Neighborhoods

Eldritch stands apart in that we are going to try to implement a useful and hopefully coveted territory system. As it stands the grid is divided into thirty (30) squares, each one corresponding to a sub-district. For example, Carson Hill is a sub-district of the One Pair Bluff district. Our grid is not meant to grow outwards, but rather inwards. We do not want more districts or more space outside the already established area. Instead, we want definition within each sub-district. We want to accomplish this by allowing players to create Neighborhoods.

General

A Neighborhood is simply a section of a sub-district that is created by either Staff or, far more likely, a group of players who want to claim an area in-character (and, to an extent, out of character as well). Neighborhoods all abide by a series of common themes which usually have to do with the sub-district they are in.

  • Neighborhoods must follow the general theme of the sub-district they belong to. Don't put a high-income suburb in Rat City; don't put a block of run-down tenement buildings in the middle of Breakwater Heights.
  • Neighborhoods can only be claimed by groups of people of 3+ players; this can be a coterie, pack, ring, or other type of more mortal group. If the group ever falls below 3 active players, it may be subject to an invasive presence (see below). Furthermore, a character can only be linked to one Neighborhood at a time, and switching Neighborhoods is not a quick change.
  • Neighborhoods are often small in size compared to the sub-districts. Even a very large apartment building can constitute a neighborhoods, though an entirely block within which that building is would be more favorable. They will usually never be larger than 6-8 city blocks, total (so 2x3, 2x4).
  • Neighborhoods require upkeep: run scenes in your Neighborhood, have plots, include the other characters that live there, even if they don't belong to your group. Include people, generate roleplay: that's what makes a Neighborhood stay with the faction that claims it.
  • Each grid square has a Limit rating. This rating is the sum total of the maximum number all Neighborhoods within the grid square can be (e.g. Limit 4 would mean a Rank 3 and a Rank 1, or two Rank 2s). These ratings may change as the game grows and lives on, but it's not guaranteed.

Ranks

Neighborhood Immunity

Rank 1 Neighborhoods are not subject to other player's intrusion and invasion. This isn't because it wouldn't make sense IC, but rather because the players that claimed it would rather not partake in that sort of roleplay. Keeping their Neighborhood at that lowest of Ranks speaks of an OOC contract between them and everyone else wherein they don't get more mechanical bonuses, but they're also left in peace OOC. Everyone should respect that. It's part of the system we've worked out.

Neighborhoods have a Rank of 1-3 that correspond to both how useful a territory is and how safe it is from outside intrusion in an OOC capacity. Ranks give starting points to spend on Utilities, and are (loosely) as follows:

  1. Small (1x1), not very useful Neighborhood that players can claim, and so long as they maintain the minimum 3 active characters, they can choose to opt-out of other PCs or Staff coming in and messing with their claim. This doesn't keep the Neighborhood safe from collateral damage due to plots, but a staffer won't come around and try to run a plot wherein a different Pack tries to take over, for example, and other PCs can't do that either. 2 points to spend on Utilities.
  2. Medium (2x2), somewhat useful Neighborhood that players can claim. At this level, players start getting real benefits from claiming the area, and that means that the dangers start being real. Staffers can drop plots (with prior warning) that put the group's claim at stake, and while they probably won't be very dangerous plots, they could have consequences. 4 points to spend on Utilities.
  3. Large (2x3-2x4), quite useful Neighborhood that players can claim. Now it gets interesting. Characters start getting tangible benefits from their claim, but the dangers start getting more real, too. Staff can drop real territory-endangering plots and scenes, and other PC groups can move in to try to claim the territory (see "Territory Stealing" below). 8 points to spend on Utilities.

xxxxxIt's worth noting that Neighborhoods can improve (see "Improving Neighborhoods" below), but that doing so automatically raises their Rank. If you Improve your Rank 1 Neighborhood to the point where it has 4+ points in Utilities, it automatically becomes a Rank 2 Neighborhood, subject to the same rules as any Rank 2 Neighborhood.

Utilities

Utilities are the bonuses that the Neighborhood gives those people that claim it. These include things like not being hassled by cops and/or criminals, having extra dice (or automatic successes) in rolls pertaining to Spheres of Influence, and reducing the Availability score of Services based on Skills represented by your Neighborhood. Costs and such are subject to change once the system is in play and we see how it works, but for now, this is the first workable draft.

