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ZeppMan217

Brawl incompatible boons and banes

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ZeppMan217    365

There's a small number of boons and banes that either don't work in the brawl or are incompatible with certain characters. Here's a list of em, along with potential changes:

Haggle Badge: straight up doesn't work in the brawl cause there are no optional quests or quest givers. Not the best value in the campaign for anyone other than Sal. Doesn't stack.

Spoiler

312649622_.png.7783f5a5a67c366f7d0083d9d9d6d77d.png

Proposed changes: replace the reward negotiation with a flat, stackable shill bonus (20-25 shills) awarded for successfully completing any quest. Essentially, an alternative to Admiralty Goon's Piece of the Pie with a higher acquisition cost (100 shills gift vs 150 shills) but a greater day to day pay out as well, provided you successfully complete the quests.

Authorization: similar to Haggle Badge, does nothing in the brawl. Limited campaign usefulness due to on location agent RNG (where are the cops when you need em?), and Rook's campaign simply not having a sizeable Admiralty presence.

Spoiler

1795761307_.png.6bcc27a5b2ef57768d5c72e75cc94af5.png

Proposed changes: this one's tough to rework on the fly due to the combat potential of having an extra body in a fight. I suppose the easiest option would be to have it apply 1 Flustered/Impair to a random enemy on the first turn of negotiation/combat. That would make Authorization a universally desirable boon, both in the campaign and the brawl, not to mention the stacking potential.

Heshian Armature: a character specific boon that does nothing for Sal and Smith.

Spoiler

1408622126_.png.dfe981ef03972593134cb5f8b73fa18f.png

Proposed changes: complete rework for non-Rook characters (similar to Threekwa's boon), grant the player 2 Adrenaline if they only played Attack cards last turn. Essentially, an inverse version of Sparky's boon (grants 2 temp. power if you didn't use any Attacks last turn).

Gremlins: a character specific bane that doesn't work with Sal or Smith.

Spoiler

2075104911_.png.6d8f69584d35343bba7b2ee145e11ed8.png

Proposed changes: complete rework, at the end of your first turn each battle, take 2 damage per card in hand.

Elitist: this bane actually works in the brawl, much the same way it does in the campaign, as in, talking to a non-quest character for the first time makes em dislike you. However, you could always preemptively counter Elitist by simply interacting with every character you see which, in combination with quest character protection, renders it somewhat useless. Plus, having to click on each new character every time you do a run is kinda silly.

Spoiler

1286702322_.png.3bd612e4c4b3ae2cb992145c313f3c1e.png

Proposed changes: complete overhaul, increase the cost of buying someone a drink by 20%, stackable. Makes it harder to make friends and earn forgiveness, eliminates the need for clicking on every character you meet. A win-win.

Red Tape: same as Authorization, does nothing in the brawl and hardly does anything in the campaign.

Spoiler

1554921864_.png.39d7955db9a0682035ad6632a20cc228.png

Proposed changes: again, tough to come up with something Admiralty flavored when the goal's to broaden the effect. Perhaps something along the lines of "the first time you apply a debuff in combat or negotiation, apply it to yourself as well".

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RageLeague    1485

Elitist may be extremely detrimental or have little effect, depending on what you're playing. If you are playing my mod, there are a lot more civilians spawned in the region so it gets triggered very frequently. It also doesn't stack. Perhaps something like once each day, a random civilian dislike you?

My idea for red tape is that opponent admiralty has bonus resolve, but the way the code works, there's no trigger for modifying resolve modifiers, so you cannot hook up grafts and whatnot with effects that modifies resolve.

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AuntHerbert    36

The sad thing about Haggle Badge is that it is actually fun.... where and when it works. An extra mini-game that rewards risking resolve for more ressources. But even for Sal it has been massively toned down and seems impractical to balance right. My dream solution would be to somehow make it viable for more quests instead of cutting it out entirely. I do believe to remember a time, when it could only be done at the start of a quest, which made the risk-reward aspect even spicier.

