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Gifts and starting Loyalty

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5 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Yes? Why do people make large political donations (answer: to buy favors), donations to universities (answer: to buy spots for their kids or to get their own doctor's hat), and so on? 

Exactly, and none of those people are actual loyal to those organizations.They are just buying influence and favors. 

 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Exactly, and none of those people are actual loyal to those organizations.They are just buying influence and favors. 

 

 

 

 

Clearly you've run into something that you have some personal issue with. In our Glorantha, loyalty is normally a two-way street. One-way loyalty is strange, rare, and probably Chaotic (at the very least profoundly dishonourable). It is normal in Glorantha that loyalty is built up by gifts and donations. These donations and declarations of loyalty and fidelity are witnessed by the gods, spirits, and your community. This is all taking place in a gift economy where that is how things work.

Your Glorantha is different, clearly. So drop it for your game. But the mechanic models how Greg and I think this works in Our Glorantha.

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29 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Exactly, and none of those people are actual loyal to those organizations.They are just buying influence and favors. 

Technically, you could argue that you’re granting your counterpart Loyalty to you (and I’m inclined to house-rule a relationship system that works just like this), but in game technical term, the effect is much the same (you invoke your loyalty to them for an augment rather than the other way ‘round), and RQG doesn’t have much in the way of supporting this kind of thing in the regular rules.

The game made the decision of describing your character’s passions rather than (say) mapping your status or standing or friendliness of relationship (something that I occasionally miss). That means something like these donation rules have to work within the rules system.

The one subsystem that’s different is Reputation (as it’s explicitly about other people’s knowledge), and possibly Honour (depending on how you interpret it - do you lose honor for being dishonourable, or for getting caught?). Donating for rep should absolutely work as well.

Edited by Akhôrahil

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9 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Clearly you've run into something that you have some personal issue with. In our Glorantha, loyalty is normally a two-way street.

Well, I'm getting contractory answers from various people, some stating that a one sided "influence" is okay.

9 minutes ago, Jeff said:

One-way loyalty is strange, rare, and probably Chaotic (at the very least profoundly dishonourable).

Precsiely. It's why this whole take on buying loyalty is so bewildering to me. I just don't see or accept that somebody suddenly becomes loyal to an institution because he threw money at it. Or that he can avoid having a loyalty is he doesn't want one.

It's why I brought up the Cacadaemnon cultists example. I could see the Cacodaemon worshipper conning the temple into thinking he was a upstanding member of the community, but I could see him actually be loyal to that temple.

9 minutes ago, Jeff said:

It is normal in Glorantha that loyalty is built up by gifts and donations. These donations and declarations of loyalty and fidelity are witnessed by the gods, spirits, and your community. This is all taking place in a gift economy where that is how things work.

To me that looks like putting the cart before the horse. People donate money to the temple so they are loyal instead of loyal people donating to the temple.

 

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1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

In which case the loyalty isn't actually a passion then is it?

It's not a passion that your character has, but it's a passion that the temple you gave the donation to has for your character. It's relevant and useful and might go on the character sheet. If you're too hung up on the terminology and categorization, make a character sheet with an extra section, but frankly, this is all hypothetical and it may or may not be worth taking up real estate on an already crammed character sheet....unless you're running a game of complex political intrigue, in which case yeah, it's a good idea to track personal passions and NPC standings separately, or even only track personal passions and have the GM secretly manage NPC standings behind the screen (in which case the donation doesn't result in anything on the character's side).

Personally I don't think my players will ever do "dishonest" donations -- I don't think they will get rich enough to afford that :) (and there will be very dire consequences down the line)

Edited by lordabdul

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14 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Rich people donate large sums of money to various churches and charities but it doesn't generate any sort of loyalty between them and those organisations.

That's a very ... optimistic way of looking at how that usually works.

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6 hours ago, Grievous said:

That's a very ... optimistic way of looking at how that usually works.

The way it usually works is that the rich people either already have a loyalty to the  organization when the donate,  or don't have one but do not end up with one, but could end up with a tax break.I  can think of no examples of someone gaining a loyalty to an organization by giving money to it.

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3 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

The way it usually works is that the rich people either already have a loyalty to the  organization when the donate,  or don't have one but do not end up with one, but could end up with a tax break.I  can think of no examples of someone gaining a loyalty to an organization by giving money to it.

You clearly haven't worked with lobbyists or big law firms then. You'd be amazed how much a big value contract makes everyone loyal to each other. :D 

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17 minutes ago, Jeff said:

You clearly haven't worked with lobbyists or big law firms then.

