Woodthorn
▶ Stars Without Number
2018-05-10T18:50:08.302Z

I've got a ruling question for you guys. One of my players have the first level of the Connected focus:

"Gain Connect as a bonus skill. If you’ve spent at least a week in a not-entirely-hostile location, you’ll have built a web of contacts willing to do favors for you that are no more than mildly illegal. You can call on one favor per game day and the GM decides how far they’ll go for you."

The group does a lot of planet hopping, meaning they stay on a planet only for whatever duration is required to get a job done (typically around 1-3 days) and then returning to what's getting to become their adopted home world before accepting a new mission (typically 3-6 days). This all leads to them spending time on the same planets, but in shorter bursts, never quite hitting the one week mark during any single visit.

How would would you rule the focus as written? Does it require the character to stay an uninterrupted week on location to get the benefits, or can they build the web piecemeal?

Josh Peters
2018-05-10T18:50:08.302Z

I'm actually experiencing the same sort of issue right now. One PC has Connected at level 1, and the same thing is coming up. He wants to get his network of contacts going wherever he is, but the group never stays too long in one place for that to really happen.

I think that it's better to take a more piecemeal approach than an all-or-nothing one: a network of contacts takes a week, but after a couple of days, the Connected PC has a handful of people (maybe even just one) they can go to for a minor shady favour. Instead of one favour per game day, maybe one favour per week or something like that, in order to simulate the tenuousness of the connection.

I think this works well if the PCs have downtime on whichever planet they're on. This implies that the Connected PC is going around to the bars, fixers, and starport administrators, and making acquaintances.

Timothy Whitworth
2018-05-10T18:50:08.302Z

I think the time on their homeworld should count cumulatively, as should their time on a specific ship, or maybe even with the booking office of a particular star liner company.

Kevin Crawford
2018-05-10T18:50:08.302Z

Count time cumulatively, and if they do a lot of episodic here-today-gone-forever-tomorrow play, let the Connected PC trigger their perk once on each new location as a freebie not subject to the time limits.

Josh Peters
2018-05-10T18:50:08.302Z

Definitely do not penalize the Connected player character for one-night-standing a planet! Those Focus picks should be useful, or switched out to something useful.

Calum M
2018-05-10T18:50:08.302Z

It doesn't say anything about the week being uninterrupted so I would rule cumulative so long as they were putting in time making connections

Andrew “yongi” Trent
2018-05-10T18:50:08.302Z

A gal (or friend, connection, etc.) in every port seems quite reasonable, assuming it's a return to a place one has been to previously. So I'd definitely go with time being cumulative - at least if it's a solid day or two and some effort is expended in making those connections.

Matt Perko
2018-05-10T18:50:08.302Z

What my dm did for me is both allow time planetside to add up like people are saying and letting it happen in the past. My character was a traveled person before adventuring and on planets where it made sense he let me drudge up "old" contacts. Even if it was the first time we actually visited a planet in the campaign. Its ended up creating a lot of fun characters and events