RM: Core Rules, Better Layout   Posted by Intender.Group: 0
Intender
 GM, 32 posts
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Sun 7 May 2017
at 07:01
RM: Core Rules, Better Layout
Note: This system is designed for a particular playstyle that is often ignored by big game companies like Paizo and WTC.

For example, mechanical balance is not important to the target playstyle and therefore is not a major consideration, instead the balance leans towards naturalistic balance. The system is mildly simulationist in design, and attempts to associate mechanics where possible.

Most importantly perhaps, the rules are not solid rules-to-play-by, like the rules of chess, rather the rules are nothing more than support for portraying characters, aiding communication, adding a bit of uncertainty, and providing a good foundation for the gm to use in making rulings. This is not a combat game with story on top, this a game for the players to be the victims of the story, not just their characters. You should be making choices not for the mechanical rewards but for the emotional ones. Save npcs because you want to see them live, explore areas to sate your curiosity, take on quests because you are invested in the situation. This is a game for exploring worlds and characters, not for finding loot and getting ever bigger numbers.

A player should never be thinking in terms of an obstacle needing a particular die roll to counter, rather, they should describe what they are attempting and how they are attempting it, then the gm will ask for what kind of roll they feel is appropriate. For example, when encountering a trap, one should not simply respond with a trap-disabling roll, but should be asking for more details on the type of trap and how it is triggered, to be followed by a description of how they attempt to disable, or bypass the trap. Stepping over the tripwire is perfectly valid and certainly doesn't take a trap-disabling check.

Furthermore, the gm should be playing destiny and fate, though chance is left to the dice. With some good gming techniques, the gm should not ever need to railroad players (which is basically antithetical to the design goals), rather the players should have complete freedom to make their choices, yet as they say, one often meets their destiny on the road to avoid it, and that job falls to the gm.

This message was last edited by the GM at 07:39, Sun 14 May 2017.

Intender
 GM, 33 posts
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Sun 7 May 2017
at 07:10
RM: Core Rules, Better Layout
The Core Mechanic

      The core mechanic is to roll some dice, add them together for a number that rates how well they did something, and sometimes compare that number to another number to determine if they did good enough to achieve their desired outcome. As a note to GMs, this should rarely be a binary pass/fail check, especially not when progressing the story is at stake. Instead, failure should usually be seen as an added obstacle, cost, or greater difficulty. In the end, a check should account for the character's ability (the ranks to roll), the task's difficulty (the DC [Difficulty Class] or ST [Success Threshold]), and any significant interference (modifiers to the other two).

      There are actually two different mechanics, the original mechanic which is great for tabletop playing, and a mechanic for using electronic rollers. As such, the rules refer to ranks, of which both mechanics make use of, but in different ways.

      The original mechanic rolls up to five dice, each representing something different. The first die is the tier die, representing the character's agency (therefore only creatures and things that can make choices get to roll this), the second die is based on the applicable attribute, the third die represents skill, the fourth die represents a specialization of the skill if any, and lastly, the fifth die represents any bonuses or penalties that may apply such as weather or magic effects.

      Some mechanics will change what each die represents, such as saves using two attributes instead of attribute plus skill, but the above is the general case.

      For each of these dice, the max value of the die is twice the rank. I.E. If Strength has a rank of 2, then when rolling Strength, you would roll a D4, which is twice the rank. The bonus and penalty ranks are added up together for a single die size.

      The electronic roller mechanic simply adds up all the ranks together and rolls two dice with a max value equal to the total ranks. This is much easier to enter into electronic rollers, but it often uses dice sizes unobtainable as real dice, and the probability curves are a simple pyramid which loses a lot of subtlety in the original mechanic's probability curves, (such as the original mechanic's gaining consistency as ability improves).

The Golden Number Scale
By default, when comparing numbers and associating them to results in the story world, the number represents a level of skill, ability, or rarity according to this scale.
<0 so easy that it normally is a success without effort, so common as to need effort to escape from
0-10 common and easily done by average people with little training
10-20 apprentice level, fairly common
20-30 journeyman/professional level,
30-40 basic mastery level, uncommon and expensive
40-50 masters aspire to this, Olympic level, rare and hard to find
50-60 legendary/mythical, many skeptics will not believe it (unless done by a demi-god or supernatural effect)

Taking Time
Note to d20 players: In some ways this will seem similar to Taking 10 and Taking 20, but the situation here is somewhat reversed. Some skills and actions are expected to normally be done Taking Time, for which trying to take those actions extra fast or with fewer materials (such as during an encounter or running short on supplies) is handled by simply not Taking Time.

