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1 hour ago, Khanwulf said:

APP should, like size, cease to improve aside from glory points after 21. That's fair. However what benefit is there to raising APP after chargen? Because if you start in squire-land you still have growing to do and will gain considerably less for you attribute to skill conversion. 

 

Starting as a squire or even a young lady is not necessarily a problem, although it would complicate things. You could simply allow each increased point of APP to add +1 to all designated skills automatically, as long as they are below 15. You could even do this with all characters, not just younger ones, and hence deal with Atgxtg's apparent objection. Thus, if I want to become generally more charming, it would behove me to buy +1 APP rather than spread 1d6+1 skill points around, but if I want to be laser-focused on Orate, I am better off putting points into it. As the characters get older and more skilled, the appeal of raising APP goes down since they already have more skills at 15, meaning that the older characters will stop raising their APP. Which is reasonable, IMHO.

I have difficulties wrapping my head around the idea that APP 25 lady who gets to start with extra 8 skills at 15, and add 2 more points to those skills & earn x2.5 Glory for using those skills, would find her APP 'useless'...

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10 minutes ago, Morien said:

Let's say that I want to be the consummate courtier, master of all courtly skills. I have 60 points to spend on attributes. I can either prioritize APP, or I can prioritize the skills.

a.) I put APP 18, since that is as high as the GM lets me to go. This means that my starting value in those 7 skills is 10 instead of 2 (APP-8). This is a total of 7*8 = 56 skill points (= 11+ yearly trainings), for the investment of 8 stat points (= 8 yearly trainings). In addition, I will gain x1.8 glory for the use of these skills under the APP Glory rule. I can still use the misc picks or the 10 additional skill points to improve my courtly skills or other skills for that matter (Horsemanship 15, Lance 15?). Also, I have the 15 skill (Sword?) and 3x10 skill choices to make (Awareness, Recognize, Falconry?). Or patch up my other attributes with misc points (so I am only 4 points in the hole).

Naturally, SIZ is already maxed out.

What do you mean "naturally SIZ is already maxed out? Do all your character have max SIZ?

10 minutes ago, Morien said:

b.) I prioritize the skills, leaving APP 10. If I use all the skill choices to courtly skills, then yes, I only need 3 other skills, which would cost me only 24 skill points (10 skill points + 3 picks). However, this would leave my combat skills rather poor (final pick Sword 15, Lance 11).

B would have higher STR and CON in the beginning, but not nearly the breadth of skills that A has. And if B tries to catch up with A, it would take B another 9 points (2 years) for combat skills, and about 20 points (4.5 years) for Awareness, Recognize and Falconry. Meanwhile, A needs a year to patch up the one courtly skill to 15, and 4 years to catch up in STR & CON, while enjoying the extra Glory from Court, too. In short, A has 1.5 years more skills/stats in the end.

So what? Sword 15 is better than having Compose, Orate and Fashion all at 40. So if SIZ 15 or CON 15. 

10 minutes ago, Morien said:

If you add Fashion in there, too, it will make APP even better starting choice, adding an additional skill you get with APP. I forgot about that one.

Big deal If the bonus from APP Is in chargen then fasion is pretty useless. Maybe it might give a player another five glory per year, maybe. The player would be better off just spending the libra for conspicuous consumption and avoid having to roll for a benefit. 

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3 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

What do you mean "naturally SIZ is already maxed out? Do all your character have max SIZ?

If I am using the Designated method, then heck yes. It is by far the most important attribute currently.

If we are using Random method, then it is useless to talk about choosing your attributes, since you have no choice, just the luck of the dice.

4 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Big deal If the bonus from APP Is in chargen then fasion is pretty useless.

Naturally the Fashion skill needs to work differently, like giving you a bonus* to your Court skills, for example, in addition to giving you APP Glory for the success.

* what the bonus should be is a further question.

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Ok, ok. Guys both of you have valid perspectives: Atgxtg is concerned about marginal utility and Morien the impact of long-term value on character balance. Both of these are important.

