Skills for Organisations

Another post about the work-in-progress RPG.

Organisations (Everything from word-spanning guilds and legions to local street gangs) are a major feature of the setting, so the game will be describing them using the Fate Fractal. Each organisation will have aspects, skills and possibly stunts, describing them as if they were characters.

This is a draft list of the skills a organisation can have. They’re not the same skills as those used by characters. How does this look as a list?  Is there anything obvious missing? Can some be merged and/or replaced by aspects?

Power is a measure of the amount of direct legal, political, military or equivalent force the organisation can call upon. The precise nature of their power should be apparent from their aspects. A legion will have different sort of power to a city government that can call upon the legion, and both will be very different from crime syndicate which has a bit of “muscle”.

Influence is a measure of the “soft power” of the organisation. It’s a combination of reputation and more subtle political, social and economic links. As with Power, the precise nature an organisation’s influence should be apparent from their aspects. Religious groups and philosophical movements are likely to have an Influence far higher than their Power, as will merchant companies.

Reach is a measure of how far the organisation’s tentacles reach. Low reach indicates that the organisation is confined to one location, and their power and influence doesn’t extend much beyond that. Very high reach indicates that they have a presence more or less everywhere.

Secrecy is the measure of how the organisation can act without it’s actions being traced back to it, and how difficult the organisation’s workings are to penetrate from outside. Low secrecy means everything they do tends to be highly visible, and they don’t go in for covert actions or plausible deniability (or if they do, they’re not very good at it). High secrecy means they’re far better at pulling strings behind the scenes, and many of their actions happen in the shadows. If secrecy is their highest skill, it could even mean that their very existence is unknown to most people. Spy networks and underground cults should have high secrecy.

Resources is the measure of an organisation’s wealth. Not just liquid cash, it includes assets such as land, buildings or exclusive control of some important resource. If the source of an organisation’s wealth is very specific or has a lot of story potential, it should be represented by an aspect. And organisation’s wealth should be reflected in the standard of living of their membership from their leadership down to the rank and file. If it isn’t, there’s a story there, and therefore an aspect.

Knowledge is the measure of what the organisation knows, and how good it is at finding things out. Temples or guilds with vast libraries of information will naturally have a high rank in Knowledge. So will an extensive and efficient spy network.

Unity is simply how united the organisation is. Low unity indicates an organisation riddled with factions and internal strife, and a leadership which does not necessarily have everyone’s full support. High unity indicates the opposite; strong loyalty and common sense of purpose across all levels.

Administration is a measure of how effectively the organisation is run, and the strength of internal communications, both of which will be reflected in how rapidly the organisation can react. A low rank in this means that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, or everything is bogged down in red tape, either of which makes it hard to get anything done.

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2 Responses to Skills for Organisations

  1. Simon Brunning says:

    Have you seen Reign? It does something a bit like this.

  2. Ivona Poyntz says:

    Very useful, but yet, how would one actually measure reach and influence in practice?