I’m writing this with @ctiv8 in mind but you could easily adapt what I have here to any 1-5 or 1-10 scale. One thing to keep in mind though is that ‘3’ in @ctiv8 is considered average for a stat or ‘professional’ for a skill, while other games lean towards ‘2’ as an average, to allow the higher level to be truly exceptional.
I’ve been reading a lot lately about how the internet is supposedly changing human behaviour. Of particular interest in articles that have come up lately is how unless one’s an expert, one doesn’t seem to memorise details that can be found easily on the internet. In the same way that people drifted from doing mental arithmetic once calculators became ubiquitous, so people have stopped memorising details that can be found easily on the internet.
Gaming hasn’t particularly cottoned onto this, still favouring strong characters with particular fields of expertise but, frankly, if a character in a modern game has access to a smartphone they can grab whatever they need from Wikipedia or – and this is where this article comes in – they can ask people. We can only hold personal relationships with so many people, but our social networks, especially if they cover friends of friends, can get information from a trusted source and allow you to ask follow up questions.
When it comes to @ctiv8, where characters are often battling against the status-quo, using crowdsourcing for funding or information needs to be weighed against the risk of exposure. The larger the group you go to for information the more risk of exposure there is.
A roll to use crowdsourcing for information should be rolled in secret by the Games Master so that they can supply misinformation or account for security services and others being aware of the character that’s asking.
A roll for crowdsourcing is based on computer familiarity and foci that might be useful would be ‘social networking’ and particular social networks. It’s based on social capability rather than intelligence though, it’s more about relationship and public perception of who you are, rather than how clever you are per se.
The difficulty is moderated by two factors. How large of a group you’re asking and how relevant their knowledge is likely to be.
- Small social circle – 10s of people – +3 difficulty. 1/6 chance of detection.
- Medium social circle – 100s of people – +2 difficulty. 2/6 chance of detection.
- Large social circle – 1000s of people – +1 difficulty. 3/6 chance of detection.
- Huge social circle – 10,000s of people – +0 difficulty. 4/6 chance of detection.
- Enormous social circle – 100,000s of people -1 Difficulty. 5/6 chance of detection.
- Stephen Fry – 1,000,000’s of people -2 Difficulty
- Specialist Community -2 difficulty
- Intelligent Community -1 difficulty
- General Community – +0 difficulty
Using the @ctiv8 network is a medium social circle and full of specialists, so ends up as normal, unaltered difficulty. @ctiv8 has NO chance of being detected. Further difficulties are applied if the information being asked for is rare or specialised, or if you’re being dishonest in any way, something that is likely to be reacted to poorly when it is inevitably found out.
Crowdsourcing funds rapidly raises 10s, 100s, 1000s, 10,000s or 100,000s of pounds with additional successes multiplying the 100s. Penalties and bonuses are applied for sob stories and dishonesty and there’s an inherent -1 penalty before you even start due to people’s wariness of scams, rising to -5 if you’re Nigerian.