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Old 08-19-2014, 08:07 AM   #11
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Allies and Ally Group

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Originally Posted by gilbertocarlos View Post
Also, Contacts are ally(Don't accept risks).
Contacts can accept risks. Basic defines them as someone

Quote:
Originally Posted by B44
who does small (pick any two of “quick,” “nonhazardous,” and “inexpensive”) favors for you.
Choose "quick" and "inexpensive", and the Contact is left with actions potentially hazardous.

This isn't going-into-the-dungeon-with-you kinds of risk, like an Ally. But it might well risk the Contact's reputation, their job, or even criminal penalties. Wise players will think twice before asking their Contact to do something that costs them the position that made them a valuable Contact in the first place.
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:00 AM   #12
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Allies and Ally Group

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Contacts can accept risks. Basic defines them as someone

Choose "quick" and "inexpensive", and the Contact is left with actions potentially hazardous.

This isn't going-into-the-dungeon-with-you kinds of risk, like an Ally. But it might well risk the Contact's reputation, their job, or even criminal penalties. Wise players will think twice before asking their Contact to do something that costs them the position that made them a valuable Contact in the first place.
Good point, though the with the right (not necessarily currently defined) Limitations, an Ally basically becomes a Contact. With a little more tinkering, the same underlying Advantage can represent Ally, Contact, or Patron. Admittedly, I don't know exactly what tinkering is needed. ^^'
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:02 AM   #13
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Allies and Ally Group

In my old group we used Allies, Contacts and Patrons fairly often.
We had some House rules for Contacts to make them easier to get or cover large regions (like supernatural or organizations) and used Rank and Courtesy Rank for things like asking the CIA for help with them being thus a group Contact.
Allies were sidekicks or minions (including vehicles and magic items).
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:26 AM   #14
johndallman
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Allies and Ally Group

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This got me thinking; should "Patron" and/or "Contact" really be Modifiers to "Ally"?
If so, the modifiers will need care, because these describe three different kinds of interaction.
  1. An Ally goes places with you, and shares in the risks of adventuring.
  2. A Contact is someone who stays in the context of their own life, and doesn't go places with you.
  3. A Patron involves themself with your life, but on their terms, not yours.
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:27 AM   #15
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Allies and Ally Group

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Allies and Ally Groups are a major feature of most of the campaigns I run, as I go very NPC heavy, and I like to give my players the sense that they control large segments of society. So when an NPC says "You and what army?" the PC can say "This one!" and unleash his horde of managably-numbered allies on his foe.

A few things I have discovered in my research: Social Engineering has rules for very low-point allies, down to 5% of your point total, in case you're dealing with heroes with very large point totals. Supers also has rules for treating vehicles as allies, and I find the two go hand-in-hand nicely.

When it comes to Frequency of Appearance, I've settled on two numbers as my go-to values: 6 or less for "Is only there when I feel like it," and 15 or less for "Is always there unless I feel like making them absent."
I run what I think are NPC heavy campaigns, but I actually don't ally very much. If you have the wealth for it, an employee is fine, and will generally behave well -- but he doesn't need to be an ally. Family members don't cost points under many circumstances (unless you're one of those guys who has a cousin for any given task). An ally should have rock solid, follow you anyway loyalty (or some other binding attribute).

I also balk at equipment as allies. I find it attracts far more munchkins than legitimate users. I like my allies to be people. There are legitament uses for the build though: one character in a game right now is baba yaga, and she has a vehicle Ally: her hut. Which is an RV. With Warp and Jumper. And fairly intelligent.
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:50 PM   #16
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Allies and Ally Group

My latest character is a larger than life wealthy noble who is a merchant first and adventurer second, I bought an ally to be his bodyguard, 75% 12 or less and also put him as a dependant on 6 or less, resulting in a 5 point ally.

While im well rounded and weak on the damage side, hes an ironclad that deals 3d swing damage with his sword and many many nice perks he earned due to being a veteran warrior.

He saved our group from certain death once and its probably the best 5 points I have ever spend
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:59 PM   #17
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Allies and Ally Group

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Contacts can accept risks. Basic defines them as someone

Choose "quick" and "inexpensive", and the Contact is left with actions potentially hazardous.

