When characters want something in the Eclipse Phase universe, they hit up their social networks: PCs will make a Networking test to reach out through their friends, associates, and the sophisticated software that binds society together in the year 10 AF. And if they find someone who can help them, they’ll ask for help based on the reputation they’ve built for themselves.
In short, they’ll call in a favor.
But if the PCs are constantly reaching out to other people, doesn’t it make sense that people would also be reaching out to them? They’re skilled, well-connected, and possibly even well-known. Just the sort of people you’d want to ask a favor from.
The system presented here is a tool I’ve designed for an open table Eclipse Phase campaign I’m currently developing, but it should prove useful for almost any Eclipse Phase GM. The idea is to create unexpected complications (and synergies) by having the social networks of the PCs organically interrupt their lives.
RANDOM REPUTATION FAVORS
Rep Network Check: Each PC has a 2 in 10 chance of being contacted for a favor each session.
The GM should make this check at the beginning of each session and note which PCs will be receiving a request. These requests won’t necessarily happen immediately: The GM should decide during the course of the session when the call comes.
Optional Rule: If the initial rep network check indicates that a PC will be contacted for a favor, immediately roll another check to see if they’ll be contacted for a second favor. Continue rolling until they actually fail a check.
GENERATING THE FAVOR
1. Determine Reputation Network. Randomly determine which of the character’s reputation networks is making the request.
2. Determine Solicitor. Determine who’s requesting the favor by rolling on the Solicitor table. Note that this can be an opportunity to develop the PC’s personal life for play. For example, if the table indicates that the request is coming from a friend that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a friend who has been part of the campaign before.
|6||Friend of a Friend|
3. Determine Favor Level. Determine the level of the favor being requested by rolling on the Favor Level table.
|0-39||Trivial (Level 1)|
|40-59||Low (Level 2)|
|60-79||Moderate (Level 3)|
|80-94||High (Level 4)|
|95-99||Scarce (Level 5)|
4. Determine Type of Favor. Roll on the Type of Favor table to determine the type of favor being requested. The exact nature of the favor is heavily dependent on the particular circumstances of the character and the campaign; the table is merely designed to provide a general idea that can help serve as a creative seed for the GM. Reference the favors tables on pages 289-290 of the Eclipse Phase rulebook to determine the scope of the favor being requested (based on the level of the favor).
|D%||TYPE OF FAVOR|
|65-74||Use of an Item|
|75-84||Buying an Item|
|85-89||Selling an Item|
Information: This can either be information that the character already knows or information that they are capable of finding out. (It could also be information that someone just thinks they know or can find out.)
Introduction: The solicitor would like the PC to introduce them to someone they know. At trivial levels, this is the digital equivalent of passing business cards. At higher favor levels, a physical meeting is likely (and, obviously, the person they want to be introduced to will be of some importance). If the PC agrees to make the introductions, don’t be afraid to let the consequences splash back on them. (“What the hell did you get me into?”)
Skill: Somebody would like the PCs to use their unique skills. You can randomly determine which of their skills is desired or simply choose one. Obviously this can range from the benign (“can you prepare a précis on the most recent discoveries in xenoarchaeology?”) to the criminal (“I need you to rescue my sister who’s indentured in a brothel”). Make sure to take note of the terms of service listed on the Acquire Services table (EP, pg. 290) – this favor could actually be a long-term job offer.
Delivery/Pick-Up: At low favor levels, this is most likely going to be a matter of convenience. For example, the PC happens to be standing outside a Coffee Star franchise and somebody a couple blocks away wants a latte. At higher levels, it becomes increasingly likely that the pick-up or delivery requires some special skill the PC possesses.
Transportation: Similar to the delivery, except in this case it’s someone needing to be delivered themselves. If the PC doesn’t have access to a vehicle, then it might be someone looking to hitch a ride in their ghost rider module. Or asking them to deliver a portable server filled with enslaved infomorphs.
Use of an Item: The PC has something somebody would like to borrow for a bit. They’ll give it right back. (Honest.) At trivial levels this is again likely to be a matter of convenience. (“Hey, I’m just across the plaza. The local spime spotted that you had a utilitool. Could I grab that really quick to fix my glide sneakers?”) At higher levels, it’ll be something expensive or the use of which the PC might need to supervise.
Buying an Item: The PC has an item that the solicitor would very much like to purchase. Pretty straightforward.
Selling an Item: The solicitor has something that he thinks the PC might be interested in. Wait… why does he think the PC is the sort of person who needs large amounts of explosives?
Borrow Money: 50 credits for a trivial favor; 250 credits for a low favor; 1,000 credits for a moderate favor; 5,000 credits for a high favor; and 20,000 credits for a scarce favor.
REWARDS AND PENALTIES
If a character refuses to do a favor, there is a 10% chance that they’ll suffer 1-2 points of reputation loss. (Feel free to modify this chance depending on exactly how the PC handles the interaction: If they’re a real prick, their reputation is more likely to take a ding. If they apologize for being too busy at the moment and recommend someone who might be able to help, they might even gain a rep point. But, in general, most people don’t feel entitled to assistance and won’t ding someone for a simple refusal.)
Characters who fulfill a favor, however, will be rewarded with a reputation gain. Of course, characters who say they’ll do something and then fail to carry through on their promise are going to get hit with a reputation loss. See page 385 of the Eclipse Phase core rulebook for more information.