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Ran

DISCUSS: Influence

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Almer,

Yes, it's entirely possible, although it seems to us that there are probably some inherent difficulties in achieving this in many cases. In "The Sworn Sword", Lord Webber signs into his will that if his daughter (and successor) does not marry by a certain time and concieve an heir, the title and lands would pass to a cousin. Presumably, something like this needs approval from higher-up -- his immediate liege, at least (the Rowans, in his case), and it might well go up the chain to the Crown for ratification. All along the way, the potentially-dispossessed person could probably try and get someone to side with them and prevent it from getting approval.

We have examples of a couple of "unsuitable" types seemingly being heirs -- Alekyne Florent and Willas Tyrell, who for one reason or another are not typical heirs (in terms of being either unable or uninterested in knighthood -- which matters in Westeros). Contra, Liane brings up the good point of the lengths Randyll Tarly went to drive Sam out of Horn Hill and to the Wall. Part of this, I think, was clearly that he wanted to hide his part in it from his wife, who would be upset. But in AFfC, it's mentioned in passing by Samwell that Randyll Tarly appears to have some not-insignificant enemies, and it may be that Tarly feared outside interference if Samwell somehow attempted to contest losing his right to the inheritance.

On the whole, we would say that it's difficult, but not impossible, to skip the obvious heir in favor of someone else for some reason.

Regarding Tywin with Tyrion, note that back in AGoT Ned suggested that Jaime was going to inherit the Wardenship of the West from his father, which kind of implies he'd also inherit Casterly Rock despite being in the Kingsguard. It does seem that Ned casually assumed that Jaime would be allowed to inherit, because of the heavy influence of the Lannisters at court if nothing else. George himself has said, on this point, that Tywin was basically in denial over the whole thing, which is why (for one thing) he seems never to have made provision for some other heir. If Tyrion had not been in the situation he had been in when Tywin died (including not being the man who brought about that death), the situation would have been ripe for him to contest the control of the Rock (although actually I think Cersei had too many of the cards in her hands for him to win such a struggle).

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Take a wealthy knight from a lesser lordly house with an illustrious heritage but a disadvantageous marriage. Lesser Lordly House is 6. We have not yet settled on figures for the other status modifiers may be in increments of 25 with assets/flaws that cost a maximum of 1 being worth +/-25, a maximum of 2 +/-50, and so on to +/-100. So using this in our theoretical example: Knight is worth +25. Wealthy is worth +50. Illustrious Heritage is worth +25. Disadvantageous marriage, which aren't flaws or assets, will likely be considered a -25 (things like heir, consort, and lord will also be considered -- probably with heir and consort worth 50, lord worth 100). This character will have (6*100)+(25+50+25-25)*6=1050 influence points to begin with. But they also gain an influence modifier. First, add the non-familial status modifierstogether and divide by ten: 25+50+25-25=75/10=7.5. Then add in the familial status directly: 7.5+6=13.5. This character will have a 13.5% modifier when influence is alloted to them -- they will gain influence slightly faster than someone without those modifiers.

I'm a newcomer and latecomer to this discussion, but how are the Influence assets - well-connected, influential, poorly connected, uninfluential - going to factor in?

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They provide status modifiers, in the same fashion as heir, consort, or lord. :)

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They provide status modifiers, in the same fashion as heir, consort, or lord. :)

That was sort of what I was wondering - I haven't followed those numbers perfectly, but it seems to me like most assets provide +25/asset point, roughly - but most assets also do other things (Knight provides combat skills, Wealthy a healthy dose of coin and so forth and so on) whereas the influence assets provide only influence.

Of course, if 1 point of influence modifier is like Heir or Consort, than that is a +50/1 asset return, which seems reasonable. Is that the general thought?

In general, don't mind me. I'm just sorting through this stuff in my head, partly because I enjoy twiddling and partly because I built an influence twink.

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I think the most accurate explanation as for why certain lords had to go to such lengths to pass over the primogeniture is because of the fear that those heirs would contest the decision by gaining allies to support them. Actually, I'm surprised Martin doesn't mention more events like these in the books. If you look at the history of England, there are loads of small border conflicts between lords and disgruntled sons taking it into their own hands to either force their fathers and their brothers out or take over as nominal heads of house by installing themselves as protectors of their nephews. In the former case, I'm sure they'd only get away with it if they had adequate support or indifference from their liege-lords/Crown and in the latter it would be pretty similar only they couldn't get away with that much due to support.

I think the influence system supports this. What would be interesting to see (and it was mentioned by a previous poster - Almer, I think) is how could a Littlefinger emerge from this system? From what we know about Littlefinger's history, we can see he's from a Lesser Lordly House (really lesser), who was fostered by the Tullys, gained his reputation and wealth under the Arryns, and then was brought into the Baratheon Court (this is an assumption based on Lysa's influence on the Court through her husband, Robert's Hand).

So, his 'assets' would be 'wealthy' and 'famous' (Famous Steward?). Then, based on the mechanics of the Influence system as I understand they are described, he would increase his influence points through constant politicking in the court and building up rumors. But, if we go back a little and look at the Littlefinger before he was made Master of Coin and there was a Lysa Arryn player, the two of them might pool their influence points to get Littlefinger his position.

It's an interesting concept, however, it makes for even more interesting RP and I don't see how the influence system augments RP. It's useful for rumors, understandably, because how else would you be able to regulate a player's ability to create/quash/investigate rumors? However, the implication is that the Influence system will be used for more than just the rumor system.

So, I guess my question is, will you be able through spending influence, to 'force' another player into a situation they wouldn't necessarily choose for themselves? If not, what are the benefits of gaining influence or the costs of losing it? What can we 'buy' with our influence points besides more influence points?

To illustrate my question, let me give you an example (Pre-Robert's Rebellion): We have the player Littlefinger, who has arranged an IC alliance (and OOC, necessarily, because the spending of Influence is an OOC thing) with the player Lysa Arryn. Now, they want to influence the player Lord Jon Arryn into giving Littlefinger the position at Gulltown (or wherever it was he first made his bones), but Jon's player/character doesn't feel inclined to giving Littlefinger the job (doesn't trust him ICly or OOCly). Can Lysa and Littlefinger combine their influence somehow to 'force' Jon into giving Littlefinger the job?

I have a similar question concerning the rumor system, what good are they if noone ICly believes the positive/negative rumors? They affect your influence points, but if the influence/rumor is a closed loop (they only affect each other and nothing else), but can you 'buy' assets/flaws/titles with your influence points? And by 'buying' flaws I mean: can you 'afflict' someone else with something influence-penalizing (e.g.: an infamy gain)? I can't remember if this was directly addressed in the previous posts.

Anyway, I'm looking to hear back from you guys regarding your views.

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We have now finished tweaking the Influence system. Base values have been recalculated and the code for making sure Influence strives to return to the base value each month has been implemented.

New helpfiles are going up here: http://www.westeros.org/BoD/Helpfiles/Cate...tem::Influence/

These explain the basics of the system, and the modifiers. We are still open to additions to the modifier list, so any comments on that or anything else are welcome here. :)

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