Changing the Reputation System to stabilize the economy.

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CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Changing the Reputation System to stabilize the economy.
Reputation systems have recently been a hot topic on these forums, and the topic about how reputation gain/losses works in particular has been getting a lot of discussion. While I knew the reputation system didn't perfectly model my view of how the economy should work, that particular topic brought to the fore some of my particular complaints. I found it strange that an extremely high reputation individual could essentially be brought down by a series of very small reputation losses. I found it ridiculous that, given time a ships engineer could easily rank up to the very top of the reputation ladder simply by performing routine maintenance (doing the jobs noone else wants to do.) And as such I have been thinking about ways in which to modify the current system to better fit my needs. I was wary with changing it in its entirety, mainly because some of my players have a hard enough time remembering the current system, I don't really want to have to teach them a new one. You might of seen my suggestion for Reputation Change Vetting in the Houserules thread, where any reputation changes must be vetted by a particular number of people before it is attached to a reputation report. That helped somewhat, however it was a primarily GM behind the screen fix, and the players' never really got to see it at work. So, while I was doing my daily “Hour of sitting in the dark and thinking about things” I came up with an idea that I think might go further to making the reputation system more realistic; As a persons reputation climbs through the reputation levels, the gains and losses awarded below that level begin to not affect the characters reputation. I will expand what I mean. Reputation is measured in levels (0-19 Level 1, 20-39 Level 2, etc.), and reputation gains and losses are also measured in levels (Trivial, Minor, Moderate, etc.) which just so happen to line up fairly well. What I propose is that as a person gains reputation by performing tasks, and they break through those level threshold, their reputation is only influenced by gains/losses from 1 gain/loss level below and up. A quick table, and then an example; [code] Reputation Level Applicable Gain/Losses Level 1 (0-19) Trivial/Minor/Moderate/Major/Extreme Level 2 (20-39) Trivial/Minor/Moderate/Major/Extreme Level 3 (40-59) Minor/Moderate/Major/Extreme Level 4 (60-79) Moderate/Major/Extreme Level 5 (80-99) Major/Extreme [/code] James O'Niell is a fairly well known gatecrasher, well respected among the Argonauts (r-Rep = 35) due to some minor scientific discoveries made out of system. He currently has a reputation level of 2, and so can gain and lose reputation from any of the awards/losses. Someone asks him to do them a Level 1 favor, but he refuses and losses 2 points of reputation (r-Rep = 33). While off world he makes a major discovery, potentially pointing to living, sentient lifeforms. He recieves a massive boost in his reputation, gaining an Extreme award and 10 points of reputation (r-Rep = 43). This pushes James' reputation above the Level 3 threshold, and he is now only influenced by awards/losses above Minor. Again, someone asks him to do them a Level 1 favor, and again he refuses. This time he does not lose any reputation, Level 3 reputation holders are not influenced by Trivial losses. However, he also performs a level 1 favor for someone else, but he gains no reputation for it. His reputation level also puts him above Trivial awards. I am fairly sure that explains what I mean fairly clearly. I had a good think about this last night, and while I have not yet had a chance to playtest it I am fairly sure it fixes some of the problems I had with the reputation system. Using this modified version, extremely high reputation holders are immune to some of the dangers present to lower reputation holders. Due to their fame, people do not look unkindly on them when they are unable to perform fairly basic favors. After all, you are a high reputation individual, you almost certainly have much more important work to be doing. However you also do not get anything from doing just as basic favors for other people. After all, you are a high reputation individual, such things are kind of expected from you. But it is also quite possible for individuals to fuck up big time, and then suffer for it for some time. Say someone with an @-Rep of 87 really screws up. They take a -10 hit, pushing their reputation to 77 and below the Level 5 threshold. They are now liable for any Moderate Losses they might have previously been immune from. Now when they endanger someones safety they take the reputation hit and lose 6 reputation. They also fail a few Level 3 favors, something else they would have been immune from before. They quickly find that their reputation has plummeted from 87 to a still fairly respectable 42. But now they are also liable for Minor losses, and are basically forced to help anyone who asks them to do a Level 2 favor for fear of falling even lower and opening themselves up to Trivial losses. Thoughts, suggestions, questions?
