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Old 09-05-2021, 07:38 PM   #1
acrosome
 
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Default Social stats for heiress and her Pinkerton/bodyguard

I need to make a couple of characters for a Cthulhu 1920s campaign. I'm not worried about the combat, professional, or academic factors- I've got that. What always trips me up are the social ones.

So, one character is the young college-age heiress to a family with a railroad fortune (Rockefeller or Dupont level) currently attending Miskatonic University.

I'd like her to be able to for instance use one of the family's private railroad cars to move about the country, and other perks of being the heiress. Is the family a Patron, then, since it lets her use such equipment? The description of a Patron says that's only if she gets to keep the equipment, so I assume not? What is her personal wealth? I imagine that it might be in the form of an allowance, since she herself is not the multimillionaire currently. That is probably Independent Income. But I think there is also an advantage specifically for an heir somewhere, right? Then, since she won't be getting the free Status from Wealth, what Status seems appropriate? The family patriarch would get +3 status from wealth, since that is the max free status from wealth, so one lower than that? I assume that she should have a Claim to Hospitality from the family, too. Would a young woman in the 1920s qualify for a Social Stigma? The example of that in Basic Set is of a 19th century woman, not a 1920s woman.

I'm interested in usages of GURPS Social Engineering, too, if any apply. And any social functionality that I have missed in general- I'm listening to any ideas. I'm really interested in whatever that heir advantage is, in particular, but I can't seem to find it.

The other character is her NPC bodyguard. He was an NCO of the heiress's father in the Great War, who was his commanding officer and who died saving his life and asked him to look after his daughter while dying. The character now feels an immense Sense of Duty to the young miss, to the point that he would die for her, and I considered Fanatacism, but that doesn't seem to apply to an individual, just organizations, nations, belief systems, or cults. So, Sense of Duty it is. He arranged to join the Pinkertons and have her family hire him as her bodyguard and oddsbody. He basically does most of the family's dirty work.

So, I assume that he has a Duty to the Pinkertons, 15-point level, Hazardous. Or should he have a Duty directly to the family instead, since that's his current job? Or do I just assume that it transfers? He probably has the 10-point version of Legal Enforcement Powers, for being national-level, right? Police Rank 0 comes with that. (Thus he does not need a Concealed Carry Permit, right?) What kind of reputation for a Pinkerton? I assumed a -1 among criminals, but also among union members (even though he personally was never a strike buster, the Pinkerton rep follows him). Or should it be stronger? I made it "recognized occasionally", unless there is a level lower than that? The heiress's family knows and trusts him, so should he pay for them as a Patron, too? How do I model the aid he can assume from local law enforcement authorities? A Contact Group? But the description of Contact Group limits it to organizations no larger than in a single town, so it would work for Arkham PD but not the general help he should expect around the country. Is that just a part of the Legal Enforcement Power and the Police Rank?

I assume that the heiress needs to pay for the bodyguard as a constantly-available (x4 cost) Ally, right? Since he is 100% of her points, that's 5x4 points for 20 points in total. (He basically represents her combat power, since she will have little to none of her own.)

Last edited by acrosome; 09-05-2021 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 09-05-2021, 10:01 PM   #2
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Social stats for heiress and her Pinkerton/bodyguard

Well, for the heiress, here's how it works in GURPS Locations: Worminghall for college students in the Middle Ages:

Most students at Worminghall have no jobs and aren’t self-supporting.
The usual rules on economic matters – for example, income and starting
wealth – are an awkward fit. A different interpretation works better for
those who are economically dependent.
A dependent person’s Wealth level represents the
resources of his family, not personal wealth. He shares in his family’s home,
clothing budget, and similar assets, rather than having his own. He has
access to 20% of the usual starting wealth as discretionary funds, for such
things as grimoires or nights at the tavern.
However, he doesn’t have to earn his own income; his parents or
guardians support his living expenses and his studies. If he spends summers
at home working, they can contribute 1/2 of typical monthly pay for
their Wealth level. If he doesn’t, they can contribute 1/5 of typical monthly
pay for their Wealth level. If the student spends the summer with his family,
he doesn’t get money for living expenses during the summer; he shares
in their lifestyle and is included in their cost of living.

