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RPGs are a fun way to act as a Big Damn Hero, though at times they can be frustrating because all the good the player does never earns fame and respect, at best netting a "thank you" (if it's even recognized) and possibly a nifty material reward. However, if the game has a Fame or Reputation mechanic along with the Karma Meter, then completing every good-aligned Sidequest will result in the townspeople everywhere throwing rose petals at the Player Characters feet while unveiling their new solid mithril statue.

These are some of the effects of having a 100% Heroism Rating: people know your name (and new quests open up because of it), Adam Smith orders every shopkeep to give you a discount, an Infinity+1 Sword or the like, and a fancy title. Even the Trauma Innkeeper will insist on giving you a meal and bed free of charge (after all, you did rescue his daughter from kobolds, stop the extortion racket targeting him, and got him a year's supply of wine), and it's all in addition to the warm glowy feeling inside you'll get.

Compare Only the Pure of Heart. A ruler (not an adventurer) treated this way has a Hundred-Percent Adoration Rating.


  • City of Heroes often has random civilians telling stories about your deeds. Note that other players in the region can hear it too.
    • In fact, City of Heroes uses it in another way as well - instead of receiving of money for arresting villains and saving people, heroes receive "influence", a measure of the respect for their heroic deeds which can be exchanged for items.
    • So does Champions Online, with the exception the former does it once per completed quest, the latter will have NPCs thanking you for finishing the tutorial until the very end of your days. Over. And over. Again.
      • This has been somewhat corrected since the original release. Whatever your most recent "notable mission chain" is that you've finished will be what the NPC's thank you for.
    • As does Star Wars Galaxies, in which the people of the Township of Aurilia will mention in spatial chat occasionally that a player character has successfully participated in one of the several heroic encounters that originate from this location, such as defeating the Tusken King or the Nightsister queen Akxva Min.
  • In The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion you have to settle for the occasional compliment ("You're the one who closed the demon gate! The Hero of Kvatch!"). Although you get these based on your actions regardless of your fame or infamy. The last two Elder Scrolls games, and possibly the earlier ones, also increase NPCs' disposition towards you as your fame rating increases.
    • Oh, and you do get a statue of your character built (it's essentially a copy of your character model at the time the quest was completed but stone textured).
      • Which is modeled with the most valuable items you have with you when you do this. There is a very nice and thus valuable dagger you get from the Brotherhood, which will take precedence. It just looks silly - full regalia, big armour, giant shield, ramming a 3 inch dagger into the sky...
      • Although, apparently, if you have enough torches in your inventory at the time of completion, your weapon will be on fire!
    • Oblivion tracks fame and infamy separately so you can be greeted heartily when you approach a guard and then be chastised for being a thief when you talk to him.
    • In Morrowind, after you complete the main quest, many people will stammer and ask you to forgive them because they don't know how to speak to such an important person. Others will thank you for your heroic deeds.
  • Fable I is an aversion of the trope. No matter how gloriously good your actions in the story have been, if you've still murdered enough people to push your Karma Meter deep into the red the villagers will have no inhibitions about telling you just how they feel about their "hero".
  • In Fallout 3, having the best karma rating means that you'll occasionally have people run up to you while you're in Megaton and give you supplies. And if you have very evil karma, slavers in Paradise Falls will also occasionally run up and give you supplies.
    • Go to either extreme, and you'll have either ultra-evil mercenaries (if you are good) or vigilante "lawmen" (if you are evil) attack you as random encounters. Also, one perk gives you a substantial bonus to your Speech skill, provided that you maintain a Neutral karma level. To put this in perspective, you can earn enough Karma points to be "Good" or "Evil" before you leave the tutorial level.
    • And in Fallout 2, if you choose to play after the end of the game and go to New Reno/Vault City, everyone will congratulate you and treat you like a hero.
    • Fallout: New Vegas handles it a little differently - the karma meter is the same from 3 but is nearly useless. What really matters is your reputation with each faction. Since you can't lose popularity or infamy, people could end up singing your praises for all the Fetch Questing while grudging you over blowing up their outpost last week.
  • Many of the Might and Magic games do this, and the people will also refuse to speak to or insult you if you have a bad rap. Conversely, if your reputation is shining and spotless, thieves and lowlifes will snub you and call you a goody-two-shoes.
    • In M&MVI, if you want to get Dark Magic Master skill ranking, you have to drive your rep all the way down to "Notorious", easily accomplished by, say, massacring all the peasants in Free Haven. But once you have got your Master ranking, you can cool the heat by dropping a few dozen to a few hundred gold in the local temple's poor-box (if you don't have several hundred thousand by this point, you're mismanaging your money supply) and can very well get all the way back to "Saintly" before the end of the game. And though you can bring the peasants back to life (Reanimate works just fine with no apparent after effects), this in itself does nothing for your reputation, nor does leaving out this step matter in the slightest.
  • Happens in the Quest for Glory games, especially with each additional sequel, with NPCs addressing you with titles such as "Hero of Shapeir" the more good deeds you've done. Generally each new installment has the hero winding up in a land where people are initially suspicious or ambivalent, but wind up warming up to you the more you help people out.
    • Every game in the series has the locals recognize you for your deeds, but the most obvious is the fourth game, since the Mordavians begin the game distrustful and subtly hostile towards you and end up cheering for you as you clean up the valley.
  • Final Fantasy XI keeps track of your fame levels in each nation. Obtaining a high level of fame will open up new quests and give you a discount at NPC stores in that country.
  • In Famous will have people applaud you, ask you for assistance, take pictures of you, et cetera, if you're on the good side. Being bad gets you booed, have rocks thrown at you, and, if you're terrible enough, people attacking you constantly.
    • Also, if you're good, then in the middle of fights, they might throw rocks at your enemies. It gets really helpful if they manage to stop a rocket-launcher-toting foe from blasting you long enough to blow him away first.
  • Tales of Symphonia has this. If you save a town and then donate money to rebuild it, eventually the townspeople will put up statues of you and your party members. have to pay for the statues, too.
  • In World of Warcraft, reaching the highest reputation level with certain factions will occasionally result in some NPCs greeting/complimenting you as you walk past. The most commonly seen example is probably the two Kirin Tor mages standing by the doorway of the Dalaran flight point.
    • In addition to the reputation mechanic itself, there are several Easter Eggs where NPCs acknowledge particularly important feats if the player character has done them, but has more impersonal dialogue if not. For example, if a player did the quest chain to enter Onyxia's lair way back in original, classic WoW (obsolete since 2008 if not earlier and removed from the game entirely a little after that), a certain lord general greets the player like an old friend when encountered in Northrend. If the player hadn't done that quest, though, they're just greeted like some stranger.
  • Baldur's Gate and its sequel do this with its Reputation mechanic, which doubles as its Karma Meter. Effects range from half prices in shops at the high end, higher morale in party members of a good alignment (making them more resistant to fear effects) and (very rarely) allows you to solve certain situations by talking instead of fighting. On the flip side, playing evil (and keeping in mind that in Baldur's Gate, evil equals Stupid Evil) gives you higher shop prices, sics guards and bounty hunters at you inside of towns, and makes certain NPCs call you names.
  • Mass Effect 1 allows you to get a substantial discount on purchases in a shop if your Paragon meter/Charm skill is high enough, while a high Renegade meter/Intimidate skill will allow you to sell your items at a better price. You also get other benefits, like hearing reports of your actions (and how they ended) on the news in the Citadel, and people on Feros and Noveria will thank you if you saved their lives and contained the alien monsters threatening to kill them. Saving Captain Kirrahae's salarian commando team on Virmire also ends with him thanking you and promising he will not forget your bravery and sacrifice for his team. At the end of the game, if you saved the Council, they will also express their gratitude for saving their lives and also praise either your ruthlessness or your compassion and honor.
    • These carry over into Mass Effect 2, which is filled with references to your past deeds, people recognize you all over the place, and you can even parley your fame and reputation into discounts at some stores by giving them an endorsement.
      • Conversely, because of this, there will be some instances where people from the first game will chew you out for what happens in the second game. Fist; who was going to have Tali killed, can be found as a drunk in Omega if you spare him.