Authorization in Rook's campaign isn't that big of a problem. Yes, it's almost worthless, but there is only one instance to get it, and you don't have to do anything for it, beyond disobeying a questgiver once without any penalty, so meh. Admiralty clerks are the butt of the joke in more than one way, so a near useless boon and bane fits the pattern.

I think Red Tape is balanced on purpose to do almost nothing. Like the Rise bane in Sal's campaign, that threatens her health max for every Rise member she kills... when she barely meets any. Or Fellemo's Bane, that lowers max resolve for "every negotiation", which Rook usually only gets immediately prior to the last boss battle, with only one possible outstanding negotiation left. I am yet to be affected by any of those in brawl, so that may be different.

Heshian Armature and Gremlin are truly annoying, as especially Rook seems to be the only grifter, that can't be affected by them. His only interaction with her is to kill her or let her run free, which both don't change her disposition towards him. Only Sal and Smith can be hit by those, after they meet Rook, so changing them to be meaningful seems kind of like important.

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RageLeague    1485

Admiralty clerks has a renown of 3, same as wealthy merchants, bartenders, zealots, patrol leaders, pamphleteers. They are considered relatively important in Havarian society. Their boons and banes should do a lot more.

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AuntHerbert    36

The way they are portrayed in the campaign I rather think they should have their renown lowered  (Where do you get that stat from, anyway?) Pencil pushers, that don't pose a threat in a fight, and are mostly useful to press more shill out of a negotiation opponent.

No fancy uniforms, no fancy death loot, in quests they appear as sacrificial pawns, dissatisfied employees willing to cheat the Admirality or on the way to quit their job alltogether. Their idea of "power" is to hire a grifter to beat up a laborer for fun or extort a jake for landing fees. Plus all the puns about bureaucracy in their description and dialogs... they are basically the evil clowns in the story line, comparable to the laborers as the sad clowns, and far less sympathetic.

If you sort the Admirality page by title, the ranking in ascending order is Clerk, Goon, Guard, Investigator, Patrol Leader, Promoted Goon, and the uniforms fit this ranking. It all fits perfectly with forgettable Boons and Banes. Nobody would care for them apart from their clout with the guys that carry the big guns.

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RageLeague    1485

"Sort by title" is sorting the title alphabetically, it has nothing to do with the actual ranking of the characters.

I got their renown from the game's source code. Renown is supposed to indicate their standing in Havaria, which is supposed to be reflected on their negotiation difficulty. There's very little of that happening in-game though, so it doesn't exactly have much impact in terms of gameplay.

Admiralty clerks do have generally tougher negotiation, though, as they are very likely to create paper pusher instead of interrogate, an argument with more resolve that clogs up your deck in addition to dealing damage.

For their in-universe evidence of their prestige, they sign papers, and collect taxes. They do a lot of administrative work.

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AuntHerbert    36

OK, I may have misinterpreted the title ranking in the compendium, but just compare their uniforms with the rest of the Admirality. These guys obviously do take importance in flashy looks, given all the blink the upper ranks run around in, and the clerks have to wear greyed out drabs with barely a name patch. Also the story definitely does not present or treat them as VIP's who's opinion can really shake a grifters self-esteem.

If the devs wanted to portray them as important pillars of society, then they certainly failed at it.... or more likely changed their ideas.

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RageLeague    1485

Examples of Admiralty Clerk only job/quests:

"Special Delivery", where Clerks smuggle weapons to the bog. You are there to escort them to the location. Them smuggling weapons imply that they control the weapon supplies in the admiralty, which is a big deal you'd imagine.

"Trade Secret", where Clerks can buy Barons research notes from you to fund the rise. This implies that they controls the financing and logistics in the Admiralty.

"Collection Day", where Clerks collect taxes from the citizenry. They are akin to the IRS agents, and even Joker cannot mess with them. Furthermore, it is very easy for them to pocket the money collected from taxes, showing their authority and class.

