View Full Version : "Our Reputation Precedes us..." Embellished Party bios.

Dr paradox
2011-09-02, 01:39 AM
I was considering... in a fair number of campaigns, at least as I know them, the general agreement is to replicate reality to some degree. more realistic worlds, perhaps some shades of grey, flawed characters, a smaller scale, at least to begin with. or, at least, that's the mode of my campaign. this ends up feeling like a work of fiction, and probably has more depth than if everyone in the campaign setting were wearing black and white hats, which the black hats cackling maniacally and twirling their handlebar moustaches and the white hats charging about on white horses with dazzling teeth and perfect hair.

that said, what sort of reputation would an adventuring party tend to get?

let's take my campaign. the party just rolled into a new kingdom as they're getting to the point where their fame starts getting around. They're happy to be alive after their latest brush with death or worse, and all they want is a quiet drink.

which is when the bard shows up.

he's eager to hear their story, but he also, quite frankly, thinks it needs a little more pizzaz. it needs more mythological scale and good versus evil and battling massive numbers and coming out on top.

for the first ten levels of my campaign, more or less, the party was engaged in subterfuge in a frontier city, where the assistant mayor, called Brom, was attempting to gain public support in order to protect the town from the dangers all around it. to do this, he allied himself with the manpower of the local crime syndicate, as well as an ungodly powerful evil witch in a watchmen/the incredibles style plot to unify the townsfolk against a threat that had yet to actually exist, and elect him as mayor. The party managed to sneak there way into the witch's underwater cave by means of a submarine that was basically an oversized barrel with wheels, just barely defeat the witch who was in a weakened state after creating the scapegoat monster, and discover the weakness that Brom had left to allow himself to defeat it. they actually let Brom carry out his plan, and got run out of town for their troubles.

This does not sit well with the bard. it needs more apostrophes, more scale, and solid, mythic action that will captivate audiences throughout the kingdom. according to him, here's how the story went.

The party of Bold Adventurers happens upon a kingdom in decline, and also Mortal Peril. The Just King is ailing, leaving his Scheming Vizier, named Ba'ro'mel, an opportunity to put his Fiendish Plot into effect, allying with a secret cabal of assasins, slavers, and mercenaries to destroy the fair kingdom. Once the band of Bold Adventurers best his hired army, and get closer to proving the Vizier's treachery to the Just King, he desperately makes a pact with the dreaded Silver Witch, to create a Fell Monster for him, who only he will be able to control. The witch, thinking herself safe, did not count on the Great Wizard among the Adventurers to Part the Sea Itself, carving a towering, twenty league long highway straight to the drowned city where she made her lair. In a battle that cracked the earth and boiled the seas, their might pitted against that of the Silver Witch, they triumphed, but not before the Fell Monster escaped, to carve an unstoppable Swath of Destruction through the kingdom. The Vizier, mad with power, loses control, but the party of Bold Adventurers manages to discover the secret weakness of the beast, and slay it in a battle that shatters mountains and boils the skies! The Vizier imprisoned and the Kingdom saved, the party rode off into the sunset, in search of new evil to Vanquish.

does anyone have any similar embellishments on portions of their adventuring Party's carreer?

tomorrow, the side by side comparison of the individual party members.

2011-09-02, 02:11 AM
The only thing I noticed here is the hard-to-read color and capitalization of words that aren't proper nouns or beginnings of sentences (pet peeve of mine). But to answer your question, no. I don't play bards. :smallbiggrin:

2011-09-02, 07:19 AM
The only thing I noticed here is the hard-to-read color and capitalization of words that aren't proper nouns or beginnings of sentences (pet peeve of mine). But to answer your question, no. I don't play bards. :smallbiggrin:

As far as I figure, those capitalizations are intended sarcasms over overused cliches. Note "Bold Adventurers", "Just King", "Scheming Vizier", etc.

2011-09-02, 08:03 AM
I'm actually a big fan of reputation in games.

For stories like you have, I use a one step method. Every town or city (each one being a step) away from where the event happened I change the story a little. In the town the event took place the story is fairly accurate, even town down the road gets a slightly different and oft embellished version. I break my cities up into districts and apply the same rules.

Yes this requires good note taking and a bit of work, but it's also very easy to do on the fly. Also the look on a players face when a bard starts singing a song that swaps the names of the PC and the goblin king they defeated is priceless.

On a related note, if reputation is important in your game then PCs hiring bards to sing their praises, or rivals hiring bards to sing of the PC's misdeeds, becomes great tools. Perhaps the Bard's Guild or similar is blackmailing adventures, forcing them to pay up or have their reputations ruined...

2011-09-02, 01:54 PM
There was a great one of these in a LGS campaign. The bard had basically zeroed in on the warmage, Chester, as a source of lulz. So every time we did something awesome, she would use her mighty Perform modifier to play up his contribution. The rest of the party joined in and kept tacking on titles like "Scourge of Dragonkind" and "Hero of Sandpoint."

It worked so well that the group came to be known as 'Chester and the Rest.' Fun times. :smallbiggrin:

(In the complete reverse, my character in the campaign that followed was a 200+ year old elan telepath who looked to be in his early twenties. While the other players knew his class levels, for a while in-game, he was just a librarian around whom interesting things occurred. :smallamused:)