(Lack of) Renown


Ultimate Intrigue Playtest General Discussion


A 9th-level vigilante can be renowned in two small towns.

This is the level where characters, literally, bring back the dead, and on the other hand, kill mighty beasts, or normal soldiers by the dozens.

One would expect that any character who can do these things could be renowned, beloved, or feared if they even remotely cared to be. But a vigilante, whose social identity is all about fame and connections, is renowned in two small towns. What does that say about the vigilante in fiction? Is a 9th-level vigilante truly just a local small town hero? What does it say about non-vigilante characters? If a vigilante, who gets an explicit special Renown ability, is only renowned only in two small towns, how about a 9th-level wizard or rogue? Are these people, who can travel to Heaven and Hell, and disappear while you are looking at them, even less impressive and not really famous even in two small towns?

This is a prime example of what the 3E family is being (mostly unfairly, in my opinion) criticized by the "rulings, not rules" proponents: a specific mechanical widget that does something most people assume they could do anyway, clarifying by implication that, no, they can't, they need that specific mechanical widget to do it, and then they can only do it poorly or with difficulty.


For a 9th level vigilante, the social identity has renown in one 5000 individuals community or two smaller communities of no more than 2000 individuals. In both cases, the communities "could be the entire community or a smaller neighborhood in a larger settlement" (second sentence in second paragraph of Renown).

So in those communities, social identity has one category better initial attitudes from NPCs whose initial attitude would have been indifferent.

However, for the 9th level vigilante identity, gets +6 circumstance bonus to intimidate 9 miles away from each community he has renown in. Have you measured the size of Absalom's or Egorian's size in miles? Even if the social identity only has renown in two small neighborhoods in both Absalom or Egorian or whatever large city you want, the vigilante identity bonus is gonna apply while in the whole city of Absalom or Egorian and probably spanning outside of the city a good distance too.

No matter how high level Daredevil is, he's not really gonna be that well known outside of outside of New York City. While Matt Murdock isn't gonna be that well known outside of Hell's Kitchen and even then, only to the bunch that'd actually meet/interact with him.

If a GM feels that a player of that level would get a bonus anyways, the the renown bonus should simply be on top of that GM granted bonus.


So, mo matter which end you look at Renown from in its current form it does not do what it is intended for. Either it is too small in any but urban settings, or much too large in such settings.


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Why yes, I will gladly take a no-save Charm Person AoE ritual that affects 5,000 people, even if it has a one-week casting time.


thorin001 wrote:
So, mo matter which end you look at Renown from in its current form it does not do what it is intended for. Either it is too small in any but urban settings, or much too large in such settings.

Too large?

Are you wanting the Renown ability to affect more people for social identity and less people for the vigilante identity? Is that the main complaint for Renown now?

I'm liking it so far. Having less effective bonus for vigilante identity when it's meerly an intimidate bonus seems like crazy talk.


I think any character of any class would have level of renown. The Vigilante renown is would be on top of that. There are few rules for that type of thing but it has made an appearance in a few APs.


From what I gathered, each and every character is likely to get some form of fame or infamy as they adventure, depending on the DM. Vigilante is the only class with a reputation actually promised to them by the rules.

And these can always stack. The CatMan or whatever might be famous in The Puddles but him and his whole group could be notorious figures in Cheliax as a result of their in-session deeds.


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QuidEst wrote:
Why yes, I will gladly take a no-save Charm Person AoE ritual that affects 5,000 people, even if it has a one-week casting time.

Well put.

Plus isn't the duration basically. Until something alters it (either you doing more, or messing up. or someone spending a lot of time and money to go agianst it). (for example. wilson fisk spending a good milion or two just to get DD hated and out for arrest)


jasin wrote:

A 9th-level vigilante can be renowned in two small towns.

This is the level where characters, literally, bring back the dead, and on the other hand, kill mighty beasts, or normal soldiers by the dozens.

One would expect that any character who can do these things could be renowned, beloved, or feared if they even remotely cared to be. But a vigilante, whose social identity is all about fame and connections, is renowned in two small towns. What does that say about the vigilante in fiction? Is a 9th-level vigilante truly just a local small town hero? What does it say about non-vigilante characters? If a vigilante, who gets an explicit special Renown ability, is only renowned only in two small towns, how about a 9th-level wizard or rogue? Are these people, who can travel to Heaven and Hell, and disappear while you are looking at them, even less impressive and not really famous even in two small towns?

This is a prime example of what the 3E family is being (mostly unfairly, in my opinion) criticized by the "rulings, not rules" proponents: a specific mechanical widget that does something most people assume they could do anyway, clarifying by implication that, no, they can't, they need that specific mechanical widget to do it, and then they can only do it poorly or with difficulty.

