Influence is the ‘currency’ of those who seek to rise to eminence and traverse the road to fame and glory (or free stuff, it’s your prerogative). Influence is gained in several ways.
So how do I gain Influence? Writing! Whenever a thread is concluded, you may request a staff member read it and possibly award you with Influence.
Gaining Influence (The Numbers) - The base Influence for any thread over 15k words is 5. If a thread is under that limit, the base gain is usually 3. A staff member may award more or less, depending on the quality of the story (how well or how not well it ties into the whole ‘influence’ theme). Very short threads or one-off scenes may only grant 1 or 2 points of Influence. Completing a specific faction World Quest or one created for you by staff grants 3 bonus Influence.
With new PC factions, please be aware that your group cannot gain Influence until your leader has purchased at least a Size 3 Base.
So What Merits ‘Influence’? – This is an important question that you should think of before you start writing. Not every single action done by your character will result in magically receiving Influence. Place your character in the real world and ask yourself if what they’ve done would improve their standing in a community. They may have an epic quest where they vanquish their nemesis, and while you may get a fat chunk of Essence or Coin for that, that won’t do anything for your character beyond satisfaction and currency. Also, be aware that most ‘ready-made’ World Quests will probably not result in Influence, unless they are clearly tied into a faction.
Are you questioning whether or not your idea for a plot will get you Influence? Check with a staff member. They can give you a thumbs up or offer advice to make sure it will work out for you. You can also request a story or a faction quest as well.
Losing Influence – Gaining Influence for a rival faction is the easiest way to lose Influence with a faction. Gaining Notoriety (aka a Bounty) will damage your Influence in a faction (at a rate of -2 Influence per Bounty). Your Influence there will start to decay (at a rate of 1 per month) after a six month absence from active writing. Influence can only degrade on its current ‘tier’, see below for more details.
New Factions can also lose Influence if the following occurs: Base sieged/damaged, PCs killed, Minions damaged, loss of relics/special loot, or if the in-character leader goes inactive for a period of time. If a new Faction ever falls below the needed Influence for its current ‘growth,’ it will lose any unlocked benefits until it climbs back up.
Peddling Influence – Individuals within a faction have the ability to peddle (spend) their Influence in exchange for favors. The most common of these is to use it to place bounties on individuals, temporarily gain access to better ‘unlocks’, or to exchange this for Coin (1 ‘point of Influence’ is worth about 1000 Coin).
Tracking Influence on your Character Profile - How you opt to track Influence is ultimately your choice (within reason). The preferred model would be a simple list of the Factions you’ve gained ‘Influence points’. If you’ve ‘unlocked’ an Influence Tier, you should also note that as well. If you are specifically Hated or have Notoriety with a Faction, you should list that (taken ownership of your deeds!) If all the uppercase terms here make no sense to you, just make sure you read through to the end of the page!
Sample Line: "Arcadia: 25 Influence (Renown, Respected); ARC: 10 Influence; Sweetzerland: Hated”
A Special Note for PC Faction Members - The tiers of the Influence system apply to the faction itself -- ie, how the faction is perceived, both on its home World and in the Crossroads at large. It is up to your faction leader to determine how they wish to rank the PC and NPC members within their factions. If you have an issue with a perceived lack of IC or OOC respect, that’s an issue to take to your faction boss.
As you gain Influence within an NPC organization or as part of a PC faction, you will eventually unlock various ‘reward tiers.’ As mentioned above, your Influence cannot ‘naturally decay’ (from inactivity) below your present tier, although your Influence can decay below the tiers if you betray your faction, peddle too much Influence, or if your PC faction loses a fight.
The four tiers are as follows: Respected, Renowned, Influential, and Preeminent. Details on these four tiers, plus some extra notes, are in the button. Open it up to dive into the wall of (informational) text with challenging requirements and fun rewards.
What about an NPC Faction I made up? - Feel free to craft your own NPC factions out in the vast expanse of the Worlds (something you're already welcome to do) and gain Influence with them. Like with all other user content, if it gets a lot of traffic, your NPC faction could wind up on the Wiki. Just be aware that most user-made factions are going to be in that low-to-possibly middle position when it comes to how influential they might be on their World. Don't try and create a massive, all-powerful metropolis with an intergalactic economy. No.
This is all well and good, but what if I just want to take power by force? (aka Conquest)
While rising to power is a layered process, taking power is something murkier and more chaotic.
A powerful character may want to quickly take something by force rather than try and diplomatically, politically, or economically ingratiate themselves into a town or faction. There is nothing to stop a character from attacking a settlement (by this I mean a big one, not some village you created in the middle of nowhere) with the intention of taking it over, but obviously, you should be aware that there are myriad dangers associated with trying something like this. First and foremost is being killed, as many of the established site NPCs have years of growth beyond that of PCs, which will make it extremely difficult to take them down one-on-one, not to mention some of them have literally thousands of soldiers and guards at their disposal.
