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background_enhancements [2013/12/22 21:00] (current)
storyteller created
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 +====== Background Enhancements ======
 +Inspired characters have access to a unique set of advantages called Background enhancement. ​ You can purchase an enhancement if your character has five points in the appropriate [[Backgrounds|Background]],​ effectively raising the background to six points - and pushing the Background into realms of which others can only dream. ​ Not all Backgrounds can be enhanced, though the Storyteller may allow new ones as appropriate. ​ Not as strictly regulated as normal Backgrounds,​ you must engage your Storyteller when defining the nature of your character'​s enhanced Background. ​ One Storyteller may be comfortable letting your character Legions enhancement give him thousands of soldiers, while another might limit him to only 100: It depends on what sort of game she wants to run and what sorts of challenges your character is going to encounter. ​ After all, it your character can simply use his ln Charge status to solve every problem, the story will be a dull one.  The enhancements are listed below, with the requisite Background For each noted in brackets.
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 +===== Artifact (Gadget) =====
 +This enhancement reflects ownership of a significantly powerful super-science apparatus. ​ The Inspired machine is something of truly stupendous proportions. ​ The possibilities are great indeed, with the restrictions mainly being common sense and the scope of the series the Storyteller wants to run.  As a general rule, an invention of this scale may duplicate the effects of any [[Knacks]] that total the Backgrounds level of six - so it could have six level one Knacks, three level two Knacks, two level three Knacks or any combination thereof. ​ Instead, the invention might provide up to five Advancement options per dot in the Background. ​ You can combine Knack effects and Advancement options any way you like as long as the respective points don't exceed the total Background rating — so the invention might have one level three Knack effect and 15 Advancement options. ​ You can create capabilities not explicitly described in this book, but the Storyteller has final approval on everything. ​ Such an amazing item is sure to be sought after by any number of agencies, and its construction,​ deployment, maintenance and defense could well be the focus of an entire series. ​ You may buy this more than once for separate five-dot [[Gadget|Gadgets]].
 +
 +===== Enigma (Cipher) =====
 +Your character covers his tracks so well that even his friends can’t be certain who he is.  Any attempt to learn a secret about your character that he wants hidden fails. Period. Don't even bother rolling. ​ The only exception is if the Storyteller that your character was very careless with that secret. Suppose your character'​s secret is that “Millionaire Kip Kerby and the mysterious vigilante Jet Justice are actually the same person!" ​ No one will make the connection unless your character does something stupid like run around with his face uncovered as Jet Justice. Even then, a ruse as simple as wearing glasses in his Kip Kerby persona can baffle the most astute of observers.  ​
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 +Furthermore,​ since your character no longer really needs his five [[Cipher]] dots, you can distribute them among his friends, allies, contacts, favored cousins and so forth, simply by taking steps to conceal or confuse the evidence trail between them and whatever secret your character is concealing. This must be role-played out, but you can allocate some Cipher dots to help disguise your character'​s sidekick Flying Fairness, some to his fiancee to keep her un-kidnapped and so forth. These dots cannot be redistributed once allocated and remain in place until someone pierces the mystery; only then do they return to your character.
 +
 +===== In Charge (Backing) =====
 +Your character doesn'​t just have authority in an organization - she is the authority for the organization. ​ Having a character who's Pope or a four-star general in the US Army is probably beyond the scope of most Adventure series (though you never know). ​ With this enhancement,​ it is quite plausible to be the ruler of a small nation, the ultimate mastermind behind a global conspiracy or the leader of a fledgling religious cult.  ​
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 +Being ln Charge is similar, though not quite the same, as having [[Followers]] or [[Influence]]. Your character wields significant influence if she's in direct contact with underlings, but more often she is an impersonal figure who rules from a distance. ​ Her orders are carried through proper channels and trickle down to the individual priests/​soldiers/​employees,​ who may choose to ignore or alter them. (Also, it would be extremely irregular if a character In Charge of a business did not have at least four dots in [[Resources]].)
 +
 +===== Kingpin (Contacts) =====
 +Your character doesn'​t just curry favor with powerful individuals;​ he is the ultimate arbiter of favor. Your character has many powerful folks convinced (perhaps fraudulently) that it is desperately in their best interest to provide him with any favor, information or advantage they can.  He has dozens of major [[Contacts|contacts]] all around the globe, (and may, with the blessing of the Storyteller,​ make up new ones on the spot). You never have to roll for your character to meet a minor contact, and he can consequently avail himself of their expertise in just about any field.
 +
 +Yet, cooperation does not mean abject worship. ​ It's one thing to have a contact fawn over your character, take him to an expensive dinner and let him stay in your luxurious guest house. It's quite another hit her up for a million dollar loan or ask her to commit murder at your character'​s convenience. A Kingpin gets to his lofty position by knowing his limits, so rein in your enthusiasm when your Storyteller sets them.
