Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-23-2017, 12:28 PM   #11
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Alternate Wealth rules

Quote:
Originally Posted by PK View Post
The way I see it, everything that you buy is, to at least some degree, for the party.
Sort of. Making your character better does make the party better, but they also give a moment of glory to your character. If buying and selling was roleplayed, being the buybot would be fine.
__________________
My GURPS site and Blog.
Anthony is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2017, 12:40 PM   #12
sir_pudding
Wielder of Smart Pants
 
sir_pudding's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ventura CA
Default Re: Alternate Wealth rules

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Sort of. Making your character better does make the party better, but they also give a moment of glory to your character. If buying and selling was roleplayed, being the buybot would be fine.
I think if you have a player who invested in being the sell-bot, then you probably ought to roleplay some of that.
sir_pudding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2017, 02:12 PM   #13
Spartan506
 
Spartan506's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Default Re: Alternate Wealth rules

Respectfully, this seems like an inelegant solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

First, the premise is somewhat illogical and counterintuitive, because it's highly unlikely that rich and poor people are going to be charged astronomically different prices for the same item. In fact, it's more likely that the rich guy pays more for services, not goods, because that's the "going rate" in the rich neighborhood (check out the differences in landscaping prices based on zip codes!).

But for goods, regardless of the wealth differences, if any two people go into Walmart for a compound bow, they're both paying $400. The rich guy isn't paying less, the poor guy isn't paying more. Sure, this is a 2017 example, and perhaps it doesn't truly reflect a TL3 economy, but I don't think that's how it commonly worked. "Hey, you want a loaf of bread? One shilling for you, Mr. Noble. Mr. Poor Guy, you want a loaf? 1,000 shillings." I don't think so.

Second, the Thief or Bard pays 20 points (or 10) for some level of wealth, and that benefits both him and the whole group, just like the Knight pays 20 points (or in some cases 40+) in Weapon Master that benefits the whole group, especially the Thief, as the Knight cuts down swaths of enemies that could put the Thief's life in significant danger. The Thief's 20 points in Wealth help the group get a better profit, which is important, because the Thief is probably not getting any of that without his buddies killing monsters for him, casting spells for him, breaking down stuck doors for him, healing him, etc. If the Thief wants to get more of a cut, he can play it that way. Perhaps he rationalizes it and explains it to the group. They'll agree or not. I highly doubt I would as a player. And I suspect that the proposal might even lead to members of the group saying, "OK, Mr. Thief, so after you get your cut for being our fence, here's the bill for the healing spells I cast on you, at $x per energy, point," or "Here's the bill for me saving your life when those two ogres were bearing down on you," etc.

Third, and finally, I think the rules make a certain amount of sense, if not perfect: The wealthier character can find buyers for items and can get close to full value for them, while the poor character, who has no connections, is selling his stuff to the local pawn shop. They know he can't do much better, so he's getting pennies on the dollar for his stuff, which the pawn shop will sell at a big profit. Sounds a lot like real life.

I can see how for big ticket items that are more negotiable, a wealthier character might get a better deal, but not necessarily due to his wealth (although that may come into play) as much as the wealthier character has better knowledge of prices, more purchasing experience, etc. I guess the question is, is the broadsword for sale negotiable like, say, a $30,000 car? If so, maybe the wealthier guy gets it for somewhat cheaper. But I don't think the very wealthy guy gets it for $12,000 (40%), and the person's who's struggling pays $39,000 (130%). Highly doubtful. Money talks. I don't see the shopkeeper giving the wealthy guy a break on a longsword so he can get almost no profit or take a loss, but then tells the poor guy it's going to cost several times more than what the rich guy just paid (which will end up with the shopkeeper not making a sale, not making a profit, etc.). If there are items in short supply, that's a different story--it will drive up the price. But a routine transaction? It's going to be substantially the same price for everyone. The advantage of Wealth is that it's far easier for the wealthy guy to buy it.

In the end, changing game mechanics that are rooted in common sense to a mechanic that doesn't make much sense to solve a problem that may be a niche case in some games isn't a great idea.