"Shoot the Messenger" where a Clerk receives message from Oolo, implying their role in communications and their authority to manage Admiralty resources. Their role in communication is also demonstrated in an event where sal gets an envelope from the admiralty.

"Bounty hunt", "Competing Bids", where a Clerk issues bounties for you to collect. If you mess with them, they could screw over you by having you wanted by the Admiralty.

"Bounced Out", where they sign release for a prisoner.

"Termination of Command", where there's a clerk issuing a hit and a clerk apparently knowing how Griftlands works.

From those examples, we can conclude that they indeed hold high authority, and should be represented by their boon/bane.

(P.S. Their "uniform", I would see that it more represents their armor, and them wearing a simple shirt just represent they suck at combat.)

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On 4/10/2021 at 1:49 PM, ZeppMan217 said:

There's a small number of boons and banes that either don't work in the brawl or are incompatible with certain characters. Here's a list of em, along with potential changes:

Haggle Badge: straight up doesn't work in the brawl cause there are no optional quests or quest givers. Not the best value in the campaign for anyone other than Sal. Doesn't stack.

  Reveal hidden contents

312649622_.png.7783f5a5a67c366f7d0083d9d9d6d77d.png

Proposed changes: replace the reward negotiation with a flat, stackable shill bonus (20-25 shills) awarded for successfully completing any quest. Essentially, an alternative to Admiralty Goon's Piece of the Pie with a higher acquisition cost (100 shills gift vs 150 shills) but a greater day to day pay out as well, provided you successfully complete the quests.

Authorization: similar to Haggle Badge, does nothing in the brawl. Limited campaign usefulness due to on location agent RNG (where are the cops when you need em?), and Rook's campaign simply not having a sizeable Admiralty presence.

  Reveal hidden contents

1795761307_.png.6bcc27a5b2ef57768d5c72e75cc94af5.png

Proposed changes: this one's tough to rework on the fly due to the combat potential of having an extra body in a fight. I suppose the easiest option would be to have it apply 1 Flustered/Impair to a random enemy on the first turn of negotiation/combat. That would make Authorization a universally desirable boon, both in the campaign and the brawl, not to mention the stacking potential.

Heshian Armature: a character specific boon that does nothing for Sal and Smith.

  Reveal hidden contents

1408622126_.png.dfe981ef03972593134cb5f8b73fa18f.png

Proposed changes: complete rework for non-Rook characters (similar to Threekwa's boon), grant the player 2 Adrenaline if they only played Attack cards last turn. Essentially, an inverse version of Sparky's boon (grants 2 temp. power if you didn't use any Attacks last turn).

Gremlins: a character specific bane that doesn't work with Sal or Smith.

  Reveal hidden contents

2075104911_.png.6d8f69584d35343bba7b2ee145e11ed8.png

Proposed changes: complete rework, at the end of your first turn each battle, take 2 damage per card in hand.

Elitist: this bane actually works in the brawl, much the same way it does in the campaign, as in, talking to a non-quest character for the first time makes em dislike you. However, you could always preemptively counter Elitist by simply interacting with every character you see which, in combination with quest character protection, renders it somewhat useless. Plus, having to click on each new character every time you do a run is kinda silly.

  Reveal hidden contents

1286702322_.png.3bd612e4c4b3ae2cb992145c313f3c1e.png

Proposed changes: complete overhaul, increase the cost of buying someone a drink by 20%, stackable. Makes it harder to make friends and earn forgiveness, eliminates the need for clicking on every character you meet. A win-win.

Red Tape: same as Authorization, does nothing in the brawl and hardly does anything in the campaign.

  Reveal hidden contents

1554921864_.png.39d7955db9a0682035ad6632a20cc228.png

Proposed changes: again, tough to come up with something Admiralty flavored when the goal's to broaden the effect. Perhaps something along the lines of "the first time you apply a debuff in combat or negotiation, apply it to yourself as well".