Taking Time means spending more time and more materials to increase the results of a check. Not all checks can be made with Taking Time of course, but most can, and some can have limits. Taking Time comes in levels, with higher levels improving the benefit while increasing the cost.

In some cases, the normal thing for characters to do is to Take Time, in which rolling a check without Taking Time represents a rushed attempt at the skill or attempting to conserve materials.

Taking Time increases a check result, at the expense of time and materials. Time and materials may be interchangeable in some cases, but as a general rule of thumb, at least half the cost should generally go to cost in time.

At the lowest level, Taking Minor Time will cost +10x in time and/or materials. (you can split that +10x however makes sense to the gm, +5x time and +5x materials, +9x time and +1x materials, etc) At this level, your ranks in the skill are withheld from the roll, instead you add twice your withheld ranks to the end result of the roll.

At the next level, Taking Moderate Time will cost +50x in time and/or materials to withhold your skill and specialization ranks, adding twice your withheld ranks to the end result.

At the highest level, Taking Major Time, the cost becomes +100x in time and/or materials, allowing you to withhold ranks from attribute, skill, and specialization, adding twice the withheld ranks to the end result.

Multipliers
In some supplements, settings, and advanced rule modules, various effects will double, triple, or halve values, thus rules must be implemented detailing how they interact. Most systems might say two doubles equal a triple, or all extra multiples are one less, etc.

In this game, an unusual approach has been taken in which a notation form is used. When an ability doubles a value, it basically adds +100%, which is written shorthand as +1x. Tripling, quadrupling, and adding half again follow the same scheme, +2x, +3x, and +.5x respectively. Thus adding +1x and +1x = +2x, or +200%. The end result is the same as two doubles equaling a triple, but it is much clearer and no need to remember what to do about adding two triples.

All multipliers are based on the base value of what is being enhanced unless otherwise stated, therefore, a if Barbara the barbarian has a magic belt that adds a +1 rank to her base strength of 3 ranks, and then is affected by a spell that adds +1x to her strength, she gets 7 ranks of strength, the base of 3 ranks is 100%, therefore 100% plus 100% is 3 plus 3, then the 1 from her belt is added for a total of 7 ranks.

Dividers work the same, for example halving a stat is -.5x, which would reduce the above barbarian's strength from 3+1 to 1+1 (1.5 rounded down to 1).
Thus halving and then halving again, -1x, would reduce the base to nothing but leave the +1 rank from the belt.

Fractions and Ties
Fractions are always rounded down, but they do count for breaking ties and activating triggers. For example, if a power has a secondary effect that is triggered if the power dealt more than 0 damage, and the power dealt 1 point which got halved to .5 damage, even though it gets rounded to 0, it still counts as having dealt more than 0 damage and thus triggers the secondary effect.

The same applies to pips (described later in the attributes section). Pips are part way from one rank of an attribute to the next. If there is some comparison directly between ranks (such as when dictating order of actions when it matters), then ties are broken in favor of who has more pips.

If there is still a tie even after considering the above, than the tie breaks in favor of the higher tier. If needed, roll tier, and keep rolling tier until the tie is broken.

Streamlining: Making One Roll Out of Two

There are many cases where two characters need to roll opposing skills, especially with the more detailed combat module. In such cases it is rather beneficial to streamline the game by setting one of the opposed rolls as a static number, cutting the number of required checks in half.

There are two major ways to go about this, you can follow DnD's footsteps and make a certain type of check static, such as AC in DnD (that is what the 10+ is, it is a static d20 roll), or alternatively, you can have the players roll while NPCs get static numbers.

Of course, you can also use static numbers for minions and still roll for the leaders.

The system here leaves everything as it would be rolled, so it is up to the GM to decide which, if any, checks would be static and under what conditions, if any.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:09, Mon 22 May 2017.

Intender
 GM, 37 posts
 RAI Expert and MEaD
 MechanicsEngineer&Designr
Sun 14 May 2017
at 08:29
RM: Core Rules, Better Layout
Characters

Attributes
Characters have innate traits called Attributes. Attributes are composite, and represent a general category of ability.

The Attributes with a quick description,

Strength represents the ability to exert force and move weight around as well as physique.

Agility represents moving accurately, quickly, and flexibly.

