Basic Influence Actions (Overview)
You can take one Influence action each RL week, for every Influence-relevant Background that you have. If you have a lot of relevant Backgrounds, this can turn out to be a lot of Influence actions, which is only proper. It often makes a great deal of sense to combine different kinds of actions together, such as monitoring what an opponent does and concealing your own manipulations while striking at them.
The most basic gameplay element is to exercise your Influence to either increase (max +2) or lower the difficulty (max -2) of certain dice pools in certain grid spaces, which is tracked with the +Influence program. If you wanted to make your neighborhood safer, you would want to do things like raise Larceny or Stealth difficulties, and lower Alertness and Security difficulties. Bonuses benefit your entire faction, and any other faction you wish to extend it to. Penalties affect all other factions, except those you exclude.
You must ICly know a Faction exists and have some official contact with them, to either include them in a benefit or exclude them from a penalty.
It is up to you to provide a convincing explanation for why your Influence would affect such and such dice pool. After all, A news reporter (Community) could write about a salacious murder, or a Professor (Academia) could publish a statistical analysis of rising crime rates and ultimately, if indirectly, have the same effect of a Police Captain assigning more patrols to an area.
Some factions will want certain abilities discouraged or encouraged for their own reasons. And each grid room can only allow for one on-going effect realized to each type of Influence. I’ll go into the exact details of how conflicts are settled, further down.
You can only encourage or discourage an ability in a grid room with an Ally or Retainer Influencer – or with the equivalent of one.