Speaking of Red Tape, I did have that bane during a boss fight, but the game still let me have an Authorities person help me with it. This was with Sal's Day 3 boss fight. And your right about those banes/boon not working with brawl, since in brawl, you don't have any story dialog at all, some features form the campaign mode are not it brawl, such as optional quests, etc., and you only able go back to the bar between fights and/or negotiations, too.

Maybe they should change the game a bit so that those groups of enemies only appear in the brawls of the characters that can be affected by the banes/boons, or don't have them appear in brawl at all.

But, your ideas make sense as replacements.

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ZeppMan217    365

Oh, I also forgot about Inoculated and Bog Sensitive, a boon/bane combo that only affects Rook.

Spoiler

 

image.png.606471e91d0109665a429251b49d6fd8.png

 

Proposed changes: a rather involved Threekwa-style rework for non-Rook characters, "at the start of combat or negotiation, a random card in your deck is marked with Sigil of the Bog. Whenever you draw a Sigil of the Bog card, heal 2 HP or restore 2 resolve/take 2 damage". This solution could be reused for any other Parasite involved boons/banes, like Grimdelia's, should they ever appear in the brawl.

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AuntHerbert    36
22 hours ago, RageLeague said:

Examples of Admiralty Clerk only job/quests:

"Special Delivery", where Clerks smuggle weapons to the bog. You are there to escort them to the location. Them smuggling weapons imply that they control the weapon supplies in the admiralty, which is a big deal you'd imagine.

"Trade Secret", where Clerks can buy Barons research notes from you to fund the rise. This implies that they controls the financing and logistics in the Admiralty.

"Collection Day", where Clerks collect taxes from the citizenry. They are akin to the IRS agents, and even Joker cannot mess with them. Furthermore, it is very easy for them to pocket the money collected from taxes, showing their authority and class.

"Shoot the Messenger" where a Clerk receives message from Oolo, implying their role in communications and their authority to manage Admiralty resources. Their role in communication is also demonstrated in an event where sal gets an envelope from the admiralty.

"Bounty hunt", "Competing Bids", where a Clerk issues bounties for you to collect. If you mess with them, they could screw over you by having you wanted by the Admiralty.

"Bounced Out", where they sign release for a prisoner.

"Termination of Command", where there's a clerk issuing a hit and a clerk apparently knowing how Griftlands works.

From those examples, we can conclude that they indeed hold high authority, and should be represented by their boon/bane.

(P.S. Their "uniform", I would see that it more represents their armor, and them wearing a simple shirt just represent they suck at combat.)

Special Delivery: Rook is told to off the clerk after delivering to the bog to avoid witnesses. Clerks are disposable pawns and untrustworthy.

Trade Secret: All the clerk has to offer to Rook as a kickback is an untrained unupgraded vroc. The details of the payment to the Rise are never revealed in detail,

Collection Day: Clerks are corrupt and underpaid and scam even the Admirality for money. Or at least would, if they weren't too cowardly to pull it off by themselves.

Bounty hunt, Competing Bids, Termination of Command: In one of the dialogs the clerk expressively complains about the boredom of checking off a meaningless list to outsource hit jobs, the Admirality can't be bothered with to do themselves. He/She doesn't even know why the person is on the list and doesn't care. Clerks are just relating decisions from higher-ups to filthy grifters. And isn't the target of Termination of Command themselves a Clerk, who ran away from their job? Or was that another quest?

Bounced Out: The prisoner in question is Sweet Moreef's bouncer, detained for brawling and uncouth behavior. Barely a high security case of a hardened criminal.

And last not least, exactly the meaningless Boons and Banes that started our little debate show, that the authors of Griftland do not share your gilded view of Clerks.

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RageLeague    1485
12 minutes ago, AuntHerbert said:

Special Delivery: Rook is told to off the clerk after delivering to the bog to avoid witnesses. Clerks are disposable pawns and untrustworthy.

