Spheres of Influence

From Bump In The Night
Jump to: navigation, search

This is an alphabetical list of the types of mundane spheres of influence that a character can possess with regards to certain Merits. If you feel there is a Sphere missing, +pitch it to Staff, along with your reasoning, and we'll consider your request. Most, but not all, use the Status Merit, in addition to Allies and Contacts; they may also provide reasons for having other Merits, such as Barfly, Pusher, Fixer, or Fame.

Keep in mind that the examples of Status are just that, examples; additionally, those positions aren't restricted to their respective levels of Status. It's possible to have a low-Status detective, or a city councilor lacking in clout, and thus Status.

Note as well that some categories are further broken down by (Type). A class which includes the (Type) descriptor will list several options. Chose one option, your character gains a +2 dot modifier on any use of the merit within the selected type, but a -2 to use the merit outside of their choice. Many types include the <County> variable, where the same merit exists for all 5 counties.

<TYPE> and Social Merits:

All Favors and/or merit blocking from Allies (Type) or Status (Type) are drawn from one pool. If you have a Type, you get 2 additional favors that apply only to that type, and you may only take up to <Rating-2> favors outside of that type. No individual favor is over 5 levels.

EXAMPLE: Professor McGuffin has Allies (Academia - UMD) at 3. He wants to pull in some favors, both within and without of the University of Maryland. He may only call in the equivalent of 1 level of favor from outside of the University, however, and up to 4 from within. If Professer McGuffin did not call on any favors from without of the University, he could call upon 5 levels of favors.

For the purpose of Merit Blocking with Allies or Status, you may only block up to 5 dots of merits, period. However, a rating above 5 (via type) allows you to block other merits with an effective rating above 5.

Effective Status within an organization caps at 5 for internal rank, and any bonuses from Type add to protection from tampering.

When using Contacts with a type, add the relevant +2 or -2 modifier to any roll to deal with your contacts.

Academia (Type)

Academia is the Influence Sphere which represents higher learning and scholarly pursuits in Southern Maryland. Primary institutions of learning include University of Maryland, United States Naval Academy and College of Southern Maryland.

Types: University of Maryland, US Naval Academy, College of Southern Maryland, Community College of <County>.

Valid Merits

  • Allies
  • Contacts
  • Status

Examples of Status

  1. Undergraduate Student
  2. Graduate Student
  3. Professor
  4. Distinguished Alumnus
  5. University President

Corporate

Corporate Influence is directly tied to big business, from regional chains to multinational conglomerates. This sphere provides access to accountants, advertisers, executives and various movers and shakers at multiple businesses.

Valid Merits

  • Allies
  • Contacts
  • Status

Examples of Status

  1. Share Holder
  2. Junior Executive
  3. Major Shareholder
  4. Board Member
  5. CEO

Government (Type)

Government relates to the various county, city, or state level governments in Southern Maryland. Note that this influence group refers exclusively to Executive and Legislative branches. Due to the interconnection of each of these moving parts, a character can exert influence in a type not their own as per normal, with the usual modifiers. As smaller groups tend to balk at influence from larger groups, Federal and State level Government Influence is not as all-intensive as it may at first appear.

Types: <County> Government, Maryland State Government, Federal Government

Valid Merits

  • Allies
  • Contacts
  • Status

Examples of Status

  1. Intern
  2. Bureaucrat
  3. Entrenched Employee
  4. Appointed Official
  5. Elected Official

Industrial

The Industrial sphere covers engineers, drafters, technicians, and laborers in both professional and amateur circles of construction, manufacturing, and distribution.

Status Examples:

  1. Part-time employee or recent hire
  2. Union member or trained worker
  3. Union rep, artisan, or specialized engineer
  4. Architect or master artisan
  5. Pioneer in the field

Valid Merits

  • Allies
  • Contacts
  • Status

Legal

Legal Influence provides access to the Judicial System, either at a local, state, or federal level. Influence in this group allows one power in both civil and criminal legal matters.

