 value in the first place.

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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
creating zombies is no more 'Ally-like' than buying a pet, hiring a detective, or having guards due to paying Cost of Living.

You appear to be attempting to operationalize mere similarities between things while ignoring that they are fundamentally incommensurable.
I guess I would think of buying a pet, hiring a detective or having guards as having allies, just maybe with a lot of limitations tacked onto them.

Like a paid guard/detective might be Ally (Temporary Disadvantage: Debt -20%) so any time it's in play, you're going to lose some money at the rare of 20% Starting Wealth / month.

That could be affordable if you don't need them on duty for the entire month though, like that's just 5% starting wealth for a week's worth of service.

If they don't actually function like an Ally (accompaniment) then statistically what guarantee is there that they'll be available in ongoing terms?

A favor is always cheaper, and buying that should be easier than buying a recurring ally. I don't see why you couldn't buy that with money. If you give someone 10% of Starting Wealth by spending 1 bonus CP to buy money, you've basically spent 1 cp towards that person, so maybe they should at least owe you a 1pt Favor if you don't give them enough money to buy them as a recurring ally.
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Old 11-29-2020, 12:31 AM   #15
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
I guess I would think of buying a pet, hiring a detective or having guards as having allies, just maybe with a lot of limitations tacked onto them.
Seeing it that way is not what the rules contemplate.
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Old 11-29-2020, 03:43 AM   #16
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
DF9 Summoners 25 highlights that casting zombie on random ordinary corpses does not require you to buy it as an Ally... yet clearly you're getting something ally-ish, kind of like when you have wealth or material possessions.

The effect of Ally always rounds up to at least 1 point (perk) so the only way to get it to zero is to pair it with Dependent..
Which is absurd. Zombies are disposable mooks. This is just another case of "Oh no! It's a terrible deal to buy things with points when they are things that you can buy with money or time." Zombies are not fundamentally different from any other enchanted item whether it's a wand of fireballs or a flying carpet. Or for that matter a gun. Don't build a gun with points when you can buy or steal one right off the shelf. It makes no sense. This isn't Hero System and nobody needs you to design a character sheet for a spoon.

If you are going to buy zombie allies in a setting where where a relatively simple spell can produce zombies then the only choice that makes sense is to have your zombie allies be somehow special zombies that normal magic just can't make. Then you aren't just throwing character points away.
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Old 11-29-2020, 11:38 AM   #17
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
generally... so maybe B100's "cannot" softened?
GCA uses the RAW (generally correctly); it does not add or amend it.


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If base cost multiplied by FOA or size happened to amount to 1 that prob shouldn't prevent using modifiers on the ally.
As I mentioned, modifiers can bring the cost of an Advantage to [1]. That doesn't make it into a Perk.



Quote:
I don't think the points spent on learning a spell are necessarily points spent on achieving the outcome of a successfully cast spell, mostly because Zombie can create as many zombies as you need, so if a zombie ally actually had a net positive value then Ally Group value multipliers would eventually exceed the 1 point you might have spent on the spell.
How many apple pies can you make with a crate of oranges?


Quote:
Having a million zombie servants, just like having 100 million dollars, even if it somehow works out to a net 0 point value (metatrait/feature) in either case for various reasons, could still be broken down into the respective benefit/drawback components.
No. Producing zombies with the zombie spell in play, or earning/stealing/finding $100M in play, do not have [0] point value. They have NO point value.


Quote:
Allies cost more than CP though, gaining certain traits in play also requires a circumstance appropriate to allowing you to spend those points.
That's mistaken in two ways: (1) The GM can let you buy them without a circumstantial justification. (2) An in play justification is not a cost.

Quote:
If it takes 800 hours of RP (in-game: 100 days) to get an ally to trust me before GM allows spending those bonus CP, then I might quantify that as sort of an "1 cp entry free" equivalent, since I might've otherwise spent those 800 hours getting +1 cp to some skill via On the Job Training.
You can't 'rulesify' the GM's conception of how her in game reality operates. The GM's choices about the time it takes for an NPC to trust you is not fungible with time spent on training (which I have never heard of anyone RPing btw).


