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Picture the scene, during a game you character wonders into the local tavern drawing some if any interest from the patrons. The occasional punter may ask your name and business and then generally nothing happens unless the DM has something lined-up in the adventure plot line. Frustrating or what after all you're a big bad ass who just saved the village on the other side of the hill carrying off a fortune to boot and no bats an eyelid at your name!!?
What's that all about then. I have played other role playing games that take reputation into account within the game (Cyberpunk springs to mind). Therefore within my own game I put together a very simple set of guidelines to overcome this hurdle. And if I don't say so myself they have come in handy, especially when my group were still low level and tried to give it large to the local country bumpkins after I couple of adventures in the area heading in an epic fail with one dice roll.
Reputation/Notoriety in D&Dby Antony Bethell
There may be times within the game when it could be useful for players and DM’s to know how the fame and reputation of their characters is known to others within the game world. This can be easily done if the following guidelines are used. To find a character’s reputation the following formula should be used:
[Character’s Current Level x2] + Charisma Score = Character’s Reputation (%)
Method: The player (or DM) should double the character’s current level and add their charisma score to the result; this gives a result in a percentage format. When reputation rolls are called for the DM should roll percentile dice. If the result is equal to or less than the required score then the inquiring person(s) will have heard of the character. In fact the lower the score the more renown the character will have.
The players may opt for individual rolls to be made or may wish to select one from their number with a high charisma and better level which would produce the best result possible. Characters that have been recognised will be treated with respect and greeted warmly by everyone who recognises them.
A reputation can of course cut both ways. If the characters have been associated with evil deeds or criminal activates then they may be treated negatively by all encountered unless the characters are deemed too powerful by those present. This would create a respectful air of fear instead!
Example 1: A 4th level party travel to a small town after successfully completing another adventure for supplies (let us imagine that all the characters have a charisma of 14). They have never been to the town before and are slightly wary about the reception that they will receive from the locals. After entering the local Inn the Innkeeper inquires on who they are and where they are from etc. The DM using these guidelines could roll d% and check if the Innkeeper has heard of any of them. Each of the characters has a reputation of 32%. The DM rolls d% and gets 20%. The Innkeeper recognises the name given and the other associated fellows within the party.
The highest result possible using the above formula is 90% (72 [maximum level x2] + 18 [maximum charisma score]). This means that even the most successful character may not be known everywhere they go. However the DM may wish to add the following optional modifiers to the reputation roll.
[+10%] The character has successfully completed an adventure in the locality.
[+20%] The character has successfully completed several adventures in the locality.
[+25%] The character is a native to the locality.
[+30%] A Bard has composed a ballad or a writer has published the character’s exploits.
These modifiers are accumulative, [except for the first two which would be one or the other]. If the roll required exceeds 100% then the character(s) will be instantly recognised. However the roll should still be made to determine how well the character(s) will be received.
It may be possible that the characters could be afforded the odd perk by a grateful, hero-worshipping admirer or if they have enough notoriety they could demand the same treatment. If the DM rolls between: 01-05 on d%, then the character could find that they may receive a gift. This gift could be anything from a round of drinks, free food and lodgings [for a set period of time] or may be outfitted with normal weapons or equipment for free. Anything is possible and left up to the DM to manage.