Constitution represents fitness, physical durability, and recovery, (both on the large scale, like taking/healing damage, and the micro scale, like fighting infection or poison).

Intellect represents memory, knowledge, and logical thought. High intellect means learning faster, remembering more, and doing math with numbers and concepts.

Creativity represents problem solving, novel thought, and applying knowledge in new ways. High creativity means thinking outside the box, using knowledge in new ways, and not simply using existing design patterns but creating new ones.

Awareness represents, intuition, finding/understanding patterns, and being aware of oneself and the world, not just directly observed details (like how many buttons someone is wearing), but also the implications and subtle underlying patterns (like how it tends to rain more during spring).

Energy represents the general energy level of an individual. A low Energy person is sedentary and spends their time in calm pursuits, while high Energy people are always bouncing off the walls and actively engaged in everything.

Aura represents the focus and range of one's connection with the world. A low Aura person focuses on what is right next to them and only on a few things at once, while a high Aura person focuses on more things and at a greater distance (both physical distance and further in the future/past).

Charisma represents social magnetism. A low Charisma person tends to be regarded with disdain or simply ignored, while a high Charisma person invites attraction and respect simply by existing. This is a two way street though, and higher charisma gives a better ability to judge the moods and intents of others as well as greater empathy.

Optional Attributes, these Attributes don't do much, but they are descriptive and can therefore round things out. I will add notes to the few cases where the inclusion of these Attributes will make a difference to the rules in this color.

With these Attributes, there will be 12 total for power, maneuverability, and resistance in each of the four categories, physical, mental, spiritual, and social.

Will represents personality, dedication to values (whatever they may be), and strength of self. Someone with a high will is not easily swayed nor diverted by adversity.

Communication represents the ability to communication well, both with language and in other ways, such as gestures, expressions, and body language. A higher ability here allows one to better understand what others intend, notice things left unsaid, and of course, makes for a better "fast-talker."

Empathy (for lack of a better name at the moment) represents ability as a team-player, emotional control, and connection with others. A low empathy person doesn't understand nor interact with others very well and is usually on the bottom of the social ladder, while a high empathy person is generally popular and often sets social precedent.


Skills

Skills are broad types of activities that characters can learn to perform. They have three categories based on how difficult they are to learn.

Natural skills are instinctive and barring extreme circumstances, are generally learned up to a basic proficiency simply by living life. For example, perception is something people do all the time without thinking, they don't require training to use the skill, though training is required to become an expert at it. Natural skills generally start at rank 1 unless some other aspect of character creation says otherwise.

Learned skills are a bit harder to learn and are not inherent in people. They must be studied or practiced, but are usually based on natural activities and therefore anyone could figure them out with simple trial and error by attempting them and eventually figuring them out.

Advanced skills are more abstract, or even unnatural (such as flying for a race without wings), and require significant investment to learn, usually the only reasonable way to learn these skills is from teachers. Advanced skills usually require some character trait (like a Feature, see below) or special circumstance to initially learn the skill. Those that don't, can be learned through trial and error, but require considerably more time and practice and often require just as much study and analysis as actual attempted use.



Natural Skills
- Acrobatics: movement based on agility, such as tumbling, squeezing through narrow spaces, etc (jump 8 inches per point of result)
- Athletics: movement based on endurance or strength, such as climbing, or marathon running
- Bluff: Not so much about words, though words might be used, this would be the skill used in poker or feinting. It isn't about what you say, but about hiding your true intent or motives.
- Handle Animal: caring for, riding, raising, and dealing with animals
- Intimidate: This is not so much saying things to scare, but body posture, looming over someone, scary face, etc. The ability to intimidate with or without words.
- Perception: This covers searching, noticing something about who/what you are focused on, etc.
* Perform: sing, dance, oratory, etc.
- Stealth: move/act without notice
- Speech: This covers diplomacy, and though it can be used to tell lies or make someone think they are going to get into trouble if don't do something, it is all about what you say and how you say it.
* Language: This is for learning new languages. it allows slowly learning new languages (so you can have fun with partially understanding a language) as well as being used for translating between languages.

