Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-31-2017, 01:51 PM   #31
Kelly Pedersen
 
Kelly Pedersen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
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!
Yes, as I've already said before, I agree that Contacts should be reasonably contacted. However, being contacted isn't the issue here. What is the issue is that some Contacts can provide assistance over a wider area than others, and that it's not really fair for those that cover more area to be equally priced to those that can't.

I feel that the feeling that Contacts are too expensive stems much more from people simply treating them as skill-replacements, and discounting their value for doing favours. Consider this example: a low-level CIA analyst, one who can't reliably do things across the world, but is limited to acting more or less in Washington DC. Let's make them Skill 15 in Intelligence Analysis, frequency of appearance 9, and Somewhat Reliable (keeps the math simple). That has a base cost of 2 points. Besides rolling Intelligence Analysis on behalf of the player, I'd also allow this person to do the following favours:
  • Provide entry to CIA facilities in the city, that they had clearance to access themselves.
  • Give access to certain CIA tools like drones, supercomputers, etc. physically located in Washington.
  • Grant access to CIA files physically stored in Washington offices.
  • Provide introductions to other CIA members in Washington.
  • Arrange invitations to CIA-related social or media functions in the city.

Now admittedly, several of these will fail at least one of the "Easy, Cheap, Safe" list for the Contact, so would be more difficult to get. But they'd still be possible. I think that's well-worth 2 points, even if the campaign only visits Washington every 5 sessions or something. I don't feel that someone should be able to get the same level of favors anywhere in the world for the same two points, just because they've defined their Contact as a higher-level CIA analyst.
Kelly Pedersen is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2017, 01:58 PM   #32
sir_pudding
Wielder of Smart Pants
 
sir_pudding's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ventura CA
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

All of those favors are still useful regardless of where the character is located relative to Washington. Especially access to Classified information, which is probably mostly why you want an Agency contact in the first place.

GMs should probably be pretty lenient about making what unmodified Contacts can affect relevant to the game, just like contacts in most adventure fiction. If your man at Langley really would need to have the ear of the chair of the Intelligence committee to get thing done you need, well might as well assume he does, at least this once. Maybe he runs into the Senator at a function, or his niece is an aide or whatever.

Last edited by sir_pudding; 02-01-2017 at 08:10 AM.
sir_pudding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2017, 02:10 PM   #33
ericthered
Hero of Democracy
 
ericthered's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: far from the ocean
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

The CIA contact is an example of the sort of things contacts are priced for. He might have decent skills, but you didn't really pay for his skills. You paid for his security clearance and access to information.

These sorts of contacts are just fine. Its the other sorts of contacts that cause trouble: having a contact who you primarily use for skills, like the village blacksmith. And this is compounded by making you choose a "Skill" that the contact has.

I wonder if some of this can be relieved by focusing on the organization and access that the contact has. You're not paying for Information analysis, you're paying for the CIA.
__________________
Worlds Beyond Earth -- my blog
ericthered is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2017, 02:27 PM   #34
sir_pudding
Wielder of Smart Pants
 
sir_pudding's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ventura CA
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
These sorts of contacts are just fine. Its the other sorts of contacts that cause trouble: having a contact who you primarily use for skills, like the village blacksmith. And this is compounded by making you choose a "Skill" that the contact has.
Presumably that blacksmith has a shop, tools, suppliers, ect. So it is still more than just having the skill yourself.
sir_pudding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2017, 02:34 PM   #35
ericthered
Hero of Democracy
 
ericthered's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: far from the ocean
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Presumably that blacksmith has a shop, tools, suppliers, ect. So it is still more than just having the skill yourself.
It is, but are you going to claim that having a working shop is worth as many points as having inside information to the CIA in most campaigns?
__________________
Worlds Beyond Earth -- my blog
ericthered is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2017, 02:39 PM   #36
sir_pudding
Wielder of Smart Pants
 
sir_pudding's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ventura CA
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
It is, but are you going to claim that having a working shop is worth as many points as having inside information to the CIA in most campaigns?
Knowing a blacksmith in a game with the CIA is probably a perk.

In fact it is probably a Supplier perk in nearly any game.

I guess the exception would be Hatori Hanzo, but in that case getting a sword was a huge part of the film, so he probably isn't a Contact for Beatrice but rather an NPC she needed to seek out and interact with.

Last edited by sir_pudding; 01-31-2017 at 02:54 PM.
sir_pudding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2017, 02:53 PM   #37
evileeyore
 
evileeyore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: 100 hurricane swamp
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
It is, but are you going to claim that having a working shop is worth as many points as having inside information to the CIA in most campaigns?
Depends on the game's genre conventions.
__________________
Feel free to steal, borrow, fold, spindle, mutilate any rule, advantage, etc I come up with it.
evileeyore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2017, 03:31 PM   #38
ericthered
Hero of Democracy
 
ericthered's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: far from the ocean
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Knowing a blacksmith in a game with the CIA is probably a perk.

In fact it is probably a Supplier perk in nearly any game.

I guess the exception would be Hatori Hanzo, but in that case getting a sword was a huge part of the film, so he probably isn't a Contact for Beatrice but rather an NPC she needed to seek out and interact with.
Which is my point: efficiently purchased contacts aren't primarily bought for their skill. They're bought for in world benefits the character otherwise would struggle to access. I'm going to guess that the blacksmith in the film isn't just a blacksmith, but a legendary cinematic maker of impossibly sharp blades.

Quote:
Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Depends on the game's genre conventions.
I said most games for that very reason
__________________
Worlds Beyond Earth -- my blog
ericthered is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2017, 11:26 PM   #39
evileeyore
 
evileeyore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: 100 hurricane swamp
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
I said most games for that very reason
In most games I've run, CIA Analyst isn't even an option for a Contact.

Realign your assumptions.
__________________
Feel free to steal, borrow, fold, spindle, mutilate any rule, advantage, etc I come up with it.
evileeyore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2017, 08:08 AM   #40
ericthered
Hero of Democracy
 
ericthered's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: far from the ocean
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

Quote:
Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
In most games I've run, CIA Analyst isn't even an option for a Contact.

Realign your assumptions.
Most games where both are an option. Or their equivalents.
__________________
Worlds Beyond Earth -- my blog
ericthered is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
advantage, advantage of the week, contact group, contacts, week, [basic]

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.