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Requisitions overhaul

Getting back into the game I was running some crates and thinking of old times. It reminded me that the requisitions position is often never used. The idea I came up with is to have corporations contract requisitions out to a UPS/Amazon type corporation for corporate fixers.

In theme, have this company keep the crate carriers but buy them out along with all shipping and distribution routes. Instead of the items in crates being generated, it will fall to the players hired by this company to determine what needs to be sent where. This can go farther in terms of corporate play as corporations push to get their product sold as a priority in the convenience stores of the dome. It could also be used to starve competition or bar certain items from certain social classes. To clarify, this wouldn't change any of the crate delivery mechanics, just create a corporate oversight to their operation.

The pros (in summary):

-Give an underused corporate role an active purpose.

-Create a need for the topside fixer or trader.

-Create both topside and Mix RP and competition.

-Work with the theme of the game by having the current independent businesses become franchises for a mega corporation.

I also realize in hindsight I said corporation a lot in that second sentence.
Yeah, I wouldn't mind seeing something done with it. Your idea is very interesting and could be a lot of fun.

As it stands it's a good job for someone who has a LOT of other things they want to be doing. It does seem to have a lot of limitations on what you can and can not do. I don't want to go too much IC, but after having superiors specifically say what you can and can not do, there seems to be a relatively narrow window to do things in the capacity of the job.

Don't always believe what a NPC says.

Don't always do what a NPC says.

This idea sounds abusable and if its not abusable, whats the point of the middlemen?

Requisition Officers are essentially the fixer for each corporation.

This is where a see the issue. Each corporation has a fixer, but they are rarely used, and rarely used to their potential. Why not just make it a central role that gives that character more purpose.
Each corporation has a fixer, but they are rarely used, and rarely used to their potential.

This isn't a corporate exclusive issue. A good fixer is hard to come by and few people excel in the role. It is extremely nuanced. Be the change you want to see in the world.

Agreed with Reefer. There's a relatively low number of fixer players and many of them find the Mix to be a perfectly viable place to do business. That's not to say the Requisitions role couldn't be played this way by a motivated player. There is probably an unfilled niche for corporate-facing fixers right now.
I think part of the issue is that corporate requisitions -isn't- fixing, both because of skills usages, and because of demand.

Past corporate requisitions players I've come across have been treated much like the janitor job in the past - you go in, do your task, RP elsewhere for the most part. Its automated. This is from an outside perspective, though I also tried to roll a character to specifically play as a corporate requisitions specialist a year or two ago and was pushed away from pursuing it as a career goal for similar reasoning.

Maybe its a matter of changing attitude or having there be a bigger push toward requisitions being able to talk to people and needing connections to get hands on more expensive or rarer items for their corporations?

It is -supposed- to be the corporation's Fixer in a way.

It's not the way it works right now for one reason or another and it's something I've been meaning to look into. I'm keeping a close eye on the thread.

If it became the corporations fixer, I would love to play that role, one way or another ^
I think part of the issue is that corporate requisitions -isn't- fixing, both because of skills usages, and because of demand.

OK, find out IC?

I think it all boils down to the role needing some love and development. Part of my idea is in the theory of handing over more mechanics and responsibilities to players. That said, there are so many more ways the experience could be improved that I'd be interested to see presented.
I will just say that my superiors were disappointed when I tried to go outside of the lines of the role more towards what a fixer would do.

I had both Sec and HR explain what was expected and what was frowned upon. Now I'm all for understanding that PC and NPC will tell you wrong stuff...

But when you get rewarded in your Corp for doing a job and lectured/punished for trying to expand the role. It's not hard to assume which way you tend to want to go.

The computerized requisition processing system is designed for accountability and reducing company fraud. Things handled within that system are appropriately rigid and logged. The company wouldn't want anything to be ... less than proper.

This is definitely a box you need to work outside of if you want things to avoid those characteristics.

Totally get it. All I'm saying is that in the role, you are incentivized to NOT go outside the lines and in some cases actively dissuaded from doing so. I'm fine with that, but it does limit the perceived options. Certainly if you want to stay in the good graces of your company.
To play devil's advocate here, wouldn't we want people taking more opportunities here to interact with mixers to maximize those profits? If a corporate requisitions agent can find that set of ProGuy armor for 10K cheaper than the terminal, shouldn't they actively be trying to do that rather than leaving plot cookie crumbs for their own demise? Shouldn't corps try and minimize their expense account usage while still gearing their people, even if you have to occasionally, and publicly make examples out of wayward employees interacting with the filthy masses?

