L5R High Fantasy Rule Rewrite
Renown, Infamy, and Status
In addition to their Rings, Traits, and Skills, characters have other ranked abilities that determine a great deal about how recognizable they are and how important they are in the world. Those qualities are represented by Renown, Infamy, and Status respectively. These are attributes that affect the daily life of virtually every person. Like other character attributes, these three are normally ranked from 1 to 10, although it is possible, albeit unlikely, for some to have a 0 rank. Each Rank of Renown, Infamy, and Status is composed of ten Points, representing fractional changes in these rankings. When a character accumulates ten Points of Renown, for example, his Renown Rank increases by one and the ten Renown Points are lost.
Renown, or Fame, is a measure of how well known a individual is throughout the a area, community or organisation as a result of personal accomplishments and other note worthy deeds. Unlike Status, Renown is a very fluid attribute and can vary wildly from the results of a single duel, skirmish, or battle. Individuals who participate in sensational events, such as military officers or duellists, are more prone to having a high Fame, while mild- mannered or unobtrusive individuals, such as scholars or scribes, are far less likely to be recognized. Surprisingly, socially high-ranking individuals such as a King have a relatively low Renown, because they are so unlikely to be recognized when outside of the trappings of their positions and unaccompanied by their retinue. Renown is a measure of recognition, not prestige.
Gaining & Losing Renown
As a fluid attribute Renown can both lost and won in a variety of ways, all based upon a persons actions and what ramifications his actions have on his reputation in the land at large. Renown gains and losses are largely out of an individual’s control, as Renown grows or diminishes as a result of others speaking of their exploits, actions and words. A character loses one point of renown each month he’s inactive until he reaches the next Renown rank. It will take one full year for the Renown Rank to be converted to ten new Renown Points.
Characters who gain Renown for committing criminal or dishonorable acts may instead be given Infamy, which is similar to Renown in all respects save that it inspires fear and revulsion rather than awe or respect. It is gained in exactly the same manner, but for heinous and fearsome acts. Individuals with Infamy can be recognized in the same manner as those with Renown, but the response of those who recognize them is vastly different. If a character has both Renown and Infamy, the total Ranks will be combined to determine the likelihood that the character is recognized. Infamy Points and Ranks can most easily be attained by taking the Enemy of the … Disadvantage, or through actions during play at the GM’s discretion.
While the basic rules for renown calculates a character renown with in a area, organisation or community. They also have a worldly renown, how well their known across the known world. The worldly renown functions like normal Renown, but instead of gaining points, the points are each Renown or Infamy Rank the character has added together.
Effects of Renown & Infamy
The higher a character has in Renown and/or Infamy Ranks, the greater the probability he will be recognized when he encounters people he has not met before. Whenever this happens, the GM can make a Lore: (Heraldry, History, Local or anything that would grant you the necessary knowledge, up to GM’s desecration) / Intelligence roll for the strangers against TN 50. This TN is reduced by an amount equal to the character’s current Renown and/or Infamy Rank x 5. If the roll is successful, the strangers recognize the person and respond appropriately. Use the worldly Renown only if it’s higher than any other Renown.
Status is the measure of an individual’s role and influence within his society. Those with higher Status command more resources, authority, and wealth, while those with low Status have little authority over anything, perhaps even their own lives. Status is a largely static attribute that changes infrequently. Generally speaking, the only way for a character to increase their Status is to gain appointments or promotions from someone who is higher ranking in the hierarchy, be it a noble family, ruler of a city and so on.
Effects of Status
Status grants a person authority over other person of lower Status, but only if those people exist within the same hierarchy. A person form one city with Status 3, for instance, still cannot issue commands to a person from another city with Status 2 unless the two of them are members of the same military organization or a comparable social order of some sort; otherwise that person form the first city simply has no authority over the person form other city. On the other hand, a person from the first city that has a Status 3 can usually issue orders to another person from his city of Status 2. One must always be careful in doing so, however, and make sure they do not interrupt or countermand the orders of a different person with an even greater Status than their own. Countermanding a superior can results in grave consequences.