As for Social Stigma, a woman in the 1920s is not Valuable Property, but you could make a case for Second-Class Citizen, in that it's likely enough that men condescend to her, not all jobs are open to her, and so on. (A woman with a certain kind of reputation would belong to a Minority Group, but that doesn't apply here.) I think you could also say she's a Minor, in that she's not economically independent, and doesn't have full citizenship until she's 21—and she might still be economically dependent after that.
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Old 09-06-2021, 08:04 AM   #3
Curmudgeon
 
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Default Re: Social stats for heiress and her Pinkerton/bodyguard

Quote:
Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
I need to make a couple of characters for a Cthulhu 1920s campaign. I'm not worried about the combat, professional, or academic factors- I've got that. What always trips me up are the social ones.

So, one character is the young college-age heiress to a family with a railroad fortune (Rockefeller or Dupont level) currently attending Miskatonic University.

I'd like her to be able to for instance use one of the family's private railroad cars to move about the country, and other perks of being the heiress. Is the family a Patron, then, since it lets her use such equipment? The description of a Patron says that's only if she gets to keep the equipment, so I assume not? What is her personal wealth? I imagine that it might be in the form of an allowance, since she herself is not the multimillionaire currently. That is probably Independent Income. But I think there is also an advantage specifically for an heir somewhere, right? Then, since she won't be getting the free Status from Wealth, what Status seems appropriate? The family patriarch would get +3 status from wealth, since that is the max free status from wealth, so one lower than that? I assume that she should have a Claim to Hospitality from the family, too. Would a young woman in the 1920s qualify for a Social Stigma? The example of that in Basic Set is of a 19th century woman, not a 1920s woman.

I'm interested in usages of GURPS Social Engineering, too, if any apply. And any social functionality that I have missed in general- I'm listening to any ideas. I'm really interested in whatever that heir advantage is, in particular, but I can't seem to find it.

The other character is her NPC bodyguard. He was an NCO of the heiress's father in the Great War, who was his commanding officer and who died saving his life and asked him to look after his daughter while dying. The character now feels an immense Sense of Duty to the young miss, to the point that he would die for her, and I considered Fanatacism, but that doesn't seem to apply to an individual, just organizations, nations, belief systems, or cults. So, Sense of Duty it is. He arranged to join the Pinkertons and have her family hire him as her bodyguard and oddsbody. He basically does most of the family's dirty work.

So, I assume that he has a Duty to the Pinkertons, 15-point level, Hazardous. Or should he have a Duty directly to the family instead, since that's his current job? Or do I just assume that it transfers? He probably has the 10-point version of Legal Enforcement Powers, for being national-level, right? Police Rank 0 comes with that. (Thus he does not need a Concealed Carry Permit, right?) What kind of reputation for a Pinkerton? I assumed a -1 among criminals, but also among union members (even though he personally was never a strike buster, the Pinkerton rep follows him). Or should it be stronger? I made it "recognized occasionally", unless there is a level lower than that? The heiress's family knows and trusts him, so should he pay for them as a Patron, too? How do I model the aid he can assume from local law enforcement authorities? A Contact Group? But the description of Contact Group limits it to organizations no larger than in a single town, so it would work for Arkham PD but not the general help he should expect around the country. Is that just a part of the Legal Enforcement Power and the Police Rank?

