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As most know, APP doesn't get used all that much in KAP. It determines distinctive features, helps to determine seating in the Book of Feats, and losing it can lead to character death on the aging table. But that it. Now sure, it supposed to mean something but as far as game mechanics go, that's it. 

So how can we make it a attribute worth having and putting points into? 

Here are some ideas, nothing set in stone, please add to the mix. 

 

  • Instead of the training & practice cap for all skills being 15, perhaps courtly skills could cap at APP, with  improvement being 1 for 1 after that?
  • Maybe APP 16+ could earn glory similar to a high trait?
  • Trophy wife: Maybe having a pretty (APP 16+) wife could give a annaul glory bonus to the husband?

 

 

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My suggestion is ... roleplaying.  Everything doesn't need a game mechanic to be useful.  The GM can just have ladies gravitate towards the high APP character, lords notice them first, etc.  I'm personally against the computer-game-ization of roleplaying games where every situation needs a mechanic.  Perhaps its just because I'm older. 

That said, I'm not against the second two suggestions above.  I don't like the APP cap unless we applied a similar cap to all skills based on some skill specific root-trait. 

 

F

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21 minutes ago, fulk said:

My suggestion is ... roleplaying.  Everything doesn't need a game mechanic to be useful. 

This is the RPG that  has a mechanic to cover personality traits and passions, which generally are roleplayed in other RPGs.

The problem is, from a gaming standpoint, it's a dump stat. APP 20 or even 25 isn't as useful as say CON 13 or SIZ 16, so PKs have a lot of incentive to take a low APP and put their points into the other stats. It really won't hurt them. And I think it would be nice if those characters who end up with a high APP due to culture, random die rolls, or character development actually get some sort of benefit for it, they way the do with the other attributes.

Even from a roleplaying standpoint, APP as a stat could be dropped and instead appearance could be noted in character descriptions. 

21 minutes ago, fulk said:

The GM can just have ladies gravitate towards the high APP character, lords notice them first, etc. 

Why the ladies might, I think the lords would be more interested in glory. Ladies might be too. 

21 minutes ago, fulk said:

 

I'm personally against the computer-game-ization of roleplaying games where every situation needs a mechanic. 

LOL!. Where were you when they did up the Trait and Passion rules?

I'm against putting something in a game that is unnecessary. As it stands now APP just determines the number of distinctive features a character has (which, btw, could be done without a APP stat) and make aging a bit more problematic as PKs can get bedridden or die from low/no APP, That's it as far as the core rules go. Even encounters with the opposite sex rely on skills traits and passions. 

21 minutes ago, fulk said:

 

Perhaps its just because I'm older. 

I'm probably just as old, but again if it doesn't need a mechanic it doesn't need a stat either.

Plus, there are existing game mechanics such as Flirting where APP should make a difference but doesn't 

21 minutes ago, fulk said:

That said, I'm not against the second two suggestions above.  I don't like the APP cap unless we applied a similar cap to all skills based on some skill specific root-trait. 

I wouldn't mind you second idea either. In Pendragon SIZ is very important, CON next, STR after than, then DEX, and APP bring up the rear. I'd love to see something that makes APP, DEX and possibly STR more important. RQ and Stormbringer had skill category modifiers than made attributes such as APP and DEX much more important. 

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I saved this from the nocturnal forums, which hopefully will be restored soon.  Below is someone's - I believe Greg's? thoughts on boosting APP.  Note that it boosts certain skills and costs you honor at character creation time if it's below 10.
 
===
APP

Appearance is one’s exterior look, being visual and thus entirely outward and superficial. Appearance provokes deep responses in human beings, automatic and normally outside of our awareness, never mind being within our control. (Exceptions exist, but not among knights.)
APP Interpretation
01-05. Ugly. See below
06-09. Plain, unattractive, flawed
10-15. Handsome, pretty
16-20. Superlative; beautiful (women) or spectacular (men); gorgeous, dazzling. See below

Appearance is only useful when it can be seen. It has no affect when men are clad in concealing armor.

Superlative Appearance
Gorgeousness has its advantages, and disadvantages.
In a crowd of equals, the most handsome person will be addressed first, as if he or she is the leader (since handsome people have Honor, the most handsome is the most honorable!).
Everyone is always watching, especially when the beautiful person is not watching. Thus it is very difficult for them to do anything in secret, including whispering at a feast, speaking to anyone, and even how long is spent with him, or her, or that group over there.

