By Harry Pratt (Soulmage) and Mike Kriz (Lord Hawkins)
As your character accomplishes mighty deeds for good or ill, he or she will begin to develop a reputation based on those deeds. You earn your reputation by acquiring fame and/or infamy points. You maintain one point total for fame points and one point total for infamy points.
Note that being famous and infamous are not mutually exclusive. It’s the “decadent noble” syndrome. For instance, in a real life example, Al Capone certainly had both a lot of fame and infamy points. He was something of a celebrity, admired by some and fawned over by the media. On the other hand many recognized him as a ruthless crime lord.
To determine your character’s reputation, first determine whether your character has more fame points or more infamy points. If you character has more fame, he or she is generally well regarded as an upstanding member of the community. If your character has more infamy points than fame points however, you are regarded as a villain and a public menace.
Then, add the total of your fame and infamy together and divide by 10. This is your reputation score. Your reputation score can influence many things in your interactions with NPCs. You gain your reputation score as a bonus to any social skill checks made against those who would look on your reputation favorably. Therefore, a spotless reputation might earn you a significant bonus when dealing with a merchant, but would offer you no bonus at all when dealing with a crime lord and vice versa.
In addition, by acquiring reputation, you can also gain rank and titles from a king to which you swear fealty. You must declare your citizenship of a certain kingdom/empire/city-state to gain these titles. No lands accompany these titles, although some income does derive from them. Notable personages/Peers of the Realm get free odds and ends from the local people that equate to the income they receive. Nobility however (Knight and above) receives an official stipend from the King/Emperor.
Reputation Title Income Minimum Lifestyle
0 - 0gp None
1 – 5 Notable Personage 10 gp / mo Middle Class
6 – 10 Peer of the Realm 50 gp / mo Well-Off
11 – 15 Knight 150 gp / mo Well-Off
16 – 25 Lord 250 gp / mo Wealthy
26 – 35 Baronet 500 gp / mo Wealthy
36 – 45 Count / Countess 1000 gp / mo Wealthy
46 – 60 Baron / Baroness 1500 gp / mo Opulent
61 – 80 Duke / Duchess 2000 gp / mo Opulent
81+ Archduke* 4000 gp / mo Opulent
* There can be only one! (Per kingdom/empire)
You must maintain the indicated minimum life-style in order to use the benefits of your reputation and earn the income derived from your title. You do not receive the benefit of your reputation score outside the lands of your home kingdom/empire/city-state. However, if you earn a point of reputation in the new land, then tales of your exploits from your previous location will spread and you will gain the use of your full reputation score in the new area.
There are numerous ways to game fame or infamy points. Some will come from normal adventuring and completing of quests that put your character in the spotlight. In addition, the way the character lives their life and spends their adventuring loot can affect their fame and infamy as well. Below are a sampling of ways to gain fame and infamy that aren’t necessarily directly tied to adventuring.
Build a Castle or Freehold
Your character builds a fortified holding out in the wilderness, according to the rules in the Stronghold Builder’s Guidebook. You have followers or hirelings sufficient to maintain the building and protect it from normal attacks.
Requirement: You spend at least 25,000gp on your freehold. This may be your own building or a contribution to a building for the party.
Effect: You gain 5 fame points. For each additional 25,000 you spend at the time of construction or as a later addition, you gain an additional 2 fame points. If the holding is ever destroyed, you lose these fame points.
Side Effect: Be establishing a fortified holding in the wilderness, you become involved in the local politics of that region and may have some interactions with local rulers.
Buy Real Estate
Your character buys a manor in the city. Use the rules in the Stronghold Builder’s Guidebook to determine its price. You have a staff of servants to cater to your needs and maintain the property.
Requirement: You spend at least 10,000gp on your manor. This may be your own building or a contribution to a building for the party.
Effect: You gain 2 fame points. For each additional 10,000gp you spend at the time of purchase or as a later addition, you gain 1 additional fame points. If you ever lose the property, you lose these fame points.
Side Effect: By having a property and staff, you are able to spend money maintaining your standard of living, even while out adventuring. If you wish to reduce your standard of living at any point, you must sell the property.