Last edited by Spartan506; 12-23-2017 at 02:16 PM. Reason: Left off the last four words!
Spartan506 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2017, 06:48 PM   #14
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Alternate Wealth rules

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
I think if you have a player who invested in being the sell-bot, then you probably ought to roleplay some of that.
Dependent on the GM, and normally assumed not part of the theme of dungeon fantasy.
__________________
My GURPS site and Blog.
Anthony is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2017, 08:20 PM   #15
mlangsdorf
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Default Re: Alternate Wealth rules

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchonShiva View Post
The current wealth rules basically seem to be “The bard/thief sells stuff for everyone, taking whatever cut they want.”, which lands the poor face character between a rock and a hard place: either they paid (e.g.) [20] points and are no better off than the others, or they’re just asking for tensions within the group.
The Cleric spends 22 points for Turning, but everyone benefits when he uses the ability. Why should the Face's ability to get more money for loot be any different?

My usual problem with wealth in DF is that it's too tempting to create a single face character with Wealth and have the rest of the part be Struggling and trade character points for money. The value of the starting you get from Comfortable isn't worth as much as you pay for it. My house rules usually decouple starting wealth from your ability to buy stuff, and that's worked well for me. But I've never had an issue with one character selling stuff at a better rate: that's always been a useful ability.
__________________
Read my GURPS blog: http://noschoolgrognard.blogspot.com
mlangsdorf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2017, 06:02 AM   #16
PK
Assistant GURPS Line Editor
 
PK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Dobbstown Sane Asylum
Default Re: Alternate Wealth rules

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Sort of. Making your character better does make the party better, but they also give a moment of glory to your character. If buying and selling was roleplayed, being the buybot would be fine.
Actually, we generally do at least a little bit of roleplaying in our buying and selling, as people are trying to take advantage of ways to boost their effective Wealth level via influence skills, etc.

Also, I don't know about your group, but in ours, the wealthy person gets darn-near paraded about on the party's shoulders every time they return to Town with loot. We make sure to give them much glory for their contribution.
__________________
Reverend Pee Kitty of the Order Malkavian-Dobbsian (Twitter) (LJ)

MyGURPS: My house rules and GURPS resources.

#SJGamesLive: I answered questions about GURPS After the End and more!
{Watch Video} - {Read Transcript}
PK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2017, 07:18 AM   #17
ArchonShiva
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Montréal, Québec
Default Re: Alternate Wealth rules

Wow, I am amazed at how much vitriol suggesting a simple and compatible alternate rule brings out! I guess I should avoid doing this without including an introductory essay about how an original rule is inherently flawed.

It's an alternate rule, guys. DFRPG already has a rule for this you can just keep using if you're happy with it. Pointing out flaws or conflicts in the alternate rule (as some have, to be fair), or suggesting improvements, is the raison d'être of forums. But a general stance which projects "I refuse to live in a world where someone is considering this alternate rule" seems a bit... extreme.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan506 View Post
Respectfully, this seems like an inelegant solution to a problem that doesn't exist.
If the problem indeed doesn't exist, nothing in the ensuing post remotely supported that argument.

The rule is mechanical. The desired effects are:
1. It allows rich and poor characters to continue existing in play;
2. It allows poor characters to continue existing in play;
3. It makes points spent on or gained from Wealth matter for everyone;
4. It rebalances the burden of Wealth across all characters, rather than stick the bard with paying for all of it.

If you don't feel like any of these are desirable outcomes, then clearly you should steer well clear of this heretical rule.

The explanation for the rule isn't that rich characters pay less, of course they don't. But when the Very Wealthy guy pays (in-universe) $25,000 for a sword worth $6,000, the game effect is that the player removes $2,400 from his character sheet, and "other sources" provide the other $20,600, because the character is independently wealthy. The poor guy, on the other hand, probably isn't paying a penny above $6,000 for the sword. But the King's Men fine him for loitering, charge him weapons tax, he has to pay protection money to avoid his house being burned down, etc. It's income inequality, translated into gaming terms: successful highwaymen can't just buy castles, but noblemen restructuring under chapter XI are kept in posh homes by rich friends to prevent the system from collapsing.

A character can't cheat by buying everything for everyone, because (e.g.) their rich dad would balk at this, or the church would freak out at outfitting the wizard, or whatever gets the game mechanics of the rule across. Don't fret the occasional potion.

This version of Wealth, much like in that other popular sjgames RPG, represents access to money rather than a number of physical coins in your pocket. It's an effect-facing rule, which makes a character better or worse equipped in the long run.

