Status

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Status

Postby ninjaiguana » Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:39 am

I'm somewhat confused by the handling of Status in the rulebook. In the character creation section, it says that your Status should effectively be between 1 and 6, and gives a handy table of what rank in the house pertains to what Status. Then in the House creation chapter, it says that your Influence score affects the maximum status you can possess.

With the 7d6 starting roll and assorted alterations, you're quite unlikely to start with an Influence above 40 on average, consigning your House to a maximum Status of 4. Then your heir's status has to be that minus 1, your second son that minus 2, but always a minimum of 3...

The 1 to 6 range seemed strong and simple, and allowed you to play on the fact that *technically*, a lord is a lord, as equal as any other, even if they've had to sell all their jewellery to stave off crippling debt and have 3 men with sharpened sticks to their name.

Furthermore, that would seem to give lie to the idea that you can create either characters or House first depending on your style, since without having calculated your Influence, you can't get past the first step of spending character creation points.

I guess this post is mostly wondering why the Status restrictions listed in Influence are necessary, and wondering if I'd break anything if I just ignored them and used the 1 to 6 range. I only got the book yesterday, and have only read through it once, so I'm worried I may have missed something that justifies the Status restriction and that by ignoring it, I may damage the game somehow. Any thoughts?
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Postby tumbleweed664 » Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:53 pm

I am not sure where you are seeing the need to spend Influence points to buy Status.

My reading (and please point out anything I've missed) suggests that Status points of house members are independent of Influence. What you use Influence for is to create heris of the house, presumably ones that will be PC characters. So if I want to play the first born son, then when creating the House we need to spend 20 Influence points (the amount to create the immediate Heir). If my firend wants to be the second born son, that costs 10 points. If our other friend wants to be the first born daughter, that is 10 points again, unless we are in Dorne in which case the daughter could inherit. Then it becomes first born child- 20, second- 10, "other"- 5.

I will say that I do have some fears about this still. The average amount rolled for 7d6 is still 24-25. This becomes 28 if you assume someone in the group used their d6 to add, and the historical events averaged out pluses and minuses. That is only enough points for one player to be the immediate heir, or for one to be the second son, one to be the first daughter, and one to be the third child. I'm all for playing the struggling noble house, but this really cramps down on options for characters when creating PCs.

It is even worse if you have to spend points even on non-PC heirs; then your options become have one pc be the heir or have no PC be noble. And your noble house doesn't actually have noble PCs. This is likely too limited a reading of the rules though.
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Postby ninjaiguana » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:16 am

Sorry, I may have been a little unclear. I know you don't spend Influence to purchase Status, but table 6-5 shows the maximum permissable Status a member of your House can have, subject to the Influence rating of your House.

I'm worried that most Houses will have a very limited Status, since you need an Influence greater than 40 in order to have a head of house with Status 5. This, in turn, seems to be at odds with the way Status is handled in the Character Creation chapter and the Abilities chapter.

I like the Status table shown with the Status ability description, and think it's an elegant 1-10 scale. Unfortunately, with the House creation, you may end up with one person possessing Status 4 (the maximum for a House of Influence 20-40) and all their heirs and vaguely important retainers possessing Status 3. It seems to sharply limit the range of possible Status, and I don't see the benefit of that.

Am I missing something obvious here? It feels like I am, but I can't see it.
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Postby RJS » Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:07 am

ninjaiguana wrote: I'm worried that most Houses will have a very limited Status, since you need an Influence greater than 40 in order to have a head of house with Status 5. This, in turn, seems to be at odds with the way Status is handled in the Character Creation chapter and the Abilities chapter.

I like the Status table shown with the Status ability description, and think it's an elegant 1-10 scale. Unfortunately, with the House creation, you may end up with one person possessing Status 4 (the maximum for a House of Influence 20-40) and all their heirs and vaguely important retainers possessing Status 3. It seems to sharply limit the range of possible Status, and I don't see the benefit of that.

Am I missing something obvious here? It feels like I am, but I can't see it.


The status limitations are fairly tight at the start, but once the PCs start moving through the world and invest in influence, the group's Status range should expand.
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Postby kckolbe » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:57 am

Current Status table:
11-20: Max 3
21-40: Max 4
41-50: Max 5
51-60: Max 6

Our House Rule:
11-20: Max 3
21-30: Max 4
31-50: Max 5
51-60: Max 6

Not a huge difference, but it raises the range at which your Influence plateaus. We did this after rolling up three houses in each realm and discovered that the majority did not break 30 Influence (random events playing a huge role). So if a small house works on their Influence and gets it to 30, they at least have something to show for it before bracing for the long uphill work to "unlock" Status 6 for their lord, thus allowing second sons as much as a 4.
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Postby tumbleweed664 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:59 am

It sounds like I was pretty confused and that there are other limits on starting Status. So, then the average starting Status for pc heirs will be 3 or 4? That seems really low, unless my general understanding of Status has been incorrect.