While there might be a ‘living’ to be made attacking Bases or profiting from wars, you should be aware that proceeding down this ‘style’ will make you little friends, either in the Crossroads or in the greater community. With PC factions, you should make sure you follow all Consent rules. With NPC factions, you should make sure you’re aware that the stakes are going to be very high and likely fatal for someone just trying to smash and grab.
Infamy means you are known in a faction or across a World… but usually not for anything good.
Unlike Influence, Infamy isn’t quite so structured, but it is nevertheless an important thing to consider when one is traveling to foreign Worlds. Being Notorious (or even ‘Hated’) can make anyone’s life harder when they step outside the comforts of their faction’s home, but it can also be a great way for them to curtail favor with a rival faction. Want to ingratiate yourself with the Skylanders? Go purge the seas below of pirates and magic users!
The easiest way to gain Infamy is to perform crimes… and be caught doing so. At its most basic form, you become ‘Notorious’ once a bounty is placed against your character. There is an out-of-character Bounty Board where you can post your own bounties or those you might place on others through Influence peddling.
In character, these bounties are probably posted somewhere in the Medium, conveyed by town criers, email chains, government documents, or posted in public areas. Bounties can be claimed by anyone seeking to make a cheap amount of coin. A bounty will also mean that a town’s guards will attack a character on sight, unless that character has a power that hides their identity.
Bounties are calculated based on a character’s level, starting at 500 Coin for a Level 1 character. For every additional level a character has earned, their bounty will be increased by 500 additional Coin. All bounties set by NPC factions will give the same Coin whether you kill or capture the target. Players who set bounties on other players are free to throw in extra Coin or Trinkets as rewards.
Staff also reserve the right to rescind bounties if it seems like the bounty may be more rooted in meta gaming or ooc ‘salt’ than anything that makes narrative/in-character sense. While combat can fun, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
Ways to become Notorious (aka ‘bounty-able offenses’, list is not exhaustive)
Important Note: Continuing to commit crimes will result in separate, additional bounties! Be wary that you don't become too juicy a target for Bounty Hunters.
Negative Influence? - Sometimes, Quests or Events give out negative Influence. Negative influence is sometimes used when a player maybe only does one crime but their actions were particularly heinous in the big picture (betraying the Crossroads or undermining a war effort). Negative influence points can be cleared by serving time (community service) or paying fines after the initial bounty or bounties are cleared. Negative influence cannot be peddled or used for anything in a gameplay sense.
Ways to remove Notoriety (aka ‘please I didn’t ask for this!’)
Being ‘Hated’ means that you are so reviled by a faction that you run the risk of being attacked on-sight by anyone in that faction, not just guards or soldiers. You are genuinely nefarious in the eyes of these people. While a character with a bounty might still be able to slip through to a World’s more remote regions or sneak around faction settlements in stealthy attire, a ‘hated’ individual will find themselves hounded by everyone in sight.
It is also not uncommon for Hated individuals to be the target of assassination attempts, both sanctioned and unsanctioned. Any player that gains 3 or more separate bounties against one faction will instantly Hated. Be cautious when traveling outside the safety of your Base. Being Hated does not clear upon Death, but you can still opt to turn yourself in to the authorities and pay a fine (given the sometimes fleeting nature of death).
The easiest way to go from a simple bounty to Hatred would be to continue slaughter and destruction of property. Influential characters in factions may become Hated by rival factions in the event that factions are actively at war.
Emblem of the Resistance - Aside from being a requirement for many high-ranking positions in NPC factions, being Hated can carry with it benefits, as ‘the resistance’ to any established faction is likely to flock to you if they know you’re on the world. After all, just because a faction ‘hates’ you doesn’t mean you’re the bad guy. If you are Hated with a ruling faction on any given World, you unlock a group of Minions with a 3000 Coin budget. You only have access to these Minions on the World where you are Hated, and you will lose them if you lose this status.
Notoriety & Influence GAIN - For factions that are actively in conflict with one another (see the wiki pages or ask staff), gaining Notoriety in one faction is an instant way to gain ‘free’ Influence in their rival faction (Each bounty nets a character 2 Influence in an opposing faction). Continued Notoriety gain will continue to be a way to gain Influence, but one should be cautious of the side-effects of constantly harassing a city, tribe, or firmly entrenched government. Staff also reserve the right to call out abuse or metagaming if we perceive it to be happening. Faction relations should be listed on their Wiki pages, or you can check with staff.
(For Clarity) PC Bounties and PC Faction Influence - Player characters who commit crimes in the name of their faction can submit those threads for Influence, like with other, less violent influence-related threads. Normal Influence gain applies (see near the top of this page). While multiple crimes will impact Notoriety, standard influence gain applies. Notoriety gained by a PC member in a thread submitted for influence gain will also apply to the PC faction.
The Respected/The Fearsome Affinity - Player characters can unlock an option for a special affinity by becoming ‘Respected’ or ‘Notorious’ with at least 6 different factions on 6 different Worlds. This affinity grants the player character 25% bonus Coin for completing Quests. Whether it’s because of love or hate, you’re gonna make that extra money. This does not stack with other Affinities.