Increasing in Rank in MCC with Archaic Alliances
by Ted Tschopp
As characters have adventures, they will gain a reputation, fame, and status. You can track this growth in the campaign using Status Points. Status Points, like experience points, are accumulated into a new number on your character sheet called Rank. Rank is a measure of how your character’s reputation, fame, and status affect the reactions of NPC’s in different situations. Unlike experience points, which represents how capable a character is, status points represent how capable the society around the characters feel the character is.
How To Gain Status Points
Characters begin the game with no Status Points. At the end of each complete adventure each character gains a number of of Status Points to reflect how much of a name the character made for themselves. Status Points are given for the following reasons:
BEATING ENEMIES IN COMBAT: When a party wins a combat with exceptional enemies, the GM awards each surviving party member a number of Status Points equal to the Hit Point Score of all opponents they have defeated divided by the number of characters alive when the combat began times 10.
GIVING ARTIFACTS TO THE COMMUNITY: A character may turn over to the political or social organization of which he is a member any artifacts he gains on an adventure (as a result of gifts or division of the spoils). The character then gets a number of Status Points equal to the Status Point Value of the item turned over. The Status Point Value of all artifacts is listed in the Equipment Tables. If there is no value for a given item the GM must determine the Status Point Value of those items. Only functional, powered artifacts that have been figured out by the character may be turned in for Status Points. An artifact requiring ammunition may be turned in only if the proper ammunition is turned in with it. If an item is turned over that is unknown, the character that turned it over gets 10% of the Status Points Value when the community its turned over discovers what it does. The character who turns over the device to a community and no one within the community knows what the device does may continue to work with the community discover the items use. During this everyone who works on discovering the devices purpose splits the remaining 90% of its status points among all contributers equitably.
ACCOMPLISHING A MISSION: If the GM assigns the party a mission (rescuing hostages, as in the Rite Of Passage adventure, for example), they should be rewarded for accomplishing all or part of the mission. In general, the GM should make awards of 30 to 60 Status Points per character per mission. This award should be calculated before the mission starts and it should be explained to the players as a part of hiring them in terms that make sense in game.
SPECIAL AWARDS: The GM should reward excellent play or the performance of difficult tasks with Status Point Awards averaging between 200 and 500 points per task per player. Mounting a rear guard against overwhelming odds, beating an especially tough band of NPC’s or figuring out some mysterious event are examples of events deserving special awards.
EXAMPLE of Rule 1: A party of 8 PCs are commissioned to neutralize a group of androids led by an Android thinker who is an exceptional leader. The Android Thinker has 15 hit-points and is attended by 20 warriors with 20 hit-points each and 40 worker androids with 15 hit points each. When they make their way towards the Android Thinkers complex in the mountains they encounter a party of 4 workers and quickly overwhelm them and tie them up. The party gets 4 x 15 = 60 x 10 = 600 status points divided among the 8 members. So 75 Status Points. Later on their way up to the complex the group is ambushed by a group of 8 warriors escorting the Android Thinker back to the base after inspecting the work his Workers were working on. The party attacks the group, and the Thinker quickly retreats and leaves 6 Android Warriors to attack the party of 8 PCs. The 6 Warriors are defeated as are 3 of the PCs. The PCs get 6 x 20 = 120 x 10 = 1,200. There are now a group of 5. So each group character gets 240 status points. Because several of the enemies retreated, but were not defeated, they do not count towards the total. Finally the group decides that a frontal assault is a bad idea and so they come up with a plan to have their mutants sneak them into the compound to attack the Thinker Android in his private chambers. The 5 PCs attack the Thinker Android and the battle commences, during the course of the battle 4 warriors and 2 workers join the battle to defend the thinker. In the End the Thinker is defeated, as are the 4 warriors, and the 2 workers surrender once the Thinker is deactivated. However in the battle 1 of the PCs is killed and another one is knocked into a coma. In the end, the rest of the Warriors and Worker Androids, without a Thinker around, abandon their post and retreat to a sister complex on the next mountain peak. The number of status points is calculated as follows. 15 for the Android Thinker. 20 x 4 = 80 for the Warriors. 15 x 2 = 30 for the Workers. 80 + 15 + 30 = 125 x 10 = 1,250. So the total is 1,250. This total is divided up among the 4 surviving party members for a total of 312.5 status points.