Appearance Bonus
Each superlative APP point (16+)grants a +1 bonus to the following:
Flirt: Natural attraction makes it easier to Flirt.
Intrigue: The handsome fellow, giving even just a little bit of unusual attention to the staff, gets information much easier than usual.
Orate, Singing, Play, Dancing: People prefer to be entertained by pretty people, because even if the performance is not as good, at least they had a pleasant evening observing the attractive performer.

It does not affect Romance.

Ugly Appearance
Ugliness carries a taint with it. Commoners lack Honor, and are thus less appealing to the noble eye.
OPPOSITE OF ABOVE--text not complete
Ugliness has its advantages and disadvantages.
In a crowd of equals, the ugliest person will not be addressed. At all if possible.
If something goes wrong, the ugliest person is always blamed first.
Nobody looks at you. In a crowd you are practically invisible, able to stand nearby to whisperers, or in a room perhaps entirely unseen, as if you are one of the servants.

Honor

All heroic characters are handsome, and all their ladies are beautiful. Being ugly is a terrible disadvantage since people immediately judge a person on his superficial traits. Thus, at character generation, each point of APP below 10 costs 1 Honor. Losing APP due to major wounds or aging does not diminish Honor, however. Scars from wounds are a note of courage and strength, and counteract the loss. Likewise, aging adds to honor in exact proportion to losses.
===

 

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Physical appearance is such a pervasive, and empowering aspect of the real world that it seems curious that APP doesn't have much utility in a modern game. It should really form the basis of most social skills, and have a general influence over any human reaction or encounter. People with a high APP should be able to draw attention, open doors and compel weak-minded fools to do foolish things. Low APP should find the opposite is true, although in a practical sense, having a very average, non-descript APP should have the advantage of carrying out discrete actions without being noticed. 

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Ringan, thanks. SO basically it +1 to Courtly skills per APP over 15.And -1 per APP below 6 (and Honor!). That should help. The only thing is now all ladies are beautiful thanks to their high APP modifier, but maybe that fits the genre. You never read about a knight slaying the dragon, rescuing the king's daughter and then discovering that the dragon was prettier. 😏

 

19 minutes ago, TrippyHippy said:

Physical appearance is such a pervasive, and empowering aspect of the real world that it seems curious that APP doesn't have much utility in a modern game. It should really form the basis of most social skills, and have a general influence over any human reaction or encounter. People with a high APP should be able to draw attention, open doors and compel weak-minded fools to do foolish things. Low APP should find the opposite is true, although in a practical sense, having a very average, non-descript APP should have the advantage of carrying out discrete actions without being noticed. 

I can only think of a handful of RPGs where Appearance has a direct effect in play (a few have it contribute to something else that does). GURPS and Bond off the top of my head. 

I think that can be explained with three reasons:

1.  Most people would like to be above judging people by their appearance so it gets downplayed in game design. 

2. Most gamers seem to focus  more on combat than on social interaction., and so the major RPGs tend to be the same. Or vice versa. 

3. The "why can't you just roleplay it argument", Namely that some people resist game mechanics for APP because they believe players should role play APP. The problem with that is people really can't, not and do it properly. How many players are going to role play their characters getting seduced by the pretty enemy agent and turning over secrets or some such. Probably none. Yet it certainly happens. But in game terms the attentions of a attractive person have no in game rewards. This is precisely why Pendragon has traits, and why even games like D&D have saves vs. fear. Otherwise everybody would be a paragon of virtue whenever it would be in their interest to be one.When I hear #3 though, "Why can't you just roleplay combat",  immediately springs to mind.

 

 

 

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The main reason KAP doesn't have APP being more important, IMHO, is the perception that many don't think it is all that important. Back to the dragon situation for a moment, it is the quest to slay the dragon that most think of, not because of the APP of the princess.  Helena of Troy launched 1000 ships because of her beauty, or so it is told.  Perhaps if more speak up about APP becoming more important, then a more critical look at this subject will entail.  So far, most of KAP, in all editions, deal more with Glory and Combat and the earlier years of Arthur and pre-Arthur.  In the latter periods of the game, questing and court scenes are much more important and I feel APP would have a great impact.