I assume that the heiress needs to pay for the bodyguard as a constantly-available (x4 cost) Ally, right? Since he is 100% of her points, that's 5x4 points for 20 points in total. (He basically represents her combat power, since she will have little to none of her own.)
First, to the bodyguard. This is the Pinkerton's. They are not even the FBI (Federal Bureau of Information, pre-1926). They have no Legal Enforcement Powers, though, IIRC, 3rd Edition made mention that it was a common Odious Personal Habit among Pinkertons to behave as if they did. (That was during the Old West period, so it may not be applicable in the 1920s, unless we're dealing with someone who dates back to the nineteenth century with the company.) He should pay points for a concealed carry permit but, depending on the state, he may not need one and might not have one even if he should really require one. Sense of Duty to the Heiress is what you really want and need. An actual Duty to Pinkerton's may exist but is counter-productive to your conception. The Duty to Pinkerton's represents among other things, Pinkerton's ability to reassign him in his job. If his capacity as her bodyguard comes through a contract with Pinkerton's, then they could call him for a job elsewhere, and place another Pinkerton in the bodyguard role. Which might make for a good story once in a great long while but probably isn't what you're looking for in terms of Frequency of Appearance, and if Pinkerton's were to try reassigning him, his Sense of Duty would likely trigger to the point of his quitting his job with Pinkerton's. It's probably best to treat Pinkerton's as background color and make the bodyguard an ex-Pinkerton. Yes, the heiress should buy him as an Ally. As far as the family knowing and trusting him, that amounts to Reputation and the group is so small that it might not even qualify as Small Group, so, if it's important enough to the character conception, call it a 1-point Perk.

Heir was a 5-point place-holder advantage in 3rd Edition. I don't think it transferred over to 4th Edition. If you don't want to bring it back for your own use as a house rule, you're probably looking at a combination of Independent Income, Wealth, Status, Patron, and, possibly, Reputation. Independent Income would represent an allowance (that probably can't be cut off), or perhaps, trust income from a company that was put in her name for tax purposes. As "the putting a company in her name" indicates, even though the real wealth belongs to the family (or select members thereof, possibly only to the head of the family), it is possible for her to have Wealth in her own right, and the same is true for Status. Unless she is truly the heiress of someone in control of the family's fortune, rather than just a member of the family, her Status might be anything up to 3 levels lower, depending on where in the family she is, and the degree to which she is guilty of conspicuous consumption. Her Patron won't be the family as a whole but rather the movers and shakers within the family, possibly the head of the family if he makes all the real decisions. The Patron would usually be well-disposed toward her but might be less inclined to help if she has embarrassed the family recently. (eg., been in the papers for being "found in" a raid on a scandalous "speakeasy.") As far as not keeping equipment, Equipment that you get to keep is an Enhancement to the Patron Advantage. Not having the Enhancement doesn't mean you can't take the basic Advantage. Reputation, for better or worse, would include being reported on as a "madcap heiress" in the newspapers. Which might not be a bad thing, as in The Mad Miss Manton (1938).

Yes, she probably has a Claim to Hospitality but I'd be less inclined to place it with her family and instead put it among her circle of friends and acquaintances, which from period films seems to be closer to how it really worked anyway.

As to Social Stigma, federally, unless you're starting before August, 1920, Second Class Citizen doesn't really apply, though it might be appropriate in some less-than-progressive states. There are a few interesting period problems that you'll want to consider before deciding one way or the other. First, she can lose her U.S. citizenship if she marries someone who is not eligible to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. Second, once married, she is subject to coveture, i.e., her husband has legal control of her property. On the other hand, as a woman, she is not subject to Selective Service. While possibly still a minor (depending on how far along in her degree program she is), drinking and entering into enforceable contracts on her own are the only things I can think of that she couldn't do. (Note: enforceable contracts, she could sign a contract in her own right, but as a minor, it's voidable at her option, and hence unenforceable in court).

More generally, women in the 1920s are more or less the equals of men and don't have to take a Social Stigma, but society is different from today's society, so men and women operate in what are effectively separate worlds. This doesn't mean that women are powerless at higher levels of Status. They are society's gatekeepers. Largely, they decide who gets invited to parties and parties are where men network and sometimes make deals. If you become persona non grata, your ability to network pretty much dries up. Even if the husband insists you be invited, a hostess could sabotage you with her choice of your dinner partners.

Finally, I would suggest that Status 4 or 5 is more appropriate, at least for the head of a family important as the Rockefellers or Duponts. They would certainly be Status 4, "Who's Who", and the heiress might be listed as well. While there aren't many, if any, multinational corporations as we currently think of them in this period, their precursors certainly exist, and this would be a family in that category. I.E., they own additional companies in other countries, some of which even engage in the same or related businesses, as the ones that the family operates at home.

