I've never really had an issue with this before, but it's recently been brought up in two of my games in the last week, so I figured I'd pop over here and see what shakes out:
Shield of Reputation is a Status test versus base Will.
Is "base Will" ever defined anywhere? I can't find such, and always assumed it meant against the base rank of the character's Will attribute, as opposed to the character's passive Will (4x).
This never really bothered me, because high Status people should be able to make others respect their position in society - it's how nearly everyone in Westeros was raised (respect your betters), and is a simple way to ensure players are at least mechanically having their character's behave "properly" (for some definition of "properly", even when being condescending to some jerk of a noble).
However, it has been pointed out to me that really, barring stuff like an opponent burning destiny to cause an auto-failure, the only real characters who have a chance at failing the test are slaves and other insignificant smallfolk vs the most stubborn/resolute folks of the realm (Will 5+). At the game's defaults, a Status 2 character rolls 2d6 vs the default Will of 2, which is always successful. Even against the game's default maximum (ie, without Blood of Heroes), the default Status 2 character has a 53% shot at a Will 7 character.
If that's the only real case where failure is possible, and as written there are no benefits for multiple degrees of success on the test, then is there much of a point to even having the test?
I can see it being handled 4 ways:
1. Leave as is.
2. Change to be vs passive Will
3. Make it automatic
4. Add some advantage for gaining multiple degrees of success (maybe the improvement only lasts for a number of exchanges equal to the degrees of success).