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Scandal & Reputation

The following is a guide to in-game standards which characters are expected to abide by to be accepted in the polite society of our alternative history Regency Era. Deviating from these social rules has in-character effects to Reputation per their chosen aspects, previous social gaffes, and the severity of the IC (in-character) breach. Players are free to flout the social norms of the Ton to create IC drama for their characters, but should know what they’re getting into...

Submit Major Activities & Scandals

note: scandal is not a source of punishment it is a source of story and fun, that’s why we’re encouraging contact between players and GMs. Players opt-in the level of scandal and GM involvement they're interested in having at character creation.


As characters navigate the Ton, their reputation can adjust either up or down based on rumours, character actions, and public scandal. All characters begin gameplay with a neutral or Respectable marker. As characters engage in activities that lower their reputation, they earn the Notorious marker. In contrast, characters who act as paragons of social respectability gain the Esteemed marker. 

Esteemed characters are influential in Society and Politics, seemingly beyond reproach by reputable publications, and are likely to garner invitations for more exclusive and high society events (Royal events, even!).  An Esteemed reputation makes a character a superior marriage prospect or a clear choice for chaperones.  Their mere presence or association is may be sufficient to lift another’s reputation. 


Respectable characters are the standard for Society and are viewed well overall. They are well-liked, welcome at events and spoken of - and written about - with an air of approval.  In truth, most people will fall into this category.  


Notorious characters are a very different kind of influential; they are likely greater risk-takers, and so opportunities to increase wealth and invitations to social events of less repute (such as underground gambling dens) are more likely. While Peers would want to steer clear of those with a Notorious reputation (for their own reputation’s sake), others may offer questionable friendship or to do discreet business.

What makes an action public?

Game-wide Publications.

Game-wide event interactions (ISOs).

“Seen in London” posts on the discord channel.

By player request or agreement.

A game of chance for high GM involvement characters.

Information in letters is not necessarily public knowledge unless it reaches a threshold of 20% of characters writing about it to become rumour or common knowledge.

rep mark
make it public

Scandal Levels

Nothing is more precious (or more precarious) than Reputation, and one must take utmost care to avoid Scandal in every form. That said, not every mode of transgressing is equal to every other. Scandals come in Major, Moderate, and Minor degrees. To that end, the following is a brief guide to maintaining a Respectable reputation in Society.

Scandal Levels

Major Scandals

Major scandals are grave affairs indeed.  Such a severe infraction might ruin your marriageability and Reputation.  Even more serious for the party found to be the instigator.   


Should your character be caught in a Major Scandal, the families or parties involved may demand satisfaction to restore their good name.  They may negotiate for one of the following outcomes:


  • An Engagement – This restitution results in marriage to another character or potentially an NPC.  

  • A Duel – This could result in character injury, death, or if caught dueling, incarcerated, as dueling is illegal.  

  • Financial Restitution – A character’s income is reduced by 1 level for a set period depending on the scandal.  


If involved with a Major Scandal, the character’s Reputation in society lowers by one marker. To restore Reputation, characters can walk the Road to Redemption.


  • Unchaperoned with someone in an inappropriate location, where either or both parties require a chaperone 

  • Kissing (or more) before marriage

  • Having an affair with someone who is not your spouse

  • Participating in a duel that becomes public

  • Pregnant out of wedlock, or having a child out of wedlock (this applies to both parents)

  • Cheating at cards

  • Murder or treason against the crown

  • Slipping into destitution

  • Catholic, or a Dissenter

There is a limit of 4 Important Event submissions per month with one Major Scandal submission (that may become public) every 3 months, per character.

This game is about players acting and reacting to each other and the world responding to the players. Too many Major Scandals undermine the game's core purpose by not allowing other players to have sufficient time to react and respond to a Major Scandal in letters.  


Want to engage in a Major Scandal? Please submit to the Important Events Form for approval and include your plan for keeping it a secret… or that you want to get caught!  (High GM-involved characters might get a game of chance to see if it stays secret...)


GMs may decline or impose limits on a Major Scandal if it unbalances the world as a whole for other players. Given that the game world can sustain only so much public scandal at a time, it might be more feasible if your scandal was kept a secret. 

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Some character actions require the negotiation of other players if those actions or plotlines would have life-altering changes for those involved. These things also need to be run by the Creative Team GMs to know the plots you want to play through (and if you get caught in scandal or not) and ensure player agency is respected.