Is it even vaguely possible, then, that someone could adopt the Heir archtype, who has a Status of 6?
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Postby kckolbe » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:27 am

According to the rules, you can easily have a status 6. However, if your char's status is 6 but the max status (based off of house influence) is 4, then you take a -2D penalty (equal to the difference) on all status tests until your house's Influence allows a 6.
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Postby ninjaiguana » Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:31 pm

kckolbe wrote:According to the rules, you can easily have a status 6. However, if your char's status is 6 but the max status (based off of house influence) is 4, then you take a -2D penalty (equal to the difference) on all status tests until your house's Influence allows a 6.


It doesn't actually say that you can start with a Status higher than your House's maximum Status, though. It states that;

"If reducing your Influence would lower the maximum Status, each character takes -1D to Status tests for each rank they have above the maximum until they raise their Influence back to its original level or higher."

That's quite a different scenario. I would agree that for freedom of variety, allowing people to start with higher than maximum Status and then imposing penalty dice would be a good idea.

I found that I really like the idea of a 1-6 range for starting Status, and so may be even more lenient. I'm considering allowing a starting Status of up to 6, and then applying the different between maximum House Status and character Status as a penalty modifier to Status tests, rather than as penalty dice.
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Postby tumbleweed664 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:22 pm

Now I'm really confused. How does Status work, and what are its limitations re: Influence?

Out of curiosity, if my PC has a higher Status than his Inluence allows and he is taking penalties, could he still use his high Status at its full value to compel people in Intrigue?
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Postby Arcmagik » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:35 pm

Status of 6 is reserved for Liege Lords like Eddard Stark, Mace Tyrell, Tywin Lannister as they have the influence to have a maximun status. If your House is smaller (less influence) then even the Lord of the House isn't likely to rank up there in Status 6 which is exactly how it should be.
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Postby ninjaiguana » Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:32 am

Arcmagik wrote:Status of 6 is reserved for Liege Lords like Eddard Stark, Mace Tyrell, Tywin Lannister as they have the influence to have a maximun status. If your House is smaller (less influence) then even the Lord of the House isn't likely to rank up there in Status 6 which is exactly how it should be.


Not actually true. By the table in the Abilities section, the Head of a Great House is Status 7, and the Wardens of the North, East, South and West are Status 8. The King's Hand is Status 9. That puts Eddard at 8 to begin with (Warden of the North), rising to 9 when he becomes King's Hand. Mace Tyrell and Tywin Lannister are also Status 8 as Wardens of the South and West. With those numbers, I find it perfectly plausible to start with a Status 6 Head of House; to my mind, that makes your House large enough to be interesting, but still smaller than the Great Houses.
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Status

Postby Talassa » Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:45 am

I agree that there is something amiss regarding STATUS rules. Maybe glitch on Table 6-5, or something else. The truth is that as we are learing about status in the book, the prior learnings don't hold up to new information. As a result there is confusion about the intentions of the designeres.

Notably, the descriptions and tables below do not match:

in Chapter 3 (Character Creation), page 43:
"The head of the household and his family have the highest Status, typically 6, followed by banner lords, wards, courtiers, advisors, and septons, all of which are at 5." and Table 3.2 (Starting Status).


in Chapter 4 (Abilities and Specialities), page 64-65 and Status Ranks Table.

According to this Table (which I like best, and I will use as a reference), a Lord of a Great House (could be the Tully) will have 7 Status; a Lord of a House, 6; a Lord of a Minor House 5; a Landed Knight 4.

A heir to a House will be at -1, a member of a house at -2.

Status 3 and below don't usually own Land to begin with - and Ranks 3/4 seem to be the divide between SmallFolk and Nobility - see page 79).


in Chapter 6 (House and Lands), page 96, under the heading Influence, describes the folowing scores:

a minor landed knight (1-10) ~ then they give Craster as an example
a landed knight (11-20), [according to Chapter 4: Status 4]
a small minor house (21-30),
a minor house (31-40),
a powerful minor house (41-50),
a great house (51-60), [according to Chapter 4: Status 7]
wardens of the East, West, North and South and above (61-70+] [Status 8 and above]


in Chapter 6 (House and Lands), page 101 - 102 under Influence Holdings

Text and Table 6-5: Influence and Status seems to be broken, regarding the above.


I have a few problems with the following:

a) Maximum Status start at 2. A minor Landed Knight should have at least 3 Status. (On the other hand, Craster should have only 2?).
b) 11-20 shows 3 as Status. A Landed Knight should have 4 Status according to Chapter 4 Table.
c) 51-60 (A Great House, Like Tully) is given 6 Status. It should be 7.
d) 21 - 40 influence, but only gives 4 maximum Status - the equivalent to a Landed Knight.
e) there is a mismatch between heirs max starting Status and Table 3.2.

I think the values listed in Table 6-5 are wrong. They are not compatible with the rest of the system and therefore provide for strange results.

Maybe they were changed for fear that player's houses Influence escalated to high numbers fast.

I think a simple rule can be added to the game: any given house Influence cannot be increased beyond their Liege-Lord Influence Value by normal means. That can provide an incentive to spending Influence to aid House Fortune Rolls, while at the same time keep players in the 4-7 range (higher numbers would have to be won through the Campaign - to be nominated ward of the west, hand of the king or to conquer all of westeros and become king himself would be the only ways to have access to 8-10 influence range).