My suggestion is to consider a situation where starting characters have no skill bonus over BoK&L, but APP affects max skill and learning rate as well as skill use glory and other social battle mechanics.

This is still a conservative approach as young characters well need to put effort into their skills without automatically being awesome, yet they can definitely achieve awesome more easily that Sir Lumpy over yon.

Skills like fashion and recognise become like siege and battle in the social arena, and we can untangle how that works once there's some comity on the measures APP enjoys. Fair?

 

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3 hours ago, Morien said:

That being said, I am more in favor of the starting skill bonus. That way, the pretty people start with an edge, but someone can match that edge with time and determination. Also, it would require no modifications other than the seven or so skills in chargen, at the starting values, and then you'd be done. No rules modifications for Winter Phase.

I will echo here Morien's preference.  It doesn't keep it out of one's grasp if one works for it, and gives the bonus if the player spends the points initially.

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1 hour ago, Morien said:

If I am using the Designated method, then heck yes. It is by far the most important attribute currently.

That unfortunate. And a problem. I know the solution for it, but it's not in the RAW. Realistically you wouldn't be able to ride many horses. 

Quote

If we are using Random method, then it is useless to talk about choosing your attributes, since you have no choice, just the luck of the dice.

Not entirely, since you get 4 picks during chargen. 

Quote

Naturally the Fashion skill needs to work differently, like giving you a bonus* to your Court skills, for example, in addition to giving you APP Glory for the success.

* what the bonus should be is a further question.

Yeah, and it's a good question, to ask, too.

Edited by Atgxtg

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22 minutes ago, Khanwulf said:

Ok, ok. Guys both of you have valid perspectives: Atgxtg is concerned about marginal utility and Morien the impact of long-term value on character balance. Both of these are important.

If APP is a one time bonus, then to make use of it the character would have to not only nerf his stats but also his skill choices in chargen,  too. Basically, it's character classes )

Plu it would also be easier  to let a PK spend attribute points to raise a non-combat skill by 5 points. 

22 minutes ago, Khanwulf said:

My suggestion is to consider a situation where starting characters have no skill bonus over BoK&L, but APP affects max skill and learning rate as well as skill use glory and other social battle mechanics.

My prefernce of the options discussed to far.

22 minutes ago, Khanwulf said:

This is still a conservative approach as young characters well need to put effort into their skills without automatically being awesome, yet they can definitely achieve awesome more easily that Sir Lumpy over yon.

Skills like fashion and recognise become like siege and battle in the social arena, and we can untangle how that works once there's some comity on the measures APP enjoys. Fair?

 

Yeah, but to really work the benefits for court skill has to be on the same level of importance as combat. 

I think one way that could be achieved is with marriage. If finding a good match and getting permission to marry was something that involved court skills more than they do currently, then that right there would make the social aspects of the game more important as marriage is the gateway to land and heirs.

Another way would be if the wife could give a bonus to her hubby's court skills.In my current campaign, I send the PKs emails every so often with marriage prospects and allow the PKs have their wives sell stuff to get a little more money than the Knight would (because the wife can negotiate a little more than the husband).  For example if a knight can sell a suit of armor and get half value, the wife could get three quarters. That might help a little. 

 

 

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RAW, App is a dumb Stat. As a houserule, i use a fake "inspiration" under App for all social skills.

The PK can "inspire" under App, if the GM feels that his target can be influenced by App. It's more than sexual attraction. Have you a honest face or not? Sources are full of these kind of consideration.

-sucess: +5 to the skill

- failure: -5 to the skill

-crit: +10 (You're her type!)

- fumble: -10 (You're not)

I think it's simpler that way, and it's working well.

 

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On 4/19/2019 at 6:40 AM, Tizun Thane said:

RAW, App is a dumb Stat. As a houserule, i use a fake "inspiration" under App for all social skills.

