Faction Skills: Notoriety

Last time on our Faction System walkthrough, we introduced you to the five main Faction Skills and showed you what the Reputation Skill can do.

This time we’re showing off Reputation’s evil brother: the Notoriety Skill

Notoriety

If Reputation is “fame”, then Notoriety is “infamy”. Notoriety doesn’t show off to the world how good your faction is at what it does, or how powerful it is, or the mighty deeds it has accomplished (that’s all Reputation). Instead, Notoriety says distrusted/loathed/disliked/hated your faction is by populace at large, and how much the authorities want to bring your faction down. There is very little positive about this for either the faction or the players, but it doesn’t mean you can’t make the best out of a bad situation.

Gameplay-wise, Notoriety acts in a similar fashion to Reputation. Both the faction and the players (as representatives of the faction) can use Notoriety as a Social Skill to intimidate and bully others into doing what they want. It’s much easier to threaten someone when you can show that you already don’t care about the authorities. You can even use Notoriety to look for jobs/missions in a new area you are in. Of course, if you succeed in that Skill Check, the jobs you get will be far more dangerous and criminal-oriented than one you get from Reputation, but a job’s a job.

However, all of this is just making the best out of a bad situation. Notoriety has a far more important role, and that’s to generate Notoriety Events.

Notoriety events

At the start of each session, the GM will roll a Notoriety Skill Check for the faction. If it fails, nothing happens. If it passes, though, then the faction’s Notoriety has caught the attention of someone. So the GM consults the table below and see just what sort of calamity has befallen the Faction. So the higher your Notoriety Skill Level, the higher the chance that something happens. A Notoriety Event can, of course, span more than one gaming session, so if there is a Notoriety Event already going on, no need to roll again.

01-05: Treachery Event +5.
06-10: Vigilantes come sniffing around the faction.
11-15: Anti-faction propangda/misinformation is spread around.
16-20: Police come to investigate faction.
21-25: Wanted criminal(s) seeks refuge with faction.
26-30: Attempt to blackmail faction leader(s).
31-35: Gain 1d10 members, and push up Treachery by same amount.
36-40: A burglary/robbery attempt is made against the faction.
41-45: Lose 1d10 members, and push up Treachery by same amount.
46-50: Allied faction is attacked and asks for aid.
51-55: Kidnapping attempt on faction leader(s).
56-60: Allied faction severs ties with faction.
61-65: Police come to arrest faction leader(s).
66-70: Violent mob comes to take justice on the faction
71-75: Police comes to arrest faction.
76-80: Vigilantes come to attack the faction.
81-85: Assassination attempt on faction leader(s).
86-90: Rival faction comes after faction.
91-95: Military comes after faction.
96-100: Roll twice and use both events.

Other than causing grief for the faction, a Notoriety Event is like a snowball that just keeps getting worse. Each session that the Event is not handled and closed off means that the Faction’s Notoriety Skill Level will increase. This means that the next Event Roll could be far worse for the faction.

The Righteous Prophets.

With a roll of 82 to Prophets’ Notoriety Skill Level is 50. Not as bad as it could be, but it does mean that the faction starts off having a 50/50 chance of a Notoriety Event happening. What is good, however, is that the Prophets’ now have a Social Skill they can use. Last time we found that their Reputation Skill is only at Level 10, so being able to use their Notoriety Skill in game is quite useful for them. Since they are a criminals, I doubt they would lose much sleep over threatening and intimidating others to do their work.

Let’s see, though, what would happen on their first session: with a roll of 7 it means they start their campaign off with a Notoriety Event. At least this one isn’t too bad, only some vigilantes coming to sniff around and see what’s been going on. Nothing the Prophets can’t handle, but the question now is how to handle it? Lay low for a while, let the heat cool down, or take out the Vigilantes quickly and (hopefully) quietly to make sure they don’t find out something they shouldn’t?

And that’s it for the Notoriety Skill. Tell us what you think about it, what your faction Notoriety Skill Level is and how you plan on handling the Notoriety Events.

Next time we’ll see what can happen if your faction’s Treachery gets too high.

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