Starting with the sidebar, the author explores the different roles that feats play in Dungeons & Dragons 4e as compared to 3e. They are now far less important as far as customising and defining a character is concerned, but there is still a place for them as rewards characters can earn for their actions during a campaign, hence the 'Reputation Feats' herein presented.
Naturally, as in real life, your reputation can be good or bad, or a bit of both. But as characters rise in levels, especially in 4e where they start out as heroes never mind develop into them, their exploits will become a matter of public comment, not to mention bardic song, rumour or an entry in the town guards' "Most Wanted" list.
Here, they are divided into 3 types, being minor, major and significant. All serve to enhance role-playing, as the sort of benefits you'll incur include favourable reactions from those who have heard about your exploits (provided, of course, that they approve of them!). Minor feats are DM freebies, and reflect the character's growing renown, generally giving no more than a +2 bonus to appropriate social encounters.
Major feats, unlike the minor ones, can be selected by the character when a new feat slot becomes available, provided that he has a suitable act in his past to which the feat can refer. The benefits and disadvantages are specifically linked to that part of his history - a character with a reputation for slaying a dragon may be lionised in the tavern, but the next dragon he meets is likely to take a less favourable view of the matter! Significant reputation feats mark a truly defining moment in the character's life, again needing to be chosen when the character has advanced enough to take another feat, but conferring a marked advantage as well.
A list of example reputation feats follows. Many relate to combat exploits, but I quite like the minor reputation 'Favourite Guest' which is earned for undertaking some mission on behalf of an innkeeper, and allows you to stay for free at his establishment thereafter!
This is a neat and simple idea to codify a character's past in game terms, and may well suggest further ideas for role-playing over and above the advantages and disadvantages suggested.
Return to Reputation Feats page.
Reviewed: 18 July 2009