The term ‘Radical Prestige’, should you ever encounter it, means that (unlike in the grey gaming past), prestige will not be obtained from the mere ownership of forces or from quantity of population owned. This prevents the gifting of prestige via forces and population. Prestige comes from accomplishments like first-time-conquests of NPC forces (incl. lairs; cf. p. 9), doing Adventures, gaining marks, guild ownership, owning characters (1 point per 10 characters), and having titles.
Typically, NPC Guild owners will have prestige of 6-12. NPC Village owners 1-4, towns 6-12 regular cities 9-18, and module cities 24+. A few cities will have prestige set in the high 70+ range as the design expects these cities to be conquerered rather than influenced.
Different Prestige Ratings
Base prestige = absolute base (‘rock bottom’) which you get from your own wonderfullness (2 points at setup)
Enhanced = Base, plus adds from marks and titles
Effective = Enhanced, plus adds from guild ownership and characters owned, and other positional gains.
In your diplomacy attempts it takes the higher of the three for your efforts (remember that Effective doesn’t get updated until a production runs, so at times it’s possible that your Enhanced is higher – for a while).
The difference in concept between Enhanced and Effective is that Effective can be affected directly by other player actions destroying your guilds, taking away your characters and the like. While Enhanced will be always with you (not counting rare occasions of removal of Marks via spells…). Another way of looking at it is that Enhanced is a personal focus (‘personal achievements’) while Effective is a positional focus (‘position/physical assets’).
Guilds and Prestige
The book (p. 9) says that a guild adds prestige equal to half the value of the square root of the guild strength (GSTR), and twice that amount if owned by the Main.
Secondary Guild Prestige: 0.5*SQR(GSTR)
Main Guild Prestige: SQR (GSTR)
When Challenging for a Guild, the rockbottom ‘pure’ Base prestige of the challenger counts. Note that ex-NPCs can use their normally high (base) prestige in an offensive way when Challenging for guilds.
Titles/Marks and Prestige
Titles and Marks added to Enhanced prestige. Every Mark gives +2 prestige (plus some odd random effects). Titles usually increase Effective prestige (via Enhanced), not Base prestige. See above for the difference in effective and base prestige. There are, however, cases where titles actually reduce effective prestige, the following selection of punitive titles are used such as:
Two Time Loser
Cursed of the Time Lords
These titles will have negative prestige which will result in a reduction of effective prestige compared to base. Other titles, like “Wanton Dalliance,” (hmmm…) can also reduce your influence.
Prestige and Influence
If the target has any prestige at all, your maximum chance of succeeding can’t exceed 30% (a Poor Chance), assuming your prestige is higher. It is almost impossible to influence a target whose prestige is higher than yours. In such a case, every point of prestige difference (in your disadvantage) lowers your chances of success by -11% per point difference. Note that not only player-generated characters (#1-#1000) can use their prestige in an offensive way (i.e. to prevent taking negative modifiers for prestige differences); also characters with id #1001+ (former-NPCs) can do so (the Update April-May 95 says they cannot, and the Rule Book p. 206 also seems to suggest they cannot, but player experience suggests otherwise). However former-NPCs do get a -100% modifier when conducting prestige diplomacy (cf. p. 206). Notice that Mains do not have a diplomacy bonus; still NPCs with prestige will be insulted – just as a matter of principle – when you send a vasal to do the talking..
Responses to the D2 order reflect the ‘pure’ BASE prestige of the target. The reported value on the Character’s Overview (once you’ll get him) is the Enhanced value, so this means that any adds from Titles and Marks were subtracted during the Diplomacy process. This explains that after you have gotten the NPC, you will sometimes be surprised to find he has a higher prestige than you – and still you got him?!; but subtract adds from any title or mark, and he could have had a lower counting prestige than you anyhow!
To rephrase this: ‘pure’ Base prestige is the defense value and Effective prestige is the offense value in an influence attempt. Note that the Read Character spell #143 does report for NPCs the Enhanced (LII) prestige, so including the effects of Marks and Titles. But the Charm spells #48/#49 work by the same principle as Diplomacy: they use ‘pure’ Base prestige, so without any effects of Marks and Titles.
The range of prestige associated with the message report (‘pure’ Base, see above) that is received when doing diplomacy:
Low = 1-2, Significant = 3-5, Impressive = 6-9
High= 10-13, Extreme = 14-20, Extraordinary = 21+
This article is reproduced with kind permission from “Aayko’s The Legends Corner”.