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Old 12-11-2012, 12:04 PM   #41
Sir Tifyable
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Sheffield, England
Default Re: Gear rich, money poor

Whatís wrong with Unusual Background, which is priced by GM fiat?

Han Ė you have a small starship. Itís fast, but an old and battered thing you won in a card game. You can evade customs patrols and get perishables to distant markets quickly, but most of your earnings will be taken up in spare parts and dockyard fees for the maintenance you canít do yourself. That makes it revenue-neutral, so itís not Wealth. Because it comes in handy sometimes for adventures, Iíll call that a 10-point UB (once won a starship in a card game).

Engor the Vicious: you have your ancestral +5 Flaming Sword. Bit flashy that, and lots of people know about it. The advantage it gives you in combat is going to be counterbalanced by the annoyance of staying alert for people trying to take it from you Ė by theft, or by killing you for it. Without a personal bodyguard of soldiers to do the watching for you, you will need to stay constantly alert for attacks. Your ancestors wonít be happy if you donít buy Signature Gear for it and lose it in the first scenario, so weíll include Sig Gear in the UB cost. That makes it a 20-point advantage: UB (inherited a Magic Sword).

So a starship costing millions is worth fewer cps than a sword costing tens of thousands. Itís up to you as GM to price the UB on how useful they will be in the campaign.

The Falcon is basically a bus to take them to the scenario and a getaway car in the event it goes badly, so not that significant. Also, itís a tool for you as GM to get the party into the next scenario, so you want him to have it, and itís a resource for the whole party so why should the captain pay the whole cost? For all these reasons, Iíd say that the starship should be pretty cheap. Because you are using Unusual Background the cp cost does not need to relate to the sticker price. If the starship is in better condition and will enable the owner to make a steady profit, add the equivalent Independent Income to the UB cost based on its in-game utility, or if you want the extra book-keeping make it the captainís job so that income is based on his Job Roll, which will be related to the Wealth level he buys normally.

The sword will make a huge difference to his survival chances every time Engor gets into a lethal fight, so despite its lower ticket price, it is still going to cost him a huge chunk of cps. About as much as +5 to his Sword skill, in fact! You can arbitrarily say that the complications of people wanting to steal it will be counterbalanced cost-wise by Sig Gear and its other attributes Ė the times when a magic blade or one thatís doing fire damage in addition is worth more than just being better at hitting. Then hand-wave away the facts that for +5 to Sword skill heíd have better defaults with other weapons Ė heís not likely to use them. Or you can charge him for some of those factors, so that the cp cost reflects how much impact you think it will have on the campaign in Engorís favour.
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