Last edited by Curmudgeon; 09-06-2021 at 08:13 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-06-2021, 08:50 AM   #4
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Social stats for heiress and her Pinkerton/bodyguard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Heir was a 5-point place-holder advantage in 3rd Edition. I don't think it transferred over to 4th Edition. If you don't want to bring it back for your own use as a house rule, you're probably looking at a combination of Independent Income, Wealth, Status, Patron, and, possibly, Reputation. Independent Income would represent an allowance (that probably can't be cut off), or perhaps, trust income from a company that was put in her name for tax purposes. As "the putting a company in her name" indicates, even though the real wealth belongs to the family (or select members thereof, possibly only to the head of the family), it is possible for her to have Wealth in her own right, and the same is true for Status. Unless she is truly the heiress of someone in control of the family's fortune, rather than just a member of the family, her Status might be anything up to 3 levels lower, depending on where in the family she is, and the degree to which she is guilty of conspicuous consumption. Her Patron won't be the family as a whole but rather the movers and shakers within the family, possibly the head of the family if he makes all the real decisions. The Patron would usually be well-disposed toward her but might be less inclined to help if she has embarrassed the family recently. (eg., been in the papers for being "found in" a raid on a scandalous "speakeasy.") As far as not keeping equipment, Equipment that you get to keep is an Enhancement to the Patron Advantage. Not having the Enhancement doesn't mean you can't take the basic Advantage. Reputation, for better or worse, would include being reported on as a "madcap heiress" in the newspapers. Which might not be a bad thing, as in The Mad Miss Manton (1938).
Actually Heir did transfer. See Potential Advantages on page B33.

Quote:
Yes, she probably has a Claim to Hospitality but I'd be less inclined to place it with her family and instead put it among her circle of friends and acquaintances, which from period films seems to be closer to how it really worked anyway.
I would disagree here, in that "a small family" is one of the standard cases of this advantage, worth 2 points (see p. B41). Of course, hers might not be "small." If you boost it to large family and add friends I might call it 4 points.

Quote:
As to Social Stigma, federally, unless you're starting before August, 1920, Second Class Citizen doesn't really apply, though it might be appropriate in some less-than-progressive states. There are a few interesting period problems that you'll want to consider before deciding one way or the other. First, she can lose her U.S. citizenship if she marries someone who is not eligible to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. Second, once married, she is subject to coveture, i.e., her husband has legal control of her property. On the other hand, as a woman, she is not subject to Selective Service. While possibly still a minor (depending on how far along in her degree program she is), drinking and entering into enforceable contracts on her own are the only things I can think of that she couldn't do. (Note: enforceable contracts, she could sign a contract in her own right, but as a minor, it's voidable at her option, and hence unenforceable in court).

More generally, women in the 1920s are more or less the equals of men and don't have to take a Social Stigma, but society is different from today's society, so men and women operate in what are effectively separate worlds. This doesn't mean that women are powerless at higher levels of Status. They are society's gatekeepers. Largely, they decide who gets invited to parties and parties are where men network and sometimes make deals. If you become persona non grata, your ability to network pretty much dries up. Even if the husband insists you be invited, a hostess could sabotage you with her choice of your dinner partners.
The constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote was not an equal rights amendment. It granted women one specific right in which they were equal to men, but that doesn't amount to full equality. There were occupations from which women were excluded, by law or by custom (including union practices that virtually had the force of law), and there was the generally accepted custom that women stopped working at marriage—often employers would let a woman employee go at that point. There is also the fact that back then, and up until the 1970s, a wife could not have her husband charged with rape.

On the other hand, American states started passing Married Women's Property Acts before 1840, and Wikipedia says that "until late in the 19th century" three states still did not provide such rights to married women; I think that suggests that coverture was gone by 1920. And Selective Service isn't relevant; it was abolished in 1920 and didn't come back until 1940.

I would also note that beyond purely legal rules, Second-Class Citizen includes lack of privileges and negative reactions (a -1 modifier). Women in this era did face a good deal of that. Yes, women did have social privileges, and in a certain type of campaign it might make sense to give them Social Regard 1 (Respected); but in an adventure campaign those privileges are going to be less relevant.

(I met my oldest friend when were were both math majors at UC San Diego in 1971. On her first day of real analysis, an upper division math course, her professor told the class that women had no place in mathematics. He faced no penalties for doing so, not even a negative reaction.)