Basically all I'm saying is it seems like there's more gameplay potential in the requisitions office using reimbursements over using their requisitions system. And I fully admit- I've not played this role before, so I don't know the subtle nuances that I'm sure are present.

https://i.imgflip.com/4vit82.jpg

FIXED LINK. NON CAFFINATED BRAIN, STAHP IT.
I'd recommend more people learn the system themselves and see what sort of elbow room there already is before suggesting changes.
For me, there is certainly a perceived notion of what you can and should do (that seems to be actively rewarded) which does not feed into what is perhaps the types of interactions that would be good for promoting conflict and driving interesting interactions.

If the position is encouraged to be a crate delivery system and rewards (promotions, compliments from superiors, lectures when process isn't followed, etc) enforce this. Then it's hard to expect people to try to buck the system to encourage them into the types of deals that lead to more RP and shady stuff.

If the position is encouraged to be an efficient resource delivery system (minimize expenses) then feedback should be geared to letting people know that is what the evaluation is based on. That should be supported through NPC puppets and superiors in the know. Things like saying, "you're doing good getting things to people, but expenses are really high." or "why did we spend X on Y?".

I don't fully know what the real evaluation is supposed to be. All I can go off is the IC interactions that encourage one path or the other. If enough people tell you a thing, it lends credence to a path. Especially if it's coming from trusted sources and reinforced by NPCs.

If it were me, there would be certainly some encouragement to players to take the less automated path as it leads to all kinds of RP an interactions. To be fair, it's entirely possible there is or I've never seen it.

All I'm saying is that if there's a desire and expectation that people perform a role in a way for the good of the game, then there should be encouragement from company sources to make it known that is the desirable path.

NPCs and trusted sources can be wrong. Also, doing the "right" thing isn't always the best. NPCs in authority aren't going to tell you how to game the system, and if the PCs familiar with it aren't going to tell you either, find ones that will or discover how to work the system yourself.

This isn't just requisitions, but universal.

fgs it's an "open world game."

If exploration isn't what you're here for...

That's the problem. A good GM will not tell you how to game the system but they will nudge and give incentive to explore these options. When they push boundaries it's important to reward that. If they are discouraged from the start they will have no reason to build on that experience and not bother trying. I have A LOT of personal experience with this.
I'm kind of offended by the notion you're essentially asking a Judge how to get away with crime, then saying a "Good GM" would have it spelled out for you, when it isn't in their character.

Seriously, there's plenty of NPCs and people in the know. You're asking the wrong ones.

To clarify, a lot of personal experience with GM interactions that stomped out a lot of the desire to push boundaries.
No, that is not at all what I'm talking about. There is nothing about Judges or anything like that. When you get a position like this, as Blazing said, the boss should throw a few hints at you. Say, "Maybe there is a way you can acquire this a bit cheaper?" Or, "The last one in this position saved us a lot more money, consider shopping around." You get the idea, they aren't saying anything but they are implying to push your boundaries. Just al so let the player know they could get in trouble if they get caught.
What?

I don't think asking for supervisors to make their expectations known to encourage people into risky behavior is asking for any such thing. Do you?

Having your superior tell you, "look... you're doing the bare minimum delivering this stuff... when Bob McBob was here, he also kept an eye on the bottom line. If you want to get ahead, maybe you need to start doing that." Is not encouraging crime. It's dropping expectations on the player.

Unless you weren't commenting to me. At that point, I know as a player, that if I want to get ahead, I need to really figure out how to either fix the process, or skirt the line while keeping my job. It encourages me to look.

If all communication is "use the system" and nothing else. Guess what any sane character would do? Follow the system and take my risks elsewhere.

Okay, keep being sane, following the rules, and not doing anything risky.

Just don't complain on the forums when it doesn't achieve the desired results.

I have A LOT of personal experience with this.

I don't doubt that, I just want readers to be aware that one person's experience is... One person's experience.

@HolyChrome

I love how you approach the game. That's not sarcasm. I appreciate it and it's healthy.

However, you are the #1 advocate for punching people in the face. I am really surprised that you would be upset at any suggestion that encourages people to do so.

I am not complaining. I'm suggesting how behavior that might be desired could be encouraged. I can be a corporate crate runner, no problem. If that's what seems to be pushed to ICly succeed, then I will and I'll find risk elsewhere.

I've said before that there's a healthy cognitive dissonance to playing the game.

You have to acknowledge there are simultaneously IC and OOC expectations.

IC, the expectation is for you not to fuck up and follow the rules.

OOC, the expectation is for you to fuck up and break them.

The two exist in harmony and its where plot stems from. Find a reason ICly using an OOC mindset to take the plunge, whatever the field may be, with the acceptance of knowing whatever happens ICly isn't just okay, but encouraged on an OOC level.

