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Old 11-26-2020, 07:07 PM   #1
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

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.

Allies have a major benefit similar to "Signature Gear": points you spent on an ally who is slain and it's not your fault can be spent on a new ally.

This is one benefit which doesn't seem like it would apply to Zombie: if your Zombie gets slain, you don't just have a new zombie happen along: you need to put in work to make a new ally.

So I'm wondering if it would seem reasonable to trade away this expected benefit of an Ally perk to mitigate an expected drawback of a Dependent quirk.

A big downside of Dependent (B131) is if they're killed you need to make up the bonus points for them, either by getting a new Dependent or a disadvantage of the same cost.

That's something which also seems off for zombies: you shouldn't get depressed or need to care for an abandoned orphan if your zombie gets killed, yes?

So instead: maybe it just cancels out?

a) you don't get a new Ally (you just lose the points spend on the social advantage)
b) you don't get a new Dependent (you just gain the points spent on the social advantage)

This should of course only apply if the cost of Ally is greater or equal to the refund you would get for Dependent, which I'm taking for granted you would design this way when working it out to a 0pt feature.

Other drawbacks of a Dependent would of course still apply, but you should probably define zombies as "acquaintance" to minimize the help you need to give them. ("may weigh risks in a rational fashion"). The demands of Friends / Loved Ones are too high!

It seems like the half-cost version of Dependent may not as strictly require going to immediate rescue or docking bonus CP for not immediately aiding? Seems like you'd just have to aid as it demands.

Not being able to earn bonus CP when a dependent "is killed" is an interesting thing to think about for zombies since they're already dead and you might just be able to bring them back later. "Badly hurt" certainly has a higher threshold for things with No Blood and IT:Unliving...
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Old 11-26-2020, 07:35 PM   #2
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

There is no inherent connection or cross-over between Allies and making or commanding zombies in play. I think you're off on a completely wrong foot.
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Old 11-26-2020, 10:54 PM   #3
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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
There is no inherent connection or cross-over between Allies and making or commanding zombies in play. I think you're off on a completely wrong foot.
There are plenty of GMs who will require a Wizard/Necromancer/etc who constantly has Zombies about due to judicious use of the Zombie Spell to take them as Allies, so he 's not on the wrong foot.

Plane, I recommend looking into DF 5 Allies and the "Summonable" trait applied to Allies, and how it handles it when a Summoned Ally is killed.

Personally, because of the type of Ally, I don't worry about "points lost when the Zombie Ally is killed under your orders". The Necromancer bought Allies to cover his pool of undead minions, whether that pool is full or empty, it's not really a problem for me as the GM. But then I treat them as "Constantly Available" Allies so the cost really does cover this factor.
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Old 11-26-2020, 11:33 PM   #4
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
There is no inherent connection or cross-over between Allies and making or commanding zombies in play. I think you're off on a completely wrong foot.
the connection is that they can function like allies because they follow you around and help you with stuff. A mage who has amassed an army of a thousand zombies clearly has some kind of benefit represented by at least some aspect of an Ally, even though not in the full sense where the GM would replace them if he kills them off though.

Is there perhaps some other way other than a Dependent pairing we could balance this out as 0pt?
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Old 11-27-2020, 12:27 AM   #5
Balor Patch
 
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

Ally buys plot protection for a PCs relationship to an NPC, just as Signature Gear provides plot protection for a PCs relationship with an object in the game world.

No plot protection, no points.
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Old 11-27-2020, 02:24 PM   #6
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
Ally buys plot protection for a PCs relationship to an NPC, just as Signature Gear provides plot protection for a PCs relationship with an object in the game world.

No plot protection, no points.
The B117 "Unique" limitation for gadgets is something which comes to mind though... you can have something of benefit w/o plot protection where because you paid less the GM doesn't need to replace it if it's broken or stolen.

I was thinking maybe if we allowed this to float over to Allies to make them cheaper but lack plot protection?

That still can't bring it to zero though, the key thing would also be to somehow float this to Dependent?

Or maybe the simpler take here is: we know that if a Dependent dies you are not obligated to get a new dependent, you can instead take a different disadvantage...

What if a 3rd option was instead to lose an advantage? Like for example if a dependent dies, instead of gaining Low Empathy, you lost Empathy? Instead of gaining Slow Healing you lost Rapid Healing?

If that was allowed, then paying the debt with their value as an Ally would seem like the way to cancel it out.

+1/-1 zombie dies : you pay off your -1 debt with your +1 asset?
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Old 11-27-2020, 02:52 PM   #7
Taneli
 
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

A soldier with an active military rank can have underlings under their command.

A PC with enough money can hire NPCs to be their henchmen, bodyguards, or whatever.

A wizard with Zombie spell can create zombies when they have the necessary components.

None of these need to be bought with points as allies or dependents.
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Old 11-27-2020, 07:16 PM   #8
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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None of these need to be bought with points as allies or dependents.
I guess to elaborate on Balor's "no plot protection earlier" is SE41's left column "points invested in it guarantee that the GM wonít write it out of the story casually;"

SE41's right column also has this fun bit:
the GM has the option of simply awarding the new relationship without requiring that bonus character points be spent
That's a big upside for players in many respects (SE17 "Social Traits as Rewards") but also a potential downside, because there's a built-in disadvantage to non-Minion Allies: you don't get bonus CP if you betray them.

So by forcing you to have an Ally the GM is telling you "I have limited your freedom, here is a new situation where bonus CP will be docked during a session where you betray this guy!"

Avoiding the "at least a session" interaction requirement could be one way to avoid that pitfall: have your char not get close to anybody and you won't get attached to them.

With any ally you do have (B37) the "amicably parting ways" option to ditch them if you don't want to risk Bonus CP docking for "unnecessarily endangering" them.

Interestingly enough if you "part as friends" you could in theory just murder them later and not get your CP docked. Momonga does something along these lines in the Overlord anime, but I won't say to whom :)

Going around just randomly murdering non-allies is something which probably should have penalties too, like creating an Enemy out of a surviving friend.

I'm thinking "Social Traits as Rewards" was meant to be "Social ADVANTAGES as Rewards". If we also have "Social Disadvantages as Punishments" then collectively you could call that "Social Traits as Responses".
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Old 11-27-2020, 09:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

My first inclination is to do what DFRPG did with Signature Gear: make Ally a perk.

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.

To bring this all the way around to the very beginning, the points that pay for spell-raised zombies are the points that were spent on learning the spell. 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. (Yes, there has been some weaseling about Lich, Soul Jar, and Wraith on this point.)
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Old 11-27-2020, 10:52 PM   #10
Imbicatus
 
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Default Re: can you drop a benefit of an Ally to drop a drawback of a Dependent?

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. 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.

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.
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