FACETS OF PERSONA
A wide variety of traits can inspire people to follow a budding leader, so instead of representing a PC’s reputation as a single statistic, this system divides her public persona into six different facets: Charm, Genius, Heroism, Sacrifice, Sagacity, and Subterfuge. For each facet, a PC has a number of Facet Ranks ranging from 0 to 10, where 0 means the character is generally believed to lack that quality, and 10 means the character is seen as a paragon of it. The term Facet Rank is sometimes shortened to Rank, except in situations where it could be confused with skill rank. The meaning of each facet and its general effects on play are summarized below.
Constantinus: Charm 7
Megaera: Charm 6, Heroism 2
Olentilis: Genius 1, Subterfuge 2, Sacrifice 5
Neimor: Genius 9, Heroism 1, Sagacity 2
Charm: Charm represents a character’s personal magnetism and force of personality. A character with a reputation for being charming has an easier time than most gaining access to social events, whether they’re artistic performances or high-society balls. Charming characters have an easier time winning strangers’ trust.
Genius: Genius represents a character’s reputation for brilliance, whether measured in terms of knowledge or strategic vision. Characters with a reputation for genius have an easier time convincing others to follow their plans and trust them as intellectual authorities.
Heroism: Heroism represents a character’s reputation for bravery and perseverance. It also captures the effectiveness with which a character earns admiration for her most exceptional deeds. Characters with a reputation for heroism are more likely to be asked to fight monsters or face seemingly insurmountable challenges.
Sacrifice: Sacrifice represents a character’s reputation as an upstanding member of society who gives of herself to improve the lives of others and who is capable of persevering through great hardships. Characters with a reputation for sacrifice have an easier time convincing others of their righteousness and inspiring others to make sacrifices of their own.
Sagacity: Sagacity represents a character’s reputation for having good judgment. Characters known for their sagacity are more likely to be sought out for advice in complex matters, ranging from tangled interpersonal disputes to questions of morality, philosophy, or religion.
Subterfuge: Subterfuge represents a character’s ability to operate effectively in the shadows, whether as a sly politician skilled in backroom dealings or a shrewd investigator who digs up dirt on her enemies. A character’s skill at subterfuge is likely to be less widely known than the other facets of her persona, but it still helps her cultivate contacts in just the right places.
A PC might decide to spend her persona phase publicly demonstrating her prowess and character, giving her the chance to increase the Rank of one of her persona’s facets by 1. To do so, the PC first selects one of the tasks from the list below (with the associated facet noted in parentheses), or she can work with the GM to create another appropriate task. Then she attempts a skill check associated with that task, with a DC equal to 15 + twice the Rank she is trying to achieve. If she succeeds at the check, her Rank in that facet increases by 1. Consider allowing PCs to attempt relevant Craft, Perform, or Profession checks in place of the listed skill checks. The scope of a PC’s persona is limited by her character level. Her Facet Ranks for a facet can’t exceed her character level, and she can have a total number of Facet Ranks equal to no more than twice her character level. Checks to increase a PC’s Facet Ranks represent placing the PC’s skills squarely in the spotlight. As a result, PCs can’t take 10 on these checks or receive direct assistance in the moment, such as aid another from other characters. Effects that boost PCs’ skills and abilities apply only if their duration is at least 24 hours.
Arrange Secret Meeting (Charm or Subterfuge) You arrange a clandestine meeting between individuals who can’t or won’t speak openly. Associated Skill: Bluff (Charm); Disguise or Escape Artist (Subterfuge).
Bask in Glory (Heroism) You make sure that everyone knows about your own personal achievements. Associated Skill: Perform.
Demonstrate Might (Heroism) You show off your strength to impressed onlookers. Associated Skill: Strength-based skill check.
Drive Legislation (Charm, Genius, or Sagacity) You take a prominent role in drafting or promoting legislation or another form of governmental policy. Associated Skill: Perform (Charm), Linguistics (Genius), or Sense Motive (Sagacity).
Give Lecture (Genius or Sagacity) Whether you’re delivering an academic lecture or a religious sermon, you draw a crowd to listen as you share your expertise. Associated Skill: Knowledge check relevant to the lecture’s topic.
Organize Party (Charm) You put together a popular social event that is the talk of the town. Associated Skill: Diplomacy.
Organize Protest (Heroism or Sacrifice) You gather people to protest loathsome policies, either through rhetoric or doggedness. Associated Skill: Fortitude save (DC = 15 + desired Rank), or Diplomacy or Perform check.