I understand more than anyone that IC retribution can be more than discouraging and an absolute gutpunch, which is why I was such a big advocate for a "mixed" response when it comes to IC failures (not -just- browbeating PCs with NPCs, healthy balance).

That being said, you still have to roll the dice, take the initiative, and take the risks ICly before anything else falls into place.

I'd like to +1 HC's point here.

'Perfect crimes' are dreadfully boring and wind up being plot deadends.

Who knows, maybe Dirk Duddly down the hall will pull you aside after hearing you get your ass chewed out and give you a few tips. Or complaining about it will give other players plot hooks.

Just you know, be conscientious that fucking up and being a fuck up are separate things, both for your own introspection and when critiquing other players ICly. Gotta crawl to walk, trip to run, fall to jump, etc.

The biggest issue with this way of approaching things is, Why? If you're playing a character grounded any way in reality they are going to say, "I'm NOT doing this. I can't afford this risk, I'll find another way." OOC we could force it, but that would be terrible characterization and completely meta. If you want a character IC to do this there needs to be a reward dangled there, something that furthers their purpose.
Money.
Okay all good advice. Nothing I disagree with really.

But... here is why I am suggesting what I am.

At least what I see... knowing I could be totally wrong... the IC expectation is to be a corporate crate runner in the system. Okay cool. That gives me plenty of time elsewhere to do what I want. I've even been told that ICly. Again, I'm not the best at stirring the pot, but I do try in other areas.

Going back to what I'm suggesting. If there is incentive to tell players to do better in an area, they'll try to do so and it makes the RP easier to believe that just going off on someone just for OOC understanding. When the game is aligned IC and OOC people are more willing to take those risks... because there is perceived reason to do so, other than... I'm bored entertain me :) It also gives different opportunities for OTHER players to take risks when Corpies are given more incentive to get out and about.

Take these two interactions:

Interaction #1: Bob orders a widget. I use the system. I deliver Bobs widget on time with no fuss. I have interaction with Bob and the system and it's pretty minimal. I get kudos from Bob and maybe my superior for doing by job. I get promoted because I'm good at what I do.

Interaction #2: Bob orders a widget. I have been told to keep expenses down. I contact a fixer or even go somewhere I might get a discount. Maybe I contact a couple of fixers to see if I can get an even better price. I source the item from one and get it to Bob. I get promoted because I'm really good at what I do.

In interaction 1... there's little chance for it to go wrong and the RP opportunities are limited. In interaction 2... even if I keep to legit sources, there are other people involved who can sell paydata. They can try to mug/rob/kill me when I'm out and about. All kinds of things can go wrong.

To me, if you want more face punching, you'd be behind any suggestion which would naturally get people into scenario #2 more. That's all I'm saying. Because even if I'm not going to face punch, I leave myself open to someone who will punch me in the face. You need aggressors and aggressees for everything to work.

For Interaction 2 you wouldn't even have to change much... just the occasional hint to a player in a role on what might REALLY be expected of them if they want to get ahead. Not... go do fraud/crime. But... hey, let's keep costs down, okay. See what you can do to manage that.

@HolyChrome

But... why risk my job... which is my main source of income? I can take risks elsewhere and make money without doing that.

That's what I mean by incentives. Give some reason to do a thing... and it makes aligns the OOC and IC motivations. Makes it easier for me to risk and come up with reasons to do so.

You will always find reasons IC to take the safe bet. Just saying.
Also fair... but are you actually opposed to giving people IC reasons to not take it?
No, I'd take that in conjunction with the new promotion time changes to signify that sitting around, waiting for years to rank up while playing entirely by the rules is a nonviable option for a fulfilling experience.

If you want to talk about the "best" option, keeping your head down and patiently playing a character for that amount of time is what most characters in the corporate world "should" be doing. But that's part of the whole reason for the promotion time change. It isn't a comfortable amount of time OOC to see progression and if you aren't doing things, the boredom will start to gnaw at you on an OOC level. ICly, it makes perfect sense though, doesn't it? Why promote some bog standard character to Senior in less than a year's time? "Realistically", what company would do that?

Right. So... really my only point is that ICly I get tons of direct and visceral feedback to use the system as it is.

That's fine. No complaints. I'll pot stir elsewhere if I can.

But... if we're looking at ideas to make more interaction. Then some simple things like encouraging people to be more than automaton #1 are probably good for the game as a whole. Again, not telling people what to do. But telling them what the company really wants/expects. It's a subtle shift, but it makes me think how can I use the system to make my company better instead of just ICly toeing the line.

