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Old 01-31-2017, 10:43 AM   #21
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

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Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
PK suggested Accessibility from Patron to handle much of the former and Contact Group handles the latter.
I suppose it's true that only Contact Group specifies that it can only applies in one particular town. But I think that's working with the assumption that a Contact who isn't a group is always a single person, and thus will have a naturally limited reach. The problem, though, is that leaves the person who knows a person in every city paying a lot. Highly Accessible doesn't really help that much - it means you can get in touch with your Contact from pretty much anywhere, but as written, they can still only help you with stuff in their own area. And Contact Group doesn't actually help if you just want one skill provided, just spread over a larger area than a single city.
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Old 01-31-2017, 10:56 AM   #22
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

AFAICT, there's nothing that says you can't call your buddy at Quantico from Johannesburg.
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Old 01-31-2017, 11:01 AM   #23
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

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AFAICT, there's nothing that says you can't call your buddy at Quantico from Johannesburg.
Sure, but they probably won't be able to help you, or at least not with the full range of help. And if a Contact can provide a vastly different range of assistance than another, I think that's something that should be paid for. It's not really fair that me and another player both paid 4 points for a Contact, but because I declared that mine was an analyst with the CIA, and theirs was defined as a homeless person on the streets of Washington DC, mine can be useful any time I can get on the phone with them, and theirs is only narrowly helpful when they're specifically looking for help in DC.
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Old 01-31-2017, 12:00 PM   #24
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

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Sure, but they probably won't be able to help you, or at least not with the full range of help. .
Why not? They can still look stuff up in the archives, talk to Special Agent Jones about what really happened in Nebraska in November or whatever they could do if you were in Virginia. You being elsewhere doesn't change what they can do.
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if a Contact can provide a vastly different range of assistance than another, I think that's something that should be paid for. It's not really fair that me and another player both paid 4 points for a Contact, but because I declared that mine was an analyst with the CIA, and theirs was defined as a homeless person on the streets of Washington DC,
To some extent this should figure into their effective skill, but yes it is probably a bad idea to take a useless Contact. That homeless guy is probably better defined as a friend perk.

I do think there's a lot of room for modifiers to Contacts though.
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Old 01-31-2017, 12:25 PM   #25
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

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Why not? They can still look stuff up in the archives, talk to Special Agent Jones about what really happened in Nebraska in November or whatever they could do if you were in Virginia. You being elsewhere doesn't change what they can do.
I agree - a Contact should be able to provide favors and information logically, even if they're not in the same place you are, if they're described in a way that that's appropriate. I just think that those features should be paid for. Either Contacts who can't provide that sort of assistance should be cheaper, or those that can should be more expensive.

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding
To some extent this should figure into their effective skill, but yes it is probably a bad idea to take a useless Contact. That homeless guy is probably better defined as a friend perk.
I would disagree - a homeless person could actually be quite useful. Besides providing Streetwise, they can do favours like watch a location for you, find a safe (if unpleasant) place to hide out for a while, point out good places to do your own observation or panhandling, make some introductions if you want to hire some other street people for a quick job, provide introductions to Beggars' Guild "officials" (if such exist), or even call up a few stronger or more unhinged street people to act as a temporary "goon squad". All stuff I certainly wouldn't let a Friend perk cover!

But if we're still thinking of a homeless person as "useless", let's use another example. Say you've got a fence for a Contact, who also provides Streetwise. That's definitely a classic example of a Contact, I'd say. But their utility is likely sharply limited outside the city they're in. Most fences aren't internationally connected, so the fact that you can call them up from anywhere doesn't help, they're still going to tell you "I can't help you sell that illegal thing you've stolen unless you come here". I think that's clearly less useful than the CIA analyst Contact, but not so much so that it deserves to only be worth 1 point. I think that if your Contact has a bigger scope, you really should be paying more.
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Old 01-31-2017, 12:31 PM   #26
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

I would prefer to assume that full cost contacts aren't impossible to contact from remote locations, and give a limitation to those that can't be.
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Old 01-31-2017, 12:43 PM   #27
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

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Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
I suppose it's true that only Contact Group specifies that it can only applies in one particular town. But I think that's working with the assumption that a Contact who isn't a group is always a single person, and thus will have a naturally limited reach. The problem, though, is that leaves the person who knows a person in every city paying a lot. Highly Accessible doesn't really help that much - it means you can get in touch with your Contact from pretty much anywhere, but as written, they can still only help you with stuff in their own area. And Contact Group doesn't actually help if you just want one skill provided, just spread over a larger area than a single city.
That is more about infrastructure and TL though. In a modern era game contacts are easier to reach from far away than in most LT games, same with UT unless there are setting switches. Switches like no FTL radio in a star spanning UT game (like Traveler) or prevalent communication magic make a difference.
Only add Accessibility modifiers if the Contact has better than setting average. As written Contact group needs something like that to simply be spread out over the setting instead of just one city.

As for the person who knows someone in every city, your right that is prohibitively expensive. Making it a -6 appearance roll for cost but allowing use when you visit his town for instance can help. So for a traveling group that spends little time in any city you could go for low freq but still have them available when in town. Also the other more cinematic options i wrote above can help. Its still more likely to be too expensive compared to just having high skills so other uses of the Contact need to be taken advantage of.
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Old 01-31-2017, 01:27 PM   #28
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
I would prefer to assume that full cost contacts aren't impossible to contact from remote locations, and give a limitation to those that can't be.
I'm not saying Contacts shouldn't be impossible to call from distant locations. What I'm saying is that if you can, and they can provide useful assistance no matter where you are, then they should cost more. I can definitely see an argument that the scope multipliers that I posted earlier could be tweaked. But in a game where one person could buy a Contact that was only useful in a single city, and another could buy one that's useful across a whole interstellar empire, the first person should be paying less.
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Old 01-31-2017, 01:31 PM   #29
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

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Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
Only add Accessibility modifiers if the Contact has better than setting average. As written Contact group needs something like that to simply be spread out over the setting instead of just one city.
Contact Group is actually, RAW, literally forbidden from covering more than just one city - "You must specify a corporation, criminal syndicate, military unit, police department, or similar organization, or the underworld, merchants, upper class, etc. of one particular town. Broader Contact Groups are not allowed." (Emphasis in original, p. B44).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Refplace
As for the person who knows someone in every city, your right that is prohibitively expensive. Making it a -6 appearance roll for cost but allowing use when you visit his town for instance can help. So for a traveling group that spends little time in any city you could go for low freq but still have them available when in town.
I'm confused as to what you're suggesting here - certainly, buying a low FoA and just having them be automatically available in one particular place works if you only have the one person. But what about the situation I actually talked about, when a character does have a buddy in every town? It's not an uncommon narrative device, and I feel it should be doable in GURPS without crippling point costs.
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Old 01-31-2017, 01:33 PM   #30
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

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Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
I'm not saying Contacts shouldn't be impossible to call from distant locations. What I'm saying is that if you can, and they can provide useful assistance no matter where you are, then they should cost more. I can definitely see an argument that the scope multipliers that I posted earlier could be tweaked. But in a game where one person could buy a Contact that was only useful in a single city, and another could buy one that's useful across a whole interstellar empire, the first person should be paying less.
The base cost should be for a Contact that answers the phone, receives and answers mail, can be found by the king's messengers, isn't immune to communication spells, whatever. People already complain that Contacts are overpriced! Besides, for most Contacts this is true; most people are going to respond to remote communication as appropriate to the setting.

Contacts that must be met in person should be discounted.
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