Though some heroes content themselves with living off the spoils of their exploits or cloaking themselves in humility, others seek to live forever through the sagas and songs of their epic deeds. History measures a hero’s success by tales of triumph and bravery that are retold down the ages. A hero with no one to tell her story quickly fades into obscurity along with her unsung accomplishments. How others tell of a hero’s deeds becomes the weight by which she is measured, sculpting both her identity and reputation.
Reputation represents how the general public perceives you, whether positively or negatively. This perception precedes you, speaking on your behalf when you are absent and determining how you can expect to be treated by those who have heard of you. Reputation means different things to different types of characters, reflected in the social and cultural values of different regions. A character who embodies the qualities of a hero in one region may be perceived as villainous or disreputable in another. An icon widely revered and respected in her homeland may slip from fame into obscurity upon traveling to a neighboring kingdom.
When using these reputation rules, the GM needs to establish what reputation means to the players and NPCs of the campaign. For instance, a viking-themed campaign might base reputation on pillaging. Regardless, the basic concept for how you earn a reputation remains the same: You gain reputation when word of your deeds spreads. The more fantastic or socially significant your deeds, the better tales they make. If you are able to establish a strong or noteworthy reputation, you may be extolled for your actions and afforded resources beyond those obtainable by lesser-known individuals. Similarly, you can use your reputation to influence people socially, politically, and financially.
Three factors determine your reputation: Fame, Sphere of Influence, and Prestige Points. Your Fame increases and decreases depending on your actions. Your current Fame determines your overall reputation and maximum potential for cashing in on your fame (for a heroic character) or infamy (for a villainous character). Sphere of Influence defines the places where you can apply the benefits of your reputation. You can reap the benefits of your reputation by spending Prestige Points on awards, including temporary bonuses and favors.
You begin play with a Fame equal to your character level + your Charisma modifier. Your Fame ranges from –100 to 100, with 0 representing a lack of any notoriety. Through the course of the campaign, your words and deeds help you build a reputation. Though an adventurer performs many deeds, not all are significant enough to warrant a change in Fame. If possible, the GM should stick to those deeds that directly affect the story or campaign and not reward points for minor victories. The significance of specific deeds should generally be left up to the GM, though the table details some specific examples.
Fame also determines the amount of money made when performing Craft, Perform and Profession checks. When any of these checks are made, a collector, exhibitor, or any other appropriate purchaser will look at the investment benefit to the amount of money spent. The character may add his Fame to the result of the check.
|Acquire a noteworthy treasure from a worthy foe1||+1|
|Confirm two successive critical hits in a CR-appropriate encounter||+1|
|Consecrate a temple to your deity||+1|
|Craft a powerful magic item||+12|
|Gain a level in a PC class||+1|
|Locate and disarm three or more CR-appropriate traps in a row||+1|
|Make a noteworthy historical, scientific, or magical discovery3||+1|
|Own a legendary item or artifact||+14|
|Receive a medal or similar honor from a public figure||+1|
|Return a significant magic item or relic to its owner||+1|
|Sack the stronghold of a powerful noble||+1|
|Single-handedly defeat an opponent with a CR higher than your level||+15|
|Win a combat encounter with a CR of your APL + 3 or more||+1|
|Defeat in combat a person who publicly defamed you||+2|
|Succeed at a DC 30 or higher Craft check to create a work of art or masterwork item||+2|
|Succeed at a DC 30 or higher public Diplomacy or Intimidate check6||+2|
|Succeed at a DC 30 or higher public Perform check7||+2|
|Complete an adventure with a CR appropriate for your APL||+3|
|Earn a formal title (lady, lord, knight, and so on)||+3|
|Defeat a key rival in combat||+5|
|Be convicted of a petty crime||-1|
|Keep company with someone of disreputable character||-18|
|Be convicted of a serious nonviolent crime||-2|
|Publicly flee an encounter of a CR lower than your APL||-3|
|Attack innocent people||-5|
|Be convicted of a serious violent crime||-5|
|Publicly lose an encounter of a CR equal to or lower than your APL||-5|
|Be convicted of murder||-8|
|Be convicted of treason||-10|
|1 This includes claiming a treasure from a defeated monster or rival. A villainous character may include stealing such an item instead of obtaining it fairly.|
|2 Per 40,000 gp of the item’s price.|
|3 Such as finding the ruins of a lost city, recovering forgotten lore, or creating a useful new spell.|
|4 Per 40,000 gp of the item’s price. Artifacts with no price count as 200,000 gp (5 PP) for this purpose.|
|5 Per CR the opponent is above your level.|
|6 You may increase your Fame in this way no more than once per month.|
|7 Approximately the length of a Pathfinder Module or Pathfinder Adventure Path adventure.|
|8 Per week of close association.|
Sphere of Influence
Your reputation travels only as far as the tales of your deeds. Even if you are a great hero in your homeland, when traveling elsewhere you will soon discover that your reputation diminishes until you eventually reach regions where you are completely unrecognized. The greater your reputation, the farther it travels and the broader your Sphere of Influence.
Your Fame determines the maximum range of your Sphere of Influence. Your Sphere of Influence has a radius of 100 miles, generally increasing by another 100 miles when your Fame reaches 10, 20, 30, 40, and 55. Increasing your Sphere of Influence isn’t always automatic, and you are allowed some say as to where your reputation holds weight. For example, you could ask that your sphere extend more southward toward a major city and ignores the barbarian tribes to the east, or that it extend inward toward another country rather than out into the ocean.
Though your reputation may spread by happenstance, it usually spreads deliberately, whether by traveling bards embellishing stories of your accomplishments to make them more entertaining, your allies exaggerating your common achievements, your enemies repeating rumors about you to recruit others against you, or you telling your story to eager listeners. Where these tales get told determines where you become known and shapes your Sphere of Influence—a heroic sorcerer might hire bards to brag about her magic in a nearby kingdom she plans to visit, or a villainous barbarian might drive the maimed survivors of his raids southward to sow fear among his next victims.
Outside your Sphere of Influence, your Fame is 0. You can attempt to expand your Sphere of Influence into a new settlement by attempting a DC 30 Charisma, Diplomacy, or Intimidate check. If you succeed, you treat the settlement as being within your Sphere of Influence for 1d4 days, though your Fame is effectively halved for that settlement. After this time, the settlement reverts to being outside your sphere.
The following actions and conditions alter your Charisma, Diplomacy, or Intimidate check modifier for the purpose of expanding your Sphere of Influence.
|Allies or minions spread tales of your deeds before you arrive||+5|
|A bard spreads tales or songs of your deeds before you arrive||+1/2 bard level|
|You have NPC contacts in the settlement||+1|
|You have enemies in the settlement||+1|
|Distance from your Sphere of Influence||-1 per 10 miles|
|Settlement’s primary language is different from yours||-5|