The PK can "inspire" under App, if the GM feels that his target can be influenced by App. It's more than sexual attraction. Have you a honest face or not? Sources are full of these kind of consideration.

-sucess: +5 to the skill

- failure: -5 to the skill

-crit: +10 (You're her type!)

- fumble: -10 (You're not)

I think it's simpler that way, and it's working well.

 

Honestly this is probably the best idea I've heard so far as a way to make Appearance useful. Totally stealing this.

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Keep us posted on how using APP and inspiration works.  Since I allow traits and passions as the source of inspiration, I am interested in determining whether Attributes can also be used as one. 

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7 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

Keep us posted on how using APP and inspiration works.  Since I allow traits and passions as the source of inspiration, I am interested in determining whether Attributes can also be used as one. 

I mean what strikes me is that it's use is going to be simultaneously more niche and more broad than other passions. It's going to be primarily applicable in social situations (Which by and large are still going to be somewhat lower stakes than the pitched combats that most passions get invoked in). That being said, that still is likely to come up relatively often and necessitate a lot of appearance rolls. (Which could get a little tricky to track who likes how each given person looks)

 

Additionally, one other idea came to me when I was looking through Paladin's Attitudes. That being that you could use your appearance as the base attitude, modified by relevant traits. (Eg: the church cares about your lowest religious trait, Arthur cares about your lowest chivalrous trait, the commoners care about you being merciful, etc.) Honestly kind of feels like a missed opportunity when they introduced the whole idea of Attitudes.

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There used to be a discussion on this very same topic on Greg Stafford's KAP forum. I've not visited it recently and my google-fu is apparently very weak as I cannot find it again now (possibly it's been taken down as mark of respect but I don't feel confident  in making that assertion, you may have better luck than I at hunting it down)

Suggestions:

Knights begin with as any Armour Points as they have APP points (handsome, fashionable Knights have fashionable armour, scruffy wolfsheads have mismatched, sruffy wolfshead armour) if this is not possible due to the current era then they have have multiple suits totalling that many AP.

APP is not rolled, it is the average (arithmetic mean) of all other characteristics other than SIZ. Inspired by the descriptions of Homer's heroes (not THAT Homer).

At creation (or now if retroactively applying a house rule) choose one Social Skill which starts equal to APP

Edited by Al.

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On 4/21/2019 at 5:31 AM, Ravian said:

Honestly this is probably the best idea I've heard so far as a way to make Appearance useful. Totally stealing this.

Thank you! ;)

On 4/21/2019 at 2:03 PM, Hzark10 said:

Keep us posted on how using APP and inspiration works.  Since I allow traits and passions as the source of inspiration, I am interested in determining whether Attributes can also be used as one. 

There is two problems:

1) App can be boosted with beautiful clothes and jewels. So an average guy with App 10 can be relooked into a beautiful man with App 20,  and never miss a roll...

2) This rule can be abused by canny players. I fear you have to put a limitation to the number of "inspiration" under App. One by event is a good idea, I guess.

 

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1 hour ago, Tizun Thane said:

I fear you have to put a limitation to the number of "inspiration" under App. One by event is a good idea, I guess.

There is precedence for this idea: you may only use each passion once per battle. And many would consider the APP contests to be battles.

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4 hours ago, Tizun Thane said:

 

 

 

1) App can be boosted with beautiful clothes and jewels. So an average guy with App 10 can be relooked into a beautiful man with App 20,  and never miss a roll...

Or above 20 and increase the chance of of a critical. Personally I think three adjustments are required:

 

  • First off the cost to improve APP with clothing or jewelry should not be a fixed value but should increase. 
  • Secondly, "the bar" for what gives a plus should depend on where you are. A dress that is worth +1 APP at home should not be worth as much at Camelot.
  • There probably should be an upper cap based on the original APP score. For instance in RQ3, APP could be improved up to 1.5xAPP normally. After that it took magic and the character who no longer recognizable as the same person.  Something like that would help in Pendragon. That way a beautiful damsel with APP 20 could up her APP by 10 with bling, while a plain on with a 10 could get up to 15, and a hideous hag with APP 3 is limited to a 5 -no amount of clothing and makeup can make her pretty.