No I haven't, thankfully!

17 minutes ago, Jeff said:

You'd be amazed how much a big value contract makes everyone loyal to each other. :D 

I'd be more amazed if it did.;) 

Again we are loooking at loyalty very differerntly. I see it as a Passion similar to what it means in Pendradon, actually loyalty, not, as it appears to be in RQG, Quid Pro Quo.

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27 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

No I haven't, thankfully!

I'd be more amazed if it did.;) 

Again we are loooking at loyalty very differerntly. I see it as a Passion similar to what it means in Pendradon, actually loyalty, not, as it appears to be in RQG, Quid Pro Quo.

Our belief - shared by Greg as well - is that in the ancient world loyalty is BOTH a passion and a quid pro quo. It is not a free-standing thing floating around in the abstract. One is passionately loyal to Argrath, but also reasonably expects that loyalty to be returned. If it isn't, there's a problem. Or I give gifts to my retainers because they are loyal to me AND I give those gifts because I am loyal to them. 

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1 minute ago, Jeff said:

Our belief - shared by Greg as well - is that in the ancient world loyalty is BOTH a passion and a quid pro quo. It is not a free-standing thing floating around in the abstract. One is passionately loyal to Argrath, but also reasonably expects that loyalty to be returned. If it isn't, there's a problem. Or I give gifts to my retainers because they are loyal to me AND I give those gifts because I am loyal to them. 

Well we disagree. Hopefully that view doesn't infect Pendragon, as it would destroy it.

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1 hour ago, Jeff said:

Our belief - shared by Greg as well - is that in the ancient world loyalty is BOTH a passion and a quid pro quo. It is not a free-standing thing floating around in the abstract. One is passionately loyal to Argrath, but also reasonably expects that loyalty to be returned.

Argrath won't sacrifice you unless he feels he has to. Probably. Well, maybe. At least not as long as you're more useful alive.

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3 hours ago, Jeff said:

You clearly haven't worked with lobbyists or big law firms then. You'd be amazed how much a big value contract makes everyone loyal to each other. :D 

I relate a true story -- not mine, but attested by a professional, about their profession.  A scientific profession, mind -- none of your legalese mumbo-jumbo!  😉

This is told by a university professor, a geologist, called in as an outside safety-consultant by a power company, regarding a nuclear power plant.  He's doing a field survey, alongside some geologists working for the power company.

He comes across a faultline; it's aimed -- more or less exactly -- at the nuke plant a few miles away.  "This looks like a problem, guys... a big one."

Response from the Company Men:  "Oh, that's an erosion feature, not a fault.  Totally safe."

So far as the guy from the U could tell, these professional geologists were honestly saying (no shifty excuse-making) that the very same thing he could unambiguously ID as a fault, was not a fault.

He was baffled, like if he had pointed at the mid-day sun & had someone else remarked how dark the twilight had become.

 

Edited by g33k

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I definitely agree with Atgxtg here. It's almost as if there's a different definition of loyalty going around...

If anything you would buy someone elses' loyalty by paying them (ie. increase their Loyalty passion towards you). I could easily pay a temple to buy the cultists' favour, and then turn around and send them all to their doom if it suits me. It could be used as a strategy in war, toppling governments, or whatever situation where you need to gain people's trust (see: loyalty) even if you don't necessarily feel the same way towards them.

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1 hour ago, gochie said:

If anything you would buy someone elses' loyalty by paying them (ie. increase their Loyalty passion towards you).

Yeah, we already established that the definition of "Loyalty" in RQG is a two-way street by default, a bi-directional bond that you strengthen and can both call upon, and be bound by. It's totally trivial to mark a certain relationship as "dishonest" or "one-way" or whatever on the character sheet if you want to have characters buying off religious figures and communities in anticipation of political shenanigans (in which case it can't be used as a Passion to augment most rolls, GM's discretion).

Edited by lordabdul

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3 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Argrath won't sacrifice you unless he feels he has to. Probably. Well, maybe. At least not as long as you're more useful alive.

That's what the promised the Trollkin at breakfast. Still, why'd he name him Lunch?

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2 hours ago, lordabdul said:

Yeah, we already established that the definition of "Loyalty" in RQG is a two-way street by default, a bi-directional bond that you strengthen and can both call upon, and be bound by. It's totally trivial to mark a certain relationship as "dishonest" or "one-way" or whatever on the character sheet if you want to have characters buying off religious figures and communities in anticipation of political shenanigans (in which case it can't be used as a Passion to augment most rolls, GM's discretion).