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nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
Re: Changing the Reputation System to stabilize the economy.
I would tend to think that one of the most important fixes will be making the next point harder to get than the last point. Yes, if you're a ship's engineer who does all those dirty jobs, everyone on the ship will think 'what a nice fellow'. But that's limited to that small community, even accepting that they might blog about you. You get to the point where, to continue to increase reputation, you need to be bigger and louder. Getting 100 rep is more like winning the superbowl than it is working a thankless job, 9-5 for a year. At that point it's genuine fame, which is a function of advertising more than the actual work.
CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: Changing the Reputation System to stabilize the economy.
nezumi.hebereke wrote:
I would tend to think that one of the most important fixes will be making the next point harder to get than the last point. Yes, if you're a ship's engineer who does all those dirty jobs, everyone on the ship will think 'what a nice fellow'. But that's limited to that small community, even accepting that they might blog about you. You get to the point where, to continue to increase reputation, you need to be bigger and louder. Getting 100 rep is more like winning the superbowl than it is working a thankless job, 9-5 for a year. At that point it's genuine fame, which is a function of advertising more than the actual work.
Exactly what I was aiming for. High reputation individuals should be that high because they have done something amazing. Something that noone else really could do. They should not have the power to influence entire politicos simply because they happen to be a nice guy and help people out with Level 1 favors every day. Thinking more on this particular fix, I think this is the method I am going to use from now on. Although I am sure something will come up when my players first encounter it, from what I can see there is really no negative to it. It stabilizes the economy to usable levels, it makes high reputation individuals important people instead of just whoever can work for the longest, and it nullifies silly examples of where the current reputation system kind of failed (Decievres Costume Maker for example.)
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Zortiander Zortiander's picture
Re: Changing the Reputation System to stabilize the economy.
What's important though is that such a system could be misused. If I understand it, you could, after a certain level, get unlimited small favours - which can easily be exploited. If however you keep the rules for a maximum amount of favours per time period it'll nicely take care of it. Though in this case I'd up the limits the higher your reputation is (somebody with high rep can get away with more asking). What do you think?
Extrasolar Angel Extrasolar Angel's picture
Re: Changing the Reputation System to stabilize the economy.
"I found it ridiculous that, given time a ships engineer could easily rank up to the very top of the reputation ladder simply by performing routine maintenance (doing the jobs noone else wants to do.)" Ironically I can see that happening quite well.
[I]Raise your hands to the sky and break the chains. With transhumanism we can smash the matriarchy together.[/i]
CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: Changing the Reputation System to stabilize the economy.
Zortiander wrote:
What's important though is that such a system could be misused. If I understand it, you could, after a certain level, get unlimited small favours - which can easily be exploited. If however you keep the rules for a maximum amount of favours per time period it'll nicely take care of it. Though in this case I'd up the limits the higher your reputation is (somebody with high rep can get away with more asking). What do you think?
The method for gaining more favors remains the same (Burning Rep). That part doesn't change. No matter what level of reputation an individual has, if they want to earn more favors before they have refreshed they burn their reputation to do so.
Quote:
"I found it ridiculous that, given time a ships engineer could easily rank up to the very top of the reputation ladder simply by performing routine maintenance (doing the jobs noone else wants to do.)" Ironically I can see that happening quite well.
I am not saying that the engineer might not be a fairly high reputation individual, but I honestly do not think they should be so because they are competent enough to do their job. With the change in place, the engineer can still get very high rep, its just that after a certain point it has to be because they are going above and beyond. If his ship is careening off into the Sun, and no other engineer in the System could ever fix the problem but he does anyway he would still be getting rep from it even if he was already quite high After all, he just saved the day for everyone else on board.
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The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: Changing the Reputation System to stabilize the economy.
Extrasolar Angel wrote:
Ironically I can see that happening quite well.
That is how some of us got to be system administrators and security officers.