Your character spends a lot of money and people see him doing it.
Requirement: You live a Wealthy or Opulent lifestyle. (see Appendix I – Lifestyles)
Effect: Gain 1 fame point for each month spent living a wealthy lifestyle. Gain 2 fame points for each month spent living an opulent lifestyle.
Side Effect: Living an opulent lifestyle for a protracted period will get you noticed by the ruler of your area. Not necessarily a bad thing depending on circumstances.
Throw a Lavish Party
Your character throws a lavish party that many nobles and important persons attend.
Requirement: Lavish parties cost 10,000gp, -100gp for each 10,000gp worth of manor you own or have access to as a party member.
Effect: Gain 2 fame points. You may only throw 1 lavish party per month.
Side Effect: Other party members might crash your party. If your party is crashed, and there is an “incident” involving the city guard, gain only 1 fame, but gain 1 infamy as well.
Catch a Criminal
You bring a wanted criminal to justice, dead or alive depending upon the wishes of law enforcement.
Requirement: Capture or kill a wanted criminal.
Effect: Gain a number of fame points equal to the reputation score of the criminal.
Side Effect If the criminal was part of an organization or had powerful friends, you may be targeted for retribution.
Your character is a generous benefactor of the community.
Requirement: You make a donation of 5,000gp to a charity, civic organization, church, or some other reputable social institution.
Effect: You gain 2 fame points. You may gain this only once.
Side Effect: So long as your fame exceeds your infamy, you may be approached later with pleas of assistance from downtrodden individuals.
You marry the son or daughter of a respected noble, merchant, soldier, or community leader.
Requirement: You spend 1d6+4 months minus your charisma modifier courting or being courted by your future spouse. You spend 1,000gp per month in courting expenses or accumulating a dowry.
Effect: You gain 1d6+your charisma modifier in fame from your newly acquired family. If you ever desert your spouse, that fame is converted to infamy.
If you murder your spouse, you become a wanted criminal and convert your fame into double the amount of infamy.
Side Effect: Once you pursue marriage you must follow it through to completion. If you interrupt it for any reason (going to prison, going adventuring, etc.) you gain 2 infamy points. After your third broken engagement, nobody will consider your offers seriously anymore. You may attempt only one courtship per year.
Tell Your Tale
You have done something noteworthy and let people know about it. You make you’re your tale showcases your heroic and benevolent nature.
Requirement: Spend one glory point.
Effect: Gain 1 point of fame.
Side Effect: Your reputation becomes known in the local area if not previously known
Be Your Own (Crime) Boss
Your character is the head of a criminal organization. You have a number of employees working for you for the sole purpose of committing crimes.
Requirement: You have at least five employees working for you and a hideout large enough to support them. Additional employees may only be hired with the permission of the local crime lord, unless you have replaced him.
Effect: Gain 5 infamy for the first 5 employees, and 1 additional point of infamy for each 5 employees beyond that.
Side Effect: Your character becomes a wanted criminal unless you are able to make some “arrangements” with the authorities.
Your character has betrayed or broken the trust of a prominent individual so that the person or his interests suffer as a result. This is usually intentional, but may occasionally be unintentional.
Requirement: Break a significant oath, bond, or agreement in a way that produces negative consequences for the other party and rises to the level of something others would take notice of.
Effect: Gain infamy based on the actions taken and the parties involved.
Side Effect: You might become a wanted criminal based upon the actions taken. You can avoid the infamy and/or the criminal status by hushing up the situation through bribes, assassination, or other means. If you are discovered in this effort, you gain twice the infamy you would have gained otherwise.
Break Out of Jail
You escape from confinement for your crimes.
Requirement: Be sentenced to prison for a crime (can include debtor’s prison) and escape from the prison before completing your sentence. Or help another criminal escape from jail
Effect: Gain infamy as if you had completed your sentence +3. If you aid another in their escape instead, gain 5 infamy.
Side Effect: If law enforcement wasn’t serious about catching you before, they are now!
Your character spends a month overindulging in food, drink and the opposite sex. Your rude and loud displays of obnoxious behavior are noticed and commented on.
