Jump to content
Kai

Monday Preview - Bureaucrat

Recommended Posts

It's everyone's favorite day, preview day! Malifaux is a place where a look can be just as deadly as any blade or firearm. The Bureaucrat knows that and does their best to make as many allies as they can. The Bureaucrat then uses those allies to get what they need done.  Now let's take a look!

Wyrd_MondayPreview_11.6_2017.thumb.jpg.29e1cbdfc926ad732e20c834a3d1d8ab.jpg

The Bureaucrat is a social pursuit that revolves around the using political favors to solve problems. Characters who begin the game as Bureaucrats start with a powerful Fatemaster character (such as the President of the Union or the Governor-General) owing them a big favor, but even if a character decides to become a Bureaucrat later in their career, they still gain the ability to call upon their network of allies for favors of increasing magnitude. Need an invitation to a high-class dinner party or a meeting with a notorious smuggler? There's a good chance that a Bureaucrat knows someone who can make it happen.

Bureaucrats can also draw upon their network of allies to learn information about specific people, such as which faction arranged for someone's arrival in Malifaux, where they live, who their known associates might be, and what sort of things the subject of their interest has been doing over the past month. This makes Bureaucrats experts at gathering information and solving problems. Plus, with their Plausible Deniability Talent, they can discard a card to avoid any sort of repercussions from being accused of a crime (other than a few scandalous rumors, of course).

While it's obvious to see how a Bureaucrat might function within the framework of the Guild, this Pursuit also works well for Ten Thunders information brokers, Neverborn spies, and politicians of every conceivable allegiance.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just saying Wyrd, we have Lawyers in Malifaux but these guys could use their own models so Guild can properly spar with Amina Naidu ;)

 

3 hours ago, tallghost said:

Yes! 
I'm intrigued by the concept, and I'm intrigued by the idea that this is going to lead to a new TTB book being released sometime soon?

 

Pretty sure these previews are leading up to a Guild-but-applicable-to-other-factions release.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Pyrflamme said:

Pretty sure these previews are leading up to a Guild-but-applicable-to-other-factions release.

Yup. A Through the Breach book called Above the Law, which focuses on the Guild and Guild-related things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unlike the previous previews, I'm pretty meh about this one. Honestly, this seems like a way to gamify something I would rather leave to Roleplay. YMM, of course, V.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, sandchigger said:

Unlike the previous previews, I'm pretty meh about this one. Honestly, this seems like a way to gamify something I would rather leave to Roleplay. YMM, of course, V.

I'm a firm believer in quantified social mechanics. If you have stats that define how charming, intelligent, and tenacious your character is, then in my opinion, the game should work with those parameters in some way or another.

Plus, we already have other social pursuits in the game, and since they're in the minority compared to combat pursuits, I'm pretty happy with adding another one (or two...) to the list.

 

That being said, different strokes for different folks and all. :P

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh no. I apologise, I wasn't clear. My issue isn't that I dislike social pursuits, my issue is that this one looks like it's going to be All About Favors. The trading of and creation of social obligations, with mechanical abilities for same. The problem, in my opinion, then is that if you have mechanics or abilities in the game that allow for the creation of favors, those characters without those abilities are now incapable of - or at least severely disadvantaged in - trading favors for favors.

As soon as you create a rule for something that was just fluff or flavor before, it greatly increases the difficulty of don't that thing for someone who isn't built to use the new rule. See also: Feats in D&D.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mason said:

I'm a firm believer in quantified social mechanics. If you have stats that define how charming, intelligent, and tenacious your character is, then in my opinion, the game should work with those parameters in some way or another.

I like the idea of robust social mechanics that are well defined. This helps keep them from being useless dump stats, while providing a framework similar to physical encounters (combat, environmental hazards) to help steer unspoken expectations towards mutual understanding.

...before a scenario comes up where the group's Face is trying to figure out how to get the most reward for the least risk during negotiations with expectations on how their stuff will work while the FM is on a completely different page.

 

35 minutes ago, sandchigger said:

Oh no. I apologise, I wasn't clear. My issue isn't that I dislike social pursuits, my issue is that this one looks like it's going to be All About Favors. The trading of and creation of social obligations, with mechanical abilities for same. The problem, in my opinion, then is that if you have mechanics or abilities in the game that allow for the creation of favors, those characters without those abilities are now incapable of - or at least severely disadvantaged in - trading favors for favors.

As soon as you create a rule for something that was just fluff or flavor before, it greatly increases the difficulty of don't that thing for someone who isn't built to use the new rule. See also: Feats in D&D.

I think I see where your concern is coming from.

The thing I would recommend keeping in mind with favor trading is that even in a story the other characters (non-Fated, non-primary antagonists) that generally support the story one way or another should have some agency (makes them believable, less "red shirt of the moment"). That is, Joe Fated showing up and saying "remember that time I save your life? I'm calling in that favor, I need you on point for this haunted mine investigation" to Sam Supporting Character isn't going to automatically work, even if there really is a life debt. Sam might be extremely claustrophobic, they also might remember things differently. With that in mind, Joe might not have an easy time of convincing Sam to return the favor.
If Joe is a bureaucrat or has ever been one, he'll know more about leveraging people. It could be name dropping, it could be the threat of Sam being blacklisted (or worse) with just a word, it could just be practice at reminding people about the value of honest, debt-free living. Sam still has his or her agency, but Joe now has bonuses that make it so that he's more likely to succeed in convincing Sam to do the favor.

This also applies when asking for a favor from a Fatemaster Character that doesn't yet owe anyone any favors. Joe Shooter has only his shooting skills to offer, and they might not be in demand, so it'll be harder to convince Sam to risk their life or comfort to help out a stranger. Joe Bureaucrat knows people, has connections, can help get people with the right skills to the right places to make things happen--that's their whole reason for being--which makes convincing people like Sam easier. In this case, you're trading your potential value of returned favor(s) for a favor from someone else right now (favor credit).

A streamlined system helps the FM not have to generate enough of a character profile for everyone that lives in Contract Town #132688 to provide cues/justification for randomly encountered character to say yes or no to the favor trade. Instead, we can focus on the handful of personalities that aren't just background characters, but full-fledged supporting characters (either for or against the Fated) that will have something far more interesting and compelling for the story than most other people within the town.

Everyone can engage in favor trading, but Bureaucrats have an edge, much like a Marksman has an edge over someone who shoots cans out at the ranch.

As a side note: I love the idea of a character that actually has the ability to have a guard who pissed them off end up stuck on sewer details for a month with just a letter.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So it is basically a fixer class? A class that has you begin the game knowing people who are important who can help you rather than having to forge these relationships through gameplay. This feels like something that will be very GM dependent on how interesting it is, a bad FM will have this class feel very mechanical while a good one will make it feel like you are playing the powerful connected character. 

Interested to see  how this plays out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×