Obligations and Entanglements
The Reputation system has been substantially modified, using the three reputation pool system detailed in Noblisse Oblige. These changes also modify how the Scoundrel, Citation, and Scarovese Advantages work. The differences will be detailed below.
Instead of having one reputation pool, all characters will have three reputation pools; a moral reputation, a martial reputation, and a social reputation; each will provide reputation dice which can be used with social actions where the appropriate reputation would apply (further details can be found in the description of each type of reputation pool).
- Social – This is your reputation in society. It does not suggest you are a nice person, or a villain. It charts how well received you are as a courtier. People of high social reputation have the ears of Rulers and get invited to all the best parties. They are considered polite, well read and witty. Social reputation is gained or lost by duels of wit, not steel. Gaining position and power within the court, or acting on behalf of noble patrons will also raise your social reputation. Social reputation dice are used in social occasions such as balls and parties, or when you are dealing with those of a higher station.
Social reputation comes in two forms – high, which is built in court among the gentry, and low, which applies to criminals and the peasantry. Nobles have less respect among the criminal fraternity, and the lower born must work much harder to impress a court. To reflect this, each character must select either High or Low Social Reputation, and in any situtation where they are in the arena of the opposite social reputation, they must halve their Social reputation score; so a peasant with a Social reputation of 26 would only count as having a reputation of 13 in courtly settings.
- Martial – Each swordsman gains renown for himself. This rating is how well you are known for your mastery of the blade. Each duel you win or war you survive adds to your martial reputation. A high martial reputation marks you as a swordsman to be feared. Martial reputation dice are used to intimidate other duellists, and also to impress potential patrons who may be looking to hire a swordsman.
- Moral – This reputation determines how people see your moral character. Are you known as a villain or a hero? A high moral reputation suggests you keep your promises and your discretion can be assured. Moral reputation dice can be used to impress priests and monks that you are just and noble, or to show the Queen you are a discreet and trustworthy agent.
The difficulty of Reputation Actions remain unchanged, the GM just decides which of the reputation ratings is appropriate. The effects of reaching the reputation thresholds (25, 50, 75, 100, 125) such as the acquisition of patrons and enemies are defined using the highest of the three reputation ratings; the sort of patron you will attract is therefore dependant on which rating that is; high social reputation characters will tend to attract powerful courtiers, high martial reputation characters will find a patron in need of a skilled swordsman, and high moral reputation characters will find themselves in the service of priests and devout nobles.
Negative Values – Reputations that reach negative values also generate reputation dice, but these dice remove unkept dice from appropriate die rolls, unless the situation is one where a negative reputation would be helpful (certain forms of intimidation, for the most part). Generally only a negative moral reputation will have benefits; a negative martial reputation shows you to be a bumbling idiot in a fight, and a negative social reputation just marks you as crude and ill-mannered.
Reputation and Glamour Sorcery – Glamour sorcerers gain their Glamour dice from all of their reputation pools, whether positive or negative; however the GM is within his right to say that Glamour dice gained from negative reputation scores are tainted with Unseelie Glamour.
Reputation Gains and Losses and which reputations they affect.
|Type of Reputation Effect||Primary reputation affected||Other Notes|
|Battles||Martial||Heroic Opportunities may provide Moral reputation|
|Craftsmanship||Social||Weapons may provide Martial as well|
|Chivalrous Acts||Moral||Circumstances may involve Social or Martial reputation as well|
|Marriage||Social||Each gains points equal to the other’s social reputation dice|
|Romance||Social||But a chaste and virtuous affair can earn Moral reputation as well|
|Keeping your word||Moral||Social can also be awarded if the parties involved are of high status|
|Skill success and performace||Martial OR Social||Depending on the skill type|
|Vendetta||Variable||Type depends on how it is managed, moral loss can occur|
|Breaking a Vow||Moral||May involve Social or Martial depending on who else was involved|
|Breaking Things||Social||Sacred objects may also cause Moral loss; breaking things while fighting may also cause martial loss|
|Cowardice||Martial||Social and Moral may occur also depending on circumstances|
|Romance||Social||Beating a woman or those weaker costs Martial; especially bad behavior may result in a Moral loss as well|
|Unchivalrous Acts||Social/Moral||Again, the specifics will dictate which losses are suffered|
Reputation gain and loss apply most severely when observed by others. Moral reputation is something of an exception – continued immoral deeds stain the soul, even if nobody else notices.