This isn't going-into-the-dungeon-with-you kinds of risk, like an Ally. But it might well risk the Contact's reputation, their job, or even criminal penalties. Wise players will think twice before asking their Contact to do something that costs them the position that made them a valuable Contact in the first place.
Well, yeah, some risk is fine provided is something fast and easy, but most of the time, even fighting a mook is too much.

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
If so, the modifiers will need care, because these describe three different kinds of interaction.
  1. An Ally goes places with you, and shares in the risks of adventuring.
  2. A Contact is someone who stays in the context of their own life, and doesn't go places with you.
  3. A Patron involves Himself with your life, but on his terms, not yours.
An ally doesn't need to go places with you, if he stays in the city, you could trade "12 or less" to "only when in the city".

A contact is not someone who stays in context of his life, but someone who will do small favors.You can ask him to do something that'll take a long time but it's cheap and inexpensive(like, for example, a warrior who knows a guy who can search the library for a specific information), he will need to spend his time doing research in the library, he may not be able to keep his business running while doing that.
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Old 08-19-2014, 02:12 PM   #18
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Allies and Ally Group

I'll allow for a globe trotting campaign a generic ally. So your former French Foreign Legion PC happens to have someone that they served with who can be an extra gun in a fight. But it is a different person in New York and Hong Kong. Without spending more points or paying money to hire them you can't raise a whole squad of them however.
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:10 PM   #19
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Allies and Ally Group

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
If so, the modifiers will need care, because these describe three different kinds of interaction.
  1. An Ally goes places with you, and shares in the risks of adventuring.
  2. A Contact is someone who stays in the context of their own life, and doesn't go places with you.
  3. A Patron involves themself with your life, but on their terms, not yours.
Don't they break down that way simply because the RAW force them to, as opposed to something inherent in the concept?

My basic premise is that all three major distinctions are not universally true and in a significant enough number of cases, you'll have overlap for all three Advantages. Thus why not try to make it a single more generic, universal Advantage that can be tailored to fit the circumstances? I know some really hate getting too crunchy, but they will still have their options of merely using worked examples, "eyeballing it" or of course avoiding/ignoring the Advantage all together.

A Contact is

Quote:
Originally Posted by p.B44
...an associate who provides you with useful information, or who does small (pick any two of "quick," "nonhazardous," and "inexpensive") favors for you. The point value is based on the skill he uses to assist you, the frequency with which he provides information or favors, and his reliability as a person.
Note: The bold text in the quote are italics in the actual book; at least when I quote text on the board it italicizes all of it, hence why I changed it.

Of course, mechanically they are basically just an externalized Skill roll; an abstraction to make things easier on the GM. That is the only reason I can come up with to keep them distinct, and I don't consider it that great of a reason myself. I am not going to say it must be abandoned entirely, but why not err on the side of being generic and universal by making it so that the Contacts Advantage as we know it exists only for GMs and/or players that need such abstractions? If you want more fleshed out role-playing, your Contacts become Allies either built to focus on "Contact" style tasks or with Limitations that keep them from behaving like unrestricted Allies or Patrons.

Re-reading through Patrons, I think the division is mostly a matter of forced perspective; anything an Ally can do, a Patron can do. Anything a Patron can do, an Ally can do... it is just likely less impressive because Allies aren't built on as many CP. Now, thinking like a GM, there are definitely times when I wouldn't allow the players a Patron that wants to behave as an Ally, but that's not a "generic, universal" thing but a specific setting, campaign, adventure or even session call. That isn't anything unique however; many (most?) Advantages have similar pitfalls.
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Last edited by Otaku; 08-19-2014 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:30 PM   #20
johndallman
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Allies and Ally Group

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My basic premise is that all three major distinctions are not universally true and in a significant enough number of cases, you'll have overlap for all three Advantages. Thus why not try to make it a single more generic, universal Advantage that can be tailored to fit the circumstances?
This may well be true. What I was trying to say was that doing the tailoring looks more fiddly than many kinds of GURPS advantage customisation, simply because the three separate advantages we have at present usually describe three different kinds of interaction from the characters' point of view. I wasn't saying it is impossible, only that it may be harder than it looks on the surface, and pointing out a reason why.
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