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using the Appearance characteristic

Sam E.

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As far as I can tell from the 7e Keeper Rulebook, Appearance seems to have no explicit mechanical role (or "roll" ... ).  Do correct me if I'm wrong about that!  If I'm not, it's not necessarily a problem for me as a Keeper, but I would worry that players might treat it as a dump stat.

How do / would / could you use Appearance in your CoC games?   A couple of my own ideas:

  • Appearance could, if relevant, impact the Keeper's assessment of the difficulty level of a social skill roll.  For example, if circumstances might otherwise make a Charm roll Hard, APP might bring it back down to a regular roll, if the Keeper judges that the relevant NPC might find the PC attractive.
  • Appearance would be important to the various social situations in which Investigators find themselves.  For example, a high APP might be required for entrance into that cool new speakeasy that just opened up on the fancy side of town, but an overly high APP might make an Investigator stand out like a sore thumb at a late-night truckers' diner ...
  • And a more radical option: get rid of APP altogether, and just roll it into the informal character description.

How about you?  Thoughts?

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I am not quite sure what you mean when you say "no explicit mechanical role/roll", but some of your suggestions are mentioned in the keeper rulebook.

APP does give a person more occupation skill points, for some occupations.
APP also works somewhat as Credit Rating, in that a character with low APP might counteract with high CR, and the other way around.

And, to quote the books: "Appearance measures both physical attractiveness and personality. A person with high APP is charming and likeable, but may lack conventional good looks." and "APP may be useful in social encounters or when trying to make a good impression."

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In addition to what's already been mentioned, I use the old house rule of having Luck directly linked to APP. So if a player loses some APP due to an injury, they will also have a lower luck score. Keep in mind I don't really use the optional luck rules, so don't know how they might affect that, but at least for me it's worked and made the characteristic even more relevant. 

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