Rivalry

A character with this Disadvantage is engaged in a not-so-friendly rivalry, whether professional, romantic, or both, with another character. The character always attempts to outdo his Rival, though the extent to which he’ll go to do this depends on the strength of the Rivalry (see below).

The GM must approve all Rivalries (as must the player of a PC who’s to serve as a Rival, if applicable).

Rivalry Versus Hunted
Rivalry is similar to Hunted in some ways, but there are also important differences. First, the character is often on the same “side,” or is somehow allied or in league with, his Rival.

Second, a character does not normally pursue or hunt for his Rival, being instead content to “cross swords” with him whenever they happen to meet.

Third, Rivalries usually affect a character’s personal life and rarely involve combat, unlike many Hunteds. A Hunted will, as the name implies, hunt down a character and directly try to cause him harm (attack him, blackmail him, and so forth). A Rival is more likely to take action against the character indirectly, or behind the scenes, than to attack him. For example, he might refuse to help the character, subtly lead him into a dangerous situation and then abandon him to fend for himself, or make him look like a fool in front of others.

With the GM’s permission, a character could have a Rival who’s also a Hunted or a DNPC (or even a Follower or Contact, perhaps). However, the GM needs to examine any of those situations carefully to make sure the character isn’t getting more Disadvantage points than he’s really entitled to — there should be distinct features that make the other character disadvantageous in multiple ways, and the ending of one of those “relationships” shouldn’t necessarily end the other.

Rivalry’s Value
The value of a Rivalry depends on four factors.

First, is the Rivalry Professional (which includes job- and hobby-related goals and aspirations), Romantic, or both?

Second, what’s the relative power of the character and his Rival? The more advantages the Rival has over the character, the greater the value of the Rivalry. These advantages could include higher rank, the ability to give the character orders, being more socially or politically prominent, having better relevant Skills (such as a better Courtier roll), being wealthier, being closer to the object of the Rivalry (for example, the Rival is engaged to the object of a Romantic Rivalry), or outnumbering the character (a character who takes a Rivalry with “the Atlantean Lancers” gets more points than one who takes a Rivalry with a single legalos). Similarly, a Rival who’s a PC (and thus, by definition, possesses more importance and advantages than the average person) is worth more points.

Third, how fierce is the Rivalry? Most characters simply seek to outdo, embarrass, or humiliate their Rival, but some want to harm him or kill him.

Fourth, is the Rival aware or unaware of the Rivalry? Most Rivals are Aware. If they’re Unaware (which gives the character an advantage), the Rivalry is worth -5 points.

Value Rivalry Situation
5 Professional or Romantic Rival
10 Professional and Romantic Rival
Value Rival’s Power Or Authority
- 5 Rival is Less Powerful than character or is in an Inferior Position
+ 5 Rival is More Powerful than character or is in a Superior Position (superior rank, numerical superiority, wealthier)
+ 10 Rival is Significantly More Powerful than character or is in a Very Superior Position (engaged/married to romantic interest, very superior rank, much greater wealth than character, significant social or political power, greatly outnumbers character)
+ 5 Rival is a Player Character
Value Fierceness Of Rivalry
+ 0 Character seeks to Outdo, Embarrass, or Humiliate Rival
+ 5 Character seeks to Harm or Kill Rival
Value Knowledge Of Rivalry
- 5 Rival is Unaware of Rivalry
+ 0 Rival is Aware of Rivalry

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Rivalry

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