It's not that the characters can't be well known, it's that the BONUS is applied within the confines of the renown. You can have a character be well known, but only the vigilante gets a bonus. The mechanical widget doesn't preclude other classes from being well known.


Cubic Prism wrote:
It's not that the characters can't be well known, it's that the BONUS is applied within the confines of the renown. You can have a character be well known, but only the vigilante gets a bonus. The mechanical widget doesn't preclude other classes from being well known.

Again, that's exactly the criticism leveled by those who think 3E is too bound by its own rules: you can have renown, but it doesn't actually do anything unless you have Renown (Ex).

I think abilities like this are bad not only for the class that has them, but make the game as a whole weaker because of the implication. I think class abilities should primarily be not traits you'd certainly expect characters to have ("I'm a socialite who's secretly a masked vigilante, so I'm famous"), but, literally, extraordinary or supernatural things, beyond the expected and reasonable: "I'm a socialite who's secretly a masked vigilante, so even people who cannot have reasonably heard of me will be impressed when my vigilante name is mentioned", for example.


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The most populated city in europe in the 1400s (A decent era to compare to medieval fantasy) had 240,000 people living in it. The average City came closer to 50,000 people.

So at level 9, you have an attitude improvement and an intimidate bonus with 1/10th of the entire population of a sizable city, which is pretty damn awesome.

I think a lot of people forget that in medieval times, there just weren't that many people around.

In a setting in which the world is more populated than a relative real world historical era would suggest, just ask the DM to have that increase in available people be reflected in the numbers for the ability. If your average city is more like 100,000, then scale the ability up to 10-20k at level 9.


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9th level is the level where you can visit Heaven and Hell, bring the dead back to life, or beat a grizzly bear in a fist fight.

By those standards, being famous with 1/10th of the entire population of a sizable city seems paltry to me, not awesome.


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Iorthol wrote:
So at level 9, you have an attitude improvement and an intimidate bonus with 1/10th of the entire population of a sizable city, which is pretty damn awesome.

Right, but a pathetic +4.

I could just take Skill Focus (Intidimate) and gain a +3 to Intimidate against 100% of the population of the entire world (discounting those who are Immune to Fear effects), upped to +6 at lv10.


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Iorthol wrote:
So at level 9, you have an attitude improvement and an intimidate bonus with 1/10th of the entire population of a sizable city, which is pretty damn awesome.

At 8th, you get a whole 1/250th of that population...

Even if I agreed with you that it's awesome at 9th, you need to slog through 1st-8th to get there.

intimidate bonus: This is 1 mile/level so it's actually useful at lower levels. 4 hours each day for 1 week to activate though makes it only useful in stationary games. Even moderate travel can make it so you never see the bonus.


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Iorthol wrote:

The most populated city in europe in the 1400s (A decent era to compare to medieval fantasy) had 240,000 people living in it. The average City came closer to 50,000 people.

So at level 9, you have an attitude improvement and an intimidate bonus with 1/10th of the entire population of a sizable city, which is pretty damn awesome.

Not if you're trying to be Batman. Who in Gotham City hasn't heard of Batman? Who in the world isn't in awe of Superman?

It's the Justice League of America, not the Justice League of Small Cowfartston, Hants.


Orfamay Quest wrote:


Not if you're trying to be Batman. Who in Gotham City hasn't heard of Batman? Who in the world isn't in awe of Superman?

It's the Justice League of America, not the Justice League of Small Cowfartston, Hants.

This isn't a superhero game :P You're thinking of Mutants and Masterminds.

chbgraphicarts wrote:

Right, but a pathetic +4.

I could just take Skill Focus (Intidimate) and gain a +3 to Intimidate against 100% of the population of the entire world (discounting those who are Immune to Fear effects), upped to +6 at lv10.

This is a very strong point. As are others, such as stationary game limitation.

Paizo is working a little too hard on the super hero motif. The class should have a collection of neutral abilities to pick from and most of their core abilities could honestly be plugged away into that category.

Adventure Card Game Designer

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I dig the renown mechanic, but I don't like the geographical limitations by community size. The role of the game master is to choose a setting for the campaign, but this class dictates part of that decision for the GM. If the game master says "I want to set this game in Magnimar" and the player's class says "Sorry, too big," there's a GM/player conflict that doesn't need to be there.

In my opinion, this would be better as "You have renown in your home community" and leave it at that.


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Mike Selinker wrote:

I dig the renown mechanic, but I don't like the geographical limitations by community size. The role of the game master is to choose a setting for the campaign, but this class dictates part of that decision for the GM. If the game master says "I want to set this game in Magnimar" and the player's class says "Sorry, too big," there's a GM/player conflict that doesn't need to be there.

In my opinion, this would be better as "You have renown in your home community" and leave it at that.

