Reputation has been in use on the site for awhile and it looks like it's working pretty well to reflect how characters interact with NPC groups and organizations. Now that that seems to be working pretty well, I would like to suggest the next step of reputation use: using reputation to grant rank and political positions.
Three Types of Group Structure
Ranks in groups generally fall under one of three types of internal structure:
* Meritocracy - they only care about what you've done lately and that goes up and down over time. The resources you have at hand are directly related to your current standing with the group.
* Ranks - they care about your history and performance and once you have a position you keep it even if you slack off once you're in. The resources you have at hand may be commanded for the most part at will.
* Political - they only care about what you've done in the last year and your butt can get beaten out for a position by someone more popular. The resources you have at hand is limited by rivals within your group.
The meritocracy structure is pretty easy as it is. The group listens to you based on your standing, and your standing may make it easier to get information or resources. That is reflected by our currently existing reputation bonuses to rolls. No additional rules needed.
The rank system is a little more complicated. In general the idea is to turn in some amount of your reputation (lowering your current score) in exchange for a permanent rank within the group. No player may start with a rank - they must be earned in game.
That rank may automatically come with resources or information available, though some groups may have little to no benefits. Rank within groups is determined by Setting and does not need to follow a pattern for most groups (military groups excepted).
From a system point of view the following guidelines should be made:
* Available ranks and reputation costs should be noted in the group.
* Gaining higher rank should cost the same or more than previous ranks.
* You cannot skip levels in ranks, they must be earned in order.
* Resources granted by rank should be relatively small and in keeping with the Reputation costs of gaining that rank.
Reputation scores otherwise behave as in a meritocracy group and benefit attempts to lead, gather information or access resources beyond that already provided.
The only exception to the Setting determined rank and benefits should be the military ranks. This applies to militaries, police, and paramilitary groups.
* Because these positions often have the ability to command NPCs and access group resources, ranks and costs should be standardized.
* Titles should also be standardized for ease of use. A sergeant in one group is also called a sergeant in another so players can easily recognize what they are dealing with.
* Maximum rank to be gained within a military structure should be Capitan - aka a commander of a unit or group. Higher ranks are associated with political ranks and are covered in the next section.
* Ranks higher in command may order NPCs (within reason as determined by Setting) but ordering lower ranked PCs is still limited by the PC to PC consent rules.
Losing military rank is handled the same was as it is for any ranked group, causes for losing these ranks is written up in the organization. Otherwise the ranks are earned by reputation and will stick around.
NOTE: I would like to leave it to Setting to determine a standard list of ranks and the reputation costs to gain them - with advice from players who are current service members more than welcome! Ideally a lifespan of a character from two to five years should be considered for determining how fast ranks are gained.
Political ranks are the odd man out. These ranks are associated with elected positions, advisors, generals, and counsels that determine the direction of an organization or population. These positions risk impacting the Setting therefore they are limited as follows!
* Leaders of any organization are automatically political positions. This includes elected officials, leaders of guilds, and highest ranking military officers.
* Political positions within a group or populated area are limited seats. At any one time only so many council members, king's advisors, or lords of the city positions are available with a group.
* Because these positions risk impacting the Setting at least fifty percent of the control must remain with the Setting leads. A minimum of half of these positions will be held by NPCs. Those NPCs may change due to plots or other IC efforts. In cases where there are an odd number of seats, the last seat is controlled by Setting.
* PCs may opt to run for the other available seats, and should inform Setting of their interest. These positions are entirely optional and players are under no obligation to volunteer characters for the positions if they aren't interested.
* Once a year at a declared time (no surprise inspections) PCs interested in these positions are checked for reputation with the group. If the scores fall below the declared minimum reputation for the seat the PC does not gain or retain their position. (I suggest these values be suitably high.) If more PCs meet the requirements than there are available seats - then the top contenders win. In the (hopefully rare) case of a tie, Setting and Social should speak with the players to resolve the situation. ICly this may be reflected by an election or by simply being fired by the king for being unpopular with the people.
* Alternate ways of resolving ties: In the case of a tie another related rep could be use to bolster the purchase, or another standardized way be developed to be a tie breaker. One method could be to handle it akin to a recruitment session, where the one that generates the most pp wins. (This will help keep the determination in a neutral form and avoid potential complications) - which technique is used will be noted with the organization and determined by the Setting department.
* On gaining the position, the character immediately loses reputation equal to the minimum reputation requirement of the position and must work to regain the reputation by the time 'election' comes around next year.
* At any time the player no longer desires to continue the political play they can contact Setting to work out an exit strategy and enable them to make an announcement open the open seat for anyone that may be interested.
* A PC can not chose their successor if they leave - any PC interested in the seat once it is open must follow the political rank rules no matter what. This is also to avoid a player potentially getting stuck with a position they do not want, and to avoid someone trying to find a way around the system.
Characters in a political position may be able to push forward Setting impacting plot developments such as calls for legislature, diplomacy, trade or war. Since fifty percent of any political body is controlled by Setting - obtaining these developments should be roleplayed out and coordinated with the Setting department with an eye towards Setting approved developments.
Political positions must be limited in scope in order to balance them with the needs of other players and by taking on these positions you are agreeing to coordinating with the Setting department and to closer scrutiny by the Setting department in exchange for the IC enjoyment of playing out the rank.
NOTE: I leave these also to Setting to determine according to the needs of groups. The larger the population the higher the reputation requirement should be.
Political positions for the most part don't have an ability to command others. Reputation scores otherwise behave as in a meritocracy group and benefit attempts to lead, gather information or access resources beyond that already provided.
Questions, concerns, tomatoes? Have at!