Calculating Reputation Dice – Determining how many reputation dice a character has in each reputation type takes only two steps for each category.
- Step One Take your reputation score. Divide it by 10. This gives you your base reputation dice for that reputation. If there is a remainder, go to step two.
- Step Two If your reputation score has never been higher than it is right now, add one extra reputation dice to the pool. If it has been higher than it is right now, do not add an extra reputation die to the pool.
- Example : Cristobal, has a Martial reputation of 22, a social reputation of 40, and a moral reputation of 11. He has the Low Social Reputation. At one point, his martial reputation was a 26, but after a pair of lost duels to roughly equivalently skilled opponents recently, it dropped to its current level. He starts with 2 martial dice (22/10 = 2.2); but because his martial reputation is less than the highest it has been, he does not get a third. He starts with 4 social reputation dice (40/10 = 4), and 2 moral reputation dice; 1 base die (11/10 = 1.1) and one extra die because his moral reputation has never been higher than it is currently. 2 martial, 4 social, 2 moral reputation dice. When dealing with nobles, his social reputation counts as 20, consequentially, he cannot use more than 2 social reputation dice when dealing with nobles.
Heroes, Scoundrels and Villains – Under this system, a character status as a Hero, Scoundrel, or Villain is no longer defined purely by his reputation; after all, how the rest of the world sees you has little bearing on the sort of person you really are. Sometimes the worst villains have the best reputations, and the darkest deeds can sometimes be thought the work of Heroes.
- Hero – Hero is the default state for all player characters; unless they take the Scoundrel Advantage, all characters start out as Heroes.
- Mechanical Effect: Fortune favors the Hero in 7th Sea, and they start each session with one additional Drama Die. There are no caps on your reputation levels.
- Scoundrel – Scoundrels are basically good, but often only when it suits them. Their motives are a little more mercenary, but they usually come through when needed. To start the game as a Scoundrel, you must take the Scoundrel Advantage.
- Mechanical Effects: Scoundrels start the game with 0 martial reputation, 0 social reputation and -10 moral reputation (1 negative moral reputation die). Because a lot of people love a ‘bad’ boy or girl, you gain the bonus of the Dangerous Beauty advantage; and this bonus stacks with the advantage if you choose to take it as well. However, your moral reputation cannot exceed a score of 40; nobody believes you could actually be any better than that.
- Becoming a Scoundrel: To become a Scoundrel after character creation can be done, but it has the following requirements:
- You must gain a moral reputation of -10 or worse; you need not keep it there, but you must have crossed that line at some point.
- You must commit three ‘despicable deeds’. They are not neccesarily evil, but they are despicable and unpleasant, not the stuff of heroes. The character may or may not lose reputation (depending on if the deeds are observed), but the deed counts regardless.
- Examples: Cheating a friend. Doing a good deed only because you’ll be paid. Bullying the weak. Abusing someone who loves you, physically or emotionally. Accepting bribes.
- Alternate Method of becoming a Scoundrel: If your moral reputation drops to -40 or worse, you become a Scoundrel even if you have not committed the requisite 3 Despicable Deeds – unless your actions have made you a Villain.
- Becoming a Hero: For a Scoundrel (or former Hero) to become a Hero, one must meet the following requirements.
- First, they must erase all three of their Despicable Deeds (see below). This must be done while they have a positive moral reputation. If their moral reputation slips below 1, they do not regain any despicable deeds they atoned for, but they cannot remove any more until their reputation is 1 or higher.
- Once this is done, they must build their Moral reputation up to ten points higher than the highest their Moral reputation had ever been. A knight who once had a Moral reputation of 50 must raise their moral reputation to 60 before they become a Hero once more. A Scoundrel who never had a better reputation than 1 must only raise their reputation to 11 to become a Hero. The higher you stood, the harder it is to prove your repentance is true.