Learned Skills
- Appraise: Determine traits or info about something/someone. Not simply economic value, but quality, enchantments, material composition, etc.
* Fight: Skill in using a weapon group, type of armor, martial art, etc.
* Lore: represents pure knowledge, such as general history
- First Aid: basic tending of wounds, sickness, etc. Completely external stuff, such as bandages, stitches, medicinal herbs, potions, etc.
* Instrument: Ability to play an instrument.
- Linguistics: All about knowledge of language structures and cryptographic codes, and forging paperwork.
- Survival: skill in operating in an environment, such as navigating, tracking, discerning north, weather-watching, etc.
- Thievery: Skill in implementing and circumventing security, locks, tripwires, etc.
* Trade: all about a particular trade-craft, such as blacksmithing, mechanics, fletching, etc.
* Use Complex Device: using and/or maintaining complex devices, like computers, magic items, etc. This is more broad than Trade but less capable. This skill is about being a user, but not a crafter or tinkerer of such devices and doesn't include knowledge of the workings of such devices.

Advanced
- Medicine: deep medicine, such as surgery, practical anatomy,  etc.
* Science: knowing and using fields of knowledge and activities that are primarily mental, such as mathematics, psychology, programming, etc.
* Spellcraft/powers: special

Special
* Drive/Pilot: ability to operate a vehicle (difficulty depends on vehicle. Most common vehicles are in the Learned category, but some some vehicles are in Advanced instead. In fact some vehicles are so advanced or difficult as to take a penalty even when trained to represent the need for a higher standard of training for basic proficiency, for example, modern complex aircraft like the V-22 Osprey.)
- Endurance
- Dodge

* denotes skills that are subdivided, for example, both english and german are languages and use the language skill, but each english and german have their own ranks.


Features

Features cover all the special abilities a character might have. The features list is also the most in need of adaptation to particular settings.

Features can allow new uses for old skills (I.E. Arcane Senses allows one to use perception checks to notice magical auras, and Appraise to examine them.). Specializations benefit from this as well (I.E. Forensic Search is a specialization of Perception, therefore Forensic Search can find magical auras if Perception can.).

Features can allow/unlock new skills or adjust their category. i.e. magical training allows the spellcraft skill to be used for casting spells.

Features may also reduce penalties or add bonuses in certain circumstances. i.e. blind-familiarity reduces penalties for being blind.

Features do occasionally have prerequisites. I.E. blind-fighting requires blind-familiarity.

Note: Features should never give flat bonuses to a skill. It works contrary to the advancement setup and breaks the tier boundaries, allowing characters to reach results far more easily than the system accounts for. It also undervalues the skills and bypasses the advancement limits for skills.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:22, Sun 17 Sept 2017.

Intender
 GM, 38 posts
 RAI Expert and MEaD
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Sun 21 May 2017
at 07:29
RM: Core Rules, Better Layout
Saves

Saves are checks made as automatic responses and resistances. Rolling a save is rolling two attributes and the tier die. Some special abilities or skills build on the saves, adding a specialization die in the same way you can add a specialization to a skill roll.

The Fortitude save rolls strength and constitution. This save is for physical resistance, health, and natural healing, so you roll it against sickness, physical shock, or general damage.

The Endurance save rolls energy and constitution. This save is resistance to fatigue and effects that are taxing or draining.

The Concentration save rolls Awareness and Aura. This save represents maintaining focus despite distractions (such as being injured) or physical shock.

The Evasion save uses Agility and Awareness and represents dodging and avoiding sudden, quick, or unexpected things.

The Resolve save actually rolls Tier with Awareness (thus rolling tier + tier + awareness). This represents self-discipline, and noticing/resisting mental or emotional effects and urges (whether natural, like an addiction or situation, or magical effects, like an enrage spell).

The Mana save is an optional save. Some settings tie magic fatigue and physical fatigue together, thus using magic for those settings would use the Endurance save. Other settings keep them explicitly separate in which case the Mana save is used for magic instead. The Mana save can use various attributes to differentiate magical styles if desired. The default is Energy and Aura, but Energy and Intellect can represent wizardry, Energy and Awareness can represent Divine/Faith magic, while Energy and Tier can represent magic from force of will.


If the optional Attributes are used, Will replaces Awareness for the Concentration save, and replaces tier for the Resolve save (rolls Tier + Awareness + Will).

This message was last edited by the GM at 07:30, Sun 21 May 2017.

Intender
 GM, 40 posts
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Sun 21 May 2017
at 08:26
RM: Core Rules, Better Layout
Daunts
(I'd like a better name, but I haven't found one yet. Foils maybe, like foiling someone's plans?)

Daunts is the basic conflict resolution system. It can be used for simplified combat, but it can also be used for all manner of other encounters or challenges, or basically anytime you want to require more than a single skill check to resolve something.

