Friday, August 13, 2010

New version of character rules, including revision of Reputation rules.

Some stuff to be in the newest version for y'all.

Part I:
Swordsmen and Sorcery

In which we learn how to create a character and how magic works.
Adventurer, as with traveler, is about bold individuals who push off from normal careers and seek fame and riches in the wide world. Their past gives them the skills they will need to succeed, and their wits allow them to succeed when their skills fail or insufficient. A typical Adventurer is far from a callow youth beginning his first trip from home; and yet, he is not yet a mighty and renowned hero (or wizard) sung of in epics. He is a skilled and competent master of many different skills, yet it is deeds that bring success and fame. A character then has a history, and a list of skills and traits with which to seek fortune; these are abstracted by the career system of traveler.
A character begins at age 14, with rolled stats (as standard), and chooses a career to attempt to enlist in.
Every person and creature in Traveller has several characteristics that describe their base mental and physical potential. All but one are standard to traveller, Reputation, which will be discussed in more detail. All other are generated as per the Mongoose Core traveller rules, and have the same limits. Note that currently, there is no table for +/-modifiers due to high or low characteristics. This is simply because dice modifiers based on characteristics was largely an artifact of post three book D&D; the goal here is to model the initial version of D&D, no more, no less. Nonetheless, while not providing a direct plus (or minus) to skill and task rolls or tests, different values do allow characters to (for example) use differently effective weapons or tools, have more skills (or less), or be more or less capable in tests depending on ones characteristics.

Strength (STR): A character’s physical strength, fitness and forcefulness.

Dexterity (DEX): Physical co-ordination and agility, reflexes.

Endurance (End): A character’s ability to sustain damage, stamina and determination.

Intelligence (INT): A character’s intellect and quickness of mind.

Education (Edu): A measure of a character’s learning and experience as well as how familiar they are with the rules and traditions of the society they live in.
Social Standing (Soc): A character’s place in society.

Reputation: (Rep): A characters fame and influence.

New characteristic: Reputation.

Reputation describes a characteristic which might becalled fame or mass appeal in a modern or SF game.

Unlike other characteristics, reputation ranges from 0-6, and is not generated as per other characteristics. At start, it is equal to 0.
One aspect of S&S fiction that is somewhat lacking in later historical genres is that of advancement or growing fame.

The Barbarian starts as an unknown boy, who becomes known at home as a hardcase after a battle; he then kills a perilous giant boar and becomes known locally as a renouned fighter –when he goes to the city, he is once again noone, although those from home know him. As time goes on, and if he survives, his reputation will grow –not always for the better (when he tries his hand at theft) but people do know of him, make way, look to gain his favor and such. Eventually, his fame is such that newcomers to the city have heard of him, and so on.

In Adventurer, it is a measure of a characters success, for good or evil, and as a result, how well known and admired (or feared) the character is. Unlike SOC, REP is what one earns for oneself, above and beyond what fate has granted you at birth.
In general, it can be used to 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 little 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
*this assumes use of the hex size suggested in the campaign rules.

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. .

REP can and will change in play, generally upward, with the caveat that it may not always be the same reputation, nor always wanted. A wel known monster hunter who decapitates the Mayor will probably be more well known afterwards, and not for his previous deeds.

REP can be increased before play by career resolution and mustering out. Finally, a character may forgo a roll on the money benefits table to increase a REP from 0 to 1. Thereafter, see the section on increasing characteristics for details.

Uses of Reputation
When within the range of ones Reputation, add the reputation level to the characters SOC for all uses; note that this may not affect foreigners or newcomers, or characters of thecharacters modified SOC or higher (Parveneu upstart !)

When attempting to intimidate, recruit or use streetwise or courtly graces, use the reputation level as if it were a skill. While this may be subtracted in some cases (Jeffery Dalmer looking for a job in supermarket, for instance), do recall that a reputation as an unstable sociopath will often get people to do you favors as much as a reputation as a noble philanthropist.

In all other interactions involving social skills (bribes, favors, discounts), add the level of reputation to the effect of a successful roll. In extreme cases of bullying and fear, subtract the level from an unsuccessful roll.

The effects of REP are not optional. A character attempting to keep a low profile either thru disguise stealth or dmisdirection within an area effected by REP will roll as normal, but the characters REP is subtracted from the final roll if the roll fails. Thus: “Hey – someones sneaking out the back door of that tavern ! hey Its HIM !”

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)

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