Revelation about info-gathering

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Kurkistan
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Revelation about info-gathering

Post by Kurkistan » Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:57 pm

So in the course of having Captain Maure answer Jerric's questions about his entirely legitimate employer, I had cause to look at the rulebook for once. I found that, so far as I can tell, using Influence to gather info is a non-costy roll: it isn't expected to reduce your Influence score at all.

The example that walks us through Outcome and the like (pg 141 is the relevant one) using Influence as the base stat to gather info on Keep Hasting, and makes no mention (nor is it in the right context/place in the rule book for it) of it costing an Influence.
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Re: Revelation about info-gathering

Post by Herowannabe » Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:40 pm

That makes sense. Spending Influence is more about calling in favors or debts, whereas info-gathering is more about just knowing the right people to ask. It doesn't (usually) cost the contact anything to answer a few questions.

Obviously there is plenty of gray area and overlap between the two though, depending on the situation. Using Influence to find out what sort of business activities a House engages in probably wouldn't require spending a point of Influence. Using Influence to find out how Inquisitors are made definitely would. In the second example, the contact is risking his own skin just talking about it.
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Re: Revelation about info-gathering

Post by Sir Jerric » Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:31 am

I thought about arguing against spending an Influence, but decided that the example we are citing is structured to carefully introduce elements, and the spending of Standings is covered in another chapter. The Recovery example on page 234 says that Beck has spent 3 of his 6 influence, so even though we know that the numbers can be flexed to show different resolution cases, the initial assumptions are often part of the underlying story. Reading pages 244-245, and the table therein, Calling in Favors might apply to gaining information in as political an environment as the Final Empire. So I don't think we can rule out that Beck spent an influence for his information gathering.

However, I agree with the perceived value of the information being a determining factor, both for "This information is risky to reveal" and "He looks desperate, so let's milk him" types of value. I'd generally use the later as a Complication, unless the roleplay suggested otherwise. So I'd say for conversational information, spending the Influence point can be waived if the Narrator wishes.
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Re: Revelation about info-gathering

Post by Kurkistan » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:26 pm

One thing to note so far as spending Influence and the info-gathering example in the book goes is whether or not negative Outcomes are possible.

By my understanding, whenever you're spending Standings, there's no downside to failure beyond the failure itself. Try to raise that army and fail and nothing bad will happen to you in the game. But the example of Beck gathering information had negative Outcomes outlined: fail by a large enough margin and news of your prying gets back to your targets, etc.

The risks/costs of spending Standings is built right into it: you lose a point in that Standing. But it looks like if you're making any non-costy roll than the risks are built into negative Outcomes and/or complications. That distinction—guaranteeing a near-term weakening in some stat versus risking a poor Outcome—might be what we should focus on.
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Re: Revelation about info-gathering

Post by Herowannabe » Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:40 pm

I believe negative outcomes still apply to spending standings, but we tend to overlook/ignore negative outcomes.
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Re: Revelation about info-gathering

Post by Sir Jerric » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:11 am

I also believe that Complications apply to spent Standings rolls, but I also appear to ignore them in my local game because the nudges in a failed roll each remove one point of Complication, and it is rare to be either rolling a small enough pool, or to face a high enough Difficulty to generate a negative Outcome that exceeds the nudges.
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Re: Revelation about info-gathering

Post by Kurkistan » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:26 am

Perhaps I need to look more closely, but quick skim before I posted seemed to indicate that there were no complications/negative outcomes for costy Standings rolls.
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