Perform Charitable Acts (Sacrifice) You spend your time or money tending to those most in need of aid. Associated Skill: Heal.
Sabotage Opponent (Genius or Subterfuge) You cunningly set one of your opponents up for a fall, perhaps causing one of his shameful secrets to go public. Associated Skill: Knowledge (local or nobility), as appropriate to the opponent (Genius); Sleight of Hand or Stealth (Subterfuge).
PERSONA BENEFITS BY RANK
Agents: When she first gains access to the persona rules, a PC gains a number of agents equal to twice her total starting number of Facet Ranks, reflecting her newfound renown. Each time a PC increases her Facet Ranks in a facet, she rallies two additional agents to her cause. These agents represent people who flock to the PC for a variety of reasons, whether they are ardent admirers of the PC’s cause, members of the PC’s staff, or even people the PC has blackmailed into assisting her. Agents are generally much less capable than the PCs and not strong enough to accompany the PCs on adventures. However, as a PC increases her Facet Ranks, she unlocks the ability to direct these agents to perform operations on her behalf (see below). Particularly dangerous operations can cause the PC to lose agents, which she can replace through the recover agents operation (see page 74).
Basic Operations: A PC who has at least 2 Ranks in a facet can send her agents on basic operations related to that facet. Basic operations are relatively safe and straightforward, requiring few agents to complete. For a list of basic operations, see pages 74–75.
Skill Bonus: A PC can sometimes leverage her persona to gain a bonus on a skill check. Once per persona phase, a PC can apply a skill bonus to a single check for one of the facets in which she has at least 3 Ranks. She can apply this bonus after rolling her skill check, but before the results are announced. The exact skills to which this bonus can be applied depend upon the facet (see below). The skill bonus begins at +2 and increases to +4 when she has 7 Ranks in the appropriate facet. For example, a PC with 7 Ranks in Heroism and 3 Ranks in Subterfuge can grant herself either a +4 bonus on an Intimidate or Perform check or a +2 bonus on a Disable Device or Stealth check, but she can still gain only one bonus per phase. Charm: Bluff, Diplomacy; Genius: Knowledge (any); Heroism: Intimidate, Perform (any); Sacrifice: Heal, Survival; Sagacity: Perception, Sense Motive; Subterfuge: Disable Device, Stealth.
Admirers: The PC’s persona has earned her fans and sympathetic souls. Once per persona phase, she can leverage her reputation to improve the starting attitude of one NPC with an attitude of indifferent or friendly. She can increase the NPC’s attitude by one step as long as she has at least 4 Ranks in a facet related to that NPC (see below). When she has 8 Ranks in a facet, she can also use this ability to improve the attitude of NPCs whose starting attitude is unfriendly. The following list is incomplete; other categories of NPCs can be related to various facets at the GM’s discretion. Charm: Artists, merchants, nobles; Genius: Academics, arcane spellcasters, instructors; Heroism: Athletes, guards, soldiers; Sacrifice: Clergy of good deities, healers, philanthropists; Sagacity: Clergy, druids, philosophers; Subterfuge: Criminals, politicians.
Bonus Feat: Once a PC has 5 Ranks in a single facet, she gains the bonus feat associated with that facet in the list below, ignoring the feat’s prerequisites. If a PC has 5 Ranks in more than one facet, she can select one feat from among the feats she has unlocked, and can change her choice at the beginning of each persona phase; she can benefit from only one of these bonus feats at a time. Feats from Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Intrigue are noted with a superscript. Charm: Persuasive; Genius: Brilliant PlannerUI; Heroism: Dazzling Display; Sagacity: Insightful AdviceUI; Sacrifice: Diehard; Subterfuge: Stealthy.
Advanced Operations: A PC who has at least 6 Ranks in a facet can send her agents on advanced operations related to that facet. Advanced operations can be far more complex and dangerous than basic operations. For a list of advanced operations, see page 75.
Friend in High Places: Once a PC has 9 Ranks in one of her facets, her network of contacts has grown to include a highly placed individual. The PC leverages this alliance to gain access to spellcasting services. If the PC succeeds at an Operation check (DC = 15 + spell level), she can arrange for up to 750 gp worth of spellcasting services to be used at any time before the beginning of the next persona phase as long as she would reasonably have access to an NPC spellcaster, even to cast raise dead (in this case, it is assumed the PC’s agents arrange for her resurrection on her behalf ). The PC must pay for any focuses or expensive material components used.