Quote:
Finally, I would suggest that Status 4 or 5 is more appropriate, at least for the head of a family important as the Rockefellers or Duponts. They would certainly be Status 4, "Who's Who", and the heiress might be listed as well. While there aren't many, if any, multinational corporations as we currently think of them in this period, their precursors certainly exist, and this would be a family in that category. I.E., they own additional companies in other countries, some of which even engage in the same or related businesses, as the ones that the family operates at home.
A family such as described are probably Multimillionaires. The character probably gets +2 to Status from that, in that her lifestyle will lead people to assume that she has influence and can, for example, get people fired for disrespecting her. If they're Old Money I'd allow another +1. The head of the family probably has Status 5 matching the family wealth and another +1 for Old Money, totalling 6.
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Old 09-06-2021, 08:54 AM   #5
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Social stats for heiress and her Pinkerton/bodyguard

Exactly how loyal is the bodyguard? Is he getting paid by the family? If so, he may face a conflict of interest, in that the family may want him to "keep her out of trouble." He might be an Enemy (Watcher) rather than an Ally, or even an Enemy (Rival) if he actively tries to restrain or shield her. Or he might be BOTH an Ally (helping her out and covering up her adventures) and an Enemy (trying to keep her from doing dangerous stuff). This could even be magnified by Sense of Duty, in that his Sense of Duty might lead him to keep her away from danger as much as he can.

Or is he an analog of Alfred Pennyworth looking after young Bruce Wayne but not stopping him from taking risks?
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Old 09-06-2021, 12:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: Social stats for heiress and her Pinkerton/bodyguard

Quote:
Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
I'd like her to be able to for instance use one of the family's private railroad cars to move about the country, and other perks of being the heiress. Is the family a Patron, then, since it lets her use such equipment? The description of a Patron says that's only if she gets to keep the equipment, so I assume not?
I think the Equipment modifier on Patrons may apply here. The family is handing out stuff that the heiress gets to keep (i.e. cash, clothes, cars, etc.), then it ought to apply. If she has to give everything she gets back, then it wouldn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
What is her personal wealth? I imagine that it might be in the form of an allowance, since she herself is not the multimillionaire currently. That is probably Independent Income. But I think there is also an advantage specifically for an heir somewhere, right?
There's basically three routes as I see it:
A) Handle everything through the patron. This would mean she would have Patron (Family) probably with Equipment. Whenever she blows her frequency of appearance, she'd be in financial trouble.
B) Give her a level of wealth and independent income to maintain her Cost of Living. This would be Independent Income 6 with a matching Wealth level. Add Patrons to cover family connections and special equipment.
C) Go the heir route. Decide what level of wealth, status and independent income she will have when the family patriarch (or whoever she's inheriting from) dies, and give her half that. This is probably the best solution if she's going to inherit mid-campaign.

Quote:
Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
Then, since she won't be getting the free Status from Wealth, what Status seems appropriate? The family patriarch would get +3 status from wealth, since that is the max free status from wealth, so one lower than that?
Unless the family patriarch is an idle rich, he probably also gains Status from a political or corporate career. I think half whatever the patriarch has probably works well.

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Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
I assume that she should have a Claim to Hospitality from the family, too.
It seems redundant if you're also taking patrons.

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Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
Would a young woman in the 1920s qualify for a Social Stigma? The example of that in Basic Set is of a 19th century woman, not a 1920s woman.
I think basic set maybe being a tad generous. I think the a social stigma probably still applies until at least the mid-Sixties and possibly later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
I assume that the heiress needs to pay for the bodyguard as a constantly-available (x4 cost) Ally, right?
Constantly available is probably too much. It neglects the possibility of, say:
-> The Bodyguard's asleep
-> The Bodyguard's drunk/hungover
-> The Bodyguard's ill/injured
-> The Bodyguard's been influenced
-> Etc.
15 or less is ~95% of the time. If a 5% miss rate feels like too much, consider house ruling that allies that miss frequency of appearance may just be less effective or useless (but still there).
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Old 09-06-2021, 01:08 PM   #7
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Social stats for heiress and her Pinkerton/bodyguard

Quote:
Originally Posted by TGLS View Post
I think the Equipment modifier on Patrons may apply here. The family is handing out stuff that the heiress gets to keep (i.e. cash, clothes, cars, etc.), then it ought to apply. If she has to give everything she gets back, then it wouldn't.