In Daunts, you have a few key parts which can then be used in different ways depending on the circumstances.

Key part one, the Daunt Limit. Throughout a Daunts challenge, one will gain or lose daunts and upon reaching the Daunt limit, you lose. The Daunt limit is usually three plus one's ranks in an appropriate attribute, but it can also be other things as well, such as being two less than one's opponent's number of Daunts (which requires being far enough ahead of one's opponent in order to win).

Key part two, the check. The check can be a skill check, an attribute check, or even a save.

Key part three, Daunts. Each participant in a daunt challenge has 0 or more Daunts. Gaining Daunts is usually a bad thing (and gives a new meaning to when someone remains "undaunted by the...").

Key part four, conditions for gaining Daunts. There can be different ways of gaining Daunts. The simplest is of course when two opponents roll against each other and the loser gains a Daunt. Other ways work too, especially for tasks that don't pit two characters directly against each other. For example, in a challenge to cross a thin, slippery ledge, Daunts might be earned for rolling too low.

Here are some example basic styles for using these key parts to build a Daunt challenge.

The first style, Direct Competition is the simplest style and is fit for when two characters are directly opposing each other with a choice of skills is available (I.E. in a social encounter, one might choose intimidate, bluff, speech or some specialization there-of). In this style, each round both characters make an opposed check, loser gains a daunt. When daunts equal the daunt limit as based on the appropriate attribute ranks + 3 (such as charisma for social encounters), they lose.

The second style, Balanced Competition is good for when different skills oppose each other but both skills should get rolled by each participant (I.E. perception vs stealth in a game of hide and seek). Each round, both participants roll each skill opposed to the other. Only one of the checks brings a chance of gaining a daunt, each character taking that chance once per round (I.E. Fred and Harry are playing hide and seek. Each round Fred rolls perception and stealth, and Harry opposes them in case with stealth and perception respectively. If a stealth check is failed, then a daunt is gained. Whomever reaches the daunt limit first, loses the game.)

The third style, Competitive Challenge is good for when there is some sort of challenge that must be completed by multiple contestants to see who was best at it (I.E. like an obstacle course). In this style, failing against the DC of the challenge earns a Daunt, and reaching the daunt limit means failing the challenge completely. Whomever has the fewest Daunts was the best at the course.

The fourth style, Generic Challenge is for cases of facing a static challenge (I.E. like scaling a cliff face). In this style, reaching your Daunt limit means failing completely, the consequences of which, at a minimum, means starting over, though perhaps more severe consequences can occur. Generic Challenges have a set number of checks to make. The challenge can be from a task being difficult, or from being long. The consequences should not always be lethal or absolute. For example, if inching along a narrow ledge, if the daunt limit is reached, one might fall down to hang by their fingers and find they need to get across from a more difficult position (hopefully they allies to help).

The fifth style, Chase, as the name implies is good for chases, or races. When at zero daunts, everyone is close enough to grab each other. Each round, failing a check by 5 gains a daunt, thus falling behind. Failing by 10, or being halted by some other means, results in losing the race/chase. Succeeding by 5, means losing a daunt, thus catching up/moving ahead. If you already have zero daunts, then everyone else gains one instead. When someone reaches the daunt limit, they lose the chase. In this style, a chase can be at different scales, from a neck and neck race, to tracking someone days ahead (like in Lord of the Ring, when Aragorn and companions are a day behind the uruk-hai but still trying to catch up to them).

A sixth style, Vehicle Chase, is like the Chase style, but in this style, vehicles have Daunts but not the individual characters. For example, the PCs might be on a stage coach racing away from enemies (like in Van Helsing). The individual characters can each do things lose Daunts for the coach or give Daunts to their enemies. One character might drive the coach hoping to lose Daunts without crashing, while the other characters might make combat checks to give daunts to the enemies.

Stacking Challenges
Challenges can be stacked, meaning a character can be part of multiple Daunt challenges at the same time (For example, one challenge representing fighting might be stacked with a Chase challenge). Each challenge is tracked separately, meaning Daunts in one of the challenges has no effect on the other challenge. A daunt conflict can also stack with the more in-depth combat system, or other rules modules when desired. Daunt conflicts can also lead into one another (I.E. a large scale chase with the PCs being pursued by orcs a day behind them can turn into a small scale chase or combat if the trailing orcs manage to catch up.)