 

4 hours ago, Tizun Thane said:

2) This rule can be abused by canny players. I fear you have to put a limitation to the number of "inspiration" under App. One by event is a good idea, I guess.

That true of just about any rule though. But I probably dos need a penalty for failure,. Passions have all sorts of kickers (spacing out/melancholy. reduction in rating, madness, aging rolls) that keep them in check.

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Laughter at the person, mentionings of how ridiculous he/she looks, exaggerated movements, mimicking the person in question, the local bard/minstrel lampooning them are all good results.

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On 4/24/2019 at 8:29 AM, Hzark10 said:

Laughter at the person, mentionings of how ridiculous he/she looks, exaggerated movements, mimicking the person in question, the local bard/minstrel lampooning them are all good results.

That can work. I'd probably toss in a minor penalty (-2?) to further social rolls for the rest evening, as it's harder to be impressive once you've embarrassed yourself. 

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Just to resurrect this thread a bit rather than post in the example thread...

I was just pondering about different systems and one system I really like (apart from KAP) is GURPS. Now, one thing that GURPS (and many other systems) does is that Appearance modifies the Reaction Rolls. So basically, each time you try to interact with an NPC, the GM rolls to see what the initial reaction is. And then you can try to use your social skills (which in GURPS also benefit from high Appearance and vice versa) to improve the reaction you got, if it wasn't good enough.

Now, this type of two tiered system is obviously more complicated than simply giving the APP/2 default for social skills that I am still in favor of. 

I am breaking the APP roll down also by the value of the roll, so that you could have greater/lesser successes/failures, in addition to the fumbles and criticals. So six levels (actually five, since Neutral is there twice) instead of four, and this also penalizes APP less than 10 more and gives a bit of an extra kick on APP 11+.

 

APP Roll: Reaction on Success / Failure

Fumble: can't be a success / Hostile

1-10: Neutral / Unfriendly

11-20: Friendly / Neutral

Critical: Very Friendly / can't be a failure

(Yes, this is deliberately built so that if you have APP 10, your success is equal to your failure, simply a neutral reaction based on your fully average APP. You can still fumble or crit, though.)

 

Meaning of the Reaction

Hostile: The NPC has a strong dislike on the character. If the NPC can hamper the character, they will. Knights might act belligerent, actively seeking to provoke a duel (although not to the death, they are not that suicidal), which might trigger a skill/trait/passion roll. This reaction should be noted down, as it is unlikely to change easily (requires a critical skill/trait/passion success).

Unfriendly: The NPC dislikes the character and is uninterested in helping or even interacting with them. Indeed, pestering him (failed skill/trait roll) might provoke an even worse reaction, while a successful skill/trait use might alleviate their dislike. Depending on the character's actions, it could just have been a bad day for the NPC (new APP roll may be attempted later on), or they may have cemented the bad impression and it takes more to shift the NPC's opinion on them, in which case it should be noted down.

Neutral: The NPC doesn't really care one way or another. If the character wants help, a successful skill roll (or bribery) is needed. However, failed roll may cause a worse reaction. If it is the NPC's job to help the character, he eventually would, but there could be a delay.

Friendly: The NPC is willing to be helpful, although likely not at a significant cost to themselves. Successful skill roll might get them to do more, while a failed one would just cause them to express regret that they can't do more.

Very Friendly: The NPC is taken in by the character's charm, and is trying to be as helpful as they reasonably can be. With a member of the opposite sex, this might lead to a romance. NPKs might volunteer to join the quest, simply for a share of the glory and spoils. Getting them to go against their own advantage or principles might require a trait/passion opposed contest. Example: Getting a lady to help a captured knight to escape her husband/father might require rolling her Lustful against Love Family or Honor, if she seeks to elope, or even Just or Honor vs. Love Family if her father has captured a noble knight by foul means and she seeks to correct that injustice.

