Bureaucracy

This skill reflects a character's familiarity with bureaucracies and their procedures. Bureaucracy can be used in two ways:

1. The character can use this skill to determine whether or not he knows what to expect from a bureaucracy.

For example, if a character needs to get a permit for his weapon, a successful bureaucracy skill check means he knows what forms and identification he needs, who he would have to talk to, how long the process might take and some short cuts he might be able to use.

2. Bureaucracy can also be used to find out what information a bureaucracy has on file.

The difficulty depends upon how restricted the information is:

Action Difficulty
Available to all. Finding out how much you owe on your starship. 3
Available to most people. Discovering which ships are in port. 6
Available to anyone who meets certain qualifications. Finding out which ships are impounded or under guard. 12
Somewhat restricted. Finding out how much someone else owes on their starship. 18
Very restricted. Who to bribe to illegally get your ship out of an impound yard. Getting permission to make an emergency landing in the middle of a busy intersection. 24

Additional influences can affect the difficulty of any given bureaucracy roll:

Type Of Request Difficulty Modifier
Request is unusual. +5
Request is very unusual. +10
The bureaucracy is poorly funded or has low morale. +5
The bureaucracy is very corrupt and doesn't care about providing services. +10
The bureaucracy is well funded, has good morale, or is truly dedicated to meeting the needs of those who use it. -5
The character is well known and well-liked, and the bureaucrats have good reason to help the character. For example, Commander Shepard asking a Alliance general for assistance. -5
The character isn't well-known; the bureaucrat has no reason to want to help the character — but no reason to hinder him either. 0
The character is a known troublemaker, nuisance or criminal. The modifier applies if the character is affiliated with an organization that has that reputation. +5-20
* It is possible to stack modifiers where appropriate - at the game master's discretion.

* As noted in the above table, the modifiers can potentially stack when appropriate. It is, therefore, possible that this could create nearly insurmountable difficulty modifiers for some characters. Some times Average Joe just hasn't got the access or ability to find out the specifically desired information.

Example: A known Cerberus agent who seeks to openly approach the Asari government to learn what details they might have regarding the mythological species known as Reapers would likely result in a combined difficulty plus modifiers such as:
+24 restricted information difficulty +20 unusual request modifier +20 xenophobic organization modifier=combined difficulty of 64

Sometimes nearly insurmountable rolls are okay - after all, if Average Joe manages to succeed? Imagine the story he will have to tell - if anyone will believe him!

If the character succeeds at the roll, he gets whatever he needs done (within reason) in a shorter amount of time — up to half the normal time. If the character fails, the process takes as long as normal and longer if the character has drawn undue attention to him. The character might even be arrested on a trumped-up charge if he has been particularly obnoxious.

Navigating a bureaucracy roll is only as effective as the bureaucrat the character is dealing with. Data-crunching desk-warmers can't access the same information as Citadel bureaucrats. Bullying, bribing, or rolling really high against a low-level bureaucrat will not allow you to find out when a Alliance Destroyer is leaving orbit. If he doesn't know and doesn't have any way of finding out, the best he'll be able to do is lead you to someone who might.

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