Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rules for Reputations

Reputation is how well known, and how admired (or feared) the character is. In general, it can be used to effectively increase social standing, modify the roll on attempts to intimidate or charm, and add to the effect when a socially based roll is successful.

How it works:
All fame is local, but the size of the locality is what varies. The higher ones reputation, the farther from one’s home it can be used. Note that the amount of rep levels is the same throughout this area. This is because of the nature of fame – a little fame is meaningless, and if they have heard of you at all (in terms that would matter) they’ve typically heard the best stuff possible. Plus, it makes it more heroic, and easier to implement in play. Thus, a higher reputation gives one more benefit over a larger area, with no reduction –until suddenly you are a nobody, because you’re not as interesting as more local heroes.
Also, there is no differentiation between a good and a bad reputation, or between good or evil. Reputation is designed to represent that nebulous but powerful element that all mythic heroes possess and strive for. It is not simply being seen or heard about by lots of people. It is what poets and bards sing of, and opponents quail at while simultaneously attempting to steal.

There is no unskilled use of reputation; these modifiers only apply to a character with a reputation greater than 0.

Effective range
Reputation may be used if one is within the following number of hexes from the characters home, or main base (or current base, see optional rules)
Reputation Distance Rule of Thumb area
1 1 City /Barony/shire
2 2 Province/county
3 4 Principality/Duchy
4 8 Kingdom
5 16 Empire
6 32 Continent/Epic/you win

All distances are measured in 1 week hexes beyond the home hex. Thus, a distance of 1 is the home hex and one hex around it. .

 When within the range, add the reputation level to the characters SOC for all uses; note that this may not affect foreigners or newcomers.
 When attempting to intimidate, recruit or use streetwise or courtly graces, add the reputation level as if it were a skill.
 In all other interactions involving social skills (bribes, favors, discounts), add the level of reputation to the effect of a successful roll.

General comment: note that a general who is the SOC 15 emperor’s cousin might have a SOC of 12 or 13; if he starts getting famous, his effective SOC may come to exceed that of the emperor –with obvious consequences in both direction. (If curious, look up the relationship between Belisarius and Justinian in Byzantine history)

Optional rules: Increasing Reputation in play
The general rule is that one defeats something or someone of a greater reputation; a level of reputation is gained. Only one level is ever gained per event, regardless of the difference, as too great a success begins to look like luck. If only one character is involved, the level goes to him. If still alive, the loser loses one level. If many characters are involved, only one gains the extra reputation. The increase in reputation goes (in order) to the acknowledged leader; the highest SOC , whoever the winners unanimously nominate, or finally random assignment. Finally, to qualify for an increase, all members of the group must have a reputation level less than the foe, opponent or situation.

There are three situations that will allow increases.

 The most obvious way is killing someone or something. If this is a pure one on one fight, the winner gains, and the loser loses (or dies). However, if multiple characters are involved, as we see in the Iliad, they become eligible to receive the increase if they did any damage whatsoever as long as the foe is alive (even a little bit). Note that to count, the opponent must be either dead or surrendered; incapacitated doesn't count –they either have to be killed, or acknowledge defeat for it to work. A foes reputation will almost always be set by the GM, possibly based on resources, influence of wealth.

 Winning huge treasures is another. As a rule of thumb consider that the treasures reputation is equal to who it would ransom. Thus, a dragon’s horde that would ransom a king would be a rep 4 treasure; a count or duke, a rep 3 treasure, and the local lord mayor would be a level 1 treasure. (From the above range table). Note that is you lose the treasure, you lose the level. This has to be an involuntary loss –spending it on the poor, raising any army, or on beer and hookers is just fine. In deed, the GM may require its expenditure to count –being generous was a great way to achieve fame –although being a cunning miser can work, too (Crassus in ancient Rome is a good example of a high Rep who was filthy rich and hoarded it)

 Doing great deeds is the third, and most subjective; again, one vague rule would be to assess how big an area the deeds effect; sacking a city would be a rep 1 feat, whereas slaying a huge ogre that was harrowing the local area (Grendel) may be a level 2 deed. Saving the king from captors is likely a level 4 deed, and overthrowing the emperor and replacing him a level 5 deed.

Note that any given event can only count for a gain in reputation once; killing a huge rich dragon that is ruling a kingdom would only count for one rep level increase. If it matters (such as for assigning the point to a particular character), killing takes precedence over treasure, which trumps deeds.

(note: If you could check the like/dislike boxes below as regards to this, It'd be appreciated -as would comments,...but hey ! we're all busy, I understand.;) )

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