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Reputation and Fame

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 180
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.


Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 181
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 Table 3–5 details some specific examples. If your Fame ever drops below 0, see Disrepute and Infamy.

Table 3-5: Fame Events

EventFame Modifier
Positive Events
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 item6+2
Succeed at a DC 30 or higher public Diplomacy or Intimidate check6+2
Succeed at a DC 30 or higher public Perform check6+2
Complete an adventure with a CR appropriate for your APL7+3
Earn a formal title (lady, lord, knight, and so on)+3
Defeat a key rival in combat+5
Negative Events
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

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 181
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.

Table 3-6: Sphere of Influence Modifiers

ActionCheck Modifier
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

Prestige Points

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 182
Prestige Points represent your ability to leverage your Fame. You earn Prestige Points (PP) by completing objectives during the course of play. The GM decides which deeds, goals, or story elements are most important and awards players for completing them accordingly. Each time your Fame increases, you also gain 1 Prestige Point. In a typical campaign, you should gain approximately 4 to 6 Prestige Points per character level. Your current Prestige Points can never exceed your Fame. You can’t share Prestige Points with other characters; only the character who earned them can spend them. Most of the time, you spend points on rewards—titles, temporary abilities, or bonuses on tasks associated with your interests.


Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 182
Spending Prestige Points earns you awards—temporary bonuses or favors. Each time you want to use an award, you must spend the Prestige Points for that award. Unless otherwise stated, bonuses from spending Prestige Points do not stack (for example, you can’t combine the Hero’s Luck award with the Lore of Ages award to gain a +9 bonus on a Knowledge check). Spending Prestige Points on a reward is not an action. You may only spend Prestige Points within your Sphere of Influence.

Titles are a special category of award that is permanent instead of temporary. Unless a title’s description says otherwise, you can only select a particular title once.

The following are examples of awards and titles for various thresholds of Fame. You must have at least the listed Fame to select a reward from that category. For example, you must have a Fame of at least 10 to select the Wanderer title, even if you have the 5 Prestige Points to spend on it.

Disrepute and Infamy

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 184
If your Fame drops below 0, your reputation is based on infamy rather than fame. Treat your Fame as a positive number instead of a negative number for all rules relating to Fame, Sphere of Influence, and Prestige Points (for example, a villainous Fame of –20 is equivalent to a heroic Fame of 20 for the purpose of determining what awards you can buy).

If an event would increase your Fame, you may choose to increase your Fame (bringing it closer to 0) or decrease your Fame (making it a larger negative number). For example, if your Fame is –20 and you publicly roll a 30 on a Craft check to create a masterwork sword (normally worth +2), you may increase your Fame to –18 or decrease it to –22. Negative events that decrease your Fame always count as negative (a villain attacking innocent people doesn’t make the public like him more).

If you have a negative Fame, nonevil NPCs often have unfriendly or hostile reactions to you (see Table 3–7: Negative Fame Reactions). Note that if you have a reputation for being powerful and dangerous, NPCs might avoid you rather than confront you.

Table 3-7: Negative Fame Reactions

-5Merchants, hirelings, and innkeepers overcharge you by 10% to discourage you from doing business in their community.
-8Merchants, hirelings, and innkeepers refuse to accept your business. If you enter a business, you are immediately asked to leave. If you refuse, the owner calls for the authorities or locals to throw you out
-10When you approach, businesses shutter their windows and bar their doors. Most citizens refuse to speak with you. Others request that you leave immediately. If you remain for longer than 24 hours or act out against the citizens, your Fame decreases by 5 and the citizens form a mob to run you out of town.
-15Incensed that you display the gall to enter their community, an angry mob gathers. If you do not leave within a few minutes, the mob starts pelting you with fruit, sticks, and rocks.
-20An angry mob forms shortly after you enter town. Not willing to wait for a potentially corrupt trial, they attempt to capture you and execute you for your crimes.
-25An authority figure has issued a warrant for your arrest, including a reward to anyone who captures you. This is well known and many are eager to collect it.
-30An authority figure has issued a bounty for your head. This is well known and many are eager to collect it.

Shared Fame

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 185
Sometimes situations should take into account the Fame values of multiple characters. This usually occurs when all the PCs continually operate as a single entity, such as King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table, Robin Hood’s Merry Men, or Captain Kidd’s pirate crew. Instead of the fame of individuals contributing to the fame of a group, the group’s fame is independent of its members (a group may start in the first category and evolve into the second as it gains more members and the founders take a less direct role in its activities). A group like this develops its own Fame; if you are a member of that group, you use its Fame instead your own. If you and your allies are part of such a group, the Fame rules work the same, except the GM only tracks one Fame value for the entire group instead of individual values for each PC; each character’s actions that would increase or decrease the Fame contribute to that score. You still gain and spend your own Prestige Points, but use the group’s Fame for everything else.

Alter Egos, Aliases, and Secret Identities

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 185
Throughout the course of your adventuring career, your public persona and your true personality might drift begin to drift apart or become notably disparate. When this occurs, you may change your name and adopt an alter ego or alias in order to rid yourself of your prior reputation. In this case, your Fame and Prestige Points remain with your former name, allowing you to shed your former life and start a new one.

With an alter ego, you create an artificial persona to show the public. You wear a mask or costume to hide your true identity. When performing deeds as your alter ego, you develop its Fame instead of your own. Only when presenting yourself as the alter ego can you use its Fame and Prestige Points to your advantage. In this way, a seemingly weak or unassuming character can adopt the identity of a famous masked vigilante, relying on her fame to persuade commoners and strike fear into villains while remaining unknown in her secret identity.

If it’s revealed that your two identities are actually the same person, your Fame and Prestige Points may change when dealing with those who have found out. For example, a notorious bandit changes her name and becomes a humble village healer. If her former life is made public, the villagers react to her according to her (larger, negative) Fame as a bandit, but she also loses face with bandits, who don’t respect her choice to live peacefully and react according to her (lower, positive) Fame as a village healer.