That would make it horrible if the game doesn't take place around your characters home community though? Which is much more restrictive than "Only affecting a portion of the city".


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Mike Selinker wrote:

I dig the renown mechanic, but I don't like the geographical limitations by community size. The role of the game master is to choose a setting for the campaign, but this class dictates part of that decision for the GM. If the game master says "I want to set this game in Magnimar" and the player's class says "Sorry, too big," there's a GM/player conflict that doesn't need to be there.

In my opinion, this would be better as "You have renown in your home community" and leave it at that.

How about something more like:

"For both your Social and Vigilante Personas, choose Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate (you may choose the same skill for both Social and Vigilante Persona). While in a Persona, you gain a Bonus to that chosen Skill of that Persona equal to 1/2 your Class Level (minimum 1); when in your home community, you instead gain a Bonus equal to you Class Level.

If you choose Bluff, when in that Persona, if you fail to Lie to or Deceive a creature with whom you share a Language, you gain a +1 Bonus to retry for every 2 Vigilante levels you've attained.

If you choose Diplomacy, when in that Persona in your Home Community, all creatures sharing a Language with you are treated as one step closer to Friendly, plus an additional step closer to Friendly for every 5 levels of Vigilante you've attained.

If you choose Intimidate, when in that Persona, in your Home Community, if you fail to Demoralize a creature, lessen the DC to attempt a retry by -1 for every 2 Vigilante levels you've attained."

I think it should also have the caveat of affecting your Prestige if you're using the Fame/Infamy rules, but not force parties to use that mechanic just because.

This would make the Renown grow as you level, and give it a bonus befitting what you're trying to do with it - maybe you don't WANT people to necessarily be Friendly towards you, and instead want to be a Smuggler or someone like Deathstroke and focus on Bluffing and Intimidation instead of sweet-talking; this would allow for that.


Do you have to live in a place permanently for it to be a home community? Because that would make things difficult.


Milo v3 wrote:
Do you have to live in a place permanently for it to be a home community? Because that would make things difficult.

I'd imagine a "Home Community" is the place where you live, or operate from.

Very few characters are TRY wanderers of the Earth and don't have ANY place where they can call "home", even if they haven't been there in decades.

Plus, even if you DON'T, a bonus to 2 skills equal to half your Class Level is still a pretty hefty bonus.

I still say that the Vigilante should get Skill Focus at lv1; that plus Renown would give you the +4 at lv1, and then only grow to hilariously high amounts at later levels... which, honestly, is appropriate.

A +16 to one Social skill and a +10 to another when on your home turf at lv10? That sounds pretty dang awesome and fine for a 10th level character, honestly.

Even a +8 to one Social Skill, period, and another at +5 at lv10 without having to have ever burned a Feat is a pretty sweet deal.


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I always wondered how reknown is handled with everyone else. The guys you help during the adventure will tell stories about you.

Save the caravan and those guys will sing your praise along their traderoute. Save a village and it should increase your reknown in that village. More, all those that interact with that village will notice sooner or later. It depends how visible your deeds are, compare slaying a mighty beast in a dungeon to fighting said beast after it smashed though the city gates.

Even without such reference feats like bringing back someone from the dead should have some impact. Unless of course it is a common occurence in the world.

Infamy is another aspect, by 9th level you might be recognised by the evil guys.[#Do YOU know how to slay a dragon? Me neither but these guys do.# Just a moment, then the road is free again sire. Excuse the inconvinience, but maybe you can tell us the story how you did slay the dragon... or what that thing with far too many tooth is. Bandits, no we are just a group of hunter. Some might have a past, but out here we don't ask questions. We are all equal, just trying to survie in this harsh world right?]

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Legend lore tells us that characters of level 11 or above are "legendary," which is generally the point at which I start allowing Knowledge (local) rolls to know "specifics" of character's build (class, approximate level, noteworthy class abilities); this requires a roll against a DC of 15 ("particularly rare" creature) + CR, which is usually class level for PCs and class level -1 for NPCs, with better rolls granting more info as usual. Characters below that level can be recognized in their home communities with a Knowledge (local) roll, DC 15 + the community's Society modifier, but success grants only a name and a basic rep, nothing more.


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Shisumo wrote:
Characters below that level can be recognized in their home communities with a Knowledge (local) roll, DC 15 + the community's Society modifier, but success grants only a name and a basic rep, nothing more.

That's actually rather ridiculously difficult. Your average turnip farmer (Int 10) would not know his own wife other than by "basic rep," and half the time wouldn't even have a name. (DC 15 + (-4) Society modifier for a Thorp is DC 11.) Without skills or positive Int modifier, he'd have to roll, getting an 11 or better 50% of the time, and failing 50% of the time.

And this is in a community of fewer than 20 people, smaller than a typical grade school classroom.

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