Types: <County> Courts, Maryland State Courts, Federal Courts

Valid Merits

  • Allies
  • Contacts
  • Status

Examples of Status

  1. Bailiff
  2. Law Clerk
  3. Defense Attorney
  4. State's Attorney
  5. Judge

Entertainment

The Entertainment sphere covers most forms of popular art and media, from music and film, to literature and television. Status only covers relationships between people in the business; for the relationship the person might have with the fans and general public, look to Fame.

Valid Merits

  • Allies
  • Contacts
  • Status

Examples of Status

  1. Demo Tape Bassist
  2. Local Television Commercial
  3. Local Radio Personality
  4. Television Star
  5. Movie Star

Law Enforcement

Law Enforcement represents a character's status and influence within a police or sheriff's department. For simplicity, we are not moderling the reality of real world police departments, instead each county has a single Police Department, as well as the Maryland State Police. Characters are free to belong to any of these agencies, but it is recommended that they be Maryland State Police for the freedom of Jurisdiction. Characters on BITN may not be active Federal Law Enforcement Agents.

Types: <County> Police, Maryland State Police.

Valid Merits

  • Allies
  • Contacts
  • Status

Examples of Status

  1. Civilian Employee
  2. Rookie Cop
  3. Patrol Officer
  4. Detective
  5. Captain/Sheriff

High Society

High Society Influence is standing and access to the rich and the glamorous. This type of influence is social and is not tied to any particular field or business - those are other types of influence. Instead of business or government access, this influence relates to social standing and gossip.

Valid Merits

  • Allies
  • Contacts
  • Status

Examples of Status

  1. New Money
  2. Blue Blood
  3. Trendsetter
  4. Celebutante
  5. Society Maven

Homeless

The Homeless are both everywhere and nowhere, an ignored fixture of the landscape. This leaves them as a constant source of information to those who can deal with them. Due to a general lack of hierarchy and organization, Status is not a valid merit for Homeless.

Valid Merits

  • Allies
  • Contacts

Media

Despite some overlap, the Media Influence Sphere is distinct from Entertainment in function, if not form. Media represents the news - television journalists, TV weathermen, political bloggers, newspaper editors. They can get information on many topics, and can apply or ease pressure.

Valid Merits

  • Allies
  • Contacts
  • Status

Examples of Status

  1. Paparazzi
  2. Photographer
  3. Chief Correspondent
  4. Local News Anchor
  5. Editor in Chief

Medicine

Influence in Medicine applies to local hospitals, clinics, and emergency medical services. It can get someone treatment, or get them denied. It can get access to medical records or experimental drugs.

Valid Merits

  • Allies
  • Contacts
  • Status

Examples of Status

  1. EMT
  2. Nurse
  3. General Practitioner
  4. Chief Surgeon
  5. Hospital Administrator

Nightlife

The Nightlife influence sphere is where the fun is. All the best parties, the clubs, raves, concerts and hot spots. You may be on the VIP, you may know the best dealers or be able to get invites to the most exclusive parties. There is not an associated Status for this Influence Sphere, but the Barfly merit is highly recommended.

Valid Merits

  • Allies
  • Barfly
  • Contacts

Organized Crime

There is not as much obvious Organized Criminal activity in Southern Maryland, but there is still an influence to be found here. From remnants of the Italian mafia, to Irish and Russian organizations, there are those who control things from behind the scenes.

Valid Merits

  • Allies
  • Contacts
  • Status

Examples of Status

  1. Loanshark
  2. Dirty Cop, Bookie
  3. Made Man
  4. Capo
  5. Don

Religion

The Catholoic chuch is very strong in Southern Maryland, and where it is not the dominant faith, another denomination of Christianity almost certainly is.

Valid Merits

  • Allies
  • Contacts
  • Status

Examples of Status

  1. Notable Parishoner
  2. Priest
  3. Head Priest
  4. Deacon
  5. Bishop

Street Crime

Gangs, independant thugs, drug dealers and other scum make up this influence group. As it is less organized overall, any sort of low level criminal may be among this area.

Valid Merits

  • Allies
  • Contacts
  • Status

Examples of Status

  1. Crackhead
  2. Pot Dealer
  3. Gang Banger
  4. Pimp
  5. OG