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Old 09-16-2018, 07:36 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default On being Feared

One of the player characters in my current fantasy campaign is a necromancer. The player's build for her included Social Regard (Feared) 3, which I would take to reflect partly her wearing ritual garb that marks her as a dealer with the dead (bone jewelry, for example) and partly a supernatural aura created by the ghosts that her presence potentiates.

It's characteristic of Social Regard that while you get the bonus all the time, it's sometimes inconvenient. In the case of Feared, for example, it's specified that others who react to you favorably do so more or less as if you had made an Intimidation roll; they never quite feel relaxed or friendly in your presence.

So now Nergul is looking to acquire some hirelings. And that had me wondering: If they agree to work for her, won't they be doing so partly out of fear, not daring to turn her down or insist on favorable treatment? Could their status as hirelings, in fact, be taken as involuntary (per pp. B518-519), with rolls to see if they have poor attitudes and perhaps reduced loyalty?

What if she doesn't want that effect? I don't think it's quite right to say she can just turn it off; being Feared is the result not of her choosing to intimidate people, but of their recognizing what she is and reacting to the knowledge. Are there ways she could avoid the issue?

Perhaps, for example, making a suitable Influence roll to get them to take the job could sublimate the effect in some way—especially if she rolled versus Diplomacy, and got a better result than the reaction roll allowed.

Does all this make any sense? Am I on the right track in saying that Feared can't just be "turned off" when it's not wanted?
Bill Stoddard

I don't think we're in Oz any more.
whswhs is offline   Reply With Quote

social engineering, social regard

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