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Old 02-23-2020, 03:58 AM   #17
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: UK
Default Re: Working Stiffs or: How Much Should Professional Adventurer's Realistically Make?

Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
But in that case, he needs funding to continue his quest (specifically travel costs to Marrakech) not to line his own pockets.
Brody: "Yes, the museum will buy them, as usual, no questions asked."
This would mean that he regularly sells "liberated artifacts", not just that one time. That said, Indiana Jones is strongly implied to rely on his day job of teaching archaeology, and that his adventures are the exception.

More on topic, I don't think that "adventurer" is a job that (reliably) gets one rich.

In a (lower-case) dungeon fantasy setting, "adventurer" is far more likely to be a full-time occupation, but I don't think it is a particularly lucrative one. Paladins and clerics do it for the glory of their god, for justice, or to protect the innocent. Warlocks and wizards do it for power and knowledge, and regard money only as a means to that end. Bards do it to seduce everything that moves, and a few things that don't. And so on. Thieves are the only exception I can think of right now.

Best case, you are basically a mercenary. You get paid better than a soldier, which is probably what you were before, but only the desperate or the thoroughly amoral would hire you, which limits your income stream. Who would pay a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits when you have regulated, obedient soldiers/peacekeepers who do it mostly out of loyalty, plus a soldier's salary?

This is just me, of course, but most of my dungeon fantasy characters are thoroughly broken individuals who for some reason don't fit into the life of a peasant, craftsman, city guard or guild magician, and raid lich tombs and goblin dens more out of desperation/necessity than a quest for riches. The rest are plain grave robbers/tomb raiders/lich looters and/or the aforementioned mercenaries. If it goes well, their unreliable, sporadic windfalls average out to slightly more than they could have made in a "civilian" life, once you subtract item repairs, healing potions and nights spent drinking and wenching in taverns.

Of course, if your players need to see their gold counters go up to get the feeling that they are "winning" the game, and feel cheated if they don't find a powerful magic item for every character in every dungeon, you need to be more generous.

Last edited by CeeDub; 02-23-2020 at 04:46 AM.
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