  • Neutral Cops (1 point): The local authorities of your Neighborhood don't get in your way. They will react if you do something stupid or confront them (blatant criminal activity in front of not-too-corrupt cops) but they won't go out of their way to hassle you otherwise.
  • Friendly Cops (2 points): The local authorities of your Neighborhood like you. Maybe you're a cop, too, or your family is full of them. Regardless, if you get into any problems with the law, they'll tend to favor you as a local or overlook minor criminal acts. You don't get parking tickets and can get away with things like shoplifting and parallel parking without issue. This trait replaces Neutral Cops.
  • Neutral Criminals (1 point): The local criminal element of your Neighborhood don't get in your way. They will react if you do something stupid or confront them (blatant interference in their affairs) but they won't go out of their way to hassle you otherwise.
  • Friendly Criminals (2 points): The local criminal element likes you. Maybe you're particularly tough and they want on your good side, or maybe you pay them dividends of some enterprise. Whatever the case, once a week (or once per plot, whichever represents a longer span of time) you can get a favor from the local toughs (who are typically low-level NPCs). This trait replaces Neutral Criminals.
  • Skill Representation (1 point): Your Neighborhood resonates with a particular Skill. Maybe it's a particularly larcenous Neighborhood, or a Neighborhood neck-deep in politicians. Whatever the case, when it comes to Procuring Services, you lower the Availability rating by 1. This trait can be taken more than once (for different Skills), to a maximum of your Neighborhood Rank. Skills must be logical fits for the Neighborhood and parent sub-district.
  • Influence Bonus (1+ points): Your Neighborhood resonates with a particular Sphere of Influence. This is more complex, and requires bullet points!
    • Each point spent gets you a dot in that Sphere of Influence's Rating for the Neighborhood. Dots go from 1-10.
    • Every 2 dots nets you a +1 die bonus for any roll involving that Sphere of Influence. Having an odd number of dots rounds down, but you get an additional roll per week/plot (see below).
    • You can gain this benefit up to a number of times equal to your Neighborhood's Rank per week (or plot, depending on which lasts longer); +1 if you have an odd number.
    • Your Neighborhood can only represent a number of Spheres of Influence equal to its Rank, and they must be compatible.
    • Starting Neighborhoods cannot have a rating in any Influence Sphere higher than their [Rank x 2].
  • Dense (1 point): The population of your Neighborhood is particularly dense. This is good for Vampires, especially, as it nets them a +2 to all passive feeding rolls above and beyond that gained from Feeding Grounds. It also raises their automatic Vitae regain rate.
    • Dramatic or repeated Failures on feeding rolls can result in consequences.
  • Infrastructured (1 point): Your Neighborhood has some low-level Infrastructure that is relatively easy to tap into in a pinch. Demons can roll Wits+Primum to passively replenish their Aether pool by 1 point per success, once a week/plot. It also raises their automatic Aether regain rate.
    • Dramatic or repeated Failures on Aether absorption rolls can result in consequences.
  • Loci (1 point): There are one or two 1-dot loci in your area. Sometimes spirits have fed from their essence, sometimes they haven't. Werewolves can roll Wits+Primal Urge to passively replenish their Essence pool by 1 point per success, once a week/plot. It also raises their automatic Essence regain rate.
    • Dramatic or repeated Failures on Essence regaining rolls can result in consequences.
  • Ephemeral Informants (1-3 points): Ephemeral Informants can be taken by any group with connections to the Shadow or Twilight. Each point levies a penalty for anyone sneaking around the territory (1 = -1, 2 = -3, and 3 = -5). This utility can be taken twice, once for Spirits and once for Ghosts. If the territory has both, the person sneaking loses a die permutation (i.e. 10-again, 9-again, 8-again, Rote) for each level of the secondary version of this utility.
    • These informants are not necessarily friendly with the ruling group, but they will inform on any trespassers and dealings within the territory in order to stay on their good graces.

xxxxxNote that passive rolls don't require scenes. They are meant more to represent those moments before a scene where the character is doing something that would naturally refill their pools. Penalties are up to the Storyteller.

Improvement

Improving a Neighborhood is simple, but not very easy. Experience points don't factor into improving a Neighborhood; time and effort spent do. The system we will use is partially derived from the Social Maneuvering system and uses Doors for attaining goals. Each goal will have a number of Doors and depending on your hold on the territory, you'll be able to inch closer at a faster or slower rate.

Mixed Neighborhoods
First come, first serve. However, there's nothing stopping a Ring of Demons, a Coterie of Vampires, and a Pack of Werewolves from claiming the same Neighborhood, if they all agree to IC and OOC. We do not want any drama over this otherwise. The Dense, Infrastructured, and Loci Utilities must still all be bought separately.

Seizure

Seizing territory involves reducing the holding character's ability to tap into the bonuses above by actively suborning them. Maybe a rival werewolf pack likes to slip into their territory and deplete their extra Essence reserves, or an enemy vampire is quietly Dominating the entire Neighborhood to resist the local's feeding. Perhaps the would-be invaders are turning the once friendly criminals against the locals, or the cops! Once the bonuses have been lowered sufficiently, confrontations or other climaxes will decide the fate of the territory.
xxxxxFor the moment, Territory Stealing will be handled more or less on a case by case basis and always with an intermediary from Staff. We really, really want this sort of roleplaying to happen, but we are aware it can create OOC tension, and are more than willing to be intermediaries.
xxxxxA reminder that even Rank 1 Neighborhoods are subject to invasion and take-over if the number of people currently claiming it drops below 3.
xxxxxIn addition, if you're the patient sort, Staff will be willing to create Neighborhoods with higher-than-usual bonuses claimed by NPC groups and run plots and scenes geared towards PC groups taking over that Neighborhood. If this is the sort of fun your playgroup wants, we're absolutely down for that!
xxxxxIt's likely that as with Improving above, we will use a variant of the Doors system.