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Old 02-05-2017, 01:24 AM   #61
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

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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?
The problem with having inside information to the CIA is that it comes with a substantial downside. Unless you laid out the points for a security clearance making use of your contact is generally going to be a crime for both of you. Also of course if his position gives him greater access to information and equipment he can use to help you, his effective skill goes up.
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Old 02-05-2017, 07:40 AM   #62
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
The problem with having inside information to the CIA is that it comes with a substantial downside. Unless you laid out the points for a security clearance making use of your contact is generally going to be a crime for both of you. Also of course if his position gives him greater access to information and equipment he can use to help you, his effective skill goes up.
If you're paying for Security Clearance, you might as well pay for the Free Access (and possibly Broad Range), for 10-15 points, and skip needing a Contact to get the secrets. Perhaps add Informal -50% if appropriate.
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Old 02-05-2017, 01:03 PM   #63
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
If you're paying for Security Clearance, you might as well pay for the Free Access (and possibly Broad Range), for 10-15 points, and skip needing a Contact to get the secrets. Perhaps add Informal -50% if appropriate.
This assumes that every character concept is appropriate in every campaign (and probably that you have infinite points too). In most games you aren't going to be able to be the boss of the Jersey mob, a Chinese bureaucrat, both a CIA and an FSB agent, the CEO of Nokia, an Interpol agent, and a doctor with a discreet local practice all at the same time. You might however be a person with all of those contacts.

Last edited by sir_pudding; 02-05-2017 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 02-05-2017, 05:38 PM   #64
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#30): Contact Group, Contacts

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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
But Duties, Enemies, Pacts or whatever are separate disadvantages explicitly written out on the character sheet with their own point costs which vary from one instance to another. They don't enter into the calculation if we're comparing the benefit given from having a Contact with having a Patron.
I disagree. Point value isn't everything. If I'm deciding whether or not to take a Patron vs. a Contact, the question of "what sort of social disadvantages am I going to have to take if I get this as a Patron?" is absolutely going to enter into my calculations. Just like, for instance, Magery vs. Power Investiture - they cost the same, but the question of what sort of behavior your god will demand, and hence limit your Power Investiture, is absolutely going to be a consideration.

In any case, though, I'm definitely feeling that any Patron who can provide the sort of significant social pull and connections that are inherent to a Contact should be taking the +50% enhancement for Special Abilities. So the comparison is not "one very powerful wizard who can provide social favours and personal power" for the Patron, it's "one very powerful wizard who can help you with their own spells and supernatural abilities, but isn't socially connected enough to allow for significant favours. If you want the wizard who can do both, you'd be paying 90 points, not 60.

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Originally Posted by Daigoro
You could just as easily tack on Sense of Duty or Dependent to a Contact if you wanted to write them up that way- your PI character's Contact on the force might sometimes call on him to return the favour, for example.
However, those are optional - a player might choose to have a Sense of Duty to their Contact, but it's not required. Whereas with Patron, it's explicitly spelled out in the advantage that the GM can require you to take various disadvantages if you get a Patron, and I'd definitely say that losing or violating those disadvantages loses you access to the Patron as well, at least until you resolve the situation. Basically, Patron comes with a built-in Pact limitation.


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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
The problem with having inside information to the CIA is that it comes with a substantial downside. Unless you laid out the points for a security clearance making use of your contact is generally going to be a crime for both of you.
This greatly nerfs Contacts, and I wouldn't do this. A Contact should provide their information. As long as the player behaves reasonably with it (e.g., doesn't go on the national news and says "General X said that the lights in the sky were definitely aliens"), then the character and the Contact aren't going to suffer serious consequences for being used. At worst, I'd say that some results for lower reliability could be interpreted as the Contact being punished for leaking info, rather than betraying you.
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Old 02-05-2017, 05:50 PM   #65
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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
IThis greatly nerfs Contacts, and I wouldn't do this. A Contact should provide their information. As long as the player behaves reasonably with it (e.g., doesn't go on the national news and says "General X said that the lights in the sky were definitely aliens"), then the character and the Contact aren't going to suffer serious consequences for being used. At worst, I'd say that some results for lower reliability could be interpreted as the Contact being punished for leaking info, rather than betraying you.
Just the fact that your contact is providing illegal information or favors isn't a "nerf". Willingness to provide illegal aid should be the default for Contacts, IMO.
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:05 PM   #66
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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
Just the fact that your contact is providing illegal information or favors isn't a "nerf". Willingness to provide illegal aid should be the default for Contacts, IMO.
Yes, that's precisely what I was saying. Not being willing to provide illegal information or favours, which is what David Johnston2 seemed to be suggesting, would be the nerf.
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:35 PM   #67
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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
Yes, that's precisely what I was saying. Not being willing to provide illegal information or favours, which is what David Johnston2 seemed to be suggesting, would be the nerf.
As per p. B44
You have an associate who provides you with useful information, or who does small (pick any two of "quick", "nonhazardous", and "inexpensive") favors for you.
As long as the information request or favor is still "quick" and "inexpensive", they can risk something hazardous, like breaking the law. Word of GM handles whether or not breaking the law is hazardous; one of the reasons I believe that 1 CP added to Contact base cost ought to not just be for supernatural means of gathering information, but instead represent any unusually potent capabilities. Someone capable of skirting or flat out breaking the law with little to no consequence would be such a feature. Basically, this is the Special Abilities Enhancement for Patrons but highly simplified.

Huh, blew all my time addressing just this one point. I reserve the right to comment on some of the other prior comments at a later date. ;)
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Old 02-05-2017, 10:23 PM   #68
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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
This greatly nerfs Contacts, and I wouldn't do this. A Contact should provide their information..
I don't think I said exactly what I meant to. I was actually thinking about the idea that a CIA contact with 15 Intelligence Analysis is more valuable than a weaponsmith with 15 Armory because he could let you into the CIA and let you use CIA gear. But that would expose you both to a lot of risk of exposure of your highly illegal relationship.

Perhaps the most valuable thing about having a contact with a skill rather than the skill yourself is that the contact can be using his skill while you are attending to other business and using facilities that aren't necessarily mobile, like an office in the CIA, or a workshop.
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