.
I think that if the family suplies resources for when she's on family business but she can't use them on her own projects that's what counts as a "normal" Patron. If she can se these family resources pretty much however she wants that's a version of "Equipment" even if she doesn't' technically get to keep them..
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Old 09-06-2021, 05:16 PM   #8
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Social stats for heiress and her Pinkerton/bodyguard

Quote:
Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
I need to make a couple of characters for a Cthulhu 1920s campaign. I'm not worried about the combat, professional, or academic factors- I've got that. What always trips me up are the social ones.

So, one character is the young college-age heiress to a family with a railroad fortune (Rockefeller or Dupont level) currently attending Miskatonic University.

I'd like her to be able to for instance use one of the family's private railroad cars to move about the country, and other perks of being the heiress. Is the family a Patron, then, since it lets her use such equipment? The description of a Patron says that's only if she gets to keep the equipment, so I assume not? What is her personal wealth? I imagine that it might be in the form of an allowance, since she herself is not the multimillionaire currently. That is probably Independent Income. But I think there is also an advantage specifically for an heir somewhere, right? Then, since she won't be getting the free Status from Wealth, what Status seems appropriate? The family patriarch would get +3 status from wealth, since that is the max free status from wealth, so one lower than that? I assume that she should have a Claim to Hospitality from the family, too. Would a young woman in the 1920s qualify for a Social Stigma? The example of that in Basic Set is of a 19th century woman, not a 1920s woman.

I'm interested in usages of GURPS Social Engineering, too, if any apply. And any social functionality that I have missed in general- I'm listening to any ideas. I'm really interested in whatever that heir advantage is, in particular, but I can't seem to find it.

The other character is her NPC bodyguard. He was an NCO of the heiress's father in the Great War, who was his commanding officer and who died saving his life and asked him to look after his daughter while dying. The character now feels an immense Sense of Duty to the young miss, to the point that he would die for her, and I considered Fanatacism, but that doesn't seem to apply to an individual, just organizations, nations, belief systems, or cults. So, Sense of Duty it is. He arranged to join the Pinkertons and have her family hire him as her bodyguard and oddsbody. He basically does most of the family's dirty work.

So, I assume that he has a Duty to the Pinkertons, 15-point level, Hazardous. Or should he have a Duty directly to the family instead, since that's his current job? Or do I just assume that it transfers? He probably has the 10-point version of Legal Enforcement Powers, for being national-level, right? Police Rank 0 comes with that. (Thus he does not need a Concealed Carry Permit, right?) What kind of reputation for a Pinkerton? I assumed a -1 among criminals, but also among union members (even though he personally was never a strike buster, the Pinkerton rep follows him). Or should it be stronger? I made it "recognized occasionally", unless there is a level lower than that? The heiress's family knows and trusts him, so should he pay for them as a Patron, too? How do I model the aid he can assume from local law enforcement authorities? A Contact Group? But the description of Contact Group limits it to organizations no larger than in a single town, so it would work for Arkham PD but not the general help he should expect around the country. Is that just a part of the Legal Enforcement Power and the Police Rank?

I assume that the heiress needs to pay for the bodyguard as a constantly-available (x4 cost) Ally, right? Since he is 100% of her points, that's 5x4 points for 20 points in total. (He basically represents her combat power, since she will have little to none of her own.)
He doesn't have a Duty to the Pinkertons. They aren't going to throw him in jail for deserting. He also doesn't have legal enforcement powers by the 1920. The privatized law enforcement role of the Pinks faded when the Secret Service and the Bureau took over. While the Pinkertons are still used for violent union suppression that has more to do with the social status of unions at the time than any special authority of Pinkerton men. The unions are simply acceptable targets and can't expect police protection. It wouldn't be surprising for a Pinkerton to have a group of police force "Contacts" though.
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Old 09-06-2021, 06:55 PM   #9
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Social stats for heiress and her Pinkerton/bodyguard

Don't look at the titles of various advantages, look at the game effects and buy accordingly.

