Page 140 has a table showing Rank, Privilege, and Responsibility. How is Responsibility used in or between games?
Responsibility is effectively the complication range on the reputation check after a mission. A responsibility of 3, for example, means that any officer with that responsibility loses reputation for any d20 in the reputation check which comes up as 18+.
A caveat to this is that there must me negative influences. A character with 0 negative influences on their roll cannot lose reputation.
If the number of successes scored is less than than the number of negative influences, then the character has lost Reputation: reduce the character’s Reputation by 1, plus an
additional 1 for each die that did not score any successes, and by a further 1 for each die that rolled within the range of numbers indicated for the character’s Rank Responsibilities.
I believe that regardless if the character has any negative influences or not, if they roll within their rank responsibility, they lose reputation.
Granted, I could be wrong, but that is what it seems like to me.
The easiest way to summarize the reputation system is that if your rep is on the up-and-up, it’ll just keep going up. If it’s low, that isn’t likely to change. I’m really hoping that this system gets a major overhaul in a future book. It is one of the very few weak points in the game.
The use of a colon indicates that the following sentence is related to the previous. Otherwise by your own logic any rolls that fail to succeed also lower reputation. I understand the intent to be you only lose reputation when you perform actions that can negatively impact your reputation.
I really think that the Reputation system needs an overhaul. Using it to judge promotions is rather pointless when the players are playing senior staff. Captains and Commanders can’t reasonable be promoted in the context of the game.
I really like the Award system but feel that A) it needs fleshing out and B) would have been better as a core system.
I’m personally more in favour of removing it in its entirety from my own game and having promotion/awards being GM rewards to the players.
True, that may be an arguable thing to go for, but I don’t consider that as part of the same thing. Point in case the comment at the end of the paragraph. “A character of sufficiently high Reputation is capable of having a die both score a success and fall within the range indicated by their Responsibilities.”
That phrasing to me indicates that even though they may have scored a success with the role, due to it falling into the Rank Responsibility range, it in effect negates the success by costing them one.
That favours neither yours nor my argument. A captain character could have 1 negative influence and 2 positive, 20 reputation and roll a 19 and 13, thus scoring 2 successes and losing reputation from responsibility but not from rolling less than their number of positive influences.
I don’t think you lose too much from not including the reputation system, to be honest.
Personally I’ve tied it into some homebrew systems to make it more involved, and I like that it can be used to affect how new meetings can go (although you don’t entirely need a system for that.)
I disagree that you need a negative influence to lose reputation though. Theres no reason a character couldnt do an adaquate job on a mission (not roll any successes) but seriously neglect their normal responsibilities in doing so. That is after all what this system simulates (pretty sure you could find an example of Worf falling into this catagory)
No, in that situation, the character would need 1 success to reach the number of negative influences. The phrasing of it specifies scoring below the number of negative influences, meaning that if they tie the number of negative influences, it would be neither an increase nor a decrease.
With the example you gave of rolling 19 and 13, they would get 2 which would prevent a loss of reputation. With one of those successes also falling within the rank responsibility, as far as gaining reputation, they would fall into the 1 success category with 1 negative influence.
“If the number of successes scored is greater than the number of negative influences, then the character has gained Reputation: increase the character’s Reputation by 1 for each success scored above the number of negative influences.”
Effectively, they would succeed, but would neither lose reputation nor gain reputation from that roll.
Edit: Actually, scratch that… they would still gain 1 Reputation.
But imo an officer, who does his duty, and posses no negative influences, could still lose Reputation.
Perhaps he was in the fallout of some of his superiors much higher within the chain of command? (“He was under Admiral Greene command, when the Admiral was court-martialed! So, better not given him the command?”)
Or maybe some of his underlings hit it? (“He was the commanding officer of them? Yes, he couldn’t control his man!”)
Or maybe some in the upper echelons don’t like him, because of his race, background, homeplant or something else?
A clever, or dastardly GM could use the Captains reputation, or the ships reputation to gauge the ability/quality of replacements for supporting characters, or the minions throughout the ship.
I guess that could be possible if someone wanted to do the work on a system for that (i do generally like the support character system though, so would be reticent to change it.)
My system uses it to simulate a bit of a ‘shopping’ experience, under the title of the Requisition System. I figure resources aren’t limitless and higher rep ships/crews/captains would have easier access to higher tier tech etc, mission dependent of course.
The Support Character mechanic is one of the best ideas since sliced bread, IMHO. It keeps players involved. That way nobody gets stuck being the helmsman left on the ship EVERY away mission, or the Captain left behind - she can “dive” into a security guard and have fun in ground combat. WARNING: The rules stipulate that one cannot reassign themselves to their Main Character in the middle of a scene.
The crew of the player’s ship are all supporting characters, either introduced or not. Supporting characters are a form of Player Characters and fall under the control of the Players, not the GM. They are not NPCs that the players sometimes utilise.
IMO your suggestion here is GM interference into Player agency and should almost always be actively discouraged.
Perhaps instead of penalizing Supporting Character’s when reputation is low, there could be rewards for high reputation. After all, Starfleet tends to have high minimum standards for applicants in the first place. But if the ship had a good enough reputation, you could give a supporting character that was just introduced credit for a second appearance (or possibly even third if the ship had a phenomenal service record), thus making him/her better off the bat.
As far as penalizing, I think it would be more appropriate to give the ship a Trait, such as “Notorious” to handle that. That Trait could apply when interacting with admirals or working with the crew of other ships.
This would be a much better way of handling it IMO, and pretty much how the trait system should be used. “Dishonourable Captain” could mean that Klingons are less likely to be dealt with amicably, but may be agreeable to work with Romulans or Ferengi. Use the low reputation to increase the story.
I thought Reputation is used for promotion and demotion?
Or do I miss something?
It is a guideline for promotion but is not a given, plus the rules don’t really fit. Where do you promote the First Officer Commander? Captain? But the ship has one. What about Captain to Admiral? It changes the dynamic of the game.
“Spending” reputation for medals & awards is a good system I think, but I think it lacks depth.
Ok, but why not promote the Captain to Admiral?
The former Captain is now the superior officer of the new captain (which would be most likely the former XO) and a NPC. The player of the former Captain would create a new character with the lieutenant as highest possible rank.
The XO could possibly promoted to Captain and could gain command on an other ship, which could be used as secondary point of operations with a different crew setup. Or the XO player create a new character…