There is no single ‘Influence’ Background in Liberation MUSH. Instead, your actual Influence is comprised of a network of your Rank, Resources, Fame, Allies, Contacts and Retainers who function as your ‘Influencers’, each of which are subsequently defined by their strength (dot rating), geography (Westside vs Central LA vs Southlands) and sector of influence (Academia, Business, Community, Crime, Government, Security).
You can are not locked into a single combination – You can take multiple Backgrounds and they can all apply to different regions or types of Influence, if you wish. There are two ways to combine a relevant Background with a chosen sector of Influence, and a region of the grid.
- You can take the most simple route, and simply connect the Background to one of the major regions (Central L.A, Westside or Southlands).
- In most cases, this should probably just be where you live or work, and then a certain element of hand-waving will be allowed.
- You can focus your Background and Influence sector within a sub-region instead, such as Hollywood or Koreatown instead of Central L.A., or Santa Monica instead of the Westside.
- The benefit for doing this is that whenever your Influence is contested within your focused sub-region (Such as Hollywood or Koreatown) by a PC or NPC whose Influence isn’t similarly focused, your Background counts as if it were one higher (to a max of 5), and your opponent’s Background as if it were one lower (to a min of 1).
- The drawback is that your Influence cannot be asserted as well outside your focused sub-region. Your relevant Background will count as one less dot (to a min of 0, allowing no action at all) if you attempt to take Influence actions with it outside your focused sub-region. This penalty can potentially stack with the above if you’re invading someone else’s focused region.
I give numerous examples and suggestions below, but I mostly focus on Central L.A. and the Westside which is what will concern the vast majority of PCs at game start.