Wealth represents financial resources that the character can personally control, no questions asked. For a dependent character with no income of her own, this depends on the size of her monthly allowance/trust fund income rather than total capital. This is likely to be merely "Comfortable" or "Wealthy" for a young woman. Higher levels of Wealth take the form of a Potential Advantage, only released when she reaches the age of majority.

Unless she has to work for her money, even if it's only maintaining a decent GPA in college in order to avoid having her allowance cut off, she will have Independent Income.

Patron represents sources of equipment and aid the character can call upon with suitable lead time, communication access, and luck. Patron (Supplies Equipment) seems logical for someone who has ready access to transportation beyond mere Wealth. A family lawyer on retainer, concierge physician, and similar resources might justify full Patron.

A private railroad car and staff to run it is essentially a Base, which can be treated as a Perk associated with Wealth. The only drawback is that you can only put the private car in places where there is a suitable railroad siding and if you want to move it you need to make special arrangements with the railroad, which isn't always easy if the car is on a remote line or on rails owned by another railroad. Living in a private railroad car near the tracks wouldn't be particularly quiet or comfortable. It helps if daddy owned a railroad or a significant portion of it.

Alternately, especially if daddy's trust has significant railroad holdings, she might be able to ride the rails, or at least certain rail lines, for free. Treat this as a variant of Claim to Hospitality.

Standard Claim to Hospitality represents social networks one can use to gain food, shelter, and minor resources. Unless she's a recluse or a social pariah, an heiress will have a network of friends, relatives, hangers-on, and family vacation homes she can draw upon as necessary. Unless she was privately tutored and otherwise kept away from high society, she's going to have some Claim to Hospitality among her peers. ("Darling, after April it's simply impossible to find a proper lodgings on the Cape. I absolutely insist that you summer with us.")

Social Stigma represents limits on the character's ability to function in larger society. By the 1920s, women in the U.S. and the Western world have moved from Valuable Property (i.e., young unmarried women being chaperoned at all times and being married off for dynastic purposes) to just being Second Class Citizens.

This will take the form of being ignored, not having one's opinions taken seriously, etc. as well as male-dominated society limiting the character's professional opportunities and winking at sexual harassment or worse. (A good example of the sort of systemic disrespect the character might face in a crisis is the heroine in Agatha Christie's "The Lady Vanishes.")

And make no bones about it, before about 1980 women faced massive problems being accepted as equals in the halls of power. Unless they were widows of previous office-holders, female politicians or corporate executives were non-existent. In the 1920s, the notion of female military personnel, police officers, judges, surgeons, etc. would be treated as comedy or science fiction.

Social Status is based on the character's ability to command social deference and to command political and social resources. It's going to be limited not just by wealth but by proximity to power.

An heiress to a multimillionaire's fortune will essentially have daddy's Status -1, in the form of retainers, relatives, and family friends who can exert power on her behalf. Social Status 1 or 2 with higher levels of potential Status once she comes into her fortune seems appropriate. A more established and older character who is fully connected to powers-that-be would have higher Status. (e.g., if she was MRS. Gotbucks, president of the local chapter of the League of Women Voters, active in the D.A.R. and Junior League, on the vestry committee of the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Lucre, etc.)

She's also going to have some sort of Reputation, at least among her peers and upper crust society. Even a reputation as "Old Money" or "Our Sort of People" counts, if only as a Perk.

Good and bad Reputations could even out to be a feature. E.g., "shockingly modern" (-1 amongst society matrons and similar types) vs. "throws great parties" (+1 among peers).

She will also have a minor good or bad general Reputation. Newspapers of the time paid much more attention to the activities of the rich and famous, so even her most routine movements will be newsworthy. (e.g., "Thursday last, Miss Honoria Gotbucks, daughter of the late Colonel Reginald Gotbucks, was seen returning from France, having traveled aboard the liner S.S. Olympic.")

She will also have a minor bad Reputation among those on the far left if she has a known Pinkerton bodyguard, even if she's otherwise nothing less than a card-carrying Communist.