Trade Secret: All the clerk has to offer to Rook as a kickback is an untrained unupgraded vroc. The details of the payment to the Rise are never revealed in detail,

Collection Day: Clerks are corrupt and underpaid and scam even the Admirality for money. Or at least would, if they weren't too cowardly to pull it off by themselves.

Bounty hunt, Competing Bids, Termination of Command: In one of the dialogs the clerk expressively complains about the boredom of checking off a meaningless list to outsource hit jobs, the Admirality can't be bothered with to do themselves. He/She doesn't even know why the person is on the list and doesn't care. Clerks are just relating decisions from higher-ups to filthy grifters. And isn't the target of Termination of Command themselves a Clerk, who ran away from their job? Or was that another quest?

Bounced Out: The prisoner in question is Sweet Moreef's bouncer, detained for brawling and uncouth behavior. Barely a high security case of a hardened criminal.

And last not least, exactly the meaningless Boons and Banes that started our little debate show, that the authors of Griftland do not share your gilded view of Clerks.

You gave reasons why they don't have a renown of 5. It's not griftlands if a single class can just trump all others, or if a single class can do whatever they want without consequences. Life sucks for everyone even those at the top of the hierarchy, but some lives just suck less than others. Also the purpose of Clerks is not engaging in combat. That's what goons and guards are for.

"Using someone as pawns does not indicate that they have low social standing." Rook uses Fellemo and Kalandra as pawns as well. If anything, that just indicates Rook's character.

The quest I listed above are the ones that explicitly require an Admiralty Clerk to fill that role and no one else. If you look at quest roles filled by other members of the admiralty, can you really argue that they are better off than clerks?

 

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AuntHerbert    36

Well, you argue that the authors of Griftland made a mistake by designing the Boons and Banes for Clerks, and should change it. And you base your argument not on balancing concerns in the brawl, but on worldbuilding continuity. 

My position is just that the way it is now is consistent with the Clerks role in the storyline. It seems your burden of proof should be quite a bit higher than mine, and I do not see you carrying it through. All you have on your side is a hidden variable somewhere in the dregs of the programming code, possibly a remnant of an initial idea the devs never followed through to realize.

I find it completely plausible, that other Admirality types may offer or reject a little favor to someone who is in especially good or bad standing with one specific clerk, but nobody else cares. And knowing, that a Clerk loves or hates them has certainly not enough of an impact on Sal, Rook or Smith, to influence their combat reflexes or self esteem. Like, having troubles to digest their meal when they know, that a Spree raider has it out for them, or getting more at ease with the effects of alcohol or other minor ailment's, when they have a priest's blessing.

What I love so much about Griftlands is, that it has those two sides: Yes, it is a card game that focuses on deck building tactics and card mechanics, but it is also a story-telling device, and the way the card mechanics are set up often have the dual purpose of expressing personality. I truely laud ZeppMan's effort to provide more input to the "e-sports" side of Griftland, especially as it displays in brawl, which is a bit the ugly duck side at the moment, and I don't want to hijack his thread. I just want to point out when I feel his solutions would lessen the narrative side, which is probably the main sales argument for Griftlands.

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RageLeague    1485

Either way, it leads to a contradiction that the renown of Admiralty Clerk, along with Laborer and probably some other class like Security Guard, does not match with their boon/bane. It is clearly an inconsistency, and I hope they can get this resolved.

Although, my claim still stands, that the Admiralty Clerk has relative high renown, has higher authority than Goons(renown=1, combat strength=2) or Guards(renown=2, combat strength=3), has comparable social standing to others of similar renown such as smugglers(renown=combat strength=3), wealthy merchants(renown=3, combat strength=2), patrol leaders(renown=3, combat strength=4), and is reflected in their unique role in quests. My claim is not that Admiralty Clerks are tough, strong in combat, has no problem whatsoever, or is at the top of Admiralty's hierarchy.