Note: Members of the lower order (commoners) rarely have the clout to express their dislike of the player character openly. Instead, they would be playacting stupid, or in the case of Hostile one, even actively lying to try and get the player character in trouble like giving wrong instructions on how to get to the next village and guiding them to some local monster instead, or claiming that there are no bandits in these parts.

 

Skill/Trait/Passion use:

Generally, I'd see successful skills adding +1 level to the reactions with criticals giving +2. Failures are generally +-0 (already a good reaction) or -1 (neutral or bad). A Fumble would worsen the reaction by one more, as it is taken as an insult. So for instance, if you get a Friendly reaction from a Lady, you can then use Flirting or Romance to try to push it up to Very Friendly, possibly starting an affair or enlisting her help.

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Some people might have hostile reactions to high APP,  however, ranging from envy or distrust (in the case of ascetic religious people), to even if, the character is a woman or child, attempting to abduct the PC. Not sure how to gamify that.

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Just now, jeffjerwin said:

Some people might have hostile reactions to high APP,  however, ranging from envy or distrust (in the case of ascetic religious people), to even if, the character is a woman or child, attempting to abduct the PC. Not sure how to gamify that.

Sure, but I would say that the attempt to abduct the Lady PC would not be done by your random NPC, but Sir Villainous.Thus, if the NPC is the kind of guy who would kidnap a woman, a critical towards him would make him too friendly, triggering the kidnapping attempt. I think I prefer this option, since it is clear that the very high APP ladies get kidnapped more often than average looking ones in the stories. (Or maybe we only get those stories since the very high APP ladies and the knights rescuing them are the ones that the stories get told about...)

You could, also, interpret the Fumble as arousing that kind of jealous possessiveness and a kidnapping of the Beautiful character, since it is a hostile act. It is not as if the kidnapper has her best in mind. (Note that in our houserules, you can fumble with 20+ still, by rolling a 1.) But I prefer the first option, above.

Also, for NPCs who would see such a beauty as vanity, you could flip the scale. You need to fail in APP for them to become friendly. Or they might have a fixed reaction and ignore APP altogether. Not all NPCs need to react alike.

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59 minutes ago, Morien said:

You could, also, interpret the Fumble as arousing that kind of jealous possessiveness and a kidnapping of the Beautiful character, since it is a hostile act. It is not as if the kidnapper has her best in mind. (Note that in our houserules, you can fumble with 20+ still, by rolling a 1.) But I prefer the first option, above.

I kinda prefer this. Remember, of course, the automatic Amor rolls with Guinevere... Out of universe, this is obviously objectification of the person, based on a Selfish trait. I'm not sure if it would be interpreted that way in the 12/13th centuries. Perhaps, on a fumble or a critical the NPC responds according to their worst or best personality trait, which may or may not be a disaster. 'Generous' = offers hospitality; 'Valorous' = offers to aid them against an enemy; 'Selfish' = seizes or imprisons them; "Lustful" = well...

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17 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

the automatic Amor rolls with Guinevere

Which I intensely dislike and do not use in my campaign. :P See the previous messages in this thread for the reasons.

35 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Perhaps, on a fumble or a critical the NPC responds according to their worst or best personality trait

Of course, the NPCs would react based on their personalities whatever the roll is, but the reaction could be bad even when the APP roll is a critical. Thus, Very High APP (20+) becomes a bit more dangerous for the ladies. A dishonorable, evil NPK would be smitten by the Lady, but not in a good way, on a critical. I could see Selfish and Proud being more about 'I have the most beautiful lady in my castle', while Lustful would be more carnal in (eventual) intent, although I think storywise, the heroes ought to arrive to save the lady from the fate worse than death, as it is often called. All the more so since these APP rolls would be made by players for their characters, and I am not putting a player character through that without some serious talking beforehand. Also, Selfish could easily be about wishing to marry an heiress so that he can get her lands, too. However, I would see a Fumble meaning that perhaps the Lady reminds the villain of another beautiful lady who scorned him or betrayed him... and thus, it is Hate, not Covetiousness, that motivates him, even though this could still lead to an attempted kidnapping and imprisonment, if it fits the story.

