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Ran

DISCUSS: Renown

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Okay, the whole process of setting Renown on people has proved more complex than initially envisioned, and we're looking for some thoughts regarding our present approach.

Right now, what we've done is tried to sort everyone on the game from "most renowned" (most well known) to "least renowned" (least well known). This is on a sort of "kingdom scale" -- how well are you known throughout the realm, rather than in just King's Landing. Obviously, most people will be marginally well-known in their region, and even more well-known in their home locale, but the kingdom-wide area will serve for the purpose of setting starting renown.

The next step after this will be for us to eyeball everyone in terms of their reputation -- positive, neutral, or negative -- and from this figure out what the Fame and Infamy scores should be using standard formula. As a quick refresher, here's how Renown breaks down into Fame, Infamy, and Reputation:

Renown = The sum of Fame and Infamy.

Reputation = The greater of Fame or Infamy, minus the lesser, divided by two. If fame is greater, the number is positive. If fame is lower, the number will be negative.

Various modifiers play a part in the above, but this is the basic rundown.

Now, here comes some of the tricky stuff. As you may be aware, the Influence system has a natural means of keeping itself in check: players can never get above twice their base influence, and there will be a natural cycle in which points in excess of the base will be removed slowly. A player who works hard to get to their cap, and then slacks off for a few months, may find themselves back where they started. (Similarly, there will be a mechanism to help players more swiftly gain points when they are below their base influence).

We had not, however, intended to do that for Renown. Our initial idea was that Renown just went up and up indefinitely. This presents some problems for us, however, because it brings up the very real problem of how to deal with newly CGed characters coming in after several months of play, or previously-CGed characters showing up again after a year on the roster. It seems unreasonable to set them up with the same base that we'll set all players initially, because one supposes that their characters have not hidden themselves under a rock. However, the idea of figuring a means of keeping track of various statistics -- such as game-wide mean renown increase over the course of play -- so that we can figure out how many points to tack onto someone's base renown is ... Well, it's daunting. There are a lot of numbers involved.

So, that's one alternative. I am confident I _can_ code everything needed to make this as painless a process as possible, but it will be a lot of work and will require some new things we hadn't expected to need (like a database tracking renown gain).

The other alternative ... is making Renown work like Influence, in which you can't really get past your base score by too much, and that each month there is some reducing factor that tries to put your back to your base. Consider this as an example of fame often being fleeting -- even famous people have some deeds of theirs forgotten, or less hailed, with time. The advantage of this is that we already have a cron set up for Influence along these lines, so we've got the basic principles down. However, Renown would be more difficult, because one thing we would definitely do is make sure that, though points would be removed each month to attempt to push a person back to their base, the reduction will be done proportionately so that their _present_ reputation remains unchanged. Basically, if in the last month you've defeated every single famous knight who challeneged you in a tourney, and your reputation has shot up from 0 to 50, when we reduce the points of renown (i.e. fame and infamy) that you gained, we'll make sure that your reputation stays at 50 after that fact. This means that players will be able to permanently affect their reputation.

What it does not mean, however, is that players will NOT be permanently able to affect their renown. If renown gets reduced, ultimately everyone stays roughly in one place. Certain things may mitigate this -- purchasing assets like Famous and so on, out of chargen through whatever system we put in place for that -- but for the most part, upward mobility as far as renown goes is restricted. Players can climb faster than the reduction, and for a time -- a few months, say -- shine bright. But if they slow down or take a break from glorychasing for some months, they'll be back where they were, yesterday's news.

Ultimately, we need to consider what's most effective as far as time coding and managing goes, against what's most effective for keeping players engaged. To what degree are people keen on making their characters more widely known throughout the realm, versus how keen they are at winning a positive (or negative, if that's what you're aiming for) reputation? To what degree are people going to focus more on gaining influence than gaining renown?

Please weigh in, as the more opinions we have, the better.

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Maybe it makes more sense if you flagged each incident ICly or OOCly and then set them to expire after a certain time? For example, maybe saving a damsel in distress in some small villege will bump your renoun a bit, but expires in a relatively short time, but something like being a hero in the Dorne campaign might have something that is a bit longer, or stuff like kingslayer/kinslayer will stick with you forever.

And I see this working for both renown and fame/infamy since people tend to forget stuff after a while. (Though infamy might take a while to go away, that's for sure.) But it makes it possible for people's reputation to change more dynamically from villian to hero and vice versa as people start to forget some of the old stuff and focus on the new stuff. (Maybe it's because Super Tuesday is coming up, but all I can think about is people's reaction to candidates' past in an election, which is sort of similar)

Of course this might be a bit too complex to code. :(

My 2 cent... er, dragons.

Edit: Before I forget, someone had mentioned that somethings can be sort of permanent, I guess instead of "expiring" we can do an exponential decay down to 1 point so that people still be remembered, and adjust the half-life according to the importance of the deed.

Edit 2: Grammar, English blows.

Edit 3: Concerning new players, they can set important things in the past to help boost their renown to reasonable levels, e.g. participation in Dornish campaign, or tourney, etc. and estimate the IC time to set the decay so it's not unreasonable, but allows the gap between new and existing chars to be smaller. Also, I have got to stop editing my posts.

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Just adding a remark from Dagur:

My 2 cents...work renown like influence. Have it reduced but more slowly than influence. Fame would linger longer than political power even if you're just sitting on your ass but not forever. I mean, if Barristan had showed up as a kid at that tourney, amazed everyone, then settled into life as an ordinary knight and done nothing else of note, his fame would have faded pretty quickly. On the other hand, a string of high profile incidents would affect renown permanently, I'd think, which complicates things. Maybe in the normal course of things renown depreciates but you admin types can add permanent incremental boosts to it for certain things. Although that might turn into a lot of hassle. Maybe set up certain broad criteria. A tourney win earns a certain permanent boost. Likewise, Dornish war hero. What else...certain deeds during big staff-run TPs? Although I'm not sure how that would work. And no idea how the system would work for women.

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...most people will be marginally well-known in their region, and even more well-known in their home locale, but the kingdom-wide area will serve for the purpose of setting starting renown.

What strikes me is that 'renown' is supposed to reflect the overall disposition of the kingdom towards your character. So, why not apply a point system based on how renowned the character is in the various kingdoms. Depending on how active or widespread the character's deeds have been in that kingdom, the character will have more points of renown in that kingdom and therefore have a greater renown than a character known only for hanging around the Court.

The renown score could remain permanent and if the character is only active in one Kingdom (say King's Landing) for deeds of interest, then the character's renown will only increase slowly. Likewise, only certain events would be consider worthy of Westeros-wide renown. Like, a Tourney witnessed by the King or his immediate household would see a character's renown increase higher than a tourney that is merely hosted by a Lord somewhere.

Also, I'm curious about "renown peddling". Would it be possible to hire bards and minstrels to travel the Seven Kingdoms singing of their patron to increase their renown. Anyway, let me sum up the point I'm trying to make.

Breakdown the Renown calculation according to Kingdoms:

1) King's Landing Area (court)

2) The Vale

3) The North

4) The Reach

5) The Riverlands

6) The Stormlands

7) The Westerlands

8) The Iron Islands

9) The Free Cities

10) Dorne

So, basically, a character who is renown throughout the regions (1 or more points in every region) would have more renown than a character who is only renowned in one region (several points in their 'home' region). Of course, characters who are active and either promote themselves or participate in major events and achieve spectacular results will see their renown increase over time. But I don't foresee more than 1 or 2 points between events.

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