Master of Operations: A PC who has 10 Ranks in at least one facet can perform one additional operation per phase related to one of the facets in which she has 10 Ranks, so long as she has enough agents to do so and even if she has already performed an operation in that phase.
Instead of using her persona phase to develop her persona, a PC can send her agents to perform an operation on her behalf. A PC gains access to basic operations (see page 74) for a given facet when she has 2 Ranks in that facet, and she gains access to advanced operations (see page 75) when she has 6 Ranks in that facet.
A PC can initiate only one operation per phase. She must decide which operation she intends to perform at the start of the persona phase. To determine the outcome of the operation, the PC rolls an Operation check. An Operation check is a d20 roll with a bonus equal to the number of agents the PC sends on the mission, and its DC is set by the specific operation. A PC must choose how many agents to send before the roll, up to a maximum of the number of Facet Ranks she has in the relevant facet. Operations always fail on a roll of 1 on the die and always succeed on a natural 20.
Persistent Operations: While most operations conclude at the end of a persona phase, persistent operations begin the first time the PC succeeds at the DC 17 Operation check for that operation and continue until the PC calls back her agents. A PC can maintain only one type of persistent operation at a time, and she must send at least five agents; these agents are not available for other operations until the persistent operation ends. Persistent operations must generally be focused on one location (at the GM’s discretion, though generally limited to one town or a large neighborhood in a city); a PC can maintain the same persistent operation in as many locations as she has enough agents to support.
Risky Operations: Some operations are dangerous to agents’ safety or morale. If a PC fails a risky operation’s check by 5 or more, or if she rolls a natural 1 on the check, she loses all of the agents she sent on the mission. These losses could represent the agents’ imprisonment, their death, or their abandonment of the PC’s cause.
Filter Rumors (Sagacity): Under your direction, your agents are skilled at separating fact from fiction. Once before the next persona phase, after you or another PC receives the results of a Diplomacy check to gather information, you can ask the GM to roll a secret Operation check, using the number of agents you sent on this operation for its bonus. If the check results in a success, the GM tells you whether the information gathered is mostly true, has elements of truth, or is mostly false. If the check fails, the GM tells you that the information gathered is mostly true (regardless of its actual veracity). The Operation check DC is generally 15, but if someone is actively spreading false information, the DC increases to 10 + the CR of the rumormonger (maximum 20).
Gather Information (Charm): Your agents listen to the local gossip and ask pointed questions. Once before the next persona phase, you can use the result of your Operation check in place of the normal Diplomacy check when gathering information. You don’t need to spend time to attempt this check, and there is no risk that you will be associated with your agents.
Last-Ditch Effort (Any Facet, Persistent): When you perform a risky operation while this persistent operation is in effect, you can gain a +2 bonus on the Operation check. If you do, you lose at least half of the agents you sent on the risky operation, even if it is successful. Beginning this operation requires a successful DC 17 Operation check.
Manufacturing (Any Facet): You can call on your agents’ practical expertise to manufacture items on your behalf, allowing you to use the result of your Operation check in place of a Craft skill check to create mundane items. You do not have to expend the time crafting, but your agents do, and you must still pay the raw materials cost for any items your agents manufacture.
Provide Distraction (Heroism, Risky): Your agents may not be individually strong, but your example has inspired them, and they’d risk anything to help you, even in dangerous circumstances. At the beginning of combat near a populated area, roll an Operation check against a DC equal to 10 + the CR of the most challenging creature in the fight (maximum DC 25). On a success, each PC gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls or to Armor Class as if benefiting from the aid another action for the first round of combat.
Recover Agents (Any Facet): If a risky operation goes awry, a PC may lose the agents she sent on the operation. A PC who has fewer than the maximum number of agents her Facet Ranks would allow—that is, fewer than twice her total number of Facet Ranks—can launch an operation to rescue lost agents (or recruit new ones, if that flavor is preferred). To do so, she must attempt a DC 10 Operation check, using the facet of her choice. On a failed check, she recovers one agent. On a successful check, she recovers two agents, plus one additional agent for every 5 by which the result exceeds the Operation check’s DC.
Research (Genius): Under your direction, your agents scour libraries for relevant information. You can use the result of your Operation check in place of a single Research check. Your agents must spend the required time, but this research takes none of your time.
Smuggle (Subterfuge, Risky): Your agents smuggle a relatively small or innocuous object (such as a dagger or evidence to be used for blackmail) into a hiding place on someone else’s property. The DC of the Operation check is equal to 10 + the CR of the captain or leader of any guards present.