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53 minutes ago, Hzark10 said:

The main reason KAP doesn't have APP being more important, IMHO, is the perception that many don't think it is all that important.

Maybe, but if that is so is something that could be removed as an attribute. Butm< I I doubt this to be the case though. DEX and STR are in the same boat to some extent. DEX is useful to avoid then it is knockdown, but is superseded when mounted (i.e. when at all possible) by the skill of Horsemanship. Many of the other uses for DEX in theory tend to be eliminated as a option in play due to the armor modifier.    

53 minutes ago, Hzark10 said:

Back to the dragon situation for a moment, it is the quest to slay the dragon that most think of, not because of the APP of the princess.

I dunno, most telling will stress that the princess is beautiful, although that might be to reinforce the "jackpot" nature of saving a princess and thus marring up.

53 minutes ago, Hzark10 said:

 

  Helena of Troy launched 1000 ships because of her beauty, or so it is told.  Perhaps if more speak up about APP becoming more important, then a more critical look at this subject will entail.  So far, most of KAP, in all editions, deal more with Glory and Combat and the earlier years of Arthur and pre-Arthur.  In the latter periods of the game, questing and court scenes are much more important and I feel APP would have a great impact.

I agree. Especially if we want to do anything to make non-warrior women characters viable It is typically their highest attribute, especially if using the random method, but has no use or benefit. If using the point buy method it becomes a way to get a higher attribute elsewhere by giving APP a low value.

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So, the uses of APP would be:

1) bonus/penalty to courtly skills

2) above 15, addition to Glory, below 6 would yield a penalty?

3) Inspiration use?

I agree it would help women more, but every legend I know of says Lancelot was pretty high in this stat as well.

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24 minutes ago, Hzark10 said:

So, the uses of APP would be:

1) bonus/penalty to courtly skills

2) above 15, addition to Glory, below 6 would yield a penalty?

Greg put both of those in the text Ringan provided above. Personally I'd have preferred something like a APP divided by something with a modifier, so that the 5-15 range (the vast majority of scores) are pointless, but at least this is something. 

24 minutes ago, Hzark10 said:

3) Inspiration use?

As in "I'm pretty so I'm inspired?" Or "She's pretty so I'm inspired?" 

It does apply when generating Amor passions.

Some other ideas:

4) Glory: I could see a case for high APP early glory similar to a trait or passion. Apparently in Feudal era, great beauty was a sign of nobility and it was a justifiable reason for a lord to marry a commoner, the argument being that great beauty wasn't common (I can see the logic of that argument, too). 

5) Seduction, It should probably apply as a modifier to rolls to seduce someone. 

 

24 minutes ago, Hzark10 said:

I agree it would help women more, but every legend I know of says Lancelot was pretty high in this stat as well.

Not all. Greg gave him a low APP In KAP1 for some reason. But even if he does have a high APP, it's hardly surprising. He is Lancelot, his clothes probably don't get dirty while he is adventuring either.

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Thanks for the head tap.  I haven't looked at my 1st edition in a few years and forgot that.

 

3 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Seduction, It should probably apply as a modifier to rolls to seduce someone. 

Agree.  Also be a good use of misdirection.  I mean, it might be very easy to have someone sneak by when looking at a very lovely face...

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1 minute ago, Hzark10 said:

Thanks for the head tap.  I haven't looked at my 1st edition in a few years and forgot that.

 

Agree.  Also be a good use of misdirection.  I mean, it might be very easy to have someone sneak by when looking at a very lovely face...

Yes, I could see a character roll APP to distract someone, opposed by whatever trait or passion would be relevant, although maybe having it trigger Lustful in the target (modified by APP) would be more appropriate? 

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Oh, I could see that as well, but that might come into play a bit later.  My thinking is she would be distracting even without the Lustful kicking in immediately.

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20 minutes ago, Hzark10 said:

Oh, I could see that as well, but that might come into play a bit later.  My thinking is she would be distracting even without the Lustful kicking in immediately.

I was thinking that Lust is one of the reasons why she is so distracting. Otherwise you could have the same thing happen when a high APP guy walks by. While I think APP does matter somewhat, even between people who are not sexually oriented towards each other, I believe the effect is much less pronounced (probably needs a critical APP roll).. I figure that a babe walking down the corridor is much more likely to distract a guard than some good looking guy. 