Moderate scandals will cause a character's reputation to suffer significantly, although they will not generally bring the severe consequences of a Major scandal, like a duel or financial restitution. If caught in a Moderate Scandal, the character will temporarily lose some standing in Society.

Moderate Scandals


  • renegotiating your marriage contract after initial agreement

  • adopting a known lower-class heir

  • out of wedlock relations prior to marriage (if discovered after a marriage has been formalized and recognized by society)

  • modeled for an artist in the nude

  • secretly have an inappropriate job if a character is titled (or in line for a specific title) which includes trades work, physical labor, etc

  • have gambling debts that you have chosen not to pay

A minor scandal is less damaging to one's Reputation than the other types of Scandals. Indeed, they are less likely to alter your reputation marker unless repeated offences occur.

Minor Scandals


  • Being somewhere you shouldn't be found - such as an empty side room at a party

  • In attendance at a Notorious reputation event

  • At a party without a chaperone nearby

  • Support a controversial subject

  • Secretly an author or artist

  • Behaving improperly at an event, for example, damaging property

  • Showing an interest in the discussion of income or immodest topics of conversation

  • Engaging in issues subversive to the Crown (support for Dissenters or military enemies)

If you have questions or concerns about the level of scandal of a potential action your character might take, please feel free to write to the Creative Team.


While responses to the scandalous behaviour of member of the Ton will vary based on their respectability, the world will react to publicly-known scandals in a relatively consistent manner. 


An initial Major Scandal will likely see those characters barred from moderate or high-risk areas of Society events and chaperoned by an attentive NPC. The next London Chronicle will undoubtedly publish the character’s fall from grace. Further Major Scandal will find characters disinvited from Society events entirely, including game-wide events for a time. (However, you will get a memorable encounter or token, pending discussion with the GMs). Major Scandals may affect others by association and alter their respectability unless they publicly cut contact with the scandalous person in question. Although, of course, they can still correspond in secret!


Being caught breaking the law results in an arrest and being subject to trial. It is impossible to participate in events while in jail. However, letters may still be written and received about their plight, and a 'side quest' of sorts may occur.

World Responses

World Respones

Road to Redemption

Fear not, for even the most Notorious of reputations has the possibility of redemption. ​As with all things Scandalous, it begins with a frank conversation between the player and the GM, mapping out how to bring about this arc. A Character of Notorious reputation wishing to redeem themselves can do so in the following way: 


Firstly, do not engage in any public scandal for three consecutive months, and

Secondly, choose any two of the following to be completed within four months:

  1. Be publicly seen associating with or being endorsed by Esteemed persons (and not being seen publicly with Notorious persons). Examples of such character endorsement include: associating with ISOs at game-wide events, having their honour defended in a Letter to the Editor of the Chronicle, Seen In London posts on the Discord. 

  2. Attend only Polite Society Events (Dowager Brunch, musicales, and more in our Guide to the Season) 

    1. During high London season – x1 weekly for no less than four months:  

    2. During winter months & in the country: x1 monthly, for 3-4 months 

  3. Donate enough funds to lower your income by at least 1 level.

  4. Marry someone who is Esteemed and thereby far more respectable in standing.

  5. Send apology letters to any wronged parties, as well as a public apology through the London Chronicle. 

Want to Redeem your character's Reputation from a Major Scandal?
Submit your plans for Redemption through the Important Events Form and be clear that you want to be on the Road to Redemption. For example, work towards Respectable and redeem your character's name of a Major Scandal.  Once submitted, a member of the Creative Team will confirm what actions you might like to take and discuss any adjustments for maximum fun and interaction.  Then, follow through with those actions and submit what you do through the Monthly Update form.

There are many Major Scandals that one can recover from. However, there are some scandals that a person cannot come back from and put a character on the Road to Ruin. 


Road to Respectability

While being Respectable is the expected norm for Society, some may wish to become Esteemed and thereby be seen as a paragon of propriety, gaining all that comes with that marker. Mechanically, becoming Esteemed would allow characters to chaperone where they may not meet other criteria such as being of appropriate age or navigating the marriage mart for several seasons; political influence results in a greater weight to a character's vote in the House of Lieges. Invitations to the most coveted events, such as Royal audiences, may find their way into the hands of characters of this marker. 


