Monday, October 28, 2013

301: Bonus Point Bank

ENTRY 301: Bonus Point Bank

It used to be hard to bank a favor. Reputation networks trade on ephemeral currency, and it's up to the individual transhumans who they owe and how much a given favor is worth. Most transhumans in a network base requests against the individual's rep score, giving up some of their personal judgment in exchange for a like consideration. Still, a rep will only get you so far - especially out toward the brink, where the rep networks haven't all situated themselves yet, and membership is thin. You might have a solid rep back Sol-ward, but out past Jupiter where the network is maybe a half-dozen transhumans with limited resources, even a "small" favor can tax your rep fairly heavily. Given those kind of circumstances, sometimes people need a way to 'cash in' on their rep more directly.

The Bonus Point Bank began as a money laundering tool designed to abuse rep networks, and evolved into a service allowing network users to directly transfer their reputation into assets and vice versa. The 'bank' works as a collection of false identities plugged into the rep networks; users who wish to use their services transfer property or currency to the 'bank' and the group of identities upvotes the user's profile in the network in direct proportion, and later on that user can request a 'favor' from one of the cover identities in the form of the assets or property that they 'deposited.' The original incarnation of the Bonus Point Bank involved fees, but the contemporary version has been re-engineered as a fee-free service designed to extend network access in areas with a low density of network resources and assets.

Still, there remains some ethical qualms about the Bonus Point Bank and related services, as they actively subvert the trust-based nature of the reputation networks with the promulgation and use of false network identities, which are routinely flagged and eliminated - and just as routinely new ones are created and carefully fostered with Mesh blogs, subscription channels, etc. Still, the anti-bankstas have succeeded in making rep-banking a moderately disreputable activity, and apt to cause a spate of downvotes to anyone caught using such services.

Using Bonus Point Bank

Rep is a great concept and one of the more terrific ideas in the Eclipse Phase setting. That said, it does depend and require that there be transhumans around in the same network willing to exchange favors with each other, and in some of the extreme locales that player characters find themselves in that's not always a guaranteed situation. That can make for a great additional wrinkle to a scenario as the PC is forced to rely on their own resources (or what they can beg/steal/join another network to get), but sometimes it can be a game killer. The Bonus Point Bank is there to prevent a session from grinding to a sudden halt because the PCs don't have the local currency to keep going - whether it's to buy a vacsuit, rent a vehicle, pay bail, grease the wheels of bureacracy, or any of the million and one other problems that money can solve.


The Bonus Point Bank allows a player character to convert rep directly into credits (or other currency) and vice versa. To 'deposit' monies at the Bonus Point Bank, the PC simply exchanges credits (or other currencies and property); for every 1,000 credits or equivalent their appropriate rep score increases by 1. Any amount of credits can be deposited in this fashion, but the maximum rep that can ever be gained this way is 6 points. To 'withdraw' monies from the Bonus Point Bank, the PC burns rep points equal to the equivalent favor (see Favors table, Eclipse Phase 289) plus 1 (so, a trivial favor would be 0 + 1 = 1, a low favor would be 1 + 1 = 2, etc.) and receive the appropriate amount of credits (or the equivalent in local currency/property) according to the Acquire Services Table (Eclispe Phase 290). Unlike normal favors, there is no refresh rate on these transactions - a PC can continue to burn favors until they have the currency they need or run out of rep.

Daisy Six is in jail in Nova York and needs some fast cash to make bail, which has been set at 1,000 noyos. Making the most of her one Mesh transaction, Daisy contacts the Bonus Point Bank and sets up a 'withdrawal.' Marking off 6 @-rep, the funds deposit into Daisy's account...and Daisy Six is a free transhuman once again.  

Despite the comparison to a bank, the PC does not have an "account" as such and does not need to have deposited monies to withdraw them. At the gamemaster's discretion, player characters that abuse the Bonus Point Bank system may be Blacklisted from the network.


  • Santa-bot has come early this unknown benefactor has deposited funds in the PC's names in the Bonus Point Bank, giving them a healthy 5-point boost in one of their reps. Unfortunately, that turns out to be a bank error in their favor, as a very dangerous-looking gentleperson from the Nine Lives drops in to explain. Of course, this is all a simple misunderstanding and if they can't pay back the money then the PCs are welcome to the rep bonus - but now the Nine Lives want a little favor in return: there's a shipment of plasma rifles heading off the habitat tomorrow and they want one of the crates to quietly end up on a different shipping platform.

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