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Old 12-05-2016, 10:41 AM   #6
Join Date: Sep 2011
Default Re: [Basic] Reputations for bad people

Originally Posted by RogerBW
Consider the town bully, or the feared chief of the secret police. He's basically intimidating rather than loved: people do what he wants because they're scared of him, not because they approve of him. In GURPS terms this is a positive reputation - it makes people more likely to obey the person, it boosts Intimidation - but when the town bully shows up with three bullets in him begging for help… well, maybe the town won't be so willing. So I propose this modifier, adapted from Patron:

Grudging: You obtained your Reputation through coercion (e.g., force or intimidation). People provide aid only because there is no other choice, and they definitely do not have your best interests at heart! You will eventually throw your weight around too much (GM's judgment) and flip the Reputation to a negative one: lower your point value accordingly. -50%

Being the town bully or feared chief of the secret police is a positive reputation in GURPS terms? Where did that come from? In most of my games, those would be negative reputations.

Yes, they are based on being intimidating rather than loved (though that doesn’t preclude having relationships that are based on being loved. I understand Frank di Nitti, head of Murder, Inc., was also a beloved family man.) The difference between a negative and a positive reputation (as I run it) is initial approachability. The first reaction of most people to someone with a positive reputation is to draw closer/pay attention to them. The first reaction to someone with a negative reputation is to hunker down/leave. If the town bully walks into the bar, the first reaction is going to be to maybe finish your drink, pay your bill and, it is to be hoped, get out without him noticing and deciding to make an issue out of it.

People are only willing to obey you if they can’t avoid it. This isn’t precisely a time and distance issue. If the feared chief of secret police has your daughter and has made it clear that she’ll suffer for any missteps you may make, he can send you to Timbuktu for a decade and you’ll be fine with that. On the other hand, if the town bully’s hold on you is purely personal and physical, he may find you’ve had a good long natter with the local constable as soon as you were out of arm’s reach.

In short, I think your solution is in need of a more appropriate problem.
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