A Character wishing to elevate their reputation towards Esteemed can do so in the following way: 


  1. Firstly, do not engage in any public scandal - of any degree - while seeking to raise reputation, then, 

  2. Secondly, choose and complete any two of the following:

    1. Send letters to or about political causes, for example, garner support from PCs or write to NPC Political Activists or Sitting MPs

    2. Successfully (or wholeheartedly attempt) to matchmake for an Eligible on the marriage mart.

    3. Make sizeable or ongoing charitable donations, or host a charitable event, for well-respected charities.

    4. Attend or host serious-minded events, for example, a Royal Society lecture or intellectual salons, or even a garden party. 

    5. Successfully champion or mentor another PC in Society to help progress a story arc. For example, assist a new character in adjusting to Society by accompanying them to events and writing introductory letters with other members of the Ton. (note: your protege can also not engage in public scandal during this time. Being attached to impropriety can dash one's hopes of becoming Esteemed.)


Want to alter your character’s standing towards Esteemed?

Submit your plans for paragon through the Important Event Form, and be clear that you want to be on the Road to Utmost Respectability (work towards Esteemed).  A member of the Creative Team will confirm what actions you might like to take and discuss any adjustments for maximum fun and interaction, then follow through with those actions and submit what you do through the Monthly Update form.

road 2 ruin

Road to Ruin

Just as some may wish to alter their reputation towards Esteemed, others may want to instead revel in the Notorious! Or they may instead find themselves there based on their choices (either consciously or inadvertently). 


Some actions that might alter one’s reputation towards Notorious include (note: being Notorious in and of itself is not a road to ruin!): 

  1. A high amount of gossip to smear one’s reputation through letters and publications

  2. Being named in the scandal sheet by name

  3. Disregarding proper title usage on envelopes, and public conversation

  4. Engaging in a major scandal publicly. 

  5. Other characters offering a ‘cut direct’ or another social shunning in public, such as dropping fans at one’s feet.


While most scandalous actions are redeemable (the Road to Redemption), some will result in being shunned and ousted from Society. Alternatively, one may be at the mercy of the legal system, putting a character on the Road to Ruin. 


Some actions, once discovered, might alter one’s reputation to the point of being non-redeemable. These include: being pregnant out of wedlock, or having a child out of wedlock (this applies to both parents of the child out if not married immediately or hidden from the Ton), committing murder or ‘high crime’ (for example, stealing the crown jewels), or treason against the crown. Non-redeemable actions tend to be significant character moments done once as a dramatic character-ending story arc.  


Want to retire your character in a blaze of epic glory?

Submit your evil plans through the Important Events Form, and be clear you want to be on the Road to Ruin, aka character retirement. Describe what you’d like to do & a proposed timeline. The plot team will need a lead time of at least two months to plan out your glorious end and its publication to the game at large. A creative team member will confirm you do indeed want to end this character and discuss any adjustments for maximum fun and character end within the game world. Make a new character and see what more fun can be had!  

caught or not

The eyes of the Ton are ever watchful, so having a plan to keep those Scandalous activities a secret will help keep one’s Reputation intact. There are, of course, circumstances where that is impossible, or one might run into poor luck and a case of ‘wrong place at the wrong time.’ 


High GM Involvement characters and those attempting to conceal their activities at public events are subject to a dice mechanic to determine if the activity remains secret.  


GMs roll a d20 and add modifiers based on a character’s Reputation and aspects, where applicable to the situation. The severity of the scandal and the believability of the plan will aid the GMs in determining the difficulty that the roll and modifiers must beat.  



  • Prosperous & Opulent Income characters add 1d4 for bribery (optional)

  • Esteemed Characters add 1d6 for sterling reputation - who would believe such a thing? 

  • Notorious add 1d6 for the prospect of intimidation

  • Players may choose one of the following to add 1d4, depending on their plan:

    • Alluring Characters might turn the situation to their advantage 

    • Charming Characters might make a compelling argument, lie, or story

    • Clever Characters might use misdirection or hide just in the nick of time



Lord Muffin sneaks away to the hedge maze to meet Lady Scone. Despite arriving unobserved, the gardener rounds the corner and catches them in an embrace! Lord Muffin is known to be a very wealthy member of the Ton, and rumour has it he has quite the temper. The character's player outlines that Lord Muffin will bribe the gardener while giving them a proper dressing down for dereliction of duty.  


[The GMs roll a 12 for Lord Muffin, but with his +2 roll for being wealthy and +1 roll for being notorious, he passed with a total of 15 to get away with his illicit Scone encounter]


The gardener, somewhat chastened by his Lordship and eager to enjoy his bribe of bagels, makes haste to leave the pair alone.  

Caught or Not?

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