Your counterargument does not necessarily disprove those facts. Everyone in Griftlands, regardless of their social standing, are constantly worrying about survival by each day. Things like killing, corruption, backstabbing, etc. are common occurrences to everyone regardless of their social standing.

Therefore, Rook backstabbing a clerk is not evidence of their low social status. Like in chess, while you sacrifice pawns a lot, there are gambits where you sacrifice higher valued pieces, like knights, rooks, or even sometimes queens, in order to advance your goal. Remember in that quest, the Clerk is important and feeble enough to require an escort in the first place. His backstabbing is just rook being rook.

In trade secret, considering the other buyers, the Jakes Smuggler(renown=3, combat strength=3) and the Priest(renown=4, combat strength=2.5), are all people of relatively high importance in Griftlands society, and I don't know about you, but negotiating trade deals isn't really a job for low ranking members of an organization.

You claim that clerks are corrupt and underpaid and even scams the Admiralty for money, but if not for their position, they wouldn't even get close to doing even that. Getting underpaid isn't proof of someone not in position of power.

The boredom of checking off a list and hiring someone else to do their dirty work implies job security and having enough resources to hire someone else. The alternative of doing paper work is fighting in the frontline and worrying about dying every day. The fact that you barely get to fight clerks unless you provoke them because they give you a bane or you are rook and are on that one contract quest should corroborate that. You claim that they relay decisions from higher up to the grifter, but everyone except for the ones at the very top like Nadan or Kalandra has a higher-up that gives them orders. Even Oolo and Fellemo does. However, as you go higher up the hierarchy, you have more freedom and authority to do whatever you want. They have the power to release someone from prison, which is not something Goons or Guards can do.

Anyway, to disprove this, you need to show that their social status is lower than someone whose renown is lower than them. You can find a list of character's renown here(https://griftlands.fandom.com/wiki/Characters). It is not exactly up to date since I last edited it, but it contains most characters' renown.

 

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AuntHerbert    36

You misremember the quest. It is not Rook deciding to kill the Clerk I am talking about, it is Rook receiving the direct order to kill the Clerk. Disobeying this order is the only way for Rook to get a Clerk's Boon in campaign, so it certainly isn't a characterization of Rook, at most it is a characterization of his secret client. Who is obviously powerful and influential, and in another quest worried about the good name of the "Cult of Hesh".

And about that renown variable, that only becomes apparent to ppl who load up the program's code in an editor, and as such obviously has NO narrative function: the way it is paired with "combat strength" seems to indicate to me, that all it describes is the relative strength of someone in a debate, not his "social standing in the overall society" like you imagine it. In a debate clerks, wealthy merchants, bartenders, zealots, patrol leaders, and pamphleteers could be considered about equally strong, that checks out. I am pretty sure this variable is in the game to select opponents for quests like "Win the Crowd" or "Convince <person>" in brawl, where the game randomly generates debate opponents of a comparable strength, but that isn't an axiomatic ruling about their class ranking in the game world.

In daily quests monsters can be debated, so they may have a renown stat in the code, although they are probably not supposed to be legible as random debaters in brawl, so they also might not have one. If they DO have renown in your interpretation it should be 0, in my reading it should be quite high. I currently have no good editor installed, so if you have to find out, that would be your task to check.

The programming code is not a "GM's hidden guide to Havaria worldbuilding" publication, and shouldn't be treated as such. Basing worldbuilding arguments on it, like you try to, is just applying the wrong tool to the wrong job. The argument "The authors made a worldbuilding mistake and should fix it, because they ignored my personal interpretation of a hidden variable in the game code" is quite arrogant and stupid. It is still THEIR artistic work you are judging here, and it finds its expression in the dialogues and interactions in game, not in the code that produces these expressions. You might want to take a walk around the block and consider whether your pride about being able to read code led you to some quite wrong conclusions. You are on the way to read canon from tea-leaves, which only leads to head canon.