EXAMPLE of Rule 2: The party of 4 surviving members finds a rejuvenation chamber in the complex and throw their unconscious party member into the chamber and successfully revive him. The party member who figured out how to work the chamber talks to group into giving him the chamber, and he decides to give it to the Archaic Alliance he is a member of and instantly gains one RANK. In the armory of the facility, the team finds 6 laser rifles along with a set of 24 H-Cells and a Solar Recharger. The team decides to give each member of the group one rifle and that two of the team members will get two of them. The laser rifles are worth 2,000 Status each or 3,500 Ð each. One of the team decides to turn his over his extra to his Cryptic Alliance, while the other team member decides to sell his. One of the team members gets the extra 2,000 Stats Points and his partner gets 3,500 Domars. The team decides to keep the Solar Charger and all the Hydrogen Cells as they know they are going to need to assault the position the Androids retreated to. Finally the party finds a Desk size object that is plugged into the facilities power systems that has a dome on it (Semi-Portable Broadcast Power System aka BPS). They have no idea on how to operate it, but they know its valuable and the Androids have already gotten it up on a cart when they abandoned it. The party decides to turn it over to their Cryptic Alliance. The GM knows that a BPS is worth 2 ranks, but the characters do not know how to operate it. He looks at their current Rank of 3 for 3 of the members and 4 for the guy who turned over the Rejuvenation Chamber and does the following math. From Rank 3 to Rank 4 requires 12,000 points. From Rank 4 to Rank 5 requires 24,000. From Rank 5 to Rank 6 requires 48,000 Status Points. So (3 PCs x (24,000 (Rank 5)+ 12,000 (Rank 4) ) ) + (1 x (48,000 (Rank 6) + 24,000 (Rank 4) ) ) / 4 PCs = ((3 x 36,000) + (1 x 72,000)) / 4 PCs = (108,000 + 72,000) / 4 PCs = 180,000 / 4 PCs = 45,000 Status Points on average. However because the group doesn’t know how it works so the party member who turns it in gets 45,000 * 10% = 4,500 Status Points. Now if the PCs go on their next adventure, they will figure out what the BPS is for and they would get the remaining 90% of the Status Points. However while the players were adventuring the Cryptic Alliance that they turned it over to would have had their resident scientist working on it and they would have to split the remaining status points with them.
EXMAPLE of Rule 3: The party comes back from pushing the Androids out of the local mountains above the town. Each Member receives 50 Status Points. The party was told that they were being hired to look into the stories the locals were telling about artificial men raiding outlying farms and that they needed to report any of their findings to the leaders. In exchange for their services the town would hold a party in their honor when they returned and they would get to tell the leaders what they found. The party would be able to keep any sort of gear or equipment they found and that if t.hey found extra weapons the local town might be interested in buying them from the players.
EXAMPLE of Rule 4: The GM decides that the trick the players used to sneak into the facility using their mutant powers to fool the Warrior Androids on the wall was a great idea and he decides that if they bring this up during their retelling of their adventures after the tale is over, he will award them a bonus of 400 points per player for this clever ploy.
NOTE: All awards are cumulative and should be announced at the end of each adventure. The only exception to this are awards for turning over artifacts are made when the artifact is actually turned over. All awards are recorded in the Status Points Box of the Character Sheet of the PC receiving the award. This status is for each group or alliance they interact with. So if someone is working with the town and an Archaic Alliance they are members of they will have Status Points with each group. For example, the player with the Rejuvenation Chamber may want to turn it over to the local Healers, while the weapons might be turned over to the town and the Broadcast Power System was turned over to the local town. This means that this player would have a status with the Healers, whatever his own Cryptic Alliance was and the town who hired him.
How to Use Status Points
Status Points are used to gain Rank. All beginning characters are Rank 0. This is the lowest Rank in the game. Once a PC successfully completes his rite of passage, he automatically rises to Rank 1. Any further Rank increase is based on the accumulation of Status Points. As soon as a Rank 1 character accumulates 3000 Status Points, he automatically rises to Rank 2. The 3000 Status Points in his Status Points Box are erased (leaving any excess points above 3000 in the box). In order to rise from Rank 2 to Rank 3, the character must accumulate twice the number of Status Points it took him to reach Rank 1 (6000). As soon as the character has 6000 Status Points recorded in his Status Point Box, he becomes a Rank 3 character and the 6000 points are erased. The cost to rise 1 Rank continues to double until Rank 6. Characters at Rank 6 and above rise 1 Rank for each increment of 50000 Status Points accumulated. Status Points expended to rise in Rank are permanently removed. There is no limit to how high a character can rise in Rank.