 Fist: I'm a good boy now, so PISS OFF.

  • Grand Theft Auto San Andreas has various character ratings (fat, muscle, sex appeal, and respect), which affect how NPCs react in your presence. You can even say something back, determined by hitting Y or N. However, no amount of sex appeal or respect will completely stop people from telling CJ he smells bad.
  • In Arcanum of Steamworks and Magick Obscura the PC gets better reaction from other characters (including shopkeepers who give them discounts) if he or she helped the inhabitants of a given settlement. Additionally, characters sometimes mention specific deeds of the PC and act accordingly. Of course, evil deeds get attention and respect of shady characters (including party members who base their decision to join the PC on his or her karma meter).
  • Red Dead Redemption is interesting in that it has both positive and negative consequences for having a high "honor" rating. In law-abiding towns like Armadillo or Blackwater, shops will sell for less and buy for more, lawmen and citizens will overlook most crimes other than murder or bank robbery, jobs pay twice as much, and you have a random chance of encountering a nun who gives you an item that cuts enemy accuracy by 25%. Conversely, in Theives' Landing shops will charge you more and buy for less, you're more likely to get challenged to a duel, and citizens may randomly open fire on you the moment you ride into town.
  • In Dwarf Fortress, Dwarves love their history, and if your adventurer has done anything noteworthy within range of a fortress embark, they will canonize the player in artworks. As of 3.18, an adventurer acquires renown for slaying beasts and bandits within a single civilization, and will be greeted with respect, even awe if they have high enough reputation to get quests directly from region rulers. As your reputation goes up, you're also capable of recruiting more people to fight with you at once, getting as much as 9 1/2 times as much as a reputation-less adventure could.
  • One of the few benefits of a high Swashbuckler Rating in Skies of Arcadia is that NPC shopkeepers- especially on Sailors' Island- will gush over your celebrity status. Still won't give you a discount though. In addition, getting the title Vyse the Legend - which involves getting Hundred-Percent Completion - unlocks an optional boss fight and a few other perks.
  • In The Last Story, after thirty chapters, the party (who was originally disliked by the populace for being mercenaries) finally become the talk of the town because of Zael. At the beginning of the game, if you bumped into people on the street, they would berate you. At this point of the game, the people you bump into start apologizing profusely as Zael is now a Knight hero and they start to suck up to him. Even the random conversations between NPCs are about Zael and his friends.
  • In Freelancer, a faction with which you are Friendly will aid you in fights against factions they are Neutral towards, and won't attack you if you pick a fight with their allies.
    • Of course, if you pick too many fights with their allies, they will eventually stop being Friendly.
  • A Non-RPG example exists in the first two Oddworld games; while the player is only required to rescue 50% of 99 or 300 slaves for the good ending, getting a 100% will net the player a congratulatory screen from the developers, will grant the ability to watch the game's cutscenes freely, level select and will give the additional ability to replay the game with infinite grenades or invincibility.