Every person or even some groups of people want to have their own safe place to call home. On City of Shadows we have a system setup to help defend and raise more space. While this is not a replacement for the various Lair-Type Merits, this is used in conjunction with them to make sure the area around the lair is safe and in the control of the appropriate groups. Why does someone want territory? While there as many justifications for wanting territory as there are Cadres who claim it, the simple fact is that, for the inhuman denizens of the world forced to live a shadowed life, often pretending to be human, that they need it. Few creatures can survive alone, and none do so in a vacuum. The most hardened, isolated Gangrel Elder still needs blood to subsist on, even if the draw of city lights left them centuries prior. What does territory do? Territory provides a Cadre with protection, in the form of myriad defenses. Hardened walls and pit traps are equally important as zoning commissions and a press of bodies. In game terms, there are four bonuses to every territory:
- Unique Bonus
- This is a bonus available only to those who claim a given territory, such as unique knowledge or access to a rare resources.
- Cost Reduction
- This is a trio of merits which, when purchased by a Cadre member, refund 1 beat.
- A specialty that Cadre members can access.
- When within a territory they control, Cadre members receive +2 Dice to react to surprises and ambushes.
Here is a list of the common terms used in the system that we use to maintain and control the Claimed Territories of various Cadres.
- A blanket term for Packs/Coteries/Motleys/Cabals
- A geographically contiguous area that can be controlled, either physically, legally, socially, or spiritually.
- Location Value (LV)
- A numerical representation of the difficulty and energy needed to secure an area.
- The sum total of money, mystic power, physical prowess, social support and mental trickery a Cadre can devote to claiming and maintaining territory. Clout is the total of all relevant social Merits, Mental Merits, Discipline Dots, Renown, Arcana Dots, Contract Dots, Rites, and Coins available to a Cadre. This creates a die pool that can be used to enhance Territory Actions, both offensive and defensive. This is an abstraction of a groups total power, not an exact measure.
How do I get territory?
Obtaining territory is not simply as easy as moving in to an unclaimed neighborhood, even if you killed the previous residents. To obtain territory, a Cadre must invest time and resources in relation to the value of the territory. Territories have an LV, whether claimed or not. While a vigorously defended territory will have a much higher LV than a neglected, or even abandoned one, all territories have an LV that is needed to be overcome to claim the territory. The hows and whys of an LV are abstractions designed to cover everything from bribing local politicians, haggling with local gangs, bartering or intimidating local spirits and simple construction and renovations.
To attempt to claim a territory is an Extended Action with a difficulty equivalent to the LV of an area. The dice pool is chosen at the beginning of the action, and becomes the mean of the attribute and skill among all Cadre members (rounded up). Dice from the Cadre's Clout pool can be added on a one for one basis to a given roll. Coins instead add successes to a roll which succeeds, akin to Weapon Damage. The number of rolls is determined by the base die pool, and is NOT impacted by ANY other traits - these are accounted for in the Clout pool. The time between rolls is 2 days, which CAN be halved on an exceptional success.
To obtain an unclaimed territory simply requires the acquisition of successes equal to the LV. To take over a territory from another Cadre becomes a Contested and Extended Roll, unless the present owners are unwilling to defend their claim. Both parties choose their die pools in secret, as well as any Clout dice they wish to add. Each roll represents two days of maneuvering. After the rolls, the Cadres are informed who won and who lost. The first Cadre to accumulate Victories equal to ⅕ of the LV (Round up) of the territory claims the territory. The defending Cadre is considered to have one banked victory for every month they have already claimed the territory.
In Practice aka an Example
The Up-Town Hustlers are a small coterie of Vampires - primarily allied with the Carthian Movement, though they do have one member in the Circle of the Crones. They want to lay claim to the Avondale neighborhood in Northwest Chicago.
There are 4 members of the coterie - Daeva Dan, Nosferatu Nick, Gangrel Greg and Mekhet Melissa. They have the following relevant merits (Combined): Allies (Street Crime) 2, Resources 5, Status (Carthian Movement) 4, Status (Circle of the Crone) 2, Mentor 3, Carthian Pull 3 for a total of 19. They have a total of 18 dots in Disciplines among them. This gives total Clout of 37. They attempt to use subtlety and social means to infiltrate the territory, which is currently undefended. The Storyteller decides that this will be a roll of Manipulation + Streetwise. Daeva Dan has Manipulation 4 and 2 Streetwise, Nosferatu Nick has Manipulation 2 and Streetwise 1, Gangrel Greg has Manipulation 1 and 0 streetwise, while Mekhet Melissa has Manipulation 3 and Streetwise of 2. This gives a pool of 3 Manipulation and 2 Streetwise. 5 Dice, and 5 rolls. The use of Clout will be essential to accumulate the 20 successes required.
