House of Exuberant Interference
Notes on House formation
For the House to have stats, we have to declare some resources, and get people to either join or associate themselves with the House. (For example, Takanata and Kuan-Xi are nobles in other countries; they clearly can't join the House, but publicly announcing as allies of the House are similarly useful.)
As noted above, it's hard to increase a House's stats after it is formed, so the easiest opportunity for improving stats is right now, during the formation stage.
Things put into stats don't add linearly. For reference, the House of Judicious Increase has a 10 Resources stat (as of The Second Sign) based on having "effectively limitless wealth". 100 Tael might be 2 Resources alone, but it doesn't add 2 resources if the first 3 were the Merit Trading Company. Like character stat dice, stats get more expensive, but it's clearly a worse curve than character stats.
Some things that would convert to stats:
- The Merit Trading Company is about 3 points
- 100 tael of cold hard cash would be 1-2 points
- The Cup Of Five Virtues might be a point or more
- A batch of favors from six different houses is about a point
- Other things that would move the needle: Blackmail on the King, PCs with Reputation shticks, the Gate of Shen Council, possibly mobs of urchins.
- We're weak here, since we have no armies or mercenary companies
- Strike teams of powerful NPCs working for us might move the needle
- The general combat prowess of the PCs moves the needle, but we haven't asked "what stat would we get if the whole party joined".
- General magic/sorcery/chi-like abilities of PCs
- Spending spirit points (Bear and Horse Points) would get us 1 for spending 8. (or 2 for 27, but I'm sure we're not going to do that.)
- Troves of magic items, or perhaps particularly spiffy magic items, count.
- Talismans might count, but we're probably afraid to declare them.
- A Water Gate network might count for Chi, or perhaps Resources?
"Declaring" something for the mechanic means different things in different cases. Cold Hard Cash probably mostly disappears into the mechanic. Institutions like the Merit Trade Company or the Cup Of Five Virtues remain institutions that can still do things; they just have the benefits and disads of being associated with the House. If we had an army that was declared as part of the House, it would still be an army that we could have do things (but doing things with it might temporarily suppress the House's stat). Some things can be stealthily declared; it depends on the situation. Having an epic entertainer secretly commit to the House probably doesn't do much for Influence, but having an epic spy agency secretly commit to the House probably would mostly work. It all kind of depends, and because stats aren't linear, it's going to end up being a GM call.
Declaring Assets of the House
It hasn't been finally decided whether to instantiate as a Great House (with all four stats) or a lesser House (with only 3 nonzero stats); I think we're likely to go Great.
- Cai Wen
- Wei Han
Things Expecting To Be Declared:
- We assume that all PCs who are not joining as Members will declare as Allies. It's not always clear which stat your talents will count as; you might get to choose. Some things we know:
- The simple default is Mil, based on your fighting skills, if you are at least moderately combat-focused
- Anto, as the Wu Xing, is pretty spiffy for Chi all by himself
- Merit Trade Company (Resources)
- The Cup of Five Virtues (Presumably Influence)
- Some amount of cold, hard cash (Resources)
- Based on a plan from Zhuai, "a couple dozen tael" applied to people with gambling debts can convert to Influence (Influence)
Things that still seem possible, though the trigger has not been pulled:
- A water gate network (details TBA; stat Chi or Resources) [ZCW -- I think we will actually do this]
- Recruiting the Gate of Shen council [ZCW -- This is really up to Li Merit, as that is his empire]
- Converting 8 Bear/Horse points to a point of Chi [ZCW -- Seemed more certain before we sent Mystic Mondo away with nothing but 4 Horse and 6 Bear points to stand off a horde of ninja in The Three Investigators, but we'll see.]
- Zhuai thinks that two points of Spirit Power, given to a patron spirit of the House (to be recruited) could be a point of Chi. But we would have to find an appropriate spirit/demon and interest them, and we would also have to obtain two points of spirit power.
- A trove of magic items. They would have to be declared House Loot. I imagine they would still be accessible to the party in the Arcade, but mostly would be inaccessible outside the Arcade.
Things that will probably be too late for House formation, but may increase stats later:
- Talking to an Arcade mercenary named Inokura Izumi, who Wei Han knew in the Army a long time ago. She is quite spiffy. (Military)