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Percentages and Competition
Fifteen points to Hufflepuff!

So I've been watching Incorporated, and it got me thinking about how we could get the same level of competition in Withmore, and how we could make corpie jobs more interesting. The issue with Sindome is that the major corporations mostly have monopolies, so there is less direct competition. It also often feels like there's no point in doing anything but quietly collecting one's pay. I may have a solution, however. It's a bit gimmicky and still a work in progress, but I think if it were developed a bit, it would make the game WAY more interesting.

So here's what. Give every corporation and business a percentage value. This value represents how much of Withmore's total income the company is getting. The total is more or less static, so one company's percentage going up would mean someone else has to go down. For corporations, this would be the company's budget/disposable income: how much they have to hire people, how many cybernetic enhancements they can afford, etcetera. For smaller, player-owned businesses, this would actually represent how much chyen the shop generates every week.

Different things would make the percentages go up or down. Security breach at NeoTrans? Their score is going down. Fantastic ViriiSoma-sponsored event? Score up. New SICAD for a player's business? Score up. The possibilities are endless.

What this would do is create real incentive for corporate players to get off their asses and do shit, from sabotaging the competition to going out and winning points for their company so as to get that promotion. Our activities would feel much less immaterial and we would get to see how much our actions affect the world, and it would generate so much more conflict. The idea still needs to be tweaked, and it would be extra work on the GM’s part, but if it were thought through, I think it could work.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-sum_game

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_efficiency

I can't even begin to touch how strange this post is.

No direct competition? It's your colleagues.

Nothing to do but collect ones' pay? Are we playing the same game?

More incentive for competition? Uhhhh. You know that quietly amassing chyen is doing absolutely nothing for you, right? It's the journey that matters. It's not how much wealth you amass, or power, or reach - it's how you earned them.

This is extremely small world thinking.

This won't change anything for the better, in my opinion. The people being active topside are just going to suffer more because of the inaction of other players, and the people just sitting around cashing passive paychecks and doing nothing of note will still do just that regardless of whatever complicated system gets introduced.

Individual Corpie characters don't need anything different from what individual Mixers have, as far as reasons to develop conflict, rivalries and plots.

Mixer players aren't asking for GMs to push a coded or curated ebb-and-flow between the street gangs or the organized criminal factions. They don't need that, to act out the competition and rivalries they know are there. Corpie world really shouldn't be any different.

What's different is how it goes down: In the Mix it's socially acceptable and strategically valid for violence and bare threats to be the first line of action. In the corporate world, it's not socially acceptable and it's risky, so, play the other side of the game, play the other side of the noir and cyberpunk theme, play the other side of the promise of Sindome, the side where cat's-paws, subtlety, blackmail, and cunning are the way to satisfy your goals.

Both sectors are about greed, spite, ambition, and revenge. Topside can even be about turf - corporate rivalry isn't about holding a street corner and shaking down convenience stores for protection money, it's about snobbery and attitude and making employees of the other rival corp look and feel bad, especially in public and especially in front of their bosses.

Where machetes are the tool of the street survivor, sabotage is the tool of the corporate climber.

In this game, we talk about small-town play a lot, and how that's negative. I'm here to say that there is a flip side, and it's this:

Each person who plays this game puts a character into it who has the potential to exceed their average, uninteresting, unnoticed peers. Mixer PCs stand out because they're more competent, more proactive, more ambitious and more vital than the millions of NPCs or VCs (virtual characters) populating the sector. Corpie PCs stand out from the millions of faceless drones for the same reason.

So, all right, sometimes it's okay to react to a specific player's character as if they are extra noticeable. If they're being played boldly, pursuing goals, making progress on their trajectory through their world, they're getting attention. They are standing out. They are moving through a pond full of nobodies, tiny fish you'll never remember or notice.

But if you need coded systems or gamemaster manipulation just to find something to do in the game, you're already losing so badly that you should just stop whatever it is you're doing, stop right now, and do something completely different, because you're one of the invisible ones, as sheepish as the millions of forgettable ambient nobodies.