Requirement: Spend 200gp per level and 1 month
Effect: Gain 1 point of infamy
Side Effect: Your character gains 1d3 lbs
Crash a Party
You crash a lavish party thrown by an NPC acquaintance or party member. Your behavior is so obnoxious and rude that the host is forced to have you ejected.
Requirement: You may not have contributed any of the funds used to throw the party – including partial ownership of the manor at which it is held.
Effect: You gain 2 points of infamy.
Side Effect: If you are a wanted criminal whose identity is known by the authorities, there is a 25% chance that you are accosted by the city guard (may involve some role-playing/combat to resolve your escape/capture).
Otherwise, there is a 5% chance you are challenged to a duel. If you decline, make a diplomacy check with a DC equal to:
Fame Score + Infamy Score + 1d10
If you fail the check, lose 1 point from both fame and infamy and do not gain the benefit of this action
Your character commits a crime and gets sentenced to prison.
Requirement: Spend one month in prison
Effect: For each month you spend in prison, gain 1 infamy. No more than 10 infamy may be gained from any one sentence.
Side Effect: You may spend 2,000 gold to acquire a criminal contact. You may determine exactly what type of contact it is at a later date (i.e. fence, thief, assassin, etc.).
Tell Your Tale
You have done something noteworthy and let people know about it. You twist your tale to showcase your sinister and ruthless nature.
Requirement: Spend one glory point.
Effect: Gain 1 point of infamy
Side Effect: Your reputation becomes known in the local area if not previously known.
Choose a lifestyle you wish your character to lead. You must pay the indicated cost for each month you are in a town or city. Expense will be prorated by week for partial months, however partial months do not contribute to your reputation as outlined above.
You may increase your standard of living by any number of steps at the start of any month. However, you can only decrease your standard of living by one step every three months as it takes time to sell off all that expensive stuff you bought. This means that your living expenses can force you into debt. If you have no way of covering your debts (friends, allies, party members, loan sharks) many cities will throw you in debtor’s prison until the debt is repaid, during which time all your possessions are sold off to cover your debts.
You may only live a lifestyle of Well-Off or above if you own property within the city. If you own any property and decrease your standard of living, it is assumed that the property is sold. You receive half of your investment back. The rest goes to covering expenses, taxes, and miscellaneous charges.
Some activities cause your character to gain weight. If you wish to lose weight you can spend one month exercising and getting back into shape. You lose 4 lbs. Your character’s minimum weight is determined by the minimum weight multiplier for your height according to the character creation rules.
Destitute: 1 sp/month
· Beggar or squatter
· Begs for scraps, or steals but gets at least some food most days
· Clothing in tatters
Poor: 5 gp/month
· Farm hand, common laborer, soldier or apprentice
· Lives in a flop house or common hall
· Eats at least one meal day. Enjoys meat once/week
· Drinks at least one mug of ale a day
· One set of clothes per year. Clothing is usually worn and grubby
· Pays a small tithe to a local church as well as the poll tax
Middle-class: 25 gp/month
· Free farmer, store proprietor, military officer, clerk, skilled artisan
· Eats two or three meals/day and enjoys meat most days
· Drinks a couple of mugs of ale per day
· One set of clothes per year. Clothing is usually worn, but clean
· Contributes to the local church and pays taxes
Well-Off: 150 gp/month
· Estate farmer, lawyer, merchant, master artisan, priest
· Eats quality food every day
· Drinks ale or wine every day
· At least one new set of clothes per season. Clothing is always clean
· Generous contributions to local church and pays property taxes
Wealthy: 500 gp/month
· Wealthy merchant, minor noble
· Eats large and varied meals every day
· Drinks bottled wine and spirits every day
· New clothing every month, with a large collection of jewelry
· Major contributor to local churches, and pays property taxes
Opulent: 2000 gp/month
· Merchant prince or powerful noble
· Eats exotic foods
· Copious quantities of the finest spirits consumed
· Large and elaborate wardrobe. May never wear the same outfit twice.
· Major contributor to all the local churches and charities, and pays property tax.