Yes, I probably should be doing that already, but in any job, managers usually give you feedback on what the goals really are too.

I totally agree with you that any job will get boring if you're not out and interacting with people. I also agree with you that the Best option for a powerful character is one that sits and does nothing for a few years. I don't want that though. Nor do I think a lot of people (or at least I hope). So... suggesting more interaction points is a great way... especially for Requisitions to get people out and maybe interacting with those dirty mixers.

Anyway, always appreciate your perspective. I've probably said too much on this already.

The biggest issue with this way of approaching things is, Why? If you're playing a character grounded any way in reality they are going to say, "I'm NOT doing this. I can't afford this risk, I'll find another way."

People should just stop projecting on to each other. Every player is different. Some are able to navigate the cognitive dissonance between OOC motivations to have fun versus IC "what WOULD my character refuse to do" thoughts. Some judge the risk differently - a risk to their character which is a chance for a gameplay win is not going to stop them from roleplaying a bad choice. Roleplay it out. You're like an actor - if the script says your character would take a chance, figure out how it makes RP sense. Oh, and it's your script, too, so, if you decide that something which looks like something your character wouldn't do is something you would like to try out anyway, write that episode's script, act it out, and see how it cliffhangs before the next episode. This is a player driven game. Letting characters drive us, rather than the other way around, is way more fun. If everyone played the same risk-averse way, there wouldn't be one single decent story happening anywhere, not even ones you're looking at from the outside.

OOC we could force it, but that would be terrible characterization and completely meta. If you want a character IC to do this there needs to be a reward dangled there, something that furthers their purpose.

Guaranteed rewards are the fastest way to guarantee someone quits the game out of boredom. Opportunities for reward are just that - opportunities. If you can't see the potential reward, that's one thing, but to see them but decide against risking it, that's a whole 'nother thing.

I recognize that I both talked about not-projecting and in the same post used "you" a lot. Not what I intended, try if you can to read statements addressed at "you" as more of an explanation of how "I" do this.
I'm going to suggest watching any of these videos, as well as the Design talks. None of them directly apply here, but they all give a little insight. The big thing is, if you don't dangle something for a player they will never go for it. It's like playing the Price is Right, telling the contestant to focus on the three object in front of them but DON'T pay attention to the mystery box. Then at the end saying, 'But if you'd picked the mystery box!" It just doesn't make sense and discourages new players in particular.

Videos are here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2e4mYbwSTbYD6zfuWTwz2nTfvKOZBWMe

Gonna circle back to making Requisitions Officer more interesting and fixery since Celestial is watching this thread and I have an idea!

So, this is a first draft, so take it with a grain of salt.

Firstly, have an External Demand option on the terminal (or a separate poster that updates automatically) for Requisition Officers. This will constitute things a corporation is always buying (although in different levels of demand). An example for a VS terminal:

PocketDoc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . High Demand [XX,XXXc]

Platinum Bio Tech Skillsoft . . . High Demand [XX,XXXc]

ZMI Binoculars . . . . . . . . . . . . Mid Demand [XX,XXXc]

Silver Bio Tech Skillsoft . . . . . Mid Demand [XX,XXXc]

Platinum Chemical Skillsoft . . Low Demand [XX,XXXc]

Gold Chemical Skillsoft . . . . . Low Demand [XX,XXXc]

Bronze Chemical Skillsoft . . . Low Demand [XX,XXXc]

Bronze Bio Tech Skillsoft . . . . No Demand [XX,XXXc]

These are all items that could be dropped into a corporate requisitions Supply Chute which is a glorified dumpster symbolizing an ambient supply that the corporation always has on-hand.

The Demand is how much of a bonus it provides to, say, CorpShare stock, multiplied by the RO's Trading+Int skill. Demand goes down a level as an item is dropped in the chute by the RO, and up a level each month it isn't provided by an RO. (The idea is that there are multiple ambient ROs are doing this, but 1 visible person in the role to 'account' for the rest.)

Lastly, the [XX,XXXc] is a Commission paid out to the Requisitions Officer. This should always be at or below retail (or below the cheapest method to acquire the item) to avoid this becoming a chy factory. Optional: As demand lowers, so does the payout.) This is to put the RO into a fixer position, reaching out to mixers, corporate closets, and others to source out for their company. Questionable legality for acquiring items? Who cares!

That's all!

Optional: Promotions/demotion reviews could be based on how low the RO keeps demand. If everything is high all the time, they stay at junior/regular. A senior keeps an average of mid-demand, and a veteran maintains low- to no-demand.

Feel free to tear this idea apart and remold it into something different / better!

Lost an italic tag in there somewhere. You get the idea.