- Rank 0 - Child - Starting
- Rank 1 - Adult - Rights of Passage
- Rank 2 - Novice - 3000 Status Points
- Rank 3 - 6000 additional Status Points
- Rank 4 - 12,000 additional Status Points
- Rank 5 - 24,000 additional Status Points
- Rank 6 - 48,000 additional Status Points
- Rank 7+ - 50,000 additional Status Points
Rank has the following effects on play:
- A character’s Charisma is always modified by the addition of his Rank when dealing with members of the given status. Thus, a character with a Charisma of 12 and a Rank of 4 would have a modified Charisma of 16 (12 + 4 = 16). There is no limit to how high Charisma can be raised by Rank. The characters Charisma bonus might turn negative if there is animosity between the group
- A character’s chances of finding a particular functioning item of equipment for sale at a given Base are increased by 2% per Rank. Thus, a Rank 1 character trying to purchase a piece of Tech Level II equipment at a Tech Level I Base (15% base chance) would have a 17% chance of finding the item. A Rank 3 character would have a 21% chance. The chance of finding an item at a Base is never in- creased by more than 20 as a result of Rank.
- A character can borrow equipment from his community within the limits of his Rank. In order to borrow equipment, he must be at one of that community’s Bases. Thus, a member of Clan Cambol could only borrow equipment at a Cambol Base. The value of the equipment borrowed at any one time may not exceed 100 x the character’s Rank in gold pieces. Any items which are depleted (Drugs, Grenades, etc.) or which are lost or damaged by the character must be paid for by him before he can borrow any more equipment from his community. Only equipment of the same (or lower) Tech Level as the Base the character currently occupies may be borrowed. Thus, only Tech Levels I and II equipment can be borrowed from a Tech Level II Base.
- The die roll used to determine if a party gains a piece of knowledge they are researching is modified by the subtraction of 2 for each Rank attained by the highest Ranked character involved in the research.
- Characters of Rank 3 or higher may elect to formally join a Cryptic Alliance as a contributing member. A character may try once per month per Rank above 3 to join a Cryptic Alliance. Thus, a Rank 4 character could try twice to join a particular Cryptic Alliance in a given month. For each such attempt, the GM rolls d% and consults the description in PART IV of the Cryptic Alliance being joined. The Type section of each Cryptic Alliance description includes a percentage chance for each character type that the Cryptic Alliance will accept a character of that type as a member. If the percentage dice roll for the character’s attempt at joining the Cryptic Alliance is less than o r equal t o the percentage chance given in this section for his character type, the character is immediately accepted into membership. If not, the character may try again if he has sufficient Rank. If he does not have sufficient Rank, he must wait one month (30 days) before trying again. A character may try to join only one Cryptic Alliance in a 3- month period. If he is turned down by one Cryptic Alliance during that period, he must wait at least 3 months before applying for membership in another Cryptic Alliance. Immediately upon joining a Cryptic Alliance, a character treats that Cryptic Alliance as the community of which he is a member. He may no longer be considered a member of his former community.
Communities and Cryptic Alliances
In general, a character cannot change the community of which he is a member except by joining a Cryptic Alliance. In some isolated instances, the GM may wish to allow a character to join a new community if his own is destroyed, but this should be the exception not the rule. A character may only be a member of one community or Cryptic Alliance at a time. Once a character joins a Cryptic Alliance, he may not change the Cryptic Alliance of which he is a member. He may be ejected from membership in the Cryptic Alliance (or from some other type of community or group) at the GM’s discretion if he fails to live up to the ideals of the group. Any character who is ejected from his community or Cryptic Alliance be- comes a WANDERER (an outcast, considered fair game in the post-holocaust world). Wanderers are not able to borrow equipment since they have no community. They may not gain Status Points for turning over artifacts. A character loses all benefits specific to membership in his Cryptic Alliance as soon as he becomes a wanderer.