Now it is time for the rolls. The Coterie decide to spread their clout out as evenly as they can. 9 dice to the first roll, and then 7 to each additional roll.
Their first roll, which accounts for two days, goes well, with a total of 6 successes! They choose to reduce the total number of successes needed by their effective Streetwise of 2, giving them 6 of the now 18 they need.
The next roll, which again accounts for 2 IC days, nets only 2 successes - not a lot of progress. 8/18.
The third roll is another great one, with 3 tens, rerolling to two more successes for 5. This gives a total of 13, and the Cadre chooses to reduce the target number further to 16.
On roll 4, the Cadre gets 3 success, leaving them with the required 16. They also have a remaining 7 Clout to use this month, which they immediately use 6 of to raise the LV to 13.
Protecting what you've claimed.
Once claimed, Turf is in a period of upheaval. For the first month after being claimed, the initial LV is ½ of what was needed to claim the territory. Any remaining clout may be spent on a 2 for 1 basis to immediately reinforce the territory’s LV. Thereafter, LV can be raised up to 5 per month by spending Clout, again on a 2 for 1 basis.
In Practice aka an Example
The Uptown Hustlers have held onto Avondale for two months, returning the LV up to 23. However, the benefits of the area have attracted the attention of the Ghost Strangler Society, a Pack of Uratha who want to muscle in. In the intervening time, the Uptown Hustlers have increased their mystic ability and mundane influence - their total Clout is now 44. The Ghost Strangler Society have the following Members - Bethany Boneshadow, Bernadette Blood Talon, Harry Hunter in Darkness, Ivy Ironmaster, and William Wolfblood. For merits, they have the following totals: Allies (Legal) 2, Allies (Ghost Hunters) 1, Contacts 6, Resources 9, Status (City Hall) 2, Sounds of the City 2, Patient 2, for a total of 24 clout. From Supernatural means they have a total of 17 Gift Facets, 4 Rites, and 6 dots of Fetishes for 27 more, giving them a total of 51 Clout.
The Uptown Hustlers defend with a Strongarm campaign against their local criminal associates, using Strength and Streetwise. Their average strength (Without Vigor, which is applied as Clout) is 3 and, after improvements, so is their Average Streetwise, giving them a pool of 6.
The Ghost Strangler Society seek to use their intellect and mystical mojo to turn the area to their favor, using Intelligence and Occult. They have an average dice pool of 3 Intelligence and 2 Occult.
The Uptown Hustlers don’t want to use all of their clout, as they wish to improve the LV. So they only apply 5 to their first roll. The Ghost Strangler Society meanwhile wish to apply fast pressure, adding 10 dice to roll 1.
Roll 1: Uptown Hustlers get 4 Successes. Ghost Strangler Society gets 4 Successes. Nobody gets a Victory. However, due to their prior Ownership, the UH have 2 of the needed 5 already.
For the second roll, the UH stay convervative, with 5 (34 Clout remains) while the GSS need a win and add 11 (30 Clout remaining).
Roll 2: Both side roll poorly, with UH getting 1 success and GSS 3. The score is 2 for UH, 1 for GSS.
Next roll UH ups to 9 dice (25 Remaining) where GSS pull back and use 5 (25 Remaining).
Roll 3: UH get 3, GSS get 4. Score is tied at 2 each.
For roll 4, both sides add 10 Clout, leaving both with 15.
Roll 4: UH 4, GSS 7. Score is UH 2, GSS 3.
For roll 5, both sides are running low on resources, but UH needs to fight hard. They spend 7. The GSS are conservative and add 3.
Roll 5: UH 3, GSS 2. Score is 3-3.
The 6th roll uses the same pools, leaving UH with 1 Clout and GSS with 9.
Roll 6: UH 3, GSS 2. Score is 4-3.
For roll 7, UH has only 1 clout left, which they use. GSS has 9 and add 4.
Roll 7: UH 2, GSS 4. Score is 4-4
On roll 8, UH have no clout remaining. GSS have 5, which they spend.
Roll 8: UH 2, GSS 5. GSS claim with 5 and the LV resets to ½ of 23 (round up) for 12.
|Territory Name||Location Value||Specialty||Cost Reduction||Unique Bonus||Status|
|Albany Park||15||Hiking (Survival)||Greyhound, Multilingual, Library||With an hours work, a meal can be found to satisfy any dietary requirement. Even the undead.||Open|
|Edgewater||20||Carousing (Socialize)||Holistic Awareness, Multilingual, Safe Place||Once per week, can obtain a moderately fresh corpse from Graceland Cemetery without a roll.||Open|
|Lincoln Square||15||Bureaucracy (Politics)||Allies(Government), Retainer, Staff||Once per month, you can find a willing and suitable mortal "employee" for a task. (Permanent acquisition requires Experience Expenditure.)||Open|
|Lower West Side||Open|
|Near West Side||Open|