It's probably an opposed roll, too but not consciously so. That is the high APP character is distracting even when not trying to vamp the guard. So it's a tough thing to game as making it an opposed roll immediately alerts someone that something is up.

Maybe it would just be better to apply the high APP Modifier to the sneaking character's DEX, unless the guard has a reason to be particularly vigilant or to avoid such distractions (high Chaste)?

In fact, maybe that would be the solution to APP overall? The character could suggest that their high APP would come into play, and explain how, and the GM could then let them apply the APP bonus as modifier to a roll. That would allow APP to be used creatively and apply to situations and skills where it wouldn't normally. That could also be used as a sort of general rule to handle similar situations with other attributes, should they come up. 

 

 

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On 4/5/2019 at 2:57 PM, Atgxtg said:

APP doesn't get used all that much in KAP

A small addition from the flirting skill description on p.102 : "The Gamemaster may wish to impose a modifier on the Flirting Skill of any character with unusually high or low APP."

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Without considering existing mechanics, I think handing out Glory for having a beautiful wife (as suggested above, I think, but I can't find it at the moment) seems okay.

A beautiful noblewoman may also attract a collection of suitors and admirers who hang around sighing significantly and are generally willing to do her bidding. Like dueling that uncouth country knight who insulted her honour. Perhaps this could be a permanent Passion and high APP might mean increasing numbers of knights can be thus bewitched. 

 

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4 hours ago, Puckohue said:

A small addition from the flirting skill description on p.102 : "The Gamemaster may wish to impose a modifier on the Flirting Skill of any character with unusually high or low APP."

So there's certainly an inclusion of the logic already.

Let me circle back to another aspect of APP that shows up in two characters in particular, and I've wondered about: automatic Amor generation for Ygraine and Guen. These are two of the prettiest ladies of the Arthurian arc. They have high APP--upper 20s (my books are not in front of me)--but we don't know if the mechanic outlined applies to ALL high-APP characters, or just these two "special flowers", so to speak.

At which point does the fantastic, passion-generating attraction kick in?

Does it really wack everyone who beholds the character from the stable-boy to the king?

And this is important if APP is going to be placed in its position as a useful stat, because there are bonuses to it during creation and you will find PKs/PLs putting effort into raising it if it benefits them. 

What makes sense to me is to tie APP to bonuses (say, (APP-15)/2) to social skills and Glory gain from use of said skills. This gives characters with high APP reason to exercise their gifts as often as they can. Think about it: if you're good with a sword you'll look for application of that, if you're good with a face you use that. If both, then you're awesome! (And flexible.) --But most characters have to specialize to some extent. 

(Note that in the sources the handsomest men in Arthur's court include himself, Bedivere, and Kay, among a few others. I don't recall Lancelot being assigned such a place.)

 

--Khanwulf

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1 hour ago, Khanwulf said:

 

Let me circle back to another aspect of APP that shows up in two characters in particular, and I've wondered about: automatic Amor generation for Ygraine and Guen. These are two of the prettiest ladies of the Arthurian arc. They have high APP--upper 20s (my books are not in front of me)--but we don't know if the mechanic outlined applies to ALL high-APP characters, or just these two "special flowers", so to speak.

At which point does the fantastic, passion-generating attraction kick in?

The amor rules do give a modifier of +1 to the score per point of APP. Frankly that is probably the biggest use of APP in the game mechanics, and I forgot all about it too. 

As for  the "Guenevere effect", the gamemaster characters writeups give Gwen APP 30 (29 in 558), and Ygraine a 32, so I'd say the threshold is either 30 (in which case Gwen looses the ability in her old age) or 26, 10 points pas where the APP bonus starts (in which case she keep it). Considering how powerful that ability is, maybe the 30 is better as it would make it tougher for PL (Player Ladies) to achieve? Using K&L, a Cymric woman can start with a APP Over 20 fairly easily and a 26 is barely possible for certain cultures. 30 keeps it far enough out that the lady would have to work for it (spend glory points). 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

The amor rules do give a modifier of +1 to the score per point of APP. Frankly that is probably the biggest use of APP in the game mechanics, and I forgot all about it too. 

