Pathfinder RPG: Skulls & Shackles
Infamy and Disrepute Rules
DISREPUTE & INFAMY QUICK REFERENCE
The following terms feature prominently in the plunder and
Infamy subsystems, and are called out for ease of reference.
Disrepute: The amount of Infamy the PCs have accrued
through successful Infamy checks, which can be spent on
impositions. Costs measured in Disrepute are marked
with a price.
Infamy Check: A Bluff, Intimidate, or Perform check
made to gain Infamy and Disrepute. The DC of this check
equals 15 + twice the group’s average character level.
Spending plunder grants bonuses on this check.
Impositions: Incredible deeds and outrageous acts that
grant the PCs a variety of benefits or impose crippling
consequences on their victims. Higher tier impositions
become available as PCs reach higher Infamy thresholds.
Infamy Threshold: Ranges measured in Infamy. Upon
achieving new Infamy thresholds, additional impositions
become available for purchase.
Plunder: An approximation of valuable but non-useful
cargo. One point of plunder is worth about 1,000 gp, and
takes up 10 tons of cargo capacity, unless otherwise noted.
Infamy: The highest total number of points of Disrepute
achieved by making successful Infamy checks, representing
the PCs’ total reputation. This number cannot exceed the
PCs’ average party level × 4 but rarely, if ever, decreases.
INFAMY AND DISREPUTE
Some pirates only do what they do for the promise of wealth,
being little more than brigands of the waves. Others do it
for the reputation, fearsomeness, and power that comes
with numbering among the most notorious scallywags on
the seas. That’s where Infamy comes in. Numerous times
over the course of their careers, the PCs—as members of
a single pirate crew—will have the opportunity to recount
their victories, boast of the treasures they’ve won, and spread
tales of their outrages. All of this has the potential to win the PCs Infamy, but that alone isn’t the goal. At the most
basic level, infamous pirates have the potential to pressgang
unfortunates into their crews, get repairs to their
ships in nearly any port, and win discounts from merchants
they’d prefer not to rob. As a crew becomes more and more
infamous, however, its legend stretches across the seas,
allowing it to garner support from other pirate lords, win
more favorable vessels, and even rally whole pirate armadas
under its f lag. This system allows characters to track how
their legend is growing over the course of the campaign,
along with providing them tangible rewards for building
appropriately piratical reputations.
Infamy and Disrepute Scores: In a method similar to the
tracking system for Fame and Prestige Points detailed in
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Pathfinder Society Field Guide, a
party has two related scores, Infamy and Disrepute. Infamy
tracks how many points of Infamy the crew has gained over
its career—think of this as the sum of all the outlandish
stories and rumors about the PCs being told throughout
the Shackles. Infamy rarely, if ever, decreases, and reaching
certain Infamy thresholds provides useful benefits and
allows others to be purchased using points of Disrepute.
Infamy is limited by actual skill, however, and a group’s
Infamy score can never be more than 4 × the PCs’ average
Disrepute is a spendable resource—a group’s actual
ability to cash in on its reputation. This currency is used to
purchase impositions, deeds others might not want to do
for the group, but that they perform either to curry the
group’s favor or to avoid its disfavor. This score will
likely f luctuate over the course of a pirate crew’s career
and can go as high as the group’s Infamy (but never higher),
and at times might even drop to zero. This isn’t something
to worry about, though, as a low Disrepute score has no
bearing on a crew’s overall reputation—on the contrary,
it merely means they’re making use of the benefits their
status has won them. However, it does represent that even
the PCs’ legend can only take them so far, and if a group’s
Disrepute drops lower than the Disrepute price of a benefit,
the crew must spend time building its Disrepute back up
before it can purchase that benefit.
Winning Infamy and Disrepute: A few things are
required to gain Infamy: an audience, a deed to tell about,
and a f lair for storytelling. Proof of the group’s deed in the
form of plunder doesn’t hurt either.
To gain Infamy, the PCs must moor their ship at
a port for 1 full day, and the PC determined by the
group to be its main storyteller must spend this time
on shore carousing and boasting of infamous deeds. This PC
must make either a Bluff, Intimidate, or Perform check to
gauge the effectiveness of her recounting or embellishing.
The DC of this check is equal to 15 + twice the group’s average
party level (APL), and the check is referred to as an Infamy check.
If the character succeeds at this check, the group’s
Infamy and Disrepute both increase by +1 (so long as neither
score is already at its maximum amount). If the result exceeds
the DC by +5, the group’s Infamy and Disrepute increase by
+2; if the result exceeds the DC by +10, both scores increase by
+3. The most a party’s Infamy and Disrepute scores can ever
increase as a result of a single Infamy check is by 3 points.
If the PC fails the Infamy check, there is no change in her
group’s Infamy score and the day has been wasted.
Occasionally, deeds of exceptional daring or depravity
might win a party increases to its Disrepute. This sort of
discretionary bonus to Disrepute is noted in the context of
an adventure or determined by the GM.
Infamy and Disrepute per Port: No matter how
impressionable (or drunk) the crowd, no one wants to hear
the same tales and boasts over and over again. Thus, a
group can only gain a maximum of 5 points of Infamy and
Disrepute from any particular port. However, this amount resets every time a group reaches a new Infamy threshold.
Thus, once a group gains 5 points of Infamy and Disrepute
in Quent, it can gain no further points of Infamy from that
port until it reaches the next Infamy threshold, though the
crew can travel to another port and gain more Infamy by
boasting to a new audience.
Plunder and Infamy: Plunder can modify a PC’s attempt to
gain Infamy in two ways. Before making an Infamy check for
the day, the party can choose to spend plunder to inf luence
the result—any tale is more believable when it comes from
someone throwing around her wealth and buying drinks
for the listeners. Every point of plunder expended adds a
+2 bonus to the character’s skill check to earn Infamy. The
party can choose to spend as much plunder as it wants to
inf luence this check—even the most leaden-tongued pirate
might win fabulous renown by spending enough booty.
Additionally, if a PC fails an Infamy check, the party can
choose to spend 3 points of plunder to immediately reroll
the check. The party may only make one reroll attempt
per day, and spend the plunder even if the second attempt
fails—some people just aren’t impressed no matter how
much loot you throw at them.
Spending Disrepute: A group’s Disrepute can be spent
to buy beneficial effects called impositions, though some
impositions might only be available in certain places—
such as at port—or might have additional costs—like
forcing a prisoner to walk the plank. Spending Disrepute to purchase an imposition requires 1 full day unless
otherwise noted. When Disrepute is spent, the group’s
Disrepute score decreases by the price of the imposition,
but its Infamy (and, thus, the group’s Infamy threshold)
remains the same. The prices of impositions and the
Infamy threshold required to make those impositions
available are detailed below.
Page 64 of Wormwood Mutiny – Skull & Shackles