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I think the actual payment for the ally is the use of an ability
No. Ally is an Advantage and therefore always entails the application of some value of character points.
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Old 11-29-2020, 12:23 PM   #18
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
Seeing it that way is not what the rules contemplate.
what difference do you think there would be, if you earned a bonus CP to:

a) spent that bonus CP to buy a favor from a detective
b) spend that bonus CP to buy 10% starting wealth and put a detective on retainer

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Which is absurd. Zombies are disposable mooks. This is just another case of "Oh no! It's a terrible deal to buy things with points when they are things that you can buy with money or time."
That could depend on how plentiful your money or time is, of course.

If wanting to quantify a much as possible, it seems like wealth/savings is either an advantage, or a 0pt feature (meta-trait) sum of advantage/disadvantage. Perhaps when you buy stuff you're trading one advantage for another (limited modular abilities for specific thing) and one disadvantage for another (people who want to steal money becomes people who want to steal trucks)

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Zombies are not fundamentally different from any other enchanted item whether it's a wand of fireballs or a flying carpet.
Which could have point value as Signature Gear (I think fantasy equates 25 energy to create being equal to 50% starting wealth or something along those lines) but not as non-SG lacking plot protection...

Yet there's clearly still value in having something in your possession/control even if it lacks plot protection, even if it's offset to 0 by some implied drawback/disadvantage built into an equipment/mook metatrait (Enemy: Watcher being easiest to throw in)

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Or for that matter a gun. Don't build a gun with points when you can buy or steal one right off the shelf. It makes no sense. This isn't Hero System and nobody needs you to design a character sheet for a spoon.
The cheapest gun (B278 derringer $100) is nearly 50% of the $250 average Starting Wealth at TL0, but looking at B27 there's this rule I only just noticed now about doubling price for each TL of separation, so since that's TL5 it would be >200>400>800>1600>3200 value.

3200/250 = 12.8 which would round up to 13 points to buy it as Signature Gear

Large Piercing 1d (Increased Range, Can Be Stolen, Can Be Destroyed) sounds like it could be pretty competitive.

If we just used a fixed value for equipment based on TL0 it sounds like the issue would be solved, the problem is basically how much equipment drops at higher TL/wealth while the price of advantages (even gadgets meant to emulate equipment) doesn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
If you are going to buy zombie allies in a setting where where a relatively simple spell can produce zombies then the only choice that makes sense is to have your zombie allies be somehow special zombies that normal magic just can't make. Then you aren't just throwing character points away.
Or, maybe by buying an ally of positive value you're getting to ignore whatever built-in compromise normally makes it a 0pt package?

Like maybe GMs should always assume you either take the zombie as a dependent, his family finds out and becomes your Enemy, the zombie's spirit becomes your Watcher, etc.

You might even take an "up to X zombies" advantage ahead of time without actually filling it out: the benefit is you don't need to worry about protecting your allies until you get them, but you've paid in advance for them when you do engineer their arrival. Sort of like if you act like you used to have an ally but they were killed off: you already lost your bonus CP whenever it was that happeend but are immune to bonus CP loss until the GM replaces that ally with a new benefit/risk.
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Old 11-29-2020, 02:59 PM   #19
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

Hordes of zombies should be paid for with CP. For example, Ally (100 zombies; 25%; 15-; Minion, -0%) [54] would be appropriate for maintaining a horde of 100 zombies. The assumption would be that the character is replacing the zombies that they lose to angry villagers, hungry scavengers, and/or outraged priests. Otherwise, zombies created with the Zombie spell do not have any assumed plot immunity as a group and will end up being a mobile buffet for every scavenger nearby.

In truth, every crow, drog, insect, rat, etc. in the neighborhood should be stealing pieces off as they can, meaning that the average zombie should really only last for a week before the cumulative damage destroys them. Unless a necromancer is spending time repairing/replacing them, they are probably going to have trouble exceeding 100 zombies. Of course, preparing the bodies beforehand with poison would help mitigate the attrition, but that sort of effort is best represented by the Ally advantage.
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Old 11-29-2020, 03:16 PM   #20
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
what difference do you think there would be, if you earned a bonus CP to:

a) spent that bonus CP to buy a favor from a detective
b) spend that bonus CP to buy 10% starting wealth and put a detective on retainer
Neither of those have to do with the subject of Allies. I don't think wandeirng from the topic will add clarity.
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