However, I think the big determinant here is Honor. If the knight has high Honor (16+), he definitely wouldn't be jumping the PC Lady to rape her, even if she critted APP and he had Lustful 16+. (If the Honor was less than 16, I might be tempted to roll and see just how far he is willing to go, although taking into account other traits, especially Just and Merciful.) He would try to seduce her, sure, and maybe pine for her and make things a bit embarrassing with his love songs and maybe even, if she is unmarried, getting into duels with other would-be suitors.

But generally, a critical APP roll should be a good thing. I would keep it more generic rather than looking only at a single highest Trait, and let the player knights have input on what kind of help they are seeking. If the PKs are needing more military muscle, the Lord with Hospitality 18 and Valorous 16 wouldn't be demurring that all he can do is offer hospitality. He should be more flexible than that. If his own Valor is lacking, he might offer some of his own household knights to go instead, or something. Note that in the non-villainous case, not even a Fumble would definitely lead to a life-or-death situation. After all, these would be 5% of the encounters, and it would get pretty silly if 5% of all the knights you meet 'on-camera' are trying to kidnap or to kill you.

Naturally, I would not be asking these APP rolls all the time. Just when there is a need to quickly check how does this knight or another character react to the player character, usually within the adventure, or when the player is asking if he or she can try to interact with a certain NPC. And sometimes, these results could be fixed. For instance, if I already decided as the GM that the Villainous Lord's only daughter will fall in love with the highest APP player-knight (or the highest APP unmarried PK, to ensure the potential for a happy ending, since I am a sap like that), that will happen without a roll. But if the player is asking if his knight can sweet talk a lady-in-waiting tending his wounds into taking a message to his squire who was left outside the castle or something, that is where the APP roll would become useful, and with a Critical (or Friendly + successful Flirting/Romance), she might be willing to actually help him escape.

All of this actually reminds me of a Hal Foster's Prince Valiant story centered on Gawaine, where the worthy knight was imprisoned and he used Singing to get the attention of the Lord's rather plain sister with love songs, and ended up seducing her so that she would help him escape. However, he was left with a problem of how to deal with her afterwards, since it would be churlish of him not to go ahead with a marriage after having promised (or at least heavily implied, 'once we are free, we can get married' -kinda way) to do that. Luckily for him, he came up with a solution for that, too... :)

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11 hours ago, Morien said:

Now, one thing that GURPS (and many other systems) does is that Appearance modifies the Reaction Rolls. So basically, each time you try to interact with an NPC, the GM rolls to see what the initial reaction is. And then you can try to use your social skills (which in GURPS also benefit from high Appearance and vice versa) to improve the reaction you got, if it wasn't good enough.

GURPS is one of two games that I think do a really good job handling Appearance. The other is the James Bond RPG (which does something similar, but uses the Charisma skill in conjunction with Appearance). The Bond RPG has Quality Ratings for success (similar to RQ's success levels) and depending on the initial reaction roll a PC could end up making quite an impression on an NPC, which in turn could apply modifiers when interacting with that NPC later on. This lead to one good looking PC being quite the charmer and able to talk his way into and out of a lot of situations with hotel desk clerks, maids and so on. 

 

That kind of approach (+5 for success, +10 for critical, -5 for fumble, or some such) might just work in Pendragon. 

 

I could see averaging APP with the appropriate social skill (Courtesy, Folklore, possibly Faerie Lore) for the "reaction roll". That would help to strength APP while still keeping the "charm" factor, and character behavior in the mix.

 

Edited by Atgxtg

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