Of course, it is rather easy to use the key parts to build a challenge for whatever situation you need, or even to add layers. For example, it may be desired that for a combat challenge, it could be setup such that being hit by an enemy causes a daunt, or you might add a layer and say that being hit causes a fort save with DC based on weapon damage with failure of the save granting a daunt.

Tailoring can also be easily done by altering the Daunt limit, or by allowing a small range of results to maintain status quo, with above or below results gaining or losing ground.

In some cases you could flip daunts from being a bad thing gained through failure, to being a good thing, gained through success instead.
Intender
 GM, 43 posts
 RAI Expert and MEaD
 MechanicsEngineer&Designr
Mon 29 May 2017
at 10:40
RM: Core Rules, Better Layout
Advancement
The general idea behind advancement is to improve what the characters actually do. I wanted something that incorporated both intellect and difficulty, but I didn't want intellect to be too important. So I came up with a rolling dice scheme called xp checks. The inclusion of chance reduces the importance of intellect, slows improvement without being too slow, adds the possibility of "awesome" moments to advancement, allows progress to be interacted with more often and thus feel more common, is far easier to adjust, and isn't a perfectly predictable assured thing (a bonus in my eyes, though I know some prefer perfect predictability).

Basically, Intellect determines the size of dice you roll. If using the tabletop rolling method, the die size is the normal one for int, die size = 2*rank. However, the one exception is if int has a rank of 0 (1-4 pips/score), then it counts a d1.

Difficulty refers to how much trouble was involved in using the skill/feature/etc to be improved. It doesn't matter what the DC of a check or series of checks were, but if the player had some awesome amazing check result that basically one-shot finish the task, then it was easy for them, but if they had to roll multiple checks and failed a bunch, then it was hard, even if the dc was low and they were having bad luck with the rolls that night.

So, at the end of an encounter, scene, or session (depending on desired rate of advancement), each player involved gets to pick something they used in that encounter/scene/session that advances through xp checks. Then they roll a number of dice, how many die based on how much trouble they had and the die size based on intellect. They add up the total. For every 4 points, they get one xp towards that skill/feature/etc.

Alternatively, xp rolls can be gained by completing objectives (quests). This requires more careful judgement by the gm, especially in establishing objectives, but it does also open up even more the freedom to achieve objectives in a variety of methods.

I have not had the chance to play any multi-session games yet so I'm not really sure what numbers are good, but the idea is to use exponential formula (tables for ease of reference), with different rates based on three factors, skill category (natural, learned, advanced), desired game scope (slower for purely natural games, faster for superheroic/demi-god games), and skills vs feature vs etc.

Sounds complicated at first, but this is one place where presentation makes all the difference. A pair of simple tables with about 3 columns and about 10 rows will be sufficient for a game (one for the three skill categories, the other for the features/etc), the gm would simply pick which tables they want for their game and the others get ignored for that game. Splitting skills allows the gm to set their pace separate from everything else.

Attributes gain xp with training of their skills or dedicated Training.

Characters can undergo Training. This can be during down time, or in small bits while traveling. Training only comes two ways, regular and rigorous. Regular training rolls one dice per hour of training, while rigorous training rolls two die per hour of training. Rigorous training of course has all the downsides of being very difficult and tiring.

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:57, Tue 18 July 2017.

Intender
 GM, 45 posts
 RAI Expert and MEaD
 MechanicsEngineer&Designr
Tue 6 Jun 2017
at 04:27
RM: Core Rules, Better Layout
Standing, Connections, and Responsibilities

Standing represents your character's social standing, and if applicable, rank in military or similar organizations.

At higher standings, one might even be of noble birth.

At lower standings, one is considered a criminal and treated with suspician by the authorities, perhaps even actively hunted at really low scores, but they are more likely to get welcomed by others in the criminal underworld, something that won't happen for high standing individuals in general.

Connections represents how well connected a character is and thus how easily they can find a contact that owes them a favor or is friendly enough to give some help if needed. Contacts should be appropriate to standing however. Thus someone with low standing will have an easier time finding a contact to gain access to the black market, while a high standing character will have an easier time finding some in government to help them handle or even cut through the bureaucratic red tape.

Responsibilities are basically strings that attach a character to the world, that the gm can use against the player to make things "interesting." For example, a player might owe a lot of money, or might hold a reserve commision in the army, or have family duties to attend to.

These are pretty reliant on the gm, so attaching a number serves no real purpose other than how much the responsibility should interfere the character.