10 Tips For Leveraging Influence in Your Campaign

A couple of quick things before we head into today’s tips about using social influence in your campaign.

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10 Tips For Leveraging Influence in Your Campaign

Influence is the ability of characters, NPCs, or factions to sway decisions, actions, and outcomes within your game world. It encompasses social status, political power, wealth, Power Bases, and other forms of leverage, impacting roleplay, encounters, and the narrative. Basically, higher Influence grants greater access to resources and favours.

I just sent out to Wizards of Adventure some great tips on the five tiers of Influence, how to add Influence to your campaign, and a table: “d6 Ways to Wield Influence in Your Campaign”.

As I mention in the article, Influence and Favour are two sides of the same gold piece. We recently chatted about Favour. This tip talks about how Favour is a form of currency we can add to make our setting feel connected and deep. And this tip covers the idea of obligations, another approach to adding Favour to your campaigns.

Incorporating Influence and Favour into your campaign can significantly enhance the depth and engagement of your Milieu or setting.

Today, I’d like to share several quick tips to effectively integrate these concepts across different parts of your campaign:

1. Factions

Create a web of factions, each with its own Influence level. Use this to drive political intrigue and power struggles. Let players choose which factions to support or oppose, affecting their standing and the resources available to them.

2. Character Development (CharDev)

Encourage and allow players to set goals related to their PC gaining Influence. This can be through social endeavours, accumulating wealth, or achieving heroic feats. Track their progress and reward them with increased Influence and Favour.

3. NPC Reactions

Give key NPCs Influence. Their willingness to assist or hinder the party, in turn, depends on the party’s Influence level. A high-Influence PC might secure powerful allies, while low Influence might lead to being ignored or attacked.

4. Resource Access

Tie access to special resources, like powerful spells, secret information, or mastercraft services, to the party’s Influence level. Higher Influence could grant access to rare artifacts or exclusive knowledge that can be pivotal to party quests.

5. Social Hierarchies

Organize events such as noble galas, secret councils, or guild meetings where the party’s Influence determines their status and interactions. Higher Influence might get them a seat at the high table, while lower Influence might relegate them to the children’s table.

6. World Events

Use Influence to drive world happenings. For example, a faction with a lot of Influence (and thus the ability to acquire powerful or numerous allies) might start a war. Influential NPCs could broker peace or cause major cultural shifts.

7. Gameplay Mechanic

Ensure Influence matters to gameplay and players. Quantify Influence as a stat or resource that players can increase through their actions. Incorporate it into checks and rolls, such as persuasion or intimidation, where a higher Influence stat provides bonuses.

8. Quests

Design quests that specifically aim to increase (or decrease) the party’s Influence. These could involve overthrowing a corrupt official, rescuing a high-profile captive, or securing a powerful artifact. Successful completion should yield significant Influence rewards.

9. Puzzles

Integrate Influence into puzzles and challenges. For example, political intrigue, murder mystery, or heist puzzles might require the party to use their Influence to gather crucial information from certain NPCs, gain access to restricted areas, or bypass law enforcement, bureaucrats, and gatekeepers.

10. Roleplay

Encourage players to roleplay their attempts to gain Influence. This could involve negotiations, forming alliances, or public displays of power. Reward creative and effective roleplay with increased Influence and Favour.

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By integrating Influence and Favour into your campaign’s mechanics and narrative, you can craft a more immersive and engaging experience. Players will feel the impact of their decisions and enjoy tangible rewards for their roleplaying efforts, deepening their connection to your campaign.

Unlock exclusive insights with my premium article, “Influence and Favour — New Rewards For Your Campaign.” Join the Wizard of Adventure community today for just $2 and wield influence in your campaign like a pro GM. Click here to unlock this article now.

Have more fun at every game!

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