"Oi!, Bub, Ih know you?" The little man had appeared as if out of thin air and was pointing a finger in the bearded man's face.
"No. I don't believe you do," the bearded man replied and glanced around the busy market square to make sure no one else had seen him.
"Ih bah'lieve Ih do," the little man poked the other's chest, "Yer Gwarlen tha Mad!" the little man's voice rose in excitement, "Yer tha man what's been crossin' the kings men n' hidin' in tha hills. Son, you've shur got tha king riled!"
Gwarlen started to turn away from the loud man but caught two guards looking his way from across the market, to late, he thought and began to unsheathe his sword.
Reputation takes three forms; Renown for good characters, Infamy for evil, and Popularity for neutral characters. In general, these are referred to as a character's Reputation.
First level characters begin play with a Reputation score of 1, as long as they each have a level in a PC class. NPC classes start out with a Reputation of 0.
Characters gain 1 Reputation point at every level. At 11th, 16th and 20th levels a character gains 10 Reputation points instead of just one, but after that the character continues to gain Reputation points at a rate of one per level. In addition, character's gain Reputation by successfully overcoming Encounters. While individual encounters may carry more or less worth in terms of reputation, the follow is a good basis from which to judge Reputation awards. Encounters of an EL equal to the average level of the party's PCs, or the average level plus 1, are worth ½ a point of Reputation. If the EL is over the average party by two or more, the encounter is worth 1 point of Reputation. Encounters of an EL lower than the party's average level do not affect Reputation.
A player (or DM) keeps track of her reputation points separately from her Reputation score until an adventure is finished. Points gained during an adventure have no bearing on a character.
At the end of the adventure each Player adds up her reputation points (including all fractions) and makes an unmodified Charisma ability check against a DC of 10 + reputation points. If the character meets or exceeds the DC (with reputation points rounded up) the character gains the full amount of Reputation points. If the PC rolls over a 10, but not over the total DC, the character still gets that portion of Reputation points. For example, Tolmeth gained 5 and ½ Reputation points during an adventure. After successfully completing the adventure he rolls a Charisma ability check and gets a 16, which means he gets all 5 and a ½ points and adds that to his Reputation score. If Tolmeth had rolled a 13, he would have only received 3 reputation points for the adventure, with the other 2 and ½ points lost forever.
Here is a table of the average Reputation scores, per character level, based on different Charisma scores.
Each character has a Primary Reputation Sphere for which they are known. The Primary Sphere may be a city, a district in a metropolis, a small area of wilderness, several closely related villages, or a segment along a trade route, but it is always subject to DM approval and can always be defined as an area for a Knowledge (Local) skill. When interacting with NPCs that share the same Primary Sphere as the PCs, the NPC makes a Knowledge (Local) or an Intelligence check against a DC 20 minus the character's reputation to see if the NPC recognizes the PC. Generally, recognition occurs after a NPC hears the name, and possibly the origin, of a character. If the PC is known especially for physical traits a NPC might recognize the PC on sight alone.
Outside of a character's Primary Reputation Sphere lies a Secondary Reputation Sphere. This area may be a small kingdom, a metropolis and it's surrounding territory, a large area of wilderness, a large confederacy of villages or the whole length of a trade route. The Secondary Sphere may or may not still be considered apart of the same Knowledge (Local) skill area. The DC for an NPC from a Secondary Sphere has a DC of 30 minus the character's Reputation Score to recognize the PC.
After the Secondary Sphere is the Tertiary Sphere. This sphere is adjacent to, but not apart of the character's Primary and Secondary Spheres and is never apart of the same Knowledge (Local) skill. These may be neighboring kingdoms, nearby metropolises, civilizations adjacent to the area of wilderness, wilderness outside the confederacy of villages' control, or towns near, but not along, the trade route. The DCs for these areas are 50, for NPCs to recognize the PC and the NPCs must use either Intelligence or Knowledge (Area: PC's Primary Reputation Sphere) as the PCs are no longer locals.
Outside the Tertiary Sphere, the DM must assign DCs for NPC's recognition of the PCs as best as she sees fit. A general guideline is +10 to the DC for every 100 miles away from the Tertiary Sphere as well as a +10 for minor geographical barriers (small mountain ranges, large rivers or lakes, small oceans) and +20 for major geographical barriers (large mountain ranges, large oceans, etc.).
If the PCs leave their primary sphere and stay for an extended period of time within a central location (qualifying as a primary sphere's area of influence) the DC for NPCs of the new area to recognize them will decrease. For every new level gained within the new location, the DC drops by 5 until it reaches 20, at which point it stabilizes. For example, a party of 3rd level characters reach a city that falls within their tertiary sphere of influence (DC 50 minus their reputations). Once they reach 4th level the DC drops to 45 so long as they adventured within the new area. At 5th level the DC drops to 40, and so on, until the DC is 20 (at 9th level for the example PCs).