 +
 +===== Legions (Followers) =====
 +In addition to the [[Followers|followers]] provided by the  background of the same name, your character has a vast number of other people who are willing to do what he says. This vague enhancement should be tailored to your characters circumstances. The most pertinent question is:  Why are they following your character? Is he paying them? (Better have some powerful [[Resources]] or better yet, the Wealth Beyond Avarice enhancement) ​ Are they loyal to his cause? (You might wait to  buy some [[Backing]].) ​ Are they impressed by your character'​s personal philosophy? (Then he better well meet you're his standards; nobody likes a hypocrite.)  ​
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 +Once you and your Storyteller understand why your character'​s legions are obedient, it's important to get an idea of how many there are, how loyal they are and what they'​re capable of doing. There is a - roughly triangular relationship between these factors. If your characters legions are fanatically loyal expert killers, he's likely to have only 50. If they'​re a bunch of normal people (or, perhaps, a little more gullible than the norm) who are willing to do what your character says as long as it doesn'​t get them in any trouble or require much effort, then there could be thousands of them  As with all Background enhancements,​ talk it out with Storyteller until you get something you're both happy with.
 +
 +===== Renown (Influence) =====
 +Someone with five dots of [[Influence]] is already respected on a global scale in her area of expertise. ​ Renown is higher than that.  When your character speaks about her specialty, it's almost impossible to gainsay her words. ​ An influential person can debate with the top minds in their field; for someone with Renown there is no debate. Anyone who disagrees is probably going to wind up scratching his head and privately reconsidering his beliefs.
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 +While the effects of renown are less potent outside a specified area, they still provide immense clout. ​ Even if your character'​s renown is in the area of art history, her reputation as a great mind of the 1920s is so firm that people will thoughtfully consider her opinions about military strategy, engineering,​ global politics, economics - or anything else she can speak on knowledgably.
 +
 +===== Sanctum Sanctorum (Sanctum) =====
 +If your character has five dots in [[Sanctum]] she already owns a location that's secure and useful. ​ A sanctum sanctorum is a place that's frightfully secure and useful. ​ A sanctum sanctorum is a place that's remarkably secure and useful. ​ It's invulnerable to infiltration by any but the immensely most capable burglar and its defenses are sufficient to hold off the entire Russian Army for a week, if necessary.
 +
 +A sanctum sanctorum can be your chance to put something really over the top into the game.  An abandoned fortress on top of the invisible ice cap that floats on top of earth'​s atmosphere, complete with a thunderstorm gun that can be focused on the lands beneath? ​ Sure, why not?  Feel like stealing a page from Mr. X and deciding that the architects of Washington DC built a secret, interconnecting labyrinth beneath the great buildings, streets and monuments? ​ Sounds like a sanctum sanctorum. ​ A mysterious outpost of Mars that can be reached through one of six "​Aetherial Transponders"​ hidden along the Earth'​s equator? ​ Go for it.
 +
 +===== Wealth Beyond Avarice (Resources) =====
 +Your character'​s wealth is so staggering that she can barely keep track of it.  It's simplicity itself for her to acquire and mass-produced or common object. ​ In game terms, although your character has an actual rating of [[Resources]] 6 with this enhancement,​ the score functions at Resources 8 when making purchases. ​ So, your character may automatically buy any available gear you wish that has a cost of 7 or less.  More expensive items may require longer (months or possibly even years) - not because your character can't afford them, but because they have to be made to order. ​ After all, not many zepplins get built. ​ The plus side is that when your character'​s buying extremely expensive things such as custom boats and buildings, she can design them to her own eccentric specifications.
 +
 +To acquire of construct a unique device, vehicle or building - something that essentially counts as a gadget or a sanctum - you lose dots off your Resources, permanently. ​ Each dot lost gives you eight [[Experience|experience]] points with which to buy only the [[Sanctum]] or [[Gadget|Gadgets]] Background. ​ This does mean that the first point spent drops your character from an effective six resources. ​ It's also possible to use Wealth Beyond Avarice to thwart the designs of someone equally wealthy. Say your character and her millionaire rival get into a bidding war for the land containing the Valley of Lost Ideas. The players of both characters take turns naming how many dots they'​re willing to spend; whoever'​s player is willing to spend more loses that number of Resources dots — but gains the rights to the land and has enough wherewithal to fortify it significantly. The loser keeps his Resource dots — and thus is in a fine position to scheme further for the lost prize.
 +{{tag>​sys}}
  
background_enhancements.txt · Last modified: 2013/12/22 21:00 by storyteller