Wednesday, December 2, 2015

B/X Reputation House Rules

I've been running my B2 sandbox on-and-off for over a year now.  Some players (not many!) have survived for a while and done some deeds that should influence their experience when interacting with residents of the Outer Bailey and even some of the elites within the Inner Bailey.  We also started using carousing rules, and many of the results suggest shifts in opinion of the character that I want to reflect and give hard meaning.

It is an open table game where some time can pass between sessions and there are about 17 or so active player characters, not to mention those that now inhabit the small cemetery behind the Chapel!  It is hard to keep track of events, even with good notes.

I'm considering putting this simple reputation system in place to give the players a sense of where they stand in the community and to help me create a sense of a dynamic community out on The Borderlands.

B/X Reputation House Rules

Reputation Score

Reputation is measured from -4 to +4.  Often a reputation score is limited to a specific town, village, city quarter or even faction within those geographies.  Typical attitudes toward the specific reputation score are:

-4:  Reviled.  This character is barely tolerated.  In a settlement he is a known criminal, dissenter or perhaps even a member of a hated religion, race or faction.  It is difficult to get respectable merchants to service the character and he is one misstep from being thrown out of town or organization.  Everyone knows this character, unfortunately for everyone...
-3:  Disliked.  Most people do not like to associate with this character.  Perhaps he has a cloud of some past misdeed hanging over his head or has had one too many aspersions cast at him.  The power structure keeps their eyes on this character and he is likely to be questioned when anything untoward happens.  Most people in the settlement or organization know the bad reputation of this person.
-2:  Mistrusted.  No one is overjoyed to have this characters shadow grace their doorstep.  He just doesn't fit it and people let it be known that they would prefer he go away.
-1:  Tolerated.  NPCs are wary of this character but don't go out of their way to hinder him.  Perhaps he is an outsider or a member of a disfavored adventuring!  This is the usual default starting point for strangers and PCs in most places.
0:  Neutral.  Just that.  The default for characters who are from that settlement or a lower rank or initiate into the faction.
1:  Favorable.  Most people have a good opinion of this character.  He could be a local from a good family or a stranger who has proven his character and ability to be of service to the community. 
2:  Liked.  This character's name has come up a few times at most dinner tables.  He has done regular service for the community or brought success to an organization.
3:  Well-liked.  Few have anything bad to say about this character, and even if they do, there is certainly more good to relate.  This character may hold a respected position or have done many great services to the community or organization.
4:  Paragon.  This character is held up as an example of what to be in this particular settlement or organization.  All of the population knows who this character is and can recite his many deeds.

Reputation Mechanic

Reputation scores affect the normal 2d6 reaction roll on most interactions within the settlement or organization they are applied to.  The Charisma modifier applies as well, meaning that a charismatic character may still do well with NPCs, even though he is not well liked!

Typically a 2 is always a failure, even if the character's Reputation plus Charisma modifier would indicate success.  Nobody gets what they want all the time!  Conversely a 12 is usually a success unless the request is completely absurd.  Even a blind squirrel finds a nut on occasion!

The DM may apply a specific Target Number (TN) to particular actions that are not listed on the core reaction table based on difficulty.  Some examples are below.

Typical Target Numbers

Normal business with a merchant
Prices will be higher, services may be refused.
Get an authority figure to do something they are supposed to do anyway
They procrastinate or find a way to refuse.
Convince someone to do something of small risk to themselves
They refuse.  Critical failure may result in no help of any kind.
Recruit a hireling
No service.  Critical failure may make it harder to recruit any hireling.
Get a free drink from a Tavern Keeper
You don't get the free drink.  Critical failure may mean being asked to leave the tavern.
Gain access to the Inner Bailey
Doors remain closed.
Convince the Castellan to lend you troops
No troops for you.  Critical failure may result in reputation loss.
Win a promotion within a faction
No promotion.