Characters who are members of a Cryptic Alliance, Clan or other social grouping with more than one settlement or dwelling place may turn in artifacts, borrow equipment and seek free shelter (for 1 night per Rank) in any of the settlements of the group. He is not limited to using only the Base where he lives. Membership in a specific Cryptic Alliance carries the following benefits and penalties:
ARCHIVISTS: Members may turn in artifacts for Status Points even if the artifacts aren’t functional or powered or if they have yet to be figured out. Members receive double the normal number of Status Points for turning in any kind of Robot and receive 50 Status Points per item for turning in any artifact which does not have any other Status Point value attached to it (e.g. members get 50 Status Points for turning in any junk they don’t know what to do with).
BROTHERHOOD OF THOUGHT: Members receive the same number of points for successfully negotiating with NPC’s (e.g. avoiding conflict) that they would receive for beating the NPC’s. In addition, for each character a member recruits into the organization, he receives 100 Status Points times the recruit’s Rank.
FOLLOWERS OF THE VOICE: Members modify their Charisma by twice their Rank (not simply by adding their Rank) when interacting with Borgs, Think Tanks and Cybernetic Installations. In addition, they add their Rank to their die when attempting to figure out an artifact.
FRIENDS OF ENTROPY: Members receive double Status Points for beating NPC’s and triple Status Points for destroying Robots. In general, Red Death Bases consist of Tech Level II nomadic camps and only Tech Level I and II equipment may be borrowed at them.
HEALERS: Members receive no Status Points for beating NPC’s. However, they get 1 Status Point for each Hit Point recovered by a patient under their care. A Healer may care for a number of individuals in one day equal to his Rank. Characters may be under the care of only one Healer per day. Whenever a character is under a Healer’s care, he adds 3 x the the Healer’s Rank to the chance of recovering from illness at the end of each day. In addition, characters under a Healer’s care recover double the normal number of Hit Points that would be recovered by Resting. Healers add their Rank to their die roll when trying to figure out a medical artifact. They get double Status Points for turning in medical artifacts.
KNIGHTS OF GENETIC PURITY: Members get double Status Points for beating an NPC party containing one or more Humanoids. They lose 50 Status Points from those they currently have available each time their party negotiates with an NPC party that includes one or more Humanoids.
RADIOACTIVISTS: Members receive 25 Status Points for each Radiation Check they must make. They get 300 Status Points for each non-defect mutation arising out of a Radiation Check and lose 300 Status Points from those they currently have available for each Defect they gain from a Radiation Check. In addition, members receive five times the normal Status Points for turning in a Mutation Bomb or Genetic Booster.
RESTORATIONISTS: Members get double Status Points for turning in artifacts or beating NPC parties that include members of the Friends of Entropy, Followers of the Voice, Archivists, Seekers, Zoopremists or The Created
SEEKERS: Members get no Status Points for turning in artifacts and lose 50 Status Points from those they currently have available each time they get an artifact as part of their share of the party’s loot and don’t destroy it. They get 100 Status Points times the recruit’s Rank for recruiting a character into their organization and get double the normal Status Points for beating a party that includes one or more members of the Restorationists, Knights of Genetic Purity, The Iron Society, Zoopremisists, Followers of the Voice, Archivists, and The Created. In addition, they get triple Status Points for destroying Robots.
THE CREATED: PC’s cannot be members of this organization.
THE IRON SOCIETY: Members get double Status Points for beating parties which include one or more Pure Strain Humans and lose 50 Status Points from those they currently have available each time their party negotiates with an NPC party containing one or more Pure Strain Humans.
THE RANKS OF THE FIT: Members get 200 Status Points times the Rank of the recruit for each character they recruit into this organization. They get double Status Points for each weapon artifact they turn in.
ZOOPREMISISTS: Members get double Status Points for beating a party that includes one or more Pure Strain Humans or Humanoids. If an NPC party includes one or more members of The Ranks of the Fit, triple Status Points are received. If both situations apply, triple Status Points (only) are received.
When modified Status Points are received for beating or negotiating with NPC’s, the Status Point award for the PC’s party is calculated normally. Then the award actually given to the PC is modified. The modifications applying to a particular PC’s Status never affect the number of Status Points awarded to his companions.