For every level gained within a new area outside a tertiary sphere, reduce the total distance and terrain modifiers (including the 50 for being outside a tertiary sphere) by half, rounded up, until the DC is lower than being in a tertiary sphere (DC 50 or lower) at which point it follows the DC reduction rules above. If a character has gained two levels while being in a distant land, the total DC for NPCs in that land would be reduced by 1/4 and upon reaching a third level the DC would be reduced by 1/8. For example, a party of 5th level characters are transported to a kingdom that lies over 2,000 miles away and is separated by two mountain chains (one large and one small) and by an inland sea from their primary sphere. When they first arrive, the DC for NPCs to recognize time is 300 (50 + 200 + 20 + 10 + 20) minus their reputations. By staying within the new area of the kingdom and upon attaining 6th level, the DC is cut in half to 150. At 7th level the DC is now 75 and at 8th level the DC 38 and would now be reduced using the tertiary and secondary spheres rules above. If all the PCs have only gained 1 reputation point per level, the total DC for NPCs in the new land to recognize them is 30. If a new area is populated by wildly differing races or sub-races than the character's primary sphere, the DC should immediately be reduced by ½ as the PCs are exotic foreigners in the new land.
If the PCs return to their original primary sphere, it may take a few weeks for the deeds they performed in the new lands to circulate among the populace, but the fact that they left to some far off land (or disappeared abruptly) and returned is enough to match the reputation points that they gained while absent (which created a mystic about the adventurers that fans the flames of gossip upon their return). Once the gossip of their return subsides, it is more than likely that the tales of their actual adventures have circulated and so their reputation score never needs to be recalculated when, and if, they return.
The DM has the final say whether an NPC will be able to recognize the PC.
Lies and Rumors.
Lies and Rumors (L/R) is a score that the DM keeps after the PCs complete adventures. Points are usually given in whole numbers, but sometimes they may be in half points. L/R score is gained by defeating, but not killing, intelligent hostile creatures that have the ability to spread lies and rumors about a PC within a given sphere.
If an NPC fails the DC to recognize a PC, but rolls high enough to beat the DC (including the Reputation score that has been subtracted) minus the L/R score, the NPC has heard a lie or rumor about the PC and recognizes that PC in relation to the lie or rumor. For example, Tolmeth has a reputation of 15 and is in a city in his Secondary Sphere. His companions talk to a captain of the city guard and mention his name so the DM rolls a Knowledge (Local) skill check for the captain and gets at 13. Under normal circumstances this would indicate that the captain does not recognize Tolmeth (DC 30 - 15 reputation equals DC 15), but the DM notes that Tolmeth has a L/R score of 4 which gives the DC for recognizing a lie or rumor about Tolmeth a range from 11 to 14. The captain of the guard looks suspiciously at Tolmeth and makes sure to send some guards to harass this assumed thief at the local tavern later that day.
While players will never know their character's L/R score they may permanently spend Reputation points to lower their L/R score. For every 3 Reputation points spent, 1 L/R point is removed. But once an L/R score has been gained, it can never reduced below 1.
In addition to simply noting the relative fame or notoriety of a character, Reputation can also have specific game effects.
Reputation, specifically a NPC's recognition of a character, can act as an immediate check for determining an NPC's attitude towards the PC. Alignment is the key determinant for deciding how a NPC's attitude will change once they discover who the PC is. When the alignments of the NPC and the PC are the same, and the NPC recognizes the PC for their Reputation, the NPC's attitude is shifted one attitude towards Helpful. For good NPCs, this represents a recognition that the PC is reputed to be kind, generous, honest, etc. For lawful or chaotic NPCs, this shows that the NPCs recognizes the PC for either a just and law-respecting individual or a noted free-spirit. For evil NPCs, this can either represent a general respect for how the PC gained her reputation or a fear driven desire to stay in a healthy relationship with the evil PC. When the alignments are polar opposites, the NPC's attitude is shifted one attitude towards Hostile. If the alignments share only one aspect and no aspect of their alignments oppose each other (for example, a Chaotic Evil and a Chaotic Neutral character, or a Neutral Good and a Lawful Neutral character) then there is a fifty percent chance that the NPC will have his attitude shifted on step towards Helpful. When the alignments are neutral with respect to each other (for example, a Lawful Neutral and a Neutral Evil character, or a Chaotic Good and a Neutral character), there is a thirty percent chance that the NPC's attitude will be shifted one step towards Helpful. If the alignments have only one aspect that are opposite to each other (for example a Neutral Good and a Chaotic Evil character, or a Lawful Good character and a Chaotic Neutral character), there is a thirty percent chance that the NPC's attitude will be shifted one attitude towards Hostile.
If a PC attempts to use Diplomacy (or Charisma) to influence an NPC's attitude who has either already recognized the PC, or will after the PC attempts to first inform the NPC of the character's reputation, use the following table of modifiers to the DC;