She might also have Contacts or Contact Group (High Society) or similar.

The bodyguard doesn't necessarily need to be a Pinkerton unless it suits the story. Others have given very good logic as to why he shouldn't be.

If he is a Pinkerton, the 1920s Pinkertons will have well-established Reputation, +1 among political conservatives, anti-labor activists, and "law and order" types (Large Group, All the Time), countered by a -2 reaction from labor activists, Communists, and similar left-wing types (Small Group, All the Time). The "All the Time" modifier assumes that the agent doesn't bother to conceal their status.

Pinkertons usually didn't have Law Enforcement Powers, although individual agents might be temporarily deputized. Legal Immunity might work if the character is effectively "above the law."

Likewise, Rank (Police) only extends to the ability to command police resources, usually in a single department. For a small department (e.g., Arkham PD) this will top out at Rank 2-3, with a maximum of Rank 5 or so for a large city or state police department (e.g., NYPD). Police or Administrative Rank in the Pinkertons would be reserved for managers and team leaders, not a bodyguard on detached service.

Most Pinkertons had jobs rather than real Duties, much less Hazardous Duties. The exceptions might be those actively working as strike-breakers or undercover agents in labor unions or similar.

If he's a WW1 vet, he might have an additional positive Reputation for heroism, as well as Courtesy Rank (former senior NCO).

Protective feelings towards his principal might count as a Quirk level Sense of Duty in addition to his actual Duty. Alternately, it's possible to have full Sense of Duty towards an individual for -2 points.

Prior to the 1930s, there were few if any laws in the U.S. regarding concealed carry, so no Perk is necessary.

If he's an actual family friend and can command family loyalty resources beyond those available to a normal employee then he definitely has a Patron. This could easily extend to medical care, since employers of the time generally didn't offer employee health plans.

If he really is the family hatchet man, he might have suitably dark Secrets. (i.e., "Literally knows where the bodies are buried.")

The ability to command information from any local police department might count as Wildcard! Contact Group. Treat this as a variation on the Cosmic enhancement worth +500%. That's wildly unrealistic, however.

Instead, the ability to command respect from local cops is best modeled as a very good Reputation, Courtesy Rank (Military/Police), Perk-level Charisma ("Gets along with cops"), possibly levels of Talent, and at least one good social influence skill (e.g., Carousing, Diplomacy, or Fast-Talk). A Reputation as a famous policeman prior to the war plus a Reputation as a war hero might serve. Perhaps give him some war-related injury or psychological damage which made it impossible for him to go back to his old job.
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Old 09-06-2021, 08:46 PM   #10
acrosome
 
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Default Re: Social stats for heiress and her Pinkerton/bodyguard

Thanks, All. Lot's of good thoughts, there.

Thanks for the pointer to Heir as a Potential Advantage- that's what I was looking for. But frankly it still seems too powerful. Even with access to 50% of the wealth and Status that would be a lot. And she'd have to work to maintain her Status, wouldn't she? Maybe I can cut it down by ("potentially") dividing Grandpapa's wealth among some cousins? And then add the Independent Income for the Trust? I'll think on it.

It looks like The Family is a 15-point Patron with no modifiers, other than that I'll have to think about availability. But no they aren't Old Money, or at least not in the manner of some old Dutch family from New York. They're like the Vanderbilts- they got rich during the golden age of railroads. Maybe I'll change the Patron to "Grandpapa" specifically- the heiress is definitely his favorite- and cover the rest of the family with Claim to Hospitality? Hmm. And maybe a Duty?

What religion should she be, as a member of a prominent New England/Mid-Atlantic family?

I'm coming around on 1920s women as Second Class Citizens. Done.

I'll remove the Law Enforcement Powers from the Pinkerton, and adjust some of the other stuff. Thanks.

The Bodyguard is more like Pennyworth- the "long suffering servant". He has come to love the girl, if a bit paternally, and finds it hard to refuse her sudden impulses to go looking for occult sites in Central America, etc. But he would die to protect her. And meet his maker with a smile on his face.

Maybe I'll remove the Pinkterton angle completely. That might actually work better for a third character.

Last edited by acrosome; 09-06-2021 at 08:53 PM.
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