I have a question about Villians and Influence (P194)
RAW state a Villain has two traits : Influence and Strength.
Influence & Strength = Villainy Rank (which is the number of dice the Villain uses when taking a Risk)
Makes sense so far.
Taking on Villains says that heroes can foil a Villain’s plans, etc and thus the Villain loses influence, which ultimately means they will lose dice from risks, as their Villainy Rank decreases.
It says that “A Villain rolls only her current Villainy Rank when she makes a Risk”.
So, am I doing the following correctly?
My Villain is an Earl, who is up to no good and secretly opposing his nation’s ruler.
I chose Villainy Rank 10 for him, made up of Strength 5, and Influence 5.
I decreased his Influence by 3 points, as he has a scheme underway at the beginning of the game.
This is the scheme the players will try to prevent. So his Influence is now 2.
(I purchased Employ a Brute Squad for 2 influence, giving me 20 Brute points to play with. I spent 1 Influence on Bribing an Official.)
So, am I right in saying that at the beginning of the game, My Villain has a Strength of 5, Influence of 2 and a Villainy Rank of 7 to start with ? I just want to check I have that part right first.
Thus, whilst he was originally a Villainy Rank of 10, he’s only rolling 7 dice now on Risks ?
That looks ok to me.
Let’s say the heroes unmask the bribed official and kill all 20 brutes. The Villain has lost those points of Influence for good and ultimately the scheme has failed. I suppose as a last desperate measure the Villain can spend the remaining 2 points of Influence to try and get his scheme back on track…
If he succeeds, does he get back the 3 Influence initially invested, plus the 2 later on, for a total of 5 and then doubled to 10 ? Or does he only get back the initial 3 Influence invested (doubled to 6), and not any extra influence spent on bringing it to fruition ?
Let’s pretend the Villain fails miserably after spending his last 2 Influence, and his Influence is now 0. Strength is still 5, as that never changes. However, he escapes (just) and is going to be a major PITA.
With 0 Influence, how does this Villain get anyone to help him or give him aid ? I see Influence as a finite currency, and when it’s gone, it’s gone.
In the meta game, you could say “Well, he’s still an important man, he must have allies, or secrets he can blackmail people with to coerce them to do stuff for him, etc”
My response would be
What Ally is going to want to associate themselves with someone with 0 Influence ? The man was unmasked and his plot foiled. They’d all turn their backs.
As far as blackmailing others for leverage, My expenditure of Influence to buy brutes and bribe the official and save my own skin is all gone. I have 0 left. I have nothing left to buy to use against the players or other NPC's. I’m all spent out.
I do have my strength of 5, so I could just attack them for lols and giggles.
Basically, once Influence is 0, I can see no mechanical way RAW for a Villain to recuperate Influence, and whilst “in story telling mode” I can spin a good story about how his long lost sister returns with some coin and influence and offers to help him, that feels a bit too much like cheating to me as a GM by bending the narrative too far to my design.
Your thoughts would be very helpful to a new 7th Sea GM.
Thank you and may your sails ever blow, and your chests be full of gold.