ENTRY 035: K-Rep
Psuedorandom acts of kindness, facilitated by discrete data mining and the subtle peer pressure of distributed-processing social networking software, k-rep is a low-key and hands-off favor system in fashion in some habitats, mostly popular in the Planterary Consortium. Rather than having users rate each other, k-rep systems log positive karmic acts towards other users and encourage reciprocal acts in exchange, with the k-rep rating as a scalar metric derived from proportional local response—basically, encouraging small acts of kindness and courtesy on a regular basis rather than large, one-time acts and deliberately avoiding meteoric rises or catastrophic falls in k-rep, a characteristic of the system known by users as inertia.
K-rep follows most of the rules for Reputation (Eclipse Phase, pp.286-90), but with a few added limitations and advantages. Unlike other reps, a character can never burn a point of k-rep for a favor normally—they can only accrue it (or lose it) by their actions, which are exclusively trivial and minor favors like covering someone’s volunteer shift for a few minutes or holding the elevator door. On the other hand, instead of making a Networking Test to call in a favor, the player gets a token (poker chip, M&M, etc.) for every 10 points in k-rep they have at the beginning of a session, which the player can cash-in for an appropriate lucky break (Level 0 favor) sometime during the session (or as a snack, if edible).
The benefit of reputation systems is that they contain built-in rewards and motivations for PCs and NPCs. While the k-rep system encourages small inconveniences and benefits, it has a dedicated community in some habitats which actively works to curtail abuse and prevent exploitation of the system—and which have sufficient privileges within the system to ensure the PCs receive a moderate boost in rep from their activities. That said, k-rep is an add-on system that may feel clunky in your game, and if it doesn’t work well (or is abused by the players), then as an in-game event the k-rep system might collapse and those involved “cashed out” and able to redistribute those points to another rep system.
- A hacker named Exodudette has tricked to hack the k-rep system—and as punishment, has been kicked off. Exodudette is desperate to re-instate herself in the system, without understanding that the bigger and bigger “favors” she is trying to perform to get back in its good graces are completely antithetical to the system. The PCs are offered 10 k-rep points if they can talk to Exodudette about what she is doing wrong and get her to accept that she’s out of the karmic loop, at least for now.
- The PCs receive an unexpected fortune in k-rep favors—20 tokens or more at the beginning of a session—and as they spend them the feeling is among other users that they must be abusing the k-rep system. Can the PCs find out what is going on, or do they just ride the wave of favors and hope their rep doesn’t take a beating?