The War of Summer's Ending
The Old Boys' Network
Power is all, and all desire power. By entering the Network, I hereby proclaim that I will respect my betters, destroy my rivals, aid my allies, and crush all who stand in my way.
Modus Operandi: The Old Boys’ Network is an exclusive club for the most powerful rulers and businessmen of the Changeling world. The organization exists for one reason and one reason only: to protect and expand the power of the already-powerful.
The Network is one of the most exclusive Entitlements in existence, with fewer than one hundred members worldwide. But what it lacks in numbers, the Network more than makes up for in influence. Among its members are multi-billionaires, rulers of important seasonal Courts, movie stars, the CEOs of Fortune 100 companies, power-brokers, Senators and Congressmen, mafia dons, Wall Street executives, entrenched bureaucrats, and businessmen of every stripe.
Titles: Good Old Boy, Old Man
Prerequisites: Presence ●●●, Status ●●●, Contacts ●●, Resources ●●●, Wyrd ●●●●
Joining: Publicly, the Network is an equal-opportunity employer. Despite this, females make up less than 5% of their membership, and no current member is below the age of 45. When asked about this, the Good Old Boys simply suggest that if their organization contains no young or female members, then maybe that’s because “they’re just not trying hard enough.”
It’s not enough for an applicant to be wealthy, powerful, or ruthless. He must be well-connected; his friends and contacts must be assets to the Network, not liabilities or hangers-on. The Network has a zero-tolerance policy for dead-weight members, or those who seek fame by association. The applicant must already be great by his own merits.
Mien: Hand-tailored power-suits, touch-of-grey or salt-and-pepper hairstyles, hand-made Italian shoes (sometimes cowboy boots), perfect grooming, conservative silk ties.
Background: Pride and Greed are by far the most common Vices for members of the Network, though Lust and Gluttony are close seconds. Wrath is surprisingly rare; public outbursts are seen as a sign of weakness, and suggest that the executive in question has poor decision-making skills. Displaying one’s anger is a poor communication tool, and a great way to teach your enemies what your sore spots are.
Fortitude is a very common Virtue, with Prudence and Temperance close behind. Hope and Faith are not unheard-of, while Justice and Charity are quite rare.
Social skills are, as a rule, quite high. Most Good Old Boys have at least one dot in every Social Skill, with the possible exceptions of Streetwise. (Even Animal Ken can come in handy during a weekend at a friend’s private ranch.)
Presence is typically very high, as are the other Power Attributes. Dots in Politics are a must-have, along with a few trustworthy Contacts in the relevant bureaus and offices. Brawl is relatively rare, though Athletics are quite common (most Old Boys play at least one sport, if only for the social benefits of belonging to an exclusive club.) Dots in Drive are largely unnecessary, as nearly all Old Boys have chauffeurs.
While being noticeably taller-than average (most are over six feet tall), most are not Giants by any stretch. Many have Striking Looks or Retainer, in addition to the requisite Social Merits necessary to join.
Organization: Close-knit. They do not fear open attacks from one another; part of the oath they take upon joining makes them promise never to attack one another (pooling wealth and making connections is the whole point of the Network, after all.) However, members are known to occasionally “stumble across” evidence that a rival member has not been pulling his weight, or has been skimming money off of communal slush-funds.
Concepts: Power-hungry Fortune 50 CEO, ham-fisted Chief of Police, insatiable record-company mogul, ruthless real estate agent, entrenched post-Soviet kelptocrat, Senator with “certain proclivities”
When attempting to force one of his own underlings or servants to take an action which he or she finds morally questionable, the Good Old Boy may add his Wyrd to his Presence+Subterfuge roll.
This Privilege is not a form of mind-control; it will not allow a Good Old Boy to force his underlings to do whatever he wishes. If the underling finds the request truly and utterly repulsive and evil (e.g., killing an innocent, ruining the reputation of a respected mentor, violating a Pledge, etc.), then the Privilege will have no effect. It only works to convince them to do something they’re not sure about, something which makes them uncomfortable but doesn’t immediately set off mental warning bells.
Humidor (Token ●●●)
Mien: An ancient but well-constructed cigar-box made of hand-fitted planks of some dark tropical hardwood. It smells of curing-sheds, smoke, soil, and human sweat. The lid is covered in tear-stains that will not wash off. When activated, the box smells more strongly of sweat, but also blood, urine, and desperation. When opened, the faint cries of migrant workers can be heard, until the box is closed. [Note: The box does not produce cigars; it merely imbues mundane cigars with Glamour.]
Effect: When a Good Old Boy smokes a cigar taken from the box, it fills his immediate area with a thick cloud of noxious smoke (enough to fill a small room, or envelop a single dinner-table). All those who inhale this smoke, except for members of the Old Boys Network, take a -1 penalty to all rolls involving their Social or Mental Attributes. They take an additional, cumulative -1 penalty for each cigar being smoked in their presence. (For example, a pair of Good Old Boys smoking their cigars at a business luncheon would impose a -2 penalty on each outsider who attempts to influence them during this meeting.)
Drawback: After smoking a cigar from the humidor, the smoker is wracked by a tremendous coughing fit, which lasts about 10 minutes, and deals one point of bashing damage for every 10 minutes spent smoking the cigar.
Catch: The smoker lights the cigar with a bill worth at least $50 USD.