And I frankly DON'T think this "Renown" stat belongs in the wikipedia, exactly because it can be misunderstood the way you just did, and just leads to further confusion with Smith's debate mechanic. 

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RageLeague    1485
8 hours ago, AuntHerbert said:

You misremember the quest. It is not Rook deciding to kill the Clerk I am talking about, it is Rook receiving the direct order to kill the Clerk. Disobeying this order is the only way for Rook to get a Clerk's Boon in campaign, so it certainly isn't a characterization of Rook, at most it is a characterization of his secret client. Who is obviously powerful and influential, and in another quest worried about the good name of the "Cult of Hesh".

And about that renown variable, that only becomes apparent to ppl who load up the program's code in an editor, and as such obviously has NO narrative function: the way it is paired with "combat strength" seems to indicate to me, that all it describes is the relative strength of someone in a debate, not his "social standing in the overall society" like you imagine it. In a debate clerks, wealthy merchants, bartenders, zealots, patrol leaders, and pamphleteers could be considered about equally strong, that checks out. I am pretty sure this variable is in the game to select opponents for quests like "Win the Crowd" or "Convince <person>" in brawl, where the game randomly generates debate opponents of a comparable strength, but that isn't an axiomatic ruling about their class ranking in the game world.

In daily quests monsters can be debated, so they may have a renown stat in the code, although they are probably not supposed to be legible as random debaters in brawl, so they also might not have one. If they DO have renown in your interpretation it should be 0, in my reading it should be quite high. I currently have no good editor installed, so if you have to find out, that would be your task to check.

The programming code is not a "GM's hidden guide to Havaria worldbuilding" publication, and shouldn't be treated as such. Basing worldbuilding arguments on it, like you try to, is just applying the wrong tool to the wrong job. The argument "The authors made a worldbuilding mistake and should fix it, because they ignored my personal interpretation of a hidden variable in the game code" is quite arrogant and stupid. It is still THEIR artistic work you are judging here, and it finds its expression in the dialogues and interactions in game, not in the code that produces these expressions. You might want to take a walk around the block and consider whether your pride about being able to read code led you to some quite wrong conclusions. You are on the way to read canon from tea-leaves, which only leads to head canon.

And I frankly DON'T think this "Renown" stat belongs in the wikipedia, exactly because it can be misunderstood the way you just did, and just leads to further confusion with Smith's debate mechanic. 

First, regardless whatever Rook's orders are, the fate of the clerk is ultimately in Rook's hands.

Second, your argument that "renown" is only an indication of their negotiation difficulty is baseless. You have no evidence backing up your claim, while I have plenty of evidence already presented. Here's another one: only sentient characters have "renown" as their attribute. Non-sentient characters like monsters have no renown explicitly defined, or is assigned to 1, the default value, even if they have a negotiation behaviour. The game does have a fallback when renown isn't explicitly defined, but that is just making sure that the game doesn't crash.

Here's another evidence: The gift cost for letting someone love you depends on a person's renown as well as their combat strength. This means that higher renowned people(and people with high cs) has higher standards. A person's renown also affects the rarity of battle cards they can give as a gift to you(for some reason, and for the same reason, a person's combat strength affects the rarity of negotiation cards they can give you. This may or may not be reversed accidentally). Assuming that the intended effect is the rarity of negotiation cards, this would imply that higher renown people have access to better things. The same holds true if that's not the intended effect, although that would be slightly weird.

Decisive evidence: According to the eject patron tooltip:

TT_EVICT_AGENT = "{1#agent} is {2:of little importance|of some importance|of high importance|of very high repute|known by all}:",

Where 1 is the ejection target 2 is the renown of the person you are trying to eject. The resolve cost is also equal to the target's renown. This means that you can actually find out about a person's renown in-game as long as they are patronizing a location like a bar, and the bouncer likes you. The tooltip also shows how important that person is, as you can see. For some reason, this completely slipped my mind, which I would admit is a fault on my part.

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