- If and only if your Moral Reputation was higher than 30 before you became a Scoundrel, then you can raise your Moral Reputation above 40 as part of your redemption to become a Hero, but you will not gain the additional Moral Reputation dice until you have fully redeemed yourself. In this way, a Scoundrel cannot ‘game the system’ to gain extra Moral Reputation dice while keeping his Scoundrel advantages.
- Despicable deeds can be washed away by selfless acts of good will (but read on). Each time the character does something that would earn them 3 or more reputation points for a single act, they may erase one of their despicable deeds by forfeiting the reputation gain. However, the stain of dishonor cannot be fully erased – even if the character erases all three despicable deeds, they count as having one left over for future accumulation (e.g. it would take only two more despicable deeds to backslide into becoming a Scoundrel again from that point forward).
- Villain – Players cannot start the game as Villains. Becoming a Villain turns the character into an NPC.
- Mechanical Effects – Villains, as NPCs, do not gain their own drama dice unless given one by another or through the effect of a villainous Wile; instead drawing their drama dice from the GM’s master pool of drama dice. Villains do not have caps on their reputation pools; in fact some Villains can and do cultivate a high Moral reputation for the precise purpose of hiding their motivations (see Facade below).
- Becoming a Villain turns the character into an NPCs. One does not need to be a Scoundrel first to become a Villain – one can fall directly from heroism into villainy. To become a Villain follows a similar methodology to becoming a Scoundrel; specifically, one must commit three ‘wicked deeds’. Wicked deeds encompass the most terrible parts of human nature, including murder and torture.
- Examples of Wicked Deeds: Cold-Blooded Murder (attempted or successful), Torture, Murdering children (accidentally or on purpose), Rape, Mutilation.
- Alternate Wickedness: If a character reaches -70 moral reputation, this qualifies as a wicked deed upon their soul for purposes of determining whether or not they have become a villain.
- Cavaet: The GM has the final word on what constitutes a Despicable or even Wicked deed. The GM should warn the player when they are going to take an action that would qualify as a wicked deed. If the player chooses to continue with the action anyway, they cannot claim to have been unaware of the consequences.
- Redemption of a Villain: There is no simple mechanical path for this; for one who has fallen so far, reclaiming their better nature should be the subject of a heroic quest, quite possibly the focus of multiple Acts or an entire Story.
- Facade: Villains – and sometimes Scoundrels – often take steps to construct a facade that hides their dastardly natures. While some, like Villanova and Reis, revel in their villainy, most do not. To represent this effect, Villains and Scoundrels who have at least one moral reputation die who are Cold Read to determine their nature, or who come under the effect of Male Scry Sorcery may make an opposed check; they roll their positive moral reputation dice (this does not spend these dice); the one attempting to discern makes a Wits check with bonus unkept dice equal to their Cold Read knack. If the one disguising wins, then the facade has succeeded and the scryer sees the target as a Hero. If the scry sorcerer/user of Cold Read wins the check, their power works as normal.
- Advantages modified by this Reputation System: As noted above, three advantages are altered by the changes made to the reputation system. The details follow.
- Scoundrel: The Scoundrel Advantage now effects your starting moral reputation, gives you the benefit of the Dangerous Beauty Advantage (this stacks if one actually takes the Dangerous Beauty Advantage, and caps your moral reputation at a maximum of 40.
- Citation: The Citation Advantage grants 10 reputation to one of the three reputation types when chosen. It may be purchased up to three times, but each time must be applied to a different reputation type.
- Scarovese: The Scarovese Advantage has been significantly changed with the change to the reputation system. Under the new system, the Scarovese Advantage lets you treat your moral reputation as if it were 10 points higher (20 points higher if you take the more expensive version) for purposes of Facade, effectively allowing the character to roll an extra die (or two) for the purposes of maintaining Facade; or allowing those whose negative moral reputation is small enough to count as having a positive moral reputation, allowing them to use Facade.