Regarding the helping everyone argument, that's just ridiculous: Setting aside the fact that rules should still work if PCs aren't so cooperative, of course everything helps everyone! But when a player says "in this game, I'd like to be strong", he pays points to be strong (which helps everyone) and he's the one who gets to be strong! It's not unreasonable for the guy who says "I'd like to be rich and better equipped!" to be afforded the same distinction. Not to mention that having one Unfazeable character doesn't make everyone else's Fright Checks irrelevant, and it's not unreasonable to want Wealth to work more like mostly everything else in the game.

Note that the face character can still invest in Merchant and reaction modifiers and benefit everyone by getting higher selling prices. A good sell-bot bard will still regularly manage to double the take from a dungeon expedition.

The rule in the book is perfectly fine, and creates a certain game experience. I'm aware of some people being unhappy with some facets of that rule (myself included), and suggested an alternative, that's all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlangsdorf View Post
The Cleric spends 22 points for Turning, but everyone benefits when he uses the ability. Why should the Face's ability to get more money for loot be any different?

My usual problem with wealth in DF is that it's too tempting to create a single face character with Wealth and have the rest of the part be Struggling and trade character points for money.
You answered your own question, I think.

Closing comment: Using this rule, the Wealth advantages should be opened up to more templates. Knight and probably Holy Warrior should have access up to Very Wealthy, maybe limit Barbarian, Druid, Scout and Martial Artist to Comfortable, and let everyone else get Wealthy. This list is off the top of my head.
ArchonShiva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2018, 10:07 AM   #18
shadedmagus
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Default Re: Alternate Wealth rules

I, too, was not completely satisfied with the Wealth mechanic as-is, so I created another advantage called "Connections" which only deals with the buying and selling aspects of Wealth. It has 3 levels: Bourgeousie, which sells at 60%; Gentry, which sells at 80%; and Nobility, which sells at full value. The point costs have subtracted the costs for starting money as per this thread, and Wealth has been modified to state that each level includes the appropriate level of Connections for the advantage levels. The disadvantage levels are not modified.

I did not create a disadvantage for Connections; I figured Social Stigmas would suit for that.

(I do not have my document in front of me, so am going off of my recollections of what I wrote down. I will edit this post if what I wrote is inaccurate.)
shadedmagus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2018, 07:39 AM   #19
Elrond
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Alternate Wealth rules

I also think the Wealth rule doesn't feel quite right.

First the "Face-man" thing. Of course a charismatic person with good social and commercial skills will get a better price when selling loot or buying supplies. But those skills will be less effective when he walks into the shop accompanied by four stinking beggar-types with odious personal habits. The rule encourages min-maxing: make one character with the shopping traits and make the rest anti-social bums for free points. That's exactly what people do routinely in computer games: only the leader needs charisma, for the rest it doesn't matter at all.

I would take an average of the social bonuses for the entire group, in which the "spokesman" counts equal to the rest combined. That way having a social expert makes sense, but it also discourages making all others totally anti-social for free points.

Second, I think Wealth is too static in the rules. Wealth is the entire point of dungeon delving: the characters go into dangerous dungeons to get rich and famous. So the entire point is wealth and social status. In that sense, it is a social climbing game. Delvers can make fortunes by carrying loot out of dungeons and lose them by consuming healing potions and expensive special chi rations and paying for resurrection. It should be a dynamic thing.

So I would split Wealth into Wealth and Connections.
Wealth would be really more about lifestyle than about net worth, but of course these things are connected. A miserly millionaire who lives like a poor man, will have Wealth (Poor). Someone who lives beyond his means, will run out of money eventually and lose Wealth levels. So my take would be: if a character's net worth reaches a certain threshold, he can buy up Wealth. This will increase cost of living: you have to live the part. Besides, living like a bum will not be possible anymore: respectable people don't beg and don't use Urban Survival. The good thing is, it gives social status. Nobles will talk to you and hire you for quests if your Wealth is high enough. If Wealth gets even higher, they will stop ridiculing you behind your back, finance expeditions and give the really profitable quests. Of course, the chain is as strong as the weakest link, same as with hiking.

Connections is about having the right connections to get good prices in commercial traffic. It is related to Wealth, but not the same. Gullible rich people will still get bad prices. You could set certain Wealth levels as prerequisite for Connections levels: eg you can only get Connections (Bourgeois) if Wealth is Average or higher. It could als be related with occupations: the highest levels might be reserved for bards, scouts can't go beyond Bourgois etc. But that might be a bit on the overcomplicated side.

That is how I would do it.
Elrond is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.