Lifted almost verbatim from Codebreaker at this thread.
I found it strange that an extremely high reputation individual could essentially be brought down by a series of very small reputation losses. I found it ridiculous that, given time a ships engineer could easily rank up to the very top of the reputation ladder simply by performing routine maintenance (doing the jobs noone else wants to do.)
Reputation is measured in levels (0-19 Level 1, 20-39 Level 2, etc.), and reputation gains and losses are also measured in levels (Trivial, Minor, Moderate, etc.) which just so happen to line up fairly well. What I propose is that as a person gains reputation by performing tasks, and they break through those level threshold, their reputation is only influenced by gains/losses from 1 gain/loss level below and up. A quick table, and then an example;
|Reputation Level||Applicable Gain/Losses|
|Level 1 (0-19)||Trivial/Minor/Moderate/Major/Extreme|
|Level 2 (20-39)||Trivial/Minor/Moderate/Major/Extreme|
|Level 3 (40-59)||Minor/Moderate/Major/Extreme|
|Level 4 (60-79)||Moderate/Major/Extreme|
|Level 5 (80-99)||Major/Extreme|
James O’Niell is a fairly well known gatecrasher, well respected among the Argonauts (r-Rep = 35) due to some minor scientific discoveries made out of system. He currently has a reputation level of 2, and so can gain and lose reputation from any of the awards/losses. Someone asks him to do them a Level 1 favor, but he refuses and losses 2 points of reputation (r-Rep = 33). While off world he makes a major discovery, potentially pointing to living, sentient lifeforms. He recieves a massive boost in his reputation, gaining an Extreme award and 10 points of reputation (r-Rep = 43). This pushes James’ reputation above the Level 3 threshold, and he is now only influenced by awards/losses above Minor. Again, someone asks him to do them a Level 1 favor, and again he refuses. This time he does not lose any reputation, Level 3 reputation holders are not influenced by Trivial losses. However, he also performs a level 1 favor for someone else, but he gains no reputation for it. His reputation level also puts him above Trivial awards.
I am fairly sure that explains what I mean fairly clearly. I had a good think about this last night, and while I have not yet had a chance to playtest it I am fairly sure it fixes some of the problems I had with the reputation system.
Using this modified version, extremely high reputation holders are immune to some of the dangers present to lower reputation holders. Due to their fame, people do not look unkindly on them when they are unable to perform fairly basic favors. After all, you are a high reputation individual, you almost certainly have much more important work to be doing. However you also do not get anything from doing just as basic favors for other people. After all, you are a high reputation individual, such things are kind of expected from you.
But it is also quite possible for individuals to fuck up big time, and then suffer for it for some time. Say someone with an @-Rep of 87 really screws up. They take a -10 hit, pushing their reputation to 77 and below the Level 5 threshold. They are now liable for any Moderate Losses they might have previously been immune from. Now when they endanger someones safety they take the reputation hit and lose 6 reputation. They also fail a few Level 3 favors, something else they would have been immune from before. They quickly find that their reputation has plummeted from 87 to a still fairly respectable 42. But now they are also liable for Minor losses, and are basically forced to help anyone who asks them to do a Level 2 favor for fear of falling even lower and opening themselves up to Trivial losses.