Looks

(Book 1, p22)

The last of the 5 character attributes is "Looks". Amongst players of the Dragon Warriors* game, perhaps influenced by the D&D and later AD&D RPG systems, became dissatisfied with the limited application of the Looks score.

Looks, in a canonical sense, represents - largely - the physical appearance of a character and, thereby, their appeal to NPCs and indeed other PCs. Many a GM has suffered the question of first-encountered female NPCs "What's her looks score?"

It could be said there is leeway within the Dragon Warriors* system to use Looks as a means by which, say, a PC might persuade someone of something, barter for a lower price etc. For some GMs the lack of explanation of this is satisfactory, as it enables room for GM 'fudging' of what would otherwise be 'rolls'.

For those who wish for Looks to take a greater role in the game, perhaps more like a Charisma score, extracted below (and potentially to form subsections of this page) are some GM suggestions. If you add one, please indicate your name / alias below the suggestion for ease of reference.

Summary of GM Expansions

  1. Looks and Bartering
  2. Looks and Negotiation with NPCs
  3. Looks and Secondary Characteristics

1. Looks and Bartering

(RJ Lambert)

As GM I have the following the house rule for PCs who intend to barter:

Looks score
18
-(d100/2)% to purchase price
17
-d20% to purchase price
16
-d10% to purchase price
15
-d6% to purchase price
14
-d4% to purchase price
13
-d2% to purchase price
12-8
no modifier
7
+d2% to purchase price
6
+d4% to purchase price
5
+d6% to purchase price
4
+d10% to purchase price
3
+d20% to purchase price


Other modifiers:
Fighter class (e.g. Knight*, Barbarian*, Archer, Forester) buying weapons, armour etc -d6% to purchase price
Magic-using class (e.g. Sorcerer*, Mystic*, Warlock*, Enchanter) buying magical items (not weapons) -d6% to purchase price
For any other class (e.g. Herbalist, but excluding Thief classes) purchasing within their lore -d6% to purchase price
Thief (i.e. Assassin*, Thief or Trickster) classes add d4% to purchase price then -Rank% (represents the risk they take in trickery etc in bartering, which improves with Rank)

These modifiers will not apply to buying ale, meals and other such things that cost too little to bother with the calculation, except for PCs with scores of 18 or 17, for whom they might get a bonus or something free, or PCs with looks of 4 or 3, who might get the 'slops' or refused service! So when buying any item in a city, you will have to take these factors into account, as well as - if buying outside of a city - the increases due to buying in a smaller market.

2. Looks and Negotiation with NPCs

(Cameron Smith)

I do use Looks not just for purely physical-based reactions but also "gift of the gab". Unfortunately the rulebook doesn't go into any more detail than the above, so the way I GM it is that the looks score may provide a modifier to someone's chance of negotations (using the same score table as the way Strength affects ATTACK, see Bk 1, p. 25). Basically I estimate the percentage chance of the NPC accepting, given the proposal, then convert it to a d20 roll.

However there are some provisos:

  • The players need to roleplay to their strengths and make clear they are trying to convince the NPC - you shouldn't get a modifier just because one member of the party is idly standing by with a pretty face.
  • In some cases high looks or "gift of the gab" may serve as a negative modifier (this comes from my own experience in business negotiations among other things). For instance if you are trying to do something nasty or skullduggerous, a "pretty boy" may be less convincing than a "hard man" with a face like a potato that has been left too long in the ground. Equally, trying to negotiate prices with an experienced merchant prince, may go badly if you try to use too much flattery and fine words. Barter has been around a lot longer than cash so people understand it well.

3. Looks and Secondary Characteristics

(Wayne Imlach)

Good looks tend to equate to good overall health and even spaced, balanced eyes and ears which promote good vision and hearing. For those who feel Looks is something of a redundant attribute, here’s a suggested set of characteristic modifiers. Use this chart to see how a characters Looks Score affects their Health Points and Perception characteristics:

Looks Score Health Modifier Perception Modifier
3-5 -2 Health Points -1 Perception
6-8 -1 Health Points No Modifier
9-12 No Modifier No Modifier
13-15 +1 Health Points No Modifier
16-18 +2 Health Points +1 Perception

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