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Old 12-09-2014, 06:09 PM   #1
Otaku
 
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Default [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#22): Charisma, Reputation

Last Week: Channeling
Next Week: Claim to Hospitality

This week we look at Charisma [5/Level] (p. B41), which represents the natural ability to impress and lead others. In game terms, it is good for +1/level on all reaction rolls made by sapient beings provided you are able to interact with them. This interaction needs to be two way, as Charisma is a matter of knowing how to work your personal presence. Its cost is based on that of a truly universal Reputation bonus, and Charisma works on any sapient being. It isn't a matter of having good looks or manners or intelligence; while such things can give the appearance of Charisma, the actual Advantage is separate.

Charisma also grants many skill bonuses: +1/level to all Influence rolls as well as to Fortune Telling, Leadership, Panhandling and Public Speaking Skills. These bonuses are not restricted in quite the same way as actual Charisma: you can get your Public Speaking bonus even if you are (for example) being seen on TV.

Reputation [Varies] (p. B26-28) represents the benefit or drawback of being well known to the point it significantly can influence how others react to you. There are four factors to address when designing a Reputation:
  • Details
  • Reaction Modifier
  • People Affected
  • Frequency of Recognition.

A character can have multiple Reputations, as well as a multifaceted Reputation that combines different reaction modifiers to different groups for the same thing: after all a monster slayer might be beloved by the people, hated by the monsters, and respected (but not as beloved) by rival monster slayers.

This week, I've really been pressed for time due to personal issues. Also, last time I really tried to go in depth and it didn't go over as well as I thought so this time... I'm going to leave it with this most basic of treatments. Let's hear about how Charisma and/or Reputation has worked for characters you've either run or seen run, if it seems well priced or if you have any issues with the mechanic!

Oh, and if this seems a very disappointing effort on my part... go ahead and let me know. If on the other hand you prefer I not go into so much detail... let me know. I hope to take extra precautions since I doubt my schedule will be much better, but I've gotten some conflicting feedback on the matter. ;)
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Last edited by Otaku; 12-21-2014 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 12-09-2014, 06:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#22): Charisma, Reputation

I don't often make characters with Reputations, but I often make NPCs with them, this gives all my players a small blurb on the NPC based on the rumors surrounding them. That being said, I don't limit myself to +4/-4 on reputations when building these NPCs, I broke this limit when I wrote up the Super that had driven the world into a constant state of war between the different super types, a mere -4 wasn't good enough.
Reputation seems good, but Charisma seems a little underpriced in my opinion.
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Old 12-10-2014, 03:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#22): Charisma, Reputation

My current character has three levels of Charisma (the campaign cap, essentially), and I consider it a good deal. Not overpowered, thanks to the need of having two two-way communication channels, even though it is reasonably easy to organise two-way audio-video in 2100, it's just that not everyone does. Appearance is competitive, and arguably better in some campaigns.

I'm looking forward to playing with a bunch of Reputations (good and bad) in the next campaign. I'm still unsure whether being easily recognizable is good or bad, but the Reaction Modifier of Reputation seems slightly over-expensive compared to Charisma or Appearance or Voice; the good point about it is that it keeps working all the time if it is recognised.
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Old 12-13-2014, 06:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#22): Charisma, Reputation

As a GM, having players who NPCs will be positively predisposed to is a benefit. It means that information that should be easily gained will likely be easily gained as I have an explanation for why random NPCs might be so willing to be helpful, as opposed to... not.
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Old 12-13-2014, 11:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#22): Charisma, Reputation

I made myself a challenge not to come up with ber PCs since I know how in certain games it's easy to break the game and steal the spotlight (*cough* Codzilla *cough* Wizard* cough in D&D 3.5/Pathfinder *cough*), so I generally come up with PCs filling two niches, being excellent within them, and being (or becoming) halfway decent at fighting should it become an important part of the campaign.

For a GURPS example, I might make a FBI Agent who's good at social engineering and investigating, making people believe he belongs in a place and get a legally binding way of doing his specialty: Forensic Accounting (Also, check the garbage cans. If someone was dumb enough to drop a password in there (happens more often than you'd think according to social engineers) it might be useful.) So knowledge of law, social skills, and investigative skills. And possibly Pistol at DX+2 in case things turn sour. I'd definitely want Charisma for that guy. And possibly good looking in a generic way (decent build, decent proportions, but no scars or distinguishing features that would make it easy to identify him. The kind of handsome that most handsome people are.).

Another one: Corporal Starlight from the 2nd division's 24th wing of aerial recon. She owns her pegasus, and when her contract with the army ended, she just left, and has been taking mercenary jobs around the places she travels too. But she's in perpetual poverty, as she'd rather take jobs for poor civilians that help people in the long run than working for luxury goods caravans who have more money bt just care about the profit. She would definitely have a reputation for being a Pegasus rider if such things are rare in the campaign, indicating she is not a foe to take lightly (+1 reputation toward military characters and anyone who passes a knowledge check to know how rare and tactically efficient Pegasus cavalry is), and a reputation as a Defender of the Innocent, giving her a +2 modifier for the population and the kings and lords who are benevolent toward their populations (and who know they could hire her with no problem is their population was in danger), -3 for raiders, bandits and selfish lords for whom she's at best a headache to factor in her plans, at worse a spear in their stomach.

So this comes not fro a min/max perspective, but I hope it contributes.
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Old 12-14-2014, 01:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#22): Charisma, Reputation

Reputation is one of the common directed earned points. I'll give points they can spend any way they want but I'll also give points that have to go in certain places. Do publicly heroic things and you will get a Reputation.
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Old 12-14-2014, 01:36 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#22): Charisma, Reputation

One of the things I consider quite neat about Reputations: the ability to take it against 'All except one large group'. That seems like very appropriate for campaigns where, e.g., there's going to be a significant number of foreigners arriving from a continent on the other side of the planet, none of whom know the character from the very beginning. Or other setups where it's not possible to reach every corner of the world with your fame.
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#22): Charisma, Reputation

I've been thinking more: do you people consider most affected groups to be fairly priced?
All except one significant group seems about right, assuming the exception-group is important in some way in the context of the campaign.
Large class of people (e.g. all mercenaries) at ׽ seems a bit expensive, unless the group is very important in the character's life. It seems quite inferior to just taking a 'on a roll of 10-' for the same ׽. (I was considering the idea a character having a reputation affecting only members of a certain sex, gender or absolute orientation, and found that there's no neat way to get '50% of the characters encountered' other than through misusing the 10- roll.)
The small group at 1/3 seems like so poor a deal in general that it just has to be taken for some very serious reason. Or as a Disadvantage.
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Old 12-15-2014, 02:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#22): Charisma, Reputation

"Large Class" can be really quite large. G:WWII uses that for the reputation you get from medals and decorations, affecting almost everyone on your own side of the war and a few people on the other side. It's 3e, but those rules haven't changed much.
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Old 12-15-2014, 02:58 PM   #10
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#22): Charisma, Reputation

First off, I enjoy the effort you put into the BAOTW posts, makes for good discussion and read.


On Charisma specifically though, it is very undercosted. It is pretty much the best talent ever, as you get two nice skills, two decent skills, and the reaction bonus applies to almost everyone. In the campaign I bought it, I asked for there to be a limit so that I wouldn't completely munchkin it up and buy 10 levels of it.
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