How famous are your player characters? In 6d6 Hellenic, the player’s characters are the champions of the gods. With no more than fifty such champions going about doing the work of the Olympic gods, it is uncommon to come across one. But word of them has spread far and wide across the Greek speaking world and beyond.
This fame means that when the champions arrive anywhere, provided they are believed in their claims, they’re immediately in a position of authority. With that authority comes agency as a “Champion of the Gods” is clearly the best person to deal with any current problem. Indeed, the gods sent them here for this very purpose. In this context, the character’s fame can be used effectively as a plot hook to draw the players into the adventure.
6d6 Hellenic characters are also very likely to have their own personal fame as well. Ancient Greek society had a strong tradition of oral history. Winners at the Panhellenic games (of which the Olympic Games were just one) would have songs written about them that would be performed across the countryside as the delegates returned home. In the world of 6d6 Hellenic, any champion who has performed remarkable and heroic acts in public will quickly find stories of their feats preceding them.
In our modern world it used to be just the hyper-famous had to deal with the crowds and the nutters. Now, in the age where we are all nearly-famous, or for those lucky few who are internet-famous, more of us encounter the trappings of fame. In the ancient or fantasy world, our heroes have an advantage over their more technologically advanced counterparts. For whilst their names may be known, their faces are not. If they can escape being physically recognised, then they have a measure of choice as to when they wish to cash in their fame.
Thus fame seems to be a balance power. If you wish to use your reputation to gain advantage, you run the risk of excessive adoration or hostility. The gamemaster need only be cautious in how often they exploit the downside. Too often having to fight through crowds or defend yourself from someone trying to make a name will become tiresome and start to get in the way of the narrative.
Still, it’s got to be better to be somebody, right?
Image Credit – Paparazzi Statue by Kurt Bauschardt (CC BY-SA 2.0)