As for  the "Guenevere effect", the gamemaster characters writeups give Gwen APP 30 (29 in 558), and Ygraine a 32, so I'd say the threshold is either 30 (in which case Gwen looses the ability in her old age) or 26, 10 points pas where the APP bonus starts (in which case she keep it). Considering how powerful that ability is, maybe the 30 is better as it would make it tougher for PL (Player Ladies) to achieve? Using K&L, a Cymric woman can start with a APP Over 20 fairly easily and a 26 is barely possible for certain cultures. 30 keeps it far enough out that the lady would have to work for it (spend glory points). 

Work for it by spending glory points, hiring a tailor/hairdresser, and investing into jewelry. Securing magic APP jewelry and the like. Making it a priority.

I mean if you set out to make your lady a pretty influencer then it's not at all hard to hit those levels rather quickly. Which is fine I suppose since you want to make a splash early enough that our lady can secure herself in relationships....

But: wacking everyone in sight with your Medusa-aura of love is a damn weird thing to hand over to players even with that sort of investment. I'm actually pretty down on this mechanic and inclined to gloss over it except for a) PKs and b) NPKs who can and should have an indeterminate reaction to the appearance. Everyone else can be scripted around the core concept: high APP is very attractive, desirable and an indication of honor and righteousness. The reaction to get close to such APP and desire to own it will vary in direct proportion to the score. Feelings of jealousy and suspicion in those of the same sex (assuming opposite attraction) will rise in the same proportion. 

Alternative: sure Ygraine and Guen have high base APP, but they also have the wealth and means to invest in their presentation and keep it up. Assume they have access to staff, maximum jewelry and magic geejaws sufficient to push them even higher at all times. Perhaps the point of transfixing aura is more on the order of APP 40That would be where the d20 system breaks, after all.

 

--Khanwulf

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9 minutes ago, Khanwulf said:

 

But: wacking everyone in sight with your Medusa-aura of love is a damn weird thing to hand over to players even with that sort of investment. I'm actually pretty down on this mechanic and inclined to gloss over it except for a) PKs and b) NPKs who can and should have an indeterminate reaction to the appearance. 

I agre, that's why I think the threshold forit should be very high. SOmethin gthat a PK might be able to achieve but not easily or quickly.

Quote

Alternative: sure Ygraine and Guen have high base APP, but they also have the wealth and means to invest in their presentation and keep it up. Assume they have access to staff, maximum jewelry and magic geejaws sufficient to push them even higher at all times. Perhaps the point of transfixing aura is more on the order of APP 40That would be where the d20 system breaks, after all.

One idea would be to have a lady roll and APP roll to try install amor in a viewer. The "Guenevere effect" would kick in on a critical APP roll. Since Gwen and Ygrane would have APP of 39+ if you factor in for accessories, then they would get the auto-critical and thus always get the effect. Then we could add in a penalty of some sort for fumbling the roll to counterbalance it for PKs. 

Edited by Atgxtg

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5 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

I agree, that's why I think the threshold for it should be very high. Something that a PK might be able to achieve but not easily or quickly.

One idea would be to have a lady roll and APP roll to try install amor in a viewer. The "Guenevere effect" would kick in on a critical APP roll. Since Gwen and Ygrane would have APP of 39+ if you factor in for accessories, then they would get the auto-critical and thus always get the effect. Then we could add in a penalty of some sort for fumbling the roll to counterbalance it for PKs. 

I think we're on exactly the same page. It would be nice to write this up in a section for the "Book of Courts and Tourneys" 

By the way... @sirlarkins is it inappropriate for us to be idea-hamstering products into imaginary existence? Does it cause IP and use problems for you and the game line? I mean if something fun comes out then we'd like to hope it makes your life easier and not harder, down the road.

 

--Khanwulf

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3 minutes ago, Khanwulf said:

By the way... @sirlarkins is it inappropriate for us to be idea-hamstering products into imaginary existence? Does it cause IP and use problems for you and the game line? I mean if something fun comes out then we'd like to hope it makes your life easier and not harder, down the road.

By no means! I'll always support these sort of thought experiments, and you never know: they may even lead to actual products down the line. My inbox is always open for pitches, after all. ;)

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1 minute ago, sirlarkins said:

By no means! I'll always support these sort of thought experiments, and you never know: they may even lead to actual products down the line. My inbox is always open for pitches, after all. ;)

Thanks so much! I hoped that was the answer (book of feasts evolved from a player-created item, IIRC), however there are other forums out there where suggesting something made it a huge problem for the company.

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