"Oh, but my character would never..." Stop right there. If you're looking for shit to do, if you're looking for more plot, then either kill your character right now and make a new one which would get up off their UE and their bank savings and act, or else, make up some reason right now why your character will break out of its shell and start clawing its way out of its rut.

Simplest solution for corpies in a rut: Next person who walks by that is prettier/smarter/richer/cooler/etc becomes your new target to get close to, and subsequently destroy.

Well, although i understand the grief in this thread, gauging corporate success on a macro level isn't necessarily "small world" or RP Fixing either. Something like quarterly reports, gauging Withmore's gatekeepers against each other and the rest of the world's hierarchy of corporate conglomerates would be BA i thinnk. If there were a way for players to do this without being meta and not put the burden on admin it could be fun. Not possible though, i think, plus would the corporations really let that kind of info out in our IC world to begin with? I doubt it. I wouldn't. Might be some dope paydata though. Best to stick to the small guns and take them down from the bottom up. Like Wildgiller and Linekin said. :-)

P.S. Welcome back Linkekin! We missed you.

On the surface at least I don't think that the factions on Red to the factions Topside are really all that comparable.

On Red is seems that many factions compete for the same resource (territory) and offer the same services/products (protection, drugs, gear, ect...) This means that members of one faction have a very easily identifiable source of conflict with members of another faction.

The corps, however, don't really seem to have as much overlap. Sure they all wany the flash but each seems to offer unique services/products for the most part. What ViriiSoma offers is very different from what NLM offers. I am not sure how ViriiSoma is supposed to bite in to NLMs earnings. This is just on the surface of course and I am sure that many here more familiar with Withmore's corporate landscape might know otherwise.

It seems to me that in both places there is a lot of room for individual competition. mixers and corpies moth want to move up the ladder and this is often accomplished by gaining access to information, betrayal, violence and the like. It just seems that the competition between factions is more immediate and tangible that the competition between faction topside seems to be.

With this in mind I can think of a few potential service/product overlaps between major corps:

- SHI E-Notes vs NLM Grid Tech (Say a company was wanting to revamp it's internal data storage and processing equipment).

- ViriiSoma Nanogenics vs Saedor Krupp Cybernetics (Say a company wanted to boost their security forces and only had enough budget to pick one)

- Skywatch Cams/Mics vs SHI Detectors (Say a company wanted boost campus security and only hand the resources to get one or the other.)

As a rule though I guess that the motivated corpie in Withmore will be constantly looking for the next move up and creating the option if nothing presented itself. They would be more concerned about personal advancement that company loyalty (though they couldn't afford to ruin their reputation by being caught betraying an employer).

As far as opposing products go, the closest competition is ViriiSoma and Saedor-Krupp in the human augmentation business, which is a shame because one of those hasn't been developed and isn't recruiting.

On the surface at least I don't think that the factions on Red to the factions Topside are really all that comparable.

On Red is seems that many factions compete for the same resource (territory) and offer the same services/products (protection, drugs, gear, ect...)

When you stop thinking about the entire faction or organization and start thinking about the individual PCs who are within their spheres, it's DIRECTLY comparable.

I'm going to re-spell your last sentence:

"On Gold and Green it seems that many corporations compete for the same resources (worker bees and public image) and offer the same services/products (protection, perks, gear, etc...))"

While I like the idea, corporate life is about the underhanded backstabbing, the social game. However, look at William Gibson novels, along with others. He specifically shows that the Yakuza in Johnny Mnemonic is one of the biggest 'mega-corporations' in the world. There are products being sold, employees working and being paid by them. There business just happens to be quasi-legal or illegal and social unacceptable compared to legal megacorp work, who do the same thing behind the guise of the law. Its just a matter of how you play it. There are plenty of opportunities topside to do -exactly- what mixers do on the street, you just need to find ways to get away with it. Would a mixer who decides to hit the Triads, Mob, Yakuza etc. expect to not receive equal backlash without their actions being backed by another high power in the mix that would scare them away or a group of powerful friends? No, not at all. Same applies topside. There is plenty of action topside if you become ambitious. Find pay data, throw people under the bus, show that you are better than the competition, black mail them, even call in hits/muggings on the individuals to scare them, if you can get away with it. Do what you have to do to get that next promotion.