I understand that people said it was a 2-way street, but that doesn't make it make any more sense. 

If I have Loyalty (Argrath, or any other hero) at 90%, I will ride into battle for him knowing I will likely die. He will not ride into battle or sacrifice himself for me, considering he probably doesn't know me, or hasn't even met me...

Argrath doesn't have the Loyalty (every single follower that is loyal to him) passion. 

Anyways, I will respectfully bow out at this point. I think I said everything I had to say. YGWV and all that jazz. 

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45 minutes ago, gochie said:

Argrath doesn't have the Loyalty (every single follower that is loyal to him) passion.

I would definitely expect him to have "Loyalty (My Troops)", unless you play him as an asshole who just uses people as a means to an end. Maybe Harrek is like that, however... Harrek's men probably have both Loyalty and Fear to him, and he might just... have nothing in return. But listen, I totally understand what you mean, power relationships like loyalty aren't exactly symmetrical, so what one person feels for a leader/temple/etc. isn't exactly the same as what the leader/temple/etc. is ready to give in return. I'm just saying it's trivial to fix that, by tracking separate percentages between "actual Passions" (what your character feels) and "standings" (what the other person/faction feels). In the case of the money donation to a temple, it would only increase the second, for example. That's totally a house rule I might bring into play if needed. Would that fix it?

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5 hours ago, gochie said:

I definitely agree with Atgxtg here. It's almost as if there's a different definition of loyalty going around...

If anything you would buy someone elses' loyalty by paying them (ie. increase their Loyalty passion towards you). I could easily pay a temple to buy the cultists' favour, and then turn around and send them all to their doom if it suits me. It could be used as a strategy in war, toppling governments, or whatever situation where you need to gain people's trust (see: loyalty) even if you don't necessarily feel the same way towards them.

Isn't that basically one of the Lunar Empire's main strategies in expanding into foreign territories? They've been doing it for like, centuries. It can be one of the main downsides to Good Orlanthi Generosity, Bad Friends Happen. 

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6 minutes ago, HreshtIronBorne said:

Isn't that basically one of the Lunar Empire's main strategies in expanding into foreign territories? They've been doing it for like, centuries. It can be one of the main downsides to Good Orlanthi Generosity, Bad Friends Happen. 

Oh, yeah! Nice call. Had not seen that put in such a way and I was waffling on the buying of loyalty. I understood the idea but had a caveat that I could not name... . (Caveat thy name is “Good Orlanthi Generosity, Bad Friends Happen“).

cheers

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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43 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

In the case of the money donation to a temple, it would only increase the second, for example. That's totally a house rule I might bring into play if needed. Would that fix it?

Absolutely. Money could increase your standing/reputation (which, sidenote, I house rule as being region-specific), the payee's Loyalty, perhaps a Trust passion.

Those are all legit... Really I just don't think it would affect your passions at all to pay someone else. 

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14 hours ago, gochie said:

It could be used as a strategy in war, toppling governments, or whatever situation where you need to gain people's trust (see: loyalty) even if you don't necessarily feel the same way towards them.

It has been used that way by real world government and powers. I don't see why it can't be the same in Glorantha.

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4 hours ago, Kloster said:

I don't see why it can't be the same in Glorantha.

It might be because in Glorantha there's magic and other planes of existence. People can do divination, interrogate spirits about they saw, etc. It might be a lot harder to do things in secret if someone is suspicious of you (although that of course opens up a can of worms about how, say, Starbrow's Rebellion managed to keep their activity hidden). There's also the problem of your ancestors' spirits coming to haunt you on a regular basis if you do things that go against their traditions or values.... something like, say, conspire against another temple when really you're supposed to "honorably" pick up your shields and swords and "honorably" bash their heads into their walls (or the other way around). Although of course that widely varies depending on your cult and your ancestors (it might be interesting here to list which cults are OK with political maneuvering? Maybe Ernalda, Eurmal if it's random enough, and possibly Yelm?)

Basically my point is that the existence of magic and spirits and gods isn't just an "add-on" to what the real world does... I think it actually changes a lot of how people do things. I'm still not exactly sure how, though, nor do I know how I would handle it in my games...

Edited by lordabdul

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Agreed. But buying loyalty does not have to be hidden. Italian quattrocento has a lot of examples of changing loyalties. Popes, Dukes, Kings bought and sold territories, armies, loyalties, people. Sometimes openly, sometimes not. In that case, divination will just tell that the one that is offering you money (or cows, or land,...) is sincere.

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