The current 7th Sea reputation system is one of the least well thought out portions of game design I’ve ever seen. As written, you can do equal amounts of vile stuff but as long as you balance it with good stuff, you’re invisible. No one will ever know that you run Theah’s largest orphanage so long as you eat a baby from it at the end of every week.
After fiddling around with numerous tweaks, I’m going to give this one a whirl. Inspired by the Glory rules in L5R, Reputation is a normal 5 rank stat. However, the player chooses whether he is a Hero or Scoundrel (Villains are, naturally, outside the scope of my typical 7th Sea games… at least to start with). Players start with a 0 in Reputation. For every 10 points of Reputation you earn in play, it increases by 1. Each full point should also come with a descriptor or title that is relevant to where the majority of points got earned; for instance, a famed Castillian swordsman with 4 ranks in Reputation as a Scoundrel might be called the The Razor of Soldano, Harvester of Sunflowers, Hand of El Vago, Butcher of the Last Wall.
When someone rolls to determine whether or not they know you, the TN is 30 – (5 x your ranks in Rep), so hitting rank 6 (legendary renown) means that you’re about as famous in Theah as Berek and other bigwigs.
Reputation can be used like Drama Dice to add unkept dice to any skill check that could conceivably be augmented by your character’s renown. If you can somehow work your title in, these dice become kept dice.
The Citation and Scoundrel advantages each give a full rank of Reputation.
Reputation ranks add 2 dice per rank to a Glamour mage’s pool of Glamour dice.