That said, here is my tentative house rule regarding Table 6-5:

1-10, a minor landed knight ~ Status 3 (or 4)
11-20, a landed knight ~ Status 4
21-30, a small minor house (like Westerling) Status 5
31-40, a minor house (like Karstark) 5
41-50, a powerful minor house (like Florent or Frey) 6
51-60, a great house (Like Tully or Martell) Status 7
61-70, Status 8.
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Postby hedgewizard » Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:12 pm

I just created a new house. My influence was 27, which is described as a small minor house, with a max status of 4. So the liege lord is a 4, the heir and lady are 3, and the remainder of retainers are 2.

It seems that you can spend House Influence to achieve things (gain bonus dice in intrigues, or to aid in Fortune rolls). It is stated that if your House Influence level is reduced through spending which results in a lower Max Status Rank, the characters affected would be at -1D for certain tests.

The question then becomes: does "spending" influence to buy heirs/ladies, etc result in lowering the Max Status available in the same way that spending House Influence does to improve tests/fortune?

In the example on Influence Holdings and using chart 6-5 the player characters have 35 influence. One character "spends" 20 to become heir, another "spends" 10 to become daughter. Leaving 5 to spend on tests. Does this mean:

A. Their house status is 35, the max status is 4, making the Heir status 3, the Daughter 3 (since minimum status is 3), but they have 5 influence they can spend on tests (this is my preferred but unsupported reading).

B. Their house status is now 5. This sets the max status of the LORD of this house to a whopping... 2. Now, because the min status of a heir is a 3 and it would be assumed, the lord is a 4, THEN the lord and heirs receive -2D on Status tests until they bring it back up to status 21 or higher?


(I think this is some of what Talassa was trying to say?)

PS - just noticed that the Heir template character has a Status 6; which would incline them to be the heir of a great house... So Robb Stark-esque...
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Postby Davechan » Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:02 pm

A) Would be the correct reading I believe, as the influence is "invested" in the heirs rather than spen on them. Having heirs ties up the influence, preventing you from spending it to influence rolls and the like, but it doesn't take it away from you, in much the same manner as Defence, Land, Wealth and Power investments. Presumably the only way you could drop your influence below your investment in heirs would be if they were killed and the points "freed up". That said, I'm unsure what happens if an event causes your House stats to drop below the level you have invested them in. Or if it's possible - don;t have a copy of the book to hand right now. ^_^
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Postby Talassa » Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:04 pm

hedgewizard wrote:The question then becomes: does "spending" influence to buy heirs/ladies, etc result in lowering the Max Status available in the same way that spending House Influence does to improve tests/fortune?


No. The Cost of Heirs is not spending, is an investment in a Holding.

P 102: "In a way, holdings are like investments in that you use your resources to select specific elements in the form of castles, towers, cities, towns, soldiers, mines, and more. When you define your holdings, you do not reduce the resource; instead, allocate those points to a specific expression of that resource."

hedgewizard wrote:In the example on Influence Holdings and using chart 6-5 the player characters have 35 influence. One character "spends" 20 to become heir, another "spends" 10 to become daughter. Leaving 5 to spend on tests. Does this mean:

A. Their house status is 35, the max status is 4, making the Heir status 3, the Daughter 3 (since minimum status is 3), but they have 5 influence they can spend on tests (this is my preferred but unsupported reading).

B. Their house status is now 5. This sets the max status of the LORD of this house to a whopping... 2. Now, because the min status of a heir is a 3 and it would be assumed, the lord is a 4, THEN the lord and heirs receive -2D on Status tests until they bring it back up to status 21 or higher?


I believe the correct answer is A. Although poorly worded I think the text supports this.

hedgewizard wrote:(I think this is some of what Talassa was trying to say?)


No. what I was trying to say was that between pages 43, 64-65, 96 and 101-102, the text contradicts himself.

hedgewizard wrote:PS - just noticed that the Heir template character has a Status 6; which would incline them to be the heir of a great house... So Robb Stark-esque...


More like Edmure Tully (an Heir to a Great House). Robb Stark would have 7 Status (as a Heir to the Warden of the North). See page 65.
Last edited by Talassa on Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Davechan » Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:12 pm

In response to your PS, the Status of the Heir presented in the Archetype section seems to be another example of the inconsistency between the status rules found in the House Creation system and the rest of the book. Per Table 3.2 Status 6 would be a pefectly acceptable Status for both the Lord AND Heir of a noble House (indeed on this table all members of the family are assumed to share the same status), even though it then contradicts the House Creation rules. The Maester and Septa sample characters also have a Status appropriate to table 3.2 (Ie, Status 4, for a "Maester to a Minor House"). By the House Creation rules, you can have a Maester whose status equals his Lord, and exceeds that of all his heirs. (The House Creation rules also have no indication of the appropriate status for the Lady of the House either)
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Postby ninjaiguana » Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:17 am

More and more my favoured reading is becoming the table on pg 65, in the Status skill description. Under this table, the lord of a noble house is Status 6, his heir 5, and the other members of his family 4.
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