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Old 01-21-2014, 04:18 AM   #1
Christopher R. Rice
 
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Default Ally *or* Patron (but not at the same time)

One of my players is curious if (and how) it is possible to have a Patron who occasionally accompanies her on adventures, and I'm wondering the best way to represent this. Is it a part of buying the Patron advantage? My gut says no, so I'm thinking about some sort of enhancement or possibly buying the Ally as an alternate ability of the Patron advantage. Have you encountered this before? If so, how did you handle it? Thanks to all who answer.

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Old 01-21-2014, 04:34 AM   #2
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Default Re: Ally *or* Patron (but not at the same time)

At first glance I'm not sure how the Patron/Ally is supposed to interact with the character. What would their role be as a Patron (advisor, employer, mentor, protector)? The 'advisor' role might work with Ally, but I'm not sure about the others.

Looking at it slightly differently - a Patron might send one of their agents along as something effectively like an Ally. You wouldn't pay extra points for this 'ally', they're be a benefit of the Patron, but the characters relationship to this agent could be exactly like an Ally.
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Old 01-21-2014, 04:41 AM   #3
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Default Re: Ally *or* Patron (but not at the same time)

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Originally Posted by SCAR View Post
At first glance I'm not sure how the Patron/Ally is supposed to interact with the character. What would their role be as a Patron (advisor, employer, mentor, protector)? The 'advisor' role might work with Ally, but I'm not sure about the others.

Looking at it slightly differently - a Patron might send one of their agents along as something effectively like an Ally. You wouldn't pay extra points for this 'ally', they're be a benefit of the Patron, but the characters relationship to this agent could be exactly like an Ally.
In the role as a Patron he's the emperor of a vast kingdom and can rally those resources when need be - he's essentially a ad visor/protector. As a Ally he'd just be...well himself (however powerful). And I'd actually done the agent thing - but I'm not quite sure how to treat the other part.
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Ally *or* Patron (but not at the same time)

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Originally Posted by Ghostdancer View Post
In the role as a Patron he's the emperor of a vast kingdom and can rally those resources when need be - he's essentially a ad visor/protector. As a Ally he'd just be...well himself (however powerful). And I'd actually done the agent thing - but I'm not quite sure how to treat the other part.
So, assuming the PC would pay more points for the character as a Patron than as an Ally - and assuming the Patron still effectively has their full power and resources when accompanying the PC, I'm not sure you need to do anything about the Patron as an Ally.

If the Patron can send one or more agents to accompany the PC as effective Allies, I'm not sure there is any significant difference in the Patron accompanying the PC - except possibly in the Accessibility/Frequency of Appearance for the Patron.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ally *or* Patron (but not at the same time)

I wouldn't bother to do it (the Emperor doesn't lose his vast reach or status just because he isn't sitting in his court anymore. The reason he's worth 500 points, or whatever, remains wherever he goes). But if I were going to do it, yes, I would treat it as an alternate ability. Essentially, the character can either be a Patron or an Ally, but not both. Thus, the player must choose which version of the advantage he's using, and that's text-book alternate ability.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: Ally *or* Patron (but not at the same time)

I'd be inclined to charge the two abilities separately. Both require frequency rolls, so the player doesn't really get to determine when one or the other is in effect; for point-costing purposes, they are both in effect. And if both are "present" in an adventure, that means the king is able to be with the PC and pull his courtly strings from afar. If he is present as an Ally but not as a Patron for an adventure, that just means he wasn't able to get his courtiers to do his bidding from afar that day (communications, lazy courtiers, court intrigue, whatever).
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: Ally *or* Patron (but not at the same time)

If all the player wants is a Patron who sometimes adventures, that can be all done with Patron. Of course the GM will have to design the Patron and may quite reasonably rule out any given NPC or type of NPC. However, it will be the character joining in to the Patron's adventure, rather than the other way round.

If the idea is for the Patron to join in to the characters' activities and interests as-if-an-ally, then Alternate Abilities would appear to be the way. (The same Frequency check would apply to the whole set of abilities though.) Another challenge would be to actually build a sensible version of the Patron scaled down to ally point levels. Not impossible, I suppose. Even more challenging will be maintaining a meaningful capability distinction between to two avatars of the NPC -- when he's acting as an ally, how do you explain why he can't do some things?

Last edited by Figleaf23; 01-21-2014 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: Ally *or* Patron (but not at the same time)

Does the NPC has access to their Patron abilities while accompanying the PC in their 'Ally' role?
  • If they do have access to all of their Patron abilities, then they aren't really an Ally, they're still a Patron, who just happens to be with the PC.
  • If they don't have access to their Patron abilities, then they're an Ally, and can be stated as such with Alternate Abilities.
There is also the question of 'authority' - an Ally does not have authority over a PC, a Patron (especially the Emperor of a vast kingdom!) can and often does. - I guess you'd cover this by giving the PC a Duty to the Emperor.
I'm still not sure whether that would keep them as a Patron - at the very least an Employer.
The relationship between an Ally and a PC is not the same as that between a Patron and a PC.
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:00 AM   #9
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Default Re: Ally *or* Patron (but not at the same time)

I would generally favor Patron and leave it at that. The patron advantage does allow personal appearances after all.
However if the Ally comes along a lot then I would pay the extra premium as an alternate ability.
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:21 AM   #10
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Default Re: Ally *or* Patron (but not at the same time)

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I would generally favor Patron and leave it at that. The patron advantage does allow personal appearances after all.
However if the Ally comes along a lot then I would pay the extra premium as an alternate ability.
What benefits would the Ally provide, beyond those the Patron could provide, that would be worth points?

The limit on (sentient) Allies, is +150% of the PC's staring points. Is there any particular reason that such an individual, who is also a Patron (with access to vast wealth, personal allies and influence, which they 'leave behind' when personally adventuring), can't use the full extent of their personal abilities in their capacity as a Patron?
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