Tend Wounds (Sacrifice, Persistent): Your agents help you tend to the injured, including you. If you succeed at a DC 17 Operation check, you receive one of the following benefits for the duration of the operation: either everyone in the tended community gains a +2 bonus on Fortitude saves against disease, or you receive the benefits of long-term care whenever you rest for at least 8 hours in the area in which the operation is in effect.
PCs gain access to a facet’s advanced operations when they have 6 Ranks in that facet.
Bad Advice (Genius or Sagacity, Risky): You place agents among a target’s advisors or messengers to feed him the information that will lead him to make wrong choices. At some point in this persona phase when your target must decide between two options, he must succeed at a Sense Motive check opposed by your Operation check result or choose the option you favor or that benefits you.
Bolster Courage (Heroism, Persistent): You send your agents to tell tales of your bravery, bolstering your own courage. If you succeed at a DC 17 Operation check, you receive a +2 morale bonus on saves against fear.
Guards (Sacrifice, Risky): You are accompanied by a guard who watches your back, and agents in the field listen carefully for any potential dangers. If an opponent tries to ambush or sneak up on you, that character’s Stealth check result must exceed both your Perception check result and the result of your Operation check to catch you unawares. On a failed Operation check, your enemies eliminate your guards before engaging you.
Invention (Genius): Your agents help you create magic items and research spells. Select one spell or magic item. If you succeed at an Operation check, your agents find or create the chosen spell or item, and you can then purchase it for the standard cost. The DC of the Operation check is equal to 10 + caster level for a magic item, or 10 + twice the spell level for a spell.
Poison (Subterfuge, Risky): Your agents slip a dose of poison or a potion (which you must pay for) into an NPC’s food as it is being prepared and delivered. Attempt an Operation check with a DC equal to the CR of the target NPC. On a success, your agents deliver the substance without detection. The NPC attempts Fortitude saves against the poison as normal.
Rumormonger (Any Facet, Persistent): Your agents improve your cover by spreading false rumors, destroying evidence, and intimidating anyone who asks too many questions. If you succeed at a DC 17 Operation check, anyone trying to see through a disguise or false identity you’ve assumed takes a –2 penalty on Perception and Sense Motive skills checks to do so.
Safe Haven (Heroism or Sacrifice): Your agents find you a quiet place to rest in safe anonymity, usually somewhere out of the way such as a barn or cavern. Anyone trying to locate you must first succeed at a Diplomacy or Survival check opposed by your Operation check.
Sermonize (Sagacity, Persistent): Your agents spread your philosophical or religious beliefs. If you succeed at a DC 17 Operation check, you gain a +2 bonus on Diplomacy and Intimidate checks against people who share your religion or philosophy, or who follow closely aligned practices, at the GM’s discretion.
Spread Propaganda (Charm or Subterfuge, Persistent): Your agents spread propaganda on your behalf. If you succeed at a DC 17 Operation check, you gain a +2 bonus on Bluff and Disguise checks to either reinforce this same disinformation or deceive someone relying on it.
They’re with Me (Charm or Subterfuge, Risky): You place agents inside an enemy’s forces. Once before your next persona phase, when you encounter a group of low-level, unnamed enemy agents, the total number of which can’t exceed the number of agents you sent on this operation, compare the result of your Operation check against a DC of 15 or a DC of 10 + the Sense Motive modifier of the agents’ commander (whichever is higher). If you succeed, this “enemy” force is instead composed of the agents you placed earlier, allowing you to avoid combat and potentially resupply or rest. You can’t use this operation to replace named NPCs.
PCs can also assign agents to the following new operations while in Zimar.
Deflect Suspicion (Charm, Genius): Your agents sow false rumors about your identity and activities. With a successful DC 15 Operation check, reduce your Suspicion Point total by 1. Reduce your Suspicion Point total by an additional 5 for every 5 points by which you exceed the DC.
Reinforce Cover (Sacrifice, Sagacity, Persistent): Your agents’ good work and sound advice help the locals trust you more readily. While this operation remains in effect, you gain a +2 bonus on Bluff and Disguise checks to maintain a false identity. You can immediately end this operation to reroll a single Bluff or Disguise check and use the new result.
Scout (Heroism, Subterfuge, Risky): You dispatch agents to examine a location for you. Attempt an Operation check with a DC equal to 8 + the highest Perception bonus of any guards or defenders; if successful, you learn of any obvious defenders and hazards. For locations with multiple rooms, determine the exact room scouted randomly.